Family and Friends

Meet Our Mom: Josephine R

Josephine with her family at Christmas

The following is a first-person account of a real family's labor and delivery experience at AdventHealth for Women.

Hi there, I am Josephine! My husband and I have a long-standing history with AdventHealth. We both attended and graduated from AdventHealth University. David and I met during my last semester at the university and we had instant chemistry. Four years later, we married and focused on our careers until we felt it was time to start a family. My husband has worked at AdventHealth for over 10 years now. He started as a transporter while in high school and worked his way up as he completed multiple degrees.

When we became pregnant with our first son, there was no question in our minds that we should seek an AdventHealth doctor to follow our pregnancy. That first experience in the labor and delivery room was amazing. I was impressed with the love and compassion my nurses provided as they helped this first-time mom navigate the stages of labor. The staff was also supportive of my husband as he anxiously awaited the arrival of our first born.

Almost three years later, we were back at AdventHealth Winter Park having baby number two. This time, things were a little different. Our daughter Mila was born after a quick labor. We were shocked when she was diagnosed with down syndrome shortly after birth. The nurses and doctors involved in our care continued to show compassion and support as we navigated this new journey. Due to some feeding difficulties, Mila was moved to the NICU for a feeding tube. The team made the transition as easy as possible for us as we fought through emotions to try to understand what was happening. Nursing staff and NICU personnel made us feel at home for five days as we camped out in our daughter’s room. Big brother was also able to visit and bond with his tiny sister while she was getting checked out. Our nurses periodically checked on me and how I was processing everything. Every specialist involved in our care made sure to personally meet us and thoroughly explain how they would help look after our daughter.

Toward the end of our stay, Mila was being watched for some abnormal blood work. Our doctor consulted with a pediatric oncology and hematology specialist at AdventHealth for Children. After a series of blood tests, we determined it was safe to go home and follow up with her specialist in the office. Our first face-to-face meeting with the specialist was a few days after Mila was discharged from the NICU. Let me just say, the staff in this office is the most special group of people I have ever met. They truly convey and extend the healing ministry of Christ. Dr. Heather Allewelt is sweet, compassionate, direct, and extremely smart. She is a wealth of knowledge and explains things very clearly. We are so grateful for her and her staff. We are also grateful for AdventHealth and what this organization has meant in our lives.

Our daughter Mila is now one and has come a long way. She remains healthy but we still see multiple specialists at AdventHealth to make sure everything continues to move forward in a positive direction. In order to continue to grow and reach her milestones, Mila has to see physical and occupational therapists to help her reach those goals. Children with Down Syndrome have typonia (low muscle tone) which can make things like crawling and walking difficult and delayed. With the help of therapy, Mila will reach her goal. At her young age, she is a strong advocate in creating awareness and acceptance. She is demonstrating that despite our abilities we are all more alike than different. She is on a mission to show that God can use anyone for His purpose. We firmly believe that she is fearfully and wonderfully made.