Rebekah was a little nervous, but very excited when she learned she and her husband were expecting their first baby. However, once she was about 12 weeks along, she started bleeding.
This immediately sparked Rebekah’s memory of her mother’s difficult history with pregnancies – near the end of the first trimester the bleeding would start, the doctors would say there was nothing they could do, their family would pray, and a few weeks later she would miscarry. Now it was happening to Rebekah.
Rebekah began her search for a pro-life doctor.
“Initially I was just hoping for a doctor that would be sympathetic,” she later told us. “One always worries, ‘what if my baby has genetic abnormalities?’ I remember a lady talking about how much they had to fight the doctors who pressured them to move on and just abort rather than have the baby.” She also remembered her mother’s experience with doctors who would say that women miscarry because of genetic abnormalities and this was just nature’s way getting rid of “defects”, or that they weren’t really babies at all.
After a long search, she found a website called ‘One More Soul’, which had a list of doctors who were against abortifacients, birth control, and abortion. She scrolled until she found a doctor who would accept her insurance, and that happened to be Dr. Delia Larrauri at the Gianna Center of Philadelphia. Right away, she booked an appointment.
Rebekah recalled, “when I walked [into the office], I didn’t know if the baby was still alive or not…so when I first walked in, seeing all the pictures of [the Blessed Virgin] Mary was really reassuring. The way [Dr. Larrauri] talked about everything was so beautiful. I just felt so happy and there wasn’t any weirdness about ‘what birth control are you on?’ It was just very different.”
Dr. Larrauri got to work, did her assessment, and promptly performed an ultrasound in the office. Rebekah told us, “the moment that really stood out to me was when I first saw my baby on the ultrasound. Her little heart was beating. I was ecstatic and almost crying because I was so relieved…you could see the little head, the little arms, that little mass at the center of the chest and you could see it moving, and I knew right away that that’s the heart, the baby’s heart is still beating. And Dr. Larrauri, I think she was just as happy as I was! It felt more like I was with family, you know, where they care as much as you do.”
After the ultrasound, Dr. Larrauri ordered a number of tests, including serum HCG and progesterone. She found that Rebeka’s progesterone was low and she would need bio-identical progesterone supplementation to avoid a miscarriage. Nurse practitioner, Barbara Rose, prescribed progesterone in her following visit and continued monitoring her levels throughout the pregnancy.
“That’s when the bleeding had stopped,” Rebekah noted, “and it didn’t come back and I didn’t have any other problems during the pregnancy – just a few times it dipped a little low so Barbara upped my dose. But everything worked out great...I’m really, really grateful.”
Now, Rebekah and her husband have a sweet, chubby-cheeked baby girl.
Rebekah was blessed to find life-affirming care at the Gianna Center. With your support, more women in their first trimester of pregnancy can receive the care they rightly deserve.
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