Your Gifts at Work

Jennifer Wensink: "Staying at Firelands was a Relief"

When Jennifer Wensink experienced pre-term contractions at 33 weeks pregnant on June 1, she didn’t expect to be delivering her second baby the next day at Firelands Regional Medical Center. But, that is exactly what happened. At just 33 weeks and one day into her pregnancy, Jen delivered her daughter, Madison Elizabeth. The hours leading up to her delivery were stressful for everyone. Initially, the contractions could be stopped by the Center for Women and Newborns care team, and Jen and Tom were sent home.

Hours later, the contractions were back and this time they were stronger. The couple headed to the hospital and soon Jen’s water broke, meaning her delivery was imminent.

“When this all started, we thought I would have to be transported to another hospital because I was in labor so early,” Jen said. "But after a thorough examination of me and the baby and a consult with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the pediatric hospitalists determined we were safe to deliver at Firelands because of the technology and expertise available here.”

This news brought relief to the family. They have a 3-year-old son, Nick, and their lives would’ve been turned upside down by having to travel to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in either Toledo or Cleveland.

“Being able to stay at Firelands was such a relief. We were happy and excited to get to stay here in Sandusky because being in Cleveland would’ve been difficult for our son and extended family,” Jen says.

And according to the Wensinks, Baby Madison didn’t have to sacrifice great care to stay close to home.

“We’ve been so well taken care of at Firelands,” Jen states, “We actually think we are receiving even better care than we may have in Cleveland. At a bigger hospital, we would’ve been one of many families with preemies in the unit. Here, we are the only ones, so we feel like we are getting a lot of very personalized attention and care. Madison is doing great.”

In fact, Madison is doing so well that less than one week after birth, she off the various machines she began her life with and continues to astound the physicians entrusted with her care.

level II nursery

“She’s really a champion baby,” says Robert Johnson, DO, pediatric hospitalist with Pediatrix Medical Group, an organization that provides specialized care to newborns and children at Firelands Regional Medical Center, “Most 33 weekers have lung concerns we have to deal with. Madison didn’t have that, but she did need to use some of our new equipment and we are so grateful to have the technology we do. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to keep this baby at Firelands.”

Madison spent the first few days of her life in an isolette called a Panda Warmer, made possible through the generosity of the Sam and Rose Stein Foundation. These important machines help to regulate temperature in a newborn like Madison, a common concern with premature babies according to Dr. Johnson.

“The great thing about the Panda Warmer is that we are able to program the desired body temperature for the baby and then a sensor helps to keep the baby’s body temperature at that level until the baby can regulate it on its own,” he says.

Madison was fortunate to require little other interventional care in her first week of life. As the Wensink family prepared to go home, they are thankful for the care they’ve received and for the generosity of those who made the future Level II Nursery possible.

“Without all of this, we would’ve had a tough and stressful time in the last week,” Jen says, “Instead, we could focus on keeping everyone healthy and happy. Our son got to hold Madison for the first time when she was five days old and has been with us every night. This has been such a relief at a time when everything else was really scary.”

The Center for Women and Newborns now houses a licensed Level II Nursery. The space came to fruition because of a gift from Arthur and Carol Wolfe during the renovation of the unit. This new licensing means more babies like Madison will remain at Firelands when they born between 32 and 26 weeks gestation, keeping families together during the most important moments of their lives.

Learn more about the pregnancy and birth services offered at Firelands Regional Medical Center today, or make a gift to the Foundation for Firelands to help other moms like Jennifer.

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