“Your baby’s going to come however your baby is going to come, and Northfield Hospital will be ready for whatever that is.”
Erin and Casey Bailey know that babies come with surprises.
Their first child, Carter, came three days early and was born so quickly that Erin didn’t even have time for the epidural she had planned.
With their second baby – an easy pregnancy and smooth start to labor – Erin and Casey were confident they knew what to expect.
When Erin’s water broke, they came to the Birth Center around 2:00 a.m. “I was so excited,” Erin says. Around 11:00 a.m., it was time to start pushing. “I told Casey, ‘We’ll have this baby by noon,’” Erin recalls.
But the baby’s heart rate dropped with every push. “You could hear it on the heart monitor,” Casey says. OB/GYN Dana Olson, MD was concerned; she reviewed the monitor data, consulted with the birth team, then told Erin and Casey, “I recommend a C-section.”
Dr. Olson explained each step of the emergency cesarean section: They’d take Erin into the operating room and prep her for surgery; Casey would come in, Dr. Olson would deliver the baby, and Casey and baby would return to the Birth Center while Dr. Olson stitched Erin up. Thirty minutes, in all.
“Dr. Olson was really clear and very direct, which I like,” Casey says. “She took that extra 30 seconds to explain why, and what to expect. It was obviously an urgent situation, but she took the time to make me more comfortable as the dad, who never considered a C-section.”
“If it’s urgent and you don’t explain it, that causes more panic,” Erin adds. “Dr. Olson was great about being very matter of fact: ‘This is how it’s going to work.’”
And then it didn’t.
Because Erin had been pushing, the baby was lower in the birth canal, making the C-section more challenging. Due to the position of the baby, the normal incision on the uterus extended during the delivery, requiring extra time to repair.
“No one was panicked,” Casey says. “The baby was out, crying and healthy. But I could tell there was more to do. I could tell it was something unexpected, but I didn’t panic because Dr. Olson had it under control. We had two OBs and a pediatrician and six or seven nurses in there – it was all-hands-on-deck. Everyone felt under control the whole time. I was confident Erin was getting the best care.”
Casey and the baby were brought back to the Birth Center. “That’s when I got nervous,” he says. “It’s unnerving to leave your wife like that when the situation is obviously not what they are expecting. I have this newborn little boy and a two-year-old little boy, maybe by myself if this doesn’t go well for Erin. I’m sitting there a little terrified, trying not to ask too many questions because it creates extra work for them.”
Nurse Amanda Edwards, RN stayed with Casey and little Davis. Surgical nurse Else Larson, RN is Casey and Erin’s neighbor. Before surgery, Casey asked Dr. Olson if Else would be there. Now, Else was part of the team updating Casey every 10-15 minutes on Erin’s condition.
“They made sure that Else checked in on Casey a lot,” Erin says. “Somebody paid attention when we said we knew her; they knew we’d have an extra level of comfort if she was part of this.”
They felt a rapport with the Birth Center nurses, too. “They did such a good job building a relationship with us in a compressed amount of time that we had the confidence and comfort we needed in a scary situation,” Erin says. “I will always remember the nurses who delivered my children, because of the comfort they made me feel, and the atmosphere they created.”
Erin’s surgery took two hours.
“I wasn’t ever scared,” Erin says. “I didn’t feel scared going into the c-section, and when it didn’t quite go right I still wasn’t scared because I had confidence in the people taking care of me . . . and I had confidence they’d take care of Casey and Davis, too.”
“There isn’t any other hospital I’d rather be than here,” Casey says. “At that moment, I wouldn’t have felt more comfortable or confident – or gotten better care for my family – at any world-renowned hospital. It’s comfort from the community, and knowing that you are in expert hands.”
“I’ve had two very different experiences in the same hospital – both with unexpected twists – and felt like I’ve had the best care,” Erin says. “Your baby’s going to come however your baby is going to come, and Northfield Hospital will be ready for whatever that is.”
Learn more about Women's Health and the Birth Center.