Patient Story: Gentle, Careful, Thoughtful and Thorough Maternity Care

Supported Throughout Pregnancy

“I knew I was in good hands. I knew I was safe, all these women working together. The nurses were cheering me on...I was relishing being surrounded by this female team, a force field of strength and love and support.”

   – Stacey Bukuras

Stacey Bukuras was elated to find out she was pregnant with her third child at age 40, but she was also nervous. She knew the complications that could arise from being an advanced maternal age. Thankfully, her good friend Eliza Meade, MD was also her obstetrician and gynecologist and vowed to support her throughout this pregnancy.

Making the decision to deliver at a small community hospital, as opposed to a larger city medical center where she had delivered her first two children, made the Winchester resident apprehensive, given that this pregnancy had the potential to be high risk. But, friends and neighbors sharing their positive experiences helped ease her worries.

“I felt so held from the ‘welcome to pregnancy’ phone call at six weeks to my first visit and the many appointments in between,” Bukuras remembers. “Every aspect of my experience from the schedulers to the administrative assistants to the ultra sound techs, everyone was gentle and careful and thoughtful and thorough.”

As her pregnancy progressed, though, Bukuras found herself getting uncharacteristically teary in her appointments, worrying about possible negative outcomes, while Dr. Meade and her team encouraged her that there would be a happy ending.

It was important to Bukuras to have an unmedicated childbirth as she had done with her previous two children and her care team honored that wish. Bukuras shared that, “they made me feel empowered to choose what felt right to me and if the pain did become too much, there were ways they could help manage that.”

At 40 weeks, in an effort to go into labor naturally, Bukaras felt like she had tried it all – membrane sweeps, walks, spicy foods – with no success. Dr. Meade made the call to induce labor.

It was an early, icy December morning when Bukuras arrived at Winchester Hospital full of angst, but her care team, including Katelyn Keys, RN, were ready to help her get settled. After they began inducing labor, Dawn Mullins, MD came into her room to say she was progressing well and that they wanted to break her water if she was ready.

“I knew from past experience that once your water breaks, there’s a baby coming, within maybe minutes. I was really unsure of what to do. I looked to Katelyn even more than I looked to my husband for guidance and support. She didn’t tell me what to do, but she listened as I weighed my options and decided to have my water broken,” Bukuras shared.

As her contractions became stronger and the pain associated became much worse, Katelyn advised Bukuras to try nitrous oxide, laughing gas, to help manage her pain. She was nervous to use it, unsure how her body would react and concerned that it would make her feel “loopy” or “really drunk.” The charge nurse, Martha Wheaton, RN, came to Bukuras’s bedside to help explain how the nitrous oxide worked and let her try it.

“It was like having a crisp glass of white wine. It still hurt. I could still feel the pain, but it took away any of the fear,” Bukuras said.

At 2:39 pm, after three big pushes and as “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys was playing in the background, Isabella was born. The room erupted into happy tears and newborn wails.

“I knew I was in good hands. I knew I was safe, all these women working together. The nurses were cheering me on – they had asked for the baby’s name ahead of time and they used her name while I was in labor, letting me know that Isabella would be here soon. I was relishing being surrounded by this female team, a force field of strength and love and support,” Bukuras said. “I know how lucky I am.”

Learn more about Maternity Services and High Risk Obstetrical Care at Winchester Hospital.