Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center takes interactive approach to patient care
As a nurse practitioner in internal medicine, Erin Jacques of Powell had worked with many doctors over the years.
Jacques knew if she ever became pregnant she wanted to receive care from Perry Roussis, MD, and Gary Stephens, DO, at Fort Sanders Perinatal Center. The perinatologists care for all kinds of pregnancies, but specialize in those that are considered high risk.
“I was healthy and there was nothing really high risk about me, except for my age,” said Jacques, who was 35 when she had her first baby. “But I knew I would trust their judgment completely. Their nurse practitioners were awesome, too. I felt so at ease.”
Jacques delivered her first child, Adeline, on Sept. 18, 2017. Adeline was a healthy 7 pounds, 6 ounces, but was a bit late in arriving.
“When we got toward 41 weeks, I wasn’t having contractions; my exams were unimpressive; I wasn’t effaced,” said Jacques, meaning there were no physical indications she was going into labor soon.
“I asked both doctors at different times, what’s your estimation about needing a C-section? My mom had a C-section with me. It was just my intuition that I would have a difficult vaginal delivery,” she said.
Jacques said that inducing labor was the original plan, but the physicians also gave her the option of scheduling a C-section. “My husband, Brennan, and I thought about it and prayed about it, and we chose the C-section.”
As it turned out, Adeline’s umbilical cord had a knot in it, and the cord was wrapped around her body. Ultrasounds will rarely detect these types of issues, baby Adeline and her mother were in very competent hands with Dr. Stephens.
“It’s extremely rare,” Dr. Stephens said about the umbilical cord knot. “It’s not usually discoverable before delivery, and it’s not usually a problem. But all pregnancies are at risk for unexpected problems, even if there are no high-risk factors. I think that Mrs. Jacques felt we listened to her, and had a dialog about our approach to her care. We discussed the pros, cons, and risks of each type of delivery, then allowed her and her husband to ask questions so that they could make an informed decision.”
Jacques said she has no regrets about her decision to have a C-section, or to see a high-risk specialist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center.
“It goes back to me trusting the doctors, and they let me trust my motherly instincts,” said Jacques. “I spent three nights at Fort Sanders, and healed fine with no complications. I had excellent care all around.
“And if I get pregnant again, that’s where I’m going!” she added. “I picked them because I could literally trust them with my life.”
Fort Sanders Regional delivers more babies than any other facility in the area, including more than 20,000 high-risk babies over the last 20 years. Specialists on staff are available to address a wide range of special needs. You can learn more about options for moms-to-be at fsregional.com/womens-services.