Personal Care During an Emergency Delivery - Brookings Health System

I am Jenn Anderson and I live here in Brookings, but I am originally from Missouri. I came here because I am an assistant professor at SDSU.

I have one child. He was born on February 17th, which was about 8 1/2 weeks before he was due. So, he actually just turned 15 weeks yesterday, but he's more like a one month or two month old. And his name is Winter James Anderson.

Who Was Your Doctor and What Did You Think of Her?

My doctor was Dr. Ellen Hopper and I loved her. She was fabulous throughout all my prenatal care visits. What I liked about her, one thing I really liked was that, she was really sort of natural about what the care was. Every time that I went to visit her she'd ask what's going on and I'd kinda tell her just how the pregnancy was going. She didn't get overly concerned about a bunch of things. She wasn't telling me all these terrible things to be worried about. She wasn't giving me all these instructions that I couldn't follow or anything like that. She was just very responsive to any questions that I had and just was very calm, and confident, and reassuring.

How Was Your Delivery With Winter?

My delivery with Winter was fraught with emergency and concern because I actually had full-blown Eclampsia. So a lot of people have heard of pre-Eclampsia, but this was actually full-blown Eclampsia where I had a full-body seizure. So I was having a tonic clonic seizure and so it was an emergency situation where they needed to do a C-section right away. I was only at 31 weeks. I actually don't remember anything about the delivery. What I remember is coming into the hospital. They hooked me up to some monitors and things. They said, "Oh, you're gonna have to be here for 24 hours to monitor you." So my husband said, "Alright, I'll go home and get some toiletries or whatever and I'll come back." Well by the time he came back, when he walked into the room, he said that there were like six people around me and I was seizing, full-body seizing.

Justin had a great experience in the OR I think because he knew the way that the doctors had explained it to him. It's like, "This is the condition that your wife has, C-section is what we do for that and so that's what we're gonna do." So he felt really confident about they knew what was wrong with me. They knew what to do about it. They were moving to do that as quickly as they could. So he was not really worried at any point even though, come to find out later, obviously of course, this is a condition that could be fatal for the mother and the child. And so, it was really something where they needed to respond quickly and accurately so that we could survive. And they did that.

Why Did You Deliver at Brookings Health System?

I think the reason that they did the delivery here in Brookings rather than taking me down to Sioux Falls for critical care, that type of thing, was because the condition had worsened so quickly that they needed to respond immediately rather than taking me down to Sioux Falls. Who would want to have that hour drive where anything could happen? I mean, my condition worsened within like 20 minutes at being at the hospital. I was fine, I was talking, and then boom I was in a full-body seizure. So you know also, Dr. Hopper has all the expertise that she needs to do a C-section here. There's no reason to go to Sioux Falls for that procedure. Our baby did have to be airlifted down to Sioux Falls to have care in a NICU. But I'll tell you, I am so glad that I delivered here because then I was able to have my follow-up care here and that was so much better.

How Was The Staff During Your Stay at Brookings Health?

The Brookings Health Systems staff was amazing in my recovery. So I had a strange and unique recovery because I was here without my baby. One of the strongest memories I have from being here was... people have sort of been telling me my story afterwards because I didn't really know what was happening, but evidently this was only mere hours after my delivery. I had my doula on one side, and I had Sarah a nurse on the other side and they were helping me express milk, express my colostrum. They knew that breast-feeding was something that I wanted to do and they knew that I needed to start that right away or else it wouldn't be successful. I couldn't even hold myself up. I couldn't even sit up. I couldn't even hold the pump to myself to even pump breast milk. So they were literally physically holding the pumps on me, helping me. And I think they were both holding pumps, and Justin had sent by email a picture of Winter, my son, and so one of them was holding up the picture so that I could see him. They were holding that to me, so that was really important and meaningful for me to feel and see and have that physical support right there. They knew that I wanted to do that. And honest to God, without them that would not have happened. I probably would not be breast-feeding right now if they hadn't thought of that right away.

Would You Recommend Brookings Health System?

I would absolutely recommend Brookings Health System to anyone for any procedure for any reason. I'll tell you the reason why is because you feel like a person here. You feel like they care about you and how you're doing. It's not about you being a patient. It's not about we're trying to make money off of you or you're just a number or anything like that. They genuinely want you to have the best experience that you can possibly have, especially in the OB. It's sort of really holistic experience. But also, they just genuinely care about making you as healthy as you can be.