The Birth Story of Mavie Brígh

In the midst of trying for baby 3 I knew the birth would be different. I was determined to have the experience of natural birth I’ve always wanted and knew I was capable of. With my first I was too passive and was talked into an early induction at 39 weeks for having such a miserable, painful, itchy pregnancy. I had a large amount of medical intervention that lasted 29 hours ending with a cesarean. Details aside, I was so drugged up on narcotics that I don’t remember meeting and holding my son for the first time. Pictures and thankfully a video camera hold the only “memory” of the moment I became a mother. The pregnancy, the labor, the birth, the newborn stay at the hospital was a nightmare of nightmares. I felt broken and robbed of what should have been a happy time in my life.

My second pregnancy I wouldn’t back down from my fight for a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean.) With an Ob that had faith in me and my persistent pleading for more time, I was able to go 10 days past my due date (each day more stressed out than the last) and went into spontaneous labor two days before my scheduled csection. Labor at home was comfortable but as soon as we got to the hospital my confidence plummeted with the constant cervix checks and the anesthesiologist coming in and out asking how I’m doing with hints of his pain relief. I was tense, cold, hungry, and afraid of another csection. Caving, I got an epidural, and 45 minutes later my son was born. Forty five minutes! I was crushed. I could have managed another 45 minutes for a natural birth. But, I got my vbac! I could do it!

Trying for baby 3, I was even more headstrong about having a natural birth. I went to GBO before I was even pregnant to attend a class for exploring the GBO options and told my husband that we were going to have a homebirth if we got pregnant and that was that. Pregnancy was wonderful. I soaked in every moment and enjoyed every second I could. GBO became my second home filled with people I was comfortable with, bonded with, and felt like “these are my people.” That means a lot for a pregnant girl needing a bit of confidence to have a hbac when so many outsiders spit out negativity and raise an eyebrow to having a baby out of a hospital let alone after a csection.

At the 36 week home check, I will never forget, chatting with Christina for at least 20 minutes about where I want to have my baby. Upstairs? Downstairs? This room that room? By the end of the conversation she just looked at me and pretty much said “where ever you end up is where you will have your baby. Don’t over plan.”…

 I had envisioned how it would go, and planned a water birth renting a birth pool. I prepared my downstairs for everything to happen there. I had hung up birth affirmations, had essential oils ready, had baby hats and my giant birth supply box ready to go with the pool nearby to blow up when the time came. I relaxed there, did my breathing and focus practice there, and pictured it happening there. I planned on the kids being there just after birth to meet their sister. I wanted my oldest to cut the cord with daddy. I watched numerous homebirth videos and swooned over all of the photography and videography they had of their labor and birth. Catching their own babies and pulling them up out of the water, their faces seeing their baby for the first time and the look of relief and pride of “I did it”. I mentally prepared and pictured my own labor and birth going just like that… Silly me.

My due date of October 22nd came and went and I wasn’t worried and I wasn’t stressed to go into labor before a cut off. I was relaxed and ready for her to pick her day. As the days went on I had contractions here and there but nothing strong or regular. Monday, October 27th, at my appointment with Carla we did a sweep to stir things up and I was 1-2cm. I went home with some cramps and eventually started having contractions 10 minutes apart. Getting excited I decided to go to bed and get rest for the big moment. Then I woke up in the morning with nothing. A little upset but decided to brush it off. By 9am that Tuesday I had a large amount of bloody show. Yay! Contractions came shortly after at an average of 5 minutes apart. They weren’t too strong but definitely noticeable. They lasted all day and by 3pm just stopped. I called a friend to come walk with me and the boys to the park and maybe get things going again. I crab/cowboy walked up and down my stairs, I bounced and rolled around on my yoga ball, I did lunges and squats, I cried an ugly cry out of frustration, but they were gone.

Wednesday morning GBO called me, knowing how frustrated I was, and told me to come in for another sweep and NST. My cervix made progress so it put my mind at ease that my contractions weren’t for nothing and my body was working. When I walked out of GBO I had a contraction, then another, and another. They were stronger than the previous days and somewhat regular. By 10pm they were getting really strong, but didn’t seem very consistent, some 3-5 minutes apart some 10. They took all of my attention and all I could focus on was breathing. I texted Carla just to let her know and tried to get some rest. Ha. Tried to get some rest. They were strong and inconsistent and any position to try to sleep felt worse. I watched a movie (or three) while the rest of the house slept peacefully. By 4am I was pretty exhausted with maybe an hour total of sleep and my contractions felt more and more spaced out and much less intense. Feeling defeated and frustrated I texted Carla again to let her know what was going on and she had me take a bath and try to sleep. I grabbed some relaxing essential oils and filled my bath tub. The bath made my contractions basically disappear but at that point I didn’t care, I just wanted sleep. I slept hanging over the tub then I was able to get a few hours in bed before needing to get up for the day.

