The Greatest Adventure: Pregnancy
One more spectacular sunrise, or one more breathtaking view – Eileen Tokarz Roque loved going on adventures with her husband. Together she and Joey Roque traveled to the rice terraces of the Philippines, walked the busy streets of Hong Kong and trekked through national parks. They had successful careers and the world at their feet, but something was still missing.
Pursuing the Missing Pieces
Today Roque happily wrangles a baby and a preschooler on her lap while her oldest son is at school. Baby Samuel is all smiles, and little Amelia is dressed up for her daddy. Roque gives a great deal of credit for her hectic, joy-filled life to Fort Sanders Perinatal Center at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center.
“There was always a part of me that desperately wanted to be a mommy,” Roque says. “If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I started talking about being a mother from almost the moment we started dating!”
After years of trying to start a family, there was a devastating miscarriage, and tests revealed Roque had a blood clotting issue. Combined with her advanced age, this caused her next pregnancy to be classified as “high risk.” That’s when she was referred to Fort Sanders Perinatal Center.
Expert Care for Expectant Mothers
Fort Sanders Perinatal Center has served women in East Tennessee for more than 20 years, delivering more than 20,000 babies at the adjacent Fort Sanders Regional. Perry Roussis, MD, and Gary Stephens, DO, are perinatologists, specializing in the care of women who face a variety of challenges in bringing new life into the world. Nurse practitioners, nurse educators, genetic counselors, dietitians, ultrasonograhers, and care coordinators help give mothers-to-be the most complete, comprehensive care.
Nurse practitioner Cynthia Miller, WHNP, says women’s health is about meeting a woman where she is, assessing her knowledge base and providing tailored care to meet her needs with compassion. “There really isn’t a cookie cutter approach to obstetrical care, especially in the high-risk setting,” Miller says. “Each patient is unique and has different needs.”
Roque’s medical team discovered that her baby’s weight was less than it should have been. Then the team discovered a problem with blood flow between mother and baby.
“They monitored me so closely and they took no risks, which is exactly how I think it should be when you’re bringing a baby into this world,” Roque says.
For the safety of mother and child, a decision was made to deliver little Teddy Roque by emergency C-section a month and a half early. The delivery was successful and safe. The baby was hospitalized for a few weeks after his birth, but is now a healthy 6-year-old.
A Growing Family
At age 39, Roque became pregnant once again, and once again her baby’s weight was a concern. With expert care, baby Amelia was brought into the world safe, sound, and right on time. After dealing with feeding issues for a time, she’s now 3 years old and doing well.
Roque had no issues during her third pregnancy, and a healthy baby Samuel joined his brother and sister to complete the Roque family.
“The birth of each of our babies was a beautiful adventure, and I tend to only remember the good,” Roque says. “I store away every smile, giggle and first step in my golden treasure of memories. My husband is 100 percent a family man, as in love with our children as I am.”
Travel adventures are no shared as a family. Roque says she believes in miracles, and she can’t help getting emotional when she thinks about the three little miracles she might not have received had she not sought care from Fort Sanders Perinatal Center.
“My life wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for them,” Roque says tearfully. “Dr. Roussis and Dr. Stephens are just good, genuine, kind people. They believe in family, and they will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m living my dream with my family, and I owe that to them.”
Fort Sanders Regional delivers more babies than any other facility in the area, including more than 20,000 high-risk babies over the last 20 years. Specialists on staff are available to address a wide range of special needs. You can learn more about options for moms-to-be at fsregional.com/womens-services/.