Photo: Stevie Cruz Photography
As a first-time mom, you really don’t know what to expect when it comes time for delivery, no matter how many birthing classes you take in advance or how much advice you get from friends and family. That was especially true for me because my baby was more than a week late, so my labor had to be induced—not something I had planned. I will never forget the terrifying drive to the hospital and not knowing what the next hours and days would bring. But from the moment I stepped into the maternity department at Mission Hospital, I knew I was in good hands.
Immediately, my nurse met me in the hall and welcomed me with a huge smile. She took the time to answer all my questions, and I had a lot of them—everything from why I needed a catheter to how to read and understand all the information displayed on the monitor next to my bed. She walked me through everything we were doing, as we were doing it and why. She explained what to expect when the anesthesiologist administered the epidural, and why we were adjusting the Pitocin levels. She was even patient when she helped me go to the bathroom every five minutes, which we had to navigate with the IV that was hooked up to me.
My labor was not easy—it took almost 20 hours. My doctors were concerned about my baby’s heart rate. What made it easier was during that time I had the pleasure of interacting with two different labor and delivery nurses, both of whom were friendly, knowledgeable, patient and incredibly competent. The nurse who was there for the delivery was a huge advocate for me. I wanted to avoid a cesarean section birth, and along with my husband, she helped coach and encourage me. She believed I could do it, which helped give me the confidence I needed to succeed.
That positive experience during labor and delivery continued when I was transferred to recovery. The aftermath of delivery was a vulnerable time for me. My body was exhausted and didn’t quite feel like mine. I was adjusting to breastfeeding. But I knew that I had the resources and support I needed. From comfortable, private rooms to outstanding nurses and staff, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience.
What made my birth experience at Mission Hospital even more valuable was that I never felt like I was just one of many women there giving birth that day. Everyone on staff was so attentive and responsive, I felt like they were there just for me, my baby Jack and my family. Now, I’m only a few weeks away from giving birth to my second child. I feel so comforted in knowing that I’ll be in excellent hands as I deliver a baby brother for Jack.
I can’t imagine giving birth anywhere else.
Lissa Stillwagon is a senior communications and organizational change consultant for Providence St. Joseph Health.
Find out more about Mission Hospital’s Birth Center.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.