Fertility care forms the foundation of family’s bond with MetroHealth
When Michelle and Patrick Arch decided to begin their family, they had no idea that the compassionate doctors, nurses and other health providers at MetroHealth would become such an integral part of their family’s life for years to come.
“We love MetroHealth and everything it stands for,” said Patrick. “We’ve received nothing but the utmost care and respect here and have had such wonderful personal experiences with everyone we’ve interacted with.”
A Refreshingly Personal Approach
Michelle and Patrick started their journey more than three years ago. After trying to conceive for about a year, Michelle’s obstetrician-gynecologist, Gregory Kitagawa, MD, referred the couple to Bryan Hecht, MD, Director of Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility at MetroHealth.
Dr. Hecht diagnosed Michelle with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that can interfere with ovulation. He prescribed Michelle an oral medication to stimulate ovulation. After about six months, she moved on to an injectable drug. “You could tell working with his patients one-on-one was a priority,” said Michelle.
Encouraging Words at the Right Time
Fertility treatment can be a lengthy process, said Dr. Hecht, adding that patient resilience is important. Michelle said Dr. Hecht would call the couple at home to give them pep talks during treatment cycles.
“He would say, ‘I’m thinking of you guys. Think positive thoughts and good things will happen to you,’” she said.
A year after starting, Michelle and Patrick were thinking of taking some time off from treatment. “The holidays were coming up, and we just needed a break to survive,” said Michelle.
“We Were Beyond Excited”
Michelle and Patrick ultimately decided on just one more treatment before a hiatus. During the baseline ultrasound before giving Michelle her injectable medication, Dr. Hecht saw that an egg had formed naturally in one of the ovaries. This meant Michelle was going to ovulate on her own and wouldn’t need her medication. However, she did undergo intrauterine insemination – the direct placement of sperm in the uterus – to help increase the odds of conception.
“And that was the month we got pregnant,” said Michelle. “We were beyond excited. And during the pregnancy, I never felt better.”
A Seamless Transition to Postnatal Care
After a healthy pregnancy, Dr. Kitagawa delivered the couple’s baby, Anastasia, or Annie for short, at 39 weeks.
“I was so excited when I found out she was pregnant,” said Dr. Kitagawa, who had kept close tabs on the couple’s progress with Dr. Hecht.
The couple hoped the worst was behind them. The pregnancy was induced, and Michelle was in carefully monitored labor for 24 hours. “We had come so far, so Dr. Kitagawa wanted to provide an environment where we had control,” she said.
Annie needed help with breathing soon after delivery and was found to have weakness in her left arm. She spent a week in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and Patrick took her for therapy at MetroHealth after she went home. Throughout that time, Michelle said she and Patrick received outstanding support from MetroHealth staff, including care from the NICU staff and Annie’s therapists Vanessa Caretto, Tina Davis and Jessica Smith.
“They took wonderful care of us, being first-time parents,” said Patrick. “They taught us everything, from how to hold our daughter to how to do Annie’s physical therapy for her arm.”
Annie graduated from therapy with zero delays and now has 100 percent mobility.
Finding a Full Spectrum of Care
Recently, Annie was seen in a local ER for croup, a childhood illness that can become severe. Because of their positive experiences, Michelle and Patrick opted to have Annie transferred from their local ER to MetroHealth for treatment. She was in MetroHealth’s pediatric intensive care unit for about 36 hours and has fully recovered.
A Happy, Healthy Family
Today, Michelle and Patrick are happy to report that Annie is an active and healthy 16-month-old. “MetroHealth was and is our go-to for all of our health care needs,” said Michelle. “We know that we’ll always be treated like people and not a number.”
If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving and want to learn more about MetroHealth’s fertility services or other MetroHealth OB-GYN services, visit metrohealth.org/obgyn. To schedule an OB-GYN appointment near you, call 216-778-4444.
MetroHealth pediatric providers are conveniently available at many locations throughout the community. For a complete list of locations and providers, visit metrohealth.org/pediatrics. To schedule a pediatric appointment near you, call 216-778-2222.