RMG (rmg) wrote in little_details,

Life-threatening complications while giving birth.

Setting: Neat-future science fantasy, although the event covered by the question is a few decades in the past so medical technology would be around where it's at in our world c. 2013. The character in question is a half-elf, but in this setting elves and half-elves are pretty much the same as humans medically speaking except for the fact that they stop aging between the ages of 20 and 30 or so-- which means that, for the sake of this question, you can just assume I'm asking about a 25 year old human mother.

So here's the situation: It's part of the backstory of one of my characters that when she was giving birth, something went extremely wrong, and the birth was very difficult, with a very real chance the mother (and possibly the child) would die. However, with the help of top-notch medical care, they both survive, and ultimately recover (although we don't meet either character in the comic until like 17 years after this, so this might have taken a while.) The mother may or may not have longer-term reproductive health issues (with whatever happens either rendering her infertile, or making another pregnancy unsafe), or she might have just gotten her tubes tied because she sure doesn't want to go through any of that again. The causes of this aren't set in stone-- it could be an injury, something genetic, an illness, random happenstance, whatever. The main thing is just that there was a very real possibility the mother might have died, in spite of having access to modern medicine, but then she didn't, because of the intervention of modern medicine.

This is all just deep backstory stuff, but I decided that I should probably work out the specifics in case they ever come up, or if I need to know how long recovery took, or whatever.

Relevant factors: The mother is upper middle class, lives in a country that furnishes her with nationalized healthcare, in lives in a city full of major universities (and therefore presumably has excellent hospitals-- think Boston). If you want to know what she looks like for some reason, here is a picture of her when we first see her (years and years after this difficult birth happened-- also n.b. that she didn't smoke back then), and her husband and daughter can be seen in the photo behind her. She's 5'0", weighed around 130 lbs before she got pregnant, and has no established prior medical problems— but I can conjure some up if I need to, since her medical history isn't exactly set in stone.

Search Terms: I looked through the ~medicine: reproduction tag to see if anybody else asked anything similar. Most of the questions related to this one, though, either deal with settings with a much lower standard of medical care (I don't think this character is going to come down with puerperal fever, and I don't think a modern hospital would have much trouble with a breech birth), the death of the mother, the death of the child, or some combination of the three. I've also googled and wikipediaed birth complications, but it's hard to sort through that when I know the ultimate end result (a more or less healthy mother and daughter by the time we meet them in the story 17 years after all of this happened) and I'm trying to work backwards, instead of knowing what the complication was and figuring out the health results from there.
Tags: ~medicine: illnesses to order, ~medicine: reproduction

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