A Family Affair: Sibling shares in special birth of twins
April Thompson had a clear vision of the birth she wanted. Pregnant with twin girls, she wanted a natural delivery. And her 8-year-old daughter Taylor, who had waited a long time to have a baby sister or brother, wanted to be part of everything, including the delivery. April and Brandon looked into many hospitals and learned about all the things NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital does to help families have the births of their choice. Taylor took sibling classes at the hospital to prepare her for the birth. When the big day came, the second baby had turned breech. Thirty-three minutes went by between the birth of Addison and Kenley. In many hospitals that would mean an automatic C-section. Dr. Meedlen Charles and midwife Sue Schmidt hung in there. April was able to have a natural delivery. And Taylor was in the delivery room for the birth of the first baby.
Traveled from Maryland
Melissa and Russell did a lot of research before they decided on a place to have their baby. So when they found that NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital offered everything they were looking for so close to home, they were thrilled.
“It was a breath of fresh air coming here,’’ said Melissa, a social worker. “I was very excited to have my baby in an environment that allowed me to give birth the way I wanted. Everyone here was so supportive and so competent. It was an amazing team.’’
Melissa and Russell had chosen to have their baby with Dr. Laura Mieszerski and enlisted the help of labor doula Debbie Aglietti of the Northeast Doulas.
“The Hospital not only allowed doulas here, but really encouraged it and were so supportive of our birthing plan,’’ said Russell.
But when Melissa was five months pregnant, Russell, a federal government employee, was offered a job promotion in Washington, D.C.
“I visited a lot of OB practices and went on a lot of tours down there, but they all seemed so impersonal. They wanted you on an IV, no walking around in labor and birth plans…they were not big on birth plans. They really didn’t respect what I wanted,’’ said Melissa.
What Melissa and Russell did next really shocked family and friends. They decided to have the baby at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital anyway. “My family said ‘what’s the big deal? Just have the baby down there,’’ said Melissa. “But it was really important to me to get it right. This is once in a lifetime.”
Melissa returned to Cortlandt Manor once a month for pre-natal appointments and gave birth to a healthy, 7 lb-8oz Xavier Cornell in December.
“It was really the perfect birth,’’ she said. “I’m really happy that I stayed true to our vision.’’
The NICU: Ready when needed
Gina Tesla never expected to need a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. But when her twin babies were born prematurely at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital, she quickly learned why a highly professional and supportive NICU is so important.
“The NICU staff was excellent. They made a difficult situation better and provided my family with exceptional care. They did whatever they could to allow us to spend more bonding time with our babies, which I think really aided the twins’ development.”
As twins Hudson and Liv Tesla grew stronger, staff prepared their parents to take over their care by providing continuous support and education.
“The nurses went out of their way to educate my husband and me. It was obvious they really cared about their patients.”
Bonding time following C-sections
Megan Shea was drawn to Hudson Valley because she’d heard it was the best place to give birth naturally and that her doula would be welcome. When it became apparent that she’d deliver by C-section, Megan feared that she’d miss out on “skin-to-skin” bonding time after birth – which research suggests carries important benefits for mother and baby.
She needn’t have worried. Baby Owen was kept in the operating room to snuggle and bond - an experience not all hospitals allow.
“I was kissing him, and then they put him on my breast… I was just really happy that I was able to be with him.”
The new mother also appreciated the OR’s warm environment.
“There was a really beautiful mural with clouds… It was a great experience to be in the room.”
Ten Children at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital
Doreen Sheridan is such a fan of NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital that she gave birth to all 10 of her children at the Hospital.
Doreen, who was also born at the hospital, lives in LaGrangeville with her husband Brian, but grew up in nearby Buchanan.
“I’ve had wonderful experiences with all my children at Hudson Valley Hospital,’’ she said after giving birth to 6 pound 14-ounce Sara Cynthia on August 26, 2010. “The staff here is very caring and competent and the atmosphere is very comfortable. I would not have thought of having Sara anywhere else.’’