Mom With MS Finds Childbirth’s Not What She Expected
There are a lot of unknowns going into the delivery room to give birth for the first time. The “what ifs” often can take on a life of their own, even if you’ve had a healthy pregnancy. Advertising Policy Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. … Read More
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Dion W. of Northeast Ohio is an exception among those who find themselves a bit fearful.
The 35-year-old didn’t let the fact that she has multiple sclerosis cloud her visions of enthusiastically welcoming her bundle of joy with open arms upon arrival.
That’s not exactly the way it went down, but it wasn’t the disease that postponed the happy moment.
Dion and husband Anthoni were watching reruns of the TV sitcom “Martin” when the “horrible” contractions began, at 9 p.m. on a Friday in early June.
She says horrible, but Dion discusses the ordeal with her dry sense of humor firmly intact. At 4 a.m., they decided to head to Hillcrest Hospital, she says.
“I was doing my hair when we were leaving,” Dion recalls. “My husband said, ‘Who cares about your hair? Just get in the car.’ ”
[Tweet “Delivery has twists, turns for Mom with #MS, but her disease isn’t a factor. #multiplesclerosis”]Twenty-one hours of labor were followed by two hours of pushing. However, the baby’s heart rate became elevated and unstable. She was not in position to be delivered the usual route, says Dion’s OB-GYN Jonathan Emery, MD.
The result was a cesarean section and a groggy Dion being ushered off to recovery.
“I thought that I would be coherent,” she says. “You see the people giving birth on TV: ‘Here’s your baby,’ and you’re taking pictures — that didn’t happen. My husband showed me the baby after the operation. I’m like, yeah, ok, let me go back to sleep.”
Together at last
Baby Kailynne — a combination of grandmother and great-grandmother names — was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit while mom got a nap.
When she woke up, Dion got her first good glimpse of her 7-pound, 10-ounce girl, thanks to computer technology.
“I got to see her through FaceTime,” she says, adding that her husband was taking plenty of pictures for her as well. “The next day in the afternoon I got to hold her and feed her.”
MS proved to be a nonfactor throughout the birthing process, Dr. Emery says.
“Dion’s labor went very smoothly. She presented in spontaneous labor — she was not induced — she did not need Pitocin®, and she progressed steadily through her labor,” he says. “Her need for a C-section was not at all related to her MS.”
A study published online in 2011 indicates that maternal MS generally isn’t linked to negative neonatal and delivery outcomes.
The disease also didn’t preclude Dion from having epidural anesthesia. She had planned at the outset to go as long as she could without the assistance of pain medication — another unrealized ideal.
“I have a high threshold of pain, I can deal with a lot,” she says. “Not that.”
While Dion and baby are both doing fine, they did miss an opportunity for a special present for daddy.
“She came four hours early for his birthday,” Dion says.
To hear more of Dion’s story, please go to this post.