By Diane Bell
The San Diego Union-Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) When the “moms-to-be” appear on Ellen it will really be a moment to be showered with love. The talk show host routinely showers moms in her audience with gifts. One of the nurses who will appear on the show said, “They told us: ‘Bring a school bus if you can.’
The stork atop the parking structure at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa community is in for a busy season.
Twelve nurses working in labor and delivery at the medical center are pregnant and due to have their babies from mid-May through October. Plus, two of its OB-GYN doctors are expecting to give birth during that time frame as well, making it a very fertile work environment indeed.
Or, as late Padres radio announcer Jerry Coleman, might exclaim: “Oh, doctor!”
All 12 nurses, if luck holds, will be headed to Los Angeles next Thursday for the taping of Ellen DeGeneres’ special Mother’s Day show, which airs on Friday, May 10. That’s the due date for one of the expectant moms, says nurse Martyna Feather, 33, due in June. So it definitely is cutting it close.
The Sharp Mary Birch trend came to light after People magazine and other media picked up on a mini baby boom at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, where nine labor and delivery nurses were due to give birth in a four-month span.
Their pregnancy news was posted on the hospital’s Facebook page in March with a photo of eight of the nine women, each holding a sign indicating her birth month next to her baby bump.
So, when the Sharp Mary Birch labor and delivery staff realized they had Maine beat, they posed for a similar photo that includes 10 of the 12 pregnant nurses. “There’s some hearsay on the floor that two more gals are pregnant but haven’t announced yet,” says Feather, noting those births would fall closer to the end of the year.
Hospital spokeswoman Victoria Smith says, while the number is a bit high, it’s not totally unexpected given the hospital’s labor and delivery nursing staff numbers more than 200. Nor will it be an administrative nightmare, given that the pregnancies are staggered and some of the nurses work part-time. “We won’t need to get additional staff to cover for those on leave,” she said.
“We are currently on a Facebook message board so we’re constantly talking to each other and getting advice,” Feather says. “It’s nice to know that we have that support network. Once all the babies are born, we’ll take another photo with all the babies.”
It almost makes one wonder if pregnancy is contagious. In late April, it was announced that 19 emergency room staffers at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha are expecting babies this summer, but that total includes non-nursing staff and employees whose spouses are pregnant.
The Portland, Maine, medical center, however, definitely is creating its own baby boom. It addition to the nine pregnant nurses in the maternity ward, its emergency care department has 11 nurses, plus the spouse of a male nurse, who also are expecting.
Meanwhile, the Mary Birch staff is busy with baby showers. Three already have occurred and two more are calendared. But next week’s Ellen show appearance is taking a little of the stress off several of them, notes Feather. The talk show host routinely showers moms in her audience with gifts. “They told us: ‘Bring a school bus if you can,'” laughs Feather.
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