Drinking The Water

Modified: 
Aimee Braswell

“I wouldn't go anywhere else!”

I remember interviewing with my boss, Linda Russell, CEO of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, like it was yesterday. I told her one thing I hoped to achieve while working at TWHT was to “drink the water.” Two weeks after I started my new position, I found out I was pregnant.  Normally a joyous occasion, I started wondering if this pregnancy would last.

Two months after I was married in 2004, I found out I was pregnant. Other than constant nausea during the first trimester, my entire pregnancy was normal. My husband and I knew we wanted more children (one more for sure), and we were both older when we got married, so we didn’t want to wait to have another.

In 2006, I had my first miscarriage at six weeks. In 2007, I had my second miscarriage at six weeks. In 2008, I had my third miscarriage at nine weeks, just one week after going in for an ultrasound and hearing a heartbeat. We were devastated, though our OB classified the miscarriages as “normal.” But after a healthy pregnancy that gave us a perfectly healthy child, how could this be normal?

I wanted answers, even if it meant not having another child. Living in San Antonio at the time, I went to a fertility center. All the standard tests came back normal. The specialist recommended that my husband undergo testing, too, and we found out that John had “a balanced translocation,” meaning he had the correct number of chromosomes, but two of them (#2 and #18) were switched. Simply put, when his good chromosomes met my good chromosomes, we could have a successful pregnancy, but when his bad chromosomes were involved, the pregnancies terminated.

 

We hoped IVF might help, but the misaligned chromosomes would still be there. And getting pregnant wasn’t the problem. We were ready to give up but agreed to try one last time on our own. Five pregnancies would be enough for me.

Flash forward to my interview with Linda, when she referred me to Dr. Hare. I started having weekly ultrasounds beginning at six weeks. At twelve weeks, Dr. Reiter performed a Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) to check the chromosomes for defects. Knowing this was the furthest I had been since having my son, I was anxious for the results. But all was confirmed. The good chromosomes were aligned and we were having a girl.

Not until 20 weeks did I settle down and realize that we would have our second child. Dr. Hare was amazing throughout the process. She didn’t sugar-coat anything and encouraged me to ask questions. As an employee, we’re now friends, and she holds a special place in my heart.

I did not have my son at Woman’s. But knowing what I know now about the wonderful people here, the experience and the dedication to caring for women and infants, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

Aimee Braswell

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