Two best friends, who met in medical school, delivered each other's babies because who else would be a better fit?
Dr. Jocelyn Slaughter and Dr. Laquita Martinez, both OB-GYNs, completed their residency at Grady Memorial Hospital together in Atlanta and their friendship continued to solidify.
“We were in the same class. We learned about how to do surgery together,” Slaughter said. “We learned about how to do our first C-section, our first hysterectomies. We were each other’s confidantes for delivering babies.”
So it was a no-brainer that when Martinez and Slaughter both became pregnant in 2014, they would plan to deliver each other’s babies.
“When I became pregnant, we go out to lunch all the time and I slid my ultrasound picture over the table and she started crying. She jumped up, gave me a hug and I was like, 'You know you’re going to deliver my baby,'” Slaughter said.
Slaughter, who runs The Healthy Woman Pregnancy Care Center, said her doctor’s appointment consisted of chit-chat, and then they’d also go out to lunch or shopping afterward.
Martinez delivered Slaughter’s baby girl, Janice, on April 4, 2014.
“A couple weeks before she delivered, I found out I was having a very high-risk pregnancy with complications. I was able to do her vaginal delivery,” Martinez said. “Six weeks later, I lost my child.”
Martinez gave birth to her son, Ryan, suddenly at just 26 weeks. The next day, he passed away.
Martinez later became pregnant again but the two were living further apart from each other so Slaughter wasn’t able to be her doctor. When Martinez became pregnant with her third child earlier this year, however, Slaughter knew Martinez had to be her OB-GYN.
Martinez gave birth by cesarean section on Oct. 6 and Slaughter performed the surgery. Although Slaughter said she was a bit nervous about the delivery because of the realization she was performing a surgery on her best friend, everything turned out fine.
“It was actually like the easiest C-section I’ve ever done,” Slaughter said. “She did great. Her husband was there. It was a great experience giving her her daughter like she gave me. I always tell Janice, my daughter, ‘You know, Laquita was the first person to ever hold you.' And now I get to tell her daughter, ‘I was the first to ever hold you.’”
Slaughter is now pregnant again and the women are continuing the tradition. When Slaughter gives birth, her doctor and best friend will be right by her side.