Women's Health

Maternity Ward Nurses Help Adoptive Parents Feel Like Family

Holding a newborn is among the most emotional moments in a mother’s life, but Stacey Walters remembers another embrace almost as much: When a nurse held her.

“She was such an emotional support to me that night,” Stacey said, remembering the evening several months prior when she and her husband, Kevin, welcomed their baby Caroline into their lives through adoption. The entire emotionally-charged process of adoption culminated that night in the Good Samaritan Hospital maternity ward, and the Walters feel gratitude even today.

Kevin and Stacey had been married for six years when they decided to start a family and have their first child. But despite two years of fertility treatment, the couple couldn’t seem to get pregnant.

“Adoption was the natural next step for us,” said Kevin, a restaurant manager from Houston, Texas.

Kevin and Stacey’s Path Changes: They Pursue Adoption


Working through Adoption Link, an agency that connects waiting adoptive families with children and expectant mothers throughout Ohio, the Walters met with a woman who was six months pregnant and not prepared to raise a child.

While both the Walters and the birthmother were faced with troubling circumstances, they would find relief in one another as they navigated the adoption and prenatal processes together.

 Care Team Makes Stacey “Feel Like a Mother Rather Than a Stranger”

The birthmother – who Adoption Link has asked to keep anonymous – even invited Stacey to join her at her ultrasound appointment. Stacey, who works as a life enrichment coordinator at a long-term care facility, said that experience stood out because the ultrasound technician and nurses made her feel like a mother rather than a stranger, taking their time and patiently answering her questions so that she “could really take in the moment.”

Although Stacey had the special privilege of attending important medical appointments, Kevin said that both he and his wife kept a close relationship with the birthmother throughout her pregnancy, right up through delivery.

“We contacted her a lot,” Kevin said, remembering the morning of his daughter’s birth. “She called Stacey that morning and said that she was past her due date, and was going to be induced.”

The birthmother went as far as to ask the delivery staff at Good Samaritan to wait to induce labor until Kevin and Stacey arrived.

Adoption Link had suggested the Good Samaritan maternity ward for its stellar reputation, but Stacey said she and Kevin were still taken aback by the quality of the birthing room.

However, it was the staff that left the biggest impression.

“The staff treated us like we were part of [the birthmother’s] family,” Stacey said. “It helped us be more comfortable there at such an emotional time.”

At Good Samaritan, Stacey and Kevin were pleased to find that they had been provided with a private room – just like any patient in the maternity ward. Nurses routinely checked in on both of them and offered support amid the stress that arises during and after birth.

Caroline came into the world as happy and healthy as any parent would hope, and the Walters stayed at the hospital for several days after her birth until she was ready to come home.

Stacey recalled one particular evening after Caroline was born when one of the nurses helped calm her fraying nerves.

“The baby was brought back to us and she was crying and crying, and it was so late at night; I was just having an emotional moment,” she said. “[The nurse] just held me and talked to me and brought me down.”

The Walters’ relationship with Caroline’s birthmother didn’t stop when they took their baby home. Adhering to an open adoption model, Stacey and Kevin continue to keep in touch with the birthmother.

“We text every day, we send her pictures over the phone,” Stacey said. “They’re a wonderful family, and we plan to have them in our lives for a long time.”

 

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Last Updated: November 11, 2015