In God’s Hands
Lindsey first got pregnant in 2010 after undergoing fertility treatments, but she miscarried soon after moving to Texas from Utah. When seeking urgent medical attention for Lindsey in their new city, the couple happened upon Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and the obstetricians/gynecologists at Walnut Hill OB/GYN Associates.
While in the hospital, Lindsey was referred to Dr. David Bookout of the OB/GYN practice who helped her become pregnant again in May 2011. Because of her previous history of miscarriage, Lindsey was introduced to the practice’s Dr. John Bertrand to handle her high-risk pregnancy. Dr. Bertrand also brought in colleague Dr. Brian Rinehart, a maternal fetal medicine physician at North Texas Perinatal Associates and medical director of the Maternal High Risk Program at Texas Health Dallas. Together, the two physicians were committed to seeing Lindsey through her second pregnancy.
Unfortunately, a successful outcome was not to be the case. Lindsey would lose the baby in utero.
“We knew that Lindsey wanted to deliver her deceased son naturally, so we supported her in her decision,” Dr. Bertrand said. “We tried to be as sensitive and compassionate as we could for the family, especially since the situation was caused by a massive fetomaternal hemorrhage and had lingering consequences for the mom. The baby basically lost its blood volume into Lindsey’s circulation without any evidence of external bleeding. This led to a condition known as alloimmunization, or an Rh incompatibility, and the increased risk of future problems should Lindsey get pregnant again.”
Lindsey began fertility treatments again in January 2012 in hopes of having a “miracle” baby. At the same time, the couple started adoption paperwork and put their trust in God to take them down the best path.
Challenges In Utero
On September 10, 2012, they brought their newly adopted son, Benjamin, home. Two days later, Lindsey found out she was pregnant. Drs. Bertrand and Rinehart went to work to closely monitor her and the unborn baby using a specialized Middle Cerebral Artery Peak Systolic Velocity (MCA PSV) assessment. In order to do this, an ultrasound beam was directed into a blood vessel in the baby’s brain while in utero and the velocity of the blood flow through the blood vessel was measured to evaluate for fetal anemia.
It was highly likely that the baby would become anemic at some point due to Lindsey’s Rh incompatibility and require an intrauterine blood transfusion. Sure enough, at 31 gestational weeks a transfusion was necessary.
Inside Texas Health Dallas’ Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants, Lindsey underwent a special procedure to alleviate the baby’s anemia. A needle was inserted into her stomach straight to her umbilical cord to provide the baby with healthy blood.
“Dr. Rinehart did a fantastic job, with Dr. Bertrand at his side assisting,” Lindsey said. “I felt so confident in their care and the procedure gave (baby) Mabel almost three more weeks in my womb.”
Highest Risk, Highest Priority
With access to centralized monitoring, an on-call obstetric hospitalist and around the clock care, Lindsey was admitted to the High-Risk Obstetrics Unit in the Margot Perot Center for extended observation. The center is one of the largest facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth dedicated to the care of high-risk obstetric patients. Here, the medical staff was well-equipped to react quickly in the event of an emergency. And when baby Mabel once again showed signs of anemia, the team induced labor.
Mabel’s heart could not handle the contractions so a C-section was performed on March 19, 2013. Baby Mabel weighed in at 4 pounds and 15 ounces, and needed lots of care in the hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She immediately underwent two blood transfusions and needed help with her breathing.
After a week in the NICU, Mabel was transferred to the hospital’s Special Care Nursery (SCN) where she would remain until April 1. She was growing strong but required some assistance in eating. In the SCN, nurses worked one-on-one with the Hansens to educate them on feeding and taking care of Mabel to prepare her for going home.
Lindsey shared that Mabel is now a thriving and chubby baby and that brother Benjamin adores his sister. The family is hoping to add to their family in the near future and hopes to have the same dedicated medical team to monitor the pregnancy.
Physicians on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.