The team at Tidelands Health Women’s Center helps families navigate pregnancy and childbirth every day. Now, one of the practice’s physicians – Dr. Monica Selander – has invited us to be part of the journey as she and her husband, Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl Han, welcome a second child to their family. Follow us on Facebook, check out our Twitter feed and stop back here often to get the latest updates.
Dr. Monica Selander tried to tamp down the anxiety and focus on the excitement.
The Tidelands Health OB-GYN has helped deliver hundreds of babies during her career, so she knew the chance of complications was low. Still, as she prepared to deliver her second child with husband Dr. Earl Han, all the possibilities – and potential problems – raced through her mind.
“As a physician, you know all the things that can go wrong,” Dr. Selander says. “I tried really hard not to think about it, but it’s hard not to.”
At 8:38 a.m. on Monday, any lingering concern was replaced with the irrepressible joy of birth as the couple welcomed Luna Rey Han into their family. Born by Caesarean section, Luna weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and made her presence known quickly with healthy – and hearty – cries.
“It was a big team effort,” says Dr. Selander. “Everybody did a great job.”
Although the delivery went smoothly, it wasn’t without a surprise. Drs. Selander and Han chose not to learn the baby’s gender during pregnancy, and nearly everyone in the family had expected a boy. Among the holdouts predicting a girl, however, was the couple’s first child, 2-year-old Nora.
“I laughed right away, because almost all of us thought it would be a boy,” says Dr. Han, an orthopedic surgeon at Tidelands Health Orthopedics. “It’s great, because we have all the clothes and everything we need for her already.”
After the delivery, Dr. Selander’s care team assessed the baby’s health and promptly returned Luna to Dr. Selander, who enjoyed skin-to-skin contact with Luna and began breastfeeding.
Although it’s uncommon for most people to have work colleagues present when giving birth to a child, Dr. Selander didn’t think twice about choosing team members from Tidelands Health Women’s Center to deliver Luna.
The care team was led by Tidelands Health OB-GYNs Drs. Xaviera Carter and Jay Heineck and also included members of the health system’s nursing staff, anesthesiology team and other providers.
“Being a part of her delivery this morning was very exciting,” Dr. Carter says. “We were honored to have the opportunity.”
Typically, mothers who deliver via C-section remain in the hospital for observation for 48 hours, Dr. Carter says. Because a C-section is abdominal surgery, recovery tends to take longer than a vaginal birth and requires more precautions.
For example, women who undergo a C-section may initially be subject to more dietary restrictions, use a catheter for a longer period and must avoid lifting heavy objects. It’s also important to monitor post-partum blood pressure and watch for signs of blood clots or infection, among other potential complications.
“After birth, mothers enter what we consider the fourth trimester,” Dr. Carter says. “It’s important that both mom and baby complete follow-up appointments to help ensure things progress smoothly.”
For now, though, with both mom and baby doing well, everyone is in high spirits and enjoying the moment.
“I’m tired, but I’m happy and grateful that everything went well,” Dr. Selander says. “It was a great experience.”