Thursday October 30th and contractions were gone but I had another appointment with Cindi at 10am. I asked my husband, Wes, to stay home despite not even being in labor. I felt like I had cried wolf to him all week with the stop and go contractions but today was different. I called my mom to watch the kids while we went to my appointment. Cindi did a major sweep and I was 4 maybe 5cm already. Confidence boosted! It was almost instantly that contractions started and during another nst they were 10 minutes and pretty strong. On our way home around noon we decided to pick up lunch to bring home for everyone. I waited in the car while Wes went in for panera and my contractions were really kind of painful but I associated the pain with being tender from so many sweeps. All of a sudden I needed sleep and I couldn’t keep my eyes open I was so tired so I slept between the contractions until we got back home. I had no appetite but tried eating anyways while pausing frequently to breathe through contractions and at one point told everyone to shut up during one (sorry!). They were strong and seemed to be about 4-5 minutes apart and I really wanted to take a bath and try to sleep a little more. Apparently I sat in the tub for an hour with Wes by my side, but to me felt like it was 5 minutes. I was back and forth between sitting on the toilet to pee and sitting on my bed. I wasn’t timing them but they were still scattered. Some were close together and even right on top of each other while some were far apart. 3pm I asked for my mother in law to take the kids to her house. I don’t know what compelled me to do so, I was upstairs in my room and they were outside at the park, but I had a feeling I’d go into the night with this labor and just wanted them elsewhere for the night. My contractions sucked. I couldn’t do anything but just sit motionless and breathe really deeply until they were over and between them I was shaking and shivering but felt normal. 3:30pm and Wes was getting the kids situated with grandma outside to leave when I texted Cindi about the contractions. I asked her if it was too soon to fill my birth pool and walked off to go pee, again. When I stood up I had a much more intense contraction, then another right on top of it. Cindi tried calling me multiple times and I couldn’t even hear my phone through the contractions. We had a quick chat and I felt kind of in a fog so when she asked if she should come over I said yes. (Glad I did!) The contractions, while insanely strong, didn’t seem close enough or even rhythmic. They were still going from close together to spaced out and it kept killing my confidence that this was the real deal labor. I felt like I was going to be in labor forever. I was still in my room sitting on the side of the bed in the dark when Cindi arrived around 4:30. She timed how long my contraction was (something I didn’t even think about doing) and they were lasting 60 seconds. Went pee, again, and had Cindi check things out. “Oh wow!” was her reaction and telling me I was pretty ready at an 8! My cervix has a lip/scar tissue so with one contraction she wanted me to bear down while she pushed it aside (uh, ouch.) Then another without her pushing it. My legs were shaking and shivering like crazy! She asked if I had a photographer so I immediately texted my best friend/photographer to come now! Right as I sent it, Carla texted me so I asked her to come, too. Cindi had me go empty my bladder, again, and sent Wes downstairs to go start filling the birth pool. Around 5pm-ish the birth team was here and getting things ready. Lorrie was in the bathroom with me checking vitals and checking baby’s heart rate. My bff/photographer was here and said hi. I was kind of embarrassed; I had totally neglected cleaning my bathroom while my focus was on downstairs so I kept apologizing. I sat on the toilet for a bit and Lorrie asked if I wanted to move to the bed but it was actually more comfortable sitting there. At 5:11 my water broke with a contraction. It was a small pop and small gush and as I told Lorrie mid-sentence my baby was coming, RIGHT NOW. It was INTENSE pressure and I was involuntarily pushing. Lorrie got me up and it was a slow but tried to be dash to the bed as she had someone run to get Cindi. The next moments are difficult to describe or find the words to describe my experience. Have you seen a movie where someone has a near death experience and the world goes quiet around them? Everyone around them is a blur and their words are almost muted as if underwater. That was me. At this point I had no idea what was going on around me. I felt my baby coming and couldn’t focus on breathing, all I could do was push and make noise. I got to the bed and was told to get on all fours. Somehow my yoga ball from downstairs was in front of me to lay on. I was grunting and yelling as the world around me disappeared. I couldn’t tell you who was in the room or where, what anyone said to me, I have no idea what happened. I was in another universe and the only thing I was aware of was my body and my baby coming. I felt her head and faintly heard Cindi tell me she was crowning. At this point it was an out of body experience. I wasn’t in any pain but could feel everything and was peacefully in a quiet world as I pushed with all I had. At some point Cindi told me to put a leg up, I asked for water, I told Jessica I was sorry for squeezing her arms so hard (still, so sorry!) I’m told that everyone was encouraging me and that my mom was telling me I could do it and how strong I was while I said I couldn’t do it… I have no recollection of any of that. I’m telling you, I was in another world! As quick as it started it was over. 9 minutes and she was earth side in her daddy’s hands at 5:20pm. It was instant lights on and I was back on earth and here was my baby. I was in such a disoriented state that all I could focus on was sitting down and picking my baby girl up to me. I think Cindi tried telling me something but the world around me was still muffled. Deep breaths and saying hello to my baby girl, reality started coming back into focus. I did it!! Holy hell, I did it! My daughter was here, and a healthy 8lbs 13oz 21″ of perfection delivered at home by the greatest birth team I could have ever asked for. I was caught completely off guard and wasn’t totally prepared for things to happen yet. My contractions weren’t the textbook “transition” times I was waiting for and if Cindi hadn’t called and basically told me she was coming I would have waited too long and she wouldn’t have made it! I truly didn’t think I was close, and had convinced myself that it was another day of irregular contractions. My birth “plan” went nothing to plan but exactly how it should have and was meant to and I wouldn’t change a thing. So much for that water birth! All night long I sat in awe of what just happened. I couldn’t believe I just had a baby naturally, so fast, and at home! It was so surreal and absolutely amazing. Completely different from how I pictured my birth going, and it was so much better than I could have ever imagined. I’m forever changed by that moment and so unbelievably thankful for Cindi and all of GBO. Because it all happened so fast, I don’t have the adorable labor pictures, big brothers helping out, or the sweet candid shots of my husband being his awesome self while I labored looking out the window for that perfect black and white picture. I don’t have it on video either, and that’s okay. My photographer captured the moment things got crazy and that moment is all that matters. It makes for one hell of a story anyways.

