Offering moms-to-be the best of both worlds
St. James’ certified nurse-midwives deliver exceptional care
When making a birth plan for the delivery of her son Daniel Andrew, Aubrie Carey only wanted three things: a healthy baby, dimmed lights, and a provider who truly cared about her and her delivery.
Aubrie had been through six miscarriages. She knew that when it came time to deliver, she wanted to know the specialist in the room. With no way of knowing who might be on call when she went into labor, Aubrie set up appointments with every physician in the SCL Health Medical Group’s Butte OB/GYN clinic. When she’d met every doctor, the scheduler asked if she’d like to meet with the certified nurse-midwives (CNMs).
“I didn’t know what a midwife was, but I said yes,” said Aubrie. “I met with Jenevieve, and once I understood her approach to care, I knew that was what I wanted.”
The benefits of a midwife
By traditional definition, a midwife is a "patient-centered healthcare professional trained to assist women throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, and immediately after the baby is born.”
We understand the importance of being at the bedside and spend most of our time in the room with them. Patients also have the peace of mind that comes with delivering in a hospital where it is safe and where, if it’s necessary, there are interventions available to save your life across the hallway.
An arrival ahead of schedule
At 39 weeks and 3 days, Daniel Carey decided it was time to make his way into the world, three weeks earlier than Aubrie or Jenna had anticipated. With contractions coming fast, Aubrie and her husband had little time to spare, making the hour-long drive from Boulder in the middle of the night.
“My husband pulled over three times on the drive so I could vomit. We arrived at 3:30 a.m., and it was 10 degrees outside of the Emergency Department. My husband ran in to get help, but I couldn’t stay in the car any longer, so I crawled out of the car on all fours. The nurse walked out and took one look at me, smiled, and said, ‘Oh, here we go!’”
Expecting a long delivery, Aubrie had asked Jenna to deny her an epidural until she reached six centimeters as part of her birth plan. Only, when Aubrie arrived at St. James, she had already dilated to eight. The anesthesiologist rushed to the hospital.
“At 4:30 a.m., Jenna told me the anesthesiologist was here, but she said, ‘Aubrie, you are at a 10. I can bring him to you, but you are going to have to stay absolutely still,” explained Aubrie. “A moment later, my next contraction started, and I started pushing, and I couldn’t stop. With my next contraction, my water broke, and it was go time.”
Daniel’s delivery moved quickly over the next 45 minutes and was without issue until his shoulder became stuck in the birth canal. Bayless and the delivery team swiftly moved Daniel into position using a technique called the McRoberts maneuver, preventing serious problems. Within moments, Daniel was delivered and placed on Aubrie’s chest.
Wrapping new moms in postpartum support
After Aubrie and Daniel were discharged from the hospital, their medical care didn’t stop. Aubrie participated in a program through the state called Community Integrated Health that allows emergency responders to partner with the community members for nonemergent care. For Aubrie and Daniel, that meant weekly visits from an Emergency Medical Technician who screened Aubrie for signs of postpartum depression and took Daniel’s measurements and vital statistics.
Jenna received weekly updates on Aubrie’s progress. When one weekly visit showed red flags, Jenna scheduled an in-person appointment the next day.
A women’s health partner for life
Aubrie recently had her final postpartum visit. “If Jenna wasn’t my provider, I’d want to be her friend’” says Aubrie. At her last postpartum appointment, Aubrie said teared up saying "I’m not ready to be done with you.”
The good news is, she doesn’t have to be, and Jenna wouldn’t have it any other way. CNMs at St. James care for women from adolescence and pre-menstruation through menopause and beyond, including annual checkups, screenings, pap smears, and breast exams.
“I became a midwife after working as a labor and delivery nurse for eight years. I wanted to see and care for women for more than a couple days,” said Jenna. “I want to be a part of their lives, know their stories, and help them with all their women’s health needs. It’s meaningful.”
About St. James Healthcare and Intermountain Healthcare
St. James Healthcare has served the people of Southwestern Montana for more than 135 years and is the largest and only acute care health care facility in the region. St. James Healthcare is a 67-bed hospital located in Butte, Montana, with more than 450 caregivers, alongside 100 physicians and advanced care professionals, offering 24-hour care and dozens of progressive specialty services. St. James Healthcare is part of the Intermountain Healthcare system. Based in Utah with locations in seven states (Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming) and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare system comprised of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers. To help people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. To learn more about St. James Healthcare, visit sjh-mt.org.