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Over 100 babies born

Oh, baby! July was one for the record books in the OB department at ETMC Athens. One hundred and two deliveries were recorded from July 1 through July 31. That's well more than the typical delivery month of 75 to 80 babies.

Athens 100 babies

"It wasn't unusual last month to see doctors running down the hall to get to a delivery," said OB Director Pam Williams. "It's the busiest month we've ever had."

Williams said several doctors told her they would be delivering more babies than usual in July, which provided the director with a chance to get prepared from a scheduling standpoint. Many nurses signed up for extra shifts and were on-call more often to handle the spike in activity.

"The challenge," said Kim Hardy, RN, "was keeping a labor bed available for anyone who might be walking in ready to deliver. And, overall, our patients were very cooperative and agreeable."

The department features eight spacious LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum) rooms and eight postpartum/triage rooms. The OB was doubled in size three years ago, at which time the new LDRP rooms were added.

"There's no way we could have contained that volume within the old OB facilities. We would have needed to move some patients into other units, and we certainly could not have accommodated as many family members during deliveries as we did," said Williams. "The OB expansion was such a wise decision."

The single busiest day of the month - July 24 - saw eight babies delivered from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. For the nurses with years of experience, the span of time was busy, but not shockingly so. "It felt busier, yes, but it's been pretty busy anyway," said Sherry Simpson, RN.

For RN Brynne Owen, however, the experience was an eye-opener. July was Owen's first month on the job. In one shift, she helped deliver six babies. "Pam told me they were going to break me in," she laughed, "and they did, very much."

"My team of wonderful nurses did an outstanding job and provided wonderful care," said Williams. "We worked together with the physicians, lab, housekeeping, surgery, ER, nurses from other units. It took the whole hospital. I'm so proud."

"Every birth is a miracle," added Hardy. "Every time that baby comes out, I'm in awe, whether it's six a day or one."