Mom and Dad smiling proudly at their baby.

Rory’s Birth Story: From loss to IVF to C-section

Despite the heartbreak of losing their first baby to a miscarriage, Alec and Bailey continued pursuing their dream of having a family. Nine months after a successful IVF embryo transfer, they were ready for delivery. Read how St. Luke’s supported them through their transition to parenthood.

After only 15 weeks, my wife Bailey and I lost our first pregnancy. To make things more challenging, there were a lot of health complications that went along with the miscarriage. After some testing, we found out that it had been due to a rare genetic condition called a partial molar. So, once we were ready to try again, we started looking into in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In February of 2023, we transferred our first embryo. About a week later, we got our first positive pregnancy test. The line was just barely there. My first big “oh-my-gosh-this-is-real moment” was when we went in to St. Luke’s OB-GYN Associates. They confirmed that we were pregnant. We were nervous, but also so excited.

That first trimester was rough. Bailey was pretty sick and tired, almost all the time. But once we got through that, things smoothed out. I remember the first time I felt him move, that was another big moment for me.

As things progressed, he was becoming a pretty big baby. Our doctor recommended that Bailey be induced a bit before 40 weeks. So, at 8 pm on Sunday, October 22, we headed to the Birthing Center.

Induction, labor and doula support

Once we got to St. Luke’s, they checked us in and got everything ready. Bailey was induced. When we woke up the next morning, the contractions had started. We got dressed, brushed our teeth and started walking the halls to help things along.

Husband supporting wife through labor in St. Luke's Birthing Center.

Something I really appreciated was having a doula there to offer additional support. She met us once we got to the Birthing Center and was with us the entire time. She had Bailey try different positions and showed me how I could be helpful with things like massage, pressure points and essential oils. It meant a lot to me to know how I could offer practical support.

Monday evening, Bailey was finally ready to start pushing around 7 pm. We were so excited – we were finally going to meet our son! I personally thought it was going to go really fast.

What we didn’t know at the time, was that she would be pushing for the next four hours. And at the end of it, our son still wouldn’t be there.

Making the C-section decision

Bailey knew something was off before the rest of us. Baby was doing fine; he just wasn’t progressing. Our doctor came in and let us know it was time to start considering a C-section, but that it was up to us. I looked at Bailey. She was exhausted. After talking it through, we decided a C-section was the best option.

They brought us down to the operating room (OR) a little after 11 pm. At first, I was intimidated, and Bailey was pretty scared. But I focused on comforting her as best as I could. Everyone in the OR was really friendly, too, and that helped.

Eventually, our OB-GYN told us that they were ready to deliver him. They had a drape set up between Bailey’s chest and the operation, so I stood up. That’s when I saw our son Rory for the first time. He was pretty blue, but also screaming, which was a great sign. They lowered the drape so Bailey could see all 9 pounds and 4 ounces of him. We were so relieved and thankful to finally meet him!

Welcome to the world, Rory

Mom and dad smiling after baby was delivered via C-Section.

Bailey got put back together and we were taken to a post-surgery recovery area. Our doula was still with us, offering some advice on breastfeeding, and he latched for the first time. A few days later, we headed home as proud parents.

Overall, we had such a great experience at St. Luke’s. The OB-GYN crew made us feel like family from our first pregnancy appointment right through the big day. What really stood out was how incredibly sensitive and caring everyone was. They knew about our previous loss, and it felt like they went the extra mile to make sure we felt supported every step of the way.

The fact that the staff had this personal touch, considering our history, made all the difference. We totally recommend St. Luke’s to anyone. The care, the understanding, and the compassion – they’ve got it all. They helped turn what could have been a nerve-wracking time into something beautiful, and for that, we’re forever grateful.

St. Luke’s Birthing Center is located in Duluth, MN, with St. Luke’s clinics in the surrounding region, including Superior, WI. To schedule a tour of St. Luke’s Birthing Center, call 218.249.5605.


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