Jennifer Thomas' Story
I was a NICU nurse at GBMC for 10 years. During that time I became pregnant with my first daughter, Madison. I found out at 20 weeks that she had a life-threatening birth defect – a congenital diaphragmatic hernia – and would need to be delivered at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). I delivered her at 39 weeks via emergency C-section. It was 20 days before I held her for the first time. She was spent 55 days in the NICU and I was readmitted one week postpartum with C-section complications.
At two years old, Maddi was doing well and my husband and I got up enough courage to try for a second baby. I knew I didn't want another C-section, and I wanted a chance to hold my baby the moment he or she was born. After much discussion with the labor and delivery nurses, I choose a GBMC doctor. She thought I would be a great candidate for a v-back delivery (vaginal birth after C-section). I loved the idea of no C-section. She was great at easing my pregnancy anxiety and knew how much a vaginal delivery and holding the baby after birth were important to me.
The night before my due date I was anxious and upset. My doctor called me at home and talked me through it. I went into labor in the car on my way to GBMC the next day. I was so excited, having never been in labor before. The staff members at GBMC’s labor and delivery department were amazing, and my healthy, happy baby girl Olivia was born at 11pm that night. The doctor handed her right to me as I cried tears of pure happiness.
The next morning the photographer took amazing pictures of big sister Maddi and Olivia together, another thing I missed out on the first time around. After two nights we were all home together – no NICU this time and no complications. I could not have been happier. Maddi just turned six and Olivia will be four in the fall.