Opinion

Kyle Troutman: An exceptional experience

Saturday, August 21, 2021

At 12:46 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2021, my life changed forever.

About 15 hours prior, I was getting ready to go to the office for the day. I had a couple stories to still cobble together, as I was expecting to work that day and the day after, then my wife was set to be induced on the night of the 11th.

Approaching 41 weeks, we had pumped ourselves up for an early arrival of our daughter a couple weekends prior. We had since resigned to expecting the induction and not getting the experience of water breaking and a natural birth.

Our new daughter takes her cues from me, stubbornly making us wait and procrastinating her arrival before she would be forced out.

We arrived at Cox Monett at about 1 p.m., then we waited. At about 11:30 p.m, I was told I better go get something to eat, as no progress had been made for the past couple hours and we thought it would be quite a bit longer.

Alas, the stubbornness shown again, and when I returned to the room 30 minutes later, our bundle was on her way.

Our doctor, Dr. Justin Nowlin, didn’t happen to be on call that night, though he did say he had planned to come in for the birth. Unable to reach him, the on-call doctor, Dr. Angela Conklin — who was 38 weeks pregnant herself — came in for the delivery.

My wife gave her first push at 12:40 a.m., and six minutes later, our 6-pound, 11-ounce, 19-inch beauty made her way into the wide world.

It was a surreal moment, one I will never forget and that we do not plan to experience again. It was incredible to me how the months and months of waiting turned into hours that gave way to minutes until we met our girl.

She made a grand entrance and is more beautiful than we could have ever believed.

One of the gifts we received from Cox after the birth was a onesie that says, “I’m new too!” It reminded me that the hospital itself isn’t even nine months old, and I have since had some time to reflect on our experiences with the Cox staff.

Cox Monett is one of the smallest hospitals I have ever been to, but greater size does not always mean greater care.

My wife had her first daughter at a much larger hospital in Rogers, Ark., and there was a lengthy list of things that happened there we did not wish to happen here — a credit to the Cox Monett team, none of those things did.

Before the new hospital opened, we did have some issues. At one point, we were hastily told there “was nothing we could have done” and made to believe we miscarried, even though we had not. That was a difficult couple weeks, and it really took until the new facility opened and we saw Dr. Nowlin for the first time for us to commit to staying at Monett.

Nowlin is the only male in the obstetrician team, and we at one point or another, to my knowledge, saw all the doctors.

Nowlin immediately made us comfortable and has a way of answering questions and addressing concerns that did not make us feel like we were stupid or ignorant. He was genuinely excited to see our progress and was exceptionally thorough when some of our issues, like placenta previa, did arise.

We truly could not have asked for a better OB, and we are excited for Olivia to continue to grow under his care.

Dr. Elizabeth Lucore did my wife’s osteopathic manipulative treatment, which has helped her back and hips throughout pregnancy and after. Some of the trips and tricks she has taught will continue to be useful.

We saw Dr. Joanna Twombly a couple times when Dr. Nowlin was in a delivery or unavailable. Her attitude and excitement was infectious, and she is full of little fun facts about pregnancy, birth and child care — like lately the uses and benefits of swaddling — that we will always remember.

Finally, Dr. Angela Conklin, will always have a special place in our hearts. We had not met until the early morning hours of Aug. 11. We don’t know if she had ever seen our birth plan or how we would like having the on-call doctor deliver our child.

Those concerns were fleeting, and she did brilliantly. She was encouraging, honest and effective. There truly was nothing we wished had been done differently.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention Nowlin’s nurse, Mary, who always greeted us with cheer and support. Along with a staff of competent doctors, it’s just as important to have great nurses on staff, and Cox Monett has that.

The consistency across the team of doctors at Monett is truly something of which a city of less than 10,000 should be proud. The experience exceeded our expectations, and we would recommend Cox Monett to any local family wanting as good an experience as we had.

Kyle Troutman has served as the editor of The Monett Times since 2014. In 2017, he was named William E. James/Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist for daily newspapers. He may be reached at 417-235-3135 or editor@monett-times.com.

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