Newsworthy

Keyonna Tevis’ Story

It can be easy to look up symptoms you’re having online and move about your day.

It can be easy to feel something come on and just push through your day because life is busy.

It can be easy to talk yourself out of how you feel in fear it’s really ‘nothing that bad.

It can be easy to put yourself and your health on the back burner – especially as a mom or a soon to be mom.

But that has to change.

Keyonna Tevis is a 30 year old mom to three blissful boys and an example of why trusting your instincts and seeking care immediately when something feels off could make a life changing difference. She shares her story of persistence and strength during her first pregnancy below.

The Start of My Pregnancy

“I found out I was pregnant for the first time at 21 years old. My partner and I moved into my mom’s basement after moving back to Topeka from Colorado to be closer to family. We took this time to try and save up as much money as we could while I was pregnant, so that we could move out shortly after having our baby. Unbeknownst to us, I would go in for my routine 20-week ultrasound and be deemed high risk because of low amniotic fluid with the doctors not sure why it was low because I was not leaking any amniotic fluid.

Keyonna Tevis Pregnant

For the rest of my pregnancy I was on strict bed rest. Although I had a desk job, they wanted me home focusing on my water intake. The farther along I got in my pregnancy, the doctor also wanted me to monitor my kick count, kicks and movement of baby, because with low amniotic fluid our son didn’t have much space for movement. He was folded in half, feet up by his face and bottom down and was unable to switch positions, so the doctor spoke with me about the high possibility of having to have a C-Section.

With the restriction of movement, the doctor did an amazing job of preparing us for different scenarios for when our son arrived. They weren’t sure exactly how this would affect him after arriving, it was possible he may have to have leg braces or a helmet. I am grateful for my partner because we were prepared to do this together and do anything we needed to give him the best life.

Trusting My Instincts

When I was 35 weeks pregnant, I started to have regular contractions. With being high risk, I tried my best to track my contractions even if they were Braxton Hicks, false contractions. One evening I started to have stronger more regular contractions, but not enough for me to raise an eyebrow. This lasted for about 24 hours. That next evening, I started to feel pressure in my lower back. I was not in terrible pain, but enough to make uncomfortable and it was not a feeling I had yet in my pregnancy, so I was a little concerned.

After speaking with the nurses in triage and trying to do all the things to get rid of the pressure, which did not go away, they told me to come in and get checked. It was better to be safe than sorry. I had already been to triage multiple times at this point, I was pretty paranoid about everything, so I told my partner to not to even worry about the hospital bag or the car seat. We would more than likely be coming home, just like every other time.

After getting checked into triage they hooked me up to the monitors to measure my contractions. The nurse that was monitoring my contractions didn’t feel like my contractions were super strong or regular, which I agreed. My pressure had died down a little, my contractions had really died down, so once again I was feeling ridiculous for even being there.

Before leaving, the nurse wanted to check to see if I had dilated at all since I had been feeling uncomfortable and I was 35 weeks along. When she checked me, she told me she wanted to get another nurse in the room to make sure that she was measuring correctly. The second nurse came in and she confirmed with the first nurse that I was dilated to a six and fully effaced, meaning I was in active labor, and that they can feel his bottom. After that, everything happened pretty quickly.

The on-call doctor came in and gave me an ultrasound to confirm our sons positioning. It was then confirmed that I would have a C-Section. Shortly after that, the anesthesiologist came in to tell me what they would be doing and soon we were taken down to the surgical room. The actual C-Section is a bit of a blur because it happened quickly and the next thing I knew, our baby was crying.

Welcoming My First Born into the World

Our son was put in an incubator pretty much right away. We got the opportunity to see him before but then he was taken straight to the NICU. There he was hooked up to oxygen along with several other tubes. One of his legs was still sticking up and back towards his face, but they told us that he was just a little stiff and nothing seemed to be abnormal.

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Before I could see him, they took me to the recovery room and my nurses were amazing and even took me down to the NICU in my hospital bed to look at him.

It was incredibly hard to not be in the same room with him. I was able to constantly be in the room with him if I wanted to, but I did try my best to focus on my healing after major surgery.

Since he was on a feeding tube I had to pump, so I was pumping every two hours to make sure my milk was coming in to give him what I felt was the best. Our son stayed in the NICU for two weeks, which felt like forever, even though I now know that we are lucky that he progressed so quickly and was able to come home as soon as he did. He never had to have any leg braces or a helmet.

My Boys Are My World

He is now almost 9 years old, plays soccer, loves school and has many friends.

Since having our first we have had two more boys and while my second pregnancy was as normal as normal could be, our last was also high risk because of the positioning of my placenta. I think regardless of which pregnancy you are on you need to trust your gut instinct, even if it makes you feel a little silly, because no matter how many babies you welcome into this world every pregnancy is different.”

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As we, at Stormont Vail Health, strive to improve access to comprehensive perinatal and maternal health, we created a resource page to explicitly empower expectant mothers with education and support. We encourage anyone to support this initiative, and our neighbors, by learning about these resources and sharing them with your community.

And most importantly, be an advocate of listening to your body, trusting your instincts, and seeking help if something feels off, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Don’t let fear or embarrassment stand in the way of getting the care you deserve. It could make all the difference.

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