Woman Vaginally Gives Birth in a Coma

If you guessed no, you would be wrong!  And one woman in Grand Haven Michigan made headlines this past week after giving birth while in a coma.

It sounds damn near impossible right?  How the heck is it even possible?  How does it work?  What happens?  How does the mom know to push?   I mean, we all have a million questions when something this unheard of happens…

Richard and Becky Powers were expecting their first child when Becky got sick with what she believed to be a common cold. Although as time went on and Becky got worse, and then found herself unable to breathe they found out what she had was not a cold, but in fact the H1N1 virus we haven’t heard much about recently.

After a trip to the emergency room at 25 weeks pregnant the situation became grave.  Becky’s lung capacity was at 25% and dropping, her kidneys were starting to fail, and soon she had to be sedated, and breathing tubes placed.   During this time they have her a 10% chance of survival given her condition.

Eventually she was connected to a heart and lung machine to sustain her life.  Which was the only thing keeping Becky and her unborn child alive at that point.

And then at 28 weeks pregnant the unthinkable began to happen… Becky went into labor. But the question quickly became how they would deliver the baby.  Because of the medications, blood thinners and dialysis for her kidneys the doctors felt a cesarean would be far too risky to the mother.

The doctors involved in the case described:

So that’s how Dr. Sheik and the team proceeded, bringing Becky only slightly out of her coma in order to assist her body in performing it’s natural task of childbirth. “She was actually on the ventilator. So really the labor process itself was one that, by and large, occurred with her body responding going into labor on its own. “

After another 5 weeks of recovery, and fighting for her life, Becky was able to come out of her medically induced coma and meet her son Chase, who was doing well in the neonatal intensive care unit of the same hospital.

The story itself is amazing and shows how in tune the body can be when giving birth, even if the body itself is in crisis.

I am certainly glad that Becky made a full recovery!

photo: flickr.com/cote

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