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Giving birth at Highland Park Hospital is truly a family affair for Brittany Stineman. She delivered both of her sons at the hospital, and it is the same place where the now-31-year-old Stineman and her siblings were born decades earlier.
For nearly 100 years, Highland Park Hospital has been the go-to labor and delivery destination for thousands of families in Lake County. The hospital’s legacy of delivering exceptional healthcare enters its second century with a newly transformed Women’s Center, offering moms-to-be state-of-the-art care, facilities and amenities.
Stineman’s oldest son, Blake, was born in April 2014, and his little brother Nash joined the family last November. While her boys are happy and healthy, Stineman’s pregnancies were not without complications. She credits a team of expert maternal-fetal physicians and nurses at Highland Park Hospital with getting her through physical and emotional challenges.
After having trouble conceiving, Stineman and her husband were thrilled when Blake was on the way. The Lincolnshire mom-to-be knew exactly where she wanted to receive her maternity care—at NorthShore. Following a recommendation from her stepsister, Stineman met with Obstetrician Edward Lee, MD, and the two immediately clicked. Being able to see Dr. Lee in his Vernon Hills office—close to home—was an extra convenience for the busy realtor.
During her first pregnancy, Stineman learned that she had a blood-clotting disorder and would need to deliver by cesarean section. Her father died of a blood clot at age 46, so Stineman’s care team watched her extra closely.
Blake was delivered 21/2 weeks early and had a little jaundice, so the two spent a full week recovering at Highland Park Hospital.
“I felt so comfortable there. My room was really nice and big enough to accommodate all of our family visitors,” recalled Stineman, who—along with her mom, Leslie McDonnell —especially enjoyed connecting with Blake’s Nurse Susan Simon. Simon also happened to serve as Stineman’s nurse when she was born at Highland Park Hospital three decades earlier.
“I felt like I was in a Four Seasons Hotel when I had my kids there, and Highland Park just keeps getting better,” noted McDonnell, who boasts that four of her five grandchildren were born at the hospital.
The recently opened Women’s Center features a state-of-the-art Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) Program with spacious, private rooms; spalike bathrooms; and top-notch specialty care.
“The nurses have always been outstanding, and I’ve continued to feel comforted that all will go well there because I have such faith and trust in the team,” added McDonnell.
Stineman shares her mother’s trust, which became even more important when she was pregnant with second son Nash following two miscarriages. “I was a wreck at first and so worried. But my doctors were awesome, answering all my questions and doing everything to make me feel more comfortable and confident,” said Stineman.
As part of her care, Stineman saw Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist Scott MacGregor, DO. Dr. MacGregor, an expert in high-risk obstetrics and fetal diagnostics, provided regular ultrasounds and consultations throughout both pregnancies. At her 36-week ultrasound, they determined that Nash was no longer growing and it would be best for Stineman to deliver early. Her C-section was scheduled for the next day.
“We want the baby to mature as much as possible before delivery, but we knew at a certain point he would be safer outside than in, and we were confident he would be fine,” explained Dr. Lee, who values the collaborative care model involving specialists like Dr. MacGregor. Both physicians hold academic appointments at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
“We rely on Dr. MacGregor and the high-risk OB team for so much, providing ultrasounds and helping to assess how well the baby is doing,” said Dr. Lee. While Stineman was understandably anxious, she was again reassured by both Drs. Lee and MacGregor and Labor and Delivery Nurse Liebe Samolinski, whom she had bonded with during her older son’s birth.
“Liebe was very supportive throughout my pregnancy. She called me the day of my 36-week ultrasound and convinced me everything would be OK and that it was time to get excited as the baby would be coming the next day. It was exactly what I needed,” said Stineman, who also praised the work of Ultrasound Technologist Kristine Vehlow.
Nash was indeed born perfectly healthy and able to go home two days later, joining what Nurse Samolinski calls a phenomenal family. “I do believe I have the best job,” she said, “and one of the many reasons I love it here at Highland Park is the fantastic group of physicians and nurses who really care about the patients.”
“When our fellow physicians have their children, they choose to deliver at Highland Park. They know that it’s not just the best medical care, but the best personalized, compassionate patient care in Lake County. I’m proud to say we have the team and the resources to handle any complication, and we really do provide exceptional care,” noted Dr. Lee.