First Time Mother

First Time Mother
Patient Name : Elizabeth Rodriguez

"I have always wanted to be a mother,” Eli explained to Ricardo Rodriguez not long after they began dating. She wanted to know if he was willing to have a second family. The 37-year-old woman looked intently into the eyes of the man with whom she had an instant connection and waited for his answer.

Within six months Ricardo and Eli married. Reproductive endocrinologist Gary DeVane, MD, guided them through the tedious and sometimes painful process of in-vitro fertilization. Two attempts had not been successful, but Eli began to think she might be pregnant. Ricardo stopped by the drugstore and purchased a pregnancy test for his wife. When the faint pink line appeared, the couple restrained their rising hopes in fear of a false positive. Early the next morning, however, Eli woke early and tried the second test her husband had purchased. However, it was not until the doctor’s office called on Monday with her blood test results that they both cried tears of excitement.

“I loved being pregnant,” Eli says. “All we wanted was a healthy baby.” As she looked at the sonogram while surrounded by her family, she said, “I never thought I could love someone so much that I had never met.” The child growing inside was a boy.

Although Eli served Governor Bush as Special Assistant to the Governor in Central Florida by overseeing nine counties, preparing for visits, and speaking to special interest groups, she admittedly knew nothing of being a mother. She decided to have her child at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women and took advantage of the classes offered on breast-feeding, Lamaze, pediatricians and others. “These classes were very helpful for a new mom who didn’t know what to expect,” she shares.

During her eighth month, Eli’s blood pressure rose and her obstetrician Nicholas Abrudescu, MD, decided to induce her labor. Eli and Ricardo arrived at Arnold Palmer Hospital early on the morning of March 23, 2005. By the afternoon, Eli was in labor. Though supported by her sister, Ana, her best friend, Chris, and her husband, her labor and delivery nurse, Michele Reall, encouraged her along the way. She never felt abandoned because Michele continually came in the room to monitor how she felt and check on the progress of the baby.

At six o’clock, Eli began pushing. “I felt like I was doing poorly, but then Michele would grab my hand and tell me how great I was doing,” she recounted. By nine o’clock, their son still had not been born. The fetal monitor showed that he was doing fine, but Eli heard Dr. Abrudescu mention the need for a Cesarean section. “I don’t want a C-section,” she said as she propped herself up in bed. “You have two pushes, before we perform a C-section,” he told her. After an episiotomy, the second push produced Bryce. When Bryce was placed on her chest, the proud parents cried.

Bryce had difficulties breathing and needed close observation, so his nurse took a digital picture of him and placed it by Eli’s bed. The following morning, nurses brought Bryce to Eli to feed. When Bryce had a difficult time, Kerry Montfont, RN taught Eli some helpful techniques. “She helped make breastfeeding a great experience,” Eli says.

When the time came for Eli to return home, Bryce’s blood sugar levels had not stabilized. “I had to leave him at the hospital overnight,” she shares. The nurses assured her he would be fine and gave her a number to call to check on him. The following day Eli took Bryce home even though he had developed jaundice. But in a little over a week, his bilirubin levels returned to normal.

“During my tenure with the Governor’s office I had just heard stories concerning Arnold Palmer Hospital, now I can give my own testimony as to how outstanding your hospital truly is. My husband and I cannot even begin to thank you for the outstanding service we were given while staying at your hospital,” wrote Eli in a letter of appreciation.

Eli had such a wonderful experience that the Rodriguez couple is contemplating a second child.