Mary Ann West, a maternity and delivery nurse, has spent most of her life bringing other people’s children into the world, including Kelsey Poll, who was born on June 15, 2001, at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful, Utah. Poll recently sat down with her fiancé, Tyler West, to go through some of her old baby photos. That’s when Tyler spotted a picture of his mother holding Poll when she was just an infant. The couple was shocked to discover that their families had crossed paths nearly 22 years ago.
“Hey, I think that’s my mom. It looks like she was your nurse!” Tyler West exclaimed after recognizing his mother in one of the photos. The picture shows Mary Ann West holding Poll’s feet when she was just a few hours old as she prepares the birth certificate. “We were both pretty shocked,” he told the Washington Post in a recent interview.
“I told Kelsey, ‘That’s definitely my mom’s handwriting,’” Tyler added after looking at the writing on Poll’s birth certificate.
After putting the pieces together, Tyler and Kelsey pulled out the video that her dad recorded shortly after she was born. The tape showed Tyler’s mom, Mary Ann, standing next to Kelsey’s mom, Stacy, as she held the newborn in her arms.
“I thought it was really cool. it made me feel grateful to know I had this tie to my new family,” said Kelsey Poll, 22. “I always wanted to have a good relationship with my future parents, and it also confirmed that I want to be with Tyler for the rest of my life.”
Mary Ann West said she still remembers Kelsey as a baby all these years later even though some 400 babies are delivered at Lakeview Hospital every year, according to hospital spokeswoman Brittany Glas. West was there to comfort Kelsey’s mom, Stacy, during the delivery.
“I remember her because she was so nervous about having a third baby and how her other two young kids were going to handle it,” West, 49, told the Post. “I’d had Tyler the year before, and he was my third [child, so] I told Stacy about that, and how my kids had reacted to their new little brother. ‘You’ve got this, girl,’ I told her. ‘You can do this.’ We bonded over that, and it helped her to become more relaxed.”
Mary Ann West added that she will always remember the day of Kelsey’s birth because it was the same day Stacey was diagnosed with velamentous cord insertion, a complication that occurs in roughly one percent of single-birth pregnancies in which the umbilical cord from a fetus doesn’t properly connect to the placenta.
The diagnosis came as a shock after earlier ultrasounds failed to detect the condition. It was also West’s first time dealing with the issue during a live birth.
“It’s a pretty scary thing, and it’s the only time I’d ever seen anything like it,” the nurse said. “We were all relieved and happy when everything went perfectly and Kelsey was born healthy, without complications.”
The year Kelsey was born, the two families were living less than 10 miles apart in different counties in Salt Lake City. Kelsey and Tyler were born at different hospitals and attended different high schools only to cross paths at a local credit union before falling in love.
“When I left, I thought, ‘I have to go back and get her number,’” Tyler said of their first encounter, which took place in February of this year.
The couple introduced their parents to one another during a pre-wedding dinner, which gave Stacy and Mary Ann a chance to reconnect.
“Kelsey had told me that Mary Ann was a labor and delivery nurse, and she and Tyler had joked that maybe she’d brought me ice chips when I was in the hospital,” said Stacy Poll, 47. “I thought the odds were slim that she’d have been there. But in the back of my mind, I guess I wondered, ‘Could it be?’”
Stacy added that she will always remember Mary Ann because of how she listened to her concerns when she was giving birth. That’s why Stacy included a photo of the nurse in her collection of baby pics.
“She was with me the entire time, telling me, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay,’” Stacy Poll recalled. “When Kelsey was born, she handed her to me and said, ‘Welcome to the world, princess.’ I just always remembered her kindness.”
As for Mary Ann, she said the connection feels like fate’s way of telling her that her son and Kelsey are meant to be.
“I’m just so thankful that Tyler found her and she’s now part of our family,” she said. “We’ve loved her from Day 1, and it’s like it was meant to be. Kelsey is the one.”