It is not odd for a hospital to see 16 pregnancies. It is somewhat odd when all 16 expectant mothers are nurses in one unit there.
The coincidence seemed so extreme the hospital held a press conference.
“I know a couple of us did fertility treatments,” Paige Packard, one of the nurses, said at an Aug. 17 news conference, according to CNN.
“That’s how I ended up finding out that everyone was pregnant,” Packard said.
I was like, ‘Oh, well, I didn’t plan this. Did we have some kind of pact going I didn’t know about?'”
The nurses are still on duty—so their patients can’t help but notice that there seems to be a trend.
It was “one after another, after another, after another,” said Jolene Garrow, another of the pregnant nurses.
People were surprised that so many pregnancies started in so short a time span in such a limited area, said Ashley Atkins another nurse. “They’re wondering what’s in the water.”
Still on the Job—For the Time Being
Being pregnant doesn’t keep the nurses from performing most of their regular duties—but they need to be a little extra careful.
“Certain infections and also chemotherapy drugs can be very toxic to the fetus,” said ICU Nursing Director Heather Francis.
Otherwise the only real changes have been at the hospital cafeteria.
One nurse asked the cafeteria staff if it would be possible to provide the kind of foods for which expectant mothers sometime crave.
“The next day there were pickles and olives,” the nurse said.
All the nurses are eligible for 12 weeks of maternity leave—which would leave the ICU dangerously understaffed, if there hadn’t been so much time to prepare.
Substitute nursing staff has already been scheduled to fill in the inevitable gaps.
“We’ve been planning for this for months,” said Francis.
One part of the plan: all the expectant mothers are getting a special commemorative onsie so their infants can know they are part of a team—the 2018 Banner Nurse baby team.