I have delivered all of my babies here at UVA only because of the comfort in knowing that there are capable hands to resuscitate my baby and a NICU if needed, not necessarily because of the labor and delivery experience. The vast majority of NICU employees who I have spoken with choose to deliver at a different hospital and most have told me that it is for the cushy, hotel-like atmosphere and experience.
When I was admitted for an induction of my fourth baby my nurses were Carrie Barker, and her orientee, Bekah Burrough. They both treated me like royalty as they tended to my medical needs. They seemed as if they could not do enough for me to keep me comfortable and happy. I have a bit of a loud family who was present, and I really appreciated that they gave me a code (to ask for lemonade) if I wanted them to send family away so I wouldn't have to be the bad guy.
I labored without any pain medication and Carrie was highly skilled in non-pharmacologic pain relief such as massaging my back and legs as the pain became worse. She showed me different positions to labor in and potential positions to birth in, which I didn't even know was an option here at UVA. She was highly engaged and dedicated to this process.
After I ruptured, I progressed extremely quickly and when I tried to get into bed from walking around, I told Carrie and Becca that the baby was coming now. I was leaning against the bed, but unable to pull myself up as I was grabbing onto the side rail with only the top half of me on the bed. It happened so fast, in a matter of seconds, but Carrie thought faster, cutting off my underwear with utility scissors and delivering my baby's head. I was sideways and hanging off the bed when I delivered, and my baby could have fallen the distance of the bed to the floor. Carrie's anticipation and reflexive actions may have prevented a severe head injury to my baby girl. The OB resident and attending came into the room when the baby was almost completely delivered. I so appreciate Carrie and Bekah for this phenomenal experience as our family welcomed one of our most precious gifts. I have shared this with others and now encourage my expecting friends to deliver at UVA not only for the NICU team but for the excellent nursing care in The Women's Place.
I am so grateful for nurses like Carrie and Bekah. They truly make the difference.