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My husband and I are expecting our first baby any minute. Okay, in four weeks, but technically she could arrive tonight if she wanted to (and we wouldn’t complain if she did). Mother’s Day and Father’s Day hit at that in-between time for us – technically we’re not parents yet, but we sure have done a lot of work preparing for baby girl’s arrival. And so we discussed it and decided that yes, indeed, we were going to celebrate both holidays this year.

Plus, let’s face it, we just love any excuse to celebrate.

My husband thoroughly spoiled me on Mother’s Day (hello prenatal massage gift certificate!) and I have some surprises up my sleeve for him this weekend. What about you? Did you celebrate Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) while you were pregnant?

And, because I’m new at this – what were some of the BEST Father’s Day gift you or your kids ever got your husband? We’ve created a Pinterest board with some last-minute homade ideas for the kiddos, but we’d love it if you would share your ideas as well! Link to your blog post with your own idea, or summarize it in the comments below.

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be in July who will be delivering right here at North Hills.

Need an OBGYN? Check out our “Meet our OBs” section on the blog.

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This is the fourth post in our blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

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Dr. O’Toole attended medical school at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and then completed her internship and residency at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, New York. She has done extensive research on Fragile X and the effects on female reproduction, particularly being a Fragile X carrier and having premature ovarian failure and thyroid disease.

She has been married for five years and has a 22-month-old child and a 13-year-old black pug.

Dr. O’Toole – why did you get into medicine, and in particular, obstetrics?

I grew up surrounded by medicine.  My father was a small town internal medicine physician, and I grew up watching him take care of our community.  People always admired him so much, and he seemed to make such a difference in their lives.  I decided I wanted to have that kind of impact on people when I grew up.

I truly enjoy taking care of women and helping them through the different stages of life.  From adolescent changes and puberty, to pregnancy and childbirth, and finally through menopause, I want to help my patients make it through these times of transition with ease.  I like being able to answer all their questions and treat any conditions that are necessary.

What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do/know?

Pregnancy is not easy!  Your body goes through so many changes throughout the entire process, sometimes you might feel like a totally different person. 

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What kind of reassurance can you provide to first-time moms-to-be?

It is normal to feel overwhelmed at times.  You are experiencing something completely new and foreign.  Most of the strange things you are experiencing are normal to pregnancy, but I like to be there and explain anything that my patients feel is strange.  Reassurance can go a long way for a first time mom!

What’s your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?

Go for a preconception visit with your OB.  There are things that can be discussed and testing that can be done before you get pregnant that cannot be addressed once you are already pregnant.  Things like vaccinations and genetic testing can be taken care of ahead of time.  Plus, you can get started on the correct prenatal vitamin for you.

What is your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?

Don’t give up.  There are so many different options out there to help women with issues conceiving.  It is a very rare case these days that isn’t able to eventually become pregnant.  And even for those rare few individuals who are unable to conceive despite intervention, the option of surrogacy is available

How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?

Experiencing being pregnant – having the morning sickness, having preterm contractions, going through childbirth – has made me have so much more empathy for my patients.  When they call me with problems or questions, I have actually experienced a lot of the things they have questions about so I can help them from both a medical perspective and a personal perspective.

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My daughter is the most important person in my life, but I also have a very demanding job.  I have learned how difficult it is to be a full-time working mother and still have quality family time.  I think this also has helped me relate to my patients on a personal level because so many mothers do work full-time now.

What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?

All the genetic testing that is now available is so exciting to me.  We are able to prescreen so many patients now for diseases that before seemed to pop up out of nowhere.  Being able to counsel my patients appropriately prior to them being pregnant, and being able to offer them options regarding conception, has changed how I practice medicine.

When you’re not delivering babies, what do you do in your free time?

I LOVE to travel and my bucket list of places I want to go is extensive.  I lean toward places with warm climates and beaches.  My husband and I have a phenomenal group of friends and family in the area.  We like to get together with them on the weekends and cook out and have game nights.  And after living in New York for four years, I have a big interest in musicals.  I try and catch as many of the traveling shows that pass through here as I can.

For more information on Dr. O’Toole or to make an appointment, visit her  profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

This is the third post in our blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

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Dr. Robinson-Brown graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, and then completed her internship and residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. She has been married for over 20 years and has two sons – a sophomore in high school and a junior in college.

Dr. Robinson-Brown – why did you get into medicine, and, more specifically, why did you choose obstetrics?

Growing up I saw first-hand how limited healthcare affected the lives of many in my community. My interest was sparked early in life.  Born premature weighing only 2lbs and 12 oz, since childhood I yearned for the knowledge to understand the circumstances of my birth. While in college, I became involved in the Health Professions Club which allowed me to participate in the Med-Dent Start program. Through this program I was able to witness various surgeries, the birth of a child and the sorrow and loss brought on by the death of a patient. These early experiences increased my desire to pursue Obstetrics and Gynecology.

What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do or know?

Seek prenatal care early in your pregnancy. Do not assume that because you have had one pregnancy that the next pregnancy will be exactly the same. Every pregnancy will be different and may require different treatment based on your medical condition for that current pregnancy.

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What kind of reassurance can you provide to first time moms to be?

Know that your doctor is there to help guide you through your pregnancy process. Do not be afraid to ask questions about what is happening with your changing body. Sometimes the questions you ask may be important to the care or management your doctor is providing.

