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Meet Chelsea H.

Family picture

 

My name is Chelsea H. and I’ve had two wonderful deliveries at AdventHealth Altamonte; but one of the experiences is worth sharing with the world, over and over again. I was diagnosed at 14 weeks gestation with a fetus that most likely had Turner Syndrome. I say most likely, because we chose not to do any invasive testing to confirm, as this would put her at further risk. She already had a mountain in front of her, and we chose to support her all the way to heaven. 

Each week the prognosis got worse—if that was even possible, we were only given a 1% chance of survival from the start. We made it to 23 weeks and 4 days with our daughter, and then it was time to say goodbye. The choice was mine, where did I want to deliver? The options were Altamonte—my second home, or at Orlando. I wanted to be home, I wanted to be surrounded by MY midwife. I wanted to be with the nurses who helped me through my first daughters beautiful birthing experience. It was an easy choice. I was scheduled to go in at 9 pm for an induction at 24 weeks and 0 days, an induction that would be more emotionally draining than physically. The process started at midnight and we delivered her 25 hours later with the slightest of a push. The next 2 hours, 4 different nurses entered my room to help my fiancé get Camilla’s tiny footprint on an ornament. They were bound and determined to make sure it was perfect. 

Tina, Dani, Kari, and Carly—the four nurses that supported me through my 2-day stay—thank you! Thank you for teaching us it’s ok to cry; thank you for teaching us it’s ok to laugh during such a difficult time. After being home only 24 hours, I remember clutching the weighted teddy bear you gifted my family and I. I remember crying because I was now so empty and alone; but the overwhelming feeling of missing my nurses is what I remember most. You all helped me process, grieve, smile, and love a lot deeper. I know you will always be a part of the story I tell when I remember Camilla’s birth. Thank you to Cyndi, the nurse manager who sat with us and cried with us, to the anesthesiologist who laid her hands gently on my back, to the nutritional services who provided gentle smiles, to the receptionist who said goodbye to us as we walked out empty handed—thank you.