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Former Labor and Delivery Nurse Recognized Following Delivery of Patient’s Twin Son in a Methodist BathroomPublished: Sept. 9, 2021
June 23 looked to be just another day in the office for former labor and delivery nurse Alicia McWilliams, BSN, RN. Now a perinatology nurse at the Methodist Hospital Perinatal Center, McWilliams enjoys the connections she’s able to make with patients but admits that she misses the often fast-paced thrill of labor and delivery.
She had no idea she was about to experience the best of both worlds that Wednesday morning during a routine appointment for Amy File, who was 30 weeks pregnant with identical twin boys.
“It All Happened So Fast”
“That morning, I was feeling a lot of pressure. Pressure that was different,” Amy said. “But my appointment was at 9:45 a.m., so I had just planned on bringing it up then.”
“She mentioned she was having pressure,” McWilliams said. “But she wasn’t in any pain, and she was talkative. So, the ultrasound sonographer went in, and about 10 minutes later, she came out to tell me, ‘Your patient’s in there crying.’ I thought, ‘What? Why?!’”
“The pain just kind of came out of nowhere,” Amy said. “I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I didn’t think I was going into labor at 30 weeks.”
“As I ran toward the room, I knew I had heard that kind of crying before,” McWilliams said. “So, without really thinking, I grabbed some gloves, walked in and asked if she could get on the bed so I could see what was going on. She was definitely in a different state of being at that point.”
Amy, who was in the bathroom of her exam room, was unable to move toward the bed.
“I looked down, and I saw it,” McWilliams said of Amy’s amniotic sack. “I told her, ‘You know what? The baby’s coming. So, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to breathe through this. I need you to focus on your breathing right now.’”
Amy then experienced an intense contraction, and that’s when her water broke. McWilliams caught Baby A before maternal-fetal medicine specialist Todd Lovgren, MD, took over and swiftly directed Amy’s transfer to Methodist Women’s Hospital for the delivery of Baby B.
“It all happened so fast,” Amy said. “They put me in a wheelchair and rushed me over to the hospital as they rushed my baby to the NICU. Thank goodness I was right there, because if this would have happened at home, I can’t – my mind won’t even go there.”
Amy’s OB/GYN, Aimee Probasco, MD, who was seeing patients at Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center, rushed over to the hospital to perform an emergency cesarean section. Baby B’s umbilical cord was prolapsed, which is an uncommon, potentially fatal obstetric emergency.
But thanks to the skilled readiness of Amy’s entire care team, her twin boys – Ethan and Max – who were born 27 minutes apart at over three pounds each, are now healthy and thriving. They spent seven weeks in the Methodist Women’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“It was so enjoyable to be part of because the outcome was so good,” McWilliams said.
Amy feels blessed that she was in the right place and surrounded by the right people during such a traumatic time. She said she never once felt judged for her lack of labor awareness, and she credits her care team – especially McWilliams – for helping her overcome her insecurities.
“For a while, I wondered if there was something obvious I missed that was telling me labor was imminent,” Amy said. “And looking back, it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, yeah, that was probably a sign, and this was probably a sign, too.’ But eventually, I just had to get past all that. The twins came when they came, and everyone is healthy. It happened how it was meant to, I guess.”
“Everyone is so different,” McWilliams added. “And with everything happening so fast, I’m not sure she had time to know.”
For the kindness, calmness, understanding and compassion that McWilliams showed, Amy recently nominated her for The DAISY Award – a national honor that recognizes the extraordinary care of nurses.
“I knew I was in good hands,” Amy said. “The whole time. She reassured me of that. This isn’t how I had planned for it to go. But we all got excellent care, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
“To have these patients feel gratitude for something we did – even in a scary time – is super important,” McWilliams said. “And I think that’s what The Meaning of Care is all about – listening to them, providing them physical comfort and even emotional comfort, too. Validating that what they’re going through may be scary, but that we’ll get through it together.”