Delivering Miracles

Our Lifesaving Resources Help Even the Youngest Patients

Imagine preparing for your first baby.

You don’t even know if you’re having a boy or a girl, but you are so excited as you decorate the nursery, register for baby shower gifts, and dream of bringing home the newest addition to your family.

You’ve even toured the Labor and Delivery department and plan on taking birthing classes.

Jacky and Court Blum of Sparta, Illinois, were preparing for their first baby just like any other couple.

They had a great obstetrician, Dr. Sekou Kelsey of Memorial Medical Group (MMG), and things were smooth sailing until Jacky’s 31st week of pregnancy. After experiencing intense pain at work, Jacky called Dr. Kelsey’s office. “They thought it was best to be seen at the Labor and Delivery department at Memorial Hospital East,” Jacky said. “My husband picked me up from work and drove me to the hospital.”

Monitoring the situation

After being monitored in Memorial’s Family Care Birthing Center’s Labor and Delivery department for a couple hours, the team discovered via ultrasound that Jacky had a placental abruption. This is a rare and serious complication where the placenta detaches from the uterus, and it happens in less than 200,000 pregnancies a year in the United States.

After making this discovery, Dr. Kelsey came in to explain Jacky and Court’s options. “He was very thorough in explaining everything that would and could happen,” Jacky recalls.

She was then rushed to a delivery room to have an emergency C-section. Because the baby was so early, Onsite Neonatal Partners was on hand to assist in the delivery. Jacky and Court’s daughter Josie was the second baby born at the Memorial Hospital East’s Family Care Birthing Center, and Jacky was the first patient to have an emergency C-section at the hospital. “We did not know the gender of Josie until she was born,” Jacky said. “Once Josie was born, the staff in the delivery room was very comforting in letting me know that Josie was doing well.”

Transfer to St. Louis Children’s Hospital

While Jacky was recovering, Onsite Neonatal was caring for Josie. “I wasn’t able to hold or see her, which was heartbreaking,” Jacky said. “But they did allow Court to cut the umbilical cord. When I was in recovery, the nurses were getting updates on Josie and relaying the information to me. I was very emotional in recovery and wanted nothing else but to see and touch my baby girl.”

Because of the placental abruption and pre-term delivery, little Josie would need to be airlifted for specialty care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a BJC HealthCare organization strategically affiliated with Memorial.

“Thanks to the nursing staff, before Josie was airlifted to Children’s, they brought her into my recovery room, and I was able to see her and hold her tiny hand while she was in the Isolette ready for transfer, and I was laying on the recovery stretcher,” Jacky said. “Having this moment was hard, because I didn’t know when I was going to get to see or touch her again. And truthfully, I didn’t know if my baby was going to survive for me to see her again.”

A nurse opened the curtains of Jacky’s hospital room, so she could see the helicopter take off. “Watching my baby being airlifted has to be one of the hardest things I think I will ever experience in life,” Jacky recalls. “She was two hours old when airlifted. The nursing staff took my feelings into consideration greatly and tried their hardest to make me feel comforted. I am grateful for all they did for me during this time.”

The nurses also gave Jacky updates when Josie arrived at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and gave her the phone number to the Children’s NICU, so she could check on Josie as much as she wanted.

“Having a child in the NICU really makes you look at life in a totally different way,” Jacky said. “Josie is my little miracle baby.”

Second delivery at Memorial

Jacky delivered both of her daughters, Josie and Brianna, at Memorial Hospital East’s Family Care Birthing Center.

“My first and second deliveries were completely different,” Jacky said. “With my first child being an emergency C-section, I had no idea what to expect, and I had no time to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for what was happening.”

Jacky’s second delivery was much easier because she knew what was going to take place during and after the C-section. “The second delivery was also much different because once Brianna was born and stable, I held her in the surgery room and recovery room,” she said. “I was able to start the bonding process with her right away.”

Josie and Brianna today

Today, Josie is 17 months old and Brianna is almost two months old. “Josie is doing great,” Jacky said. “She is doing everything developmentally that she should be doing. She is tiny for her age, but that’s okay.”

Josie is also a great big sister to Brianna. “Josie is doing really well with Brianna,” Jacky said. “When Brianna is crying, Josie will try to give her the pacifier, or she has even tried to give Brianna her baby doll’s bottle.”

Choosing the right doctor and hospital

Through two pregnancies that were so completely different, there was one constant: Dr. Kelsey. When asked what advice she would give expectant parents, Jacky said, “My number one recommendation for expectant parents is to have Dr. Kelsey as their OB doctor.”

“It makes me feel good knowing that I have such a great doctor. His bedside manner is superb, and he is very thorough in his explanations of all things medical,” she continued. 

Having the option of Memorial Hospital Belleville and Memorial Hospital East, both with excellent neonatal services, was also a clear advantage in Jacky’s eyes. “It is comforting to know that you are able to go to either hospital, because you never know when it is an emergency and you need medical attention immediately and don’t have time to travel to the facility you planned on delivering at. It also is convenient to be able to schedule doctor appointments at either location,” she said.