As a Registered Nurse in Labor & Delivery at Blessing Hospital, many could assume that Audra Archer knew all she needed to know when she became pregnant with her first child.  Her obstetrician, Dr. Deborah Woodard, didn’t make that assumption, and she appreciated that.  “She’s wonderful.  She sat down and took the time to answer questions,” Audra said. 

Audra has a unique opportunity to see Dr. Woodard, not only as a patient but as a colleague.  “Dr. Woodard is an expert physician and a truly amazing human being. It is my privilege to get to be her patient, coworker, and lifelong friend,” she said. 

Although Audra has been at the bedside for many births, she knew it would be much different being the patient, not the nurse.  “Every pregnancy is different.  Every labor is different.”  The labor and delivery of her four children are examples of that, but the one constant was having Dr. Woodard by her side, and Audra wouldn’t want it any other way.  “Dr. Woodard feels like part of our family,” she says.  “It’s like going to see family with every one of my prenatal visits.”

She and her husband, Thomas, are parents to four children age 10, 8, 4, and 8 months.  Her first, she says, went just as one would expect a first delivery to go.  It was a long labor, which she calls “a typical first baby labor.”  Her second child, a son, was born in 2009 and the labor and delivery were equally as smooth.

Her third child, a son, was due January 5, 2013.  Near the end of 2012, Dr. Woodard was set to go on a medical mission trip to India, so Audra knew it was likely she wouldn’t be here for her delivery.  On December 20th, she had a routine appointment, her last with Dr. Woodard before she left for India.  “I went in for my appointment, and labor didn’t seem like it was on the horizon,” Audra said.  However, in the middle of the night, her water broke, and Dr. Woodard delivered her baby on her last day of work before her mission.  “It was just meant to be, and she was meant to be there,” Audra said with a smile. “Of course that’s the way I wanted it with her there.  She didn’t want to miss it, and I didn’t want her to miss it.”

She had natural births with each of three children, and she had planned the same for her fourth.  But, the delivery took a turn when the baby’s umbilical cord had prolapsed.  This occurs when the umbilical cord slides down beneath baby’s head, compressing the umbilical cord.  In this situation, the baby’s heart rate can be greatly affected.  The decision was made to perform an emergency C-section.  “As terrifying as it was, I knew I was in good hands,” she said of Dr. Woodard.  “I was at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.”

Audra and her husband both think highly of Dr. Woodard.  “She’s very compassionate, and always cares what people are saying,” she said.  ‘Even my husband speaks of her with high regard and has even recommended her to friends of his who were expecting babies.  

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Woodard click this link or call, (217) 222-6550 ext. 3815.