SAN DIEGO — Seventeen women who work in the pediatric intensive care unit at Rady Children’s Hospital have more than just their professions in common — they are all pregnant at the same time.
“I love the pediatric ICU. I think it’s the sickest kids that you see there but you also have the greatest opportunity for good to really change somebody’s life,” said Dr. Nichole Coufal, who is 32 weeks pregnant with her third child..
“It’s an awesome hospital but I would say mostly because of the coworkers. It’s a really great environment and just the relationships you can build with the patients and the families,” respiratory therapist Hannah Alvarez said.
The job they love has made them close, but now another commonality has brought them even closer together.
“Twenty-six weeks. I’m due November 1st and it’s a girl,” Alvarez said.
Currently, 16 of the women who work in the PICU are expecting and one just had her baby. Of the 17, 13 are nurses, two are doctors and two are respiratory therapists.
“We all drank the water apparently,” Alvarez said.
“I guess I drank the water, which is how I ended up with the third,” Coufal said. “I think I’m the furthest along of all of them.”
Nurse Devin Pecroaro is 12 weeks along and is the latest to join the baby bump group.
“That’s what everybody thought of me — like, ‘you’re going to be next’ and I’m like, ‘oh no I’m not!’ and here we are,” Pecroaro said.
The women told FOX 5 they cannot remember a time at Rady’s when so many workers have been pregnant at the same time.
“It comes in waves but this is definitely the biggest wave that we’ve had,” Pecroaro said.
And it’s definitely an experience they are soaking in.
“The best part honestly is just being able to chat with them about being pregnant and being at work is hard. It’s harder on your body and we’re taking care of kids so it’s this whole different dynamic to it. So having a support group that’s like I’m there, I see you through that, we’re here too — it’s a really cool thing,” Pecroaro said.
The experienced moms and soon-to-be mothers are all looking forward to the days ahead.
“It’s been great. Baby bonding is going to be a blast,” Alvarez said.
The next due date in the group is in a couple of weeks.