Published on August 20, 2021

New Mom Grateful for Ridgeview

Photo of the Puskarich family in the delivery room at RidgeviewWhen Katie Puskarich from Prior Lake learned that she was carrying twins, she and her husband Matthew chose to deliver at Ridgeview because of its onsite neonatal care in partnership with Children's Minnesota. "I knew [with twins] there was a likelihood that they might need a bit of a NICU stay," Katie explained. But what happened in her second trimester, made her choice of hospital and OB practice even more meaningful than she could ever have expected.

At 17 weeks gestation, Katie lost one of her twins in utero.

This is an unexpected and tragic loss for any parent, but there are special difficulties—both medically and emotionally—when you're carrying twins. Katie shared, “It was like I was carrying life and death at the same time. You can’t really grieve until you deliver your baby, so I brought a lot of big emotions to the delivery room. There was the joy in welcoming Baby Teagan and the grief of losing Morgan. It all collided on that day, but all of the staff was so incredibly kind. They caught a lot of tears and said a lot of supporting words that made the moment a lot less sad than it could have been.”

Sarah Freitas, MD, Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics, was on call when Katie unexpectedly went into early labor at 34 weeks of pregnancy. “Dr. Freitas made me feel comfortable and safe as soon as I met her, and I completely trusted that I was in the most capable hands. She was exactly who I needed that day,” Katie said.   

Katie appreciated the care and concern of all of her care team.

Rebecca Baudoin, MD, also from Western OB/GYN, was Katie’s obstetrician during her pregnancy. When Dr. Baudoin learned about Katie’s loss, she immediately called Katie at home to express sympathy and answered any immediate questions Katie had.

“I wanted to be prepared, and Dr. Baudoin did a wonderful job of taking a heavy conversation and being honest and compassionate. She did it well with a lot of grace and understanding,” Katie said.

‘Everyone treated BOTH of my babies with respect as people who mattered.’

At 30 weeks, Katie had an unplanned “trial run” at Ridgeview’s Birthing Center. She had a bleeding episode and was admitted to the hospital for a few days. What was most impactful during that stay was how both of her babies were treated with respect as people who mattered. “Everyone talked to me about the daughter I had lost and mentioned her by name,” Katie said. “That was so significant to me.”

‘The nurses included me in their conversations. I had a say in my care.’

“I also was impressed with the communication among the Ridgeview staff. I know my nurses were working together and communicating well with each other because they did their shift changes right in front of me,” Katie said. “I appreciated that because I knew that the important information was being shared and they included me in the conversation.”

Katie and Matthew made a thoughtful decision in choosing Ridgeview because of its reputation and onsite NICU, yet experienced so much more than anticipated. They found a level of compassion and understanding [upon losing Morgan] that brought a lot of comfort during a very challenging time.

Baby Teagan joined her big brother Luka (age 2 ½) at home last May after spending just over two weeks in  Ridgeview’s NICU.