• C and J started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  C had previously had two unmedicated births in the hospital with midwives, and was looking forward to a home birth for this little one. C’s pregnancy progressed along normally.  On her due date, I received test results that indicated I […]

  • M and D started care with me in the second trimester of their third pregnancy.  M had a cesarean for “failure to progress” with her first delivery, and a repeat cesarean with her second delivery since she had twins.  She was looking forward to getting a chance at things she had not be given before […]

  • E and F started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  They had their first baby at home with me, and were excited to do this journey again.  You can read about the wild ride their first little one took them on here. E’s pregnancy progressed along perfectly.  Her first little […]

  • E and I started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  E had planned a birth center birth with her first, but had a very long, hard labor and delivered in the hospital.  She was hoping for a different experience for this journey.  We just did not know how opposite the […]

  • A and R started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  This was A’s second birth with me.  You can read about her previous journey here. Knowing that A had her previous two kiddos at 41 weeks, we fully anticipated this little one to also come at 41 weeks. So needless […]

C and J started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  C had previously had two unmedicated births in the hospital with midwives, and was looking forward to a home birth for this little one.

C’s pregnancy progressed along normally.  On her due date, I received test results that indicated I was at high risk for preterm delivery, and that we needed to take my contractions more seriously.  I gave C the option of coming in for a membrane sweep and herbs if she wanted me there for sure or if she was okay with things happening how they happened.  C said she would come over that afternoon.

C arrived for labor encouragement.  She had seen the acupuncturist that morning, and was feeling some irregular contractions.  I did C’s exam, and found her cervix to be 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I told C to go for a walk after leaving my place, and let me know how contractions were.

Contractions increased fairly soon after C left.  Her doula arrived at 735pm, and did lift and tuck.  By contraction 8 of lift and tuck, contractions were much more intense, and C was feeling some pressure, so I was instructed to come.  C is big on wanting her water broke at a certain point in labor, and she was ready for her water to be broken.

I arrived at 9pm, and found C laying on her left side during contractions.  C got up and moved around while I did her vitals.

I did an exam at 930pm, and found C to be 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  C said she wanted her water broke, and I was able to snag her bag with my finger during a contraction.

C’s doula prepped her labor tea to drink that her acupuncturist prescribed.  C had drank this tea in her previous labors, and felt it helped speed up the process.  C likes efficiency in labor!

Right before 10pm, the birth pool was ready, and C was ready to try laboring in it.  She alternated laboring in semi reclining and kneeling in the pool. During contractions, C was all work, but in between she was chatting and laughing and having a good time.

C soon began to feel some pressure, and began giving some small pushes when her body gave the urge.  C opted for an exam at 1021pm, and she was 8cm dilated, and baby at a +1 station.  We talked about resisting the urge for a little bit longer.

C felt the pool was slowing things down, and opted to get out.  She moved to the bed into hands and knees, and within a couple contractions, began to push at 1034pm.

C pushed well on her hands and knees.  We soon could see a little bit of baby’s head peeking out at us.  C was getting tired pushing in hands and knees, but decided to stay there versus moving at first because it was feeling effective.

Soon we could see more head, but C could feel him move back up slightly after contractions.  At 1055pm, frustrated he would not stay put, C exclaimed, “The little f***er went back in!!!” We all got a good laugh, as C rolled onto her left side, determined more than ever to get baby out!

A minute later, C birthed his head.  Baby came out with a hand beside his head and the cord around his neck, which I took care of as he came out slowly.  At 1057pm, C gave one final push and brought her sweet boy earthside into J’s waiting hands.  He was here!

Welcome to the world Emmett, born earthside on April 23rd, 2018 at 1057pm, weighing in at 8lbs 0ozs, 20.75 inches long.  His mama worked hard and efficiently to bring him earth side at home, just as she hoped and prepared for.  It was such a joy to help this mama through her birthing journey.

Pictures by the talented Stephanie Shirley of Stephanie Shirley Photography.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

M and D started care with me in the second trimester of their third pregnancy.  M had a cesarean for “failure to progress” with her first delivery, and a repeat cesarean with her second delivery since she had twins.  She was looking forward to getting a chance at things she had not be given before in hopes for a VBAC during this journey.

M had a history for growing “big” babies, and neither she nor D were very comfortable going very many days past her estimated due date. M decided she would like to come in the evening before her due date to try a membrane sweep and some herbs before she went to work to see if it may help get her into labor.  M’s cervix was 1-2cm dilated, 40% effaced, and baby at a -4 station.

M went to work that evening (she is a nurse), and began feeling some stronger contractions than she had felt before.  She decided to head home around 1am, and requested her doula to come a little while later.  Around 5am, she took a nap, and when she woke the contractions had fizzled.  M was discouraged.  I encouraged her to spend the day resting, and to see if she could see her chiropractor that day.  We made plans to try again, if needed, three days later.

