Owensboro Health | Lift | September 2019

Maternal-Fetal Medicine 6 Owensboro Health • September 2019 The Galyens, Laci, Braden and their new daughter, Elsie Jo, appear as any other young family. They are full of life, eyes sparkling, as they watch baby Elsie discover each new part of this vast world. Laci cups Elsie’s tiny hand in her own. Braden lovingly pats her on the back and places a protective arm around Laci’s shoulders. To anyone else, this moment might seem mundane or average, but to Braden and Laci, every moment with Elsie is a precious one. Elsie is their rainbow baby — a baby born after losing another — because just a short time ago, Braden and Laci said goodbye to their firstborn. Laci’s blog reads: “On October 24, 2017, at 12:42 p.m. Baron Kyle was born. Daddy held him first and then Daddy held Momma while she held Baron. He died in our arms when he was just 23 minutes old (what a fighter for 21 weeks 3 days). Our much- wanted, much-loved precious baby Bear.” A rare condition Laci had developed a rare complication of pregnancy known as HELLP syndrome — or hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets. Laci was in the less than 1% of patients who develop HELLP at such an early point. Her symptoms were not out of the ordinary for any pregnancy — weight gain, heartburn and breathlessness. She went to the Owensboro Health Regional Hospital (OHRH) Emergency Department when she developed back pain that she thought was a kidney stone. At that point, Dr. Thomas Tabb became involved. Dr. Tabb is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. He’s who they call when a normal pregnancy becomes high-risk. Dr. Tabb assessed and monitored Laci at OHRH and began to suspect HELLP syndrome. Due to her early gestation, and the risk of death for both mother and baby, Dr. Tabb sent Laci to rainbow Norton’s Hospital in Louisville. They tested for any other possible conditions that could cause these symptoms, just to be sure. Unfortunately, Laci’s life was soon jeopardized, and it became necessary to induce. A tragic loss Laci’s blog explains her feelings following Baron’s birth: “In today’s world we want to believe that all pregnancies result in a healthy baby that the proud parents take home and cuddle and smell and love and all live happily ever after. We want to believe in the images of positive birth: pregnancy and birth being natural, beautiful events, etc. — which they can be. “But for me, as with a number of women for various reasons, this image is a fallacy and I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it. My pregnancy nearly killed me; my baby O v e r t h e Braden, Laci and Elsie Jo Galyen catch up with Dr. Thomas Tabb, whom they consider to be a hero to their family.