Like many moms-to-be, Angie Fritsche was nervous about welcoming her first child into the world. Especially when it came to that whole delivery part. "I had a lot of anxiety," Angie tells us. But when that day arrived, she discovered a secret weapon at the Mayo Clinic Family Birth Center: OB nurse Mikayla Marpe. "The delivery went so well with Mikayla. She was so positive and supportive, and really knew what to do to calm me," says Angie, who welcomed Addison Patricia on Aug. 15, 2013.
Two years later, Angie and her husband, Chad, were back at the Family Birth Center to welcome their second daughter. When they walked into the delivery room, they were thrilled (and a little shocked) to see Mikayla's familiar face. "It never occurred to me that we'd see her for our second delivery," Angie says. With around 2,300 deliveries at Mayo each year, the chance of being paired with the same nurse twice would indeed seem small. (Infantesimal, perhaps?)
Angie credits the coincidence to "the stars aligning that day," and says having the same nurse present for both deliveries "instantly put me at ease." Mikayla "remembered us, and that made the experience so personal for us. Our care teams were awesome both times, but to have Mikayla as a standard presence was really special." The experience was a special one for Mikayla as well. "I feel so lucky to have been a part of both the Fritsche girls' births," she says. It was the first time she'd been part of two births for the same family, she says, "so it was just as special to me as it was for them."
Mikayla's TLC didn't end in the delivery room. The next day, she stopped in to visit the newest Fritsche — little Cameron Alexandra — in the family's postpartum room. That's something she tries to do for all of her patients. "It lets families know that you care and want the best for them," she tells us, adding that she also has a "selfish" motivation for making the visits: "I want to see the babies, too!" (We understand.)
Angie, a senior program coordinator for nursing research at Mayo Clinic, says having her children at Mayo has given her a new perspective on her employer. "As an employee, you hear 'Patients come first,' all the time," she says. "To experience that yourself as a patient is incredible. Mayo's OB department is ranked number one in the country. To get that expertise, plus a personal experience that makes you feel like you're at a small community hospital, felt like the best of both worlds."
Mikayla tells us that being part of someone's "birth story" is her favorite part of being an OB nurse. And Angie promises that Mikayla will feature prominently in both Addison's and Cameron's. "This is going to be such an awesome story to tell our kids as they grow up," Angie says. We'd even call it one for the (baby) books.
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