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Dr. Katherine Keech, pediatric fellow in Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, shares her UW Medicine story. Dr. Keech is based at Seattle Children’s. Husband Dr. John Keech is a surgery resident at the UW.
Some of the reasons for choosing UW Medicine are very specific to us. When we found out we were having twins, we were very shocked.
I was originally planning to see Dr. Ann-Marie Amies Oelschlager, but she referred us to Dr. Jane Hitti at the Maternal Infant Care Center, when we found out about the twins and I had some early complications.
We had talked about how we may need to have a high-risk OB provider. We know all the hospitals around the area and the level of care of OB that they provide. For us, the two options were either Swedish or UW Medicine. When we sat down and talked about it, it was partially the convenience that my husband, a surgery resident, would be able to come to ultrasounds and appointments. With me being a fellow at Seattle Children’s, it was also easier for me to get to appointments instead of driving downtown. We also recognized the importance of having specialty-trained providers, which is what you get at UW Medicine.
I had complications throughout my pregnancy. Dr. Hitti had me stop working pretty early on, when I was about 15 weeks pregnant. She made clinical decisions that were obviously in my best interest, based on her experience and everything she has learned throughout her career. She was so comfortable dealing with twin pregnancies that when I had some signs that were concerning but not necessarily indicative of later problems in pregnancy, she picked up on it and was conservative about her approach with me. With my job, where I’m on my feet 12 hours a day, it was thanks to her care and advice that the boys weren’t born too early. I attribute the fact that I did make it to almost 34 weeks to her care. She’s had a lot of experience dealing with twin pregnancies. Some things you just can’t find the answers to in a textbook. But when your doctor has all of that experience, and combines intuition with his or her knowledge and medical skills, it really can be beneficial.
When I spent 18 days on Labor and Delivery for pre-term labor, only those directly involved in our care or the friends/staff we told knew we were there; our privacy was respected. But it was also nice to have friends from work come up to visit me when I was there for so long.
Our twins, Jack and Conor, were born on June 26, 2010. I was at 33 weeks and 5 days in my pregnancy.
Dr. Sarah Waller, who is one of the fellows in Maternal Fetal Medicine, delivered us. We ended up having a pretty scary c-section. We had been planning to have a vaginal delivery and Jack was almost out when Conor’s heart rate dropped down to the 60s. We moved really quickly to have the c-section. I know Dr. Waller and the chief resident and the nursing staff did everything so fast. From the time they made the decision to do the c-section until the time the boys were born was about four minutes. Some of the nursing staff said it was the fastest c-section they’d ever seen at the UW. With everything that happened, we were so thankful we were at the U. I hate to think of what might have happened if we were at another medical facility that wasn’t as well-prepared. We were very thankful we were somewhere that they were ready to deal with anything that could have come up.
Jack was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UW Medical Center for 17 days and Conor was there for three weeks.
The level of care at the NICU is wonderful. I think it will even be a more comfortable place for families once they open the new NICU. The nurses were amazing. Thankfully, we had relatively little interaction with the medical team since our boys were pretty low-maintenance.
I can’t say enough good things about the nurses. Part of that time for me was a little bit of a blur. I was exhausted and had a c-section. My parents were there and they felt that the nurses were very helpful. They were very very impressed with the level of care.
If anyone I knew who was having twins or has a complicated pregnancy for any reason, I would definitely recommend Dr. Hitti and UW Medicine to her. When we did find out that we were having twins, we felt that with all of the specialty-trained physicians so easily accessible to us we should utilize those services.
We would recommend UW Medical Center for labor and delivery,services and care. We had a very positive experience there and had the best possible outcome for our now four-month-old twin boys!
Editor’s Note: Dr. Ann-Marie Amies Oelschlager is an obstetrician at the Women’s Health Care Center. Dr. Jane Hitti is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the Maternal Infant Care Center,