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Van Wyks Appreciate Personalized Birthing Experience

For Katy and Austin Van Wyk of Oskaloosa, the news of their first pregnancy was nothing short of exciting. The choice of where to go for pregnancy care was automatic; based on past experience and convenience. 

“We recently moved back to Oskaloosa after spending a few years out of state,” Katy explained. “I was about 12 weeks along in my pregnancy when we moved, so we started looking for a doctor that fit our needs. We live so close to MHP and I had been a patient here in the past, so I was familiar with the staff. I strongly preferred a female doctor and thankfully I had a few to choose from.”

Katy immediately began her obstetrical care with Family Practice Physician Dr. Lisa Ruckman. Katy explained that she is someone who needs to talk everything out and ask tons of questions. “I loved that Dr. Ruckman was so thorough at each of my appointments! She never made me feel stupid and she took plenty of time to explain everything in a way that was easy to understand.”

Katy and Austin were also one of the first couples to get a 3-D Ultrasound at MHP. “I know we were either the first or second people to get to use the machine,” Katy shared. “They had just installed it the day before! I was about 32 weeks along, so the pictures weren’t quite as detailed since she was so big, but we got a cute photo of her face to take home with us.

“The person who did our ultrasound, Barb, (Sandegren, Ultrasonographer) was so awesome!” Katy continued. “We saw her at two different appointments throughout my pregnancy and both times she walked us through everything, it was great!”

As her pregnancy progressed, Katy developed a small complication. “At my 38 week appointment, my blood pressure was elevated. I had a non-stress test at 39 weeks and it was still high. Dr. Ruckman had me monitor my blood pressure over the weekend and it remained high, so she decided to induce me on Monday.”

As soon as she was admitted to MHP, Katy began having contractions. “I asked Dr. Ruckman if we could wait on the induction since I was having contractions, and she agreed,” Katy said. “I was so grateful that she was willing to listen to our wishes.” 

When Katy wasn’t progressing, Dr. Ruckman re-addressed induction. “She explained what the options were for induction and was very respectful of our choice to do it naturally, so she broke my water instead of using medications,” Katy explained. “Though an induction wasn’t what we originally planned on, I was much more comfortable knowing that I had some say in the way it was done.”

Katy felt at ease throughout her labor and delivery thanks to the non-invasive approach of Dr. Ruckman and the MHP Birthing Center staff. “I was asked by Dr. Ruckman if I wanted any pain medications after my labor began to intensify. I told her no, and she assured me that no one would ask me that again, but if I changed my mind all I had to do was say so. It was so relaxing to have my requests truly respected.”

Katy’s labor progressed quickly following her induction. “I was in labor from about 5:30 pm to 12:56 am. The whole experience was phenomenal; I got to call the shots about when I was standing up or lying down, I was able to relax in the whirlpool tub and the nurses were attentive but not overly invasive. I got pain management tips from Peggy (Walker, Birthing Center Nurse) and I had any nurse at my disposal should I need them.”

Even after the hard part was done, Katy felt supported by the Birthing Center staff. “It was so great to have Jodi (Chipman, Lactation Consultant and Nurse) right there to help when I was nursing. To have that amount of knowledge readily available was priceless. I was so well taken care of!”

Katy appreciated the many small touches that came along with her care. “The celebration meal we had was amazing! The nurses came and took our daughter, Haddie, so Austin and I could have some alone time. The fact that someone thought of all the special perks we enjoyed just for delivering at MHP is so generous! I’m very excited to return for my free massage later too!”

Katy and Austin had nothing short of a great experience surrounding Katy’s pregnancy and the birth of their first child. “I can’t say enough about how thankful I am for my experience here at MHP,” Katy said. “Everyone, from the doctor and nurses to housekeeping and the kitchen staff, were great! They are all so friendly and you can tell that they truly enjoy their jobs. I am so glad we chose MHP for our pregnancy care.” 

Lisa Ruckman, MD

Dr. Lisa Ruckman is a Hospitalist at Mahaska Health Partnership. She is a North Mahaska grad who grew up on the DeBoef family farm in rural Mahaska County. As a mother of five, Dr. Ruckman understands family and would be honored to be a part of yours.

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