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The Birth Story of Moses Fox

I intended to have a 3rd homebirth with Gentle Birth Options. At my 20 week anatomy scan, we discovered I had complete placenta previa. I sorrowfully had to change providers. At 30.5 weeks I had a big bleed that landed me on hospital bedrest. Moses was born at 36 weeks an hour before his scheduled Csection because I began to hemorrhage. The support I received from Cindi and the GBO staff and mamas has been incredible throughout this journey. I am full of gratitude.

The Birth Story of Cecily Mae

The Birth of Christian

The Hombirth of Nolan Vincent



Labor of Love

I am so excited, thankful, proud to announce that Nolan Vincent is here!  He arrived October 30th, 2013 weighing 8.5 lbs and 21 inches long.  He is the most amazing chill little man.  We are just soaking him up.  As well as the fact that we are a family of 4 now. 🙂
The Story~

October 29th, I had a last minute scheduled appointment with Cindi, (my midwife), and Larissa, (chiropractor).  I was 39 weeks and  I was having some pelvic pain and I really needed to be adjusted.  The last few weeks were so uncomfortable.  I was trying my best to accept it because it was caused by him being so low and head down.  That was a great thing!  I would take the pain over him being too high or head up, like his sister was. 😉   When I scheduled the appointment with Larissa, Cindi wanted to see me too just to check on how I was doing and the position of baby.  It was a quick check up with Cindi.  She asked how I was and I plastered on a smile and said, “ready”.   Oh, how ready I was.  Ready to meet him, ready and anxious for the labor to start and ready to sleep comfortably.  (haha!  I forgot what it was like to have a a newborn apparently).  We talked some and then she checked his position as well as his heart beat.  All was great.  He was low and engaged and I heard “I don’t think it will be much longer”.  I just smiled and thought “I want to believe you but I feel like he will be in there forever”.   Went and got adjusted by Larissa and she too said the same thing and talked about how loose my bones were.   I wanted to be excited but I really heard all these things since 36-37 weeks and he was still in there and not out.  It’s funny how slow time is when you’re pregnant.  As well as how dramatic you can be….or is that just me? 😉  Anyways, I went on with my day.  Picked Anna up from my moms, went home and we both took a nap.  I woke up from my nap choking from vomit. (eww!).  I ran to the bathroom and threw up just a small bit.  I immediately texted my sister to ask if she ever vomited before going into labor.  She answered that she did with her first right before labor started.  However, it could have been from being adjusted.  I again tried not to get too excited.  I have been having contractions for a few weeks but nothing persistent and worth timing.   I was having slightly stronger ones through out the day and into the evening but again, nothing worth timing.  I told Kyle about the nap and that the contractions were stronger by a little.  I also got in mega clean mode.  I deep cleaned the bathroom and downstairs.  Now looking back, I think I “knew” this really could be it.  As much as I tried to deny it so I would be disappointed incase it wasn’t.  In fact, that night, while rocking and praying with Anna before bed, I prayed over the birth, (as I did every night just in more detail), and then told Anna that this could be the last night of her being the only child.
It was 1030 pm when Kyle and I were watching Sons of Anarchy and the contractions kept coming.  Still wasn’t timing them but didn’t know if I ever wanted to at this point.  Instead I just moved from the birth ball to squatting.  Trying to get comfortable and I was also feeling a little antsy.  During a commercial I went to the bathroom and that’s when I lost some of my mucus plug as well as started having bloody show.  I called for Kyle and told him.  He asked me what that meant and my mind was blank.  I couldn’t remember.  I couldn’t remember what to do.  I was too nervous to text Cindi.  I don’t know why!  I just sat there on the toilet a little frozen.  When I finally came back to my senses, I did text Cindi as well as my sister Kristen, (since she would be coming over once labor started).  They both pretty much just said that this could be it or it could still be a while.  That I needed to rest just incase this was it.  Kyle and I did a few last minute things to get ready for labor such as blow up the pool, make the bed and put up sheets and stuff.  We went upstairs when we were done to get some rest.  However, as soon as I laid down they got really intense.  I was having to breathe and really concentrate on them.  I would grab Kyle’s arm when they would come.  After a few of those Kyle wanted to start timing.  I let him.  The contractions were about 6 minutes apart.  He then texted Cindi and let her know.  She advised that I get in the tub and see if that stalls them.  I got in and the contractions became even stronger and closer together.  When Kyle started timing them there they were about 2-3 minutes apart.  Here is when time and events get a little fuzzy.  I was really having to concentrate.  I did tell Kyle while in the tub that this might just be a really fast labor.  I just couldn’t believe how fast and sudden the contractions were coming.
