Mom, baby get best possible start with UC Health maternal-fetal medicine team

By Dama Ewbank
dama.ewbank@uchealth.com

In 2015, and halfway through her pregnancy, Jill Seger and her husband Justin weren’t sure what to expect.

Their son, Jude, had been diagnosed in utero by UC Health’s maternal-fetal medicine team with a condition causing fluid to build up within his chest cavity. Over time, the extra fluid would limit his heart and lungs from properly developing. Jude was given a 50 percent chance of survival.

“I was very torn,” said Seger. “You want to be excited, it’s your first child, the first time you’re expecting, but on the other hand, you aren’t sure you are going to bring this baby home.”

The Seger family put their confidence in the UC Health team and between 22 weeks and 36 weeks pregnant, Seger—and Jude—underwent an amniocentesis, three thoracentesis procedures and three fetal shunt procedures to draw fluid from Jude’s chest and ensure proper lung and heart development leading up to delivery.

Seger went into labor four weeks early and delivered Jude via emergency C-section at UC Medical Center. Despite a safe delivery, Jude was born needing a ventilator and the care provided in UC Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He was ultimately transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for additional procedures and spent 73 days there before being discharged for home.

“The partnership between UC Medical Center and the Cincinnati Children’s team was tremendous,” said Seger. “Jude’s now been cleared and I don’t think you could see anything about him that would indicate the tough start he had in life.

“It was the work that was done up front during my pregnancy at UC Medical Center to get Jude to this point. We were willing to go anywhere to get him the best care. We were so fortunate that UC Medical Center was one of the locations that could treat our son.”

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