Parents turned to Google to save baby

Parents turned to Google to save baby

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Like many women, Kristin postponed having a family as she pursued her career.

"If you look at my story, I'm an older mom who is trying to get pregnant in my early 40's. I already had a miscarriage and I already tried in vitro fertilization, which was unsuccessful," she said.

In early 2013, Kristin and her husband, Jeff, got good news.

"Miraculously, I got pregnant on my own ... I was ecstatic," she said.

Four months later, her storybook pregnancy turned into a nightmare. Kristin's cervix was shrinking, causing her to miscarry. To keep her unborn son from slipping out, doctors tried stitching her cervix closed. The procedure didn't work.

"There was nothing to stitch," Jeff recalled.

"All the doctors said it was impossible," Kristin said. "Three specialists basically told me either you are going to miscarry in the next few weeks, or you're going to have a severely premature infant. I thought, 'this cannot be my life. This cannot be my destiny.' I didn't think I was ever going to hold him."

This is not an ordinary couple. Kristin is a nurse practitioner and Jeff is a physician. Jeff said he was heartbroken as he left Kristin in her hospital bed.

That's when he began searching for answers. In spite of not being trained as an obstetrician, Jeff said, "I read all the OB journals, the medical journals, and did Google searches."

The search helped uncover a little-known procedure called an laparoscopic, or intra-abdominal cerclage. It works like a gastric band that is used for weight loss. Instead of wrapping it around the stomach, surgeons place the band around the bottom of the womb, keeping the baby safe inside the uterus. It's only offered by a handful of doctors.

The closest willing to take the case was Dr. Richard Demir, near Phoenix, Ariz., almost 2,000 miles away.

Prior to her departure, Tampa doctors checked Kristin one last time before she headed to the airport. Jeff recalls his concern, hoping Kristin would not miscarry on the plane. Once they arrived in Phoenix, Kristin was rushed into surgery.

But the procedure does have some serious risks, including bleeding, infection, premature labor, and tearing of the cervix. Then there is the expense. In Kristin's case, it was covered by her health insurance. For others, it can cost thousands of dollars.

Four months later, and seven weeks early, Kristin went into labor. Because of the cerclage, babies must be delivered by cesarean section.

In November 2013, she said first hello to little baby Benjamin.

"He really almost wasn't here. He was lucky, he was really lucky little baby," Jeff said with a smile.

After three weeks in the NICU, Benjamin went home, giving these new parents a profound sense of purpose.

"I wish and I pray that more and more women know about this procedure," Kristin said.

"If this video does nothing more than help one single mother that would not have been able to have her baby, then I think it's worthwhile to do," Jeff agreed.

As for the Hunts, keeping up with the little Benjamin is a full time job, but they love watching the son who they nearly lost.

Helpful links:

Dr. Richard Demir

http://www.desertwomenscare.com/ 

Cerclage Guidelines

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24405880

DaVinci Robot Cerclage

http://www.abington-repromed.com/Websites/abington/images/daVinci-asssited%20abdominal%20cerclage.pdf

Insurance Coverage

http://www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/500_599/0529.html

Treatments Incompetent Cervix

http://mylovelosslife.wordpress.com/incompetent-cervix/treatment/

Results/Studies

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22024258

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19576376

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