Having a baby is equal parts joyful and terrifying. Having a trusted, trained medical team helped Olney’s Mariah White manage her high-risk pregnancy and delivery.
Following a long infertility journey, the first-time mom learned she and her husband Matthew were expecting a girl. With her type 2 diabetes, she relied on Risë Hatten, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology for close oversight and referrals.
At 32 weeks, high blood pressure prompted a brief hospital stay then bed rest for four weeks. Early contractions prompted a non-stress test revealing a drastic drop in the baby’s heart rate. Up next – a Cesarean section at 37.5 weeks.
“Things went pretty smoothly but I had some higher pain,” White said. Alice, born two months ago at 8 pounds, 1 ounce, needed some extra observation and nursing care. She spent three days in the special nursery to watch her blood sugar levels. “I was so excited to have her that it was tough to leave her in the hands of others so we both could get healthier.”
Familiar faces calmed mom’s fears as Alice spent three days in the Level II Nursery, recently re-certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“The nursery cares for babies 32 weeks and older who need a little extra ‘TLC,’” said Stephanie Ochs, BSN, manager, Family Maternity Services. “Babies in our nursery may need oxygen or antibiotics, heart monitoring or fluids but keeping them close to mom and family is best for all.”
White couldn’t agree more.
“It was best for me and Alice to stay in town with our family around for support,” White said.
The Level II Nursery provides specialty care often not available in rural communities.
“More than half of the counties in Illinois lack obstetrics services in the hospital setting,” said Gina Thomas, chief nursing officer. “This resource is of great benefit to patients and we hope moms know these resources are available right here.”
Despite a mom’s best efforts to plan, babies arrive all times of day and having Rick Lema, MD, medical director, Newborn Services, Carle Richland Memorial Hospital, available 24/7 helps meet a need.
“We want to keep moms close to home during this special time with their trusted teams,” he said. “Our staff throughout the hospital all work together to care for new babies. Everything from the Blood Bank to Lab to Pharmacy and Radiology need training and protocols to keep babies safe.”
Ochs said nursing staff there have higher skills and training. “Babies need the right size blood transfusions or medications and specialized equipment,” she said.
White said the staff was very knowledgeable and accommodating – guiding her through the first day or two of getting to know Alice while caring for herself too.
“There’s something so wonderful about seeing new life. You experience the awe and wonder of parents,” Ochs said. “Our highly trained nursing staff supports mom through the labor and birthing process.”
Now celebrating more milestones, Alice adores her daddy, the park, bubbles, baths, her kitties and Disney+.
“I’m grateful for the nurses and doctors,” White said, “They reassured us every step of the way and provided me with confidence to be take her home and watch her grow.”
Categories: Culture of Quality