Delivering Joy Every Day:
One Nurse's Story

Few moments in a person's life are
as magical and transforming...

read more

Celebrating Mother's Day
with a Fourth Baby

This Mother's Day, Shawna Huson's
day will be even sweeter than
in years passed, thanks to the...

read more

Delivering Joy Every Day: One Nurse's Story

In honor of National Nurses' Week (May 6- May 12), this month we are profiling one of the many exceptional nurses who make a difference every day inside the Dignity Health facilities throughout Sacramento.

Few moments in a person's life are as magical and transforming as the day they welcome a child into their family. For Toni Lipp, getting to share in that experience every day through her job is an opportunity that she feels blessed to have.

Toni began her nursing career 12 years ago at Mercy General Hospital in East Sacramento. "I attended American River Nursing School," Toni says. "I really thought I wanted to get a job in the ER because I loved the adrenaline. But no one was hiring."

A friend told her about an opening in Labor & Delivery at Mercy General. "I knew it was unusual for there to be openings in Labor & Delivery, so I while I wasn't sure it would be a good fit for me, it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up."

Little did Toni know that the adrenaline she was looking for was right there in Labor & Delivery - on a daily basis! "It's such an exciting unit to work in - every day is different. You are simultaneously caring for two patients - one who is present and one who is trying to make his or her entrance into the world! And while there are some heartbreaking moments, for the most part it is a place full of joy. Ninety-eight percent of the time, my job involves helping people on the happiest day of their lives."

So what would Toni tell first-time moms who are about to delivery their babies? First, and most importantly, she encourages mothers and fathers to ask questions. "No question is dumb. Write down your questions and share them with your nurse. You should also take the Stork Tour, which gives you a chance to visit the Family Birth Center here at Mercy General prior to delivery. You can also call the unit where you plan to deliver - ask to speak the unit manager. Having your questions answered will help you relax during your delivery."

Toni also strongly cautions moms against spending too much time on the Internet... "Do not believe everything you read online, "Toni says with a laugh. "There is a lot of scary stuff online and a lot of stuff that just isn't true. Be very cautious about what you read."

For Toni, she has found exactly what she needed in the Family Birth Center - adrenaline with a lot of happiness thrown in for good measure. "I am so fortunate to work at one of the best hospitals around with an exceptional staff of nurses and physicians. Every day we are helping families welcome new life into the world. It just doesn't get much better than that!"

To learn more about the obstetric services available at all the local Dignity Health facilities, and to schedule a Stork Tour, visit our website.

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Celebrating Mother's Day with a Fourth Baby

This Mother's Day, Shawna Huson's day will be even sweeter than in years passed, thanks to the arrival of her fourth child, Jaben, a baby boy born in early April. Jaben is Shawna and her husband Andrew's fourth ( and last ) child. "Having a newborn is so much sweeter when you know it is your last one," Shawna says. "You know how quickly each stage passes and that you need to cherish each moment."

Shawna delivered Jaben at Methodist Hospital, Dignity Health's hospital serving Elk Grove and the south Sacramento area. Jaben's delivery was Shawna's third c-section, and while you might think the Husons would have everything figured out by pregnancy #4 - think again! "My husband had rented a carpet cleaner and had moved all the furniture out when we found out that I would need to delivery early because of high blood pressure," remembers Shawna. "He drove home to get my bags and take care of a few things and he actually got lost on the way back to the hospital. We live five minutes away! I couldn't believe it - I told him he had to get it together!"

Fortunately, Andrew did make it back to the hospital in time for Jaben's big arrival. "It really was my best delivery experience," Shawna reflects. "The staff was amazing - friendly and helpful." Shawna and Baby Jaben spent a few days at the hospital before heading home to begin life as a family of six. Shawna says while Jaben is an easy baby, learning to be a mom to four is a still a work in progress for her. "I wouldn't say I have it all figured out yet. However I think the hardest transition was actually adding the third child. Having older kids has its benefits because they can be helpful with the baby."

Shawna also credits her local support system with helping her and Andrew make the adjustment. In addition to their friends, the community at River City Community Church ( where Andrew is pastor ) also has helped ease the transition. Shawna encourages other new moms to accept help when it is offered. "We've had so many wonderful friends bringing us meals, arranging play dates and carpools. That support makes life with a new baby so much easier."

So what is Shawna hoping for this Mother's Day? Believe it or not, what she'd really like is just a nice photo, capturing her new family of six. "I'd love for my kids to be dressed in cute outfits ( of course! ) and to get a family picture where everyone is happy and looking at the camera. That would be great! And of course, I look forward to seeing what sort of gifts or cards they've made me. That's all I need!"

Whether your family is big or small and includes your own children or simply the joy of young friends, we hope your Mother's Day is filled with smiles too!

If you are preparing to welcome a little one into your family, consider attending one of our upcoming Baby Steps events. To register and learn more, click here.

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