Doctors from Obstetrix Medical Group, who specialize in high-risk pregnancies and are affiliated with Tucson Medical Center, steadied her for the reality that labor could be imminent – and even if her baby pulled through, she could have severe complications. The news was devastating.
When the 37-year-old was placed on strict bed rest at TMC for Women on June 2, 2013, she prayed she could stave off labor for at least a few days to bide more time. She never could have predicted Tatiana would come into the world a remarkable 66 days later.
It wasn’t easy. Aside from the constant rounds of blood tests and pelvic exams and monitors, she was on antibiotics to prevent infection, steroids to help her baby’s lungs mature and hormone shots. With five children at home, ranging from 4 years of age to 16, Jennifer’s family stepped in to help care for them in her absence.
“It was hard because I wasn’t with my family, and even though I wasn’t sick and I felt perfectly fine, I couldn’t get up and walk around,” Jennifer recalled. “I was used to exercising and chasing the kids around, and now I had to lie down all the time and I had to be wheeled everywhere. I felt totally incapable of everything and that’s a bad feeling when you’re used to doing so much.”
She was also extremely worried: She had lost a baby girl to a premature delivery before she got pregnant with Tatiana.
The staff did everything they could to make it easier.
They brought a small refrigerator into her room, so she could have cheese or fulfill her craving for Jell-o. They brought her an ipad so she could stay better connected. They would bring her treats, and knew her likes so well that they would order her meals for her if she was out for testing. They gave her tips on their favorite anesthesiologists or who did the best IV administration – and they helped the self-described hypochondriac stay grounded by assuring her that no, it wasn’t likely she had dengue fever.
She watched movies, read books, and chatted with the staff to while away the time. And because her window faced out into the parking lot, she was always the first to know which doctors were on shift. The doctors and nurses even threw her a baby shower.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people all the way around,” she said, adding she has remained Facebook friends with many, and continues socializing with others. “If you had doctors who didn’t care and ho-hum nurses, it could have been a very long 66 days, but the support I got from everybody just made it that much easier for me.”
When Tatiana came on September 6, she was four pounds, three ounces and breathing on her own.
A happy baby, Tatiana is now in the 96th percentile for height and the 59th percentile for her weight. “I had gone through a loss already, so I am just so grateful to have every day that I have with her, and I really just appreciate every single stage she’s going through,” Jennifer said.
“There are all kinds of statistics about how badly things can go but there really is hope. She’s so healthy, I couldn’t be happier. It’s the perfect outcome.”
Making HerStory – Whether a woman is having her first child or a life-saving surgery, she deserves a welcoming and safe environment with state-of-the-art services and a caring touch. Making HerStory is the campaign for the new Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Center to make this environment a reality at TMC for Women and in our community.
TMC is committed to providing a lifetime of care For Women, About Women. Join us in Making HerStory