As much as a mother can be prepared, childbirth often doesn’t always follow the plan. Whether that’s induction, early labour or a c-section, new moms are taught to always be prepared. However, for new mom Stephanie Clarke however, her birth experience at Southlake was one she could have never imagined.
On the day Stephanie’s first child would be born, she woke up around 5:30 a.m. with mild contractions and within 20 minutes, her water broke. After calling her midwife, Stephanie was advised to stay at home, and let her labour continue to progress as they only live 15 minutes away from Southlake.
However, Stephanie trusted her instincts and knew that things were happening quicker than expected. She and her fiancé, Kris, got in the car to head to Southlake, and on their way, she felt the urge and need to push, confirming her instincts were correct. When Stephanie and Kris arrived at Southlake, they were quickly helped and led in the direction of the birthing unit.
While waiting for the elevators, things started to progress very quickly for Stephanie.
“There was this overwhelming feeling of having to push and my body kind of took over,” Stephanie recalls. “I told my fiancé I needed a doctor and as soon as we were in the elevator, I reached down and could feel my baby’s head. I removed my pants, knowing this baby was coming out sooner than planned. Without hardly any pushing, I birthed my child right there in the elevator.”
As the elevator doors opened, Cassidy Lynch- Paterson, RN, and Ella Caceres, RPN, mentors of Southlake’s Clinical Extern Program, were shocked to see what was happening inside. I birthed my child right there in the elevator.”
As the elevator doors opened, Cassidy Lynch- Paterson, RN, and Ella Caceres, RPN, mentors of Southlake’s Clinical Extern Program, were shocked to see what was happening inside.
“When the elevator door opened, we saw a pregnant woman sitting in a wheelchair with her pants at her knees,” Cassidy remembers. “Dad was standing beside the wheelchair holding the baby, when he looked up and saw us, he yelled “We need help!”
From there, Cassidy and Ella sprang into action. Ella immediately ran towards the birthing unit to get help, while Cassidy stepped into the elevator to help Stephanie and Kris.
“I calmly asked dad to remove his shirt, laid the baby on moms’ chest and draped the baby in dad’s shirt.”
Thankfully as this all happened, a labour and delivery nurse arrived at the elevator and acted to safely get mom and baby onto the birthing unit.
“When we got to the unit, everything had happened so fast and, but also so smoothly considering how the birth happened,” Stephanie recalls. “Everyone at Southlake was so wonderful, especially Cassidy and Ella. I am so thankful that they were at the elevator doors, right when we needed them.”
Once they were on the unit and mom and baby had been assessed, Stephanie and Kris were introduced to their healthy, beautiful daughter, Averie Cutrone.
“The whole experience made me feel elated, but mostly thankful. I spent a lot of time reflecting on this situation the following days after and I was so thankful for so many things. I was thankful the baby was okay, that there was no complication during the birth, that mom was doing okay, that Ella was there to run for help,” Cassidy recalls. “You really can’t stop thinking about a situation like this, and it really makes me feel so proud to be a nurse.”