Kayla Stroud, a 28-year-old Topeka resident and social worker for the State of Kansas, dreamt of one day having a baby girl with her husband to round out their family of 6.
However, difficulties in conceiving led her to seek out Dr. Jamie Rempe, an obstetrician and gynecologist with The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Women’s Center. “When I first met Dr. Rempe, I instantly knew I wanted her to be my doctor,” said Kayla. “She was so open and welcoming. It was so easy to talk to her.”
The process to get pregnant eventually took more than a year and a half. Dr. Rempe and Kayla first discussed how to chart Kayla’s anticipated ovulation schedule. They then waited to see whether or not her period occurred, which would signal the end of that month’s ovulation cycle. When those results didn’t happen regularly, Dr. Rempe prescribed progesterone to help stimulate ovulation.
After a couple of months with still no sign of ovulation, Kayla underwent an ultrasound of her uterus and her entire reproduction system. That’s when they found the cysts, which are abnormal growths filled with liquid or a semisolid substance. Cysts are usually noncancerous, but are sometimes painful.
These cysts were determined to be inside Kayla’s fallopian tubes blocking the journey of an egg from her ovaries to her uterus, effectively preventing ovulation from occurring. Dr. Rempe performed surgery to remove the cysts and open up the tubes.
Before the surgery, Dr. Rempe had performed a dye test to see how much dye was travelling down her tubes. “I had no function on my left side and a very minimal function on my right,” said Kayla. “After the surgery, she repeated the dye test and was able to get the dye to flow all the way through the tubes. It was a success.”
While Kayla continued to try to get pregnant, she met with Dr. Rempe for prenatal appointments.
“She talked to me about healthy eating habits, the do's and don'ts of my food choices, maintaining a healthy workout routine and how to eliminate stress. There are so many things that could be a barrier to conceiving. It’s important for couples to listen to the information their doctor tells them.”
With things working better in Kayla’s reproductive system, they were encouraged by some positive pregnancy tests. Unfortunately, she and her husband experienced the pains of miscarriages. Through it all, Kayla continued to consult with Dr. Rempe.
“Yes, it was a hard situation, but Dr. Rempe was super. She kept an open mind and an open line of communication with me. ‘Prepare for the worst, but keep trying,’ she would say. She didn’t sugar coat things with me. She wasn’t mean, she just told me information that made sense. I really appreciated that about her.”
Finally, Kayla got pregnant and was able to carry the baby to full term. As she stood outside the door to the New Life Center, St. Francis Campus’s labor and delivery unit, Kayla had a lot of emotions.
“Oh my gosh, I'm finally pregnant. And here I am, it's finally time,” she recalled.
“I was excited but very nervous. Being a first time mom, I didn’t know what to expect. But once I pushed the buzzer to go into the unit, I instantly felt that there were people here who were going to help me. It was a great feeling!”
The nurses connected Kayla to the monitors as she went into labor. Dr. Rempe arrived later to deliver the family’s new baby girl. “One of the nurses, Brianna, I think, stayed a couple of hours past her shift just to see me all the way through the process,” said Kayla. “The whole thing was a very good experience for me.”
Due to an infection, Kayla’s baby had to stay in the hospital a couple of days to receive IV medications, but soon the couple did the newborn photos, the car seat check and were finally on their way home.
“The first few days went very well,” Kayla said. “She would wake in the middle of the night and cry a bit, but I would go in and nurse her and she’d fall back asleep. Later she would wake again and I wouldn’t be able to soothe her. I didn’t know what to do!
“So I called the New Life Birthing Center at the hospital with a lot of questions: ‘What do I need to do to help her? What is causing this?’ The staff was super friendly. They didn't talk down to me, they didn't make me feel like I was dumb. They made good suggestions, which worked, so she was fine. After that, she didn’t really have any issues and I knew what to do.”
But the biggest issue Kayla had to deal with was postpartum depression, and she didn’t realize she had it.
“My husband noticed my symptoms and said ‘You need to call the doctor's office immediately.’ So I called Dr. Rempe’s office the very next morning and she saw me that same day. We literally sat in a room and had a mom-to-mom talk about our experiences.
“She told me, ‘I’m not just your doctor, I am here with you. We are going to find a solution for this.’ So she put me on some medication and it worked wonders for me. I was able to get through the first year and then I felt a lot better. She monitored my use of the medication and I was able to wean off of it,” said Kayla.
Dr. Rempe did bring up the subject about whether Kayla and her husband wanted more children in the future. “I told her no, not right now. The whole process went smoothly, but it still drains you. She was understanding and told me that if we decide to add on, just let her know and we can start planning for it.”
Kayla looked back over the past 4 years since her sassy, blue-eyed daughter was born. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of Dr. Rempe and the staff. She is very passionate about her work. The way she advocates for her patients and their families is unmatched.”
Dr. Rempe shares, “I tell expecting moms to trust in their healthcare provider. If they don’t have trust then they may not be seeing the right person for them because they should believe their obstetrician or midwife has the best possible intentions for them and their baby.”
Dr. Rempe works alongside our experienced team of physicians and midwives at The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Women’s Center. The Women’s Center offers a full range of gynecological and obstetric services for women through every stage of life. Our team is committed to providing personalized, quality care. To learn more visit kutopeka.com/women or call 785-295-5330 to schedule an appointment.