As a 9-1-1 dispatcher, Tiffani Thimesch, is both accustomed and well-trained to deal with high-stress situations.
As a first-time mother-to-be, however, she was concerned about her skills in that area.
However, after completing months childbirth education classes and delivering at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph’s New Life Center, she’s now confidently taking on what she says is her hardest, but most rewarding job yet – being a mom.
“I’m a planner and am very hard on myself, even more so as a mother,” says Tiffani, whose daughter, Emberlyn, is now one month old. “Without those classes, I would’ve felt like I failed my child.”
Tiffani regularly attended classes beginning in January and continuing until giving birth in April. One of her favorites was “Happiest Baby on the Block,” which teaches creative ways to comfort and reassure your baby, such as using shushing noises or a running hair dryer to mimic the comforting sounds your baby hears in the womb.
The breastfeeding class, taught by veteran childbirth educator Toni Howard, RN, was another.
“Toni went above and beyond to make sure I felt comfortable with the material. Because of Toni, I felt empowered,” says Tiffani, who organized all her class handouts into a binder by Emberyln’s crib.
The “What to Expect During Delivery” classes helped her manage her pain and become familiar with the technology and instruments used during delivery. Because Emberlyn was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, it was comforting to have that knowledge as the delivery team addressed the situation.
The classes helped during her 12 hours of labor, as Tiffani says she forgets to breathe when in pain. The classes also proved helpful for Tiffani’s mom, who was at her side providing support during her delivery.
During her labor, Tiffani says her nurses went above and beyond to make her comfortable, even French-braiding her hair during the earlier part of labor.
“The staff made me feel like I could actually do this, which is a gift I couldn’t ever thank the team at St. Joseph enough for,” says Tiffani.
With the recent announcement of all childbirth and parent education classes being offered at no cost, thanks to a grant from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi, Tiffani has this piece of advice for other expectant parents: “Learning to care for your child and making them happy is one of the best things you can do for both you and baby. There’s no reason not to go, especially since they’re free for everyone through a great hospital.”