When Eric and Brianna Lynch look at their daughter, Mary Rose, “joy” is a word that sticks out to describe their first child. It’s not atypical for first-time parents to have similar emotions after bringing a child into the world. But for the Lynches, their birthing story is unlike most, and each day, they are thankful to have Mary Rose in their lives.
“Every now and then, it’s easy to think about what could have happened, and that’s hard too,” Eric said. “She is the greatest joy in our life right now, and we have that joy because of where we ended up that night and the doctors at UPHS – Marquette.”
For a couple expecting its first child, Eric and Brianna had the typical nerves one could expect from soon-to-be first-time parents. But they knew something was out of the ordinary a week and a half before their daughter’s due date when Brianna hadn’t felt the baby move in a while. They decided to call the UPHS – Marquette Family Birthing Center where a nurse suggested a kick test and other remedies to see if their baby would move, but it was to no avail. Eric and Brianna decided to make the trip from Munising to UPHS.
“We got in around midnight, checked us in and hooked my wife up to a fetal heart rate monitor and a contraction rate monitor,” Eric said. “They were just watching and noticed a few of the times there were slight contractions, the baby’s heart rate would drop suddenly.”
Given the complications, Brianna was moved to another room so they could be monitored overnight. The Lynches were already familiar with UPHS since Dr. Ryan Brang was the Family Medicine doctor who had been seeing the family during the entire pregnancy, and he happened to be on call the night the Lynches came in. He gave the family the rundown on the results of the tests the staff had been seeing and the tests they wanted to run, such as an ultrasound and biophysical profile.
“At that point he told us the chance we would be leaving the hospital without a baby was much lower than when we first came in,” Eric said. “We kind of started to realize that this is going to be go-time pretty soon.
“We had seen Dr. Brang many times. This interaction was different. We could tell this was serious and he had concern.”
Throughout an hourlong ultrasound, the baby didn’t move. Dr. Eric Jentoft was the OB on call that day and delivered an update to the family.
“At this point we knew something was not normal,” Eric said. “But we were both comforted by the fact that Dr. Jentoft came in and didn’t waste any time. He just came in and told us what they looked at. If it was a cord issue, they would expect the baby to not be breathing, but she was breathing, but she wasn’t moving. But her heart rate was normal and steady.”
Dr. Jentoft decided it was time to perform a non-emergency c-section to limit any further distress on the baby.
“It was clear the doctor had my wife’s and baby’s best interest in mind,” Eric said. “And at that point, we were ready for the baby to be delivered.”
As he began the c-section, Dr. Jentoft discovered the issue that had immobilized Mary: The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck five times. The timing of this discovery is what was able to allow him and the team to work quickly in order to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for Mary.
“At the time, my wife and I both knew that was really bad,” Eric said. “I don’t think we fully realized it until later how bad that could have been.”
Thankfully, the medical teams acted quickly and decided to go with a c-section to delivery Mary Rose Lynch safely.
Obstetrician Dr. Breana Pond is a friend of Brianna’s and came to visit her. What she told the family put into perspective how critical the decision was to come into the hospital when they did.
“She was the first person to say that if we had waited and not gone in when we had, and if they hadn’t done the c-section, our baby would have been a stillborn,” Eric said. “It was kind of something we knew at that point but didn’t fully realize until she said that. It made it all hit home and made us realize we got the care we needed to and had the right doctors and care team.”
Nurses, doctors and staff came to visit the Lynchs to express their support and check on the family. And through it all, Mary Rose is a perfectly healthy baby and the greatest joy for the Lynch family.
“We realized how much of a miracle she was and how big of a hand the doctors played in that,” Eric said. “If we hadn’t been told to come in when we called that night, if we hadn’t been admitted and stayed overnight, or the circumstances were different, things could have been so much worse. But we had the right nurses and doctors there for us. Now, we have a 2-month old baby, and she’s alive because of everyone who was there that night.”