Meet Oliver, the Miracle Baby
Tracey Wetzel and her husband were ready to have a child. They knew it could take time to conceive but when they weren’t successful after a full year, they grew concerned. They were already above the prime age range for pregnancy and didn’t want to wait any longer.
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Tracey’s husband, Dan, called the fertility services at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay for a consultation. Dan had researched local fertility services and found that the program at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay was known as the regional leader in fertility treatments and neonatal intensive care. The hospital was also just a short drive from their home in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
During their fertility consultation, Tracey and Dan were told their chances of having a baby naturally were very slim. They learned about fertility options and their doctor explained they were strong candidates for in vitro fertilization (IVF), the most common form of assisted reproductive technology.
For Tracey and Dan, it was a clear choice. They chose IVF.
A Strong Start
During the IVF process, Tracey took fertility medication to stimulate egg production. Selected eggs are inseminated outside of the body before being implanted for a higher success rate of pregnancy. While six to 12 eggs are considered good results, Tracey had 16 eggs retrieved, which was an optimistic start to the process for them.
Only three weeks after her first embryo transfer, Tracey found out she was pregnant.
Tracey and Dan were impressed by how easy and comfortable the IVF process was. “The caregivers at the fertility clinic were very personable and made you feel like you were the only patient there. They were flexible and willing to work with our schedule.”
Watching and Waiting
Tracey’s pregnancy continued smoothly as she attended regular visits with Dr. Garvin-Cress. Then about two months prior to Tracey’s due date, Dr. Garvin-Cress observed that the baby wasn’t meeting growth expectations based on age. She recommended Tracey to see a Maternal & Fetal Medicine specialist.
Tracey went to an appointment with Dr. Edward Hayes, a Maternal & Fetal Medicine physician at Aurora BayCare, who diagnosed the baby with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a condition in which the baby’s fetal weight is below the 10th percentile for gestational age. Tracey was admitted to the hospital for rest and her baby’s progress was monitored with an ultrasound every day.
The experience was tense but as Tracey recalls, “The doctors and other hospital staff went to great care and concern to explain what was going on. You have to deal with your circumstances as they happen, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. I had confidence in the doctors. ”
When the growth restriction became worse, Dr. William Morrissey, an OB/GYN at Aurora BayCare, delivered the baby at 34 weeks through an emergency cesarean section to prevent potential health problems.
The Wetzel’s son, Oliver, was born small but otherwise completely healthy. He weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces at birth and was 15 inches long. Oliver spent five weeks at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before going home, so the doctors could monitor his growth and development.
A Reason to Celebrate
A year and a half later, Oliver is active and thriving. While he hit most growth milestones later than other children, his doctor says he is ahead of the curve for his circumstances.
Tracey and Dan were thrilled with their experiences at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, and have recommended the fertility services to friends who weren’t successful with their first fertility treatment.
“It’s important to share your story and talk about your situation, because it helps you cope. You learn you’re not the only one. If you’ve been trying to have a child, don’t be afraid to go in for a consult. Don’t wait.”
Tracey, Dan and Oliver went back to Aurora BayCare Medical Center this past September for the hospital’s Miracle Baby Celebration event, which celebrates the lives of children who are NICU graduates as well as those born with the help of fertility treatments. The previous year, the Miracle Baby Celebration was held on September 16th, 2011, Oliver’s birthday.
As they walked through the event, many of the caregivers recognized them from their experience the year before. To Tracey and Dan, Oliver will always be their “Miracle Baby”.