CARMEL — A Carmel mom and nurse practitioner is on a mission to save lives and support her fellow moms.
Stacia Scott and her husband are high school sweethearts, growing their family, just steps from where they both grew up themselves.
"You pray for what you have now," says Scott. "And that is exactly what we are doing."
The Scott Boys, as she calls them, keep her busy, but she says she feels blessed to be a mom to three boys, three years old and under.
"It's controlled beautiful chaos," says Scott, as her two oldest boys shoot basketballs in the living room while their newborn baby brother looks on. "I don't know about the controlled as much as just beautiful chaos."
She says this postpartum journey is different from her other two, and she is working and learning different things each time. But shares that she felt alone unprepared after giving birth to her first.
"So postpartum, I think is severely lacking. There's a lot of education around labor and delivery," says Scott, who also worked as a labor and delivery nurse before her current position at an oncology genetics company. "If there is, it's very minimal, or you get a packet and it's like 25 pages, and they send you home and they do go over it with you, but it's very quick. And it's like, right before you leave the hospital, and you're sitting there you're like, okay, okay, like I haven't slept and you know, I have a newborn, I'm overwhelmed. You really can't take any of that in."
Scott says after the birth of her first child, she could tell something was off with her mental health. She didn't know until much later on that she developed postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression.
"I even had postpartum OCD, which I had no idea even existed. Like all the bottles needed to be cleaned. I had to have the diapers all stacked and ready to go. I couldn't go to sleep until certain things were done," says Scott.
She started thinking then, that something needed to be done to help moms in the so-called fourth trimester.
"No postpartum journey is the same," says Scott. "And that's where I was like, we need to change it."
Then a scary postpartum experience by her close friend, Chelsea Shippy, finally pushed Scott to pursue that passion.
"I feel like I had a pretty easy pregnancy," says Noblesville mom Chelsea Shippy. "I worked out Orange Theory, three or four times a week. And I think that was really helpful. Just keep kept me moving and kept the blood flowing."
Shippy says she felt blessed and excited to be pregnant with her first child, a boy, after going through fertility treatments. She says overall, she didn't have many complications in pregnancy, other than higher blood pressure in the last couple of weeks, which caused her doctor to decide to induce a little early.
"I had awesome delivery. I loved it. I did push for two and a half hours, which was crazy. It flew by. But it was just such a great experience," says Shippy. "Everything went really well with the delivery."
Shippy and her husband took their newborn baby Cooper home two days later, with Chelsea planning to come back to her doctor in a few days to check on her blood pressure, which was still a little high, but she says she felt normal.
But about two days later, Chelsea noticed something wasn't normal and she didn't know why.
"I couldn't bend my feet to like walk down the stairs. They were just like so swollen," says Shippy."That's when I took a picture of my legs on the coffee table and I sent it to Stacia. And I was like hey, I know they say you can get a little more swollen after delivering. But like is this a little or is this like too much?"
Scott saw the picture and with her medical background urged her friend to call her doctor and go back to the hospital, especially with the concerns about her blood pressure.
Shippy says she hesitated a little, but then made the call.
"I feel like even when you're pregnant and you're calling that OB emergency line, you you feel bad or guilty if it's not really an emergency," says Shippy. "But that's what they're there for."
Shippy first went to the ER and then they sent her back to Labor and Delivery since she was only a few days postpartum, and there her husband and baby could come in the room with her.
At the time, Shippy says doctors didn't know exactly why her blood pressure was so high, but they put her on a magnesium drip for 24 hours to prevent seizures.
She says about 12 hours into that is when things started to take a turn for the worse.
"I just started like, kind of shaking uncontrollably. I felt like my insides were burning. So I was like, okay, they told me that could happen. And then I started getting really like cold on the outside, but hot on the inside," says Shippy.
Her husband asked if she wanted him to call a nurse in, and he did. But then her husband started noticing a weird noise coming from Shippy when she was breathing.
"My husband was like, hold on. She just started like her like having a gurgle like a coffee pot like making coffee when I'm breathing. And she took one listen and hit the panic button," says Shippy. "And that's kind of when things got scary. And doors flew open. I think two or three doctors came running, probably 12 nurses, they are trying to get an oxygen mask over my face."
Shippy says they unhooked the bed and started wheeling her down to the emergency room.
"I just remember a doctor standing over me saying like, hey, we're gonna put you in this CAT scan, it only takes 30 seconds and then we'll pull you out and we'll help you breathe a little bit better," says Shippy, who then looked at her nurse. "And that's just when I remember she was like leaning over me and I just grabbed her arm and kind of went like this (motions to her throat), because I knew I had taken my last breath."
Shippy says that is all she remembers from that moment and it went dark.
What happened after is the new mom was intubated, life-lined to Riley and on life support in their new OB ICU. There was one bed left when she arrived.
"I woke up and I just remember being like, oh my gosh, I think I made it," says Shippy. "I remember seeing a nurse staring through the window, I think looking at my monitors, and I just kind of gave her a hand wave and like, come in here. And so she came in."
The nurse told Shippy she was at Riley and that she was life-lined there and the day was January 9th 2022.
"I just remember being like, wait, what year did I give birth? Like, how much time have I missed? And or how many days have I missed of, you know, my son being alive?" says Shippy.
She survived what they later discovered was Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, or heart failure which is induced by pregnancy.
Shippy says she is grateful to her medical team, her husband and family, and friend Stacia - because without her encouragement to go to the hospital, she may not be here with her son Cooper celebrating his first birthday this month.
"The mortality rate of women that have given birth in Indiana, it's so high, which is so sad and crazy," says Shippy. "Sometimes it's just awareness and education that will, you know, help lower that percentage. So that's my hope."
Scott remembers coming down the stairs after the whole ordeal with her friend, and talking to her husband,
"I came downstairs and I said, I have got to do something and my husband said, Babe, do it," says Scott. "And that's where Postpartum Care of Indiana came to fruition."
Scott just launched a brand new Telehealth company for moms to be and postpartum moms this month called Postpartum Care of Indiana, serving women across the state of Indiana.
She and her team work on individualized care plans for the postpartum moms and provide resources and education on several topics that women face after giving birth, from physical health to mental health issues, and more.
PPCare of Indiana focuses on 5 specific areas of support for postpartum moms:
1. Preparedness - what to expect and signs to watch for
2. Sleep and rest - not for baby, but for mom
3. Nutrition and supplements
4. Companionship - relationships with your partner, family, support groups with other moms, etc.
5. On-going coaching - focusing on areas where each individual mom needs support
Right now, Scott and her team can take HSA cards for payment as well as cash or check. Insurance does not currently cover this postpartum care but Scott hopes to change that someday by providing proof of how her team is able to impact the lives of her clients.
"A lot of mortality rates are happening in postpartum moms, a lot of heart issues, a lot of mental health issues. And again, it's no fault of anyone. It's just where our healthcare system is right now.," says Scott. "And so I pray and I hope that this clinic will decrease that and decrease the mortality rate, increase the education and awareness."
If you would like to get connected to Scott and her team, download free resources and schedule a free consultation, you can visit PPCareIndy.com
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