Certified Nurse Midwife Peggy Williamson (pictured in the Centering Room at The Pregnancy Center) has devoted 25 years of her life to her profession and delivered 3,000 babies in our community.
After dedicating countless hours, 25 years of her life, and delivering more than 3,000 babies in our community, it’s only fitting that certified nurse midwife trailblazer Peggy Williamson ended her career with a 24-hour shift.
During one of her last shifts on July 22, Peggy was delivering a baby and reflected it could be one of her last in her devoted career.
“I had a woman I’d been with for her first two pregnancies but I hadn’t delivered any of her babies,” Peggy said. “I delivered her third that night and she was so happy. I was telling the nurses this could be one of my last deliveries and it’s bittersweet.”
Peggy holds a master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in midwifery and is a women’s health nurse practitioner. She has worked at Renown as a certified nurse midwife for the past 12 years and has worked in the Reno community for 25 years.
She became a nurse in 1995, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and served as a Labor & Delivery nurse for seven years. She went to Salt Lake City for a two-year nurse midwife program – which was always her career goal – and hasn’t looked back since.
A pioneer in her profession in Northern Nevada, Peggy started the first nurse midwifery program in Reno and was the first person in the city to earn hospital privileges. She has seen Renown’s midwife program grow to eight nurse midwifes and seven physicians.
“As a nurse midwife I can give the care a woman wants with no intervention or an epidural, numb up to her eyebrows if she wants, always making sure that baby and mom are OK,” she explained. “That’s what’s great about it.”
She’s delivered babies of the former babies she’s delivered, she’s seen mothers turn their life around and change their behaviors after having their baby, she’s seen moms give their babies up for adoption and she was the spearheading force for getting Renown’s nurse midwifes to be credited as surgical first assistants. She’s made lifelong friends and she’s done it all while being able to help an under-served population – something she has always wanted to do.
Some of her most touching moments have come when the outcome wasn’t something anybody expected.
“When babies die and it’s not what was expected I usually cry more than they do,” Peggy said. “Every patient is different. Every birth is different. Every family is different. It’s just amazing.”
While Peggy will miss all of her fellow nurses, doctors and co-workers, she is ready to call it a career and is very proud of the work she’s done.
“It’s been exhausting – sometimes mentally and physically exhausting,” she said. “There’s been more than one night I’ve come home and cried myself to sleep mostly because I was so touched. I’ve served this population well and now it’s time to do other things.”
What else is Peggy looking forward to? She is looking forward to traveling to Disneyland and Disney World with her husband (she already has a trip booked next month!), having more time for quilting and sewing (“I have fabric that goes from the floor to the ceiling, so my motto is I’m going to live long enough to sew it all up.”) and spending time with her family and 12 grandkids and three great-grand kids.
The Renown Health OB/GYN and Certified Nurse Midwife Team
Myron Bethel, MD, Chief of OB/GYN
Amy Condon, MD, OB/GYN
Susan Hsu, MD, OB/GYN
Scott Jacobs, MD, OB/GYN
Vickie Tippett, MD, OB/GYN
Maria Sheila Santa Maria Torres, MD, OB/GYN
Tamsen Carson, PA
Rebecca Chavez, CNM
Amanda Christian, CNM
Carie Wright, CNM
Cindy Pitlock, DNP/CNM
Peggy Williamson, APN, CNM
Lillian Bronson, CNM
Tami Baumann, CNM