Baby Boom: St. Luke's Birth Care Employees Give Birth to 26 Babies this Year

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa --- St. Luke's Women's and Children's Health Center is seeing a baby boom.

The increase in infants, however, doesn't come from the number of patients having babies. Instead it's the number of St. Luke's birth care employees.

This year, 24 nurses and aides have had babies and two more are on the way. The Birth Care Center Manager estimates about 16 percent of her staff have had babies this year.

"He is my first baby," said new mother Nikki Rudzki.

Mix that in with the daily work to deliver babies for people in Cedar Rapids, and that's a lot of tiny fingers and toes.

"These guys are 3 1/2 months old," said new mother of twins, Jesse Branscomb.

Oh baby! It's a trend the hospital calls the 'Lucky '13' baby boom.

"So, I finally told people around Thanksgiving, and then it was like every week one person was like 'oh I'm pregnant too' and then another week I'm pregnant too. Our due dates are the same!'"

These women work day in and day out to help patients deliver their babies. Recently they've been helping each other.

"They took care of me while I was here, I took care of a handful of them," said new mother Nikki Rudzki.

The care of a coworker and friend goes a long way. Leeann Moses gets emotional talking about the complications associated with little Nash's birth.

"I just feel very, very lucky that I delivered him here and had him here, and they were all here to help save him and me too," Moses said.

Now everyone is happy and healthy. They all even have play dates. So, it begs the questions: why did all of this happen at once?

"We kind of wondered that too and actually people were telling us not to drink the water around here because it was like everybody is getting pregnant," said Birth Care Center Nurse Manager Kathie Manderscheid.

Still, this 'Lucky '13' baby boom isn't over yet. There are still two more buns in the oven.

"I am anxious to have my own. I got another eight weeks until my due date," said soon-to-be Mother Sarah Parker.

"It is just fun to see them grow their own families, because we are kind of a family here as well, so we just say we are growing our birth care family," Manderscheid said.

By the end of the year, 26 women who work at St. Luke's Women's and Children's Health Center will have had babies. The manager said they all had to really work together to cover shifts while everyone was on maternity leave.
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