Parkwest welcomes its first special delivery of the New Year

The hospital was almost an hour away. It was worth the drive. Sharon Jarnigan, 41, is the mother of the first baby born at Parkwest
Medical Center in 2020. Evan Brian Jarnigan came into the world on the morning of January 2, weighing in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces. The expectant mom wasn’t due to deliver her baby until January 10. The Jarnigan family’s special New Year’s gift was something of a surprise.

Better Safe than Sorry

Sharon Jarnigan holds her newborn son Evan at Parkwest’s Childbirth Center.
Sharon Jarnigan holds her newborn son Evan at Parkwest’s Childbirth Center.

“I actually thought it was going to be false labor,” Jarnigan says. Her contractions had started earlier in the day, but were different
from what she had experienced with her first two pregnancies. Jarnigan lives in Campbell County, and it would take almost an hour to get to the hospital. She decided to check with friends on social media first, to see what their experiences with contractions and false labor had been. She got mixed responses. Having been through labor and childbirth twice already, Jarnigan had enough experience to know something was going on. There were two choices that night. She could make the long drive, maybe for nothing, or she could wait to see if the baby was really ready to make his grand entrance into the world. “I thought, ‘I may need to get checked out just to be on the safe side,’” Jarnigan says. “I didn’t want to have a baby on the interstate!”

When she arrived at the emergency department at Parkwest, she was examined and found out she had dilated one centimeter. It wasn’t much of an indication that a baby was about to be born. “The doctor had me wait an hour so she could recheck and see if any change had taken place,” Jarnigan says. “The contractions kept getting closer and closer together and stronger and stronger, and when the doctor checked again I was three centimeters. So I had dilated two centimeters in an hour.” That’s when Jarnigan found out her family of four was about to become a family of five. She delivered the Parkwest New Year’s baby at 4:17 a.m.

Worth the Drive

Sleeping baby Jarnigan.
Evan Brian Jarnigan was the first baby born at Parkwest in 2020.

If you wonder why an expectant mom would drive so far to have her baby delivered, you only need to understand that Jarnigan is experienced. After delivering two babies at Parkwest, she knew without question that’s where she wanted to have her third. She had become a patient of C. David Schroeder, MD, when he practiced in Oak Ridge,and followed him to Parkwest. “He’s been my OB/GYN for over 20 years,” Schroeder says. “I had him with my other two and I had two good experiences at Parkwest.”

When the time came to deliver the baby, Dr. Schroeder wasn’t the one on call. Jarnigan wasn’t worried though, because the delivery was a family affair. Dr. Schroeder shares a practice with his wife,Rosalind Cadigan, MD. She was on call and the one who now has the distinction of having delivered the first baby born in 2020 at Parkwest. Mother and baby are doing fine, and so is Matt Jarnigan, the proud dad.

Baby Evan’s big brothers were excited to meet him, and it won’t be long until the three boys are filling the Jarnigan household with lots of laughter, love and life together. “It can be challenging at times, but I can’t imagine it any other way,” Jarnigan says. When asked what she loves most about being a mom, Jarnigan can sum up her feelings in two
words: “Endless love,” she says.

The Childbirth Center team presented the Jarnigan family with a special baby new year basket that included a lot of baby necessities, as well as some other fun goodies for mom and baby.

A Big Finish for New Beginnings
Parkwest breaks record for number of births in 2019

cute smiling babyA record-breaking number of women chose to have their babies at Parkwest Medical Center in 2019. Nurse manager Holly Woodlee, RN, BSN, says Parkwest finished the year with 1,867 deliveries. That’s 54 deliveries more than in 2018. “We had a record-breaking month in October with 200 deliveries,” Woodlee says. “That is the most we have ever delivered in a month, by 30 babies!” The Childbirth Center at Parkwest Medical Center has 20 birthing rooms, and two operating suites. Valet and shuttle service are available to transport the mother from the parking lot to the hospital entrance.

Everything inside the Childbirth Center is designed to position the highly qualified labor and delivery staff just steps away from the patients. There are also systems in place to make sure all mothers and newborns are closely monitored, guarded with care and treated well.

“Parkwest Childbirth Center is a great place to bring a baby into the world because we treat your family like our family,” Woodlee says. “Our physicians, nurses and surgical technicians are highly skilled and passionate about women’s health.”

To learn more about labor and delivery at Parkwest Medical Center, visit or call (865)373-4299.

Nursing the Newborn: Lactation consultants help mothers
achieve breastfeeding success

breastfeeding african american momMothers who want to breastfeed their babies get the support they need at Parkwest Medical Center. Parkwest offers prenatal classes to help families get ready, and lactation consultants are available after the baby arrives.

The specially trained lactation consultants make rounds to see mothers in the hospital who are breastfeeding babies or who want to learn how. The expert advice is delivered with an extra measure of compassion and unwavering support. If a mother and baby are still having problems when they are discharged from the hospital, a lactation consultant can offer a special feeding plan. The feeding plan covers everything from alternative feeding methods to the use of an electric breast pump.

Parkwest also offers a support group for the nursing mothers and their newborns. The Lactation Club (TLC) meets weekly, and is a place where moms can get their questions answered in a comfortable environment with other mothers who are on the same journey. Breastfeeding can be challenging at first, but it’s also a wonderful way to give a baby a great start in life both physically and emotionally. For more information and a link to an online breastfeeding guide, visit