Friday came, and M was now three days passed her “estimated” due date.  I told her later I could tell a sweep and herbs were not going to do much within minutes of her arriving.  Her sweet twins were having an off day, and were very clingy.  We repeated some herbs and did another sweep.  M’s cervix was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  I encouraged M to try and get a walk in, and get help with the twins.

Contractions, at times, were similarly to Monday, but never progressed.  M had her inlaws take the kiddos that evening, and planned to come back with D the next morning to try one more time.

M and D came the next morning to get an early start to see if labor would begin.  D was very anxious about baby’s size and uterine rupture.  We talked for awhile, and reviewed M’s wishes.  They mutually decided if they were not in labor that evening, that they wanted to go in to the hospital for a repeat cesarean.  Knowing their wishes, M requested wanting her water broken with the sweep so that we were throwing everything at getting labor going since they had a timeline of comfort.

M’s cervix was 3cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  I reviewed risks and benefits of artificial rupture of membranes, and then broke M’s water.  Right away, contractions were much stronger than any M had felt.  It seemed likely she would enter active labor soon.  I recommended they try to eat some breakfast, and go for a walk before heading home if she felt up to it.

Contractions were regular and felt fairly strong right away.  M and D ate some breakfast, then headed home since things were strong.  It was not long, and they requested their doula to come.  She arrived at 130pm.  M’s doula requested I come fairly soon after she arrived, with my arrival time at 230pm.

I found M laboring on her knees in the living room, leaning over her birth ball, with her doula providing counter pressure during contractions.

I did an exam at about 3pm, and found M to be 5cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  Contractions were coming about every 3 minutes, lasting 50 seconds in length.  M’s doula began doing the abdominal lift and tuck with the rebozo to help baby engage further into the pelvis.

After the lift and tuck, M began alternating between laboring on the birth ball and walking around the house.

A little after 5pm, M was tired and wanted to try a restful position.  We got her into the bed to labor, helping her rotate between her left and right side every 30-45 minutes.  M said she was getting rest between contractions, so we continued to encourage her to rest for awhile.

M got up and walked around some at 7pm.  Since they were wanting to be very conservative with making decisions about transporting, I requested an exam shortly after M got up.

I did an exam at 725pm, and found M to be the same as earlier as well as some cervical edema.  D was very set on the minute there was no progress, they needed to go in.  I suggested trying open knee chest for 40 minutes, then some moving around, and recheck at the hour mark.  D and M agreed to that plan.

M got into open knee chest for 40 minutes as requested, and contractions spaced some.  When she completed the 40 minutes, she walked around the house for a few minutes before being ready for an exam.  At 835pm, I did another exam, and found the same information as earlier.  M and D requested I begin to initiate a transport to the hospital she worked at.

I called and gave a report, and M and D headed to the hospital at 9pm.

The process at the hospital was smooth and efficient, and they proceeded with the cesarean fairly quickly after arrival.

Welcome to the world Kaison, born earth side on March 17th, 2018 at 1052pm, weighing in at 9 pounds, 21 inches long.  M felt empowered by the experience, and was happy to get to be in charge of the decisions towards his birth experience.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

E and F started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  They had their first baby at home with me, and were excited to do this journey again.  You can read about the wild ride their first little one took them on here.

E’s pregnancy progressed along perfectly.  Her first little one seemed to stop growing right at the end, but this little one was chunking up perfectly.

Two days passed her estimated due date, E was in for her regular prenatal appointment.  She decided to do an exam just to see where her cervix was at, since she had experienced several nights of prodromal labor.  She was 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.  E decided she wanted to try a membrane sweep to see what might happen.

Through out the afternoon, E stated she was having regular contractions that were not very painful, with a lot of hip/back pain and some occasional rectal pressure.  Knowing how E’s first labor went, I was on high alert about the back/hip pain as being a potential sign of progress for her labor.  We decided I should head over that evening, with an estimated time of arrival at 630pm.

E was sitting on the birth ball, eating a snack, when I arrived.  I made her some herbal tea, and began to give her some homeopathy while we began to get E and baby’s vitals.

I did an exam a few minutes passed 7pm, and found E to be 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  E asked me when I thought baby would be born, and I said by midnight was my guess.

E sat back to labor on her birth ball, before moving to hands and knees while the birth pool was prepared.  E was feeling a big shift in her contractions, which was bringing more pressure in her back.  F began to provide counter pressure during contractions for comfort.

E felt like she needed to move, and began to pace around the house.  I suggested trying lift and tuck with the rebozo for ten contractions, and E agreed.  My apprentice A began to do them to see if it would shift the labor pattern.  Contractions were coming every 2 minutes, lasting 40-50 seconds.

E decided to rest in her bed on her left side while the pool was finishing being filled.  At 912pm, E got into the birth pool in a semi reclined position.  She never had a chance to enjoy the pool in her previous birth, and was happy to get that relaxation this time.

