‘Most caring people I’ve been around’ comforted mom far from home

When her water broke during her twenty-fifth week, Valerie Bovy, of Dike, Iowa, was taken by ambulance to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to await the arrival of her baby, which could be in a few hours, or not for another nine weeks.

“The thought of being away from my husband and two young kids, 4 years old and 9 months old—who were at home 100 miles away—tore my heart straight out. I didn’t know how I was going to take care of myself and my unborn baby while missing my family so much. I can honestly say I don’t know if we could have done it without the amazing staff of University of Iowa Health Care.

“During my stay, the doctors, nurses, midwives, CNAs, and others were some of the most caring people I’ve ever been around. They showed empathy for me and were there as a shoulder to cry on during the nights my family went home. I saw them more than my family during those seven weeks and became close friends with many of them.

“When I found out my husband and kids were allowed to spend the nights with me, I was so relieved that I thought we just might be able to do this. It seemed crazy, because this is a hospital, not a hotel. But the staff encouraged me to make my room my home, so that’s what we did. We moved in a Pack n’ Play, high chair, sleeping bag, and more toys, books, and snacks than we needed. My family stayed with me every Wednesday night and every weekend. My kids and I looked forward to these visits so much! Being able to make our experience a positive one would not have been possible if I was at any other hospital. We were able to go to the library, rent video games, go to the park and playrooms, and participate in many of the Child Life activities. These are the memories my son will have, instead of his mom being stuck in a hospital. By the end of those seven weeks we were on a first-name basis with so many staff members including housekeepers, librarians, and clerical staff. Everyone treated us so great! We never knew a hospital experience could be this much fun but we were bound and determined to make it that way for our kids!

“I also cannot say enough about the medical care I received. On nights when I was alone and scared of what was happening, the staff was there. They had all the confidence in the world in our situation and their confidence eased our minds greatly. Without their quick thinking and quick actions, we would not have had such a positive outcome. At 31 weeks and six days, I delivered our healthy baby boy via vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). I am thankful to the staff for encouraging me to try a VBAC, because it was a great choice for us.

“I am so thankful to Dr. Lydia Alexander for her great work safely and successfully delivering our baby. University of Iowa Health Care will always hold a special place in our hearts. We will never ever forget our experience there and would recommend the hospital to anyone.”

Dike, Iowa