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Sarah Holland

"I'm so grateful for the beautiful and empowering birth experience I was able to have at Henrico Doctors' Hospital thanks to the incredible staff."

May 13, 2024
Sarah smiles, holding her newborn baby at Henrico Doctors' Hospital

The evening before Sarah Holland entered her 38th week of pregnancy with her second baby, her water broke. Anticipating the start of her contractions, Sarah and her husband arranged for their toddler to stay home with a grandparent and they headed off to Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

“Even from our first interactions with the staff in triage, I felt listened to and supported in my desire for a low intervention birth,” Sarah said. “I appreciated the efficiency and brevity in the triage area.”

After she was admitted to her spacious, comfortable labor room, Sarah’s sole job was to move as much as possible to encourage contractions. “I walked, squatted and contracted my way around that whole unit well into the next morning,” she said. “I never once felt in the way or like I was bothering any of the staff.”

Sarah’s night nurse (also named Sarah) went the extra mile and helped with certain positions that helped progress labor. Her contractions intensified, but they remained inconsistent. Sarah and her midwife, Barbara, decided together that augmentation of labor was the best path forward.

“This was a unique moment that’s sometimes uncommon in healthcare,” Sarah said. “I felt that Barbara laid out all of my options, discussed each avenue in depth, but was, ultimately, there to support my decisions. My preferences were valued, and I was never once pressured into any choice.”

Because of this relationship, Sarah trusted her midwife’s expertise and felt at ease with this intervention. As the Pitocin drip (a hormone drug designed to induce labor) took effect, Sarah continued walking with a portable monitor and employed breathing techniques.

“My day nurse, Steph, was very supportive and helpful in answering questions, positioning a peanut ball, offering kind words of encouragement or anything else we needed,” she said.

As her labor progressed, Sarah used the birthing tub and her contractions intensified.

“From this point until the birth of my baby, Steph and Barbara stayed with me the entire time,” she said. “The verbal and physical support that I received from them made a world of difference.”

Sarah said her husband noted that Barbara was keenly tuned into both Sarah and her labor. “In the few moments before I began pushing, she received a phone call about another patient and stepped to the side of the room to answer it. All it took was for her to hear the change of tone in my voice to know that my baby was coming, and she immediately hung up the phone and returned to the bedside,” Sarah said. “It may seem small, but to me, this proof of her knowledge and intuition made me grateful to have her and all of the other staff as my medical team.”

The birthing team continued to coach her and gleefully helped welcome the new baby into the world. “I felt that my baby and I were well taken care of in every moment.”

The Henrico Doctors’ Hospital nurses and doctors honored Sarah and her husband’s wishes for discharge at the 24-hour mark, and they appreciated the thorough yet succinct discharge process.

Sarah remains grateful for her empowering birth experience. “Our care at Henrico Doctors’ differed so much from the hospital where I gave birth to my son a few years ago. Each staff member we came in contact with spent the time and energy to treat me as more than just a room number they were assigned. I was valued as their patient.”

You can trust Henrico Doctors’ Hospital with your women’s care needs, including labor and delivery services, in Richmond, Virginia. HCA Virginia Health System also provides women’s health services at our hospitals across the state, including gynecologic services, high-risk pregnancy care, prenatal care, midwifery and labor and delivery services. We also offer classes, events and maternity unit tours for new parents and expectant moms.

May 13, 2024
Henrico Doctors' Hospital - Forest

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