Left photo: Adventist Hinsdale Hospital labor and delivery nurse Patty Janicek poses with new mom Kate Klara and Kate’s newborn baby, Colin Richard Klara. The family recognized Janicek as the nurse who assisted in Kate's delivery (right photo) almost 29 years earlier. Baby Kate is pictured with her mother, Sue Pitlock.
When little Colin Richard Klara made his entrance into the world at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital on March 10, 2011, assisting the birth was the same nurse who delivered his mother almost 29 years earlier.
Labor and delivery nurse Patty Janicek, who is also a lactation consultant, is amazed at the impact she’s made on so many peoples’ lives in the 31 years she has worked at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. A mother of five herself, Janicek teaches childbirth classes, parenting classes and moderates a breastfeeding support group. She is now instructing the second generation of these first students and reuniting with their parents.
“I’ve taken pictures with so many of these families that they recognize me from their baby books,” said Janicek, a Downers Grove resident. “I’ve been a baby fan as long as I can remember. It’s so peaceful to hold them. You look at these babies and think how miraculous they are. I’m blessed to be a part of this profession. I just love it. I never take it for granted.”
Janicek had become re-introduced to baby Colin’s family months before his birth. When Colin’s mom, Oak Park resident Kate Klara, attended her first childbirth class for her first child, Klara’s father, Richard Pitlock, looked at the teacher, nudged his wife, and said, “She looks familiar. I think she was our nurse.”
“I asked Kate what the nurse’s name was,” said Klara’s mother, Sue Pitlock, of Downers Grove. “When she said her name it was like a sudden, ‘Boom!’ We both said, ‘Oh my God! It is her. Her hair had changed a bit and she was a little older, but it was Patty.”
Pitlock was instantly transported back to 1982 when she gave birth to Klara. Her best friend had just delivered a son and the nursing staff was holding the other half of the double room for Pitlock so the two friends could be together.
“Patty was so calm, so reassuring,” Pitlock said. “She walked me and my husband through everything that was happening. She told us everything was fine, not to worry and that this was normal.”
After hearing her mother’s story, Klara had hoped Janicek would be her nurse, too. Fate was on her side.
“When I first met Patty, I thought she looked familiar,” Klara said. “As I reflect on my experience with her these past nine months, I realize that familiarity is a result of her passion and enthusiasm for her job, the women she supports daily, and the babies she helps to bring into this world. You can really tell she loves what she does and that was most comforting to me. It’s cool to see that after all these years, she can still do her job with such a fresh outlook.”