Amanda Jemison was looking for personalized, supportive care along with the safety of a hospital birth for the birth of her daughter Elenore.
She found the perfect combination at Regional One Health, which is the only hospital in Memphis where patients can give birth with the support of a Certified Nurse Midwife.
Now adjusting to life with a 5-year-old and 5-month-old, Amanda encourages other women to look into midwifery and Regional One Health’s labor & delivery center.
Expectant parents often talk about birth plans, but as Amanda Jemison and her husband prepared to welcome baby Elenore, they preferred to think of it as “birth hopes.”
Amanda’s hope was for a vaginal delivery in a supportive environment, but her goal was simply a healthy baby. Regional One Health and its midwifery program proved to be the ideal option.
Regional One Health is the only hospital in Memphis where patients can give birth with a certified nurse midwife, allowing families to enjoy a patient-focused, personalized style of care while still having the safety of a hospital birth.
It is just what Amanda was looking for.
“In my second pregnancy, our daughter Eliza died soon after birth, so we needed the peace of mind of having a high-quality medical team available immediately after the birth,” she said. “I was really interested in the model at Regional One Health where I could have access to midwifery care as well as access to emergency support.”
Amanda worked with a midwife during her second pregnancy, and she loved the individual support and holistic experience. “You get 30 minutes or even an hour with a midwife,” she said of the prenatal appointments. “It’s a much more hands-on type of care.”
Regional One Health’s midwifery team gave her the same benefits.
“I loved my time with all of the midwives. I got such high quality, attentive care,” she said. “Particularly with it being a pregnancy after such a traumatic loss, I felt so loved and so cared for. If I needed more hand-holding, that was available. It made a really hard pregnancy easier.”
While the midwifery team provided the encouragement Amanda was looking for, Regional One Health’s maternal fetal medicine team helped her navigate what to do if she faced complications.
“Maternal fetal medicine helped me strategize, and they could talk directly with the midwives,” she said.
For example, they recommended scheduling an induction shortly before Amanda’s due date to avoid risks associated with giving birth when a baby is overdue. Amanda said it was the right choice both medically and for her peace of mind.
When the big day came, Amanda and her husband were joined at Regional One Health’s labor & delivery center by their doula and certified nurse midwifes Breia Loft, CNM, MSN and Renee Hallford, CNM, MSN.
“The induction was very gentle and easy, and everything went smoothly,” Amanda said. “The midwives were absolutely amazing. I was blown away by the level of care we received and the support and kindness – it was a really beautiful experience.”
Throughout her lengthy labor, Amanda benefited from both high-tech medical resources and personalized support.
“I got to use wireless monitoring, which was really cool,” she said. “For me, it worked better than regular monitoring. It made the experience so much better, being able to walk around the room without wires all over my body.”
Meanwhile, Breia and nurses like Tiffany Taylor made sure she felt empowered and cared for.
“They were really supportive and loving,” Amanda said. “One thing I was really impressed with was how they took the time to explain what was going on and get my buy-in. I hadn’t seen that in other hospitals. I felt like everyone was there to help me have the positive birth experience I wanted while keeping the main objective in mind.”
The main objective, of course, being a healthy baby – and at 5 months, little Elenore is all that and so much more.
“She is a really sweet and joyful baby, and it’s been fun to watch our son Joshua, who is 5, fall in love with her,” Amanda said. “We’re all really happy. We’re just figuring out life with a 5-month-old and a 5-year-old!”
The family enjoys spending time outdoors and marking life’s milestones. “We like to go for hikes together and go to Shelby Forrest and explore, or to the Mud Island River Park. We went on a picnic and had cake on the anniversary of Eliza’s birth,” Amanda said.
They’ll always look back with joy on an experience that met their birth goals and hopes.
“I continue to be incredibly grateful that the midwives and Regional One Health were part of Elenore’s birth,” Amanda said. “I highly recommend midwifery care and Regional One Health as a birthing option. The level and quality of care you get is hard to beat!”