Kim Fiske, a 33-year-old woman with cystic fibrosis, and her husband, Todd Betters, became happy parents on September 23rd, 1995. Ryan Betters is now 18 months old and meeting all the milestones of a healthy childhood. The family lives in Portland where the new parents are enjoying the rewards and demands of parenting.
Kim grew up with two older sisters and a younger brother. Her sister, Barrie Lyons, 35, from San Francisco, CA., also has CF. Kim said she never felt isolated or different with her CF because she always had her sister with whom she could talk and share her worries, ideas and questions. "It was like a permanent support group," she said.
When deciding to get pregnant, Todd and I didn't give it as much thought as we should have," she said, "because I think we knew if we thought about it too much we wouldn't do it." Throwing caution to the wind worked in their favor, although Kim said that it was not an easy pregnancy. The medical system and procedures it required caused most of her woes. Because she has CF, she was treated as a high-risk obstetrics case. She said she had numerous ultrasounds and the fact that the medical professionals were always looking for something to be wrong and pointing out every slight variation from the norm caused her increasing anxiety throughout the term. At seven months she became borderline gestationally diabetic, and she almost lost her insurance when she tried to change policies.
Looking back, Kim is more philosophical about the pregnancy. While the physicians noted the abnormalities, she views the ordeal as fairly typical. She gained 35 pounds and her son, Ryan, was a term baby who weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces at birth. While her delivery was hard, she points out that she has heard similar stories from many non-CF women, although she admits her recovery was somewhat more lengthy. Even still, she's glad she didn't over-analyze about her decision to give birth, but instead went with her gut. It was the right decision for her and it brought her Ryan.
Currently Kim works as a senior product manager for PacifiCorp, the local electric and gas company in Portland. The Fiskes moved to Oregon from the Bay Area last August so that her husband, Todd, could enter a graduate program.
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