When she was pregnant with her second child, Andrea Corcoran of Olathe spent a lot of time planning: picking out baby names, preparing the nursery and talking through her birth plan with her husband and obstetrician. But no amount of planning prepared Andrea and her husband, Jack, for the month-early arrival of their baby, Nicholas.
"It was just a normal Monday at work, and my water broke," remembered Andrea, cradling her newborn son. "My co-worker drove me to Olathe Medical Center, where my husband was waiting for me."
When Andrea arrived at The Birth Place, things moved quickly. Her contractions kicked in and soon she was almost completely dilated. However, the baby was positioned feet first and at a slight angle, so Andrea’s obstetrician, Ana Luina Estrada, MD, decided the best option for mother and child was to perform an emergency Cesarean section. Although Andrea hadn’t planned on having anything other than a natural labor and delivery, caregivers at OMC were ready for every possible scenario.
"Within a matter of moments an army of nurses, techs, my anesthesiologists and doctor were surrounding me to get me prepped and ready," Andrea said. "Everybody was so organized, they knew exactly what to do, everyone had a job and was doing it efficiently."
Minutes later, their baby was born. When Andrea woke up from anesthesia, Jack told her that they had a son and that everything had gone well. Since he was a few weeks early, Nicholas was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), located within The Birth Place at OMC. The NICU features incubators, ventilators, and specialized monitoring equipment to care for sick and premature newborn infants, as well as full-term babies who need extra support. The NICU’s staff includes RNs specially trained in the care of high-risk infants, neonatal nurse practitioners and board-certified neonatologists.
“Our nurses answered all our questions, held our hands, supported us when we cried ... it was like having a best friend there in the hospital with us.”
“I was so excited when I finally got to see my baby in the NICU,” Andrea said. “He was facing the other direction, but when I said his name he immediately turned his head and looked at me. He definitely recognized my voice!”
The NICU nurses not only take care of the babies, they support parents and families too.
“Our nurses answered all our questions, held our hands, supported us when we cried ... it was like having a best friend there in the hospital with us,” Andrea said. “And they were so great when our daughter visited. They would joke around with her and bring her snacks. They took care of the whole family.”
“Going into this, I never thought I’d have a C-section,” Andrea said. “I wasn’t very up-to-speed on what it entailed. The nurses were great. They took the time to explain what was happening and gave me tips to help me heal.”
Lactation consultants were available throughout Andrea’s hospital stay, as well as after she went home. Since mothers of premature babies can
face additional challenges starting breastfeeding, lactation consultants can help them overcome fears and frustrations, and focus on techniques to make breastfeeding successful.
“Since our daughter was born at OMC, we knew The Birth Place would be an awesome experience for our son’s birth,” Andrea said. “The nursing staff makes such a difference. It’s all about the quality of care, and treating every patient as an individual and not a number.”