A dedicated couple’s epic journey. A superhero arriving with a dramatic flourish. A peaceful, positive future for all.
No, this isn’t the script for the latest Marvel cinematic masterpiece, this is Jessie Kreke and her family’s birth story. And like every expecting mom who experiences our Birth Center , Jessie’s story is unique and not without its challenges.
Jessie and her husband, Jim, married in 2017 and settled in Reedsburg. At that time, both of them in their later 30s, they knew they wanted to start a family sooner than later. But after months of actively trying to grow her family, Jessie’s journey may sound familiar to many couples, “Six months to a year went by and we weren’t having much luck.”
That’s when Jessie chose to look deeper for answers with the doctors and nurses at Prairie Clinic in the Women’s Health Center. Although she had her choice from the team of eight providers — a certified nurse midwife, family medicine physicians, and obstetrics and gynecologic surgeons — she landed on Dr. Todd Schad. According to Jessie, who works in Prairie du Sac, not only was the clinic located close to her office, “Dr. Schad came highly recommended. He delivered babies for most of my coworkers.”
After a consultation and exam with Dr. Schad, they developed a plan to begin using the fertility medication, Clomid. Soon after, Jessie became pregnant. As Jessie tells us, “Obviously, my first pregnancy, we didn’t know what to expect. We went in for our first ultrasound and Dr. Schad was very positive, but said maybe the heartbeat was a little slow, but maybe my dates were off.”
Jessie continues, “I’m a little older, so we went in for a six-week ultrasound. They had me come in a few weeks after that and at that point there was no heartbeat. So that was the start of our journey with our first heartbreak.”
“Dr. Schad said this is probably more common than you would realize. It’s not something that many people talk about.”
With support from family, her religious community and Dr. Schad, Jessie and her husband remained determined to start their family. And through it all, “Dr. Schad was just always there with a kind word and really left the ball in my court. He always laid out the options.”
After four miscarriages, countless hours of research to the very ends of the internet, a second opinion from a fertility specialist that confirmed everything Jessie had learned from Dr. Schad and feeling like a “human pincushion” due to the number of tests she endured, Jessie and Jim decided they needed a pause from “operation baby.”
As Jessie tells it, “We took a break and finally came to what we felt was our last option. I had just turned 40 in 2019 and thought this could be our last shot.”
Pregnant again in January 2020, Jessie stayed in close contact with Dr. Schad. Of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic starting to take hold, she had yet another point of concern on her adventure. Jessie remembers contemplating the decision of whether or not to take a six-hour car ride to visit family, “Some of the stuff I’m hearing on the news is pretty crazy, and Dr. Schad had the same kind of approach he’s always used with us, ‘Of course, it is your choice, but this is your fifth pregnancy. I would suggest you stay home, don’t do anything that’s going to be stressful right now and take that approach.’”
Homebound throughout the pandemic, Jessie and Jim remained hopeful. Jessie recalls, “We made it to the 12-week milestone. And you start thinking about when is it okay to make the announcement? Things were looking really good. We’re bursting at the seams with this exciting news, and we held off even telling our families a little bit longer. Around that 17 or 18 week mark, we finally made our big announcement; made it ‘Facebook official’ and just had an outpouring of support from everyone. Dr. Schad was there with us every step of the way through that journey.”
Even Dr. Schad adapted to the pandemic by making sure Jessie’s husband, Jim, could “attend” her prenatal appointments via FaceTime. As Jessie puts it, “The hospital did everything I would have expected during a pandemic to keep everyone safe.” From a livestreamed tour of the Birth Center, to birthing class via Zoom, the staff at Sauk Prairie Healthcare kept Jessie on track.
Then, as Jessie puts it, her actual birthing experience was “a little unexpected.”
“We were a week early and I kind of spontaneously went into labor. My official due date was September 29 and on the morning of September 20, we were scheduled to have maternity photos taken. We planned it last minute. I had had an uncomfortable night; slept in the recliner. Jim came out to check on me in the morning and I remember all of a sudden jumping up and saying, ‘Oh my gosh! I think my water just broke! I think we’re going to have different plans for the day.’”
Jessie managed to dash off a quick email to the photographer to cancel, then called the Birth Center to speak with nurse Bridget who felt, due to Jessie’s medical history, it was time to make the drive to the hospital.
After the Krekes arrived, Jessie’s contractions left no doubt that today was the day their baby was due. Although not in the hospital right away, Dr. Schad was monitoring Jessie via a wireless monitor and in nearly constant communication with the nurses. Says Jessie, “I remember Bridget and Wendy were the nurses there that day.” Things were progressing quickly, and the nurses reassured her, “We’re trained to catch babies.”
But calm as can be, Dr. Schad arrived to attend the birth. As Jim described the scene, “It was like something out of a movie. When Dr. Schad came into the room, they were holding his gown open for him. He just ran in, arms into the gown, they whisked away the bottom of the bed, and three or four pushes and baby Faith was here!”
Reflecting on her birth story, Jessie goes on to say, “It was so awesome to be able to go through that entire journey with Dr. Schad. I felt like he was there every step of the way, through the hopefulness, the heartbreak and the different trials and tribulations.”
And when asked if she’d recommend Sauk Prairie Healthcare, Jessie is unequivocal. “Wholeheartedly. From the people who schedule appointments, to the people who have taken my questions, just every single person we had interactions with was kind and helpful. I would 100% recommend Dr. Schad and the whole staff at Prairie Clinic.”
As for their daughter, Faith? “She’s fantastic. We are looking forward to starting some solid food with her. She is starting to sit up on her own and she’s been rolling over. She cut two teeth in the last couple of weeks, you just see her personality starting to develop, she has this belly laugh that’s absolutely infectious.”
The epic journey continues.
We can’t wait to play a role in your birth story. If you have any questions about Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Birth Center, contact us any time.