Baby’s arrival becomes part of “to-do” list for new perinatologist and his wife
They’d spent the day unloading a moving van. But as Steven Andrade, M.D., and his pregnant wife, Allison, went to bed that night there was still much to do.
“We had something like 90 things scheduled on the calendar for the next day,” said Allison, rattling off a to-do list that included closing on their new Knoxville home, scheduling contractors for a renovation project, meeting their son Paxton’s new daycare teacher and an appointment at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, where her husband was to start his career as a new perinatologist.
Sometime after midnight, the “91st item” was added to the top of the list: welcoming their 6-pound, 9-ounce daughter, Lyla Mae, into the world. “I like to do everything at once,” Allison would later say with a laugh, explaining the panic she felt when her water burst.
“Steve goes into this calm, reassuring, ‘doctor mode,’ and I’m like, ‘What do we do?! What do we do!?!’” she said. “So he says, ‘Well, we’re going to go get into the car and we’re going to go have a baby.’ He says it like it’s nothing! I’m just the opposite of him. He’s awesome, and it went as smooth as it could possibly go.”
Calling his mother-in-law eight hours away in Arkansas to come tend to their son, Dr. Andrade grabbed – or rather dragged – his wife’s pre-packed delivery bag to the car. “It was like I was packed for a European trip,” said Allison. It was so heavy he couldn’t even bring it in.”
Unfamiliar with their new hometown of Knoxville (they had arrived only two days earlier from Winston-Salem, N.C.), the Andrades let the GPS guide them to Fort Sanders Regional. There, Dr. Andrade had first-time meetings with two of his OB-GYN partners from Fort Sanders Women’s Specialists: Robb McKeown III, MD and Brooke Foulk, MD who would deliver Lyla Mae.
Dr. McKeown and Dr. Foulk treated the Adrades with the same excellent care they provide for all of their patients.
“Despite having to take care of the brand new perinatologist’s wife, they were cool as cucumbers and did a great job and really treated us like they treated any other patient. It gave me somewhat of an insider opinion before I saw it from the other side,” Dr. Andrade said.
“They say doctors make horrible patients, and I wasn’t a patient here, but I was definitely watching over what they did and how they did it. They were definitely held to my standard of care and far, far exceeded it.”
“Our nursing staff is truly amazing. I formulated that opinion of them before I ever really started working with them,” he added. “And not just the nursing staff, but really everybody I interacted with – administrative staff, cleaning staff, lactation consultants, postpartum nurses, everybody from the time we hit the door until we were discharged.”
That included the Andrades’ home closing, too. “I called our realtor at 1:30 in the morning on the way to the hospital and said, ‘We’re going to have to delay closing because I’m in labor,” said Allison. But the papers were ready, “so the lovely people at the title company came to the hospital with the closing papers, and I signed the papers while holding my 43-minute old baby.”
Those hectic days are behind him now, and Dr. Andrade sees them simply as “the plight of any physician” early in his or her career.
Allison Andrade, whom many would say had the most difficult job, remains blissfully happy with her new bundle of perfection.
“After all we’d gone through, it was so easy – as easy as childbirth can be, I guess,” she laughed. “It speaks volumes how the hospital staff didn’t know Steven, but everyone from the get-go was so nice and so courteous and so hospitable. They made sure we were accommodated in every way possible. My first delivery in Winston-Salem with our son, Paxton, was great. But here was just exactly what we needed after a day of chaos.”