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Monday, August 27, 2012 - Miracles are Born Everyday at Methodist
The words “miracle of life” become much more poignant the first time you hold a newborn baby. Ten tiny fingers; 10 even tinier finger nails; a downy head just waiting to absorb this new world full of sights, sounds and so many things to learn.

Even as Joseph and Amy Jo Yoder look into the face of their fourth child, a baby girl named Lydiann, they can’t help but call her a miracle – for simply existing.

Amy Jo’s delivery of this healthy baby girl was uneventful – well making it to the hospital with a tad over an hour to spare might qualify as eventful – but Amy Jo and Joseph are getting used to this routine. Lydiann is their fourth child born at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge; and for each birth, they drove more than an hour from their home in Deer Lodge, Tenn.

“But when you’re in labor it seems more than that,” adds Amy Jo.

She and Joseph keep making that long and curvy trip because they have come to know the staff at Methodist’s Family Birthing Center and they feel comfortable. 

“A lot of the staff has been here a long time and they remember us,” says Amy Jo.

The Yoders came to Methodist six and a half years ago when they were expecting their first child, David. After struggling to conceive for more than six years, they found success though a fertility specialist in Nashville. Their next step was to find an obstetrician who could meet their special needs if any complications arose. They turned to board-certified ob-gyn, Andwylynn Sances, MD, a physician on the medical staff of Methodist Medical Center.

But there were no complications with David’s birth or the subsequent three births. Even the Yoder’s fertility struggles seemed to disappear after their first child was born.  The other children came just like clockwork and the Yoders have continued to return to Methodist and Dr. Sances for their growing family’s needs.

“We’ve really enjoyed the friendliness of the staff, the accommodations, and the emphasis on family,” says Joseph. “They’ve respected how we want to do things.”

Amy Jo and Joseph appreciated the tour of the Family Birthing Center, which helps parents prepare for the birthing experience. They also enjoyed the benefits of the variety of family education classes offered by Methodist’s expert staff.  Methodist provides classes for new and expectant parents such as the Great Expectations birthing class, breastfeeding classes, even a class for young siblings to prepare them for their new brother or sister.

“The classes were well worth it,” says Amy Jo, who found the breastfeeding class especially beneficial with her first child.

“It looks so easy,” she says. But she quickly learned it takes time to master the skill. “It would have been so much harder without the initial help.”

She appreciated the staff’s wish for her to succeed at breastfeeding and comments that they went out of their way to help her and her baby. The Yoders even came back to the hospital for additional help when Amy Jo was having trouble.

But now, with her fourth child snuggling quietly in her arms, Amy Jo looks like a mother who has mastered the touch.

Lydiann can expect to receive a heart-felt welcome into the family by her big brother, David and big sisters, Melinda and Marie.

“The kids are very excited,” says Joseph of the family’s new addition. “When we called to say the baby was born, they ran outside to tell the dog.”

Apparently even the youngest Yoders know that every birth is a miracle and you have to share the good news with someone.

That miracle of birth is something that Amy Jo and Joseph have come to truly appreciate.

“After six and a half years of not being able to conceive, we’ve had four children in the last six and a half years,” says Amy Jo. “The Lord has been good.”

Joseph adds,”We want to give credit to the Lord… for everything…for giving us a family.”

And with four young children, what a family it is! But in a household that knows what a miracle each birth is, more are always welcome.

“If we have another one, we’ll be back,” says Amy Jo with a smile.