Shortly into her pregnancy, it became clear to Katie Shields, RN, and her husband, Drew Vild, that one of their first big decisions as expectant parents ― what to name their daughter ― would require a level of diplomacy.
“I wanted something else for the first name, but Drew said, ‘What about Catalina?’” Shields recalled.
She sensed an opening in the negotiations and pounced on the opportunity.
“I’m such a middle name person, so I said, ‘Deal, as long as her middle name can be Brigham,” Shields said with a laugh.
That decision is no coincidence. Shields was a staff nurse in Labor and Delivery at the Brigham from 2016 to 2018, and she has continued to work on the unit regularly in recent years as a travel nurse while the couple has lived in San Diego, where Vild, a petty officer first class in the U.S. Navy, is currently stationed.
To the joy of her parents, their loved ones and Shields’ former co-workers on CWN 5, Baby Catalina Brigham made her debut at the hospital that bears her name on Oct. 31.
“We decided her middle name was going to be Brigham because she was going to be delivered there, and I’m obviously obsessed with the hospital,” said Shields, who describes herself as a Brigham and Women’s superfan due to the close bond she has forged with her colleagues and the immense respect she has for the extraordinary care they deliver.
Delivering her baby at the Brigham was no accident, either. Shields spent much of her pregnancy at home in San Diego but knew that, if possible, she wanted to travel cross-country to welcome Catalina to the world at the hospital that feels most like home.
“I wanted to be surrounded by all my friends, and I consider everyone here my second mom and my second best friend,” Shields said from her hospital room. “It really is a family. Everyone has each other’s backs.”
Originally from Andover, Shields was in town for her baby shower in October and expected to stay with loved ones until her due date in mid-November. But Baby Catalina was, evidently, just as excited as her mom was to see the Brigham and arrived two and a half weeks early. The timing also meant that Shields could share the moment with her family, including her own mother, whom she says has supported her every step of the way.
To celebrate Baby Catalina’s arrival, staff on CWN 5 lined the hallways and cheered “Congratulations!” and “Happy birthday, Catalina!” while Shields, Vild and their little one were transported to their Postpartum room.
Catalina Brigham received a joyous welcome to the world from Shields’ former co-workers on CWN 5.
Labor and Delivery nurse colleague Robyn Serody, RN, said she was overjoyed for Shields — and not at all surprised by her decision to name Baby Catalina after the Brigham or deliver her here.
“Katie loved working here, and everyone loved working with her! She was always positive and could make you smile. Every workplace needs a Katie,” Serody said. “The Labor floor is a family, and Katie will always be a part of our family!”
Speaking from her hospital bed, Shields said she couldn’t imagine starting her family at any other place.
“I’m a strong believer in ‘you get what you give,” Shields said. “It feels so right that we’re here.”