My Bronson midwife supported the slow progression of my natural, completely drug-free labor and delivery. My baby was born with an ultra-rare genetic disease (less than 20 documented cases in English-language medical literature) affecting his intestines. At the time, there was no pediatric gastroenterologist on staff. But the neonatologists, nurses and support staff in the NICU did everything they could to keep him as stable as they could, until it was determined that they did not possess the specialty knowledge required to diagnose his condition. Those first few weeks of life are so critical; he was so fragile. His smallness was a real threat to his own life, not that he was tiny, as he was nearly full-term and born over 7 pounds, but if he was losing half a liter of fluid in a 24 hour period, the careful fluid replacement with the precise electrolyte balance was critical to his well-being. A diagnosis would have been moot if his dehydration had spiraled out of control.
They watched. They did lots of really complicated math. They used their keen powers of observation informed by decades of watching tiny babies. And when it was time to transfer us to Mott’s for a team to diagnose him, it was a NICU nurse who encouraged me to protect my ability to nurse with the statement that I was “comfort nursing.”
Bronson saved my son’s life. And they protected my ability to mother. And after seeing over a dozen doctors across the country, I can safely say that Bronson’s quality of care is world-class.