Misha Reed of Fayetteville, Arkansas had no idea she would end up delivering her first child in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Peggy V. Helmerich Women’s Health Center in April of 2018.
Misha was 36 weeks pregnant when she was transferred to Hillcrest Medical Center with severe pre-eclampsia. Throughout her pregnancy, Misha experienced high blood pressure and saw her doctor repeatedly for this, which would generally result in her being sent home.
During one of Misha’s prenatal visits, she was surprised to find out that her doctor would be rushing her to Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa. What was planned as a brief doctor’s visit followed by lunch with her sister-in-law, turned into an urgent call to her husband to let him know she was being transferred.
Misha recalls the nerves she felt as she hung up the phone, sharing “My husband is the calm one, I’m not! It was a super scary experience because he couldn’t ride in the ambulance with me and it was my first time in an ambulance, much less being alone, so I was really scared.”
When Misha arrived at Hillcrest Medical Center, she was so impressed by her nurse, Summer, that she didn’t want shift change to happen because she was afraid she wouldn’t have another nurse that was as caring and attentive as Summer was. “When Summer’s shift was over, I was thinking ‘Well it can’t get any better than her!’ But to be honest, every nurse was great and it just got better as time went on,” Misha added. Misha also notes that there was a point where she realized her son wasn’t going to have the picture-perfect birth she had dreamed up. She shares that coming to this realization made her very emotional, because she had been anticipating the moment when her son would lay on her chest for the very first time. “When I realized this, I started crying because I realized he was probably going to be sent to the NICU. Dr. Simon was really great and tried not to scare us in the beginning when he came in to talk to us, but I got really upset and started crying.”
Genuinely touched by her nurses and their willingness to help her, Misha noted that one of her nurses made arrangements for Misha to see her son in the NICU before going to the postpartum floor. Misha said “The next nurse that came in had known me for all of two seconds and made sure that I was able to see Thatcher before I headed off to postpartum. She was just so amazing with making sure I got to go through and I just really felt like the nurses really truly cared, this wasn’t just a job to them.”
While the labor and delivery nurses impressed Misha, she says the nurses in the NICU were just as great with her son, Thatcher. “In the NICU, we were just blown away by the nurses. They were so diligent with all of their testing to make sure he was safe to come home. They did car seat tests, and the last night before we left, we got to stay with him to make sure we knew what to do if anything happened,” Misha added “I remember when Thatcher choked while he was feeding and he started coughing and his heart rate was all over the place and the nurses came in right away. I was really nervous thinking about going home and having something happen, but they were really reassuring and made me feel as prepared as you can feel as a parent to go home.”
Sharing about being a first-time mother, Misha says she loves watching Thatcher grow and develop. “It’s been really exciting watching him learn everything for the first time, watching his face when that happens is such a fun feeling. As an adult, you don’t really think that, at one time, you had to watch and learn everything for the first time. The first time he laughed was really special too, and he has the cutest little sense of humor. We’re very lighthearted and sarcastic people, so I just love watching that and seeing him play all of the time,” Misha shared.
After reflecting on this experience, Misha concludes, “At the time, I was beating myself up, thinking maybe developing pre-eclampsia was due to making bad choices for my health or eating something that I shouldn’t have, but I learned that pre-eclampsia can happen to anyone and it was not ever anything that was in my control.” Offering some advice to first time moms, Misha says, “Take all of the help anybody offers – whether your child is one month old or one year old!”
Laughing, Misha concludes “We live here in Fayetteville, so it would be easier to have a kid here, but if we have another one, I said ‘maybe we should drive up there because I know what the experience is going to be like!’”