I decided I was ready for my mom and sisters to come on over.  Kyle also told Cindi that we were ready for her.  I labored a little bit more in the tub and then got out.  By the time I was out is when my mom showed.  We went downstairs where my birth space was set up and I automatically got on all fours and labored.  Sometime during this is when Kristen, Cindi and her birth team arrived.   It wasn’t until Cindi sat with me and placed her hands on my back and told me to relax my muscles that I even realized there were other people in the room.  I was in my own world and found it amazing how easy it was to block everything out.  I was only aware of the music we had set up, the oils we had burning and my breathing.   It was really serene.  Though the contractions were coming strong and fast, I didn’t feel like I was in crazy pain.  Don’t get me wrong.  It hurt.  I guess it was just more of a very uncomfortable pain.  I also will add that when I first started feeling those first real contractions I was so excited to feel them.  I welcomed them.  I had waited for this.  I waited since I was pregnant with Anna!  Three years later I was doing it.  I was laboring and birthing my baby.  I really think that mind set is what really helped me with the pain too.  Well, the pain of contractions anyways.  🙂
I labored for hours in all different positions.  Hands and knees; hovering over the birthing ball; sitting on the birthing ball; sitting on the toilet; in the birth pool.  It was amazing getting to labor however was most comfortable for me.
I can’t recall how many  hours it’s been or what time it was but when I was in the pool, I could feel myself dozing off in between the contractions.  Cindi had asked if she could check me and see where we were.  I was so tired at this point and I just didn’t care.  I got out of the pool and she checked me.   Boy, did I regret allowing her to do so.  It hurt like a…well, I don’t know what to compare it to.  It just hurt.  She didn’t just check my dialation though.  Nolan was so active while I was in labor that she was needing to check his position and feel for his head.
I was at this point 8-9 cm.  She advised that we try and get some rest so that I am not drained and tired for the pushing.  I couldn’t move hardly so I just stayed there on the couch.  Worst decision.  I was so uncomfortable.  This is the time when the contractions really hurt and it was hard for me to relax.  I don’t know how long I stayed there.  My sister, Kristen, would rub my arm and encourage me everytime a contraction came.   It was exactly what I needed.  I learned that I hated feeling alone during labor.  I needed someone there touching me.  I needed to see someone when I would open my eyes.  Because of how I was facing, when I opened my eyes I couldn’t see anyone.  They were all behind or on the side.  I didn’t want to move my head though.
I finally got the energy to vocalize that I was hot and wanted off the couch.  I also really needed to use the bathroom.  I was drinking so much water during labor and it was going right through me!
Cindi advised that I still rest.  There was just a few hours left before the sun would rise.  They helped me upstairs and that’s where Kyle and I stayed for a while.  Again, I have no recollection of times so I don’t know how long I was up there.  I was able to sleep in between contractions.   It was nice even if it was very little rest.    However, I eventually became uncomfortable laying down and was ready to go back downstairs to my birthing space.  I desired the music and water.
When I made it back downstairs I realized that Kristen and my mom had left.  As well as the birth assistant.  Nikki was now here to take the place of Rachel.  Shortly after coming down stairs is when Anna woke up too.  Kyle got her and called his mom to come pick her up.  We knew she wouldn’t be able to handle being there seeing me in pain.  Now, I am so glad we made that call!  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until the last month of pregnancy.  When Tricia came and got Anna is when my good friend, Ali arrived to take pictures.   She was ever so sweet to offer.
The pool was ready again for me to get back into.  I labored more in there.  I also was starting to push.  Not exactly because I felt the urge but just to get him to drop more.  This is where the birth began to feel like it was never going to happen.  Eventually being in the water was spacing my contractions out and so I decided to get out.  I labored and pushed on the floor.  Again, in all different positions.   All fours, squatting, leaning over furniture and even laying on my back.   Which of these do you think was most  successful in getting Nolan to come out?  Yep- laying down on my back.  😉  He would get so close and I would think it was almost over and then he would go back up.  I pushed for hours!   Then, when we thought he was almost out everyone talked me into getting back into the pool since I wanted a water birth so bad.  I did.  I somehow was able to walk, waddle is more like it, back into the pool.  I pushed a while in there.  Again, it slowed down my contractions and his heart rate actually started dropping.  Cindi allowed me to try for as long was safe and then we just decided that he was coming out so much better on the floor.  I somehow was able to climb back out and walk back to the floor.
