Like most couples expecting their first child, being surrounded by loved ones is important to the Carmody family. As the world grappled with COVID-19, forced stay-at-home orders and hospital visitor restrictions, this couple knew this support would have to come from another family.
As orthopedic surgeon for Mercy Health, Clay Carmody, MD, and his wife, Devon, looked no further than their medical family to help bring the love of their life into the world. Devon shares that her husband’s care for his patients as a foot and ankle specialist was an indicator of what she could expect from her Mercy Health prenatal care team.
“I see how much time my husband takes with each of his patients, the way he really goes above and beyond to make sure his patients receive the same kind of care he’d want his own family to receive, even personally calling them their first day home after surgery,” she says. “He sets the bar very high, and because of him, I knew I would receive the same kind of care if I stayed within Mercy Health.”
Devon worked with OB/Gyn Tracy Griffith, MD, and her team. Even during a global pandemic, which meant the cancellation of labor & delivery classes, Devon felt prepared to become a first-time mom.
“We loved Dr. Griffith from the first time we met her. She took genuine interest in my and my baby’s well-being, always taking extra time with me and being readily available,” Devon says. “Because I was unable to take any classes due to the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Griffith provided me with a series of videos that I could watch in the convenience of my own home. She stayed up to date on all COVID-19 recommendations as they shifted with new available information. I always felt safe and in the best hands.”
Devon also worked with Beth Sander, NP, and says she helped her go over every item she should have in her hospital bag including “lots of snacks.” When Devon’s water broke at 2:40 a.m., she and Dr. Carmody felt very calm, prepared and ready to head to Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center.
“I am still absolutely blown away by the kind of care we received from the moment we walked into St. V’s that early morning. My eyes well up just thinking about it.”
Devon says her labor and delivery couldn’t have gone any smoother. Her nurse, Sue St. John, made sure she was as comfortable as possible, even warming up blankets and replacing them as they cooled. Within about 10 hours, Devon was ready to deliver her baby.
“I remember when Sue said we were ready for me to begin pushing, and I thought, wow labor went by so quickly. I can’t believe this is the moment! The moment I’ve been thinking about for the last nine months.”
Sue became Devon’s coach, telling her to push during each contraction for 10 seconds, 3 times in a row.
“She helped me to find the energy to keep going, because I fully trusted her.”
Sue and Dr. Griffith cheered Devon on as she pushed for 45 minutes. Within 11 hours of Devon’s water breaking, her perfectly healthy and happy daughter, Laraline, was in her arms.
“I will never forget that moment. I felt overwhelmed with love and gratitude — incredibly grateful that I was finally meeting my daughter and that I had the best team to help safely bring her into this world. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The following 24 hours were comprised of baby snuggles and a slew of hospital staff setting up Devon and Dr. Carmody with everything that they’d need to begin their life as new parents.
“From hearing testing to Laraline’s birth certificate to lactation consultants, Mercy Health made sure we had every resource readily available. They all came to our room, which made it so easy for us to relax and enjoy the first hours with our newborn while still setting ourselves up for success.”
While their extended family was unable to visit at the hospital because of COVID-19, Devon says she still felt like she was celebrating with people who genuinely cared.
“Everyone, Dr. Griffith, Sue, even doctors we saw months earlier like Dr. Meagan Byrne, stopped by to congratulate us. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I would have tightly hugged them all!”
It’s because of care like this that Devon and Dr. Carmody say they will be back for their next pregnancy.
“We already told Dr. Griffith and Sue that they’re delivering our next baby!” Devon shares.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to safety and are ready to help you with any health care needs, including labor and delivery. Learn about the maternity care services offered at Mercy Health.