|Monroe native Christine Horvath spent her first holiday season as a mother last year, thanks to some help from the experts in Bridgeport Hospital’s Special Care Maternity Unit and Newborn Intensive Care Unit. What makes the holiday even more special for her is that she is sharing it with not one baby—but three.|
Surrounded by children for more than five years as a music teacher at West Side Middle School in Waterbury, Christine, 29, decided she wanted a child of her own.
“I always wanted to have kids and knew the time was right,” says Christine. “And I knew the best time for a woman’s fertility is during her 20s.”
Still single, Christine chose to get pregnant through artificial insemination.
“I knew there was a chance I would have a multiple birth because I was on fertility medication but I thought the chance was slim because it was the first month I tried to get pregnant,” Christine says.
The first indication that Christine might have twins was when her pregnancy blood test came back positive with a high level of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Then, when she was six weeks pregnant, she had her first ultrasound exam and there were three babies.
“My OB/GYN, Dr. Ronika Choudhary, convinced me that Bridgeport Hospital, with its specialty services for high-risk pregnancies, would provide the best chance for me to deliver my babies safely,” Christine says. “Growing up in Monroe, I knew of the hospital’s wonderful Newborn ICU—and Dr. Choudhary’s genuine expression of warmth and compassion gave me the sense I could trust her completely.”
The Newborn ICU, along with the rest of Bridgeport Hospital’s pediatric services, was recently integrated into Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, providing Bridgeport area residents with access to a higher level and broader network of pediatric specialty services.
“Christine’s words about me are very kind but as a mother myself, I know that in addition to good medical care my patients appreciate courtesy, compassion and honesty,” says Dr. Choudhary, who earned Bridgeport Hospital’s Physician of the Year award in 2009 for her outstanding patient satisfaction scores and other positive patient feedback.
Christine’s pregnancy proceeded smoothly until the 24th week. “I was having ultrasounds every few days and my cervix was shrinking,” she says. “A fetal fibronectin (fFN) test indicated that I might go into premature labor.”
That’s when Dr. Choudhary admitted Christine to Bridgeport Hospital’s Special Care Maternity Unit for bed rest until she could deliver the triplets by cesarean. During her stay in the unit, the babies were constantly monitored in the womb as well as Christine’s increasing blood pressure.
“Thanks to the care I received at Bridgeport Hospital, I carried my babies until the 31st week of my pregnancy,” says Christine. “I would have carried them longer but an ultrasound found that one of the babies was having a problem—a knot in the umbilical cord. But thanks to the preparation, constant monitoring and the fast-acting doctors, I delivered smoothly soon after the problem began.”
The babies were born on Aug. 11—Gregory at 3 lbs. 9 oz., Olivia at 3 lbs. 5 oz. and Daniel at 2 lbs. 14 oz.
“I felt that God blessed me,” says Christine. “That’s why I named the babies Gregory, Olivia and Daniel—G-O-D.”
The triplets were all admitted to the Newborn ICU, spending from three weeks to three months in the unit until they had grown enough to go home safely.
“Christine’s pregnancy holds a valuable lesson for others,” says Dr. Choudhary. “Proper prenatal care is critical in ensuring a healthy delivery—whether you have one baby or more.”