Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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I’m writing this letter to you to share with you our recent experience with Hazel Hawkins Women’s Center and why we believe they are absolutely critical. We are troubled to hear of the Hazel Hawkins potential closure and that the Women’s Center could be deemed “not critical.”

Our story starts in November of 2022. I was 24.5 weeks pregnant with our first miracle baby. A baby that we hoped, dreamed and prayed for, for five years. My husband was on a work trip in LA and I woke up in the middle of the night with severe back pain and pressure in my bladder. At this time, we were seeing a doctor located in Los Gatos that was affiliated with what most people say is the best and what we believed at the time, was the best too – Stanford. I called my doctor at Stanford in the middle of the night to report the issues and I was told they were going to take eight hours to call me back. Immediate dissatisfaction set in, and I decided to get into the car and drive to Hazel Hawkins to be seen. The hospital is just five minutes from our house. Upon arriving at the ER, I was placed in a wheelchair and whisked back to OB within five minutes. Within 10 minutes, Stephanie had me hooked up to a contraction and heart rate monitor and assured me that our son was perfectly fine and I was not in labor. The team immediately calmed my nerves, especially since I was alone without my husband.

Dr. Amin was the doctor on call that night and immediately tested me for a UTI, which came back positive and ordered tests for me to also check for a kidney infection. Come to find out, I had Pylo and I was being admitted to OB for monitoring for a couple of days.

In all honesty, we had no plans of delivering in Hollister. We figured that a small town hospital would never ever outweigh the benefits of Stanford. I mean, it’s Stanford. Everyone in the country knows about them – and we were going to deliver at Good Sam and we were planning on having the best experience with them. Unfortunately, we were incredibly wrong with that thinking.

Upon being admitted at Hazel Hawkins, Sally was our nurse on day one. We were absolutely blown away by the care of the team. They listened to our story, concerns, and nervousness around me being only 24.5 weeks. They cared for us like we were family. We felt loved, seen and heard. Something we had never experienced at Stanford. The impact of our short stint at Hazel Hawkins in November changed everything for us. Upon being discharged, we knew we would deliver only at Hazel Hawkins.

I saw Dr. Amin as my new OB and immediately fell in love with her. Her care, concern and the time she spent with us, assured us that we were now working with the best doctor and we felt so confident in our plan to have our baby with her at Hazel Hawkins.

In early January, we ended up at the Women’s Center again because of low fetal movement. Upon arriving, we were welcomed by the OB team and they all remembered us, our story and once again welcomed us in like family and assured us that our miracle boy was healthy and fine! Dr. Peng treated us that day, and come to find out I was diagnosed with Gestational Hypertension and we were told we would not deliver past 37 weeks. The OB team rallied around us in complete support and we felt so good about the plan in place for meeting our son.

I went to Hazel Hawkins’ OB weekly for monitoring. Each time I went in, the nurses and doctors made me feel like I was family. The care they gave me was simply outstanding and I once again found myself incredibly grateful to have found the most amazing hospital. To name a few; Linda, Kayla, Penny, Pam, Jennifer and Katie all worked with me on monitoring. They were all outstanding.

At 35 weeks, we ended up at the hospital in OB three days in a row, due to back pain and high BP. On Monday, January 30, Sally was caring for me once again and we discovered I had preeclampsia with severe features. This meant it was go time and I would be induced that day. Sally was incredible when I shed some tears and had a few nerves of our son arriving early – and assured me again that they were taking perfect care of me and our son.

Our son made his entrance into the world on 2/1/23 at 35.5 weeks, 4.5 weeks early. The nursing staff (Sally, Kelly, Jennifer, Amber, Allison, Diane, Kayla, Pam, Penny, Linda, Lydia, Stephanie – just to name a few), Dr. Amin, Dr. Baseer, and respiratory therapist were all in the room or caring for us after our son was born and they ensured that our son was cared for and healthy and I was too.

Both my husband and I cried because what the staff at Hazel Hawkins did for us, it was beyond anything we could have hoped, dreamed or imagined for our delivery. At every point in my pregnancy and delivery – they put us first. Treating us like their own family, their own loved ones.

After we were discharged, I have chosen to attend the two times per week infant feeding class with Jana. I have connected with other moms in my community and found amazing support. Jana has supported and encouraged me and helped my son breast feed and learn how to do it properly – even with his early gestation. Giving birth is so hard, and then tack on all of the emotions and lack of sleep. Having this class is incredible because it supports moms working through all the changes and helps us know we are not alone. Each time I go, I learn something new, connect with moms, the nursing staff and Jana – and feel incredibly supported. I have met no other moms that delivered at Bay Area hospitals that have had this experience. It goes to show you that Hazel Hawkins OB is truly something special.

I write this letter to tell you that the doctors and nursing team at Hazel Hawkins OB are absolutely critical and we need them! They are doing what every hospital should do. I figured care at one of the most prestigious hospitals would be what we would experience (Stanford) – but we were wrong. A small hospital in Hollister, five minutes from our house was it. Exactly what we needed, with the most outstanding staff. Hazel Hawkins OB should be the example to all hospitals for the standard of care for new parents. They gave us an incredible gift and we will forever be grateful and thankful. In fact, I stop by often so they can snuggle our son, Trace and see him and forever be a part of his story and our lives.