Comfort and Support During “Traumatic” Delivery
I'm Amy Verhelst. I'm originally from Parkston, South Dakota. I went to SDSU here and that's where I met my husband. And I'm starting my second year at Sioux Valley Elementary as a kindergarten teacher.
Tell us about your new baby!
Cameron is eight weeks old. He's a little firecracker, our little bulldog. He's very sweet and energetic and every day he's doing something new and smiling more and giggling, and he looks just like his dad.
How did Dr. Sholes ease any fears related to delivering during COVID?
As a new mom and pregnant during a pandemic I had a list of questions and concerns and possible scenarios that I was playing, you know, worst case scenario in my head. But as soon as I would come to the clinic and start talking to the nurses and Dr. Sholes about my concerns, I was just at ease.
What was your biggest fear going into a Caesarean?
I've never had a big medical procedure done before and that was probably my biggest fear going into it. I mean, I haven't even broken a bone before. So for me, that was a whole new experience. But from start to finish, I wouldn't change anything now because I knew at the time and afterwards that was the best thing for my son and for me and the support that I got throughout, it made it all okay.
How did Dr. Sholes show compassion when deciding you needed a C-section?
It started to get very we need to go. This needs to happen, needs to happen now, this is what's going to happen. But even through the heightened stress of the urgency of the C-section, she stopped, she was patting my back, she was rubbing my back, she knew how hard of a decision that was for me. And she was very sympathetic. And even still, she said, "I'm gonna give you and Jon a minute to talk." And she left the room and gave us that time. That meant a lot to me because I needed to prepare myself for what was about to happen. It wasn't just, okay, let's go, we got to get this done, she made sure that I was ready for it.
How did the staff support you?
My husband and I cannot say enough good things about the nurses and everybody that we interacted with. They knew that this was a difficult decision for me. I mean, even the anesthesiologist who was part of our process when I got my epidural and then obviously getting ready for the C-section he held my hand in the elevator because Jon couldn't fit in the elevator with us. And he was only there for that short amount of time, but he was giving me all of his support and care as well. And the nurses, you know, calming me down, reminding me to breathe and that everything was going to be okay. And having them with me before and after the C-section made a world's difference. And it wasn't just a procedure to them in and out. They were there and making sure that I was supported and finding comfort during that very traumatic and scary time.
How did the team help you accept a Caesarean birth?
I definitely felt robbed and my husband, he knew that I wanted the baby immediately on me. So when I'm still on the operating table and he's standing over with our son and I haven't got to touch him yet, that was hard on him too. Yeah, that was very sad not getting to hold him right away, but maybe I didn't get it right at that time. But once all of the medication kind of was out of my system, I got to have that special moment with my son and everybody made sure that it was mommy and Cameron's time and it was still great. It was still amazing and I was better able to accept that with the support that I got from the staff and with Dr. Sholes and my husband being there.
How did the staff support and include your husband?
They did a really, really great job. When we were in the room obviously they gave Jon and I a chance to talk, and they explained everything to both of us. And then when he was in the OR they, you know, were coaching him through it too, like sit here, you know, help her, hold her hand. So just kind of keeping him calm too and reminding him of what his job was through that process and we both felt very supported throughout the whole process.
How was your postpartum recovery?
It's gone really well. Obviously the first couple weeks there with the C-section, it's a different kind of pain than you've never experienced and catches you off guard. But it was still incredible how fast you could heal from such a big procedure and having a cute little baby at home too really makes all the aches and pains go away when you're all snuggled up with your baby. C-section, it's tough on the body, but we're eight weeks out now and I can say I'm back to me, I'm back to normal. Dr. Sholes did a really great job with my incision and then my procedure and made sure that, you know, we got Cameron out and that he was safe, but that I was safe as well too and was back on to the road to recovery.
What did you appreciate most about your care?
We gained family members in a weekend, in two days. I felt like our nurse during the day was my cousin, one of my best gals, you know, best friends and very supportive. And we made connections with them and got to know them as well. And they were part of the whole traumatic experience. So every time they came in, we didn't have to start over. They were there for all of it. So we just got to keep moving forward and they were growing with us and helping us with each new step, every hour of Cameron's, you know, beginning of his life. And, you know, our night nurse, I felt like it was my aunt that was there and helping me and, you know, just the love that they had for our little boy and the love that they had for Jon and I, it just felt like family.
Are you one of Brookings Health System's grateful patients who would like to give back to us? Learn more about how you can give back at brookingshealth.org/mythanks.