Dianna Kleeman – pregnancy and childbirth success story

Ready for the unexpected

When an emergency led to a premature delivery, Methodist Mansfield rose to the occasion.

Dianna Kleeman and her family “They not only saved our lives, but they helped us
in our time of need,” Dianna says. “I cherish every
triumph we’ve had. We are alive because of
Methodist Mansfield.”

Dianna and Matt Kleeman thought everything was on schedule for the arrival of their first child back in 2010. Then one morning, the unexpected happened.

“I woke up and couldn’t feel my baby kicking,” Dianna says.

Dianna’s OB-GYN sent her straight to Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. Not only did Dianna have pre-eclampsia and require a cesarean section, but her premature infant would need the advanced care of the hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

At 3:24 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2010, Miles Matthew Kleeman was born at 28 weeks, weighing only 2½ pounds.

“He was so tiny, but he was fighting for his life,” Dianna says.

Dianna’s fight begins

A week after she was discharged from the hospital, Dianna’s health took a dangerous turn. The new mom had developed blood clots and was experiencing heart failure.

The medical team at Methodist Mansfield went to work providing interventional medicines and treatments to help her get back on track. They also provided emotional support.

“Here I had married the man of my dreams, had the perfect baby, and now I’m going to die,” Dianna remembers saying to her nurse. “She hugged me and said: ‘I am not going to let you die. I am going to see you through this, and you are going to survive.’”

Similar encouragement helped Matt in the days to come.

“I went back and forth from visiting my wife on the fourth floor to my baby in the NICU, who were both struggling for life,” he says. The nurses were always reassuring, telling me about the improvements that my wife and baby were making.”

The NICU nurses collaborate with a whole team of providers, including respiratory therapists, educators, and board-certified neonatologists, to care for infants born as early as 28 weeks gestation.

“Methodist Mansfield’s NICU provides parents with a reassurance that their fragile, preterm infant is receiving individualized care 24 hours a day,” says Sarah Northrop, DO, Dianna’s current OB-GYN, who serves on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield. “Equipped with the latest technology, the NICU offers an intimate environment where light, temperature, and noise are controlled to stimulate babies’ growth.” When Dianna was released from the hospital, she spent as much time as she could with Miles in the NICU and realized how much the nurses had been there for him during her illness.

“They loved my son as I did,” Dianna says.

Safe and sound

Miles, the earliest preemie on record at Methodist Mansfield, stayed 77 days in the NICU. On March 15, 2011, he went home with a heart monitor. That first year, Miles saw numerous specialists and underwent physical therapy.

Then when he turned 1, “everything seemed to fade away,” Dianna says. “Now 5, he can cite words, write his name, and color, and he was at the head of his pre-K class.”

Every year on Miles’ birthday, the family returns to the hospital with homemade food and gifts for the NICU staff and is forever grateful.

“They not only saved our lives, but they helped us in our time of need,” Dianna says. “I cherish every triumph we’ve had. We are alive because of Methodist Mansfield.”