Twenty-six years ago, Judy Towe and Madeline Hill met for the first time – although Madeline was definitely too young to remember.
On that day, Towe – a labor and delivery nurse at Napa’s Queen of the Valley Medical Center — helped deliver baby Madeline.
More than two decades later, the two women have reunited in a surprising, yet fitting way.
They are both working as labor and delivery nurses at the Queen, and in the same unit where Hill was born.
It was Hill’s mother, Tami Nixon, that connected the dots.
After Nixon visited her daughter at the Queen one day, “She thought she recognized me,” said Towe, but wasn’t sure from where. Nixon — a longtime dance and swim instructor in Napa –- has taught many, many students over the years.
Later, looking at family photo albums, Nixon found snapshots of the day her daughter was born, and realized Towe was her labor and delivery nurse all those years ago.
“Sure, enough, that was me,” said Towe, adding that she thinks she was about the same age in the photos as Hill is now – 26.
“It was just so fun to see the pictures,” said Towe.
Towe has been a registered nurse for 30 years and worked in labor and delivery at the Queen for 28 years.
“Honestly, I was a little humbled” that Nixon remembered her and has specific memories of Towe from that day.
“That just reminded me of the impact” a nurse can have on a patient’s life. “There are so many neat people that you meet,” she said.
Hill agreed. “To be able to work in the place where I was born with the person who helped me be born is really special,” she said. “I feel like we have a special connection. It’s very sweet.”
And according to Hill, “Judy looks exactly the same as she did 26 years, just with a better hairdo.”
Towe said that 26 years ago, she was a new labor and delivery nurse, just like Madeline is now. Towe said she was inspired to become a nurse after her sister began studying the same field.
On the day Hill was born, “I’m sure I was nervous,” said Towe. At that time, “I probably hadn’t been (working in labor and delivery) by myself for that long.”
Hill said her interest in health care came at an early age.
Growing up, “I loved being in hospitals,” said Hill. “That was super interesting.”
While doing her labor and delivery rotation in nursing school, “I fell in love” with that specialty of care.
“Labor and delivery to me is super special” because it’s such a significant day in people’s lives — one they will remember forever.
Today, Hill and Towe see each other fairly often on the job at the Queen.
“I adore Maddie,” said Towe. “She’s just a great girl. She’s intelligent, enthusiastic. She’s like a sponge — she just wants to learn everything. She’s a great nurse.”
“And now I get to see Maddie at work and watch her grow as a woman and a person and nurse,” said Towe. “It’s just really cool.”
“It’s a special connection,” Hill agreed.
“Madeline and Judy have an extra special bond,” said Nixon. “Who knew that one of the first persons that laid eyes on or even held Madeline is now her mentor and colleague?”
You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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