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A supportive team and first-time mom welcomed baby girl at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley

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Maureen began her journey to motherhood as many do, choosing a doctor that was the perfect fit for her family. Her checklist included a doctor that loved maternity care, one that welcomed her husband Matthew into conversations and appointments, and one thay supported her decisions throughout pregnancy and birth. Most of all, she wanted a doctor she felt confident in. With all of that in mind, she found Jodi Parungao, M.D., a family medicine physician, with additional training in obstetrics.

Carolyn and her babyAs a resident of Willits, Maureen was happy to be able to complete her lab work and ultrasounds with the wonderful techs at Adventist Health Howard Memorial, allowing her to have more time for herself, family and work.

Entering the third trimester, Maureen and baby girl were both happy and healthy. However, it was also at this time that Dr. Parungao shared with the family that she had accepted a position as the director of the Family Medicine Residency Clinic and would be changing her clinic hours.

“At first I was really nervous that Dr. Parungao wouldn’t be my primary doctor and that she might not be able to be there for the birth,” said Maureen. “Matthew and I had already both grown quite attached to Dr. P and I was really looking forward to seeing her throughout the end of my pregnancy.”

This is when Amber Gilmore, M.D. was added to Maureen’s care team, providing additional support and ensuring the pair felt comfortable with the continuation of care.

“Dr. Gilmore was so great!” said Maureen. “She listened to me and Matthew and she and Dr. Parungao worked together for the rest of my pregnancy. They both promised to be there the day of delivery, unless of course an emergency came up.”

When Maureen started to experience labor pains, she was admitted to the Family Birth Center. She was able to have her husband Matthew and her support superhero Carolyn by her side for the entire two days of labor.

“I am so thankful that they were both there for me, and that Carolyn was also there to support Matthew as well,” continued Maureen. “Carolyn works for Care for Her and had been my provider for many years before I became pregnant. Even though she was not part of my maternity care team with Adventist Health, they all worked together amazingly on the day of my daughter Magnolia’s birth. I could not image doing it without her and the amazing team of nurses and staff at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.”

After a long labor with minimal progression, Dr. Gilmore, Dr. Parungao, Matthew and Maureen all decided that it was time for a c-section to ensure the safe delivery of little Magnolia whose arm had become tangled with her umbilical cord, causing serious looming complications. “I never wanted a c-section, I was hopeful for a natural birth,” reminisced Maureen. “But we all decided that it was what best for Magnolia, and that was absolutely all that mattered.”

Once Magnolia arrived, she needed additional care in the NICU.

“It was only for a few hours to help with her breathing; Matthew was able to go with her, while Dr. Gilmore took care of me,” explained Maureen. “I was thankful to have an entire team dedicated to our new family.”

“We really had the best experience,” said Maureen. “From our doctors, to our nurses, techs and my anesthesiologist, everyone was so supportive. It was the little details that made all the difference. OB nurse Kimberly Gordon and OB tech Cheyenne Daugherty brought me a handmade bracelet with Magnolia’s name and tied the cutest hat bows; Kimberly also worked with me to get Magnolia breastfeeding; OB nurse Janelle Cater helped with everything the next day, and OB nurse Sally Vendoloski supported me through labor and was an amazing voice of knowledge to this first-time mother. Our anesthesiologist, Josette Salas had jammin’ epidural skills. We had a team of incredible women supporting us from the moment we arrived.”

Today, Maureen and Magnolia are happily at home, taking in the first few months as mother and daughter. Every doctor’s appointment now feels like a family reunion coming back into the halls of the Family Medicine Clinic: everyone is so excited to see and say hi to miss Magnolia including the staff and the docs, and even the receptionists, too!

Pictured above is the team of women that cared for Maureen and Magnolia, along with proud father, Matthew.