What is your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?

Again start prenatal care early. You may want to see your physician for a pre-pregnancy counseling and examination. During that visit you can discuss current medications, health issues, substance use, daily habits and family illness that may affect your pregnancy. 

What’s your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?

Do not give up too early on trying to conceive. The process may be longer than expected. Also do not let your disappointments and frustrations cause stress in your relationship.  Early intervention is important. Female age is an important factor when planning for a pregnancy. Females 35 and older need to seek care with a healthcare professional to start the evaluation process as soon as possible. Both partners should be involved and will require a medical evaluation to identify the cause.

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How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?

Having children allowed me to be able to relate to the discomforts that often occur in pregnancy. Often I am able to incorporate personal accounts and helpful tips from my own experiences to help my patients cope and adjust to each situation.

What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?

I am excited about the new advances in minimally invasive surgery such as robotic surgery, hysteroscopic removal of fibroids and polyps from the uterine cavity, endometrial ablation for bleeding and hysteroscopic sterilization techniques that allow patients to return to their busy schedules if required.

What do you do in your free time?

During my time away from the office, I am an avid foodie and I love to cook. I love to sing and I enjoy various styles of music.  I also enjoy traveling with my family, going to movies, bowling and participating in the W.O.W. (Women of Worship) Choir.

For more information on Dr. Robinson-Brown or to make an appointment, visit her  profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

This is the second post in our blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

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Dr. Safely graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston, and then completed his internship and residency at John Peter Smith Hospital. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and has a particular interest in pelvic prolapse, minimally invasive surgery, and general OB/Gyn healthcare.

Dr. Safely has been happily married for more than 25 years and has two children. When he’s not delivering babies, he’s an avid tennis player and enjoys working on old cars.

 
Dr. Safely – why did you get into medicine, and in particular, obstetrics?

I love the family aspect of caring for pregnant women. My desire is to help people while integrating my passion and interest in science.

What’s your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?

Don’t stress. Conception will usually occur within 6-12 months; some patients may take a bit longer.

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What is your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?

We personally experienced a miscarriage between our two children. I can relate to the stresses of infertility and pregnancy loss. I try to provide the information needed to guide patients through the maze associated with infertility.

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What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do/know?

My desire is for every women to have an uncomplicated pregnancy and uneventful/memorable delivery. I feel that this starts before pregnancy with eating right and getting regular exercise, managing stress and getting an adequate amount of sleep. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, of course.

What kind of reassurance can you provide to first-time moms-to-be?

I am there to provide education and spend time carefully answering their concerns or fears.

How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?

Since I have a college student and a near junior in high school, I feel I can offer a bit of experience and perspective to the younger pregnant patient as well as the maturity to our older gynecology patients who may be encountering surgery for the first time.

What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?

Robotics definitely gives us a degree of precision in surgery that is unprecedented. It does not replace the basic skills needed to perform certain surgeries, however, it expends the scope of procedures that can be finished using 1/2 inch incisions or smaller, enabling quicker patient recoveries.

For more information on Dr. Safely or to make an appointment, visit his profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

Welcome to our new blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

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Dr. Snell-Hargrove graduated from Prairie View A&M University, and then attended medical school at Michigan State University. She completed her residency at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan. She is a wife and mom of two young children.

 
Dr. Snell-Hargrove – why did you become a doctor, and more specifically, why did you choose obstetrics?
 
I fell in love with the idea of delivering babies when I was 11 years old. At that age, I knew that by becoming a doctor I would be able to deliver babies, but I did not have an understanding of all that came along with it.
 
While going through medical school I was exposed to many career opportunities, but I never found anything that excited me more than obstetrics.  To see the excitement in the eyes of a mother as she is blessed with the opportunity to deliver one of her greatest accomplishments brings me joy.  I also love to see the tears of joy that a father sheds as he holds that tiny part of them for the first time.
 
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What’s your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?
 
Start your prenatal vitamins early.  Some people don’t realize they are pregnant until they are out of their first trimester.  Pregnancy itself is stressful enough, don’t add to the problem by prematurely worrying if it is an accomplishable task for you.  If you have a regular monthly cycle, it is possible to achieve pregnancy pending all other factors are normal.
 
What is your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?
 
Relax. The more you try to say you will be pregnant by a certain day and time, the more the task seems to discourage and frustrate you. Discuss your timing with your physician. Other tests may be required, sometimes it is the subfertile female that shows the infertile male.
 
What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do/know?
 
Early prenatal care is optimal.  Enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
 
What kind of reassurance can you provide to first-time moms-to-be?
 
Don’t believe everything you read.  Trust that your doctor will do their very best for you to have a healthy mom and healthy baby.
 
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How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?
 
I feel that I am more compassionate when it comes to the discomforts of pregnancy.  I will continue to be understanding about the idea that every pregnancy is different.  How you react to the changes that are taking place makes all the difference in the world.
 
What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?
 
I am most excited about minimally invasive surgical technology.  It is amazing that I get to be a part of this innovative field of medicine.  People are able to go home from the hospital in a shorter amount of time and recover much quicker.
 
For more information on Dr. Snell-Hargrove or to make an appointment, visit her profile on the North Hills Hospital website.