Family Finds Itself in the Right Place at the Right Time
During their five years spent trying to grow their family, Rhiannon “Rae” and her husband Clay would come to appreciate the familiar saying: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
The couple’s journey to parenthood involved three intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) with one successful pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage and a diagnosis for Rae of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), not to mention her history of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Yet, the couple had faith in Rae’s obstetrician/gynecologist, Sheila Chhutani, M.D., of Gynecological and Obstetrical Associates and the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas medical staff. With support from Dr. Chhutani and a local fertility specialist, Rae and Clay finally found themselves pregnant with not one but three precious babies. The assumption is that during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle with a single embryo, Rae also got pregnant on her own with twins.
As much of a surprise as this was, the even bigger shock was Rae’s uneventful pregnancy.
“There were no complications from Rae’s diabetes or high blood pressure,” Dr. Chhutani said. “We were able to keep her diabetes in check with a balanced diet rather than insulin and no pre-delivery hospital stay was required. A good team was in place that included maternal fetal medicine specialists Brian Rinehart and Laura Greer, both physicians on the medical staff of Texas Health Dallas and North Texas Perinatal Associates. All in all, for a high risk pregnancy this was far from the norm.”
Finding the Gift of TLC
“Texas Health Dallas has a great reputation for excellence in supporting high risk pregnancies and multiple births, so it seemed like the right place for my family and me. It was the perfect gift to give our newborns,” Rae said. “My sister works on the High Risk Obstetrics Unit in the Margot Perot Center, and she only has positive things to say about the employees, the medical staff and services offered. I knew we’d be in good hands.”
The Clay triplets were delivered via C-section on June 26, at 34 gestational weeks. Baby Ava weighed in at 4 pounds 13 ounces, brother C.J. was 4 pounds 2 ounces and Alauna weighed 4 pounds 1 ounce. All three required some TLC in the hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Ava needed a day of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to support her immature lungs, while C.J. and Alauna received bilirubin therapy for jaundice.
Putting an Emphasis on ‘Special’ in Special Care Nursery
After just six days of care, Ava was discharged and her siblings were improving enough to be moved to the Level II Special Care Nursery. Rae, Clay and Ava began “sleeping in” in one of the Special Care Nursery’s unique private rooms, where the new mom could receive specialized training from the nursing staff while awaiting C.J. and Alauna’s discharge. The Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants at Texas Health Dallas is the only center in North Texas to provide mothers and their newborns with this special place to grow and learn. Rae and Ava would soon find out just how special the care could be in the Special Care Nursery.
While setting up CPR training for Rae on the in-room TV, nurse Olivia Whitaker noticed that Ava was blue and not breathing. With assistance from other staff, Ava was stimulated to induce breathing and promptly admitted to the Special Care Nursery for observation. Two more episodes of bradycardia (slowed heart rate) due to reflux ensued and Ava was given oxygen by the nurses on hand.
“We were so fortunate and blessed that this happened while we were in the hospital,” Rae said. “Olivia, neonatologist Lisa Minnich and the Special Care Nursery team saved Ava’s life! What a gift they are. Texas Health Dallas truly took care of our family from pregnancy through emergency care and everything in-between.”