Loren Walz remembers the day she “checked in” to the Women’s Pavilion at Memorial Hospital Central: Nov. 6, 2015. She was pregnant with monoamniotic twins – the rarest of twins – and would need constant monitoring until their birth.
Naturally, she was worried — worried about the pregnancy, worried she wouldn’t be able to see her husband and her toddler son as much, worried about being lonely.
But Memorial nurses and doctors eased her concerns – introducing Walz to other mothers who also were in the Women’s Pavilion for long-term stays and going the extra mile to make her feel at ease.
Now she considers the medical staff friends, and recently Walz and other moms held a thank-you party for the staff of Women’s Pavilion and Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Several nurses from the Women’s Pavilion attended the party, including Roxie Maul and Winona Bjork.
“It is so rewarding to get to see these babies. We spend so many hours watching them on the monitors, and to see them in person is so rewarding,’’ Maul said. “You really get to visit and get to know these ladies while they are with you.’’
During their stay in the hospital, nurses are trying to give the babies as much time as possible in the womb. With each day on bed rest, the babies have a better chance for healthy beginnings.
“They become really special to us,’’ Bjork said.
Walz said it was important to take time to thank the nurses and the doctors for their kindness during the long stay in the hospital.
“Dr. [Amie] Hollard, from the very beginning, always made me feel cared about. When she did rounds she plopped down in a chair in my room and talked to me about more than just my pregnancy. She cares about my emotional well-being,” Walz said.
Dr. Hollard said she is grateful to see the moms again, and their children.
“There are no words,’’ Dr. Hollard said. “These moms are such a big part of our lives, and we don’t often get to see the babies after they leave. This is a joyful and happy … occasion.’’
Hollard also orchestrated introductions between Walz and other moms-to-be.
“I expect we’ll keep in touch for years to come,” Walz said of Hollard. “The nurses are all spectacular in the Women’s Pavilion.”
Walz and the other moms recounted numerous times how the staff did something special, from orchestrating a Christmas party to helping them play a prank on a new nurse to bringing in donuts. Walz said the staff even turned one room into a mini cinema “so all of us could escape our own rooms and watch a movie together.”
“These ladies went above and beyond to care for me not only as a patient, but also as a person,” Walz said.
After nearly two months in the Women’s Pavilion, Walz gave birth Jan 2. to sons Trygve and Ragnar. Then came several weeks in the NICU – her due date was Feb. 28 – but both boys are now home with their parents and big brother.
Monoamniotc twins share a placenta and an amniotic sac – a circumstance that occurs in just 1 percent of twins. The risk of complications are high, given that cord entanglement can block blood flow form the placenta to the fetus.
Walz said it was a special moment when she was able to reunite with the staff during the party May 18 and show them the twins.
“Though I have been through the hospital a few times and always stop in to say hi, it’s different to have a time to celebrate with them and appreciate them [during a time] that isn’t interrupting work.”