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A Series of Unexpected Events

Life is full of unexpected events, some good, some not as good. And while we can try to expect the unexpected, there are always those little surprises and things that don’t go quite as planned. Such was the case for Robb and Britta Kolodziej, and the birth of their first baby.

While living in Rochester, Robb, a high school teacher, got a job in Brainerd in 2015, while Britta, a physician assistant, continued to work at the Mayo Clinic, commuting to Brainerd during her time off. The couple bought a house in the Pillager area in early 2016, and Britta was planning to look for a job closer to their new home. Her search was accelerated just a bit when, in June, she found out she was pregnant.

BKThe pregnancy was a bit of a surprise, and the couple needed some time to adjust to this unexpected life event, but eventually, they started to feel the excitement only first-time parents know. They were planning as many details as they could for the baby’s expected arrival on February 28, 2017. They had their doctor picked out, their birth plan completed, and the nursery was planned.

Even though she worked in Rochester, Britta knew she wanted to deliver her baby at Lakewood. “I grew up in the area, so I know all about the great providers and care at Lakewood. I also did clinical rotations there as a PA student, so I got to see that care first-hand. I knew that was the place I needed to be, and from the beginning the plan was to deliver at Lakewood.”

Months went by, and with each ultrasound and visit with Dr. Sarah Israelson, everything became more real, and started to fall into place. After a baby shower the last weekend of January, Robb and Britta were planning to use the next month to get organized before baby’s arrival. But as so often happens, things never seem to go as planned.

“I went into the hospital the morning of February 4 to find out I was 7 cm. dilated. Not exactly the news I was hoping to hear, as I was about three weeks out from my due date. But what can you do?”

Britta was admitted to the hospital, and Dr. Israelson was called. At Lakewood, the OB provider you have throughout your pregnancy is the one who delivers your baby when at all possible. Unfortunately, Dr. Israelson also hadn’t planned for a three-week early delivery, and was unavailable to deliver the baby, which meant the back-up OB provider was called in. Dr. Arden Beachy happened to be on-call that day, and the unexpected just kept on coming.

Britta initially wanted a water birth, but when contractions became too painful about three hours into laboring, she got an epidural. After pushing for another hour and a half, they realized the umbilical cord was caught under the baby’s arm, which was raised up by its head, and every contraction and subsequent push caused the baby’s heart rate to drop. After attempting to use the vacuum, which was unsuccessful due to the amount of hair on the baby’s head, they quickly switched to using forceps to get the baby out.

Alekzander Josef was born on February 4 at 6:12 p.m., weighing in at 8 lbs. 14 oz., and 22 inches long, and even with the difficult delivery, he and Britta were both doing well. “Even though the delivery was pretty tough, and not quite what I was expecting, I couldn’t have asked for better care while in the hospital. The nurses and staff were all great, and took time to answer the questions we had, as well as showing me how to do the things first-time moms need to do.”

“Though I was planning to deliver with Dr. Israelson, having Dr. Beachy there worked out well, and Dr. Israelson checked in with me before and after the birth, so I knew she was keeping an eye on things, which was reassuring. Overall, I was really happy with my experience at Lakewood, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.”

Alek will be five months old on July 4, and as any parent will tell you, it’s safe to say the unexpected events are only just beginning. “Every day is something new, which can be both good or bad, depending on the day. It’s been fun to watch Alek grow and start to show his personality little by little. He has definitely added some surprises and excitement to our lives!”

Even with all the unexpected events surrounding Alek’s arrival, one thing that was expected was the great care he and Britta received at Lakewood. From providers who take time to check in just to see how things are going, to nurses who treat every question and concern with the importance they deserve, even when things don’t go as planned, they still manage to turn out unexpectedly well.

Click to learn more about the OB and women’s health services at Lakewood.