I was recently invited to participate in helping with a campaign to spread the word about Intermountain Healthcare’s Intermountain Moms Facebook page. Other than making sure my schedule would allow me to write my posts, it was a no brainer for me that I was going to participate. In fact, it isn’t even the first time I’ve shared my love for Intermountain Healthcare or written about Intermountain Moms, so I must really mean what I say!
Before I get going on all the reasons why I can truly and honestly say that I am so impressed with Intermountain Healthcare and the Intermountain Moms program, I want to tell you what it is. Intermountain Healthcare has a plethora of information available on their website, including tools and research and all the information you need to know about caring for your family, but that wasn’t enough for them. They are taking the information to the people and, via Facebook, are bringing their expertise to the social platform to make it the most easy to find and access resource for moms that I’ve ever seen. You get to share on their Facebook page and be part of the community of moms and discussions where they are bringing us together, but also if you just need to have access to someone who knows the answers, they have brought us Nurse Dani. She is an absolutely lovely lady, and a mom as well. I was happy to meet her in person and find out that she is just as nice in real life as she is online. Nurse Dani is there as a resource to answer questions for all of us Intermountain Moms, and has even created a wealth of videos and information that you can access any time.
I have three kids. Three complicated kids (though I recognize, not nearly as complicated as some!). Having access, easy and quick, to information and help when needed it is a complete treasure.
Here is Cole when he was born at 33 weeks, 3 lbs 6 oz – that’s a regular sized pacifier and Kayla a couple days old on a rare moment without her oxygen.
I’ve realized that since I started blogging just after I had Cole, I haven’t talked much about Aidan’s birth story.
I am an Intermountain Mom… but my first time out the gate, I didn’t get to be. Basically, my first obstetrician had me deliver at a hospital in SLC that was not an Intermountain Healthcare facility. If it seems weird that I want to focus for a second on that, instead of talking about my two kids that were born in Intermountain Healthcare hospitals, then let me explain.
I’m not going to name names, because this post isn’t about slinging mud, it is about sharing why I consider myself to be an Intermountain Mom. A part of that for me is that I want you to know that I actually have a point of reference for saying that I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE and I have experienced a different hospital as well.
Aidan just turned 9 last month. If I had known then what I know now, I would have refused to have had him anywhere but one of the Intermountain hospitals. Cole was born at McKay Dee and spent 28 days in their NICU. While the experience of having a preemie was shattering on many levels, there were many things about my experience having him that are night and day from my experience having Aidan. Kayla was born at LDS Hospital, and again spent some time, only 7 days, in their Special Care Nursery.
By all accounts, my first delivery with Aidan, which was the most ‘normal’ out of the bunch, should have gone a lot differently, as should his care in the nursery after his birth. I know all this now. I had no idea then. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, but to give you an idea, I went through 26 hours of labor, was treated like an idiot by the doctors and staff, and there wasn’t actually even hot water for helping take care of the babies in the nursery. The rooms were dark, slightly dingy and the staff in the nursery, while better than the labor and delivery staff, still weren’t terribly helpful or comforting. Aidan had 4 days in the nursery there. I was terrified when I brought him home. He was 8 lbs 6 oz, which when you consider the other two were 3 lbs and 5 lbs respectively, shouldn’t have been as scary, even if he was my first!
Again, by all intents and purposes, that whole experience should have been my most normal of the bunch. Aidan was followed by Cole with an emergency c-section and relatively short NICU stay and Kayla’s delivery was another half surprise c-section after another high risk pregnancy.
My experiences at both McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden and LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, were night and day from the first time around at the other (non Intermountain Healthcare) facility.
It comes down to this: I could have dealt with the lack of creature comforts and basics at the first hospital when Aidan was born if the people I worked with had been happier to be there too and more comforting and caring. I’m not by any means saying they were bad people, but they certainly weren’t very kind to a scared, exhausted, first time mom and they definitely weren’t all that thrilled with their jobs.
People make all the difference. People who are happy to be at their work and are allowed by the institution they work for to be happy and really CARE about their patients make all the difference. In each of my successive hospital deliveries in Intermountain facilities and our stay at those hospitals, I felt cared for, comforted, and like a part of a team in my care and my baby’s care as well. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT ISN’T THE CASE EVERYWHERE.
THE FUNNY THING about writing this post is that while I was thinking about what I wanted to say, I kept coming back to the people – nurses and doctors of course, but also the janitorial staff, volunteers, cafeteria works, and everyone I’ve come in contact with at these facilities. When you work with people who you know are actually interested in how you are doing, and aren’t just there punching a clock, it makes an incredible difference in your experience across the board.
