An Unexpected Arrival Made Better by a Caring Team

HYANNIS – Brian and Courtney Kelly of Bourne thought April 30, 2016 was going to be like any other day, and were following their usual routine and getting ready for work. Their first child was due in May and preparations for the baby’s arrival were almost complete.

Courtney was looking for a new job as a pharmacist and waiting to hear back about a position she had applied for in the public pharmacy at Cape Cod Hospital.

The day changed rapidly when she unexpectedly went into labor, and by 8:30 a.m., she was headed to Falmouth Hospital.

“When we arrived at the emergency room, a nurse offered me a wheelchair but I said no, I could walk to the maternity floor,” said Courtney. “Boy was I wrong, that was the longest walk of my life!”

Things moved along as her labor progressed quickly and all of a sudden they were faced with the baby’s heart rate dropping. Courtney needed an emergency Cesarean section to deliver the baby.

“It was chaotic for a few minutes and there was no time for me to think,” said Courtney.

All turned out well and by noon their daughter, Claire, was born.

The couple had not expected the personal care and attention to detail they received during their stay at the hospital after Claire’s delivery.

Courtney wrote a letter to thank the staff and talk about her positive and reassuring experience. She especially noted Nancy Ghossein, RN; Jessica Austin, RN; Jennifer Fisher, RN; Suzan Scharr RNC, IBCLC, clinical coordinator of maternity services and Lori Ruggieri, RNC, IBCLC.

She still gets teary-eyed when she thinks about the experience.

“I wrote it (the letter) because I’m in healthcare and I know what it’s like to be appreciated when you do your day-to-day job and someone lets you know how much they value what you do for them,” she said. “The whole experience was just amazing from the moment we arrived. Every person we interacted with was so nice to us.”

Before she delivered, Courtney had been undecided about breast feeding, but with the support she received, it changed her mind.

“I got so much support from the nurses and they made it seamless to go home and continue breastfeeding,” she said.

Scharr and Ruggieri are both lactation specialists at Falmouth Hospital. They provide teaching and support to moms throughout their breastfeeding experience.

After moms and babies are discharged, the support continues through clinic hours that provide one-on-one meetings with moms as well as support groups. They also weigh the babies, discuss how feedings are going, help solve problems and update the baby’s progress with their pediatrician as needed.

“It has really made a difference in providing those extra couple of steps after the moms go home,” said Ruggeiri. “Everything can go great in the hospital but when they get home, that all can change.”

Claire is growing by leaps and bounds. At nine months, she babbles and is beginning to crawl a bit. Courtney was offered the pharmacist’s position at Cape Cod Hospital the day after she delivered and accepted it.

And Brian decided to be a full time stay-at-home dad.

“He loves being at home with Claire,” said Courtney.

At the end of her letter, Courtney wrote, “thank you again for making the birth of our first daughter an amazing experience we will never forget. We will be forever grateful to all of those we met at Falmouth Hospital and look forward to coming back for the birth of our next child!”

By ROBERTA CANNON, Cape Cod Health News

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