Before ever meeting with Dr. Kevin Magee at Fetal Care Center Dallas, Megan DuBose wrote him a letter introducing herself and sharing her story. Looking back, Megan sees it as an act of desperation after years of medical trauma and heartbreak. But it was an act of hope, too.
“I just wanted to lay it out there,” she says. “This is who you’re meeting with; this is what I’ve been through.”
By the time Megan got to the offices of Fetal Care Center, the Dallas native was mom to one living child, her daughter Harper, but had been pregnant five times. Megan suffered three miscarriages and lost her son, Theo, at 24 weeks gestation — what the medical community refers to as intrauterine fetal demise, or IUFD. Now pregnant for the sixth time, Megan was declared high-risk and had been referred to Fetal Care Center by her OB/GYN.
As she sat in yet another sonogram room, reliving the last moments she had seen her son alive, the thoughts spiraled: What if this doctor thinks I’m crazy? What if he won’t listen to me? What if there’s truly something wrong with me? What if…
“Dr. Magee entered the room. He sat next to me and asked if he could hold my hand,” Megan recalls. “He told me, ‘You have every right to feel the way you do. I agree that you and Theo were failed. I’m going to do everything I can to keep this baby safe.’ … I cried tears of relief and gratitude in that room and returned home, actually trusting that I might have another living baby.”
After losing Theo, Megan had begun working with a therapist. Not only was she grieving the loss of her son, she was working through the trauma of not being able to advocate for him — not being listened to or believed by medical professionals — when she knew something was wrong.
“When I did get pregnant again, I knew that a big part of my healing process was going to be rebuilding my trust in myself and rebuilding my trust with medical providers,” she says.
It took a couple of therapy sessions and speaking with her husband for Megan to get up the courage to ask her OB/GYN for another referral. “That recommendation ended up being just exactly what I needed.”
Finding the Care She Deserved
Megan met with Dr. Magee or Dr. Nicole Yost weekly throughout her pregnancy with baby Norah. During those weekly visits, the doctors checked on the baby and how she was moving, but they also checked in with Megan.
“They wanted to know how I was feeling,” she says. “They were very clear that my experience of how things were going was a very important data point for them.”
In the last four weeks of pregnancy, Megan saw the Fetal Care team twice a week.
“I knew that if at any point Dr. Magee or Dr. Yost felt as though she was not performing as well on her BPPs as needed that they would collaborate with Dr. Gladney, my OB, on whether or not I needed to deliver early.”
On June 6, 2021, at 38 weeks, the day came, and Norah was born via induced VBAC in an uncomplicated birth.
“They probably don’t teach it in medical school to hold your patient’s hand the first time you meet, but Dr. Magee could read between the lines and see that I was a very anxious and desperately hopeful woman that just wanted to have one other living child,” she says. “He met me where I was at.”
Moving Forward in Joy
One year after Norah joined big sister Harper and her parents at home, the DuBose family got a big surprise — another baby on the way!
Because of Megan’s history of miscarriage and stillbirth and her now advanced maternal age, she was classified again as high-risk and started working with Fetal Care Center at 20 weeks into her seventh pregnancy.
“I know for some folks being labeled high-risk in pregnancy is an anxiety-producing experience in and of itself,” she says. “For me, by the time I was diagnosed as a high-risk pregnancy, I had already had losses. It really was a relief for me to know that, OK, that’s the official label. Now, I will be managed accordingly.”
Megan faced some possible complications throughout her last pregnancy, but in March 2023, the DuBose family welcomed another healthy daughter, Lilah, who is already a cherished little sister to Harper and Norah. Megan refers to the trio as her “cutie chaos.”
“It’s definitely a wild ride having three living children at three very different developmental stages,” she says. “The girls are all doing really well. Having the health of my children is just everything.”
About a month after bringing Lilah home, Megan sat down and wrote Dr. Magee another letter thanking him and the whole team for their compassionate care, respect and comfort.
“You instilled hope,” she wrote in part. “You actively listened, you were creative and innovative in finding solutions for me, and you compassionately informed me — all while treating me as an important partner in the journey. … Every pregnant person deserves a medical team that delivers your standards of care. You have changed my life in more ways than the obvious, and I am eternally grateful.”
Photo by Jenna Mills (@jmills_photography)