by Mollee Bauer
Ever set foot in a maternity ward or are scheduled to soon? Do visions of an intensive care unit (emphasis on intense) make you want to run away and hide? For some folks, that could be a normal reaction. For the crew of Lifetime's reality TV series "One Born Every Minute," the phrase "Carpe Diem" ("Seize the Day") comes to mind instead.
We recently had an exclusive opportunity to connect with Dr. Stuart Jones and one of his head nurses, Amanda Monaghan. In its second season, "One Born Every Minute" has 40 cameras documenting the high-drama, overwhelming emotions, and unexpected humor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Riverside Methodist Hospital's maternity ward located in Columbus, Ohio.
It was time to dial-in for the interview. We were excited and set our sights on gathering any and all information we could about the show and staff. We asked Dr. Jones and Nurse Amanda questions ranging from what can you do to prepare for childbirth, to what's it really like to have cameras rolling 24/7 while you're trying to do your work. Their answers might surprise you and could entice you to watch the show! We're not going to miss a single episode!
You're probably curious to learn more about our interviewees. Dr. Jones has been delivering babies for over 23 years and has been the Chairman at Riverside for 5 years. He likes to describe the team as a "family" and that once you're there in their labor and delivery unit, you're a "lifer and retire there." When Dr. Jones isn't in a delivery, you can usually find him hanging out at the nurses' station, joking with the residents or posing for the family albums, holding the baby he's just delivered.
Nurse Amanda's a Labor and Delivery RN and has been working at Riverside Methodist for six years. She enjoys working nights because the nurses and residents like to have fun when things are slow. She jokes that things are never "that slow." The nurses do know how to keep it interesting from having birthing-ball races to IV-pole dancing (even with the cameras rolling).
We wanted to know why Riverside Methodist Hospital was selected for the Lifetime TV series and Dr. Jones' answer made sense a lot of sense.
"What sold the show was our wide variety of patients," Dr. Jones explains. "We have a wide range of folks using our services from people living in their cars to people who might be a big CEO of a company. Riverside's also really ethnically and socially diverse."
Dr. Jones proudly mentions that Riverside is the second largest hospital in Ohio due to the sheer number of deliveries they take on every year (7000 and growing). He made sure to mention that Riverside covers low-risk as well as high-risk pregnancies. "We're an intensive care unit and it can get really stressful," Dr. Jones continues. "I tell all my nurses, including Amanda, that if they can make it through the first few months, they're never going to want to leave."
Why would anyone want to leave this bustling maternity ward (besides the families, of course)? When you watch the show you'll see why not.
When I asked our guests, "What is the craziest or goofiest event you've seen in the maternity ward," Amanda replied first, "Every day is different. Every time you come into work, there are new parents crying or there is a new family drama...it's hard to narrow down a particular event."
Dr. Jones agreed with Amanda about what they go through each day.
"Despite the occasional fist fights we've broken up in the hallways, you don't really know what to expect because all the families are so different, as are their dynamics. We've seen some cases where you'll have two fathers waiting in the wings and you don't know what to expect until the baby is born."