How Expert and Compassionate Midwifery Care Led to an Ideal Birth and a Healthy Baby Girl

Ginger and Hayden Griffith are posing and holding their baby, Emerson.In late 2022, Ginger and Hayden Griffiths were overjoyed upon learning they were expecting their first child. In the middle of her third trimester, however, Ginger faced a concerning setback: she learned that the OB-GYN she had been seeing—as well as the hospital where she planned to deliver—were not covered by her insurance, risking a hefty out-of-network bill for the birth.

In search of a solution, Ginger reached out to a practice manager she knew at CHRISTUS Children’s, who recommended she contact Jana Sullivan, MSN, CNM, a certified nurse midwife.

Jana is the director of Midwifery Services at CHRISTUS Children’s and leads the Center for Midwifery and Women's Health. Comprised of hospital-based certified nurse midwives who collaborate with obstetricians and a wide network of maternal-fetal specialists, the center provides comprehensive care to women at all stages of life, from adolescence through menopause, as well as through pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

As Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, we go beyond traditional care boundaries, offering holistic support that addresses both the medical and emotional facets of a woman's health journey, said Jana. Our approach melds traditional midwifery with the ability to prescribe medication, assist in surgeries, and collaborate with OB-GYNs. This unique combination enables us to deliver exceptional care, even to high-risk patients.

First Impression

Already 32 weeks into her pregnancy, Ginger, a nurse with some but limited knowledge of midwifery, arranged her first meeting with Jana. She recalled being immediately impressed by both Jana’s expertise and her bedside manner.

I remember thinking how nice and personable she was, and I was impressed by how much she genuinely cared about my time and how I felt,” Ginger said. “I never felt like just another patient or a paycheck. I walked out of the appointment and told my husband that I couldn’t imagine having anyone else deliver our baby.

Ginger initially wanted a natural labor but as she neared her due date, she began considering induction. Jana respected her initial desire, ensuring Ginger was certain about her decision to induce before proceeding.

I really appreciated her honesty, Ginger said. She allowed me to make my own choices but made sure they were indeed what I wanted.

Birthing Day

By that time, Ginger was certain she was ready to be induced, so Jana arranged everything with the hospital, and the Griffiths arrived at CHRISTUS Children’s around 5 a.m. on June 15, 2023.

We filled out the paperwork and I was admitted and started on Pitocin, Ginger recalled. Then Jana came in and she broke my water. She was so attentive, ensuring my request to get an epidural as late as possible was honored, and she even switched me to a Bluetooth monitor so that I could walk around, Ginger recalled.

A Calming Presence

Throughout the day, Jana checked on Ginger regularly, monitoring her progression. When Ginger finally received her epidural, however, she began panicking due to the strange sensation of not feeling her lower body.

My anxiety escalated, and I began passing out, Ginger said. Jana administered medicine to calm me down, and she reassured me, ensuring that I was still comfortable with the process. Her presence was incredibly soothing.

Complications

Jana stayed close by, planning to deliver the baby sometime that night. However, complications arose when the baby's heart rate dropped during contractions. Eager to avoid a C-section, Ginger relied on Jana, who worked closely with the nurses to employ every possible intervention for the baby's well-being.

Jana was more than just a provider; she performed tasks typically done by a nurse, like helping me change positions, massaging my hips, and caring for me in every possible way, Ginger said. It was the best experience of my life. Without Jana’s patience, I’m certain I would have had a C-section.

For at least three hours, Jana remained with Ginger, her husband Hayden, and Ginger’s mother, discussing next steps and engaging in normal conversation.

I’ve never known anyone else to have a provider stay with them for three hours during labor, Ginger said. It was extraordinary.

Finally, in the early hours of June 16, 2023, Emerson Griffiths was born, weighing a healthy 7 lbs. 13 oz.

Jana talked me through everything, and had my husband cut the umbilical cord, Ginger said.

Certified Nurse Midwife Jana Sullivan, MSN is holding baby Emerson, who she helped deliver.

Recovery

After the birth, when Ginger was moved to the postpartum floor, Jana continued her dedicated care, visiting twice daily to check on Ginger's recovery.

Even though I was her patient and Emerson was under the pediatrician's care, Jana still made it a point to check on her, Ginger said. She inquired about her latching and showed deep care for everyone in the room, not just me. I truly appreciated that.

Today, the Griffiths family is thriving. Emerson is growing and developing well, and Ginger maintains a close relationship with Jana, expressing deep gratitude for the exceptional care she received.

Looking back, I can't imagine it going any other way, Ginger said. Jana was an incredible provider, and I am so thankful for her expertise during my baby's birth. Her guidance and care made all the difference in our experience.

Learn more about the midwifery services offered at CHRISTUS Children’s.

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