The birth of a child is a personal, unique moment no parent will forget. It is the story that begins a new life. When Meagan Cross began planning the birth of her third baby, she wanted the chance for a story that began with her holding her newborn infant in her arms – something she was not able to do with two previous cesarean section births. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 32.4 percent of hospitals report most mothers experience skin-to-skin contact with their baby within two hours of birth following cesarean delivery. “She is my last baby and I was kind of jealous he got to hold the first two,” Meagan admits of dad holding the babies before handing them to the nurses in the operating room.
To be able to do so, she would need the right doctor and the right hospital. She discovered Corey Babb, D.O., OB/Gyn, who works with his patients to deliver as naturally as possible within the safety of a hospital setting. Meagan and Dr. Babb discussed family-centered birthing as an option if a third c-section wound up being the safest course of delivery for mom and baby.
“We went in for a non-stress test and they decided to keep us,” she says when admitted in labor to Hillcrest South to deliver her baby. “After more than 30 hours we were both exhausted and opted for a c-section.”
A family-centered c-section allows mom to hold the baby after delivery, and unless there is a medical reason to separate baby and mom, they stay together from delivery to recovery and post-partum. “The c-section was just like what we talked about,” she recalls. “Dr. Babb said we would take it slow and it would not be rushed. I would get to hold her immediately after.”
Being the first to touch her daughter was a moment Meagan had been waiting for throughout her pregnancy. “Right after birth, you want to hold your baby,” she says. “You’ve held them for nine months and you’re not ready to give them up yet. It was great I got to hold her first!”
Piper Emory Cross was born November 20, 2013. In her mother’s arms, she started breast-feeding in the recovery room – beginning to bond with her mother, who had carried her for nine months. Though not the natural birth Meagan was originally hoping for, the family-centered c-section ended up being the perfect start to Piper’s story.
“It was a great experience,” Meagan says.