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A tri-bundle of joy

Good things really do come in threes

Posted: December 31, 2008 6:39 p.m.
Updated: January 1, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Robin Baerg cuddles with her three baby girls - twins, Kate Corinne and Claire Ruth, and their third sister, Jamie Anika.

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Robin Baerg said this New Year's holiday she and her husband German Gonzalez will celebrate the best presents ever: Three healthy baby girls and a complete family.

After their 2004 marriage, the Canyon Country couple struggled to become pregnant.

In 2007, they decided to get help.

"With my biological clock ticking at (age) 40, we thought ‘OK, we have to do something about this,'" Baerg said.

In 2007, the couple found Dr. Shahin Ghadir, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist with the Southern California Reproductive Center.After a November 2007 procedure, Ghadir detected Baerg's tubes were blocked.

"He was able to tell me right away I was probably not going to get pregnant and because of (my) age, I should try in vitro (fertilization) sooner rather than later," Baerg said.
With a 20 to 30 percent chance of failure and Baerg's age facing them, Baerg and Gonzalez tried to look forward with a positive attidue.

Baerg said she began an intense program of drug injections that would increase her chances of producing more quality eggs. After discovering which eggs were viable, Ghadir implanted three fertilized eggs in Baerg.

In just a couple weeks, Baerg received the call.

"I was sitting at Wolfgang Puck in L.A. and I was waiting to hear," Baerg said. "And Doctor Ghadir called me and said, ‘I have some news for you. It worked on the first try.' I was so excited, I called my husband right away."

Soon after, Baerg and her Gonzalez found out one of the embryos split into identical twins.
"At first, it was extremely scary," Baerg said. "To carry three babies at my age - the statistics are grim. But the doctor was always very supportive."

After a short 32-week pregnancy, a C-section birth on Sept. 8 and five weeks of visiting their triplets in the Intensive Care Unit, Baerg and Gonzalez took home their baby girls - twins, Kate Corinne and Claire Ruth, and their third sister, Jamie Anika.

"I think a lot of doctors could have been more disconnected or impersonal," she said.

"But (Ghadir) always had a very good demeanor and gave us a lot of time and consulted and sat with us. And with something as critical as getting pregnant, such a touchy emotional subject, he has the best bedside manner. He's a wonderful doctor and a very good person."

Ghadir went into the profession to help people like Baerg and Gonzalez.

"It's an amazing feeling when you do such amazing things for families to make them complete," Ghadir said. "It's hard to describe in words the feeling that it gives me and also the bond you begin to have with patients that you've been treating for months."

Ghadir takes pride in offering fertility services to those in a community like Santa Clarita.

"You know, the satisfaction you get from helping these patients is just immeasurable," he said. "Many people to this day don't know they can get help and have children. So bringing awareness to Santa Clarita I think, is an important part of us being there."

The babies are now almost four months old, but Gonzalez said he is still in a state of wonderment.

"We were just delighted to see we had three healthy babies," he said. "It was just a great eye-opening experience and it's been great ever since. We're still in that euphoria where we can't believe it. We have three beautiful little daughters here."

A year ago, the doctor began weekly commutes to a new Valencia satellite office.

"It's one of the places that has a large growing population, and when we searched, we noticed there were minimal fertility programs in the area," Ghadir said.

So far, Ghadir has seen an estimated 200 patients at the center's Valencia location on Smyth Drive.

"We see patients for many different reasons," he said.

"We are helping nice couples that deserve to be happy and achieve their goals," Ghadir said. "Everyone has different definitions and goals, we don't judge people. We're able to help people in any situation they need."


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