Hunter Timothy - Christie
On October 8, 2002 I was induced
because of toxemia. I was 37.5 weeks pregnant. Earlier that day, I had an
appointment with a specialist in high-risk pregnancies because my doctors had
been concerned about low amniotic fluid and the possibility of IUGR. The doctor
performed an ultrasound (I had 10 ultrasounds total during my pregnancy). He
found that the baby did not have IUGR and that my amniotic fluid level was
fine. He told me the baby is perfect. However, because of my unusually high
blood pressure, the doctors felt it best to go ahead and induce labor that day.
About 5:00 PM, the doctor inserted a
balloon and some cervical gel (because I had not begun to dilate). Several
hours later, I looked down and the sheets were covered in blood (there was a
circular area about 12 inches in diameter of blood). My husband called the
nurse, who changed the sheets and cleaned me up. She said some bleeding was
normal. Later that night, I felt a gush of fluid and thought my water broke.
I asked my husband to call for the
nurse. Instead of my water breaking, we found it was a large amount of blood.
Two doctors came in and examined me. They thought my placenta was abrupting.
So, we elected to do an emergency c-section. The babys heartbeat
was still strong.
At 11:37 PM, my son was born. I saw
the look of horror on my doctors face as he lifted my son out of my body. The
doctors later told me that my son, Hunter, was the color of cigarette ashes. He
was not breathing. His Apgar score at 1 minute was 3. Fortunately, his
heartbeat was strong. I watched helplessly as the medical team tried to revive
They told us that Hunter had lost
over 75% of his blood. It was going to be hour by hour. Each day, they told us
that Hunter was fighting for his life, and may not survive the day. The social
worker at the hospital suggested we have a priest bless the child. That first
night, October 9, we had our pastor baptize the baby.
During the first 24 hours, Hunter had
a massive seizure. Hunter did not start breathing on his own for about 10
days. He had three blood transfusions, surgery to insert a chest tube, and was
fed through a tube in his umbilical cord stump. Slowly, his organs began to
work; he began breathing on his own, and began feeding normally.
After 18 days in the NICU, Hunter was
able to come home. So far, he is a healthy, happy three-month-old. We have
tested his vision and hearing, both of which were a concern for the doctors
because Hunter spent so much time on a respirator. Both tests came back fine.
The pediatric neurologist is very pleased with Hunters progress. We will
continue to monitor his development, but are hopeful that he will progress
normally. He has had no seizures since that first night and no longer requires
The pathology report came back a week
after I gave birth. It showed velamentous cord insertion. Apparently, when
labor was induced, Hunters umbilical cord tore and he lost his oxygen supply
and most of his blood.
We consider ourselves very blessed
that my labor was induced and that we were at a hospital with a top-rated NICU.
The doctors and nurses were amazing. We know that Hunter would not be alive
today if I had gone into labor anywhere other than the hospital. He truly is a