When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, we made the decision to switch to UC Blue & Gold so we would have access to world-class maternity care at the region’s top hospital. It was also reassuring to know that we were connected to Sacramento’s only nationally ranked, comprehensive children’s hospital in case any health concerns occurred during my pregnancy or delivery. During my pregnancy journey, my care – both primary and maternity – had been spectacular. My obstetrician Jennifer Ozeir made me feel cared for and thoroughly prepared.

Several weeks before my due date, Dr. Ozeir noted that our baby was in the breech position (present in only 4% of full-term deliveries). We were offered an External Cephalic Version (ECV) to attempt to rotate our baby to a head-down position. When our baby did not turn during the procedure, I was scheduled for a C-section.

Prepped for delivery day

The morning of my C-section, I was delighted to see the familiar face of the nurse who was present during my ECV. The nurse continued to be exceptionally capable and comforting throughout my C-section. With surgeon Susan Gorman by our side, we planned for a ‘gentle’ C-section delivery which included delayed cord clamping, immediate breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact and background music. My husband and I created a playlist – choosing Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” as our baby was born.

Emily Lillya and baby Bea
Emily and her newborn daughter Beatrice.

After delivery, our baby surprised us with a few complications. The operating team was able to delay cord clamping, but had to rush our baby out for additional care as she was in shock – purple, cold, and breathing shallowly. Our care team resuscitated her and gave her oxygen. The team then brought her back into the operating room, where I finally got to see my baby’s sweet face while the surgeons completed my C-section. The pediatric team placed her on my chest for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. During this time, we named our daughter Beatrice.

In the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), we learned that Beatrice was small for gestational age. While we were concerned, our doctors and nurses paid close attention to ensure that Beatrice thrived. Over the next several days I recovered from my C-section, and we were delighted with every newborn experience and expression.

Alongside our stellar nurses, our care team also included resident doctors, pediatrician Erik Fernandez y Garcia and obstetrician Clara Paik. Everyone was attentive to all of our needs and checked in regularly to offer help, guidance, and comfort. We even got to celebrate with a farm-to-fork-inspired meal complete with flowers and sparking apple juice.

One last health surprise

On the day of our discharge, our little girl gave us one last health surprise. The nurse came in and checked Beatrice’s vitals and found that her temperature was too low. Beatrice was brought to the nursery to be warmed and assessed. The nursing team discovered that her blood sugar was also low. If Beatrice’s conditions continued, she would have to be admitted to the NICU.

Thanks to our care team’s assistance, we got Beatrice on the right feeding plan and were overjoyed when her blood sugar stabilized. With Beatrice swimming in her newborn sized clothes, we left the hospital and spent our first night at home as a family.

An exceptional care team

I am more than grateful for my health care team who truly listened to my questions and concerns. From the attending physicians – including pediatrician Tammy Woo – residents and ultrasound technicians to the administrators and phlebotomists, our team had been extremely friendly, attentive and supportive of this first-time mother and brand new baby.

Over the next few weeks, our feeding plan succeeded. Beatrice soon outgrew her preemie sized clothes and has continued to achieve her growth goals!