Parents’ Challenges Are No Match for Baby Sophie

ColemanWalter Coleman, 28, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was a child. Tiffany Coleman, 23, had experienced two miscarriages, was subsequently diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and currently lives with epilepsy. Despite the odds being stacked against the young couple ever being able to conceive, Sophie Marie Coleman was born on April 27, 2014.

When Walter and Tiffany married in 2009, they were eager to grow their family. But four doctors and several years later, the Colemans were told it would be difficult for them to conceive a baby on their own. That’s when an acquaintance of Tiffany’s recommended she see Ali Toofanian, M.D., a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist and maternal fetal medicine specialist on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Dr. Toofanian began by doing blood work on Tiffany to determine the extent of her PCOS and any underlying causes of her previous miscarriages. As a result, Tiffany was also diagnosed with a protein S deficiency. Protein S is an anticoagulant that is normally present in blood. When a deficiency exists, blood clots can develop during pregnancy.

Dr. Toofanian was able to get Tiffany’s PCOS under control through diet and exercise changes and medication (Metformin). The lifestyle changes and medication made a difference, and Tiffany soon learned she was pregnant. As for the protein S deficiency, Tiffany had to begin daily self-injections of the anticoagulant enoxaparin, along with a number of other medications to keep her healthy and manage her epilepsy.

Due to the high-risk nature of her pregnancy, Dr. Toofanian and other maternal fetal medicine specialists on the Texas Health Dallas medical staff helped manage Tiffany’s care. Addressing the potential for birth defects from all of the medications she was taking was an important part of her supervision

“Having the right team in place was so vital to a successful outcome for Tiffany and her baby,” Dr. Toofanian said. “With help from Dr. Laura Greer and Dr. Brian Rinehart of North Texas Perinatal Associates and Tiffany’s neurologist, Dr. Robert Leroy, we were determined to see the mom-to-be through to a healthy delivery.”

Despite ongoing monitoring of her seizure medications and tweaks to the dosages, Tiffany still had problems. Multiple times she ended up in the hospital for epilepsy seizures brought on by hormonal changes, the fluctuating medicine levels and stress. A month before her due date, she also experienced a kidney stone and her water broke spontaneously.

On the Labor and Delivery Unit inside Texas Health Dallas’ Margot Perot Center, Tiffany was well taken care of by the nursing staff.

“The nurses were so kind even through my yelling,” Tiffany said. “They made sure to give me my lamictal to prevent any seizures. There are truly no words to express my gratitude towards the L&D nuses.”

Baby Sophie weighed in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces at birth and was healthy despite the odds. She and mom went home two days later with dad to begin their life together.

“The nurses that Sophie and I had on the Postpartum Unit were amazing,” Tiffany added. “I felt like they really cared about us. I would definitely recommend Texas Health Dallas to all high risk moms-to-be or mothers trying to conceive.”

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