In early 2020, Barbra and Kevin Vollbracht were anxiously awaiting the due date of their daughter, Eva. As spring approached, they didn’t anticipate what the year would bring.
“My third trimester started the day after Illinois shut down due to the pandemic. That was terrifying. That last three months, we were supposed to have a baby shower and celebrate with our family, and everything changed,” Barbra recalled.
The Vollbrachts decided to do all they could to protect themselves and their daughter from COVID by limiting their outings. For Barbra, there were only two people she saw on a regular basis during those last three months of her pregnancy — her husband and Quincy Medical Group OB/GYN Dr. Jean Alexandre.
“I wasn’t really going out, so going to the doctor’s office was my big social thing,” she said. “It sounds pathetic, but when I had an appointment I would look forward to it. We rarely left the house, we were just trying to keep to safe.”
Dr. Alexandre was there for them, listening and supporting them through an unprecedented time. It wasn’t the first time he had been there for them. Starting a family was difficult for Kevin and Barbra.
“Everything’s a bit of a blur because so much has happened these last couple of years. When my husband and I got married, we wanted to start a family,” she said. “After about six months, we hadn’t gotten pregnant, and I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Alexandre to make sure everything was ok.”
After a series of visits, they became pregnant but experienced a miscarriage. Soon after, they became pregnant again, but again the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.
“After our second miscarriage, Dr. Alexandre referred us to a doctor in St. Louis. The doctor did some additional testing there, and everything turned out ok,” she said.
In September of 2019, they got pregnant and welcomed their daughter, Eva, on May 28, 2020. When Eva was three months old, the family was pleasantly surprised to find out they were expecting again, a baby boy.
With both pregnancies, Dr. Alexandre took great care of the family.
“Our second miscarriage was a genetic issue, so with both pregnancies we did the genetic testing,” she said. “I remember Dr. Alexandre called us in the evening with the results, so we wouldn’t have to worry and wait another day. That just blew me away that he would do that. He wanted to let us know that everything was fine just to ease our minds.”
As the family prepared to welcome their second baby during the pandemic, they worried about staying safe. As she was pregnant, the COVID-19 Vaccine came out. Barbra said the decision on whether to get the vaccine was one she gave a lot of thought to.
“I think Dr. Alexandre saw how much stress I was under trying to decide whether or not to get the vaccine or not. I remember at one of my appointments he printed off an article for me to read,” she said. “It wasn’t an easy choice. I can say Dr. Alexandre never pushed me one way or the other, he always listened to my concerns, but he would give me the facts that he had and I trust him completely.”
Ultimately, she decided to get the vaccine, a decision she feels was right for her.
“We had to do what we thought was best. And, having the two losses prior to this, we already experienced so much. I just couldn’t imagine putting my kids at risk.”
As the Vollbrachts prepared to welcome their baby boy, they had a special name in mind. They decided to pay tribute to the person who had seen them through the most difficult and happiest times of their lives — Dr. Alexandre.
Xandre Vollbracht was born on June 17, 2021 — a name that will be a lasting reminder of the doctor that meant so much them.
“He just has a very special place in my heart because of the way he’s gone above and beyond for us. He’s a great guy on top of being a great doctor, he’s just a great human being,” she said.