Two Babies in Two Years
The journey to pregnancy and starting a family looks different for everyone. For Cherokee Women’s Health patient Katie, it was not always an easy journey, but she and her husband David came out blessed on the other side with two healthy girls.
Katie and her husband, David, were settled in their careers before trying for a baby. Once they started trying, they had some struggles, going to two separate infertility clinics over a two-year span. Neither clinics were successful, but they did not give up hope. They prayed about their next steps towards having a family and decided to stop with the clinics. Without the medicine, shots, or extra ultrasounds, they finally got a positive pregnancy test 2-3 months later. They could not believe it, but it was true!
Katie decided to seek help from Dr. Gandhi of Cherokee Women’s Health. She explained that she had 90-day cycles and that her attempts to become pregnant had not been successful. Dr. Gandhi diagnosed her with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and explained how PCOS can commonly lead to fertility struggles.
Yes, We’re Pregnant!
Once they had an answer as to why they weren’t getting pregnant, Katie didn’t feel as much pressure and was able to relax a bit.
“I had heard that when people who struggle to get pregnant that they suddenly once they take the pressure off. That’s what happened with us. We were pregnant!”
Going into her first appointment after the positive pregnancy test was very scary. She was worried that at age 33, and her history of infertility struggles might have a negative impact. It was not until her first trimester was over that she realized she was healthy and that having her baby was really going to happen.
They later learned they were having a baby girl, and suddenly all the morning sickness didn’t matter as much.
Welcome Baby Mary-Katherine
Fast forward to January 2019. Katie’s water broke at 37 weeks at around 3:00 in the morning. Being a new mom, she was not exactly sure what to expect. “It just felt like I peed myself a couple of times,” Katie shared.
They headed to Northside Hospital and learned that her water did indeed break! Everything started happening so quickly once she got to the hospital.
“You’re running on adrenaline because you don’t believe it’s really happening. There is no way to really prepare for it, you just have to experience it as you’re going.”First time mom, Katie
Dr. Haley of Cherokee Women’s Health delivered her baby. He didn’t even have to ask her to push because her baby girl was already crowning. Her baby came so fast that Katie had a grade-3 tear that Dr. Haley quickly repaired. Moments later, Mary-Katherine was born and, at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, was in the 90th percentile health range.
Although Mary-Katherine was born a healthy weight and size, she tested positive for Coombs. The Coombs test is typically done on newborns, and the test searches the blood for “foreign” antibodies that attack red blood cells. Coombs typically happens when the baby’s blood type inherited from the father does not mix well with the mother’s blood type. Having this positive test meant baby Mary-Katherine had a higher chance of jaundice.
Mary-Katherine stayed in the hospital’s nursery an extra night for observation. Katie recalls that leaving the hospital without her newborn was very hard for her and David, especially with it being their first baby. Thankfully, Mary-Katherine was released the following day.
When Mary-Katherine went to her first pediatrician appointment, they were sent to Children’s Health of Atlanta for three days where she went through phototherapy for her high levels of bilirubin.
“I was trying to heal, and in quite a bit of pain from delivery. It was a very trying first week for us. But now she is thriving and has her own little personality.”Katie
Praise for Dr. Gandhi and Dr. Haley’
“We were blessed to meet with Dr. Gandhi. She has the best bedside manner, really cares about her patients, and goes above and beyond answering questions. Especially with our fertility journey and just with being a first-time mom, questions come up and you just want reassurance that everything is going the right direction. She is an excellent doctor, but she is also almost like your friend.”
“I was excited Dr. Haley was on call when I went into delivery with Mary-Katherine. He was great. I felt very comfortable because I know he is very skilled. When I delivered my second time, the only stitching they had to do was to go back to the original repair that he did which really helped my recovery.”
Having Baby #2 During a Pandemic
Because they had trouble their first time getting pregnant, Katie and David decided to start trying again within a year of having Mary-Katherine. This time was much easier and Katie became pregnant in April!
Having had her first baby, she felt more prepared for her second. Since she and David were able to do all of the pregnancy activities ‘firsts’ with Mary-Katherine, being pregnant during a pandemic made her stronger and more mentally prepared.
