LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – After 25 years of hoping and praying for a child of her own, Bertie Hicks', prayers were answered. Hicks got the surprising news two weeks before her 44th birthday, but she did not get her hopes up.
"When I went for my very first ultrasound I wouldn't even look at the screen….After she [the doctor] examined and everything she said, 'Mrs. Hicks, there is your baby.' I turned to look at the screen…and the heart was beating…and I just fell apart. I was that way all the way through [the pregnancy]," gushed Hicks.
An ectopic pregnancy at age 35 left Hicks with only half of her reproductive organs. She gave up five years ago, but said, "I always had a desire…lord let me have one please."
Her pregnancy was not only a shock, but because of her advanced age she was considered at high-risk for a host of possible problems.
"Pre-term labor, toxemia, or elevated blood pressure that is associated with pregnancy. Those are probably the most common. Also a lot of diabetes," explained Dr. Scott Bergstedt, gynecologist at OB Care with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. He stressed the importance of getting pre-natal care.
"In Louisiana we have extremely high pre-natal mortality and so our goal is to give good pre-natal care to reduce that number. We want to reduce the number of premature babies and it shouldn't be based on whether you can pay for it or not"
Olivia Grace Hicks was born at only 38 weeks at 3lbs 15oz, and although she was premature, "there was not a thing wrong with her," said Hicks. Bertie hopes Olivia hears her story someday and always knows how much she is wanted.