For Kaylene Kern, the birth of her second child represented much more than a memorable moment.
Charlie Kern arrived exactly one minute after midnight on January 1, 2015, and his status as Kansas City’s 2015 New Year baby was reported on the news. But for Kern, 33, the newborn signified a very personal narrative—one of an empowered mother who advocated for the midwife birthing experience she wanted, and received.
Certified Nurse Midwife Lindsey Hill of Specialists in Women’s Care, delivered Charlie at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The hospital is part of HCA Midwest Health–Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider and home of the region’s largest Certified Nurse Midwife group, offering women the most comprehensive, family-focused approach to the birthing experience with the expertise of seven Certified Nurse Midwives.
Overland Park Regional Medical Center is a terrific hospital, with a compassionate staff, including physicians, nurses, and midwives and one of the best NICUs in the region.
“It was a euphoric moment,” Kern recalls, “and not just because we snagged the first-baby-of-the-year recognition. Charlie entered the world being delivered by the same midwife who four years ago oversaw the birth of his older brother, Graham.”
Kern chose the alternative birthing method for her first child following exhaustive research. She knew a gentle, safe and successful experience attended by a midwife—in a hospital setting—was important to her. After educating her husband, Bryan, on the midwifery process—“No, honey, it’s not giving birth in a river,” she explained to him—the couple made an appointment with Hill.
“Lindsey is a remarkable cheerleader, a great hand-holder, and someone I trust 100 percent,” Kern says. “We immediately connected when she shared her firsthand experience about her own children being delivered by a midwife.”
Graham’s birth was easy; in fact, Kern joked with Bryan that she wanted “12 kids if it’s this painless.”
“My labor with Charlie had a few more bumps,” Kern says, “and I saw a confident, experienced Certified Nurse Midwife in her element. Lindsey was calming, authoritative, decisive. She was totally there for me and Charlie.”
Kern notes that, although she opted for a midwife experience, it was comforting to know that she was in a hospital, with access to a physician and other specialists if needed.
“Overland Park Regional Medical Center is a terrific hospital, with a compassionate staff, including physicians, nurses, and midwives and one of the best NICUs in the region,” she says. “Everything was there, regardless of the situation. I couldn’t imagine having my children anywhere else.”
Kern frequently offers tips to friends and acquaintances curious about midwifery versus traditional birth.
“If you’re considering using a midwife, I recommend three things,” she says. “First, do your homework, including online and interviewing people who have used a midwife and midwives. Second, choose a midwife that you’ve bonded with and trust. Third, be sure to talk through the experience with your midwife. Don’t just be wheeled into a room when you’re in labor. This is a magnificent, magical moment.”