Seven Special Deliveries
OSF HealthCare Mission Partners Give Extra Thanks This Season
Working in healthcare was no easy undertaking in 2020. But in the heart of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a silver lining for seven Mission Partners (employees) who work in the Family Birthing Center of OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.
All seven welcomed little bundles of joy into their own world last year. Four registered nurses, two technicians and one OB/GYN physician gave birth in 2020. One was a male nurse who welcomed his own child, when his wife gave birth during the same time period. The five girls and two boys arrived between February and July, 2020.
Genevieve Stoner, the unit nurse manager, has worked in obstetrics for 25 years. She says the experience brought her team together in a special way.
“This has been wonderful,” she says. “We’ve really enjoyed being able to bond as a unit. We were all able to share in the labor and delivery experience and go through the pregnancies together. I think the most important thing about being all together was because of the pandemic. A lot of our staff were isolated from their families; they weren’t letting grandparents come over so we’re already a close family but we became even closer.”
Registered nurse Leslie Lettieri was the first to give birth when she delivered Valerie on February 12, 2020. Two days later, on Valentine’s Day, Angela Sinople, an OB technician, welcomed daughter Isabella. In March, nurse Oliver Hammond’s wife, Kim, gave birth to son Cole, followed by technician Dakota Sandall, who greeted her daughter, Raelynn, two days later.
Nurse Alex Hamm delivered her daughter, Brielle in June, and Maggie Broze delivered daughter Adelyn in early July. Dr. Teona Cozianu-Cotan, an OB/GYN physician, was the last to deliver, when she gave birth to son Luca on July 25.
There was plenty of teamwork throughout the journey. Broze helped deliver Sinople’s daughter, five months before giving birth to her own daughter. And Dr. Cozianu-Cotan delivered Hamm’s baby nearly a month before it was her turn to deliver.
It turned out that Hamm needed the steady hand of her friend, Dr. Cozianu-Cotan, the most. During her delivery, Hamm experienced dystocia – a serious situation when one of the baby’s shoulders is trapped beneath the mother’s pelvic bone. To make matters worse, Hamm says her baby – Brielle – wasn’t breathing. Fortunately, Dr. Cozianu-Cotan was up for the task.
“It’s is a very special bond that was created between the two of us," says Dr. Cozianu-Cotan. "I felt very honored that she trusted me to deliver her baby and that they’re both okay in the end. It’s a good outcome. But it was very stressful. It added another layer of stress for me that I was delivering someone I knew and I wanted to make sure everything is going to end up well for them.”
“It was a layer of comfort knowing the skill level and being so comfortable with everyone," adds Hamm. "‘That is my co-worker. That is my friend’s baby.’ This has one ending and it’s a beautiful ending.”
The staff leaned on each other during an exciting yet stressful year. The celebrated with three baby showers. They swapped stories and baby clothes, and shared tears and laughs along the way. Now they look forward to see what the future holds for their children.
“I’m curious to see how they’re going to grow, and I’m hoping we’re going to keep in touch and they’re going to be friends," says Dr. Cozianu-Cotan. "Who knows what life is going to bring them? They chose to be born in a difficult year for all of us, but I think this is going to make them strong adults, hopefully.”