Amy Badun and Josh Cooke tried for almost a year to have a baby. Just as they were about to start a fertility procedure, they got the news. They were pregnant. As they looked around for the best place to deliver, Amy’s family doctor told them, “If you want to feel a community connection, go to St. Michael’s.”
The pregnancy took a normal course. Every few weeks, Amy had her appointment with obstetrician Dr. Dana Soroka. And on September 20, she went into labour.
“From the second I got there, my labour and delivery team was so kind, so gentle and so informative. No matter how many questions we asked, they never made us feel like we were bothering them. They did everything to make us feel comfortable,” Amy says. “During shift change, we worried we were losing one of our special nurses. But the next one was just as great.”
It wasn’t until Amy delivered baby Sebastian that things changed—and she got, what she calls, “the full St. Michael’s experience.”
“When I didn’t hear him cry,” Amy shrinks back at the memory, “I knew something was wrong.”
First there were two resident doctors. Then a respirologist. And then six healthcare workers crowded around her.
“Everyone jumped into action. Sebastian was in the NICU before we could even hold him,” she recalls.
When they were finally able to visit their baby, Amy was struck by how much everyone cared. “I can’t imagine caring for another child the way the NICU team did for Sebastian. Someone was with him day and night. I never felt scared, despite the fact he was covered in tubes and wires to help him breathe and eat. I wouldn’t have wanted to be at any other hospital. Twelve staff, including a lactation specialist and a social worker. I thought, wow, there’s a hundred years of schooling here. And this is the team we’re blessed with—24 hours a day.”
Four days later, Amy and Josh took Sebastian home, confident that they’d be able to care for him, because the nurses had trained them.
To help out other families, they donated preemie clothes to the NICU. “You don’t expect to be a NICU parent,” explains Amy. “And the last thing you need to worry about, especially if you don’t live in the city, is having enough clothes for your baby.”
Their experience also turned them into monthly donors to St. Michael’s.
“One of the things Josh and I joke about is that we’ve never been treated better than at St. Michael’s.”
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