Supportive and Pleasant Delivery - Brookings Health System

My name is Victoria Wakeman. I am from here in Brookings. I am a store owner. I own "My Generation," downtown here in Brookings, and I'm also a childbirth educator and doula.


How Many Children Do You Have?

We have seven children. Our oldest is Alex, and he's 14, and then, it's Ava, who's 12. Harrison is 9. Camille's 6. Josey is 3. Helena is 2, and Raquel is our newest, who's two and a half weeks old.


Where Did You Have Your Previous Children?

Well, our first six were in Sioux Falls, at two different hospitals there. And so, that's the experience that we'd known, and we really went for the midwifery model of care with those. And so, when Raquel happened, it was a completely different surprise situation for us.


Why Did You Choose Midwifery?

The reason that I've chosen midwifery model of care is because of the natural tendencies. They tend to go for the least invasive, and if they need that medical help, it's there. And, God willing, if something were to happen, they'd be ready to go. But, the great thing is, that's not their first choice. They tend to spend more time with the patients, give you a little more attention, get to know you. But, definitely tend to use the natural side of things, which is what we really like.


Why Did You Choose Brookings Health System for This Delivery?

We had Raquel at Brookings Health System, because it was a total surprise. And, that's kind of the fun part about how we discovered Brookings Health System. As far as for our own deliveries, is we were headed to Sioux Falls, just like our other six, and I realized that this labor was going to be way faster than the other six. I had hours to prepare with them, not so much with Raquel. Her total experience was 45 minutes from start to finish, so we turned around on the interstate and headed to the Brookings Hospital as quickly as we could, hazards flashing. And, thank goodness, we got to the delivery room in time, before she was born, minutes after arriving. So, it was quite a surprise for us.


What Was Your Experience Like?

It was, like I said, a very fast surprise. So, I walked into the ER, and I was in between contractions, thank goodness. And I said, "Here's my story. Here's what's going on. This is our seventh child, and I'm about to deliver." And she said, "We're going to get you upstairs right away." And they sure did. And so, we got up there, and my husband came chasing us down the hallway as fast as he could. And we got into the room, and within minutes, she was delivered. But, in that short time span, in between, the nurse's came in, and made me feel so comfortable. And, you could just tell that they were calm and peaceful, that they didn't feel any sort of panic. So, that peacefulness came across the whole room, and that's exactly what we were hoping for. We wanted that peace and calm, and she came out in a very calm and peaceful way, though very quickly. And so we were very, very happy.


Who Was Your Doctor?

Our doctor was Dr. Gudvangen, and he was amazing. He was so patient and peaceful in his care. And everything that we could have hoped for, in the delivery for Sioux Falls, he just automatically did. He was a natural midwife for us. So, he definitely... It was a pleasant surprise, and we were very happy with him.


How Did the Staff Respect Your Birth Plan?

Coming in, we definitely wanted those natural options and natural childbirth, and as natural parenting as possible in the hospital. And Dr. Gudvagen and the nurses completely supported us and all our choices, and, definitely, were just more gentle with everything. Just the way that we would have wanted, anywhere we delivered. And, we were very pleasantly and happily surprised by the results, and just being heard. We really felt that we were heard, and that's what made it so great.


Would You Recommend Brookings Health System?

Absolutely 100%, I would recommend it to anyone that's going to have a baby, because I felt like, after all these years of being so protective of the style of care that I wanted, and thinking that I could only come close to it, in certain ways. But, to be able to find the care, that I'd really been searching for, and it was, basically, in my backyard. And to find that, after all these years, was just such a pleasant surprise. And, it was almost like having a home experience in the hospital. We were, kind of, left in the room just to be together, but if we needed that help, they were right there, always. But, we got to be a family, and that was really a great thing. So, yes, absolutely. To anyone out there who's thinking about having a baby, who's going to have a baby, who even years down the road, is thinking about it, still. I would absolutely say, Brookings Health System is the best way to go, if you want to be heard and taken care of, and have that mother and baby friendly environments. Absolutely.