In the summer of last year I formally met Dr. Strozier while shooting a birth with a client that was using her as her OB. And she herself was pregnant at the time. We'd previously, and casually exchanged smiles and hellos in the hallways of the hospital, but during this particular birth I first "got to know" her. That particular delivery last summer resulted in an unplanned c-section (her story can be seen HERE). I got to witness her guide that mom through the very emotional and often rushed realization of the unforeseen outcome of her desired delivery. She handled her with grace, reverence, and compassion, as well as giving her the option of a family centered c-section. I had been hearing of these in the birth community nationally, but had never witnessed one firsthand. This client of mine was able to immediately hold her baby straight from her tummy to her chest and in her arms, also daddy was able to cut the cord. And thus began my woman crush on Dr. Strozier ;) It would only deepen a few months later when another of my clients was using her as her provider. With this birth the mom was attempting a VBAC after an unplanned c-section, it was successful (you can see/read about it HERE), and my admiration for Dr. Strozier deepened as I saw the progress and options she is giving mothers in our community. During both of these deliveries I was blessed with hours to chat with her, get to know her, and ultimately be given the biggest honor of shooting the birth of precious Nigel (Insert giddy school girl dance, call my mom and dad, freak out here). No pressure right?!
Well there was no pressure. She was amazing, as I knew she would be. Humble, relatable... like any other woman giving birth. Like any other mother, excited to meet her baby. It was an honor to be asked along, and given the responsibility to capture this day. Dr. Strozier was also able to have a family centered c-section. With the help of her OB, the baby was guided gently out of her tummy, and she was able to reach for her son and bring him to her chest. Family centered c-sections help moms to feel like they are part of the birthing process, unlike traditional c-sections that can leave mom feeling like it's happening to you, and disconnected from behind the drape. Not only is it great for mom to feel part of the delivery, but the benefits to baby are so wonderful... Getting to smell mom, and to feel her touch! But she'll be the first to tell you, it isn't an option for everyone, and qualifications have to be met to be considered for one. But gracious, I'm thrilled they are even happening in our community!
As you watch, notice all the love, all the support. When you're an OB having a baby, it's pretty dang cool to see her close friend deliver her baby. The excitement Dr. Fair-Harbison genuinely had for her and her family was awesome to watch. She even did a fun baby dance with Dr. Strozier's daughter in the recovery room. Speaking of her daughter, Stacia was beyond excited to help give her baby brother his first bath and wash off the "crusty" stuff as she kept saying. And then there's her husband, seeing his strong hands cradle his new son's tiny fingers, seeing him love and support his wife, seeing him guide their daughter as she held him for the first time.... it was all too sweet. We followed up a few days later at their home to wrap up Nigel's birth story. We had to make sure to include big brother in the mix. One thing is certain, this precious boy is loved. Loved beyond measure!
Dr. Strozier, I want to thank you for what you're doing with your practice. I want to thank you for the options you are bringing to the table. I want to thank you for the compassion, understanding, educating, listening, loving, and healing you are bringing to women in our area. I want to thank you for this opportunity, and for your subsequent friendship. I admire you, as a damn good OB, but even more as a mother, and a strong woman! Keep doing what you're doing, you're moving mountains!