OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

Michelle and Robert Ortiz' Story

Third Time’s a Charm

Michelle OrtizMichelle & Robert Ortiz Michelle Ortiz had a lot of “firsts” with her third child, because the birthing center at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center places a high priority on keeping the mom and baby together as much as possible.

After two cesarean section deliveries resulting in infections from a local hospital near her home in Savoy, Illinois, Michelle decided to go somewhere new for her third pregnancy. She began searching the web for hospital safety scores and saw that OSF St. Joseph had straight A’s.

“I decided to switch hospitals because of the safety scores, but I loved the experience so much because of everything else,” Michelle said.

A New Experience

She toured the birthing center a few weeks before her scheduled C-section. “It was a good environment from the get-go,” she said. “It felt calm and welcoming.” She was impressed with how nice and large the rooms are, but the most noticeable difference about the birthing center at OSF St. Joseph is the proximity of the operating and recovery rooms to the patient rooms. “Everything was right there,” Michelle said. “It was nice you weren’t shuffled all over the place.”

The best part of her delivery involved the unique care given to her by the anesthesiologist. Michelle struggled with anesthesia during her previous two C-section deliveries, and this time the anesthesiologist made a special effort to understand her medical history. “He was the best thing about the C-section,” she said. “My safety was well-attended to, as every ‘t’ was crossed and ‘i’ was dotted. I felt so cared for.”

Precious Moments

The operation itself was less than two minutes, and Michelle was immediately allowed to hold her baby. With the previous two deliveries, the nurses only put the baby up to Michelle’s face so she could have a brief glimpse before whisking Michelle and the baby into separate rooms. “It was an amazing experience to be able to hold my son right after he was born,” Michelle said.

Not only did she get to immediately hold her baby for the first time, she also saw his first bath. “I’ve never been able to see the bath before,” Michelle said. “I have pictures my mom took of my other kids’ baths, but I was actually able to be there and watch this time. And it was a great experience for my husband to be able to help. It was his first time being able to do that.”

Seeing the bath also helped Michelle and her husband, Robert, remember tips and best practices since their last child was born. “It was really helpful to be there for the first bath, because they talked you through what to do, in case you didn’t remember,” Michelle said.

A Caring and Knowledgeable Team

“Every little thing was so helpful, and nothing was too small for the staff to look into or give you advice. Everyone was caring and very knowledgeable every step of the way,” Michelle said.

When her baby initially lost weight after birth, the nurses suggested skin-to-skin breastfeeding. Her son quickly started feeding better and gaining back weight.

“The birthing center is a really unique environment,” Michelle said. “You can tell the nurses love their job. And I felt loved, I really did. They hugged me when I left, and I kind of wish I was back in the hospital.”

“Even my kids knew the nurses’ names and asked if we would see them when we stopped by later to pick up something we had left,” she said. Once, when Michelle couldn’t find her lip balm, a nurse went and got her some. And another day, when she needed some water, the custodian noticed and brought her some. “They were all willing to help with every little thing, not matter what is was,” she said.

“If I have another baby, I’m definitely going to OSF St. Joseph.”