I pushed and pushed!  It hurt and he was not coming out.  Cindi told me that I wasn’t getting mad enough.  That is when I started getting really vocal.  You hear about how beautiful a woman’s “labor song” is.  Well, if there is such a thing as a “pushing song”, let me tell you- it’s not pretty!  Mine wasn’t anyways.  I was scaring myself sometimes by the noises that were coming out.  🙂  I didn’t care though.  I was ready for this baby to get out!   I was tired and I was in pain.   I wasn’t feeling this relief from pushing that I heard and read all about.  It was making me angry.  I wanted to push when I felt the urge but it turned out that I needed to be coached.   I needed Kyle or Nikki to count for me while pushing.  The kind of things that I said were unnecessary  when writing my birth plan.  Well, they were for me.  I kept wanting to give up mid push.  I was just too tired.
Then I hear everyone cheering.  My mom, Cindi, Nikki, Kyle and Ali.  Telling me that he is coming out.  I was doing it.  His head came out and I was so excited and anxious I actually reached down about to pull him.  Cindi had to remind me that I needed to push the rest of his body out and then told Kyle to come and catch his son.  I pushed one last time and Kyle caught him and laid him on my chest at 12:12 pm on October 30th, 2013.
I dreamed of this moment.  When I became pregnant with Sky and knew that we were going to have a homebirth.   Then after we lost Sky and I became pregnant again with Nolan, I dreamed like you wouldn’t believe.  It was a constant dream going on in my head.  During the day; while I slept.  Dreaming of this pregnancy going to full term.  Dreaming of me feeling a contraction.  Me pushing and birthing my baby and holding him on my chest and me just crying because I did it.  I successfully carried this baby full term.  Allowed him to come into this world on his timing and birthing him naturally.   When that actual moment was here and it was no longer a dream, I didn’t cry.  I just held him so tight and silently thanked God for blessing me.  He was crying and I would tell him that I was here.  It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life.  Better than I could have dreamed or imagined.  We did do it.1452231_10153492714680508_596722243_n
Kyle was so amazing during the whole thing.  He was my rock.  Telling me that I was doing a great job when I felt like my body wasn’t doing a good job pushing this baby out.  He allowed me to grab his hand or arm at each contraction.  He would kiss my head as a silent way to tell me that he was there and he believed in me.  My heart grew so much that afternoon.   Making room for me to love Nolan as I do Anna.  Also, falling deeper in love with Kyle.
Nolan latched right on and nursed for a good hour.  I ate some food that Kyle cooked and tried getting some energy back.   After Nolan was done nursing, Cindi weighed him and did some vitals.  He weighed in at 8.5 lbs and was 21 inches long.  My perfect little boy.
It was a long labor and a long 4-5 hours of pushing but I wouldn’t change any of it.  I feel so blessed to have had a successful home birth after having a c’section with Anna.  It confirmed to me that I can do it.
So thankful for Cindi and her birth team at Gentle Birth Options.  From when I first made the phone call to schedule an appt after finding out that I was pregnant again, they were excited for us and believed and encouraged me the whole pregnancy and into the birth.  Cindi who would gently remind me that I didn’t need to be afraid during the birth and that I could do it.
Ali who was so generous to come over and take pictures of it all.   She captured some of the most memorable moments for my family.   Her sacrifice and patience during it all is such a blessing.  Being a wife, mama and business owner herself and gifting us with her time of taking  all the photos of this whole experience and then editing them.  There are not enough thank yous.
My amazing mom and sisters.  Present for the birth or not, they each too were there for me during the whole pregnancy and birth.  It be through prayer, listening to me voice my excitement or concerns.  They were and are the best support team I could ever ask for.
Kyle who is my amazing partner.  What a great team we make.   He had to listen to me list off our to do lists the whole pregnancy as well as complain about how uncomfortable I was at the end.  He still amazes me as we work as a team with two small kids.  Both of us losing sleep at night with a newborn and a tot who decided doesn’t need sleep either, he takes on his daddy and husband role with no complaints.  I am beyond blessed that God chose him to be my husband and the father of my children.

