Kathy Short has delivered four babies at various hospitals, but above and beyond all, she said St. Vincent Clay Hospital would be her first recommendation.
"I'm so disappointed, and so surprised, to hear the hospital is closing its baby delivery department. It was just amazing. The care, the cleanliness, the service. When you're at a big hospital, you're just swallowed up by all the people," she said.
And she should know. Her first son, Jarrod, age 11, was born at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis; Jake, age 9, was born at Humana Women's Hospital in Indianapolis; Jack, age 4, was born at Union Hospital in Terre Haute; and Joe, age 6 weeks, was born at St. Vincent Clay Hospital in Brazil.
"I felt safer having delivered Joe at Clay County than at any of the other hospitals. I wasn't really nervous going there. Maybe that's because Joe was my fourth. But the staff was there the whole time," Short said.
She said it was very convenient for her, too. She had a contraction while shopping that brought her down to her knees. At age 37, her doctors expected a normal delivery. But if something were unexpected, she felt the emergency room and staff were well-equipped and, if need be, Terre Haute hospitals are not that far away.
"It's inconvenient for the doctors as well. It's just sad. Dr. (David) Breitweiser was out hunting and Dr. (Craig) Johnson came in right away. Dr. Breitweiser made it in for delivery, though. I hate to hear that we'll be losing Dr. Johnson, especially since Clay County recruited them (as well as Dr. Keith Harvey)," Short said.
Johnson will not be leaving St. Vincent Clay Hospital, but he will no longer deliver babies. The three physicians are family practioners.
Nurse Angela saw to it that Kathy rested. And when she wanted her baby, all she had to do was poke her head out through the doorway. The nursery can be seen from the nurse's station via a window and nurses were with the baby one-on-one every day.
"He got a little choked up one time, and Angela was right there. She said we were the only two in the OB (obstetrics) department and that when no moms or babies are in, they just close it down. They were so excited to have us there because it really was a special event for them as well as us. That just doesn't happen in bigger hospitals. To them, it's just ho-hum," Short said.
Only one thing caused her a slight disappointment.
"After my fourth child, I really wanted to have a tubal (litigation to prevent further pregnancies), but my doctor just laughed. He said since it is a Catholic hospital, birth control procedures were not performed. To have that done would mean going to another hospital for another surgery. Instead, my husband decided to go in for outpatient surgery for a vasectomy."
St. Vincent Clay's management made the decision to close the Obstetrics Department last year.