The North Bend Eagle


Blood boost helped first-time mother recover from long labor

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 7/13/16

Lafleur babyRoss, Elizabeth and daughter Beatrice Lafleur are thankful for the blood Elizabeth recieved after Beatrice's birth.

Ross and Elizabeth Lafleur were eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child. Elizabeth knew that her mother, Marsha Gillis of North Bend, and sister, Melissa Fountas of Omaha, both had long labors, so she was prepared for that. What followed, she wasn’t prepared for.

Elizabeth went into labor on her due date, June 3. After 50 hours without sleep, most of it in labor, on June 5, at 5:10 a.m., Beatrice Louise Lafleur was born. Thrilled as she was to meet her new daughter, all Elizabeth wanted to do was sleep.

When she first arrived at the hospital, her hemoglobin was 12 gm/dL, pretty normal for a pregnant woman. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein found in all red blood cells that enables them to bind to oxygen in the lungs and carry it to tissues and organs throughout the body. During the birth, nothing was said about her losing an excess amount of blood.

But Lafleur was weak, shaky, light headed, all she wanted to do was sleep. And she was very pale. When she went to take a bath a couple hours after giving birth, the room was spinning, her ears were ringing, she couldn’t focus. The nurses realized something wasn’t right. Her hemoglobin was checked. It was 6.8.

“‘That’s a problem, you lost a lot of blood’ the nurse said,” Elizabeth said. “We would like to start blood. Apparently people turn it down. I said, ‘Yes, give it to me.’ I’ve donated blood, they check that all the time.”


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