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Isla 2

Expecting Mom Spends 50 Days in the Hospital Leading up to Delivery

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During pregnancy, you plan for many things: what to pack in your hospital bag, getting your baby's nursery together and, most importantly, your birth plan. One thing that is rarely part of an expecting mother’s birth plan is spending time in the hospital. Barbara Bollote Blank found at her 20-week ultrasound that she had a rare but serious condition called vasa previa. This causes some of the fetal umbilical cord blood vessels to run across or close to the internal opening of the cervix, making it dangerous to go into labor.

Due to slight bleeding at 29 weeks, Barbara was admitted to Ochsner Baptist, where she would remain until delivery at 36 weeks. Barbara said, “Even though this was the most challenging thing I have ever had to face, I am so grateful for the experience. Through my entire journey I was treated with love and compassion by the team at Ochsner Baptist. Every person I came in contact with strengthened me each day to remain positive and steadfast.”

On June 24, 2021, at 36 weeks, Barbara underwent a cesarean section performed by Dr. Jennifer Brunet and delivered her beautiful baby girl, Isla. Barbara said, “This was a day I had waited on for so long and I was so excited to meet my daughter. My c-section went quickly and easily, and Isla was perfect!”

Barbara did experience complications after her blood pressure dropped, due to abdominal bleeding, but she said the team was proactive about finding the problem and getting it solved quickly. “I can honestly say I was the most scared I had ever been in my life. Even though my delivery day was traumatic, my care team was so proactive. They kept telling me, ‘We aren’t going to let anything happen to you, Barb. We got you!’ I thank God every day for the team that was there with me that day, I know they are the reason I am able to hold both of my daughters today.”

Barbara is thankful for her extended team at Ochsner Baptist. From her doctors to her nurses and support staff, Barbara said, “I am forever changed from my experience at Ochsner. Seeing all these people day in and day out that devote their lives to caring for others in incredibly inspiring. Caregivers are truly heroes … I am a better person for knowing everyone that cared for me during my stay.”

Dr. Jennifer Brunet was simply the best. Dr. Brunet checked on me frequently through my stay. She always took my concerns and opinions into consideration and made sure the rest of the team was on board. She is an extremely supportive Doctor and gave me so much strength to power through the long journey.

Dr. Debora Kimberlin – she was the first maternal and fetal medicine doctor I had upon arriving at Ochsner. She would sit on the couch in my room and explain everything that was going on – I felt like she just cared so much. She was also there on my delivery day and even though I was so scared – seeing her face come into my room, I knew that everything was going to be okay. I knew she was going to do everything in her power to make sure I had a great outcome.”

“Dr. Lule Rault was my resident on call during my entire stay – she was INCREDIBLE … she made me feel like I was a person instead of a patient. She was kind and loving and I felt like she had my back every second of the way!

“Paige Nelson Kurtz was my nurse the day of delivery who helped me stay calm through an extremely traumatic time – she was at my bedside the entire time making sure I was OK.

“Susan Robert on antepartum – I had her as my nurse many times. She went above and beyond to make sure I was in a good place mentally and she was so kind!”

“Mrs. Charlene Martin-Wilson with environmental services – chatting with her was the highlight of my day. She was always cheering me on and making sure I stayed positive. She will never know how much of an impact she made on my experience at the hospital.”

“Mrs. B (Beatrice Jarrow) and Max Johnson with food service – My husband brought my daughter (Elle Rose) to hospital every evening to see me and so we started ordering dinner every night and it just became our thing, it was a way to do something normal in a very abnormal situation. I remember Mrs. B and Max were always so respectful of our space and our time together as a family… they went out of their way to be polite and kind.”

“Beth Walker (Ochsner Baptist CEO) – Beth understands her patients are people. She hears their needs and takes action. She is truly a remarkable person!”

Isla James Blank
Isla James Blank
Isla with sister Elle
Isla with sister Elle

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