The Loss of Fertility
March 15, 2009
In Sickness and In Health
April 6, 2009

Update on Denae’s Recovery

The most frequent question I get these days is: “How are Denae and the baby doing?”  I response is Joseph is doing great and Denae is recovering slowly but surely.  Since there is so much interest and we haven’t blogged in over a week about anything, I felt an update was appropriate.  So here goes.

Joseph’s status

Joseph was born at 6 lbs 6 ounces, and as we left the hospital he was down to 5 lbs 13 ounces.  At his one week check up, he was back up to 6 lbs 4 ounces.  Weight is the only concern that our Pediatrician (Kimberly Albert) has mentioned, but he eats well and everything seems to be in perfect working order.  He sleeps most of the time, usually in three hour stretches and he only cries when he is hungry or has a dirty diaper.  I would have to say that thus far, we have the ideal baby.

Denae’s status

Denae is doing well, all things considered.  But to fully understand that statement, I will tell you what she had to go through to have this child.  As I mentioned in my first post, Denae had some complications with this pregnancy and the main issues were her blood loss during pregnancy and during the surgery to deliver the baby, and the size of the baby.  The good news is that the doctors were very ready for all possible scenarios and had a plan in place for each possibility.  Many of those possibilities did not materialize and so Denae made it to the desired due date of March 10th without further bleeding.

On the day of the delivery, Denae was given a spinal blocker so that she could be awake during the birth portion of the surgery and be able to at least meet her new baby (but she was not able to hold him).  After he was delivered, she was given sleeping medicine through the IV and the doctors proceeded to continue the operation for another 2 hours, while I went with Joseph to get him checked out and cleaned up and introduce him to the rest of the family.

After Joseph and I left the operating room, the real work began.  Denae’s two primary doctors (Berry and Cowan) assessed the placenta and determined that it was indeed securely attached to the uterus and thus the uterus needed to be removed.  So they sewed up the uterus (to prevent additional blood loss via the embedded placenta), and then proceeded to cut off the blood supply to it.  When trying to remove the uterus, the bladder was injured and the Urologist was on hand to sew it up right away.

During the operation Denae lost 2 liters of blood (most people have about 6 liters total) and was given 4 units of blood in a transfusion.  Even though she had a blood transfusion, her red blood cell count was still well below normal and is still low, but should be back to normal within the next week or so.  Low red blood cell count is probably the cause of her lack of energy.

Denae has had much pain during this recovery, the strongest pain killers have not completely taken away the pain, only lying in certain positions (usually flat on her back) have provided a lessening of the pain and discomfort that has been with her since the delivery.  The level of pain is decreasing, but it is a slow process and she expects it to last for at least another week.

The bladder injury has required her to have a urinary catheter for three weeks, we are looking forward to this coming Monday as that is the day when hopefully it will be taken out.  The urologist will be taking a look at the bladder to see if there are any leaks, and as long as everything is water tight, then the catheter comes out.

The short story on Denae’s recovery is that she is still experiencing much pain and is unable to do too much more than sleep, feed the baby and have an occassional dinner with the family downstairs.  She is getting better every day, but it is slow going.  Fortunately , these problems are expected to go away with time and there are no long term issues expected.

Please keep up the prayers.


  1. Theresa Sismilich says:

    So glad to know that things are progressing well, though slowly with Denae. God always has the best way to get us to slow down. Great time to spend with Him, too. If you need anything, give me a call. God bless! You are all in my prayers. :o)

  2. Michael Dow, D.C. says:

    My best to you and your family… Having been through long medical journeys myself, I know its rough. When Denae is “up and about”, I can give you some advice on a few things that might help her recover her strength and resilience — I’ve seen and done some miraculous things and know some people in Austin who can help…

    -Michael Dow

    • Allen Hebert says:

      Thanks for the advice Doctor! Sounds weird saying that you, since I have only known you as a great bass singer and a computer techie guy and real estate tycoon :^).

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