Kate Girard – A ViaCord Mom
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to talk to one of our very own ViaCord moms – Kate Girard, RN MSN. Kate has been with ViaCord for 13 years and manages the regenerative medicine program as well as facilitates all clinical aspects of the business. Here’s the scoop on her home life, work life, and how she balances the two:
What did you do before ViaCord?
“Before ViaCord I was a travel labor and delivery nurse. The cool thing about that was I got to see how different hospitals handled their labor and delivery departments. It gave me a good perspective on multiple birthing options and settings. Each hospital had its own vibe and way of doing things.
One of my favorite stories from being a L&D Nurse is I was taking over a shift and walked into a room where a new mom had just given birth about 15 minutes before I got there. When I walked in I asked ‘What did you have?’ and she said ‘A tuna sandwich’. I just had to ask ‘A boy tuna sandwich or a girl tuna sandwich?’ She was horrified that she misunderstood my question and was convinced she would be a terrible mother because all she was thinking about was her lunch.
How do you balance mommy-time and work-time?
My mother-in-law. She lives with us and takes care of the kids while my husband and I are at work, which is a huge help.
But besides that, I think it takes a lot of patience and consistency. The kids know that I’m there every morning when they wake up and they understand that I go to work and then I come home. I make sure that when I’m home with them, I’m really there with them and not checking my email every five minutes.
I think you really have to figure out what balance feels right for you and what personally works for you and your family.
Can you tell us a little bit about your kids?
I have a daughter, Juliette, who turned 3 in March and her little brother, George, will be 2 in August. Juliette is a live wire in a dress; she is very chatty, curious, and dramatic. George is just starting to talk like crazy. He comes up with new words and phrases every day and it’s so hilarious to hear what comes out of his mouth.
George is also obsessed with anything that has to do with construction and walks around the house with a measuring tape. He never had a pacifier, but I think his measuring tape fills that void. I keep one on every floor of the house because if he gets upset that’s what will calm him down!
Juliette is starting to embrace her bossy older sister role. I can hear her say things like ‘Now George-y, this is the way we need to do this.’ But, for the majority of the time, they get along really well. They are both obsessed with playing, walking on the beach, and digging – really anything outside.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
That’s a hard one, but probably the truth and honesty that I see in my kids. It’s a beautiful thing to see kids at this age because they have no pretense or filter.
They express everything they feel and say exactly what is on their mind. And the amount of love that they can give is unbelievable.
Now that you have kids of your own, do you feel differently about working in this industry?
It hasn’t made me feel differently about working in this industry, but it has changed how I think about access to new research, new therapies, and alternative choices when it comes to medicine. It also makes me feel more driven to help bring new stem cell therapies to more families.
Both Juliette and George have their cord blood and cord tissue banked at ViaCord and I think now that I’m a mom, I can relate more to parents who call in and are willing to try anything if it could potentially help their child. I understand where they are coming from because if I was in their position I would do whatever it takes to help my kids.
And finally, any special plans for Mother’s Day?
We will celebrate with my mother-in-law. Probably go to brunch and for a walk on the beach. It’s also become sort of a tradition to go and pick out all the spring flowers for our house, so we will probably do that.
I have a bunch of hanging plants on the porch and then planters in the front. It would be nice if Juliette helped pick out a flower or two this year. It’s funny because she knows the real names of flowers, but she calls everything either a tulip or a dandelion.”