Midwife Services Serve Somers Family Well
When Amy Somers and her husband learned that they were expecting their second child, they didn’t immediately contact family members. Instead, the first call they made was to Certified Nurse-Midwife Adrienne Jones. Amy had used the midwife’s services with the birth of the couple’s first child, son Alex, but the connection they felt with Jones went far deeper than the birthing experience alone.
“My entire life I had been told by clinicians that I would never have a vaginal delivery due to issues with my hips,” said Amy. “When I told Adrienne about this, she said she believed that I could do it. After Adrienne finished midwifery school, she went to work at a birth center and around that time I became pregnant with our first child. I immediately switched my care over to her and she delivered Alex at the birth center. My husband will tell you to this day that she was the reason I was successful at delivering our son. Because of her support and love, she will always be my first choice for a midwife/provider.”
Preparing for Baby Number Two
Amy was ready to meet again with Jones and the midwife’s physician backup, long-time obstetrician Dr. Eugene Hunt who is a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, in preparation for the birth of her daughter. Jones had since begun working as the first Certified Nurse-Midwife in the Midwifery & Family Wellness program at Texas Health Dallas. Amy had a specific wish list that she wanted to pass along for the upcoming birth, including her desire for an early discharge if there were no complications during the delivery. She wanted her husband to catch the baby, as he had done with the couple’s first child. She also wanted to labor with just her husband and Jones. And last on her wish list was the desire for an unmedicated vaginal birth.
“Adrienne listened to all of my wishes and said ‘we will make what you want happen,’” she said. “Dr. Hunt was supportive of what I wanted as well. I was assured that if any complications arose I would be in good hands in a place that was equipped to handle them. Adrienne knew the experience we had had at the birth center and she was going to do her best to give me a good birthing experience in the hospital. What I love most about midwife care is that you feel like giving birth is a natural process rather than a medical procedure.”
“Throughout the pregnancy, Adrienne was always there for me much like a family member. I was able to talk to her when I wasn’t feeling well and she called in the medication that I needed. She taught me different stretches to help prepare my pelvis for delivery. She gave us a personal tour of the hospital’s L&D and answered all our questions. We also talked about me wanting to have a water birth, and she helped set that up,” Amy added.
When delivery day came, Jones was there on one side of Amy and her husband was on the other as she got situated in her room at Texas Health Dallas. Amy’s birthing tub was still being prepared by L&D staff members when baby Logan arrived after just three pushes. Although the water birth didn’t happen, Amy welcomed the rather uneventful delivery.
Beyond the Birth Experience
Because midwives are trained to do newborn assessments, Jones was on hand to provide Logan’s first check up and support Amy through her postpartum care as well. She remained with the Somers family throughout their stay in the hospital, which only ended up being about six hours. Jones and the hospital staff were able to honor Amy’s request for an early discharge for her and Logan because of their good health ¾ making it the first such discharge for Texas Health Dallas. And, the midwife support didn’t end there.
Once home, Amy received follow-up calls and text messages from Jones to see how her general recovery and breastfeeding were going. Jones also facilitated Logan’s newborn hearing screening with an audiologist.
“Midwife care doesn’t end with the birth,” Amy said. “They will always answer any questions or concerns you have, even after being discharged. They are there for you a week, a month and even a year later. There is no calling an office and having to talk to someone who may or may not be personally familiar with the situation. You never feel like you are just another patient.”
Collaborative Care at Its Best
As for her decision to request an early discharge, Amy admits that it may not be for everyone but she was thankful for the cooperation her family received.
“This was exactly what I wanted. We were discharged six hours after delivering our first child from the birth center and I wanted the same. I had a 21-month-old at home who also needed his mom, so staying was not an option for me. We love early discharge, and bonding at home is much more beneficial for the family. I am grateful that Adrienne and Texas Health Dallas understood what I wanted and made sure that we were discharged as quickly as possible.”
To learn more about the Midwifery & Family Wellness program at Texas Health Dallas and Women’s Services available through Texas Health Resources, visit texashealth.org/midwife