PINEHURST – For expectant mothers, the prospect of having a baby is both a joyous and exciting one, and most pregnancies proceed smoothly. But for a number of reasons, some women need to be watched more closely during pregnancy.
This was the case for Carolyn Ramos, a 39-year-old Hope Mills resident who gave birth to her first son, Samuel, in June 2015.
At the 17th week in her pregnancy, Ramos began having bladder issues.
After a visit to the Emergency Department at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital- Hoke Campus, Ramos learned she had a 27-centimeter fibroid in her cervix that was blocking her bladder and was in the way of her baby. It was impairing her ability to urinate.
Due to her age, the severity of the complications and a family history of ovarian issues, Ramos was referred to the FirstHealth UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinic at Moore Regional Hospital, where she was diagnosed with an incarcerated uterus. Uterine incarceration is when the uterus tilts backwards and becomes stuck in the pelvis as it grows. This can be a dangerous situation for the growing fetus.
Ramos needed a procedure to move the uterus up out of the pelvis and it needed to be performed as quickly as possible. Julie Johnson, M.D., of the FirstHealth clinic, sent Ramos to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill for the procedure.
“They were extremely concerned for both me and Samuel,” Ramos says. “I was scared. There is no doubt about that fact, but thanks to Dr. Johnson, I had a huge support system, and there was a peace of mind about the procedure.”
According to Ramos, the partnership between FirstHealth and UNC also made everything easier.
“I was sent up to UNC, had the procedure and then they had me all fixed up,” she says. “There was such ease in transferring back here to FirstHealth, especially since I already knew my doctor and her team.”
After the successful procedure, Ramos was able to deliver her sweet baby boy by C-section at 39 weeks.
Maternal-fetal medicine was created for patients whose pregnancies are considered high risk.
“This service allows women with high-risk pregnancies to remain in the community and deliver their babies close to home,” says Dr. Johnson.
The FirstHealth UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program at Moore Regional offers inpatient and outpatient preconception and prenatal consultations for patients with a variety of complex conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes and autoimmune disorders and for such high-risk pregnancy issues as twins and triplets, preterm labor and previous fetal death.
Available services include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, tests that are done early in a pregnancy to detect problems with the unborn baby; state-of-the-art obstetric ultrasound; and other fetal procedures.
“I had the highest level of medical support possible,” says Ramos. “I was incredibly anxious during my surgery and pregnancy, but I felt comfortable when I was at FirstHealth. Being at Moore Regional and with Dr. Johnson were the most relaxing parts of my pregnancy.”
The FirstHealth-UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine program is located in the Women & Children’s Services area of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Appointments are by physician referral only. For more information, visit www.firsthealth.org/women.
The Ramos Family poses with Julie Johnson, M.D., and the staff of the FirstHealth UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinic at Moore Regional Hospital.