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Gentle C-Section: May 7, 2012

To grasp what made baby Connor’s birth so special, it helps to understand how a C-section is performed.

“The baby would be born by the C-section and then handed to a specially trained baby nurse who would then take the baby off to another area and then often mom wouldn’t see the baby until the mom got to the recovery room which might be an hour or two hours later,” says Dr. George Kovacevic, an obstetrician on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Instead Melissa Murray benefited from the county’s first ‘gentle C-section’. Performed at Cape Coral Hospital, it involves putting the baby on mom’s chest right away.

“At least a third of babies are now being born by C-section and a lot of those moms and babies do not get a chance to bond right away,” says Dr. Kovacevic.

Late in her pregnancy, Melissa learned a health issue required her to have a C-section. The prospect of hearing her baby’s first cry without seeing him brought her to tears.

“The night before I was actually crying. My husband was like ‘it’s fine, you’ll hold him an hour after that’ but its kind of special getting to hold them right away,” says Murray.

The next morning Melissa learned the medical staff was willing to try this new technique. So while she was literally being stitched up a nurse would leave the sterile surgical site and deliver her the baby.

“As soon as the baby is delivered through the abdomen, I hand the baby to a specially trained baby nurse. That baby nurse then comes around and puts the baby on mom’s chest, I’m still doing the surgery,” says Dr. Kovacevic.

“They cut his umbilical cord and handed him to the nurse and then she handed him and put him right on my chest and he stayed probably 20 to 25 minutes,” says Murray.

Family photos captured the first meeting. A long anticipated but unexpected moment.

“It was ironic how it all turned out,” says Murray.