While I’ve shared the birth stories before for my most complicated kiddos, I’m not sure I’ve been able to share some specific reasons why I felt so cared for at those facilities, other than to say that I did.
It comes down to details. Having your needs anticipated and taken care of, often before or without even knowing you needed something. It’s having people to count on to care for you and your family, sometimes when you can’t and really need the help – medically and emotionally.
- Having someone who will stand by you when you are alone because you unexpectedly go into labor in the middle of the night a week before your scheduled c-section, only to find out that since the baby is breach you’ll still be having another c-section.
- Having someone who will talk with you at 3 in the morning when you are too wound up to sleep and are alone and scared and your baby has once again been whisked off to a nursery where you don’t get to see or hold them until you are well enough to make the trip to them, because once again, they are not well enough to come to you.
- Having volunteers who will come in to the hospital that they too love, who are there to help play with your other children and help them be comfortable and understand that they have a new tiny sibling who is fragile, but that it doesn’t have to be scary for them.
- Having nurses who will keep warming and layering blankets on you… even if you are on number 9 and not even bat an eyelash. They’ll keep taking care of you and making sure you have what you need and never make you feel anything but cared for.
- Having staff at all levels who make sure you understand that they are there for you and to care for your needs and your child’s needs, but not to make you feel inferior or like you aren’t part of that team. They will talk to you, and more importantly, THEY LISTEN TO YOU.
- Having people who are taking care of your child when you aren’t able to be there WHO YOU KNOW love your baby too. They have such huge hearts that they have enough love to share with all the babies they care for, and still you can see that YOUR BABY is still special to them – like the lone male NICU nurse who made sure to find Cole a cute, boyish (baseball) set of preemie pajamas to wear and talked to him about baseball stats while he was taking care of him, because they were having some man time. True story. And one of my favorite tender moments.
- Having other workers on hand to make sure you know that once you go out the door, they are still on board to help and care for your child and become a part of your ‘village’ – nutritionists, social workers, lactation consultants, and anyone els
e you need access too to help you along your road.
While every mom has a birth story, I want to take a minute to talk about what happens after the birth story.
You’re a mom now! Now that little, sometimes fragile baby is all yours to take care of. All the time. By yourself.
That can be scary. Especially when that baby is fragile and has a lot of medical needs. Knowing that you have a strong team behind you who’s knowledge you are able and welcome to tap into makes all the difference in the world.
The Intermountain Healthcare facility we spend the most time at now is Primary Children’s Medical Center. All three of my kids have had procedures there. Cole still sees some doctors there occasionally, but mainly we spend our time there for Kayla.
The bulk of Kayla’s doctors are all located in the clinics at Primary Children’s. We work with a fantastic cardiologist, who we love. We have worked with the ENT department and they were wonderful to us as well. Kayla’s eye doctor is located there and has been great. Kayla has had sleep studies, MRI’s and labs, and even surgery there, and may have more in the future. We consult with one of the doctors there about Kayla’s thyroid problems, and have had allergy testing, and who knows what we will face down the pipeline.
We may not know what we are facing, but we know where we will go for help, and that is a comfort.
I can tell you my favorite little hidey spots in the medical center where I can go for a little quiet time and I can tell you my favorite ‘I’m feeling sorry for myself and need a treat’ items from the cafeteria (it’s a light and chocolatey mousse cake that I always go get if I have any time I’m waiting during a procedure), and that you can even get a cafe debit card to load with your money and pay for your food without having to carry cash around or even have it delivered to your child’s room and debited to your account so you don’t have to leave. If you do need to leave your child though during their stay, you can have a volunteer come in and play with them and keep them company. For that matter, if you are there and waiting you can even ask a volunteer to come be your extra set of hands with your other kiddos if you just need some extra help.
I could go on and on and on, and probably already have, but the point is simple. Intermountain Healthcare is serious about taking care of you and your family. I can’t make it any more plain than to say that they are a company made up of people in our community who are truly passionate about helping all of us have a healthy and happy life. When you have people that are passionate about what they are doing, it really makes a difference when you are going through hard experiences with your family’s health.
Intermountain Moms was created by Intermountain Healthcare because they care about us and our families. It isn’t just enough to them to take care of the medical needs. They are taking care of US.
Here is where you can find a few more of Intermountain Healthcare’s and Intermountain Moms’ resources:
DISCLOSURE: While this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Intermountain Healthcare, my opinions, stories and experiences are 100% my own. Intermountain Healthcare requested that we let our readers know about their Intermountain Moms Facebook page and help spread the word, and by no means did they know I was going to end up writing a long diatribe on all the little things they allow their people to do that make me love them. The run on post is entirely on me and I could have kept going and going. Consider yourselves lucky that even I know when I’ve almost written a book! 🙂