Anderson Hospital is located in the quaint little town of Maryville, Illinois, and boasts a lengthy list of professional awards and accreditations — but what’s catching everyone’s attention right now is that an astounding number of their staff members are pregnant.
Twenty-eight of them, to be exact — eight of whom are nurses on the obstetrics floor. All of the OB nurses’ babies, except one who was just born, are due between the months of September and December.
“We did not know we were all going to try to get pregnant at the same time, so to have this many people announce they were pregnant was shocking,” Michele Embick tells Babble, who is due December 13. “It was especially shocking knowing we are this small community hospital in Illinois with eight people pregnant. After the initial shock, it has all turned to excitement.”
“It’s very exciting!” Ashley Bruns, due October 25, chimes in. “I never imagined there would be so many of us sharing such a fun time in our lives.”
It’s pretty clear that the thrill over the situation extends beyond the walls of the hospital, because when a photo was posted on Facebook a few weeks ago showing seven of the eight pregnant nurses lined up outside the hospital, it quickly went viral.
Inside the hospital, the frenzy of so many impending births also hangs thick in the air.
“In the beginning [the feeling] was probably shock,” admits Rebecca Eggering, due November 10. “But now it is true excitement.”
I think we’d all agree that it isn’t that common to see so many pregnant women in one workplace (even if it is the obstetrics floor!). In fact, many of the nurses jokingly admit that with each new pregnancy announcement, they just started to expect it.
“I don’t think I actually had to tell them,” Embick says. “By the time I would have announced, so many others had [already] announced, that we were at the point where we were just guessing who was pregnant.”
Although, says Gwen Litteken, due November 26, the surprise for her was becoming pregnant only five months after delivering her daughter, Eva.
Despite the craziness, however, they all agree that they’re loving it.
“We all get to share in the crazy, gross, and fun parts of pregnancy,” explains Sarah Grotefendt, due November 5. “We laugh about things normal people don’t talk about, because as nurses we share A LOT of information with each other! But what’s even better is knowing I will be delivering my baby where I work with several coworkers standing by my side during one of the best moments I will ever experience.”
In a video posted by KSDK news, host Dana Dean asked the group if they are planning to deliver each other’s babies.
“Yeah, it’s really exciting,” Rebecca Eggering said in reference to a fellow co-worker. “I’ve delivered both of her other kids! We’re due five days apart, so we’re hoping that continues and I can do the third one, too.”
Every nurse that Babble interviewed also said that they will definitely be back to work after their baby is born.
“I, for sure, will be returning to work after this baby arrives,” Embick says. “To be able to come back to a job I am so passionate about … alongside my work family who is just as passionate about our work as I am, makes that transition a little easier.”
Obviously, one question that many people have asked is, “What’s in the water at Anderson Hospital?” The hospital responds:
“While it is unique to have eight co-workers pregnant in an obstetrical unit, we think it comes down to this: We attract staff that want to grow with us,” the hospital tells Babble in a statement. “Anderson Hospital serves the needs of one of the most rapidly growing sections of Illinois [which is] Madison County. As the community grows, so does our staff — many who are young, growing families themselves!”
Whether it’s a growing community, growing work family, or growing bellies, all I know is, Anderson Hospital had better get ready for this wave of little ones — because although they annually deliver more babies than any other southwestern hospital in Illinois, these babies will be there to stay!