Phenomenal Family of Five

We all know moms that make it look easy, but seeing Crystal Fast juggle her new baby girl, two busy boys, a full time teaching job, coaching varsity volleyball and supporting a family farm, brings adoration and respect for motherhood to a whole new level.  With a busy life, it means even more that Crystal took the time, after her most recent delivery, to nominate a staff member that stood out during her stay.

Crystal recently delivered her third child, Annika, at The Birth Place at the Windom Area Hospital, and described her experience as “phenomenal”.  We learned of Crystal’s positive experience when she nominated one of her nurses, Mary Oeltjenbruns, to the hospital’s Caught you Caring program, where patients, coworkers or the public can nominate employees for going above and beyond. In Crystal’s nomination, she wrote, “I had the privilege of having Mary as my nurse several times during my stay. Mary is simply amazing at her job! She made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. Whenever I had concerns or questions, I had no doubt that Mary would be right there to help! Thank you Mary for all you do! You are truly exceptional and I was blessed to have you as one of my nurses.”

When baby Annika was born in March of 2018, it was a planned caesarian section, unlike her first two deliveries. “Dr. Dynes took several things into account, including a prior hemorrhage and a large baby the last time, and we came to the conclusion that a planned c-section would be the best option.” Crystal’s entire family doctors at Avera Medical Group Windom, and have been patients of Dr. Dynes for a very long time. “I appreciate his sense of humor and I appreciate his honesty. He’s the doctor for our entire family and has helped me greatly, not only with my pregnancies but also with post-partum depression.”

Dr. Dynes is one of three physicians at Avera Medial Group Windom that provide obstetrics (OB) services, along with Dr. Mary Olson and Dr. Stephanie Buhler. Dr. Taber from Windom Family Medical Center, rounds out the physicians Windom Area Hospital partners with at The Birth Place.

A planned c-section was new to Crystal, who described the experience as low-stress. “My first pregnancy was a normal delivery, but with my second we found out through an ultrasound that the baby was very large so we had to have a c-section within 1-2 days. Since that change of course wasn’t in the plan, it was very stressful. Knowing it was coming this time around I could plan for it.”

However, there were some surprises with #3. “That was the first time I’d been in the new surgery area and was amazed at how big the operating room was, it was amazing!”, Crystal noted of the new surgery department and two operating rooms that were added to the hospital in the 2015 construction project. “This time I could keep Annika with me the entire time, I was doing skin-to-skin right in the recovery room and she could nurse within the first hour. It was really nice having that option.”

It seems that her most recent experience is consistent for Crystal, “I had all three kids here (The Birth Place), and every time the experience was great, from the medical and nursing staff, to the food and cleaning, just everything was great.” During her most recent stay, she also complimented Alysse Rasmussen and Rachael Fast, two other RNs that cared for her and Annika. “The nurses were very caring and would bring me snacks while I was up nursing in the middle of the night. The nutritional services staff would make sure my tray was just right, and they make great Special K bars!”

Windom Area Hospital also hosts nursing students each year, and a group of them were helping during Crystal’s stay. “Having a c-section there is more pain and recovery, and the students helped with the baby, it was appreciated.”

As a mom of three, Crystal skipped over the prenatal and breastfeeding classes this time, which are offered free to the community at Windom Area Hospital. Crystal jokes, “I took them the first time around, plus I have Mary (Oeltjenbruns) on speed dial!” Many area moms know and appreciate Mary’s labor/delivery and lactation expertise. Class attendees even get a personal cell phone number to connect with Mary after hours. Mary also is very active with the Baby Café, a group for moms that meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at BARC in Windom, from 4:00pm – 6:00pm.

Crystal’s busy life continues with her new baby Annika, Elliot (age 3), Lawson (5 ½, almost 6 he says), and husband Trevor, who farms and works at AgCo. Crystal teaches 4th grade and is the Head Volleyball Coach in Windom. Counting her blessing, Crystal notes, “Annika is a really good baby, but the biggest joy has been watching the boys interact with her. She giggles and smiles at them all the time.”

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