One of the first lessons of parenting is to expect the unexpected. When planning for the arrival of a new baby, you probably don’t anticipate needing a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). However, if your baby is born prematurely or develops any complications after birth, comprehensive care is vital. Here’s why you should choose a hospital with a NICU.
“I love the warm, cozy, family environment at Inspira Elmer” –Caitlin Bast
When Caitlin Bast, of Newfield, delivered her first child at Inspira Elmer in 2020, she said some of the experience was a bit of a blur.
“I was in labor for about a day and a half with my first pregnancy. Though I had been prepared well by my care team, and knew a C-section was a possibility, I was tired and a bit overwhelmed when it was obvious that I was going to need one. But I trusted my team completely. The Labor and Delivery staff at Elmer are so professional, yet caring and warm, that it feels like family. It turned out to be a special experience that I am very grateful to have had.”
Caitlin experienced the delivery of her son, Arthur Carroll Bast, under the care of the midwifery team from Inspira Gentle Beginnings and Benjamin DiJoseph, D.O. Arthur was welcomed into the world on March 4, 2020.
When Caitlin became pregnant with her second child in 2021, she knew that Inspira Elmer was the only place she wanted to be. The plan was to try to deliver vaginally, a process known as a vaginal delivery after C-section or VBAC. Of course, Caitlin and her care team also had a detailed plan in place for a repeat C-section if necessary.
“My midwife team, especially Bernadette M. Lloyd-Sobolow, CNM, prepared me well. They were so knowledgeable and explained the process to me thoroughly,” Caitlin said. “I felt totally supported, whether I was going to have a VBAC or another C-section. Bernadette was so easy to talk to.”
In Caitlin’s 40th week of pregnancy, and following her established care plan, a C-section was scheduled at Inspira Elmer. Caitlin was cared for by the Elmer Maternity team, her midwife, and Neely Schwartz Elisha, D.O.
“I was more aware of my surroundings this time,” Caitlin said. “My senses were heightened and when I started to feel the spinal anesthesia take effect, I had a little bit of what I thought was a panic attack. But the team, including Dr. Elisha, Bernadette, registered nurse Rhonda Atkinson – who had also been at Arthur’s birth – and my anesthesiologist, assured me that everything was going well. They told me, ‘You’re breathing properly, and you are in great shape.’ They distracted me, talked with me, and calmed me down. It was the most mother- and baby-friendly environment I could imagine.”
Clark Lewis Bast, the second son of Caitlin and her husband, Justin, was born on April 5, 2022. Caitlin said Clark came out screaming, but that when he was placed with her while she was still in the C-section suite, he immediately started nursing. She said it was an important and poignant bonding experience for her, Clark, and Justin.
Caitlin said that she knew with even more certainty that Inspira Elmer was a special place to have a baby when Dr. Elisha commented on how terrific it was that Justin and Clark remained in the C-section suite the entire time, right up until Caitlin and their new son were wheeled out to her room.
“I love the warm, cozy, family environment at Inspira Elmer,” Caitlin said. “I will forever recommend it to birthing women in the area.”