BILLINGS – It is safe to say that there is something in the water at St. Vincent Healthcare.
Six nurses in the obstetric unit are pregnant, all due between May and August.
“I actually made it to number four before my eye started to twitch just a little bit,” said Bobbie Smith, the manager of the obstetric unit. “At number four I thought ‘oh, boy! This might be a little challenging.”
Nurses Melissa Jennings and Catherine Burroughs are both scheduled for May 1 deliveries, Joy Stahl and Jessie Novakovich are due in June, Lynsey Harrod has a baby due in July and Micah Rose rounds out the group with a baby due in August.
“We all know how to deliver babies but we may not know how they’re made,” joked Novakovich.
The group gathered in a room at St. V’s on Friday to talk about their journey.
“It’s been fun though because it feels like our work family – they’re excited,” said Jennings, who is on baby number four. “It’s been fun to be pregnant together with these girls and with our work family.”
For five of the women, this baby won’t be their first. Rose will become a first-time mom, and said going through this with her pregnant co-workers has made the process that much better.
“Everyone is like so genuinely excited for each other and everybody is so supportive,” Rose said.
With so many nurses scheduled to be out on maternity leave, coupled with summer being a popular time to take a vacation, changes had to be made to supplement staffing.
“We do have a couple of travelers coming to cover some of the critical needs that we have,” said Smith. “We even have some of our NICU nurses that are willing to come over. They have trained and are gonna help cover some of those needs during the summer months.”
Despite some of the difficulties, Smith said the unit operates as a family and they are excited about the new additions.
“I’ve worked here for 17 years on this unit and I have seen each one of these guys come in and grow, we’ve trained them and so it’s like adding to our family,” said Smith. “Were a family-centered care facility anyway and it’s growing our family and that’s really exciting.”
Although she is excited, Smith said she hopes there aren’t any more pregnancy announcements for a while.
“We probably have a few more and they’re waiting to tell me until I recover a little bit and then they’ll come and let me know,” said Smith.