Mother Makes Trip From Maryland to Lakewood to Deliver Baby

Berry's connection to Lakewood Hospital brings her back home for child's water birth.

Motherhood knows no obstacle.

Nothing stands in the way of doing what you feel is best for your child, even if it means enduring months of 5½-hour drives because you want your baby to receive the best care possible.

When native Clevelander Tajuana Berry discovered she was pregnant with her second child just three months after her family moved to Gaithersburg, Md., last June, she knew her baby would find its way into the world at the Cleveland Clinic’s .

Berry’s first child, McKenna, was born there in September 2010, and the hospital and its staff left such a profound impression on her that she couldn’t imagine her new baby being born anywhere else.

She and her husband, Wayne, came all the way from Maryland for her first appointment when she was 10 weeks pregnant. They continued to make the trek for all of her checkups and care visits several times a month until Olivia arrived safe and sound in Cleveland on May 3.

“There’s nothing like a mother’s love,” Berry, 32, said. “And I wanted the best care for my children. I wanted the best experience for myself. And , they did it with McKenna, and I knew they were going to deliver with Olivia.”

Berry chose a water-birth delivery for Olivia. She originally tried it with McKenna after a friend of hers highly recommend the procedure, but she arrived a little too fast and was born in six minutes. Berry didn’t have a chance to reach the water.

But this time, Berry said she and Olivia weren’t going to miss out.

“There’s no epidural. It’s a natural birthing process. You labor in a tub. And I like the relaxation aspect of it where you’re just submerged in warm water. And you’re delivering your baby in its natural environment.

“Also what was most appealing was the midwives behind the birth and their philosophy where it’s all about the mother. They’re not trying to give you a bunch of medications. They’re not pressuring you to do an epidural. ... With the midwives, they’re very attentive and see you as a person.”

Berry, a stay-at-home mom, thought about using various medical facilities in the Maryland area, but they had a few crucial shortcomings. The closest facility that performed water births was in Annapolis, Md., which is about an hour away from where they live. Plus, bad traffic could make for a two-hour trip, especially in the busy tri-state area of that region.

As the pregnancy came closer, the Berrys decided it was wiser to stay with her family in Cleveland. Her relatives live about 10 minutes from the Lakewood Hospital, and they did not want to risk repeating the same abbreviated experience with McKenna.

“We just moved to Maryland. We didn’t have any family there. I wasn’t familiar with the birthing center. I wasn’t familiar with any of the other local hospitals. We just decided to go back to Cleveland because this is our home base. This is where my family is, and I was very familiar with Lakewood Hospital,” Berry said.

At the end of March, Berry moved in with her family in Cleveland, and her husband followed about a month later.

Through it all, Wayne, 41, came up big in the clutch. Mr. Berry is Small Business Specialist in the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization with the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington.

“He did all of the driving, all 5½ hours to and from. He’s very supportive. He knew how adamant I was about going back to Lakewood, and he wanted me to have that support that we had for McKenna. … It was all about, if that’s what I wanted, that’s what my husband was going to provide for me. He’s definitely a blessing to have,” Mrs. Berry said.

Sally May 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I have to say the ladies that work in the birthing center at Lakewood Hospital are wonderful!! You couldn't ask go a better staff! Congrats to this wonderful family.


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