After hearing about a midwife experience from her cousin, Caitlin Moore and her husband, Nathan, choose Lakewood and certified nurse midwife, Jessica Wilmes, to guide them through their own pregnancy journey.
“We were visiting family in New Jersey where I’m originally from and my cousin mentioned she had used a midwife for her pregnancy,” said Caitlin. “She told us she loved her experience, and the more we researched it, the more we felt in lined up with our ideas surrounding childbirth.”
Now how did a girl from New Jersey end up in Staples, MN? Caitlin’s husband, Nathan, grew up in the Browerville area, where his mother, Annette, worked as a registered nurse at Lakewood for years. After college, both worked at a summer bible camp in Wisconsin where they first met. The two have been together ever since and began their life together in the Twin Cities. Quickly realizing the metro was not a place they wanted start a family, the two made their way back to the area and currently reside about 20 minutes north of Staples. Today, Nathan is an inspector for Lund Boats at their facility in New York Mills and Caitlin is a stay-at-home mom and substitute teacher in the area when needed.
The couple’s primary care provider at Lakewood was certified nurse practitioner, Corey Robinson, but after discovering she was pregnant in the fall of 2017, Caitlin contacted Lakewood asking to work with a midwife and to explore the possibility of a water birth. A midwife is a trained health professional who helps healthy women during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Women who choose midwives often want minimal medical intervention and have no complications during their pregnancy. Midwives can also provide gynecological care for women such as pap smears, contraception consultations, and preventative care including annual exams and breast examinations.
At that time, Jessica Wilmes was the only certified nurse midwife on staff at Lakewood, and according to Caitlin, they couldn’t have been more pleased with their decision. “It felt like Jessica became family almost immediately after meeting her,” said Caitlin. “She was so easy to work with and she really helped guide our experience to be exactly what we wanted. We didn’t want to use any drugs during delivery and we also wanted to explore the possibility of a waterbirth. She made us feel comfortable, she was supportive, and she was great at offering suggestions of her own. We loved working with Jessica!” Since then, Lakewood has expanded their midwifery program, adding a second midwife, Carrie Kneisl.
As their special day approached, Caitlin and Nathan both participated in Lakewood’s Prepared Childbirth Class and a breastfeeding class taught by Lakewood’s Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. “I think the classes really did a great job of preparing us for what to expect,” said Nathan. “Caitlin and I enjoy rock climbing and it was during the time leading up our delivery we even joked with Jessica that we were both going to come prepared with climbing helmets. We were going to be prepared for anything.”
It was during her pregnancy that Caitlin and Nathan also decided they wanted a waterbirth, which is an option offered by Lakewood. Waterbirth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery, while others decide to stay in the water for delivery as well. Waterbirths are perfectly safe and provide a birthing environment that some women feel is less stressful for them and gentler for their baby. Caitlin would ultimately decide to stay in the water for her entire labor and delivery.
It was four days after her due date when Caitlin’s water broke and brought them (climbing helmets and all) to the Lakewood OB department about 5:30 a.m. on June 10, 2018. Five hours later, Caitlin was in active labor and after an hour of pushing, their beautiful baby girl, Ava Moore, was born. “The water birth was a great experience for me,” said Caitlin. “All my labor pain was in my back and the warm water really helped minimize that. The tub also allowed me to find the birthing position that worked best for me.”
Post-delivery, quick skin-to-skin contact was extremely important to Caitlin and Nathan. “Our provider and the nurses at Lakewood were so good in helping us quickly create a special bond with Ava,” said Caitlin. “I also chose to breastfeed and the nurses were extremely helpful in coaching me through this process to make sure Ava was latching on correctly. The entire team at Lakewood anticipated our needs before we even knew them. The care we received was phenomenal.”
After returning home, Lakewood provided the Moore’s with an in-home nurse visit to see how the couple and baby were adjusting. This, along with a few of the “baby-essentials” like diapers and a new car seat, which come as part of a delivery at Lakewood, are a few of things that really stood out for them. “As first-time parents, you always have questions or things you are unsure of, but Lakewood helped us every step of the way.”
If you’d like to learn more about the OB experience at Lakewood, check out our new guided 360° virtual tour at lakewoodhealthsystem.com. You can also set up a personal tour by calling 218-894-8525. We think you’re going to like what you see. Every aspect of your care has been thought through with you, your family, and your new baby in mind, with the intent of providing you with the very best experience possible. You’ve got a home at Lakewood!