Love, Loss and Light: My Journey to My Rainbow Baby

My experience with a high-risk pregnancy during the pandemic, including why I chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Sudaba Mansuri, MSc, PhD (c), and Her Daughter, Madina Zohra

After a traumatic stillbirth in 2017 with my first pregnancy, and over 14 cycles of in-vitro fertilization later, we welcomed my rainbow and miracle baby, Madina Zohra, into the world on Feb. 18, 2021. 

After I was released from my fertility clinic, I immediately arranged an appointment with the Rush South Loop OB-GYN practice and Rush’s amazing Maternal Fetal Medicine practice . My main OB-GYNs were Grace Banner, MD, and Robin Drake, MD, and my maternal-fetal medicine specialist was Thaddeus Waters, MD. The ultrasound techs for the maternal-fetal medicine group, Maria and Odette, were also amazing. The team followed my high-risk pregnancy very closely from 12 weeks to 37 weeks, when I was induced. 

I owe a special thanks to the care I received at Rush. I never once felt like I was being turned down for all the questions I sent to my doctors via MyChart, or because I went to OB triage more than 10 times throughout my pregnancy. No question was a “dumb one.” Living through a stillbirth, infertility and finally a viable pregnancy requires a solid framework of assistance from a medical team, and I can confidently say I received that reassurance as well as excellent medical care as a patient at Rush University Medical Center.  
Finally getting pregnant, and during a pandemic, was very challenging and overwhelming, to say the least. Due to the high-risk nature of my pregnancy, I had to make a very important decision when the  COVID-19 vaccine was available to me. It was very important to me to accept everything medically available to protect both my daughter's health and my own.

So, at 31 weeks, I decided to get the first dose of the vaccine. My only side effect was a sore arm. At 34 weeks, I received the second dose of the vaccine. My side effects after the second dose were more severe: chills, a fever and extreme dehydration. Fortunately, these side effects were short-lived, and my immunity — and potentially my daughter’s — for COVID-19 will hopefully protect us. Most important, the anxiety associated with being pregnant during a pandemic was obliterated with my second dose of the vaccine, and that outweighed any potential unknown risks of taking the vaccine.
It is still surreal to see this miracle baby in front of me, but I want to urge anyone reading this to believe and trust in the hope of good to come. 

If you're considering fertility treatments or need support on your journey to parenthood, visit the Rinehart Fertility Center at RUSH. Our compassionate team of experts is here to help guide and support you every step of the way. 

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