Hey, all you moms-to-be out there. Dr. Xaviera Carter knows what you’re going through. REALLY knows what you’re going through -- as in firsthand.
Dr. Carter has invited us along for the ride as she goes through life's greatest miracle. Follow us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check back here often to get the latest updates on Dr. Carter's journey into motherhood.
That’s because she’s on the same journey herself. She’s seven months along and is expecting to deliver a baby girl named Logan around Jan. 20 at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Carter, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Tidelands Health Women’s Center, knows all about pregnancy, labor and delivery. She’s been practicing medicine and delivering babies for several years now. It’s just that, well, things are a little different now that she’s the patient (her partner, Dr. Ronald Long, is her physician), and she too has had to contend with those hormonal changes, muscle aches and leg cramps -- not to mention the fatigue that can come while balancing a full-time job with pregnancy.
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, she and Jeremy Carter were engaged, and they had big dreams to be parents one day. Dr. Carter thought she’d have trouble getting pregnant and had planned to take medication to help her conceive.
And one day, chalk it up to hormones, intuition or the romance of a late spring day, she checked the app on her phone. “According to my app, I was ovulating,” Dr. Carter says. “Jeremy and I didn’t give it a second thought. We said to each other, ‘Let’s give it a try. We never want to say we never tried without taking the medicine.”
Several weeks later, she sensed something was different. Her breasts ached, and she’d missed her period. “I thought, ‘I’m an OBGYN,’ ” she says. “I know my own body, but what’s this different feeling?”
Ironically, it was Jeremy who began directing her. “OK, if your period doesn’t come by this time, take the pregnancy test …”
Fast forward six months to a mid-November afternoon. Over a lunch of shrimp and brown rice (she’s trying to eat healthy and go easy on the carbs), Dr. Carter talked about the emotional and physical aspects of pregnancy and the exhilaration she and Jeremy feel over bringing a baby into the world.
“I’m super excited, and I’m super nervous,” she says. “I realize the awesome responsibility ahead of me to raise a child. I have big dreams and want to raise Logan to be an independent young woman and a productive member of society. How do you do that? I’m just trying to figure it out.”
If her circle of family, friends and colleagues are any indication, she’ll not lack for love, support and advice, and she plans to rely on it.
“We have plenty of people rooting for us,” Dr. Carter says. “I have my family and close friends. I have my Tidelands Health family, and I’ll be calling on everyone. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m happy to have my village.”
And she has a bevy of enthusiastic, supportive patients, who’ve brought her gifts and cards and taken to social media to extend their congratulations and best wishes.
“Patients love it,” she says. “Thei response has been overwhelming and a little funny, actually. Some were upset that I didn’t tell them I was pregnant. I tell them I’m providing care to them, and my personal life shouldn’t matter to them. But they’re really invested in this, and I absolutely love it! Even when I tell my patients I have to put off certain services until after my delivery, they’re understanding.”
In her first video to the public, Dr. Carter tells us about her journey from the very beginning. She talks cravings, pain and fatigue. Dr. Carter invites us to follow along as she meets with her OB/GYN physician and practice partner, Dr. Ronald Long, for her 24-week check-up.
As a doctor and an expectant mom, Dr. Carter is hypersensitive to the changes in her body, and she’s thrilled that she can identify with what her patients are going through.
“I’ve always prided myself on being a very empathetic provider and being in tune with my patients, but this will give me a new degree of awareness, which I’m very excited about,” she says. “Even though I know scientifically what a flutter is or how a contraction or a kick feels, I can explain that to my patients on a very personal level. I can say, ‘This is what I felt.’ Sometimes women want to know if their doctor has children and experienced what they’re going through. And now I can say, ‘Yes!’ ”
Still, she admits that all the scientific knowledge couldn’t have prepared her for the moment when she first felt Logan move.
“Because my placenta is at the front, I was warned that I wouldn’t feel movement until later,” Dr. Carter says. “And when I did, it was awesome. I love her moving now. She’s active after I eat and most active when I’m still. I lay in bed, and she just starts kicking, and I’m so happy to know she’s OK. Then we’ll drift off to sleep.”
Every time she brings a baby into the world, Dr. Carter experiences the wonder of new life, and she knows that being a mother is a privilege.
“I’m so grateful to be chosen to be a mother and to have a loving, supportive husband by my side,” she says. “I don’t take that lightly. Jeremy and I were already close, but this has just brought us immensely closer. He has been so very supportive.
“I’m overwhelmingly blessed. This is the happiest time of my life.”
The third and final trimester is officially underway for Dr. Carter. Baby Logan is in the home stretch before delivery, and we have been invited back for the next check-up. Dr. Carter tells us all about her changing body, and on-going developments in the miracle of life. Watch this next chapter in her journey to find out all about her progress!
Dr. Carter has just returned from two Thanksgiving trips and is back in the office during her 33-week update. She talks about everything from prepping for the holidays, to decorating the nursery in this next chapter of her journey.
The nursery is ready. And so are their hearts.
A visit to the Pawleys Island home of Dr. Xaviera Carter and husband Jeremy leaves no doubt that they’re on “go,” ready for the birth of baby daughter Logan, whose due date is Jan. 20.
“We’re ready, and we just want her to get here,” says Dr. Carter, an OB-GYN at Tidelands Health Women’s Center in Georgetown and first-time mom-to-be. “I want to hold her, to see what she looks like. My husband and I speculate over who she’ll look like, whose traits she’ll have. I want her to be a perfect mix of us, but most of all, I want her to be Logan – to be her own person. We’re just very, very excited.”
All the logistics are covered, and the welcoming committee is on high alert. The bags are packed. Logan’s outfits are ready, and the birth plan is finalized (epidural please). Jeremy’s mother is on speed dial, ready to come from North Carolina when called, and Dr. Carter’s parents are at the ready to catch a flight from Houston.
It's the final video update before the delivery, and Dr. Carter is in the nursery anxiously awaiting baby Logan.
“We’re trusting that everything will be OK,” Dr. Carter says. “If we’ve missed something, somebody will help us, or we’ll just figure it out. My husband and I are up to the challenge.”
As she sat in the second-floor nursery, painted a muted green and decorated with an Under the Sea theme of whales, fish and octopi, Dr. Carter talked about her nine-month journey and mused that she’s probably delivered some of Logan’s future friends. Diapers were stacked neatly; children’s books lined the shelves of an off-white pine bookcase, and baby dresses and onesies, all gifts from friends and family, hung in the closet.
“I’ve been an excellent patient – far better than I could have expected,” she says. “ I’ve kept my blood sugar and my blood pressure normal, and I haven’t gained a pound. Now I’m ready for what’s ahead.”
Dr. Carter has wanted to be a mother almost as long as she’s wanted to be a doctor, a career choice she settled on when she was 7. “This is just perfect timing,” she says. “I can’t believe I’m on this side of the journey.”
In fact, as she was preparing start her maternity leave on Jan. 13, she was fully aware that she, Jeremy and Logan could very well be hospital neighbors of the moms and babies she delivers before her departure. “It’s another bond that I could share with my patients,” she says. “It’s even struck me that I may actually be delivering Logan’s future friends.”
Asked if she has any special words for Logan, she patted her belly, smiled and spoke tenderly.
“Logan, we love you, and we can’t wait to see you,” she says. “You have wonderful grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins just waiting to see you.
“You can come now!”
It's all been leading up to this very moment. Dr. Carter's go-bag is packed, and the car is running. Logan is coming, whether they are ready or not!
Logan celebrates her first birth day in dramatic fashion. You don't want to miss this climactic finale before Dr. Carter's family of two becomes three.