Rare pregnancy complication threatens life of Raeanne, her unborn baby

On February 25th, a 33-weeks pregnant Raeanne enjoyed a nice dinner with her husband and 7-year-old daughter. Around 8 p.m., she felt a little off and dizzy, so she decided to go to bed. Raeanne woke up several times throughout the night, but that was part of her normal pregnancy routine. But, when she woke up again at 1 a.m., she knew something was wrong.

“I rushed to the bathroom and I could feel all the color leave my face and I started throwing up everywhere,” says Raeanne. “When I was finally able to stand up, I looked around and saw blood all over the floor.”

Raeanne immediately called her OB/GYN, Dr. Joel Kizner, who urged her to call 911 immediately. While Raeanne was in the ambulance, Dr. Kizner headed to the Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach to prepare for her arrival.

When Raeanne arrived at Miller Children’s & Women’s, the care team placed her on several monitors to determine what was happening. They discovered that she had a placental abruption – the separation of the placenta from the uterine lining. Her unborn baby still had a heartbeat, but was in distress. Dr. Kizner and the team decided she needed an emergency C-section.

Riley, Raeanne’s son, was born at 4 a.m. weighing 5 lbs. 4 oz. and was immediately rushed to the level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), just down the hall.

“The entire team at Miller Children’s & Women’s responded in an expeditious manner to achieve a good outcome,” says Dr. Kizner. “Without proper care, both mother and baby may not have survived.”

Miller Children’s & Women’s is the only hospital in the region to offer elite care for expectant mothers and babies under one roof 24/7. With a level IV maternity center and level IV NICU together, both mothers and babies receive the comprehensive, unique care they each need. At other hospitals without these capabilities, the baby may need to be transported to another hospital and away from mom.

“At Miller Children’s & Women’s, everything was great,” says Raeanne. “Everyone was so reassuring. It was traumatic, but Dr. Kizner and the team made us feel comfortable.”

Raeanne stayed in the hospital for five days while she recovered and was able to spend time with Riley in the NICU. Riley spent 28 days in the NICU, and only needed to be on oxygen the first hour he was there. During his stay, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Just before visitor restrictions were implemented, the NICU installed a streaming system, called NICVIEW®, on all of the NICU beds. Parents like Raeanne can log into the cameras from their own device to check in on their baby in the NICU.

“The NICVIEW cameras were great, because I could check on him when I first woke up each day before going into the hospital to see him,” says Raeanne. “Our 7-year-old also got to see her new baby brother with those cameras.”

Today, Riley is now 7 months old and is thriving. He continues to meet his developmental milestones and loves spending time with his older sister.

“We’re so thankful for the immediate actions of Dr. Kizner and the team at Miller Children’s & Women’s,” says Raeanne. “Throughout the entire time Riley was in the hospital, I knew we were in good hands.”

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