Johanna Wagner was nervous as she and her husband drove to WellSpan York Hospital in late March. The Stewartstown couple was about to have their first child, and Johanna had attributed her recent high blood pressure to anxiety over giving birth, especially in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johanna Wagner and baby Noelle, thankful for the maternity care they received from WellSpan.
“I just attributed it to anxiety and didn’t think much more about it,” says Johanna. “They sent me for blood work that Friday, and the following Saturday, they diagnosed me with preeclampsia.”
A few days later, on April 8, Johanna gave birth to baby Noelle — five weeks before her scheduled due date. Noelle weighed 3 pounds, 11 ounces and had jaundice, but was thankfully breathing on her own.
“We are so fortunate and blessed, because I know other parents go through much worse, and little Noelle was a rock star,” Johanna says.
That doesn’t mean the next three weeks were easy for Johanna. Noelle was kept in the NICU, and at one point her weight dropped to 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Johanna and her husband went through periods of fear, but always found comfort in her care team at WellSpan.
“The staff was amazing,” Johanna recalls. “The nurses were incredible; the doctors were so patient and supportive. Everyone truly made me feel supported, like I wasn’t going through this alone. I really leaned on them for support.”
Baby Noelle Brought Home from the NICU
Seven months after giving birth, Johanna and baby Noelle are doing well. Noelle now weighs a little over 14 pounds, and Johanna says they still keep in touch with who they now consider their WellSpan family.
“The amount of care those doctors and nurses showed made me realize that Noelle was in really good care,” Johanna says. “They were amazing, and they remained that way from delivery to me taking Noelle home, and even beyond. I still reach out to them, and they remain a great resource for me.”
WellSpan offers a variety of services to help expecting mothers learn and plan for childbirth. From parent education classes to expertise in high-risk pregnancies and the region’s most advanced NICU in York, WellSpan’s facilities and programs are designed to keep your family at the very center of a most memorable event.
For more information about maternity services provided by WellSpan Health, visit WellSpan.org/Maternity.