Empowering Health with a Personal Touch

Hoag Gives Mom the Delivery She Wanted – and a New Life Goal

Patient Summer Whiteside with her baby boy, River.

Summer Whiteside knew what she wanted in her motherhood journey. What she didn’t know – until her 28th week of pregnancy – was that what she wanted was within reach.

The first-time mom from Murrieta sought midwife partners who could help her achieve a completely natural, holistic childbirth experience and avoid medical intervention, while giving her firefighter paramedic husband, Dustin, the peace of mind that a hospital setting can afford.

Everywhere she went, she was told that what she wanted simply didn’t exist. She was seen by three different providers in Riverside County before finding maternity services at Hoag Hospital Irvine and the Fudge Family Birthing Suites, where she met a team of certified nurse midwives (CNM) from Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group.

“They believed in me from day one,” she said. “They never pushed anything. I never felt like they thought I couldn’t do it. They were empowering me every visit.”

Summer was seen almost exclusively by Cambria Tuttle, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC and Jessica Parris, CNM, WHNP, IBCLC.

“My favorite part was that all the appointments were on the couch. They measured me and took my vital signs, but it was very holistic,” she said. “It definitely felt like I was in their home with them and they became my friends.”

That feeling solidified in the 28 hours between Summer’s water breaking and the delivery of her baby. Certified nurse midwife Jessica Parris met Summer and her husband at the hospital, and accompanied them as Summer experienced early labor in the private Tsao Family Garden that is connected to the birthing suites. She did squats and high knee exercises, and by 9 p.m. she crawled into the queen-size bed outfitted with hotel-quality sheets.

“Once my labor started, Jessica got out a device that played music and projected lights around the

whole room. They were all about creating a peaceful, relaxing and safe environment which encouraged my body to do what it needed to do,” she said.

When Summer contemplated giving up on her dream of medication-free birth, her team encouraged her to keep on track. It was the support she needed, in the moment she needed it most. Summer maintained her strength and remained focused. The opportunity to experience some of the most painful moments

of labor in the spacious aqua tub made all the difference in the world.

Fudge Family Birthing Suites patient room.

“As soon as I got into the tub, it was almost like receiving a medication,” she said. “The warm water helped me manage the pain of my contractions.”

After 28 hours of labor, the moment had arrived. Summer crouched on a birthing stool, with her husband next to her, and birthed her son River.

Her first words were, “It’s a boy.” Her next, were words of triumph, awe and gratitude: “I did it!”

Summer still marvels at the care she received at Hoag. “It was the biggest blessing,” she said. “I am currently in school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner,
but this hospital and delivery experience changed me. I just applied to school to become a midwife.”