Mom Who Felt No Connection to Her Doctor Switched to St. Luke’s and Felt Like She Was Home
About midway through Oshea's second pregnancy, she wasn’t feeling confident in her obstetric care… like something was lacking in her connection to her doctor and the staff. She made an appointment at St. Luke’s Riverside Women’s Healthcare. “I signed the necessary paperwork to release my records on my first visit and the office staff made the switch seamless. From that point on, I didn’t feel like I was a new patient, they made me feel like I had been there all along.”
About midway through Oshea’s second pregnancy, she wasn’t feeling confident in her obstetric care. She wasn’t in any imminent danger, but she felt that something was lacking in her connection to her doctor and the staff. She didn't feel that her questions and concerns were being addressed or listened to, so she decided to explore other options.
Oshea, 24, of Bethlehem, started researching and came across St. Luke’s Riverside Women’s Healthcare. She had heard about Riverside’s great reputation for high quality, compassionate obstetric care in a small practice setting, so she called to make an appointment. The voice on the other end of the line was friendly, accommodating and made her feel welcome. “At my first appointment, I signed the necessary paperwork to release my records and the office staff made the switch seamless,” explains Oshea. “From that point on, I didn’t feel like I was a new patient, they made me feel like I had been there all along.”
With each visit to Riverside, Oshea came to realize that all the doctors were just as considerate, knowledgeable and caring as she had heard; Dr. Holli Warholic, Dr. Christin Gillier and Dr. Shenali Abeysekera had certainly lived up to their reputations. “It’s important to go with doctors who make you feel comfortable. For me, that meant a small practice with only three doctors,” says Oshea. “Because they don’t have an extensive caseload, they can focus more on my needs - they become like family over the 40 plus weeks you see them.”
During her 34 week appointment with Dr. Warholic, Oshea’s blood pressure was elevated and very quickly became severe. Noticing this and other signs of preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, Dr. Warholic knew that Oshea needed to be delivered immediately. So she was sent from the office to labor and delivery at the hospital to be induced. Dr. Gillier oversaw her induction, which went very quickly. The baby came so quickly that Oshea was a bit of a celebrity on the labor and delivery unit after her baby’s birth, as the staff rarely witnesses a baby who is quite that eager to make an entrance! “Moms and babies have all sorts of interesting delivery stories and we’re prepared for anything that comes our way,” says Dr. Gillier.
Since the baby was premature, she spent a couple of weeks in the NICU. “Dr. Gillier or Dr. Warholic came to see me and my baby every day,” says Oshea. “The nurses in the NICU were amazing too - they treated my baby like she was one of their own. That meant so much to me, considering she couldn’t go home with me right away.”
The compassionate care that Oshea received didn’t stop after her baby’s birth. Dr. Gillier was helpful to her in the weeks after she delivered, when Oshea expressed feelings of being overwhelmed. “Oshea suffered from some mild postpartum depression that was likely made worse by her exhaustion. Her baby, although a few weeks old, was the maturity of a newborn when she was discharged home from the NICU, so she still only slept a couple hours at a time,” explains Dr. Gillier. “I ask all my new moms about feelings of postpartum depression and try to encourage them to express their concerns early and openly, so that they can receive support and treatment as early as possible.”
Oshea and her baby girl are both doing well now, thanks, in part, to the support and encouragement they both received from the doctors and staff at St. Luke’s Riverside Women’s Healthcare and St. Luke’s University Health Network. “All the Riverside doctors are great, but Dr. Gillier holds a special place in my heart,” says Oshea. “I saw her the most throughout my pregnancy and I still get teary-eyed when I think about how she played such an integral part in bringing my baby girl safely into the world.”