Four reasons these sisters are celebrating this Mother’s Day

Shaina Armstrong was very pleasantly surprised when she found out she was pregnant with her third child. Little did she know that her own news was the first in a string of extraordinary surprises.

“I had to go to the Emergency Room to receive treatment for a symptom I was experiencing following a procedure, and I called my sister, Stephanie,” Shaina, a former Parkview medical assistant, said.

“She wasn’t planning on telling anyone her news for a while,” Stephanie Hambrock, RN, ASN, nurse leader, ICU, Parkview Hospital Randallia, shared. “But I’m her sister, and a nurse, and I wanted to know exactly why she was in the hospital, so she had to tell me.” After Shaina delivered surprise No. 1, Stephanie returned the favor. “So I said, ‘That’s funny, I’m pregnant, too.’”

“We used to joke about being pregnant together when we were young,” Shaina said. “But it never worked out.” Stephanie will welcome her third child, the sex of which she does not plan to find out ahead of time, just a few weeks after Shaina. 

“We were shocked,” Stephanie said. “My husband and I tried for almost two years to get pregnant with our second child, so we just didn’t think a third baby was going to be a possibility. We were panicked a bit at first, but it’s such an unbelievable blessing.”

And the blessings weren’t slowing down. Just a few months later, on Christmas Day, the family received a very special, unexpected gift when their sister Rikki shared that she, too, was expecting.

“Rikki had always been told she wouldn’t be able to have kids,” Stephanie shared. “She started telling me about some things she was experiencing and I told her to just take a test and check. Doctors aren’t always right. She sent me a picture of the plus sign and asked me what it meant. Cracked me up. It was so clear that she was pregnant.”

But the universe had just one surprise left for the women. “Rikki went into the ER because she was experiencing some pain,” Shaina said. “We were all so concerned because she’d had problems getting pregnant in the past. We were all texting and then suddenly our mom sent the message, ‘She’s having twins.’ Now, my mom can be kind of a handful, so we thought for sure she was playing on a joke on us. But she wasn’t. She was dead serious. Rikki is having twin girls. It is the icing on the cake.” 

The man managing all three tiers of that cake is Geoffrey Cly, MD, PPG – OB/GYN.

“We’ve known Dr. Cly for 13 years,” Stephanie said. “He was my mother’s doctor when she had our younger sisters. I’d go to doctor’s appointments with her and actually, Shaina, Rikki and myself all watched him deliver one of my sisters. I was 25 and it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. That was what made me want to become a nurse. It’s fun because we’ve been through so much with him. Yes, he’s my doctor, he treats me and my sisters, but it’s also like hanging out with an old friend.”

“Obviously, we don’t discuss my sisters’ health information, that’s private, but it’s nice that when I talk about what’s going on with me and I say something about mom or one of the girls, I know that he knows exactly what I’m talking about,” Shaina said. “As a provider, he doesn’t beat around the bush. He’s honest with me. I’ve been in his office and had breakdowns and he just sits and takes the time to talk with me. I can bring any of my concerns to him.”

“He really did make an impression on all of us,” Sandy Penland, the girls’ mother shared. Sandy, who works at Randallia on 2-Surgical, is thrilled that her daughters are receiving the same great care she received. “With my last two girls, I was older and high risk, but he always made us feel like we were family. He explained everything. If I felt nervous he made a point to be there so I didn’t feel like I was going through this alone. He made me feel like I was his only patient. He’s delivered 10 of my family members and I have every confidence in him delivering the next four.”

Shaina will welcome her third boy in early June, Stephanie is due in late June and then Rikki’s girls should arrive in late July/early August. There’s certainly much to celebrate this Mother’s Day!


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