Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Health however this is a very real, and touching, story written by local mom, Amie Guidry.
My Motherhood Story: A Thank You To Ochsner Baptist
Finding out that I was pregnant has been the greatest joy of my life to date. To be a mama is an honor I’ve longed for and one that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl. It was now my turn to tackle pregnancy, and I was ready to take on every high and low of the “brutiful” process ahead of me. The early weeks of my pregnancy were filled with most of the normal symptoms like nausea, fatigue and breast changes.
Around 18 weeks, I started having increased lower back pain, groin pain and pelvic pressure. I chalked it up to normal round ligament pain, weight gain and being on my feet a lot working with young children.
My 20-week anatomy scan went well, and all was looking wonderful with our little bean. I was still having pressure and pain but continued to dismiss it even though my gut told me something didn’t seem right. This was my first pregnancy, and I didn’t want to overthink or over-exaggerate things, so I never truly honored what was going on with my body. To all the mamas out there—speak up for your needs, ask all your questions and rest when you need it.
After a long weekend trip, the pain and pressure progressively increased, so I decided to get checked out by my doctor that week. I went in for my glucose test and a routine check-in with Dr. Ashley VanWormer (who is the absolute best out there) on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, and everything looked great. The next day, at only 25 weeks and 6 days, my water broke, and our world forever changed. My husband and I went straight to the OB ED at Ochsner Baptist, hoping that things would subside, and I would get to go home after some routine monitoring. Sadly, by the time we checked into the hospital that night, my membranes had completely ruptured, and I was told that I was experiencing PPROM, preterm premature rupture of the membranes. I will never forget when Dr. Kelley Morel sat down by my bedside and informed me that I wouldn’t be leaving the hospital until my baby came, which she said would most likely be within the next 24 hours. Fear, sadness, confusion and blame flooded me, and I wondered if I had caused this and why this was happening to me. My vision and hope for a healthy and happy pregnancy were gone, and my, at the time, 1-pound baby might be arriving soon. I didn’t get to have a baby shower, the nursery was still a storage room, and we didn’t have a name picked out or a birth plan of any kind. What we did have was each other, our incredible support systems, our amazing medical team and our steadfast faith….all the things we truly needed most.
The doctors were able to stop my labor that night and were hopeful of keeping the baby in as close to 34 weeks as we could get. I was able to stay infection free and stable for the next three weeks on bed rest in the antepartum unit at Ochsner Baptist. Everyone there became my family and made me feel safe and loved in my new little home. The care was top-notch, and the trust I had in each medical professional brought me so much peace during a very trying time.
Just shy of 3 weeks, at 28 weeks and 5 days, I went into labor naturally, and after several attempts to stop it and push through, my baby and body had other plans. Our baby girl (a big surprise….I thought it was a boy the entire time!) was born on Nov. 18, 2022, at 4:02 p.m. We named her “Caroline Claire” or “Cece” for short. Everything happened so fast and was immensely overwhelming, but Dr. Van Wormer, Dr. John Morgan (maternal-fetal medicine fellow), the amazing residents and the incredible labor and delivery nurses made my experience a positive one despite the chaos and concern. They made me feel comforted, safe and explained everything going on with me and my baby every step of the way. I will never forget when Dr. VanWormer came into the operating room and said, “Who’s ready for a birthday party!” She held my hand, looked me in the eyes, and assured me that everything was going to be okay…and it was. Upon delivery, my husband was able to see our girl, cut the cord, and snap a picture of her. She was immediately taken to the NICU, where now her fight was about to begin.
After my month-long stay in the hospital ended, it was now time to focus on my baby’s journey, and just like me, Ochsner Baptist came through for our girl. Cece’s NICU experience was nothing short of a miraculous one. A tale of beating the odds, unwavering support, medical heroes, endless beeps but even more love. It was burdened by sleepless nights and many scans, pricks and procedures, tests and tears, but also graced with warm snuggles, pounds gained, tubes removed, friendly visitors and endless prayer. Joy, hope and love filled every inch of Cece’s hospital room, and again, the care for her was second to none. The NICU team of doctors, residents, nurse practitioners, therapists and nurses became our family, and for them, we owe it all.
To my sweetest baby girl, you have already touched so many lives in your short little existence here on Earth, and your dad and I can’t wait to watch you soar. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making me a mama, your mama. But the truth is, you and I wouldn’t know the love we do now if it wasn’t for the medical superheroes at Ochsner Baptist. You guys are living angels, and we will never be able to express how grateful we are for the life-changing love and care we received. Happiest Mother’s Day to all of the incredible mothers out there, from one proud mama to another!
About the author
Hi! My name is Amie Guidry and I am a proud mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I teach little ones at the Academy of the Sacred Heart and absolutely love what I do. I’ve always had a passion for kiddos and I’m thrilled to be writing for this blog as a proud, new mama! I enjoy painting, traveling, dancing, watching football (Who Dat & Go Dawgs!) and love spending time with family and friends doing fun things in our amazing city. It’s a true honor to share my story here and pray for all the mamas-to-be that you have joyful pregnancies and happy, healthy babies!