They did not have a gender reveal party for their second but finding out the gender was still one to remember. They were on vacation with her in-laws when her 10-week blood work results popped up on the app on her phone.
“It was a totally different experience than with a gender reveal. Part of me felt it was a boy, and I sort of convinced my husband that it was too. Turns out it was a girl and I realized we needed to start saving now for two weddings later in their future,” she recalls.
Katie and David announced Katie’s pregnancy to all of their friends and family at 20 weeks. Life was very different for them now. Due to COVID, she was working from home as a teacher, and David was also working from home.
Doctor visits looked very different from when she was pregnant with Mary-Katherine but she felt grateful for the extra precautions being taken and felt very safe.
“I felt safe at my appointments at Cherokee Women’s because I could tell the rooms were clean and taken care of. The office was a safe space to be and my appointment was truly my appointment.”Katie recalls her Cherokee Women’s appointments during the pandemic
At around 30 weeks into her second pregnancy, Katie was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This was a shock for her as she had been physically active her whole life, and diabetes did not run in her family.
She later learned that her placenta was having to overcompensate for insulin resistance, which is an underlying part of PCOS. Because of the size of Mary-Katherine and Katie’s recent diagnosis of gestational diabetes, she modified her diet and became more aware of what she was eating.
“That diagnosis helped me tremendously in regards to watching what I eat. It resulted in a healthier pregnancy.”
Because of her diagnosis, Katie went into the office for stress tests once a week. Her baby was very active during the stress tests. Knowing her baby was healthy was a huge relief.
“It was so reassuring to feel my baby being so active, kicking and moving. I felt that the baby was in good shape,” she recalled.
One day, after arriving home from a stress test at Cherokee Women’s, Katie started feeling extreme back pain. She and David went to Northside Hospital that evening but were sent home because it was not quite time yet.
That next week, she went back to Cherokee Women’s and met with Dr. Goodson-Gerami (Dr. GG) and her medical assistant Lisa. Katie remembers Lisa as an incredible support for her during her final stages of pregnancy.
At her appointment, Dr. GG discussed she did not want Katie to go past 39 weeks, and they planned to induce her the following Tuesday.
Baby #2 Arrives – Welcome Millie
Her active baby had other plans though, and Katie started experiencing contractions the next morning. She and David headed to the hospital where Dr. GG broke her water.
After Katie’s epidural, she was measuring 5 centimeters dilated but she could feel intense pressure. The nurses checked her again and it turned out she was progressing, and baby Millie was crowning. Within 4 or 5 controlled pushes with Dr. GG, baby Millie was born into the world.
“I didn’t even realize I had my mask on. It was the pure emotion of delivering your child, it just takes over. I was appreciative that Cherokee Women’s had me quarantine 3 weeks before my due date. That made me feel my family’s health was a priority.”Katie, of second baby Millie, recalls.
While Katie was at Northside for Millie’s delivery, Dr. Z and Midwife Susan Griggs, also of Cherokee Women’s, checked on her. She remembers feeling grateful that Cherokee Women’s has multiple doctors and midwives because she knew she was not depending on one provider, but instead the whole practice.
Support from Dr. GG and Brooke
Before Katie’s delivery with Millie, she had called Cherokee Women’s multiple times with certain concerns.
“Keeping in touch really helped any ease any extra fears I had about the pandemic protocols. Every time I called, Brooke, who would answer the phone, responded quickly and made me feel so much better about everything.”
Dr. GG was Katie’s first choice to deliver Millie and was so relieved that they planned it out. She was not in labor for 24 hours. Katie contributes her smooth aftercare to her first labor experience and the amazing care of Dr. GG.
“It was a sense of pride knowing Dr. GG’s name was on my child’s bracelet.”
Happy and Healthy at Home
Infertility, PCOS, Coombs, gestational diabetes, and delivering during a pandemic was not Katie’s idea of an ideal pregnancy but she overcame all those obstacles and she and David are now enjoying life at home with their two beautiful, healthy baby girls.
Katie’s story is a great example of how important it is to have expert care, especially when things do not go as expected or medical complications arise.
The doctors, midwives and staff Cherokee Women’s Health are here to help you during your pregnancy journey. Call us today at 770.720.7733 or request an appointment online.