‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Went Through Serious Complications When Pregnant With Her Fourth Child

We’ve been watching Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman, on the Food Network for years. From her easy, simple, and delicious recipes that just about anyone can make to her tales of life in Oklahoma with her rancher husband and four children, we’ve grown quite an attachment to the “accidental country woman.” And it’s no surprise that Ree actually gained quite a following before she was a celebrity chef, too. Her award-winning blog of the same name as her TV show also features recipes, stories of life on the ranch, and plenty of photos of her family.

Fans love getting to know Ree, and she’s been extremely candid on her blog in the past. She’s even written about how difficult her experiences with pregnancy have been — and she had serious complications involving the birth of her fourth child, too. Here’s what happened.

Ree has blogged about the difficulties of childbirth in the past

We remember when Ree’s children were all incredibly young, and it’s tough to believe two out of her four kids are now in college. While we get plenty of updates about her kids on her blog and her Instagram, she’s also written about the realities of childbirth. And back in 2006, she has blog post about the pain and suffering she experienced with the birth of her third child, Bryce.

“For my previous two births, I had resolved to have my babies naturally–that is, without the aid of pain-relieving medications — and had failed miserably both times, begging for and ultimately receiving epidurals within fifteen minutes of the first severe contraction,” she wrote. And while she continued on with her blog post explaining how she succeeded in having Bryce naturally, she went on to say that she first begged for an epidural — but her begging came too late. From there, she notes she “let out the only primal, blood-curdling scream I’ve ever uttered in my life” as her son was born. It was all worth it in the end, of course.

She experienced placenta abruption during her fourth pregnancy

Judging from her blog post, Ree’s third pregnancy certainly sounded painful — but it was her fourth pregnancy with her son, Todd, that actually seemed more dangerous. In April 2007, she wrote a blog post about the horrifying experience. “I was only 35 weeks pregnant — had five yet to go — and had been trying to ignore the unusual hardness of my belly all that day,” she wrote. Little did she know that once she went to the hospital to get the strange sensation checked out, she would be kept there until her son was born.

Ree explained that the doctors tried to slow her contractions by administering magnesium sulfate, but that only made her violently ill. From there, her illness caused her water to break, revealing “a copious amount of bright red blood.” It turns out Ree was dealing with placenta abruption, which she explained is “a serious condition that’s pretty dangerous for the baby and mother. In layman’s terms, my placenta had not only quit its job, it was trying to flee the scene altogether.”

Ree had to give birth via an emergency C-section for her fourth (and final) child

WebMD explains that in some cases, placenta abruption isn’t a big deal — but if a large part of the placenta prematurely detaches from the uterus, major blood loss, kidney failure, or death to the mother or child can occur. For this reason, doctors had to take emergency action on Ree to protect her and the baby. She had an emergency C-section just 15 minutes after her water broke.

Baby Todd had to stay in the NICU unit that was an hour away, and Ree then had to spend time recovering in the hospital. Two weeks later, the family was all reunited, and “all was well” according to Ree. It’s unlikely fans will ever hear this full story told on The Pioneer Woman show, of course — and since Ree has millions more followers than she did over a decade ago, we’re not sure if she’ll ever get this candid with her fans again. Even so, we love her more personal stories, as they bring us one step closer to understanding the harrowing journeys she’s been through with her family.

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