Grateful Patient: The Gaertner Family – Family Birthing CentreGaertner Family

When you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming medical procedure, having compassionate and confident healthcare professionals makes all the difference.

For Sarah and Ryan Gaertner, it was the pending birth of their second child that was their cause for anxiety. The couple had had a difficult experience with the birth of their first son at a hospital outside the area, where a long but unproductive labour resulted in an emergency caesarian section and a variety of complications.

So when the Gaertner’s were preparing for the birth of their second son, Owen, they were looking for healthcare professionals who would be able to help them create a new, positive experience.

Sarah said Dr. Rebecca Rooney and the labour and delivery staff at The Brantford General came highly recommended. Sarah chose to come under Dr. Rooney’s care and it made all the difference, she said.

“I could call at any time and talk to a nurse,” said Sarah, adding that she always felt comfortable being able to access the staff for their knowledgeable input.

“She made it feel so natural,” said Sarah, explaining Dr. Rooney was able to put her at ease by describing the process of her scheduled caesarian section. When Sarah started to worry about the procedure, Dr. Rooney sat with her and Ryan to explain it in detail – from preparation to post-operative – and invited Ryan to watch the procedure.

Her first experience was such a blur, Sarah was relieved and reassured to have Dr. Rooney tell her each detail of what was going to happen.

“She made me feel I was in good hands,” said Sarah. “That’s something I won’t ever forget, is her being on my side, making sure that I was comfortable and that I had a good birthing experience.”

Sarah and Ryan are very complimentary about their experience with the entire staff in labour and delivery when they arrived for the birth of their son in February 2015. She was the only expectant mother being prepared for surgery at the time and she received lots of comforting care, with staff reassuring Sarah that things were okay.

“They made me feel really comfortable,” she said.

Dr. Rooney arrived and met with Sarah and Ryan in pre-op before the surgery. She sat with the couple to have coffee and talk about their day.

“Then she said she’d see me soon,” said Sarah. “I was fine then.”

Sarah’s anxiety reared up while waiting for the epidural to take effect. Sarah got so nervous that she started to panic, but a conversation with Dr. Rooney about her personal interests helped her get back to a positive emotional place.

The couple was able to meet their newest son after about 10 minutes of surgery, followed by an initial assessment by the medical team. This part of the birth process was especially important to Sarah, who didn’t get to meet her first son until hours after his birth because she was recovering from the anaesthetic required during the first caesarian section.

Sarah was pleased that both her mother and mother-in-law were welcomed into the recovery room where she was being monitored before she and Owen were moved to a patient room. She was also thankful to see the same nurse who had prepped her for surgery, and been with her during the operation, was the same one who looked after her in her room. All of the nurses were supportive of Sarah’s decision to breastfeed her baby and offered her tips, reassuring her that she was doing everything just right for baby Owen.

“What I will remember the most about my experience is how everyone advocated for me,” says Sarah. “They were there for me and I am so grateful for the positive birthing experience.”

The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’—it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for patients.

As Sarah and Ryan have learned first-hand, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need.

Your involvement, through a donation of any size, will allow the BCHS Foundation to purchase patient equipment not funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provide essential resources to maintain the exceptional level of compassionate patient care, and invest in new and innovative technology.

To make a donation, click here or call 519-751-5510.

This holiday season, give a gift that could save a life and be a part of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign.

Photo above: The Gaertner Family