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Published on January 13, 2012

Rebecca Gooding, Maternity Suites Patient, Valley West Community Hospital 

Rebecca Gooding

Patient Testimonial Video

For more than 3 weeks, Valley West was the best place for Becca Gooding to await the birth of her fourth child. "I always felt safe. Like my mom was taking care of me.

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Educating. Protecting. Healing.

For more than 3 weeks, Valley West was the best place for Becca Gooding to await the birth of her fourth child. “I always felt safe. Like my mom was taking care of me.”

After three uneventful pregnancies and deliveries, Rebecca (Becca) Gooding fully expected her fourth to be no different. However, early on in the pregnancy, she learned this time around was potentially going to prove more difficult. Early on, she learned her placenta was lying low in her uterus. Although this can be common in the early stages of gestation, typically the placenta moves higher in the womb as the pregnancy progresses. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for Becca. The placenta never moved and the result was a condition known as placenta previa in which the cervix was covered, thus making natural childbirth very dangerous to both the mother and baby.

Becca was put on bed rest and ended up spending the last 3.5 weeks of her pregnancy in the Valley West Community Hospital's Maternity Suites. Her stay at the hospital proved to be successful and on October 19th Becca's healthy son was born.

Protecting

Becca first learned that the placenta was low lying during a routine ultrasound that was done at week 20 of the pregnancy. At that point her doctor, Dr. Ann West, reassured her that placentas many times develop low in the uterus but as the baby grows and the womb expands, the placenta usually moves up the uterine wall. Dr. West recommended Becca try to take it easy and avoid heavy lifting.

From that point on, Becca recevied an ultrasound every month in order to monitor the placenta's position. Around week 31 of the pregnancy, Dr. West recommended Becca see a specialist to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and baby. Soon after, Becca started to have bleeding and she knew this was definetly not a good sign. She called Dr. West immediately and the doctor examined her to make sure nothing serious was happening. Becca was told to try and take it easy with no heavy lifting and try to stay off her feet. The bleeding subsided after a day and life returned to normal. The Goodings even went on a summer vacation.

On their return, Becca had another episode of bleeding. This time, however, it seemed to be serious. The bleeding was heavier and lasted longer than before. Dr. West decided to have Becca stay overnight at Valley West Community Hospital's Maternity Ward, to see if they could get the bleeding to subside. After a few days, the bleeding was under control and Becca could have been released from the hospital, but she was going to have be on strict bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. This would be a tall order considering she was only at week 32 and it was Dr. West's hope that Becca would reach at least week 34 because that is an important mile marker in the development of a baby.

Upon consulting with Dr. West and the maternity nursing staff, it was decided that the best chance of Becca making 34 weeks was to have her stay in the hospital.

“Everyone agreed that bedrest would be pretty much impossible for me with three small children at home.”

The staff worried that a mother with 3 children under the age of 6 would find it far too diffucult to maintain her order of bed rest. All parties concerned agreed the best thing for Becca was to stay in the caring hands of the VWCH maternity ward.

“I always felt safe. Like my mom was taking care of me.”

Healing

The decision to keep Becca at Valley West Community Hospital for bed rest, proved to be successful. Every week was another victory for the development of the unborn child. First, Dr. West and the nursing staff set a goal of reaching 34 weeks. Once they hit that, the goal became 35, then 36. Finally at 36 weeks and 1 day, a healthy baby boy was born without any further complications.

During Becca's 3.5 week stay at Valley West Community Hospital, she was closely monitored and received weekly ultrasounds. In Becca's words:

“The nurses went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable and never got bored. One nurse let me borrow her Kindle, some others brought in movies and even food a few times. At one point the nurses put together a care basket for me with magazines, crossword puzzles and chocolates. It brought tears to my eyes, because of how thoughtful they were.”

“My other 3 children were born at another hospital and I can tell you my experience at Valley West was so much better. I felt I was treated like an actual person, not just a number.”

While Becca was on bedrest, she was cared for not only Dr. West and the nursing staff, but a whole team of medical professionals including the ultrasound tech, physical therapist, dietician and even a massage therapist visited to give her a massage.

Educating

Because Becca's previous pregnancies were normal and uneventful, Becca had much to learn about the complications of placenta previa and the effects it would have on her body and potentially on her baby. From the beginning, Dr. West fully explained the condition and its possible threats. Dr. West even took the time to draw Becca a diagram of her uterus and the placenta so she could better understand what was going on in her body. Becca repeatedly praised Dr. West for her detail orientated bedside manner which was reassuring.

Becca's pregnancy ended with a C-section and even though the thought of major surgery might frighten many people, Becca felt safe and secure knowing that Dr. West was performing the surgery. Becca commented that the nursing staff explained at least three times exactly what would happen during the surgery. Even during the procedure, Dr. West kept Becca and her husband informed of what was happening.

“All 3 of my other children were born naturally so the idea of a C-section did make me nervous, but I had complete trust in Dr. West and her abilities.”

After her son was delivered, the nursing staff took the time to make sure that Becca understood how to care for her incision and herself in general once she returned home.

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