When Richard and Jennifer Sanders were thinking about having a second baby, they knew they wanted to welcome the child into the world at Lexington Medical Center. But unlike other parents-to-be, their trip to the hospital was thousands of miles long and an ocean away.
Richard and Jennifer are missionaries in Moldova, a former Soviet Republic located between the Ukraine and Romania. They work with people in villages to build churches and spread the Gospel. The couple has been in Moldova for the past two years. And, according to Jennifer, they planned their entire second pregnancy around when they would be back in Lexington on a six month furlough so that they could have their second child at Lexington Medical Center.
“We wanted to be here at Lexington Medical Center,” Richard said. “It’s a combination – great doctors – an awesome hospital.”
Their love of the hospital began in February, 2006, when they had their first baby, Kaitlyn Grace, at Lexington Medical Center, shortly before they began their mission in Moldova. Both Richard and Jennifer had lived in the Columbia area since studying at Columbia International University Seminary.
“Every person in the hospital exuded excellence in what they do and respect for us,” Jennifer said. “They’re joyful people to be around.”
The couple especially loved LMC’s innovative Doula program, which offers patients a personal birth coach to provide comfort, reassurance and pain management assistance while in labor. It’s the first program of its kind in the Southeast.
“For me, that was the highlight,” Richard said. “The doula allowed us to accomplish our goals of having a natural birth.”
The couple also said their baby’s nurse was like a mother. “She took it personally,” they said.
Early this year in Moldova, they couple’s plans to have a second child at LMC began to take shape. They were able to time a pregnancy and impending delivery for when they would be home on the furlough.
It all worked seamlessly. The couple welcomed a son, Caleb, at Lexington Medical Center at 11:45pm on November, 2nd: 7 pounds 11 ounces, 20.5 inches long.
According to Jennifer, “Everything about Lexington has been a positive experience for us.”
Richard, Jennifer, Kaitlyn and Caleb will live in a mission house in Lexington until March, when they return to Moldova.
The couple might have more children. With a chuckle, they talked about making sure they were home again to welcome Baby #3 at LMC, too.