MyCatholicDoctor Offers Support for High-Risk Pregnancy, Traumatic Delivery and NICU Infants
Trinity Sunday, on June 12, 2022, began with blood. Not the blood of the Passion or the Precious Blood of the transubstantiation at Holy Mass. In fact, I did not even make it to Mass that Sunday. Trinity Sunday began with my blood hemorrhaging and water breaking around 3:30 AM due to early labor and a complete placenta previa. I was pregnant with my third child, a daughter. A complete placenta previa is where the placenta completely covers the opening to the cervix. Vaginal hemorrhaging and bleeding with bright red blood are hallmark symptoms of a placenta previa. I was 34 weeks and 3 days pregnant. This was the day that my daughter’s prematurity journey and our prematurity journey as her family began.
My daughter was swiftly and safely delivered via emergency c-section early in the morning on Trinity Sunday. She weighed 5lbs 10oz and was 17in long. She was the tiniest baby I have ever held. This marked the end of my high-risk pregnancy with placenta previa and my 12-day ordeal with premature labor. Even though her birth story is somewhat traumatic, we still felt the Holy Trinity’s presence with us on the day of her birth. My daughter would go on to have respiratory distress due to her prematurity and would stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for three weeks requiring intubation, oxygen, a feeding tube, and many other interventions. As a preemie, she now sees many specialists to track her heart defect and her growth and development.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, a premature delivery, a traumatic delivery, or a NICU stay for your little one? MyCatholicDoctor offers many resources for all of these difficult situations. Our telehealth providers and allied health professionals offer flexibility and can meet you anywhere via Zoom.
For High-Risk Pregnancy, Traumatic Delivery, and Postpartum Recovery
MyCatholicDoctor women’s health and mental health providers are eager to walk with women during their pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum journeys. Although we cannot offer true obstetrics and labor and delivery assistance, we are able to offer hormone management during pregnancy, especially for patients requiring progesterone and estrogen monitoring during pregnancy. We are also able to offer consultations for common disorders that can complicate a pregnancy like diabetes, thyroid disease, and obesity.
A high-risk pregnancy diagnosis can often leave women feeling anxious, stressed, and scared. Our mental health providers are there to offer counseling, therapy, and even safe medical treatment of a variety of mood disorders during pregnancy. A traumatic delivery or a NICU stay for a newborn can increase the chance of a woman and her husband experiencing depression and anxiety in the postpartum period. MCD mental health professionals are there to assist during the postpartum phase, too. Additionally, in the event of a miscarriage or infant loss, MCD has curated a list of helpful spiritual resources and can offer counseling, therapy, and medical treatment, as well.
After a high-risk pregnancy, preterm delivery, or traumatic delivery, natural family planning can bring about more anxiety, stress, and confusion than before. Couples may want to switch methods to one that they feel like is more reliable. Or, couples may want to learn an NFP method for the first time. MCD’s NFP instructors are trained in a variety of methods, including Marquette, FEMM, Creighton, SymptoThermal, Boston Cross Check, and Billings, and deliver quality one-on-one education. Additionally, our instructors are able to bill insurance for their sessions helping to reduce the cost and financial burden of learning NFP.
For a Premature Delivery and NICU Stay
An infant is considered premature if he or she is delivered before 37-weeks gestation. Not all premature infants will require a NICU stay but many will. MCD has lots of resources to offer NICU parents. NICU stays can be very stressful for parents. MCD offers both individual and couples therapy to support parents during a NICU stay.
Many NICU moms find it difficult to breast feed their tiny infants. Premature newborns often have not developed the ability to coordinate their suck-swallow-breathe pattern. Most NICUs offer lactation consulting services. However, sometimes busy NICUs mean parents only see lactation services once or twice during the baby’s NICU stay. Our lactation consultants and pediatricians are passionate about helping women become successful at breastfeeding their preemies and can offer additional support that busy hospital lactation services cannot. The MCD lactation team can also meet with moms via Zoom offering even more privacy and comfort.
You may have a plethora of questions about your preemies growth and development post-NICU. MCD offers a team of qualified pediatricians who are there to offer individualized education on your infants growth and development. Our pediatricians are also able to consult on any of your childhood vaccine questions. Premature infants sometimes need additional support for healthy development. MCD speech therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists are available to help provide extra support through education and practical steps you can take at home with your preemie.
Finally, in the event that you are not able to bring your preemie home, MCD offers unique support for parents and their children suffering from infant loss. MCD mental health providers take great care to incorporate our Catholic faith into the latest mental health healing practices. At MCD, we provide pro-life and life-affirming care, and we recognize the dignity in each blessing from God, even the ones in teeny tiny bodies.
I am still healing physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally from the trauma of a high-risk pregnancy, premature labor, emergency delivery, and NICU stay of my premature daughter. But one thing I am certain of, my faith has endured through this trial, and I feel even more connected to the Holy Trinity. My MCD colleagues were a huge support during my high-risk pregnancy and preemie journey, and I know we can provide great hope for women seeking support during high-risk pregnancies and traumatic deliveries and for parents enduring a premature infant delivery or NICU stay. Please find additional resources below that you might find helpful on your journey.
- Preemie Care by Karen Lasby, RN and Tammy Sherrow, RN
- The Preemie Primer by Jennifer Gunter, MD
- Praying to Holy Angels by Kerri Davison (use “Angels10” for 10% off the book)
- Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman
- Grieving Together by Laura Kelly and David Franco Fanucci
- After Miscarriage by Karen Edmisten
- Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb by Heidi Indahl
- Be Healed by Bob Schuchts
- The Abiding Together Podcast (a Catholic women’s podcast)
- The Hand to Hold Podcast (a NICU podcast)
- Restore the Glory Podcast (a Catholic healing podcast)
*All of the books are linked for your convenience. If you purchase books on Amazon, please consider making the MyCatholicDoctorFoundation your AmazonSmile charity of choice. 0.5% of your Amazon spending will be donated to MyCatholicDoctor at no cost to you.
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