Category: Patient Stories

What it’s like having a baby during the pandemic

mom and baby

“I wasn’t terribly worried about COVID-19 until Governor Walz issued the stay-at-home order at the end of March,” said Sarah Cowell from Arlington, Minn., who was nearly 8 months pregnant with her fourth child at the time. “I quickly became concerned and had a long list of questions for my provider.”

Sarah has delivered all four of her children at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia and all with a provider from Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics. Her last two children were delivered by Rebecca Baudoin, MD.

Having a baby during the pandemic

“Dr. Baudoin was amazing. During one particular prenatal visit, we just sat together and had a long conversation about COVID. Although there is still so much unknown, Dr. Baudoin was very knowledgeable about new findings about the disease and how it would affect my labor and delivery, and safety of me and my baby.”

I learned that:

1. Mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 during pregnancy is unlikely.

2. Pregnant women who do become ill with COVID-19 may get sicker than non-pregnant individuals because of changes related to pregnancy and should follow closely with their health care team.*

3. If a pregnant woman is ill with COVID-19 at the time of delivery, Ridgeview has a process in place to still take care of mother and baby AND separation of a new mother and baby is never forced, but a shared decision that the mother makes after an informed discussion with the health care team.

“We talked about all of it and I left that appointment feeling at ease—that everything would be ok.

It was a bit different planning and having my baby during COVID. I had to be screened (answer a few questions) prior to entering the clinic for a prenatal visit and everyone stayed 6 feet apart when checking in. Wait times were minimal, if any, and masks were required by all staff and patients.

I had to self-quarantine 14 days prior to my scheduled C-section and I also received a COVID-19 test prior to surgery, which came back negative.

What didn’t change during my experience was the amazing care I received at Ridgeview. I appreciated all of these extra precautions and felt completely safe and comfortable the entire time.

Dr. Baudoin had assured me that having Evie during the pandemic would be every bit as special as my other birthing experiences—and she was right. The compassion and kindness shown by my entire care team was amazing and I am grateful for everything that was done for me and Evie. We were treated like royalty,” Sarah said.

“When Dr. Baudoin delivered Evie, she squealed with delight. It was evident she was just as excited to meet her as we were.”

*Modified from previous version to reflect the change in CDC designation of pregnant women as a high risk group.

Western OB/GYN welcomes first baby of 2020 at Ridgeview Medical Center

It’s twins! Ridgeview welcomes two babies born in two different years and two decades! Congratulations to mom Melissa and dad Ben on the birth of their twins. Baby boy George Winton was born at 11:44 p.m., Dec. 31, 2019, and baby girl Remi James was born at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2020. All are doing well. George was the last baby born at Ridgeview in 2019 – which had a record number of births this year (1347 births) and Remi was the first baby born at Ridgeview in the new year and decade. Delivering physician was Dr. Dennis Mohling, Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics.

Read more about the family in the news:

Minneapolis Star Tribune

KSTP Channel 5 News

Chaska Herald

Why it’s important to find the right OB

Sarah Hoops knew her OB/GYN physician was a good fit after the first appointment.

When Sarah became pregnant with her first child in 2015, she wanted to find care near her home in Chanhassen, MN, so she asked her friends and neighbors. “My colleagues referred me to Ridgeview because they had delivered their babies there and each had positive experiences,” Sarah said. That’s how Sarah found her OB/GYN provider, Rebecca Baudoin, MD, Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics.

“After my first appointment, I knew she was the perfect fit for me,” Sarah said.

“Going to my appointments with Dr. Baudoin were more like visiting a friend. I had two uncomplicated pregnancies, but Dr. Baudoin was always willing to listen to my gripes about things that go along with being pregnant—allowing me to vent and leave feeling emotionally perked up! Dr. Baudoin was consistently patient, understanding, and so reassuring. Appointments were actually fun. She was able to relate to me because she has kids of her own,” Sarah said. “With both pregnancies, we were excited and confident to be teaming with Dr. Baudoin and Ridgeview.”

“Now that my family is complete, I’m a little sad that prenatal and postpartum care is behind me,” she added.

It is important to find the OBGYN that is right for you. The OBGYNs at Western OB/GYN have extensive experience and are dedicated to customizing their care to suit the needs of their patients. This combination of expertise and personalized obstetric care is what Western OB/GYN is all about. Call (952) 442-2137 to schedule an appointment today!

Fertility treatment brings three babies, but four blessings

Ellen Bartyzal and her husband, Tony, celebrated their twins’ first birthday in August, after planning the event with an extra sense of gratitude for their now family of five. “I have three very healthy babies, when—just a few years ago—I thought I might have none,” Ellen said.

Like any young couple, Ellen and Tony of New Prague never anticipated having any difficulty getting pregnant when they decided to start their family. But as the months ticked by, Ellen watched her girlfriends get pregnant, delight in their pregnancies and deliver beautiful babies—and still nothing happened for her.

After a year, the Bartyzals visited Sarah Bot, PA-C, a fertility specialist at Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics. “It was really the only place I considered for care because I had heard such great things about the Ridgeview system,” Ellen said.

Initially, the Bartyzal’s fertility treatment was what any couple would hope for. It was the best possible scenario. There were no apparent reproductive concerns for either parent and all serious complications were ruled out. “I’m really optimistic that we can help you,” Sarah told the couple.

Henry Bartyzal, now age 3 ½, was born 10 months later through intrauterine insemination (IUI).

He was Ellen and Tony’s first blessing.

According to Sarah, “An important part of Ellen’s treatment involved monitoring her ovulation through ultrasound. It was used to help Ellen conceive Henry and would also be a part of her second round of fertility treatment.”

Since insemination worked with the very first try, Ellen was pretty optimistic when they started the process again for a second time. But when her ultrasound found something unexpected, family planning took a back seat to an immediate and serious health concern. Ellen’s ultrasound had uncovered a large mass in her colon which was later determined to be an aggressive precancerous cyst. “Had I not been receiving fertility treatment—and the ultrasound—that tumor would never have been found,” Ellen explained. “My doctor said that had another year or two gone by, it likely would have developed into stage IV colon cancer.”

Ellen gets emotional when she reflects back to how her fertility journey brought more blessings for her family than she could have ever anticipated. “I come from a family of six kids and, after my cancer scare, all of my siblings had colonoscopies as well. Everyone was clear except for my younger sister, who was only age 28 at the time. Doctors found that she had the same type of precancerous polyps, although less advanced. The polyps were removed and my sister is fine.”

Ellen and Tony still wanted more children, so Ellen resumed fertility treatment in September, 2017. The following Christmas morning, she took a home pregnancy test and was delighted to learn that she was pregnant once again. In August 2018, the Bartyzals had twin girls. “Emma and Kate were the perfect addition to our family,” Ellen said.

Today, following her emotional journey to have a family of her own, Ellen often pauses to reflect on her sometimes chaotic life with young children. “When I am with my kids, I give them my full attention—100 percent,” Ellen said. “I feel grateful for all the ups and downs that come with being a parent because of everything I’ve gone through to become a mother. I have three healthy babies when I thought I might have none and I am grateful to be here to enjoy them.”

Ellen and Tony’s experience with infertility is a beautiful reminder that infertility does not mean that you cannot conceive a child, but instead that it may simply be time to evaluate treatment options and seek professional guidance from an OBGYN. If you are struggling to conceive, contact Western OB/GYN by calling (952) 442-2137 today. Our board-certified specialists will take the time to discuss all of your treatment options to find the solution that is right for you.