36 Nurses at Missouri Hospital Expected to Give Birth This Year: 'Raising These Babies Together'

So far, 21 babies have been born and 15 more are on the way for three dozen nurses at Children's Mercy hospital in Kansas City, Missouri

baby boom
Photo: Children's Mercy Hospital

The babies just keep coming at this Missouri hospital!

Thirty-six nurses who work in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City are pregnant or have recently given birth — that’s 36 babies expected this year. As of the end of July, 21 babies had been born and 15 more were on the way, according to CBS News.

“I think being a mom has given me a whole new perspective and now when I take care of a baby I really do … I know what that mom and dad feel like, and this baby is their whole world,” a NICU nurse, Sarah Carbaneau, told CBS.

Allison Ronco, a 32-year-old critical care education coordinator and nurse was the first of the group to give birth in 2019. She welcomed a baby boy, Henry, on Jan. 7, according to Good Morning America. But Ronco said the baby boom isn’t anything out of the ordinary for the hospital.

baby boom
Nurses at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Children's Mercy Hospital

“We always have a baby boom going like this. For us, it is just our normal,” she said. “Patients joke not to drink the water in this place unless you want to get pregnant. We definitely truly are all really good friends. We are all raising these babies together.”

As the region’s only Level IV NICU, these nurses care for “some of the most complex and critically ill infants in the Midwest,” according to a hospital statement. And now Carboneau knows more than ever what it’s like for the parents of those sick babies. Her son Ben was born on Feb. 9 with a heart defect. He has since recovered.

“I was a mess because I’ve seen a lot of things [as a nurse],” she said in the statement. “It was an out-of-body experience because I knew what to expect when he was getting transported to the NICU.”

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Photos of the group showed the women either holding their babies or their pregnant bellies. And the women are all just as close as they appear, caring for one another during their pregnancy journeys.

“We can chat about it and vent about it and be excited for each other,” nurse Michelle Janes, due to give birth in November, told USA Today. “Especially those of us who already have kids. Many of us give each other opinions on things. We have a Facebook group and we weigh in on everything from diaper rash to kids crawling out of their crib.”

Of course, the past few months have been tricky from a scheduling perspective. Janes said the nurses juggle work and baby shower plans while trying to accommodate everyone’s schedules, USA Today reported. Those who already have children try to make time for play dates.

“It’s great support and there’s always a mass of toddlers running around,” she said. “And they’re all getting to recognize each other, and that’s fun.”

And the women say having babies of their own has given them a better understanding of the deep love that accompanies parenthood.

“Once you have your own baby, everything suddenly gets shifted,” Ronco said, according to USA Today. “For the most part, we have gotten to go home with healthy babies. And we can really empathize with those moms and the struggle they must go through not being able to.”

This isn’t the first baby boom to make headlines recently. In April, seven of the 15 teachers at Oak Street Elementary School in Kansas were pregnant at the same time. Just a few weeks earlier, Thelma Chiaka gave birth to six babies all within nine minutes of each other at a Houston hospital.

Last summer, 16 nurses at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, were pregnant at the same time.

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