Skip to main content

I knew we would be in good hands but was scared

A patient’s reflection on a recent visit to HHCC
When Valerie’s newborn daughter, Adeline, was admitted to our hospital at only two days old the entire family was overwhelmed and panicked.

Adeline was born at HHCC after an induced birth in the care of Linda and Stephanie, midwives from the Midwives of Headwaters Hills. After receiving an alarming jaundice reading, Stephanie immediately called our hospital and an assessment appointment was set up with Dr. Rebecca Woolnough, Pediatrician, in the Emergency Department.

“I had no idea that high bilirubin levels, which is what triggered the jaundice reading, could pose a brain damage risk,” said Valerie.

The Emergency Department team did everything they could to comfort both mother and daughter as tests were performed to determine what was happening.

Valerie was familiar with our hospital as a volunteer with the Headwaters Health Care Auxiliary.

“I knew we would be in good hands but was scared,” recalled Valerie.

Adeline was admitted to our hospital with ABO incompatibility which is a condition that can cause jaundice. It happens when a mother’s blood type is O, and her baby’s blood type is A or B.

As the breastfeeding parent, Valerie ended up staying with Adeline for the entire nine days she remained on our inpatient pediatric unit.

“Dr. Woolnough was professional, thorough and extremely empathetic. Since we were not expecting to stay at the hospital or learn of ABO incompatibility in our daughter, Dr. Woolnough was very patient and kind in explaining the situation and scenarios,” recalled Valerie.

Our entire team did everything they could to support both mother and daughter.  The nurses on our inpatient unit provided a listening ear and helped to answer questions as Valerie began to better understand Adeline’s condition. Dr. Woolnough and Stephanie, our Lactation Specialist, helped prepare them with a realist outlook and a feeding plan.

“Everyone at the hospital was attentive and kind. I was reassured by their commitment to do everything in their power to facilitate the best possible outcome for Adeline,” said Valerie.

Staying in a hospital room that looked onto our Children’s Garden with summer greenery, flowers and cheerful children’s artwork provided mental wellness amidst the anxiety of coping with ABO incompatibility.

“Our family is extremely grateful for the skilled and beautiful gardens and plan to support the Friendship Gardens in the future,” said Valerie.

Adeline and Valerie have since returned home with outpatient follow-up with Dr. Woolnough and Stephanie, and the family is settling into a routine.  

Photo caption: Adeline in the elephant incubator.