We were all saddened to hear this news story today which reported that Kerry Martin, 34-year-old wife of our Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin, died last night in childbirth, and their newborn son is in grave condition.
Please keep this family in your prayers.
They're being very close-mouthed about the cause of death, and I don't know if they'll ever come out with anything definite in the news.
Not being a healthcare professional, I can't make many guesses on this one. But some things that come to mind are:
- Amniotic fluid embolism (more common with induced labors, especially those utilizing cytotec)
- Ruptured uterus (usually happens with cytotec-stimulated/induced labors)
- Cesarean birth gone awry
I can think of tens upon tens of labor/birth conditions that could produce an injured/dead mother OR an injured/dead baby, but a condition that would produce both is a little rarer. I'll be keeping my eyes on the news to see if anything is posted later.
* Later note: Kathy added these thoughts, and they're good ones, so I wanted to add them on to this entry:
"For both mother and baby to be affected, the likelihood is something happening during labor or surgery; although it is possible that the baby may have had complications not related to the mother's problems -- for instance, some genetic or congenital defect -- and the mother's problems happened after birth. In addition to the possibilities you mentioned, there is DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation); some sort of infection that rapidly advanced (a woman died a few years ago from this; her family claims she acquired the infection through the epidural, from the anes. not following sterile procedure); a nicked artery during C-section that was not noticed, then burst, leading to rapid internal blood loss (I've also read of this happening); or postpartum hemorrhage. The possibilities of problems are greater with C-section than with vaginal birth; but it may be that the baby's heartbeat took a nosedive, and she was rushed back for an emergency C-section (which has a higher rate of complications, particularly if it's a true emergency, rather than a leisurely intrapartum C-section due to failure to be patient). The timing of the birth (if she died 4 hours afterwards at nearly midnight means that the baby was born about 8 p.m.) suggests that this was not a planned C-section, since those are typically done earlier in the day, during typical working hours -- all scheduled C-sections I've heard of have been planned for "first thing in the morning" (by mid-morning at the latest)."
* An even later note: Nursing Birth wrote a post based on the question about the above that I sent her. It's awesome - check it out! Thanks to NursingBirth!