URI nurse-midwife delivers fulfilling
birth experience for Middletown woman
Mother has 9th baby at URI Nurse-Midwifery Center at Memorial
Hospital of R.I.
KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 4, 2000 -- It was an extra-special birth,
needing an extra-special touch. The mother, Elizabeth Roy, had relocated
in her last month of pregnancy, July of 1999, to Newport, Rhode Island,
from San Diego. She was 3,000 miles away from her extended family and friends,
and away from the midwife who had delivered her last child, and who had
been attending this pregnancy. Yes, an extra-special birth, for this was
her ninth child, and her last child, Emily, had unexpectedly been born with
After Emily's birth, Elizabeth's San Diego midwife had asked her to participate
in a research study about midwifery care. In writing Emily's birth story
for the study, Elizabeth discussed the compassionate care provided by her
midwife as she and her husband, Navy Cmdr. Don Roy, struggled to come to
terms with Emily's diagnosis. Several times throughout the study, Elizabeth
spoke with the study's director, Dr. Holly Powell Kennedy, who is a University
of Rhode Island assistant professor of nursing, certified nurse-midwife,
and director of nurse-midwifery education at URI. Elizabeth never dreamed
that she would ever meet the kind voice on the phone.
But when Elizabeth learned the next year that the Roy family was transferring
to Rhode Island, she tracked down that kind voice via the internet. To
her delight, Kennedy not only practiced in the Rhode Island area, but had
also recently worked to establish the University of Rhode Island Center
for Nurse-Midwifery at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.
"To be able to count on Holly made what would have been a tumultuous
time in our lives a beautiful experience. She never left me during my entire
Kennedy also intimately involved Elizabeth's family in the birth of Molly
on Aug. 5, 1999. Elizabeth's oldest child, 16-year-old Melissa, was present
at the birth, as were her husband, Don, and her best friend Jeanne.
"Having now had nine children, the last two delivered by midwives,
I wished I had known about midwives earlier. I wouldn't do it any other
way. And Holly has chosen a wonderfully supportive hospital at which to
birth babies! My nurse, Shirley Picard, along with all the staff, made the
birth experience a dream come true. I thought I had pretty much seen it
all, but Memorial Hospital really raised the standard in the birthing department."
Elizabeth said it was more than just Kennedy's help with the birth that
made the experience so fulfilling. "Knowing that Holly would be there
eased the move to Rhode Island, and the rapport she established with our
family was a lifeline. She was a real trooper to have our entire family
in her office on a few occasions."
Don Roy added that his wife has always had great maternity care for their
children. "But this was the most rewarding experience because of the
emotional support. Holly even let me help deliver the baby. This is not
a medical experience; it's a dramatic life experience. Midwives develop
a warm family experience."
Melissa, who has witnessed four of her mom's births, said Molly's was
very exciting. "This was the most relaxed and enjoyable birth, and
I appreciated it that Dr. Kennedy let me cut the cord."
For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 874-2116