Meet Baby Kate
When Julie Kawa found out she was pregnant in the spring of 2010, she had no idea that it would be more than four agonizing years before she would finally hold her firstborn. Julie and her husband, Keith, lived through the anguish of six miscarriages before welcoming baby Kate late last year. Up until then, each of Julie’s pregnancies had lasted less than10 weeks. But, then came hope.
After her first three miscarriages, Julie was referred to the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program at BC Women's Hospital. Here, despite state-of-the art interventions and care from Dr. Dena Bloomenthal and her team, Julie went on to suffer four more painful losses.
Finding out she was pregnant, “was like opening the door, time and again, to a pathway that could lead to either joy or heartbreak, and not knowing which it would be" says Julie, pausing to recall the sadness she felt whenever she saw other women with their newborn babies.
Each time Julie conceived, the team would determine a course of treatment for her, and monitor her pregnancy using frequent ultrasound scans. At first, she and Keith would be thrilled to see a tiny heart beat on the screen, but each time their hopes would be dashed when a subsequent scan revealed that the baby's heart had stopped.
"Dr. Bloomenthal knew when to hold my hand and let me cry," Julie says, "but each time she was also able to inspire hope and assure us that there was another treatment that I could try."
For Julie's seventh pregnancy, Bloomenthal suggested a rarely used but promising treatment – and it worked. As the weeks went by and the baby continued to grow, Julie and Keith finally felt confident enough to share their good news with family and friends.
When the big day finally arrived, Bloomenthal was the first person to meet the long-awaited addition to the Kawa family, delivering baby Kate by C-section at BC Women's last November. Thanks to the expert care, persistence and support of the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program at BC Women’s, a joyful Julie was finally able to hold her baby daughter in what she will always remember as “the most amazing moment of my life.”
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Written by by Anne McLaughlin for Women's Magazine
Photo of Julie and Kate by Kyrani Kanavaros