Sometimes, everything you ever wanted is right around the corner and you don’t even know it. For Lindsey Dittmar, a nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, this was true for her both literally and figuratively.
After struggling for nearly two years with infertility issues, Lindsey and her husband, Brandon, proudly welcomed their son, Hudson, into the world at Sharp Grossmont’s Women’s Health Center — and they couldn’t be happier. They were beyond impressed and grateful for the care they received. They couldn’t imagine it happening any other way.
Exceptional care just a short walk away
Lindsey, the recent recipient of the Nursing Excellence Award in Volunteerism and Service, is no stranger to providing high-quality personalized care. So when it came time to choose the right place to give birth, she knew she wanted somewhere that would be equally warm and welcoming. However, she didn’t know until she was about eight months pregnant that the Women’s Health Center just a short walk away from her unit was exactly what she had in mind.
“It was important that we found somewhere that cared about how we wanted to give birth and gave us the freedom to follow our birth plan,” says Lindsey. As chance would have it, one day a manager from the Women’s Health Center was rounding through Lindsey’s department. She asked if Lindsey was planning on giving birth there, and Lindsey said no, due to insurance reasons.
After talking with the manager, Lindsey decided to take a tour of the center. “I immediately fell in love with the nurses and doctors, and the rooms were so nice!” she says. “I live in East County, too, so it seemed so convenient. We knew this was where we were meant to have our son.” Once she found out how easy switching her insurance would be, it sealed the deal for her.
Empowering partners as active participants
One of the Dittmars’ primary concerns was that Lindsey wanted to have a natural birth, making Sharp Grossmont’s Women’s Health Center a perfect fit. Lindsey also liked that the team empowered Brandon to be an active participant in the delivery by giving him the tools and information needed to be a coach throughout the process.
From the weeks leading up to the due date, to the delivery and postpartum, everything went even better than Lindsey expected. “I felt like I was the only person who gave birth there that day. They did everything to ensure we followed our birth plan. The postpartum nurses, Carol and Cindy, made me feel like I had my own mother taking care of me,” Lindsey says.
Lindsey has been enjoying every day as a new mom, especially because she and her husband had all but accepted that they may never have a child that was biologically their own. Lindsey and her husband tried to get pregnant for a year before trying infertility hormonal treatment, but that also was not successful. Rooted in their faith, they thought maybe their path was meant to lead to be becoming foster parents instead.
“As we filled out the endless paperwork that comes with fostering, we were so surprised to find out we were pregnant. It all happened in a year and a half, which seems so short, but felt so very long,” says Lindsey. The couple plans to resume their pursuit of being foster parents once Hudson gets a little older.
Recognition for selfless service
Lindsey’s selflessness extends beyond being a nurse and a desire to be a foster parent. In fact, she was recently recognized by Sharp HealthCare for her volunteerism. She currently mentors two girls through a program with her church, where she provides guidance and support through many aspects of their lives. She also volunteers with a group called Hope for Kids International, which gave her the opportunity to travel to Uganda, Kenya and Peru. She helps educate local nurses and caregivers on topics such as hand hygiene, wound care and general health practices to empower and uplift communities.
“I’ve learned so much from my experiences working with these communities. However, the number one lesson has been that everyone has a story. You have to get to know someone first, then you can help them,” she says.
Lindsey is a shining example of the compassion and selflessness that defines those in the field of nursing. She has dedicated her life to helping others and it is only fitting that she received exemplary care when delivering her first child. For her, the experience of delivering her son at Sharp Grossmont’s Women’s Health Center was nothing short of life-changing. “I absolutely recommend our Women’s Health Center to anyone who wants their delivery experience to feel personal, intimate and supportive,” Lindsey adds.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital delivers 3,500 babies every year and is ranked in the top 10% of hospitals nationally for patient satisfaction in maternal and infant health. In addition, Sharp Grossmont is one of only two hospitals in San Diego County to earn a place on the Smart Care California honor roll for low C-section rates.
Expecting? Schedule a free tour of Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s Women’s Health Center.