DANVILLE, Illinois — She has done the same thing day in and day out for 50 years! But it’s a career that’s allowed her to share in the joy of so many new parents.
As friends, coworkers and family members gathered to wish Dolly Pollock a happy retirement, she had a lot to reflect on.
“There are days when I wish I had sat down and wrote, ‘OK, today on this day, we had six babies, and I was present for each one of ’em!'” Pollock said.
If she had done that, by now, the list would be endless.
For 50 years, Pollock helped deliver babies in Danville, Illinois. She started as soon as she finished high school.
“To this day I don’t know why the person hired me. I really don’t, when I think back. Because compared to qualities now, to what I had then, it was nil to nothing,” Pollock said.
It didn’t take long for her to catch up. She was one of the first in the country to become a certified lactation consultant.
She became the backbone of her department — evident by the hugs and well wishes from those who know her well.
“Dolly did a lot of the little things — and they were big things — because she did our breast-feeding education, our child birth education,” Lisa Edenburn, Pollock’s coworker, and inpatient nursing director said.
Pollock saw a lot of changes over the years, from birthing techniques to equipment. One of the biggest has been the new medical technology.
“Is it good in some ways? Who knows? Even though you have technology, I still think you have to learn the hands-on stuff. You have to be able to learn you know, technology isn’t always there. It fails, and then you have to rely on what you see and what you know, and what you can feel,” Pollock said.
Pollock’s coworkers said she’s probably helped deliver tens of thousands of babies, but Pollock said she doesn’t focus on the numbers. For her, it was about the moments when she was able to connect with a family.
“What’s important to me is the fact that I would make that mother comfortable, help her through her labor. She hugged me afterwards, you know? Or met me on the street later and said ‘you were there when my baby was born. Thank you,'” Pollock said.
Pollock will still be a visible force at the hospital in Danville. She’ll now serve as a volunteer, and she’s also going to run a car seat safety course that she helped start.