“It all started when I had blood in my urine as I was approaching the 32 week mark with my daughter,” remembers Maria. “So I called Women’s Health Specialists and Dr. O’Leary had me come into ThedaCare Regional Medical Center – Neenah to have an ultrasound to help determine the cause of the bleeding. He saw a kidney stone, but couldn’t be positive that’s what was causing the bleeding and gave me medicine to help speed up the baby’s lung development as a precaution.”
After some more tests, it was discovered that Maria’s platelet count was low and there was protein in her urine. “By this point Dr. O’Leary was watching everything very closely, and put in an order for the tests to be repeated. My blood pressure also started increasing, and the medicine I was given wasn’t helping it,” says Maria.
“One thing I learned about Dr. O’Leary is that he likes to deliver his own patients if possible, and because of that I don’t think he ever sleeps!” jokes Maria. “I’ll never forget, it was a Sunday night about 9:00, and Dr. O’Leary came in wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans, even though he wasn’t on call. He let me know that I had HELLP syndrome and that he needed to deliver the baby. I remember being really scared of having the baby delivered so early, but Dr. O’Leary took the time to explain things to me and made me feel very comfortable and confident that things would be okay for both of us.”
After her daughter was born, weighing in at five pounds, Maria was able to see her before she was taken to the NICU at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Fox Valley. “It was more than 24 hours before I was stable enough to go see her again, and I just remember feeling very sad that I wasn’t with her and worried about how she was doing,” says Maria. Her daughter spent 3.5 weeks in the NICU, during which time she was on oxygen for four days and a feeding tube for about 20 days.
“Even though she was born at 32 weeks, she doesn’t have any sort of long-term developmental delays,” notes Maria. “The most notable setbacks were in the first six months; we noticed there were little milestones that she was behind on, like giggling and such.”
“I couldn’t be more grateful that I had Dr. O’Leary as my OB/GYN for all this. I’m definitely a worrier and really appreciated how attentive and cautious he was with everything – I felt like his only patient at times,” says Maria. “Being the worrier that I am, I also appreciated how prompt his nurse Carly was whenever I called with questions – they’re a great team.” Maria’s daughter is now a thriving three year old and recently became a big sister.