"We always have a baby boom going on like this," says Allison Ronco, a critical care education coordinator and nurse for the hospital."
Whoa, baby! Or rather... babies?
A whopping 36 nurses at a Missouri NICU are set to welcome babies this year alone. How wild is that?
Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City is home to the baby boom. While 36 staff members due in one year may seem inconceivable to most, one nurse insists that this isn't actually that shocking.
"We always have a baby boom going on like this," Allison Ronco, a critical care education coordinator and nurse for the hospital, tells Good Morning America. "For us, it is just our normal. Patients joke to not drink the water in this place unless you want to get pregnant.
Ronco leads the charge of 2019 mamas: She reportedly welcomed her son, Henry, on January 7, 2019, making her the first of the 36 nurses to give birth to her 2019 baby. At this point in the year, 20 nurses have already welcomed their children.
As new and expectant moms, working with sick babies all day every day has to take on a new sort of meaning for these women. We imagine stepping into pregnancy and motherhood has only made these incredible medical professionals that much more compassionate and nurturing—because when you experience that mama love firsthand, you start to understand how high the stakes are for the other parents who leave their sick babies in these nurses' care.
One nurse opens up about her experience with her own baby's NICU stay. "I was a mess because I've seen a lot of things [as a nurse]. It was an out-of-body experience because I knew what to expect when he was getting transported to the NICU," Sarah Carboneau, who had her baby in February, tells Good Morning America. "I was surrounded by everyone I knew. Feeling all of the love was overwhelming, but [Children's Mercy] took amazing care of him and was able to [be] fixed with surgery a couple days later." Luckily, Carboneau's son is home and doing well—and his mama feels even more passionate about the work she does every day.
How wonderful is it for these new and expectant mamas to have each other to lean on throughout all this? New motherhood can be difficult, but having such an amazing community to rely on can make all the difference. Whether it's swapping product recommendations, teaching each other mama hacks, or simply being there to reassure one another that they're doing great, we know these moms are fortunate to have each other as sounding boards. And their patients are so lucky to benefit from their love and care as well.