A Birth Story: Theo

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“During labor I kept thinking ‘I can do this’ and was fortunate it was such a quick labor. I felt very comfortable with Dr. Kalkhoff and the nurses and trusted their advice regarding how to position myself and when to hold off from pushing. I think that helped and also, I believe your body really does know what to do.”

The rest of her hospital stay was filled with baby snuggles and included a few more surprises. “I was surprised at how good the food was. I was expecting ‘hospital food’ and it was actually very good. They also had a ‘Memory Meal’ for us that was special,” she said. “Everyone – the nurses, cleaning staff – was friendly and made me feel very comfortable the entire time. What’s lovely about Lakes Regional Healthcare is they have the charm of small-town friendliness with the resources of a larger community. That may or may not be a surprise to others, but it’s something I really appreciate.”

Pregnancy is often filled with surprises, especially during your first pregnancy. Everything is new and discovering if you have morning (or all day) sickness, the sex of your child, what labor and childbirth is like – it’s all surprising. Maddie Nabuco’s pregnancy was full of surprises, too. When most women expect to gain weight while pregnant, she lost nine pounds during her first trimester due to extreme morning sickness. She said, “It was pretty rough until I was about 14 weeks pregnant. Anything I ate unfortunately came back up and caused me to lose weight until then.”

 

The remainder of her pregnancy was filled with more, usually happy, surprises – feeling energetic, baby showers, and feeling those first baby flutters. Maddie and her husband Hernani opted to wait until delivery to find out the baby’s gender, leaving the biggest surprise for the delivery room. At her 20-week ultrasound appointment, she learned she had a low-lying placenta. Fortunately, it moved by the time she was 32 weeks pregnant. Shortly after that, her cervix shortened and thinned earlier than anticipated. Her physician, Dr. Mike Kalkhoff, kept an eye on her but was not concerned.

 

Maddie prepared for her baby’s arrival while working full-time as a dance instructor at Dawn’s Dance Connection. She decorated the nursery, read as much as she could about natural childbirth, prepared for parenthood with Hernani, and attended childbirth education classes at Lakes Regional Healthcare. She said, “I appreciated the class and especially touring the facility to see the rooms, knowing where to go when I went into labor, what their protocol was to come in.”

 

As a dance instructor, Maddie kept active throughout her pregnancy. Each year’s dance classes end with two recitals. The remote studio in Jackson, Minnesota has a recital at the end of April, and the main studio in Spirit Lake has a recital in mid-May for all students ages three to 18. Maddie gave birth after the Friday night show in Jackson and had to miss the final Jackson recital as she was in the hospital! The Friday performance ended around 9:00 pm on April 22. After the recital, a few of the teachers went out for dinner, where Maddie began to feel some lightening and back pain, but assumed it was just from wearing heels while nine months pregnant. Maddie’s due date wasn’t until May 4, so she went to bed thinking she had a few more days before she would give birth. She planned to pack her “go bag” the following day, after the recital. That’s when her next pregnancy surprise came. She woke up at 2:50 am with her first contraction. Her water broke 10 minutes after that. Maddie and Hernani quickly shoved clothes into a bag and left for the hospital. Upon arriving at 3:40 am, she learned she was already seven centimeters dilated. At 4:00 am her contractions were less than two minutes apart. Shortly after that, she learned about the next surprise – the baby was “sunny side up,” which meant he was face up in the birth canal. “The only pain I felt other than a bit of stomach pressure was really intense lower back pain because of how the baby was positioned,” she said. “This also made the pushing stage almost three hours long. Because I arrived at the hospital so far along, I didn’t have any pain medication and spent a lot of time in the bathtub. Counter pressure on my lower back was the only way I felt relief. I needed to completely relax in between contractions.”

 

Their son, Theodore or Theo for short, was born at 9:37 am, only 12 hours after Maddie left the dance recital. “During labor I kept thinking ‘I can do this’ and was fortunate it was such a quick labor. I felt very comfortable with Dr. Kalkhoff and the nurses and trusted their advice regarding how to position myself and when to hold off from pushing. I think that helped and also, I believe your body really does know what to do.”

 

The rest of her hospital stay was filled with baby snuggles and included a few more surprises. “I was surprised at how good the food was. I was expecting ‘hospital food’ and it was actually very good. They also had a ‘Memory Meal’ for us that was special,” she said. “Everyone – the nurses, cleaning staff – was friendly and made me feel very comfortable the entire time. What’s lovely about Lakes Regional Healthcare is they have the charm of small-town friendliness with the resources of a larger community. That may or may not be a surprise to others, but it’s something I really appreciate.”

Dr. Mike Kalkhoff, wearing a white jacket and red shirt, smiling at camera

holding hands

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