Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center

Jennifer Taylor and GenevieveGoing through pregnancy and delivery with her parents living miles away in Georgia was difficult, but The Family Birthplace staff made all the difference in the world for Jennifer Taylor.

After seven weeks of bed rest, the Wicker Park resident delivered Genevieve — a healthy 6-pound, 6-ounce baby girl — on May 20, 2011 at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (SMEMC).

For Taylor, the nurses and staff treated her like family throughout her pregnancy.

"Overall, it was a great experience," said Taylor, a veterinarian's assistant at a Chicago no-kill cat shelter. "Everything was just so right — The Family Birthplace staff made my pregnancy and delivery seem easy."

Went into Premature Labor
Seven weeks prior to delivery, Taylor went into premature labor. Thinking it was just cramps, she decided she better get checked out and drove herself to The Family Birthplace, where a triage nurse hooked her up to a fetal monitor to check on the baby. Electrodes are placed on the abdomen, which monitor the baby's heart rate and can reveal any signs of distress.

Sure enough, Taylor was in labor. Her doctor, Toks Onyekwuluje, M.D., (known as Dr. Toks), prescribed medication to stop labor. It worked. After eight hours, Dr. Toks, board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and family practice, released Taylor from SMEMC, but she had to go on complete bed rest. Each week, Taylor had to visit The Family Birthplace for fetal monitoring.

Felt Very Comfortable
"That's how I got to know everyone on the floor," said the first-time mom about her weekly visits to SMEMC. She felt very comfortable with the nursing staff.

When the baby didn't arrive naturally after the due date, Dr. Toks induced labor. Taylor wasn't dilating properly and the baby's heart rate became irregular, so the patient was quickly prepped for surgery and had a c-section.

"Dr. Toks is the best — he is amazing," said Taylor, who was thrilled with the care she received during pregnancy and delivery. "Everyone from the nurses to my doctor to anesthesiologist, everything went smoothly."

Little Things Make a Difference
According to Taylor, while in the recovery room following her c-section, the nurses got warm blankets for her. The staff let Taylor bring her own pillow from home into surgery. "It's the little things — that's what make a difference," she said. "It's like you're at home and comfortable."

Taylor said the nurse manager at The Family Birthplace encouraged her to call them anytime after she was discharged with questions, even at 2 or 3 a.m.

Her parents, who are in their 70s and still work, missed the delivery, but they have traveled from Georgia to visit their new granddaughter.

"It really meant the world to me to be taken care of here — like family," said Taylor, in her thank-you note to The Family Birthplace staff. "You can tell that it is more than just your job — it's your passion."

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