As Evelyn Schwartz carries her youngest daughter, Emilia, downstairs from a nap, you’d never guess that one of the mother’s hips is even newer than her 8-month-old. Schwartz is steady and centered as her three older children dart about her Rockville home. Most important, she’s pain-free.

Schwartz noticed discomfort in her hip while giving birth to her oldest daughter, Cayla, at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in 2007. The pain was so severe, Schwartz says, at times it overshadowed her labor. An X-ray later showed osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that would require a hip replacement.

Schwartz delayed surgery to care for her expanding family. But the pain increased during her pregnancy with daughter Juliette, now 6, and she could no longer practice yoga or bend without hurting. While pregnant with son Ryker, now 3, she experienced unbearable pain. With Emilia on the way, Schwartz knew she had to act.

“There’s just never a good time,” the first-grade teacher says of the surgery. But she knew her maternity leave for Emilia might be a good opportunity. So just three months postpartum, Schwartz returned to Shady Grove Medical Center for a hip replacement.

Finally, It’s Time

mom looking at babyBrett Hampton, MD, and the Shady Grove Medical Center specialized orthopedic team embraced the challenges of managing surgery for a new mom. Hydration was key as Schwartz pumped breast milk so she could resume nursing Emilia once her obstetrician, Gerald Renzi, MD, gave the go-ahead.

Surgery went smoothly and Schwartz returned home in two days with ongoing support from Shady Grove Medical Center’s care team. A certified lactation consultant checked in, and lead orthopedic nurse Judy Mardirossian made sure Schwartz and her husband, Michael, were prepared for the recovery process. “She has a whole notebook, and I could easily follow it,” Schwartz says. “I had questions, and she’d call back.”

History of Healthcare

The attention from the hospital team was wonderful, but this was not a surprise to Schwartz or her husband. They had great experiences delivering all four children at the Shady Grove Birth Center. When Cayla, their first, arrived, the new parents appreciated practical instructions and support from the labor and delivery team, particularly when Schwartz’s birth plan didn’t go as planned. Each of the next three Schwartz children arrived with a different birth story, and each time the Shady Grove Medical Center team knew exactly how to handle the plot twists.

After Cayla’s birth, Schwartz took advantage of the BEST breastfeeding support group and bonded with other new moms in the Discovering Motherhood support group. “It got me through the first year of being a new parent,” she says.

The couple have also benefited from having a quality pediatric unit close to home. Right after his first birthday, Ryker spent time in the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia. Schwartz still remembers how the nurses gave Ryker toys, access to a playroom and a special blanket.

“Anytime he needed something, they got it for him,” Michael says.

Two years later, Ryker is now breathing easy. Mom and dad breathe a bit easier, too, knowing that they have a hospital close by that can meet their family’s healthcare needs.

“It’s so helpful to know that if there’s an emergency, someone can take care of it,” Schwartz says. “I just feel like we’re in good hands.”