Adena Health Focus, Services & Specialties

Adena Health Midwife Helps First-Time Parents Through Long, Emotional Journey

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CHILLICOTHE, OH (May 16, 2024) – Jackson resident Kaley Lower vividly remembers the moment she first laid eyes on the daughter she never thought she would have.

“I looked at my husband and just said, ‘We did it,’” Kaley said, emotion choking her voice. “This was something we had worked so hard for. We were told in 2020 that we would probably not be able to have a biological child, but luckily, God had other plans.

“We had been through so much in almost four years, from countless scans and blood draws, two surgeries, 200 fertility shots, many trips to our fertility clinic in Cincinnati, and just many days and nights where we felt like this was never going to happen. Even now, several weeks after her birth, we still look at each other and say, ‘We have a daughter.’ It just doesn’t seem real. The whole journey was just very emotional.”

Playing a big role in that journey were the clinicians and staff with Adena Women’s Health, especially Molly Shoemaker, a certified nurse midwife. It was her compassion, understanding, confidence, and most importantly, her comforting approach that Kaley said brought the couple’s roller coaster ride to parenthood to a successful conclusion.

That ride began in the summer of 2019 when the couple decided the time was right to have a baby. Unfortunately, after about six months, they knew something was wrong. Following visits to their physicians within Adena Health, they underwent an intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure to conceive. When that didn’t take, they spent more than two years visiting fertility clinics and underwent five more unsuccessful IUI attempts. 

Then, in the fall of 2022, they tried in-vitro fertilization, through which the egg is fertilized in a lab setting and the resulting embryo is implanted into the mother’s uterus.

“We ended up with four embryos,” Kaley said. “We transferred the first embryo immediately, but it didn’t take and we lost it. A month later, we transferred a second embryo and, to our surprise, we received a positive pregnancy test right away. Unfortunately, we found out right before Christmas that we had lost that baby. Then, in February 2023, we took our last two embryos and transferred them together and one of them stuck. By the time I made it back to Adena, I was about 12 weeks pregnant, I had gone through about 200 shots and we’d spent $30,000 since most fertility treatments weren’t covered by our insurance. We had been through a lot.”

Since her longtime doctor at Adena, Kristin Colwell, MD, was no longer delivering babies, Kaley acted on a recommendation from her sister and made an appointment with Molly, whose approach proved to be just what she needed.

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“A lot of people had said a lot of great things about Molly,” Kaley said. “I was very anxious, but when we walked in for our first appointment with her, it was nice. I remember I teared up and told her what our journey had looked like, all we’d been through, and that what I was carrying was all I had left – there were no more chances. I remember telling her this baby had to make it, whatever we needed to do.

“She was very confident and said, ‘Absolutely.’ We talked about some different tests and ran some of them to make me feel better. Every precaution we could take throughout this journey, we took.”

Nothing proved easy during the pregnancy, however. Kaley developed gestational diabetes, had a four-day stomach bug that created a scare and needed treatment following a fall in which she was worried she had lost the baby. Molly, she said, was there for the couple through it all, including remaining on duty to assist Kaley through an entire 36-hour labor process that included a cesarean section delivery. 

“She even took one of our phones, since during a c-section only my husband and I could be in the room, so she could get pictures to help capture those moments for our family, who couldn’t be in there with us,” Kaley said. “She knew I was anxious about a c-section, it wasn’t something we necessarily had prepared for, so she talked with us about different things, what that might look like, and how that might affect the future if I would have another baby. I appreciated it, I just felt like she knew me.”

While Molly stood out in her care, Kaley praised the entire labor and delivery and recovery teams at Adena Regional Medical Center, saying they have her absolute faith and trust.

“I would recommend Molly,” Kaley said. “She’s great at listening to your concerns and just goes above and beyond for you. She didn’t have to stay with me that whole time, but she did.

“I also was impressed with my nurses throughout the process, especially when I was in labor and recovery, they were great and very knowledgeable. The whole program, really, I would recommend to everybody.”

Adena Health midwives see patients in Chillicothe, Circleville, Hillsboro, Jackson, Washington Court House, and Waverly. Schedule an appointment or learn more about Adena Women’s Health services and providers by calling 740-779-7201 or visit Adena.org/women.