It takes a 12-passenger van for the Barnett family of Robbins, Tennessee, to venture out on any given day. Dusty and Jessica Barnett have eight children, and each one was born at Parkwest Medical Center.   “They love to go to Frozen Head, and go see their daddy on the way,” Jessica says. Dusty Barnett is an advanced EMT with Morgan County EMS, and works near the entrance to the state park. “There’s a great children’s play area there, and they like to walk the trails.”     

While the number of children in the Barnett household is two or three times as many as the average family in East Tennessee, it’s a happy and comfortable home life for them. The older children are home schooled, and help care for their younger siblings. The children tend the animals on the small family farm, they love good books, they cherish the Bible, and the favorite family meal is lasagna.      

“Jonathan is nine, Lydia is eight, James is six, Jason is five, Chloe is three, Jeremy is two, and Jared is 16 months,” Jessica says. The newest addition to the family is little Annalee Hope, who was born on New Year’s Day.     

As a matter of fact, Annalee was the very first baby born at Parkwest this year, making her grand entrance into the world at 8:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2017. “My husband’s middle name is Lee,” Jessica explains, “so we named her after him.”

“I truly love helping bring new babies into the world,” said Marlyn Leisy, MD, who delivered Annalee on New Year’s Day. “It was especially an honor to deliver Parkwest’s first baby of 2017. Jessica was delightful to have as a patient. It was touching to see their sweet family continue to grow and witness Dusty and Lydia’s excitement about Annalee’s arrival.”     

Annalee weighed in at seven pounds and five ounces, she was 21.25 inches in length. Mother and baby are both doing just fine. “I like how the labor, delivery and recovery are all in one room,” Jessica says. “And the nurses are really good. They’re so attentive.”     

 Nurse manager Teresa Paris appreciates the compliment, noting that helping moms in labor to experience childbirth in a comfortable and comforting environment is intentional at Parkwest. 

    Jessica could no doubt write volumes on the subject of parenting, but when asked what kind of advice she would give expectant mothers, she only says, “They grow up very, very fast, so enjoy it! “I love raising the children, I love teaching them, and caring for them – I just love everything about it,” she adds.    

  As for choosing a hospital, Jessica is quick to point out the benefits she enjoyed at Parkwest, like having the whole experience in one room, without having to be moved back and forth between separate areas for labor, delivery, and recovery. She also advises expectant moms to make sure they have attentive nurses like the ones at Parkwest who have helped her bring new life into the Barnett family, year after year.

   “A lot of the nurses in the childbirth center have more than 10 years’ experience in labor and delivery, so they are very well trained, very experienced nurses,” says Paris, adding that about 1600 babies are delivered each year at Parkwest. “Our patients come first, and excellent care is always our goal.”