He even was born with a perfect heart shaped birth mark.  So much love!

The Birth of Maeryn

The Birth of Logan

The Birth of Juno Rose


Juno Rose,
The week before you were born I had come to terms with the fact that I may possibly be pregnant forever. I’d be an invited guest on the Dr. Oz show and become a spectacle for daytime television watchers around the nation. At least I would probably receive a lifetime supply of cocoa butter and prenatal vitamins. Then maybe I’d go on to have my own show on TLC along with other medical oddities such as Honey Boo Boo. Waddling around the earth incessently keeping track of my 80-100 grams of protein a day, I would never again be able to enjoy bleu cheese, sushi, or even beer. These notions had me teetering on the brink of insanity, and we hadn’t even reached your due date yet. Luckily for us both, this was not our fate, and you were not destined to be my forever fetus.
Fast forward to Monday, February 18, 2013 around 6 p.m.. I had just gotten home from my daily 2 mile walk when I started feeling menstrual cramp-like aches in my abdomen. Thinking nothing of the pain I went about my business and didn’t mention anything to your dad when he came home from work. I noticed I was having two or so of these pains per hour, and this persisted through the night. The next morning I was still having these pains, so I told your dad before he went to work that I wasn’t feeling quite right. He kissed my forhead, told me to get some rest, and headed off to work. These pains began coming closer and closer together. At this point, it wasn’t anything too painful but they were very uncomfortable. Little did I know, these pains were actually early contractions. At around 1 p.m. I decided to call the birth center. I talked to Brittany, a birth assistant, and told her what was going on, mentioning that these “pains” were coming about every 10-15 minutes now and I was bleeding slightly. She used the word ‘contractions,’ but I was sure she was mistaken. I wasn’t in labor; I was never going into labor, especially not before your due date. She assured me that this was normal and said she would let my midwife, Cindi, know what was going on.
Your Granny Rose planned on making the trip down from Tennessee to watch you come into the world. I talked to her, and she had a suspicion that I may be in labor, but based on the mild amount of pain I was in, decided not to book a flight down for the night. Your daddy texted to check up on me and decided to come home early from work. I told him it wasn’t necessary and that this was probably just a false alarm. He came home anyway around 1:30, and we decided to go on a walk around the neighborhood. On our mile and a half walk, I had four contractions. I was still not convinced that I was laboring, but we decided to get our bags ready to go just in case. Your dad went to the store to get some snacks around 3 p.m., and by the time he got back home, these contractions were coming every 5-7 minutes and starting to require my attention. I ate a popsicle and decided to chill out on the couch. Pretty soon I was writhing in pain and made my way to the bedroom. At around 5 p.m. I texted Cindi in between contractoins to tell her that my contractions were coming closer together and becoming more intense. I remember her calm reply of “sounds great” and thinking that surely, she doesn’t understand the severity of this situation; how can she be so calm at a time like this! About five minutes later after one of the most intense contractions yet, I felt what was like a giant bubble pop, and a rush of fluid poured from me. I jumped out of bed and screamed, “Something just came out! Something just came out!” Your dad couldn’t contain his laughter and excitedly said, “Your water just broke!”
I rushed to the bathroom and your dad called Cindi. She told us to keep doing what we’re doing since I would be more comfortable at home. I got into the bathtub trying to get more comfortable. The warm water helped with the pain, but it soon became more and more overwhelming. I had this immense urge to push. Knowing for sure that it was too early to do so, I tried to stop my body from pushing, and I made your dad call Cindi again. She assured us that all was good and normal and told us to head to the birth center in about an hour. It was about that time that your dad reminded me that we had hired Nicole, the photographer, and that we should probably call her so she could head over and snap a few shot of me laboring. I then informed your dad that I no longer cared about the photos and if anyone tried to take a picture of me at that moment, I would destroy the camera and possibly their face.
Daddy got me in the car in between contractions and we embarked on the worst car ride of my life. We sped to the birth center, arriving there at 6:50 p.m. Cindi met us in the parking lot and helped me inside. Once she got me inside, I asked if she needed to check my cervix to see if I should be pushing. She looked up at me and said with a smile, “You’re crowning.” Then she quickly got your dad and I in the tub as she and the birth assistants stood back and let my body do its thing. I was surprisingly calm and centered inside once in the tub knowing it wouldn’t be too long before we would get to welcome you to planet earth. Your dad was a huge comfort as well, whispering into my ear and telling me how well I was doing and supporting me physically as I leaned against him. I pushed with all my might during each contraction and pretty soon your head was all the way out. Knowing the hardest part was over, I took a short mental and physical pause as Cindi reached down and unwrapped the umbilical cord from around your neck. With the next push, your dad and I reached down and caught you. Your tiny body emerged from the water, plopped onto my chest, and at 7:25 p.m. you became a citizen of the planet.
The next four hours are a blur of elation, bliss, and pure love as we gazed at your perfect little self remembering how 9 months ago you were just a suspicion when I vomited on the Mission: SPACE ride at Disney World.And that, Junebug, is how you came to be.We’re so glad you’re here, and we’re glad you were able to be brought into the world in a peacful environment surrounded by a birth team who truly care.

