Twins haven’t been delivered in McCall since the 1990s. That is, until March 12 of this year.
When Donnelly residents Maddy Stegall-Nieminen and Brandon McSweeney went in for their routine prenatal appointment with St. Luke’s Dr. Maureen (Mo) Ferguson, they weren’t expecting to deliver their twins later that night.
During the appointment, it was discovered that Stegall-Nieminen‘s blood pressure was elevated, putting her at risk for preeclampsia. Dr. Ferguson admitted her to the hospital for observation.
The twins weren’t expected for another five weeks, and the delivery was planned for Boise. Babies don’t wait for plans, however.
During her admission, she started to develop contractions that were becoming increasingly painful and regular; her labor was progressing.
A transfer to Boise was considered, but snowy weather kept Air St. Luke’s grounded. The St. Luke’s Maternal Child Transport team was sent to McCall via ground instead.
“Based on Maddy’s progressing labor and weather, delivering the twins in McCall was the safest option,” Dr. Ferguson said.
“We were set up for success,” Dr. Ferguson said. “We had our team in place and we were prepared and ready.”
Drs. Ferguson and Patrick Kinney, both of whom had delivered multiples during their fellowship training in high-risk and surgical obstetrics at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, performed the Cesarean section with additional assistance from Dr. Welty. While Drs. Caitlin Gustafson and Jennifer Lewis and the NICU transport team from Boise were ready to care for the babies and prepare them for transport to Boise.
“Once we were reassured by the doctors and nurses that everything was OK, I felt good about delivering in McCall,” Stegall-Nieminen said. “It’s not what I planned, but that’s life for you.”
Twins Aubrey and Hunter arrived at 11 p.m. and were transferred to St. Luke’s Boise NICU for follow-up care. Stegall-Nieminen was transferred the next day.
The twins were recently discharged and are now settling in with their family, including siblings Autumn, 3, and Russ, 2.
While delivering twins in McCall is not the norm, it’s not the first time McCall-area residents have welcomed twins.
“I feel like a twin magnet,” Dr. Ferguson said. “In the four years I’ve been here, I’ve diagnosed three sets of twins in the first prenatal visit.”
Dr. Ferguson is a twin herself; her sister, Meg, is a nurse practitioner at St. Luke’s Payette Lakes family medicine.
“It’s special to be a part of delivering twins and caring for them after” Dr. Ferguson said.
Multiples often deliver prematurely, and these pregnancies are higher risk. As a result, these deliveries are often planned for or moved to more metropolitan Boise where more resources are available, including a NICU. This time was different, but the care team was ready due to regularly held obstetrical simulation training. The OB team at McCall St. Luke’s regularly practices scenarios for various obstetrical emergencies.
“Training prepares everyone for the unexpected,” Dr. Ferguson said. “By running these obstetrics scenarios in training, everyone that night was confident, calm and collected during the delivery.”
Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.