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A Special Delivery

image2.JPGAfter Lorna Illerbrunn found out she was pregnant, her husband Garrett got news he was being deployed to Afghanistan. It was no surprise for this veteran Army family. This was his fourth deployment, and Lorna has been deployed three times. In fact, the couple met while on duty in Afghanistan.

So Lorna packed up their home in Colorado and moved to New Hampshire to be close to family while Garrett was away. For the final months of her pregnancy, she settled in and started working for the New Hampshire National Guard and Catholic Medical Center.

“I had a textbook pregnancy. Since there were no issues, they didn’t do an ultrasound after 20 weeks,” she says. Lorna worked right up to her due date and took a long walk the day before her son was born. Four days after her due date, her water broke and she headed to the Women & Children’s Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. 

“My brother drove me and my mom and dad came, and my friend Carrie showed up, and we had Garrett on Facetime. I was having normal contractions and then they decided to do an ultrasound,” Lorna recalls. “I could tell something was unusual, and then the nurse said, 'your baby is breech.' You could have heard a pin drop in the room.”

Lorna’s midwife Lisa Jaramillo-Husted, CNM, and Dr. Julie Bleyenberg from Dover Women’s Health, explained that turning the baby was not a good option since her water was already broken. They recommended a C-section.

“I hadn’t thought I was going to need a C-section, so I hadn’t focused any of my energy even learning about it, but they made it as easy as they could, explaining everything as it happened,” Lorna says.

Carrie accompanied Lorna to the Women & Children’s Center’s dedicated on-site OR, where she was able to keep Garrett on Facetime so he could watch his son’s birth. Tucker Bradley arrived at 2:17 p.m. on April 19, less than five hours after Lorna arrived at the hospital.

“I wasn’t prepared for when they put your baby on your chest and you just instantly fall in love,” she says. “I wasn’t prepared for how profound that was going to be for me. I was crying and kissing him.” 

Now three months old, Tucker has lots of dark hair, big eyes and looks just like his father. Lorna is so grateful for her experience at the Women’s & Children’s Center and all the support she received from staff during her surprise birth experience.

“Who knows, if I had had a normal vaginal delivery, if it was a long labor, if the Internet was not great, Garrett might not have seen the birth,” she says. “There was a reason Tucker was lined up like he was. There was a reason I had a C-section. Garrett got to see the whole thing. We went through it together.”

To learn more about the Women & Children's Center, visit or call (603) 609-6964.

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