When Richard Glover arrived at Erlanger with his wife’s driver’s license and insurance card, he was concerned but not panicked.
After all, Emily sounded fine on the phone, and she was still seven weeks from the due date of their first baby. She had been extra tired that morning and had called Richard at work to say her doctor wanted her to go to the hospital for observation, and she and her mom were on the way to Erlanger. The couple had a busy weekend; so, he told himself as he walked to her hospital room, it wasn’t unusual to be tired, especially during pregnancy.
“I was walking off the elevator when I heard, ‘We need a doctor in Room 26. Stat. Stat. Losing baby, losing baby,’” Richard remembered hearing, but not registering that was his wife’s room. “Then a gentleman walked up to me and said, ‘Man, that’s your wife and baby.’”
Through the door of Emily’s room, Richard saw that his wife and unborn baby were in distress. He also saw a look of horror on his mother-in-law’s face. “A nurse came out and said, ‘We’ve got them back. Everything is going to be okay,’” Richard recalled. “I went in and all I could say was, ‘Emily, I’m here.’ I whispered to my unborn son, ‘Daddy’s here.’”
A good friend
The weekend before that Monday was pretty busy. Around 70 of the couple’s friends and family came over to their house Friday evening for a wonderful baby shower, and Emily and Richard spent the rest of the weekend putting the nursery together. So, when Emily felt tired and dizzy on Monday morning, she chalked it up to an eventful weekend and to pregnancy.
The morning was pretty typical. Richard made coffee, got ready for work and headed out the door. But instead of starting her day, Emily climbed back into bed. She awakened from a morning nap by the phone ringing. It was a close friend calling to check on her. Emily told her that she wasn’t feeling well. Her friend urged her to call her doctor, but Emily assured her she just needed a nap.
“Emily, if you don’t call your doctor, we are not friends anymore,” Emily remembers her friend adamantly saying. Her friend then said before hanging up the phone, “Okay, we’re not friends.”
Emily tried to go back to sleep, but all she could hear was her friend’s voice resonating over and over in her head. Emily got up and called her doctor’s office and was told to go over to Erlanger to be checked, and her doctor would meet her there.So Emily put on a pair of soccer shorts and a t-shirt and called her mom to drive her to the hospital.
Right place, right time
Emily and her mom pulled into the Erlanger parking deck. Emily got out and headed in by herself while her mom parked the car. Minutes after Emily was in a triage room, she and the baby took a turn for the worse.
“All of a sudden all these doctors and nurses were around me,” Emily remembered. “My heart rate and our unborn son’s heart rate started dropping dramatically.”
Emily doesn’t recall much after that, but she does remember a physician who appeared to be off duty dressed casually in jeans rushing in to help and how scared she was for her baby. “Every time his heart plummeted, I felt it,” recalled Emily. “I felt like I was dying.” Emily was experiencing preeclampsia and later found out there was a 30% tear in the placenta. To prepare for the baby’s preterm birth, she received two rounds of steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature.
Around 36 hours after arriving at Erlanger, Richard Gates Glover was born via emergency c-section on Aug. 18, 2010. He weighed 4 pounds, 9 ounces and spent just six days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital.
“Thank God I was at Erlanger,” said Emily, “because another hospital may have been able to save me, but they may not have been able to care for our baby being born at 33 weeks.”
A beautiful family
Gates is now 9 months old and loves music, stroller walks and the family’s golden retriever, Izzy. As with other preemies, he faces precautions, but he is healthy and extremely happy. Gates is fortunate to have both sets of grandparents, Nancy and Fred Eiselstein and Becky and Howard Glover, in Chattanooga, as well as a whole host of supportive family members and friends who flood the family with love.
Emily and Richard feel fortunate to have chosen the right doctors, nurses and hospital system that could take care of both mother and baby on the same campus.“We choose Erlanger early in pregnancy because we thought it had the best care for our son and myself if there happened to be complications,” said Emily. “I wouldn’t want be separated from him for the first couple days of his life. Not even one hour. Erlanger’s NICU was incredible, and I felt he was given the best care.”
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