Waiting for Colin

Thanks to you, Karen Hodge received the expert care she needed – from conception to delivery – to give birth to a healthy son.
Karen and Blaine Hodge were overjoyed at the prospect of starting a family. But their’s wouldn’t be just any pregnancy. Karen has been paralyzed since she was a teenager.

“As soon as we decided to get pregnant, Blaine and I went to BC Women’s Hospital for consultation about all aspects of pregnancy and spinal cord injury,” says Karen. “It took about a year, but once I was pregnant, I was referred back for ongoing care.”

Karen’s pregnancy progressed normally until, at 33 weeks, she developed a kidney infection.

“My fever was quite high and the baby’s heart rate was really high, so I was in trouble,” says Karen. “We went to BC Women’s, and within 15 minutes, the perinatologist was at my bedside and I was admitted.”

Karen remained at BC Women’s for a month of specialized inpatient care.

“I knew they wanted to monitor things carefully,” says Karen, who adds, “I couldn’t feel the baby kicking inside, so I would feel my belly with my hand and say, ‘Stay put!’”

Finally, at 37 ½ weeks, Karen’s wait was over. The team at BC Women’s proceeded to induce labour for a carefully planned delivery supported by specialists from anesthesia, maternal fetal medicine, internal medicine and neonatal medicine.

“I was able to have a normal delivery with Colin, and thanks to the expertise of the team, I was even able to push,” says Karen. “I didn’t think it would be possible because I’m paralyzed from the chest down, but one of the physicians said, ‘Go ahead and try, people’s bodies work in different ways – and I was surprised to discover it worked!”

Today, Colin is a thriving five-year-old, whose almost two-old-old sister, Laura, was born just three years later at BC Women’s following a normal and happily less eventful pregnancy.

“We’re just very grateful for the care we received at BC Women’s,” says Karen. “The confidence I felt in the team’s ability comes from knowing that they deal with challenging pregnancies all the time and that they really do have an amazing amount of skill and knowledge.”

Please help mothers receive the specialized care they need to start a family.
 

Written by Anne Collette for Women's Magazine
Photography by Claudette Carracedo