The HBAC of Caleb Ryan

Caleb Ryan



The Birth of Gabriel James

Gabriel James,

I want to tell you a little story. A story of how a little boy saved a love like no other. I want to tell you your birth story….

January 3, 2013

Today is my due date. And you aren’t here. For over a week my body has been having irregular contractions but nothing serious enough to sound the alarm for your arrival. You were still fairly high in my pelvis and weren’t engaged yet. This just meant that all mommy’s contractions were in vain since your head wasn’t putting pressure on my cervix to help dilate me quicker.  Daddy and I went to our appointment with Cindi, our angel of a midwife. We thought for sure you’d be here before now, but you had something planned that not even I could have imagined. At the appointment I was 3-4 cm dilated and my cervix was looking great for your arrival. Cindi stripped my membranes and stretched my cervix to get things going. Daddy drove us home where we took a little nap before I begged him to get me out of the house. At 8pm while walking at Walmart, contractions began. And hard. We went home and I warmed up left overs. Two bites into dinner, contractions were taking my breathe away. And so it began….sit on exercise ball, pelvic rocks, deep breathing, hot shower, sit on toilet, back on ball, try to sleep (not happening!) and so on until….

January 4, 2013

Happy birthday to me!! But will we share a birthday? Contractions were picking up and I really don’t think I can do this much longer (haha….actually I can). Daddy called Cindi around 2am. But like the awesome midwife she is…knew it was still too early. I remembered all the comfort measures we were taught. Daddy rubbed my back, I took hot baths and showers. I made sure to move through my labor. This helped so much. Daddy had a surprise for me. He had all our friends and family record videos to help encourage me along. Gabriel James, you have such a loving daddy. I laughed at all the videos and daddy and I laid in bed and cuddled and talked about how excited we were to meet you.

After a long night of contractions and no sleep, the back labor finally got to be too much. So at 11:30am we went to get adjusted by Dr. Amy. This helped mommy relax enough to take a 45 minute nap. By that afternoon I swore you had to be close. I mean it’s normal for a first time mommy to labor for 24 hours… It’s been almost 24 hours!!!

Finally, daddy talked mommy into going to the birth center so Cindi could check our progress. Daddy thought a little progress check would ease my mind and help me at least sleep. So at 6pm (after a trip to sonic for a bag of their delicious ice) we began our hour drive to the birth center. I DID NOT like the car! Daddy held my hand through each and every contraction. Encouraging me every step of the way. Despite my hopes we were still at 4 cm and we decided to go home to labor in the comfort of our home. (Back in the car we go!)

January 5, 2013

2am: After getting home with no sleep and many showers, the comfort measures just were not helping anymore. Daddy couldn’t take it anymore and called Cindi. They decided that it was time to head to the birth center. Maybe a little change in scenery and some motivation from the birth team would help progress things along….

