A New Mom’s Extraordinary Journey

May 5, 2017

Carissa Hultgren is thankful for Dr. Michael Bass. Without him, she doesn’t know if 3-month-old baby Liam, her bundle of cuddles, would be here today.

Carissa first met Dr. Bass when she and her husband, Chris, were struggling to conceive. Dr. Bass is an obstetrician and gynecologist at Sanford Health Thief River Falls.

“I felt like I couldn’t have kids”

But when Carissa met Dr. Bass, she remembers him telling her, “We’re going to get you a baby. I just know it.”

And Dr. Bass was right; with his assistance, the Hultgrens were soon expecting their first child. The couple was overjoyed and didn’t think twice about remaining in Dr. Bass’s care through the pregnancy. Having received such compassion and positive attention from the start, the family knew Dr. Bass was the right person to deliver their baby.

For most of the pregnancy, everything seemed to progress as expected. Dr. Bass’s nearly four decades of experience helped ease Carissa’s first-time-mom worries.

A Sudden Change

But at her 38-week appointment, something seemed off. The baby wasn’t as active as normal. This prompted Dr. Bass to suggest an early delivery.

Two weeks before her due date, Carissa’s pregnancy was induced. She remained in labor for several hours and fears began to rise about the baby’s safety. Things started happening very quickly then, she recalls. An oxygen mask was placed over her face and she was rushed to the operating room for an emergency C-section.

Hultgren doesn’t remember much more of the experience, but she recalls feeling safe, knowing Dr. Bass and his team would take care of her.

“I completely trusted him, 100 percent,” Hultgren said. “That’s how comfortable I felt with him.”

Dr. Bass determined that Hultgren’s issues during labor were caused by factor V Leiden. Factor V Leiden is a genetic mutation that increases a woman’s chance of high blood pressure and other complications during childbirth. For Hultgren it caused a tear in her placenta that threatened her baby’s life.

“It’s something you wouldn’t find out about until something like this happens,” Hultgren said.

A Happy Ending

Carissa thanks Dr. Bass for bringing Liam into the world and keeping him healthy through a complicated delivery.

Hultgren is enjoying the life-changing experience of being a mom despite not getting quite enough sleep, of course. She is also taking hormone shots to help curb any clotting issues.

She hopes to have more children and plans to keep Dr. Bass as her doctor. Now that she knows what to expect Hultgren has no fears for her next pregnancy.

“Having a doctor who genuinely cares can change your experience so much,” Carissa said. “Dr. Bass makes is as easy as possible, so I’m not scared to have another baby.”

Give Health and Healing

Gifts of all sizes make a difference in ensuring lifesaving health care is available for patients like Hultgren across the Thief River Falls region. Please consider a gift today.