Why A Nurse Stayed Late On Christmas For A Mother And Her Baby

The mother was anxious and nervous and scared.

She told labor and delivery nurse Jeanine Blom her fears. The birth of her first child had been traumatic. The baby’s shoulders were stuck during birth. The epidural didn’t work.

As that mother lay at IU Health Methodist Hospital on Christmas Eve last year, ready to give birth to her second child, Blom was determined to make this birth a wonderful one.

“A beautiful baby boy was born Christmas morning and the birth process went quite smoothly,” says Blom, who has worked at Methodist two years. “When the baby was placed on her abdomen, instead of looking up at her husband or down at her new little one, she looked up at me and said, ‘I love you.’ I will never forget that moment.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Blom felt a connection to this mother and her baby. And even though her shift was over, she stayed late on Christmas Day to be with her.

“I wanted to ensure she and her family had a good end to their labor and delivery experience,” Blom says. So, she stayed until they were transferred to the Mother Baby unit.

It’s no wonder, in her short time at Methodist, Blom has become known as a standout labor and delivery nurse. She is respected by her peers, has won awards for her care and is beloved by her patients. 

What led her to nursing…

“Health and wellness were always an interest of mine. In grade school, I read numerous books about people with terminal illnesses. When I got a little older, I became passionate about global health and underserved populations. I had big dreams to join the Peace Corps. Although I have not been able to fulfill this dream, I have had some amazing experiences promoting other individuals’ health and wellness; these experiences, ultimately, encouraged my career choice.”

What were those experiences?

“I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in heart health fairs for middle school students. I spent many summers as a camp counselor and, eventually, a camp health provider serving underprivileged youth and developmentally disabled adults. Although these experiences were empowering, my favorite was when I traveled to Kenya to educate young women about safe sex and women’s health. Overall, I love making a positive impact on those around me and I love letting them impact my life.” 

Most memorable patient story…

“It’s challenging to pick a favorite labor and delivery story. I truly value and often think about many of my interactions on the unit. One experience that comes to mind is when the provider wasn’t in the room for a baby’s birth and I — with gloves barely on my hands – ‘caught’ my first baby. Just minutes before, the provider had checked the patient’s cervix. I left the room and within five minutes, the father of the baby came into the hallway. Although he did not speak English, I could tell by the expression on his face that something big was happening. As a colleague and I entered the room, she grabbed the delivery cart and I grabbed a pair of gloves. By that point, the baby was crowning. Someone else was dialing the provider’s number, but the baby wasn’t going to wait on anyone. I felt a rush of adrenalin and overwhelming happiness as I placed the screaming baby on mom’s abdomen.” 

How she gets through the sad times…

“I’m so lucky to have amazing support; my co-workers are extremely supportive. My husband is also a huge help. Most of his work is done on a computer and he has stated more than once that ‘a bad day at your job is a whole lot worse than a bad day at mine.’ Other ways I de-stress are by running, exercising and cuddling with my two kitties (one of which is special needs – blind, deaf, and cerebellar hypoplasia are just some of his conditions).”

What makes a standout nurse?

“You can’t be a great nurse without a great team. Without each other — providers, other nurses, our leadership team — no patient would have a standout nurse.” 

— By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.

   Reach Benbow via email dbenbow@iuhealth.org or on Twitter @danabenbow.