First-time mom Gracey Routh had a vision for her birth story. She wanted a water birth, but she wanted to deliver at a hospital, in case she or her baby needed medical intervention. And she wanted privacy with easy access to her support team. After learning the newly remodeled The Birth Place at Olathe Medical Center (OMC) had many of those things, Gracey chose it as her birth center and prepared for the delivery of her firstborn.
“I looked into every Labor and Delivery unit in the area and immediately knew The Birth Place at Olathe Medical Center was where I wanted to have my baby,” Gracey said. “The birth suites offered large jet tubs you could labor in. And once baby was born, you would move to a different suite that looked more like a hotel room than a hospital.”
While the room perks drew Gracey to The Birth Place, it was the staff that had the biggest impact.
More than Amenities
Gracey and her husband, Will, checked into The Birth Place the morning of February 8, 2018. Previously diagnosed with preeclampsia, a condition that can potentially cause dangerous complications, Gracey was induced upon arrival. The first-time parents were all nerves in the hours leading up to the delivery, but baby Faye arrived later that afternoon.
“I didn’t get to labor in the tub due to my medical condition but everything else went so smoothly,” Gracey said. “The nurses quite literally changed my family’s lives.”
When Faye had to go to the NICU for low blood sugar and elevated white blood cells, staff assured Gracey and Will their baby would be okay, explaining she just needed extra monitoring. For out-of-town relatives, a camera overlooking Faye’s crib provided precious first glimpses of their newest addition. And when the challenges of breastfeeding arose, lactation consultants and nursing staff provided support, resources and guidance. In just three days’ time, a healthy Faye was able to leave the NICU and head home with Gracey and Will.
Writing a New Birth Chapter
Today, four-year-old Faye is a big sister to little brother, Henry. After delivering Henry at The Birth Place in October 2020, Gracey answered her calling to become a nurse.
“I was always interested in nursing, but my second delivery is what inspired me to take the leap,” Gracey said. “I want to provide other mothers with the same great experience the staff at The Birth Place gave me.”
Gracey began her nursing prerequisites in January 2021. After earning her CNA certificate, she began working as a Patient Care Tech at OMC.
“I love this organization and hope to be part of it for years to come,” Gracey said.
Gracey will graduate with her LPN in 2023 before moving on to an RN program. With plans to graduate in 2024, she hopes to work at The Birth Place, where her nursing journey began.