Evelyn Linder

A Hometown Delivery Delights Mom of Two

Kelly Linder grew up in Mora, and like most of her family, currently lives in the area. She is a physical therapist at the FirstLight Health System outpatient clinic in Mora. Growing up, she knew many people who worked at the hospital in Mora.

Evelyn Linder, born March 31, 2019
Evelyn Linder, born March 31, 2019

So, when her classmate’s mom was one of the surgical nurses during her March 31 cesarean section, Kelly wasn’t surprised. In fact, she welcomed it.

“I found great comfort in delivering my baby in my hometown, among people I’ve known for years,” said Kelly. “Having that level of familiarity definitely helped keep me calm. Plus, it was easy for my family to come and visit.”

The best-laid plans

Kelly had her first baby at FirstLight on March 28, 2017. After a long labor, which just wasn’t progressing, Kelly needed an emergency c-section. Two years later, Kelly is still impressed by how quickly everyone came together: within 15 minutes of the c-section decision, Kelly’s son, Harrison, or Harry as he’s now called, was born.

Big brother, Harry, welcomes his little sister.
Big brother, Harry, welcomes his little sister.

For her second pregnancy, Kelly had a scheduled c-section planned for Friday, April 5. But her daughter had other plans.

A day-off delivery

On March 30, Kelly spent a busy day cooking and preparing for Harry’s birthday party, which was happening the next day. But at 4 a.m. the day of the party, Kelly headed to the hospital, in labor.

After evaluating Kelly, the FirstLight team quickly determined that the April 5 c-section was off. They called her scheduled surgeon but couldn’t immediately reach him. So, they gave Kelly two options: have the on-call doctor do the c-section or call FirstLight’s Dr. Ryan Gaalwsyk, who has specialized training in caring for high-risk pregnancies and c-section procedures. Kelly chose the latter—and Dr. Gaalwsyk came in on his day off to deliver her daughter, Evelyn Helen.

Evelyn was born at 8:21 a.m. on March 31, at 38 weeks. She weighed 8 lbs. 14 ounces and was 21 inches long. Kelly shutters to think how big Evelyn would have been if she went to 40 weeks—Harry weighed 10 lbs. 7 ounces at birth!

New OB room impressions

Kelly delivered Harry in the previous birth center and Evelyn in the renovated space. She loved the new OB suite, particularly having a walk-in shower right in the room. She also admired the tub, where some women have the option to soak and relax during labor.

“The new OB room was really nice,” said Kelly. “My husband, Justin, was a lot more comfortable on the couch there than he was during Harry’s birth, before the renovation.” Kelly said Justin also enjoyed talking about fishing with Dr. Allen, who was assisting Dr. Gaalwsyk. So, the birth experience was memorable for Justin, too!

“Outstanding” level of care

The efficiency of the medical team and the level of care “have always been outstanding,” said Kelly.

With her first child, Kelly didn’t know what to ask so she appreciated how supportive, understanding and informative the nurses were. She felt like they knew what she needed before she did. When Kelly came back for Harry’s one-week checkup, Kelly saw the nurses, and they stopped her to say hello with genuine enthusiasm.

“The FirstLight team really cares about how you’re doing and about your experience in the hospital,” said Kelly. “You can tell that they want the best for their patients with their warmth and sincerity.”

Today, big brother is doing well and enjoying his baby sister. He likes to give Evelyn hugs and kisses. Harry also tries to “give her knuckles,” so Kelly has to play defense, a position the mom of two will continue to perfect over the years.

FirstLight
Birthing Center

320-225-3640

301 Hwy 65 S
Mora, MN 55051

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