Sarah Byers, of Fort Loudon, who welcomed her daughter,
Atalie, July 13, is gratefully settling in as a mother of three.
Byers says giving birth during a pandemic certainly brought
with it some unexpected precautions.
pregnancy, I felt like I kept rolling with the punches. Being tested for COVID
was an experience in itself,” recalled Byers.
But protocols related to COVID-19 were not the only change
Byers experienced, she is one of the first who has had their care transferred
from WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital to WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital following
announced plans to consolidate birthing services in Franklin County.
“That is where I had based my familiarity, I knew they
supported moms who wanted to have a more natural birth,” said Byers who had
previously delivered two children in Waynesboro. “I was concerned I was not going to have the
natural experience and that ended up not being a problem at all.”
Part of Byers’ care team at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital
included Dr. Sulang Rosado, WellSpan OB/GYN.
As part of the transition of care, Dr. Rosado had a virtual visit a few
days before to introduce herself and discuss any concerns.
“As part of the decision to transfer services to WellSpan
Chambersburg Hospital, our goal is to honor the birth plans of our expecting
mothers and deliver on our philosophy of providing the right care in the right
place,” said Dr. Sulang Rosado, WellSpan OB/GYN. “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to
learn more about Sarah by speaking with her virtually, connecting with her care
team, and carefully reviewing not only her medical records, but what she most
valued in her birthing experience so my team could ensure the continuity of her
care and expectations.”
Heading into WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, Byers says she didn’t
have a formal birth plan.
“I had ideas of the more natural route as possible,”
said Byers. “That is one of the key things that is known about Waynesboro that
I was afraid I was going to lose that aspect, I was also afraid I wouldn’t have
people advocating for me for a natural process and I ended up having the most
natural birth possible with the only little bit of intervention being the
Byers says communication with her care team about her wishes
allowed her to have the experience she was hoping for.
“I told her (the nurse) that I wanted a more natural
process, and she offered the portable monitor.”
With the portable monitor, her care team could ensure her
daughter’s heart rate stayed in a (healthy) range. Byers says she was able to
walk around and use a birthing ball to progress her labor, naturally. She was
also appreciative of the compassion her team showed her along the way.
“I never felt rushed, I talked a lot to the nurses and told
them why I was afraid of change and they were very understanding, and they
listened and eased my fears.”
Byers chose not to have an epidural, and found her nurse,
Amy to be supportive and encouraging through the process.
“She was like having a sister in the room, I mean she was so
supportive and right there. I could not
have asked for someone better to be with me in the later stages of labor.”
When Atalie was ready to arrive, Byers recalled her nurse Amy
and Dr. Rosado working like a “well-oiled machine.”
“Dr. Rosado herself, while I was pushing, I felt like she
was pushing with me. I will never forget
that, mentally it felt like I had the doctor on my team helping me.”
WellSpan Health announced at the beginning of July all
birthing services will transfer from WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital to WellSpan
Chambersburg Hospital, in a phased approach, to be finalized by September 18. Patients will continue to have access to
prenatal, postnatal and gynecological care at WellSpan OB/GYN’s office in
Waynesboro, but expectant mothers will deliver at WellSpan Chambersburg
Some patients have already been transitioned to deliver at
WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, where the mothers and newborns have access to
enhanced specialized care, including a neonatal intensive care unit.
Byers says her initial concerns were eased by the
compassionate care she experienced. She
hopes sharing her story will help other patients approach their transition of care
“I want to express the fact that my thing with Waynesboro is
that I was just comfortable there and the more natural approach. I didn’t know
another facility could be that way,” said Byers. “Just be open and honest about
your birth plan and the nurses and doctors will 100 percent work with you as
long as it is safe—they did for me, for sure.”