Meet soon-to-be mom, Maggie, a full time Surgical Nurse at the Comox Valley Hospital. Maggie and her partner, Jordan, are expecting their first child any day now. We sat down with this healthcare hero via Zoom to chat about her experience living and working through a global pandemic as an expectant mother and we are pleased to be able to share her story on Mother’s Day.
Maggie grew up in a small, North Island community with hardworking, loving parents and two adventurous brothers. Immediately after high school, she made her way to Whistler, BC where she was employed as a nanny and found her inspiration to become a nurse in the people she lived with. Maggie returned to Vancouver Island to do her training and was hired at our local hospital shortly after graduating from North Island College.
What is your current position at the Comox Valley Hospital?
I am currently a full time Surgical Nurse on the third floor at the Comox Valley Hospital where I provide care for patients both pre and post op surgery. I began at the hospital 5 years ago, back when it was St. Joseph’s.
What inspired you to become a nurse?
Originally, I always thought I would end up going into teaching. However, when I was 18 years old, I moved to Whistler, BC where I ended up working as a nanny. While in Whistler, I lived with two pediatric nurses. It was through living with them, and hearing all of their stories that made me realize I wanted to become a nurse – I enjoy taking care of people.
I love my job as a surgical nurse, where I am able to provide care to patients every day.
How did it feel working through the COVID-19 pandemic as an expectant mother?
At the very beginning of the pandemic, back in early 2020, we only accepted emergency surgeries at the hospital. I don’t feel any anxiety working in that unit and all of the health guidelines including cleaning policies and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and more, make me feel safe at work.
In general, the pandemic has been tough as an expectant mother. It definitely feels lonely as we are not able to socialize with friends or family. As an expectant mother, I feel great knowing that the hospital is a safe place to be. My husband and I are both confident in both the staff at the hospital, and the healthcare system. We are excited to soon welcome our new baby into the world at the Comox Valley Hospital.
How do you think being a nurse prepares you for being a mom and do you think being a mom will change who you are as a nurse?
Honestly, I get that question a lot. I tell everyone that as a surgical nurse, I mostly deal with adults, not infants and kids. I learned a bit throughout my nursing program about maternity, but that’s the extent of my nursing experience with infants. I have a lot of life experience though because I was a life guard, swim instructor, babysitter, and nanny. Maybe that experience will come into play. This is our first child, so time will tell! And no, I don’t think being a mom will change who I am as a nurse, but my answer might change!
What are some of your favourite Mother’s Day moments as a daughter and what future Mother’s Day moments do you hope for?
Mother’s day has always been a special opportunity to spend time with my mom. Visiting Telegraph Cove on Mother’s Day is something I remember doing fairly often. We would go there together and have fun as a family. I also think of flowers when I think of Mother’s Day. It’s a great occasion to buy a beautiful bouquet for my mom.
Since I am expecting my first child the day before Mother’s Day this year, I’m not too sure what to do for my mom and my mother-in-law. They both say all they want is a healthy, happy grandbaby. We don’t know the gender, so that will be a fun, exciting surprise! It’s the first grandchild on both sides of the family, so it’s a very exciting time for all of us.
What is a character trait or quality about your mom that you admire?
Definitely her patience. She is very patient. I don’t think I have that trait. I guess we will find out soon!
Just for fun, we asked Maggie to fill in the blanks…
I hope my baby gets my love for all people but my partner’s athleticism.
I understand you are planning to deliver your baby at the Comox Valley Hospital, how does that feel for you and your partner?
We are both definitely excited. I am more anxious than he is. You can plan, but in the end, you don’t have full control over how the birth will go. We are looking forward to having the excellent support of our healthcare team whom we trust. What I really love is the continuity of care at the Comox Valley Hospital. Everything you need happens all in the same room. It is great to have your own private room, with your own bathroom, and a pull-out bed for the supporting partner.
How does it feel to know that members of your community donate to support healthcare at the hospital and specifically the area you work in?
I think it’s really amazing. Growing up in Port McNeill, Courtenay/Comox feels much larger. But overall, it still feels like a small town here in the Comox Valley. It’s amazing to see our community pull together. Seeing the donor support wall in the lobby of the hospital is really heart-warming. This is such a great way to showcase community and I think seeing this wall makes patients and guests feel more welcome when they come into the hospital. I think it is great to see the support our hospital received from the community and how it enhances the quality of care we can provide.
One of my personal favourite ways to give is through the staff lotto. It’s so easy to give – just a few dollars from each paycheque. It’s fun knowing you might have the chance to win big, but more importantly know that you are supporting much needed equipment for hospitals across the Island. I think the last winner won over $45,000! And to think that amount is going back to the hospitals each pay period (28 times a year) is incredible!
What would you say to all the mothers out there in your community right now?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends. Keep in touch with people. Right now, I keep hearing that people are feeling secluded and they are lonely. Try to reach out to people. Friends. Family. We need to reach out to each other and stay connected during these times.
Thank you, Maggie, for taking the time to share your story with us. We wish you and your family all the best!