Alison Gambill knew she had found the right obstetrician when the woman at the front desk took her registration information and then said, “I want you to know I’m really sorry for your losses.”
While Allie had reached the second trimester with her second child, she had miscarried twice in the last two years. She was feeling more confident about this pregnancy but was still grieving. “I was happily fourteen weeks pregnant with this new baby,” she says, “but to have someone acknowledge what I had gone through meant a lot to me.”
Six months later, Greyson Mark Gambill was born and a little more than two years after that, Allie and her husband, Liam, welcomed Charlotte Alexandra.
Allie’s birth stories are not unusual—women often can conceive and carry babies to term after one or more miscarriages. Unfortunately, her experience at her new OB’s office is not always the norm. Her original OB reacted to her miscarriages clinically and told Allie that she and Liam should just keep trying. The nurse at the office asked her after the second loss, “Are you sure you were even pregnant?”
Some members of the pregnancy loss support group Allie started said they’d had similar experiences with medical staff. “Maybe it’s because after a while, miscarriages start to feel routine to them,” Allie says.
That first OB did refer Allie to a fertility specialist, though—turns out it was Dr. Jeremy Groll at Spring Creek Fertility Clinic—and that’s when she started to feel more hopeful and supported.
Dr. Groll reviewed the ultrasounds and bloodwork that Allie’s doctor had ordered during those second and third pregnancies, and he noticed some abnormalities. A specialist often can see nuances in test results that another doctor might evaluate as within normal ranges, Dr. Groll says. In Allie’s case, her thyroid function was not optimal and there were signs of a small blood clot between her uterine lining and the embryo. After a course of thyroid medicine and baby aspirin, as well as some other treatment, Allie was able to conceive and carry her baby to term.
It wasn’t just Dr. Groll’s medical treatment that Allie says she’s grateful for. It was the kind of attention the whole staff gave her, she says. “His entire team just walked with us for the first trimester of my pregnancy. They knew that coming off of two miscarriages I would be worried about this pregnancy. They set up extra ultrasounds and had me on precautionary medications—and when I was thirteen or fourteen weeks along, they had a little graduation ceremony for me.”
Allie says she can talk about her losses now without crying, and the anniversaries of those due dates don’t stop her in her tracks like they used to. She says the healing came with time, openness, and help from a sensitive fertility clinic team and a certain front desk nurse.