17 Feb Meet Our Families – The Zachary Triplets
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta provides a home-away-from-home for over 1,000 families each year and we love when our families share their stories. The Zachary family shared this story (edited for publishing).
For years we attempted to conceive and had been under the care of my OB who had recommended a specialist. We finally decided to give fertility treatments a try in 2019. After asking around, we learned of a few people who had seen a fertility specialist in Savannah and had success. We made an appointment for a consult and moved forward with our fertility treatment. After 2 failed attempts with super-ovulation/IUI in 2019, Dr. Blohm recommended IVF as the next step. After months of treatments, 2-3 appointments to Savannah weekly, and the emotional rollercoaster so far, I had to take some time to decide whether I wanted to move forward with IVF. After a few months, we moved forward with the process. I called in February to schedule and our initial appointment was supposed to be in April 2020 but was delayed because of the covid pandemic. Our first appointment for IVF consult was in May. We received all the information, medications were ordered and our schedule was made for beginning the IVF cycle. Shots, morning and evening, monitoring, and all the guidelines led to the retrieval day. Egg retrieval actually fell on my birthday, May 20th. Transfer day took place 5 days later on May 25th. And then we waited. We got the news on June 2nd via labs that it was successful and a follow-up was scheduled with Dr. Blohm.
On June 14th, I began with symptoms, was tested, and was positive for Covid-19! Four days later, Miles fell ill and also tested positive with Covid. We were worried, not knowing if Covid would have any effect on mom and/or the baby. After quarantine and a negative test, I was able to have my follow-up on July 2nd. Miles was not able to accompany me because of covid-19 restrictions at the office. Miles went on to work and I just assumed that I would go to my follow up and one of the eggs had implanted. During my ultrasound, Dr. Blohm says “wow.” I said, “Is that a good wow or a bad wow?” Dr. Blohm replied, “How tough are you?” My immediate thought was something is wrong, I’ve got to have some procedure today and I’m by myself. He then tells me there are 3! Both eggs transferred had implanted & 1 had split. I was given a lot of info, risks were discussed and the need for me to have a high-risk doctor. Miles was texting me wanting to know what was going on, but of course, this was not information I wanted to relay via text. When I left my appointment, I called Miles, as he was having a fit to hear how it went. He says, “Well?” My reply was, “I really don’t want to tell you this over the phone.,” followed with a “well you’re going to tell me,” as he was thinking something may be wrong and began to worry. “We are still pregnant?” he asked. I said Oh yes, We’re very pregnant! He said, “Oh my goodness we’re having twins aren’t we?” I then explained to him what happened as Dr. Blohm had explained to me and he said “ so there are 3?” We had never even considered the idea the eggs could split. And so our journey began as we braced ourselves for the unknown; and what seemed to be a pregnancy with so many risks and a higher probability that 1 or more of the babies would have some kind of medical problem than not.
The next months were filled with lots of reading, appointments, finding a few Facebook support groups, and preparing. It was very overwhelming and scary at times. Thank God for our church family and their support. These were going to be my first babies and caring for multiples would be a completely different ball game versus a singleton. Every appointment came with a little anxiety and exhale of relief after. Finding the right Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist and OB was very stressful at first as my first appointment, which wasn’t until 12 weeks because of all the Covid-19 complications, was very upsetting. Miles could not accompany me to any of my visits, the physician was very callous and I left with no more information than I had when I arrived. I had tons of questions about nutrition, vitamins, the risks, and the plan for my pregnancy. After this appointment, I immediately began calling to find a high-risk OB. After hearing of my experience at this other office, an OB-GYN in Savannah personally reached out to me. He told me the Lord had laid it on his heart to call me. He said he would love to take my case but did not take triplet cases. He took time to give me some information that he felt was necessary, questions to ask and when I asked where he would refer me, he recommended Augusta University. I had my referral info sent to the high-risk group here which landed me with Dr. Montero, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and Dr. Titus, OB-GYN. I cannot say enough about these physicians or their staff. Especially, Jeana Lauderdale, RN, with Dr. Montero. She was the first person we met at our initial appointment and intro. She rolled out the red carpet for us from a full tour of the hospital to talking about staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta (RMHC Augusta) when the time was right. She has been there throughout our journey and a great support person! I was very fortunate to have a very healthy pregnancy. I never had any morning sickness and was able to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist, until 30 weeks.
Of course the last 4-6 months, I was getting increasingly uncomfortable and short of breath with exertion. Insomnia and indigestion had been a struggle the last few months, but also common with pregnancy. I was blessed and very thankful for how well my pregnancy went, especially with 3 babies! My goal was to make it to 35 weeks. The last 3 weeks were a little tough as my physical mobility was beginning to be a challenge, increased frequencies of visits, and some issues had got the attention of my team and they were monitoring closely. There had been some variability in the blood flow from the placenta to the babies and 2 of the babies were growth restricted, meaning their weights were less than the 10th percentile. At my visit on December 17th, it was proposed that we deliver babies the next day. We were struggling with this decision. Dr. Titus went the extra mile so that we were informed and had all the information we needed to make a decision we were comfortable with. Dr. Mann called while we were at Dr. Titus’ office and spoke with me, answering questions we had about development and the NICU stay. I still needed a couple of hours to “process” everything so later that evening, Dr. Titus called me and I made the decision to bring these babies into the world on December 18th. We were able to have our entire team in the OR and to be part of the birth of these babies. Dr. Titus was excited to scrub in and Dr. Montero even agreed to scrub in on his day off! Even Jeana wanted to be there and be a part of the delivery process! Outside of this core group we had a multitude of others in the OR that day ready to do their part for our little miracles. Everything went smoothly and I have no doubt that these babies and myself were in the best hands.
The Lord set all of this into motion far before we were even aware he was working on it! Myla Claire, Emery Kate, and Addison Carrie have stolen everyone’s hearts. The babies are now on day 40 of their NICU stay, but all doing well. In fact, Myla will be discharged tomorrow. We feel like Emery & Addison will be shortly behind her. We are truly grateful for our experience and all the support and help we have received. Dr. Montero, Dr. Titus, their staff, my nurses in Labor & Delivery, everyone in the OR, and all of the physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses in the NICU. Thankfully we have been able to be close by and involved in the daily care of the girls.
Jeana Lauderdale played a vital role in getting us set up at the RMHC Augusta, which has been a blessing. Without the RMHC Augusta, we would not have been able to be here day in and day out with our newborn Triplets! The staff has been nothing short of amazing, and we cannot say THANK YOU enough to all of you here at RMHC Augusta! We are certainly ready to be home, but it will be bittersweet when we do head home as we have met some wonderful people and made some great friends here.
With sincere thanks & love,
Holly & Miles Zachary
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta serves over 1,000 families each year. Our volunteer-run community kitchen serves over 15,000 meals, and our volunteers and families run over 5,000 loads of laundry every year.
We hope that this story has inspired you to get involved and help families just like this one. The staff, our volunteers, and the Board of Directors thank the Heath family for sharing their story and we hope everyone will get involved.