Soon, Cathy asked Karen to stop pushing. The delivery had progressed from slow to fast. The nurse rushed to summon the doctor.

Nurse springs to action to deliver baby girl

Karen Devlin Baby Tien Hr

Two words stick in Karen Devlin’s mind about the nurse who helped deliver her second daughter: Kind and positive. 

“I arrived at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital eight centimeters dilated,” she shares. “Soon, I was pushing for an hour and my nurse, Cathy Barbee, was so impressive. She thought my baby might be lying diagonally because I was taking a long time for a second baby. She asked me to turn to my right side. Then my baby wanted to come out.” 

Soon, Cathy asked Karen to stop pushing. The delivery had progressed from slow to fast. The nurse rushed to summon the doctor. 

Taking action 

When the doctor didn’t appear within a few minutes, Cathy took charge. 

“She said, ‘I’m going to deliver the baby’,” Karen remembers. “I told her, ‘that’s fine.’” 

Baby Tien (Vietnamese for “Angel”) was born with her cord around her neck. Instead of Karen’s husband cutting it as planned, Cathy intervened for Tien’s safety. A team of SPAH staffers jumped in, assessing and cleaning Tien.  

The baby hadn’t cried when delivered, but she was doing fine at a healthy 6 pounds, 5 ounces and 19 inches. 

Reassured that her baby was OK, Karen delivered her placenta, this time working with the doctor who had arrived moments after Tien’s birth. 

Cathy stayed with Karen for hours afterwards, getting food and changing her sheets. 

“I’m a Sentara employee; I work as a medical sonographer, and my mother-in-law is also a Sentara nurse,” Karen says. “We hadn’t told anyone, though. Cathy was just doing her job on a busy night and really taking care of me.”

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