Published on January 25, 2022

South Dakota couple delivers miracle baby at Ridgeview; makes brief visit to family wedding the next day

In 2017, 20-year-old Trina (Rinke) Kern was a student at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., when she received news that no healthy, active young woman expects—a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Trina underwent two major surgeries and four rounds of inpatient chemotherapy. Her surgeon removed one ovary and was not able to freeze any eggs, after which many doctors and specialists told Trina that having her own biological children would be impossible. Despite the news, with one ovary intact, Trina remained hopeful.

Remission, new beginnings and a miracle pregnancy

Four years later, Trina and her new husband, Connor, were surprised and thrilled to learn that Trina was pregnant within a few months following their wedding. As a Waconia native, Trina began care with Lisa Chapman, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Lakeview Clinic, before Connor’s new job moved them to Aberdeen, South Dakota, soon after Trina’s 20-week ultrasound.

“We were sad to say goodbye to Dr. Chapman because of the bond we had already formed. We even joked about her delivering our baby if I went into labor while back in town,” Trina said.

A family wedding with a surprise guest

Fast-forward a few months, Trina was 38-weeks pregnant and set to celebrate her sister Britta’s wedding. She came back to the Twin Cities on Thursday to help her mom, Marit, get ready for the big day on Saturday. During the car ride from Aberdeen, Trina started having what she thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions. Her contractions got stronger that night, so Trina and her mom went to Ridgeview in Waconia—the same hospital where Trina was born in 1997. At 12:30 a.m., the care team told Trina this “was the real deal.”

Ridgeview’s Birthing Center team contacted Dr. Chapman who agreed to deliver Trina’s baby. Dr. Chapman broke Trina’s water at 7:45 a.m., and 16 minutes later, Trina and Connor’s miracle baby boy, Thomas Coad Kern II, made his debut.

“We couldn't believe all the crazy details that came into place—delivering at the same hospital where I was born, Connor making the five-hour drive from Aberdeen in the middle of the night and delivering with our original OB/GYN, Dr. Chapman,” Trina said. “Sweet Thomas is healthy and happy, and we all made it to my sister's wedding ceremony the next day. It was a weekend with all the best celebrations. We are truly blessed.”

Ridgeview’s Birthing Center is a special place to deliver a baby. You’re invited to learn more and take a virtual tour.