carrie's story | a beautiful birthday in the OR

A little over two years ago I was being wheeling into the OR with my third baby.  I was completely in shock that this 2 time vaginal birth mama and doula was not going to have the birth I had dreamed, planned and worked for.  Tears were flowing and I remember telling my doula, “At least I will be a better doula because of this”.  I knew that through the years I would have the honor of holding the hand of many women as they birthed their baby through their belly in an OR.  And it can be BEAUTIFUL, and it can take your breathe away.  And thankfully our local hospitals have heard our outcries that C section mama’s deserve a beautiful birth too, and so many have made steps towards a family centered c section.  This means mama’s can have skin to skin and breastfeed in OR.  This birth took place at Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC.

I met Carrie and Chris late into their pregnancy.  They had just moved back to the area from CA and were trying to figure out birthing options.  They are both outdoorsy and laid back and they are both extremely athletic.  Carrie is a triathlete and she was active till the day she gave birth.  We met twice and I just knew that she was going to rock her labor and give birth naturally.  

I was so shocked when she called me after her 39 week appointment with news that her baby girl had turned and was breech.  I met them the next morning for an external version at the hospital and held her hand as she took it like a champ.  Baby was nice and comfy butt down so the decision was made to wait a week before proceeding with a c section.  Carrie did everything she could to turn that baby while still maintaining a very positive attitude about the possibility of baby not turning.  She was graceful in a way I surely feel I couldn’t be.  And all of a sudden, the day before the scheduled c section, the feeling in the air turned from that of hoping and trying to just plain joyful anticipation.  A baby was being born!  

I was so proud of Carrie and Chris for coming to their birth with joy instead of feeling like they had failed in some way.  We laughed and told stories and listened to Gregory Alan Isakov.  They texted back and forth clues for their secret baby name to their families.  Just as she was rolling off to the OR Carrie laughed because her sister guess the baby name at the very last second.  

I got to join Carrie in the OR as they prepped her.  It was a tiny space full of really laid back people who all had such beautiful attitudes.  Music drifted around and hands were squeezed.  And then before we knew it baby Dakota “Cody” was born with a long, loud cry!  The doctor even let me take pictures over the curtain! I loved seeing those little breech legs!  

Carrie was able to snuggle and nurse and comfort her daughter as soon as she checked out with the pediatric team.  The minutes that followed her birth seemed to be suspended in time.  It was incredible to watch Cody cry and then open her eyes to stare right at her mama and daddy.  I loved watching Chris stroke her little feet and support Carrie with a sweet pat on the head.  

We finished up the day with stories and laughter in their hospital room overlooking the beautiful mountains. It was a beautiful birthday and a birth story I will always treasure in my heart.