Sarah’s Mother’s Day Gift: Motherhood

Sarah Dexter, a resident of New Bedford, always dreamed of becoming a mother.

Her dream came true when she and her husband Lucas welcomed their son Princeton to the world in January.

Sarah’s labor was quick, lasting only two hours and 45 minutes. She praised her midwife Christine Pereira, whom she grew close to throughout her OB/GYN appointments, and the labor and delivery nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital, whom she described as a “well-oiled machine.”

“I felt so supported throughout my maternity journey,” says Sarah. “I didn’t have to worry about anything, and I didn’t feel any pressure to do anything I didn’t want to.”

Sarah’s birth story was not without its challenges, however. Minutes after she gave birth to 7-pound Prince, Sarah was diagnosed with COVID-19, presenting her with a new set of obstacles that made it difficult for her to leave the hospital with her newborn son. “I was in disbelief. I had been testing myself often and wasn’t experiencing any symptoms. Testing positive for COVID was never a part of my, or anyone’s, birth plan.”

Despite the circumstances, Sarah cherished the time she had with her husband and son. “It was actually nice to have alone time as a new family. Without having the pressure of having visitors, it was just us, and it just worked out,” Sarah says, smiling.

She is also thankful for the continuous post-partum care she received in the maternity unit. “The team was great and even with COVID-19, I still received the same high-quality care any new mom would, including breastfeeding help and pediatric assistance,” she adds.

After a few days, Sarah, Lucas and Prince were discharged from the hospital and welcomed home.

Sarah described the profound experience of becoming a mother and how it opened her heart in ways she never thought possible. “People always say ‘You don’t know what love is until you look at your child for the first time’ and it’s true. You really don’t know how big your heart is until you have a child.”

To Sarah, motherhood means “reaching a new level of love and growth in your life.”

“It is one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever experienced. And it reminds me of how strong I am,” she says.

This weekend, Sarah is looking forward to celebrating her first Mother’s Day by spending time with her beautiful family at the beach and enjoying the good weather. Her advice to new moms is to trust in your body, your inner self and your care team.

For more information on Southcoast Health’s Maternity Services, visit Maternity Services MA | Southcoast Health.