Autumn Bair knows the happiness and joy that patients experience in the Family Birthing Center at Valley View Hospital — as a nurse there she’s spent a lot of time keeping soon-to-be mothers comfortable, and witnessing births of all kinds. But it wasn’t until she experienced giving birth to her sons at the center that she fully appreciated the atmosphere and skills available at the entire hospital as a whole.
Autumn’s first son was born via an unexpected C-section, and then during her second son’s scheduled C-section, Autumn had a bad reaction from an antibiotic administered to her just before the birth. As a healthy young woman who had not been given many medicines over the course of her lifetime, Autumn was unaware that she would have an anaphylactic reaction to the antibiotic, so what would have been a routine C-section became a much faster procedure as her son was delivered quickly and she was rushed to the intensive care unit, upstairs.
“When you are a new mom, right after you deliver your focus is on your baby. But for me since I wasn’t able to take care of him right away, it was difficult,” Autumn says. “It would have been easy for the hospital just to keep my baby in the newborn nursery until I was better, but they made it their primary focus to have someone specially come up to the ICU with me to sit with my son so we could be together. The initial time with my son that was so important to me was equally important to them, and they stayed with me until I left the ICU and came back downstairs.”
Autumn and her husband are now excited to be expecting a third child — a daughter — to their family, and look forward to welcoming her in the Family Birthing Center.
“Most people don’t come to a hospital anticipating it to be a wonderful experience — you’re coming to the hospital generally because you have to,” she says. “Even with childbirth and the excitement of anticipating the baby, I was anxious and I feel like the care I received from my physician and the nursing staff made me so comfortable. I haven’t had a perfect delivery, but I don’t have to be afraid, because I feel like part of the family here. I feel well-taken care of each time, and can focus on the excitement of a new baby.”
Being a hospital patient can make anyone feel vulnerable, Autumn says, but in the past few years she has come to understand Valley View’s strengths as a cohesive team of medical professionals who truly care about the community they treat.
“This doesn’t seem like just a job — the hospital staff wants good things for you and your family, and they’re looking out for you,” she says. “You can feel that comfort when you’re in here, and you don’t have to feel like it’s a foreign place. Ultimately, that’s made every difference in the world to me.”