Labor of Love: A Dad’s Perspective on the Birthing Center at Silver Cross
It was 6:36 in the morning on Nov. 6 when we heard his very first cry. I looked at my wife, Jessica, and we both started crying, too. A few moments later, the screen from the cesarean section was moved slightly, and we got a glance at our firstborn, Ira (8 lbs. 3 oz., 20 inches long). As just about anyone who’s had a baby before knows, it was an overwhelming experience (and not just because he had a full head of very dark, black hair).
As amazing as that first cry was, it was also a long process getting there. Jessica’s water broke at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 5. For those doing the math quickly that’s nearly 21 hours of labor. So instead of going to church, we headed to Silver Cross. A bit of disclaimer, I work on the Silver Cross marketing team, so I get to hear and see a lot of the positive reviews patients leave about the care they receive from the nurses and physicians in the hospital’s Women and Infant Services Birthing Center. After our experience, it’s clear why everyone speaks so highly of them.
More than 2,700 babies were born at Silver Cross in 2017. When you have that many born over the course of the year, it might be easy to fall into a rhythm that doesn’t take into account how the parents are feeling at a certain moment. That was never the case with us. Everyone went above and beyond in their care for Jessica. From the volunteers to the nurses and OB/GYN Dr. Gamilah Pierre, they made Jessica and me aware of everything, every step of the way. First-time parents come with an extra dose of anxiety and stress, but every nurse who cared for Jessica during labor, and after delivery, were incredibly good at easing those worries.
Woodlyne, Jessica’s nurse for most of her labor and delivery, stood out to both of us. She came in around 7 p.m. after Jessica had been in labor for nearly 10 hours, no epidural, and without much progress being made. Despite the exhaustion Jessica was facing, Woodlyne managed to keep a light spirit. She made us both laugh, and kept us up to date on the entire process. She even made the bed for me the first night, which only took about a minute of her time, but it left an impression on me.
We were in the hospital for most of the week, until we were finally discharged on Thursday, Nov. 9. It’s a whirlwind of emotion and exhaustion. With family and friends coming to visit, the days seem to blend together. I can’t remember which day it was, but shortly after Ira was born, when the exhaustion was reaching its peak, I remember our nurse offering to take him to the nursery for a couple of hours to let us both get some much-needed rest. I’m sure she’s made this offer to new parents before, but the attention she gave us made a big impression.
It’s a good feeling when you can confidently tell people how great their experience will be when they come to your place of work. But, I think, it’s elevated when that place is a hospital. People come here expecting to be cared for. The little things are what end up sticking in your mind; like a nurse taking two minutes to make your bed, even though she had a million other things to do at that very moment. It truly makes the whole experience so much better when the people caring for you make it obvious that they love their job. And that was very obvious from everyone we met while at Silver Cross.