44-year-old Kaysville mother delivers surprise baby with help of a midwife


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KAYSVILLE — Some women may be feeling apprehensive about giving birth at a hospital during the pandemic. With extensive COVID-19 testing process in place and a team of providers ready to assist, experts say it's safe.

One mom is grateful she had a midwife by her side when she delivered her surprise baby as an older mother.

At age 44, Darcey Brockman never imagined she'd be holding a new baby in her arms.

"Oh, it was, a shock. I started bawling," she said.

But her world changed in May.

"So in one day, I found out that I was pregnant, 24 weeks, and having a boy ... like, blew my mind!" she said laughing. "I had three months to prepare. Shortest pregnancy in history."

With three older kids — ages 20, 18 and 16 — Brockman thought her childbearing years were well over after being told it was no longer medically possible.

"Pregnancy did not even enter my brain because I was told I was done," she said.

Her daughter, Olivia Brockman, who got her driver's license the same week she found out her mom was expecting, at first didn't believe her.

"I thought it was fake because my mom comes home from every doctor's appointment and goes, 'I'm pregnant' and we're like, 'No you're not,'" Olivia said.

But this time she wasn't kidding. Brockman immediately called her husband when she found out. Both he and their kids were thrilled.

With three older kids, ages 20, 18, and 16, Brockman thought her child bearing years were well over. Then she got pregnant with Jack.
With three older kids, ages 20, 18, and 16, Brockman thought her child bearing years were well over. Then she got pregnant with Jack. (Photo: Courtesy of Darcey Brockman)

"He was so sweet, and he's just like, 'It's gonna be awesome. This is gonna be so much fun,'" Brockman said.

Although she was six months pregnant when she found out, Brockman didn't notice substantial changes to her body. "People were like, 'Maybe you're gaining a little weight.' But you know, it was COVID. I was making treats every day." Brockman joked.

Brockman saw an obstetrician for her three previous pregnancies, but this time she saw Intermountain Healthcare's Celeste Thomas, a certified nurse midwife who delivers at Layton Hospital.

"I absolutely loved them, and I've never had a midwife before," Brockman said.

Thomas said the midwifery model treats pregnancy like a normal physiologic event of life by "letting things progress as they need to if they are going normally, and only intervening if we have to."

She says research shows having a midwife results in fewer complications and is just as safe, if not safer than other models of maternity care. "Less babies that end up in the NICU, less preterm births, less C-sections, less episiotomies, less other interventions that can cause harm to moms and babies; so that's where the benefits are," Thomas explained.

Although nurse midwives tend to take a more natural approach, mothers can still elect to have an epidural.

Because of her advanced age and high blood pressure, Brockman was considered high risk. Thomas partnered with physicians in the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic to ensure the safety of both mom and baby. She saw both her nurse midwife and her high-risk doctor once a week.

"There was preeclampsia we were worried about. We were worried about gestational diabetes … all kinds of things, and I felt like all of it was taken care of," Brockman said. "All my needs were met; all of his needs were met."

Unlike her previous pregnancies, in which the doctor was only by her side at the delivery, Thomas was there the whole time she labored.

"This time, Celeste was with me pretty much the entire time," Brockman said. "It felt very warm and welcoming."

Although she gave birth during a pandemic, Brock said she "felt completely safe and secure."

"It actually is a really safe time for delivering your baby on the labor and delivery unit," Thomas said.

Little Jack Brockman was born on Aug. 12, both happy and healthy, and the Brockman family can no longer imagine life without him. "I mean, he's kind of a little miracle in our lives, and we're just super happy to have him," Brockman said.

Jack Brockman was born on August 12th both happy and healthy, despite Darcey Brockman having had a high risk pregnancy.
Jack Brockman was born on August 12th both happy and healthy, despite Darcey Brockman having had a high risk pregnancy. (Photo: Courtesy of Darcey Brockman)

Most insurance companies who partner with Intermountain cover the cost of a midwife, just like any other provider. Thomas encourages women to seek out a nurse midwife who is licensed in the state. She says only certified nurse midwives are allowed to deliver in a hospital, while community midwives or direct entry midwives typically do home births, although both are licensed.

Thomas says all mothers are tested for COVID-19 when they are admitted to the hospital. If a woman is scheduled for an induction, she will be tested a couple of days before; and if a woman shows up to the hospital in labor, she is tested then. "So we know from the outset who has COVID, who doesn't; and so these units are very safe," she said.

Mothers in labor who are not COVID-19 positive are allowed to have two designated visitors at her bedside during delivery. Women who are COVID-19 positive are allowed one visitor.

In addition to the Layton Parkway Nurse Midwives Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare also offers midwifery services at Intermountain Medical Center, Alta View Clinic in Sandy, and Southridge Clinic in Riverton.


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