Skip to main content

Patient stories

Back to blog

A mother is grateful to Family Birthplace for an easy delivery - even in a pandemic

A mother is grateful to Family Birthplace for an easy delivery — even in a pandemic

So, what's it like to have a baby during a worldwide pandemic, you might be wondering?

"Easy peasy," says Via Paxton.

"In August of 2019 we found out we were pregnant, and we hoped it would be another super-chill pregnancy, as easy as it was with Bodhi (Via and Ty Paxton's first child).

"My last trimester, though, was when things ramped up with COVID-19 and started to get scary — and it continued until my due day."

Via, now in the home stretch of her pregnancy, quit going out, even to the store for groceries. "Yeah, well, then it was mid-March and I didn't have anything for Bodhi's birthday. I remember being so freaked out running through Target. I didn't even tell Ty about it until afterward."

The couple pulled Bodhi out of day care about the time that Gilbert Cellars, Via's employer, sent the staff home to work remotely. Ty is co-owner of Single Hill Brewing, and the taproom had already closed to the public. "I remember talking to a friend who's a nurse in the Emergency Department at Yakima Valley Memorial, around March 25. She said, 'I would get that baby out of you. The numbers of COVID patients are doubling each week.'

"At first I was like, no way, let's let this baby come when he comes. But when COVID came, it was let's just get this baby out and get home!"

Via was also concerned because her labor with Bodhi had been long, requiring a two-night hospital stay. She reached out to her physician, Dr. Leslie McLemore at Generations OB/GYN. "I asked her to induce me. Because of my age (36) and the fact that this was my second baby, she gave me that option.

"Our experience at the hospital was great. It was so smooth. I thought it would be crazy busy, but it was quiet and safe."

Ty brought Via to Yakima Valley Memorial's Family Birthplace early the morning of April 1, 2020. "It was kind of ideal," Via says. "We didn't have to worry about people, about having visitors around. It was just us, and it was quite lovely. It's just a whirlwind experience anyway, and we didn't have to worry about hosting anyone in our room. It was sweet and quiet.

Frankie Jean Paxton was born at 3:27 p.m. He weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz. Family members met him using FaceTime.

"It was really, really nice. Labor was easy. It was quiet. I had a great epidural. It was dreamy. I thought this is the kind of labor that makes women want to have another baby!

"And we were there for exactly 24 hours.

"I have to say that this is a really weird time to be having a baby. Nobody gets to meet your baby. You don't get to celebrate him and show him off. It's like it didn't even happen. And I think about comparing it to when Bodhi was 5 months old. He was growing up in a brewery, with the crowds and friends and stimulation.

"On the flip side of things with Frankie, he hasn't seen the world. He's never been to the grocery store. Only five people have been around him. Frankie is just wide-eyed about everything, and his mind is just blown when he sees different faces."

Aside from protecting and nurturing two small children during a pandemic, how is life confined mostly at home with a 2-year-old and an infant? "Oh, it's daily happy hour in the afternoon on the Paxton porch!"

Yakima Valley Memorial's Family Birthplace has 24 birthing rooms for laboring, delivery and recovery. The Family Birthplace has specialized teams of labor/delivery nurses and mother/baby nurses. Lactation services are also provided. In 2019 2,375 babies were born at Yakima Valley Memorial.

Generations OB/GYN has five physician specialists and three advanced registered nurse practitioners. It is the largest practice of its kind in the Yakima Valley. Generations averages 60 to 70 births each month.

A sense of humor. If you've just gotten married and then had a baby within months and then quit your job to start your own company, you will need to have a sense of humor about it all.

"It's really important," says Via Paxton, new wife and first-time mom to son Bodhi. "Throughout all of it -- with Bodhi and with Ty, with everything."

"Oh yeah," says Ty, a little bleary-eyed from early morning daddy watch. This after another late night at work, readying Single Hill Brewing in downtown Yakima for a summer opening.

Bodhi Topper Paxton is not even 3 months old on this sunny spring morning. But he has already schooled his parents.

"Ohhhhhh, it was . . . it was . . . I guess I was speechless," says Ty thinking back to the moment he first saw his son. "It was absolutely incredible, this guy I'd been getting to know on the other side of the wall, and then there he was. I had a surge of deep love I've never had before. And, it has deepened my love for Via going through that."

Via's journey, from the first contraction to birth, was 40 hours. "It was a really great experience all along the way," she says of her stay at Yakima Valley Memorial's Mother/Baby unit and delivery with Dr. Anna Dufault of Generation OB/GYN. "We really liked our nurses, and they really liked us." Her recommendation for other women about to give birth for the first time is "to really stay totally open-minded. You're not in control anymore. You have to see how it goes; that allowed me the freedom to make choices."

Ty learned this: "From a new-dad perspective, during active labor you need to be the gate-keeper in that room. Whatever Mom needs Mom gets. Also, never move more than an arm's length away from Mom."

The couple attended Yakima Valley Memorial's Childbirth Education Classes and Ty is a Daddy Boot Camp graduate, so they had it down come delivery time. "I made it a priority to change the first diaper and to change all the diapers in the hospital," says Ty. "That was one of the only things I could do to help."

And the lessons keep coming. "Even at the hospital I was adamant about the three of us being in the room alone, having our time for our new family."

The hardest part of being a new first-time parent? "For me right now it's the lack of sleep," says Ty.

And the best part? "It's seeing him smile. He just started really tracking," Ty says. "He recognizes us now, he's becoming more playful. Seeing this human we brought into the world understanding communication. I talked to him in the womb and I made sort of a didgeridoo sound, and now he knows that sound. It's amazing."

Learn more about...

Family Birthplace » | Pediatrics »