A woman who had two liver transplants and was told never to have children was shocked when she was admitted to hospital with a liver infection and found out she was six weeks pregnant.
Hannah Rosenfelder, 29, from Broomfield, Colorado, was born with biliary atresia, a liver disease that causes narrowing and blockage of the bile ducts.
She had her first liver transplant at the age of 15 and her second at the age of 25.
Rosenfelder was always told that it was unlikely that she would have children because her body could not handle the pregnancy.
In March 2017, however, she went to the hospital with a liver infection and discovered – after a routine pregnancy test – that she and her husband were expecting.
Doctors did not believe she would carry the baby successfully, but in October Rosenfelder welcomed her daughter, Hadley, with 37 weeks.
Hannah Rosenfelder, 29, from Broomfield, Colorado, was born with biliary atresia. Pictured: Rosenfelder is holding her newborn daughter, October 2017
Bile atresia is a liver disease in which the bile ducts become blocked, causing the liver to get scars. Rosenfelder (in the hospital, left and right) had her first liver transplant at the age of 15
Rosenfelder was diagnosed with bile atrium when she was six weeks old after her mother brought her to the doctor when she became jaundice.
Bile atresia is a rare disease that occurs when the bile ducts – which usually bile bile from the liver to the intestines for excretion – become blocked.
This means that bile remains in the liver, where it damages the liver cells and causes liver damage, also called cirrhosis.
The first signs are jaundice – a yellowing of the skin due to the accumulation of bile – that appears to be between two and six weeks old.
It occurs in about one in 12,000 babies in the US, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
The first treatment is called the Kasai procedure, whereby the bile ducts are moved outside the liver and are replaced by a part of the small intestine.
Even if the procedure is successful, many children will slowly develop complications and require a liver transplant.
Rosenfelder said that she had missed many school days because of her illness and that when she went to school, she often had an infusion in her hand, which made her feel she didn't fit.
& # 39; I needed my first transplant at 3 p.m., but the actual operation really hit me when I was called & she said.
& # 39; I was pleased that this could mean an end to my hospital stays and a new start to life that I wanted to have a bad life. & # 39;
The bile ducts of Rosenfelder were blocked again and she was placed on the transplant list again at the age of 23. She had her second transplant at the age of 25. In the photo, left and right: Rosenfelder in the hospital for her second liver transplant
Doctors told Rosenfelder that it was unlikely that she would have children because her body was unlikely to be pregnant. Pictured: Rosenfelder, on the right, with her husband, Ryan, and their daughter, Hadley
Rosenfelder said that after she got her new liver, she finally felt she had energy.
But her health problems soon caught up.
& # 39; I had many problems with the bile ducts because they did not stay open to allow the bile to flow, so I was often sick & # 39 ;, she said. & # 39; A moment came when I spent 280 days in 2015 in the hospital. & # 39;
At the age of 23, Rosenfelder – now married to her husband, Ryan – was back on the transplant list.
& # 39; The recovery would be a lot harder and I was so tired that I just wasn't sure I could go through it mentally again, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; In some respects I felt guilty because I needed another organ, as if I had failed. & # 39;
Rosenfelder had always been told that it was unlikely that she would have children, but after her second transplant at the age of 25, doctors told her that her body was unlikely to be pregnant.
She was told that she could not have children, it was difficult for Rosenfelder, but when her friends became mothers, it became even harder to accept it.
& # 39; When my friends were having baby & # 39; s struggling to stay alive after my second transplant, I was really upset & she said. & # 39; I just wanted to feel like one of the girls. & # 39;
In March 2017, Rosenfelder began to experience abdominal pain and her eyes and skin began to show jaundice. She recognized these as signs of a liver infection.
The hospital staff conducted a routine pregnancy test and gave Rosenfelder the shock of her life.
Rosenfelder went to the hospital in March 2017 after she started showing symptoms of a liver infection. Pictured: Rosenfelder at a medical appointment, June 2019
Doctors performed a routine pregnancy test and discovered that she was six weeks pregnant. Pictured: Rosenfelder with her daughter on her 29th birthday
& # 39; The doctor came in and asked if I was aware that I was pregnant, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; I was in shock and asked him to repeat it three times for me before he finally asked me if I understood what he told me. & # 39;
However, doctors did not tell her and her husband to establish their hopes because there was no guarantee that she would bear the baby.
& # 39; I was told as a little girl that I might never walk, that I would be too short and have speech problems, but these things never happened, & # 39; said Rosenfelder.
& # 39; I knew we had received this gift for a reason. I prayed the night we found out and I felt this peace that she was safe. I never worried about her or feared that she was doing well.
& # 39; I knew she had a special calling and she was safe in me. & # 39;
Rosenfelder said that her pregnancy was relatively easy because she was already used to dealing with symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.
Rosenfelder said she was shocked and still excited – but doctors told her they didn't know if she could carry the baby. On the photo: the daughter of Rosenfelder, Hadley
During her third trimester, Rosenfelder was often in the hospital with infections. After 37 weeks she was induced and gave birth to a healthy girl. Pictured, left and right: Rosenfelder with her daughter, Hadley
But during the third trimester, because Rosenfelder's body worked so hard, she ended up in the hospital with an infection every few weeks.
She had to be raised after 37 weeks – in October 2017 – because her medical team wasn't sure if her body could handle more stress.
Hadley was born with a weight of five pounds and six grams.
& # 39; The moment I held her, it seemed like everything stopped. I could not believe I was holding this precious baby that everyone said was impossible, & Rosenfelder said.
& # 39; I felt so much gratitude to my donor families, because if it wasn't for them, I would never have had her. Hadley gave me another reason to keep fighting for my health. & # 39;
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