For Carrie Byrd and her husband, “3” has been a magic number for several reasons. It was on their 3rd attempt at having children, after two devastating miscarriages for Carrie and 3 tries at in vitro fertilization, that the couple finally experienced success. And, the joy came in a big way―with the birth of none other than triplets on Carrie’s birthday in January 2014!
The journey to pregnancy and delivery was nothing short of a miracle for the 38 year old. She had previously undergone surgery to repair damaged fallopian tubes that left her with only one working tube. Once pregnant with the triplets, she also experienced issues with blood clotting and was put on injectable blood thinners and a baby aspirin regimen by her reproductive endocrinologist. Dr. Angela Angel, a member of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas medical staff and obstetrician at Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas, helped monitor Carrie’s progress beyond her fertility needs.
“I felt so comfortable with Dr. Angel,” Carrie said. “She treats you like a person, not just a patient. She gives you advice from mother to mother, not just as a doctor. I am grateful to her because she took the time to let me know exactly what was going on throughout my pregnancy.”
High-Risk Meets High-Touch
Dr. Angel monitored Carrie via regular sonograms to evaluate the continued viability of all three babies and brought in the added support of maternal fetal medicine specialist Dr. Brian Rinehart, who heads up the Maternal High Risk Program at Texas Health Dallas and practices privately through North Texas Perinatal Associates. Despite challenges, Carrie managed to stay out of the hospital until edema (swelling) set in at 28 gestational weeks. She stopped working and three weeks later was admitted to the Antepartum Unit for bed rest inside the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants at Texas Health Dallas. Miracle babies Elizabeth, Grace and Thomas were born at just over 32 weeks.
Although premature and weighing under 5 pounds each, the newborns did remarkably well in the hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). They received CPAP therapy to help with breathing and were treated for slight jaundice. The trio quickly advanced to the Special Care Nursery (SCN), where they learned how to take bottles and were monitored for any respiratory issues. Carrie and her husband also learned how to care for their preemies through one-on-one, family-centered support from the unit’s skilled nursing team.
“Texas Health Dallas is really the only hospital in the area where I considered delivering Carrie’s triplets,” Dr. Angel said. “The level of high-risk services, staff expertise and specialty care is unmatched. I was glad to be the physician on-call for the delivery.”
Milestones Make for Lasting Memories
As Elizabeth, Grace and Thomas progressed in the NICU and Special Care Nursery, Carrie took note of the exceptional care and instruction the family received during their 30-day stay at the hospital (baby Thomas was the last to be discharged in mid-February).
“Kari Swanson of the NICU nursing staff made each milestone special,” Carrie said. When the babies moved to the Special Care Nursery, she did pictures with their footprints, handprints, weights and the date. It was so sweet. And when we took up all of Nursery A, Dr. David Green named it the Byrd Nest.”
“The Special Care Nursery room gave us the privacy to feel like real parents while still knowing that medical assistance was right there if needed. I have referred and will continue to refer EVERY pregnant woman I know to Texas Health Dallas for every aspect of care,” she added.