4am: We arrive back at the birth center. Daddy called The family and Nicole, our birth photographer and everyone is on their way.

Gabriel, remember when I told you that your birth saved a love like no other? Well,  a year before we conceived you, mommy was pregnant with your big brother or sister. But God does not promise us forever. We don’t know what day will be our last…so never take one day for granted. Jesus called your older sibling home to Heaven. Daddy & I missed them very much…we cried and argued a lot after that. We lost our “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, World Series” kind of spark. We tried so many ways to ignite it again. Until you! The next 8 hours mommy and daddy found our spark while we prepared to meet you, son. The phrase “labor of love” took a whole new deeper meaning for our family.

Once we arrived I lost all track of time. Slowly, everyone began to arrive. Nicole first,then Meamaw and shortly later Lita, Lito & Tia Sofia. Once Cindi checked me I was at 5 cm. My water was so close to breaking on its own so mommy decided to try to break it on her own. First, I tried pushing on the toilet. And eventually moved to the birthing tub. I spent a good 2 hours pushing on and off with each contraction in hopes to break my water…but no luck. As I sat in the birth tub I knew that I had to have Cindi break my water for me. But I also knew that the pain would get worse. And there was no turning back after that. But every step of the way I never let go of daddy’s hand and he never stopped encouraging me. He held the bucket when I was nauseous, wiped my face when I was sweating, fanned me when I was hot, covered me when I was cold, told me how amazing I was and how great I was doing…

Sometime that morning: Cindi broke my water and wow what a relief! Once again I began my “stay in motion” comfort measures. As I sat on the exercise ball, daddy showed me your 3D ultrasound pictures…the one of you smiling and showing off your dimples. He reminded me what I was made to do. I was made to give birth. I was made to be a mommy. I could to this.

Do you remember how special I said you are? After I tried escaping labor, and altogether testing Cindi’s patience, it was time to push!! I pushed on all fours for what seemed like an eternity. I just wanted to gaze into your beautiful eyes. Later I found out I only pushed for 2 hours. Here is where I know you are born to draw people to you…

Daddy held mommy in his arms as I pushed. Lita, my mommy, held one leg encouraging me with every contraction. Tia Sofia, my sister, held my other leg awaiting your perfect entrance. Meamaw, my grandmother, was there nervous and anxious to see you born and she held the phone so that your Tia Hannah, my other sister, could watch your birth via Skype. Also in the room was Cindi, Vallie and Lynn, our amazing birth team. Christina and Brittany also were there to help assist at the end. Lito, my dad, was in the waiting room anxiously listening until you were born. And Nicole was there to capture the greatest moment of my life. The moment you arrived…

Daddy swore he didn’t want to see anything but when they said “we can see the head”, something flipped and daddy told them to put the mirror up. I was so tired, Lita fed me honey and Tia Sofi gave me Coke to sip on while daddy held the oxygen next to my face for a boost of energy. I was so calm. My whole body was in a state of peace. I kept hearing “you can do this! You are strong enough! It’s time to meet your baby” in my head. Here we go…

I pushed and you came down. First your head. I wasn’t able to dilate to the full 10 cm because I had an anterior lip on my cervix. But with each contraction that I pushed, Cindi used her fingers to pull down on the lip until you got your head out. A few more pushes. Your head comes out. One last push and you were completely out and on my chest!

1:18pm: 8lbs. 13 oz. 21 in. You were so big! You are so beautiful. You were finally here. My son. I’m a mommy. You, sweet boy, gave me the one thing I’d prayed for my whole life. Daddy cried. A lot. So did mommy. And everyone else in the room. You captured the hearts of many in that one split second. You will change lives as my life changed in that moment.

So many people thought I was crazy for having an out of hospital birth. They thought I was crazy for laboring 41 hours. Without any pain meds. But I know different. I will never forget how your birth sparked a passionate love within daddy and me once again. Or how natural everything felt. Through each step of labor I found a strength within me that will change me forever. The love hormones just took over my body when you were placed in my arms. Despite no sleep for over 72 hours, I was full of energy and awe at life. What a perfect moment with our family.

Soon after I delivered the placenta, and we were able to start nursing. You were a champ! And little did I know, you are such a good eater (as I write this you have reached your first month milestone you have gained 2 lbs 14 oz and grown an inch). Within the next hour we were eating Lita’s yummy baked ziti and admiring your preciousness. Daddy finally got skin to skin snuggles while mommy took a shower and changed clothes. By 5:30 pm we were headed home. I wouldn’t change anything about your perfect arrival. It was my fairy tale come true. And you are my little Prince.