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 St. Joseph Health.
Find out more about
Mission Hospital’s Maternity Center.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.