The wonderful Cecie McClelland Parker and her son Judah Marvin (18 months). Cecie suffered through Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) for the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy. She was vomiting 5-10 times per day and ended up missing a lot of work and preemptively using maternity leave. She didn't feel like she could do anything and missed her own sister's wedding because she was simply too sick to travel. Cecie was ultimately hospitalized, diagnosed and with medication, able to feel much better in the second half of her pregnancy. Unfortunately, after spending so much time in bed and being undernourished, she had muscle atrophy and was so weak it was hard to accomplish much. Cecie had planned for a hospital birth with a midwife and labor was going well but her son just wasn't coming. Everyone thought that they could feel his head and perhaps he was just stuck. After laboring for two days, a new midwife came on and ordered an ultrasound to check Judah's position only to discover he was breech. He wasn't budging, and she ultimately had to deliver via emergency cesarean. Two weeks after Judah was born, Cecie suffered a mini-stroke while at a doctor's appointment with him. She lost her ability to speak and had to be separated from her son while hospitalized to try to determine what had happened. After her traumatic pregnancy and birth, Cecie wanted to breastfeed and struggled with the possibility of not being able to provide milk to her son. The hospital didn't have an electric pump available, so she had to use a manual pump and her husband came to the hospital every six hours around the clock to grab milk for Judah. It was about 9 months before she felt recovered but is thankfully at 99%, other than some occasional short-term memory loss. It was ultimately determined that Cecie has a rare auto-immune disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS or Sticky Blood Syndrome) that most likely caused the stroke. Aside from all of her challenges, Cecie was able to breastfeed Judah until he self-weaned at 17 months.
UPDATE: Cecie reached out to let us know that after seeking a second opinion it has been determined that she does not have APS. This is great news for her and her family. She is currently searching for answers as to what caused her TIA (mini-stroke) so that she and her husband can hopefully have another safe and healthy pregnancy.