Chelsea Rousseau, left, Cortney Gould, Becky Berthiaume and Allyson Barter, employees at Fresenius Kidney Care on Civic Center Drive in Augusta, are expecting boys in May or June. Photo courtesy of Fresenius Kidney Care

AUGUSTA — A baby boom is approaching at Fresenius Kidney Care in Augusta, where four employees are pregnant — all with boys due within three weeks of one another.

One of the four women working at the Civic Center Drive clinic said the pregnancies show light can shine during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced people to stay away from others to protect themselves.

“There’s always something to bring joy,” said Becky Berthiaume, 27. “It doesn’t always have to be dark clouds.”

The pregnancies began with Berthiaume, who recently moved to Maine from New Hampshire. She said she had worked previously with Chelsea Rousseau and Cortney Gould, who were aware of Berthiaume’s pregnancy before she arrived in the state.

A short time later, Rousseau and Gould became pregnant, along with co-worker Allyson Barter.

Berthiaume, a registered nurse expecting her second child, said she was excited as the list of pregnancies at Fresenius Kidney Care began to grow.

“It was very surprising to know that I was not alone,” she said. “I had a very good support team of mommas-to-be at the clinic.”

In 2019, nine nurses at Portland’s Maine Medical Center made national news when they were expecting babies at the same time. Internet research shows multiple pregnancies at one business is more common than one might expect. The four nurses at Fresenius Kidney Care write it off to coincidence.

“It’s the water,” Berthiaume laughed. “I knew I always wanted children that were less than three years apart. It just happened to be that it all happened at the same time.”

“We’re all so close,” said Gould, a 35-year-old registered nurse expecting her fifth child. “I don’t think Becky necessarily had any effect, because the three of us were already pregnant when we found out Becky was pregnant.”

“I think mine was just an accident that happened to happen,” said Barter, a patient care technician expecting her first child. “I guess I got lucky.”

With so many pregnant peers, Rousseau, a 32-year-old patient care technician expecting her first child, said it was nice to have others to help with questions and provide advice.

“It’s been nice to have others that are pregnant at the same time to share stories,” Rousseau said.

“I feel like I don’t actually have too much advice,” Gould said, “because I feel like everybody does things their own way.”

Barter, 19, said everyone at the clinic has been kind and caring toward the four pregnant colleagues.

“I think that’s just really good to know that everybody is so supportive,” she said.

With 12 nurses and nurse technicians at Fresenius Kidney Care in Augusta, there will be staffing gaps that require filling. Gould said the clinic will bring in two traveling staff members to help cover the maternity leaves.

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