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Mission Monday: Baby Autumn’s Denver legacy

March 24, 2014

ostendorf_familyJust after Easter 2011, at about 18 weeks gestation, Jessie Ostendorf started exhibiting signs of preeclampsia: swollen feet and ankles as well as an overall puffiness. Attributing it to normal signs of pregnancy and working too hard, even the nurses that Jessie called just said to relax and drink more water.

Preeclampsia was a nagging thought, but Jessie kept going, being a “super woman” and doing it all. At 21 weeks gestation, after a night of severe headache that did not go away, she was admitted to the hospital with a blood pressure of 200/100, high levels of protein in the urine, and an official diagnosis of preeclampsia.

The Ostendorfs did not want to induce in order to give baby Autumn more time. Despite the medical team’s effort to prolong the pregnancy however, an ultrasound revealed that the baby was also very sick. Autum and Jessie were failing quickly and delaying delivery, the only know “cure,” was no longer an option. Jessie ‘s health took a rapid turn for the worse: a fever of 107.5 sent her to the ICU and a central line. The medical team scrambled to save her life.

Their angel Autumn was delivered stillborn on Saturday, May 14, 2011.

Seeking more information about their traumatic pregnancy experience, the Ostendorfs turned to the Preeclampsia Foundation website as a source of information and to receive support. Through the Foundation’s educational programs, Ostendorf and her family were able to learn about preeclampsia, and network with a community of preeclampsia survivors in their home state. They founded Team Autumn for the 2011 Denver Promise Walk and have been active volunteers ever since.

Today, the Ostendorf family is the 2014 Denver Promise Walk Mission Family, sharing their story of loss and survival to help educate others in their community about the long-term impact of preeclampsia on families. People like you make a difference in families like the Ostendorfs: by funding education and research through the Preeclampsia Foundation, you help save lives of moms and babies.

To Join the Ostendorfs and “Team Autumn,” register at www.promisewalk.org/denver for the 4th Annual Denver Promise Walk for Preeclampsia on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at City Park in Denver at 8 am, sponsored by Reign Magazine, Rose Medical Center, the Lefkovitz Foundation and BellyBliss.

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