E moved to laboring on her knees.  Pressure was building.  As 10pm came, E felt like she had to push, that she could not continue much longer.  I did an exam, and found E to be 8cm dilated with baby at a +1 station.  Her cervix was starting to swell a little bit, so I recommended shifting position around in the pool, and told E not to push.  My birth assistant H began to provide words of encouragement over E.

As 11pm neared contractions were coming every 2-2.5 minutes, lasting 55 seconds.  I started to discuss fears with E, and asking her if there was anything she was fearful or worried about.  We decided it would be good to get out of the pool, and try open knee chest in the bed.  A provided hip squeezes and counter pressure while H provided words of encouragement through the waves.

I like to do open knee chest for a minimum of 40 minutes, as it is usually magical in that time frame.  At 38 minutes in, E exclaimed that she had to push.  She adjusted her position to hands and knees, and began to spontaneously push with contractions.

At 1149pm, E moved to semi reclining as she wanted to push like she did with her previous baby.  I found her to be 10cm dilated, and baby at a +3 station.

E’s water broke at 1155pm.  I suggested trying tug of war with the rebozo since it had worked well in her previous birth, and E agreed.  A began to do tug of war with E at 1159pm.

Tug of war was magic!  At 1203am, baby began to crown, quickly followed by the head and body!  E placed her hands at the right time, and helped deliver her sweet boy into her waiting hands, and brought him to her chest with my assistance.

Welcome to the world Jonas!  Born earthside on January 31st, 2018 at 1203am, weighing in at 7lbs 8ozs, 19″ long.  He was much bigger than his big sister, which we all anticipated and were happy about!

It was such a joy to help support this client through another birth journey!  Repeat clients are always so special!  #sacredjourneymidwifery

E and I started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  E had planned a birth center birth with her first, but had a very long, hard labor and delivered in the hospital.  She was hoping for a different experience for this journey.  We just did not know how opposite the journey would be!

E’s pregnancy progressed beautifully.  E had her first baby on her due date, so we anticipated a similar timing for this baby.

Six days passed her estimated due date, Houston was hit with an ice storm.  I told E to take it easy until the roads were more passable.  E had originally wanted to come in that day for a membrane sweep, but until the weather improved, we waited things out.

Eight days passed her due date, little one was still enjoy like in the womb.  E came over that morning a little after 9am for her regular appointment plus a membrane sweep.  She had been having a lot of prodromal labor over the last 7-10 days, so we were hopeful the sweep would work.  E’s cervix was 3cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station.  I talked to E and I about going for a walk when they got home, and to keep me updated.

E stated she felt that regular contractions began at 10am.  By time she made it home, things were feeling more intense, and the thought of a walk did not sound super enticing.  She had some bloody show a little after 11am, and sent her contraction timer, which showed contractions 2 minutes apart, lasting 40-45 seconds long.  E said they were definitely feeling more painful.

I sent me a text at 1216pm, stating contractions were giving E some cervical pressure and seemed strong but were short, about 30 seconds long.  I asked him if she felt close to me coming, and he said take your time but start heading this way.  I said I would finish my lunch, then be on my way.

I was about to head out when I sent a text at 1241pm, letting me know that he was beginning to fill the pool because contractions were suddenly more intense.

As I was pulling out of my driveway at 1245pm, I sent a text saying E is having a strong urge to push, and he is trying to get her to focus on breathing.  However, two minutes later her water broke, and I knew I would not be making it in time!  I sent a text to a midwife who lived closer, but she was unavailable.

E was reclining in her bath tub, and the urge to push over came her.  In minutes, her sweet baby was born at 1250pm.  I said later that the cord was around the neck, and he swiftly undid that, and they suctioned the baby with the nose frida.  I called in and talked through what to do and check, and requested to send me a video or picture since they were unsure if the baby’s color was okay.  Both myself and my birth assistant were flying down 99, trying to get there!

Welcome to the world Margo, born earthside very fast and furious on January 18th, 2018 at 1250pm, weighing in at 8lbs 2ozs, 19.5 inches long.  Margo is so loved by her big sister C.  It was a joy to help this family through their journey welcoming their second baby earthside!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

A and R started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  This was A’s second birth with me.  You can read about her previous journey here.

Knowing that A had her previous two kiddos at 41 weeks, we fully anticipated this little one to also come at 41 weeks. So needless to say, when A sent me a text the morning of January 16th, 2018 eight days before her estimated due date to say she was sure today was the day, we were all surprised.

The issue with January 16th was that Houston was being hit with quite an ice storm for our area.  Since our area is not prepared or accustomed to this kind of weather, it is a bit more cumbersome to commute.

A sent the first update at 610am, letting me know contractions were 5-6 minutes apart for an hour, then became a little sporadic but were remaining strong.  The weather had not hit yet, but I was hoping to decide what to do before the weather hit.  I recommended a bath, and to update in an hour.  R is a nurse, and decided to go ahead and head into work.

At 7am, A said she took a hot shower, and contractions have steadily been 5-7 minutes apart, lasting a minute long.  We made a plan for her to try to take it easy with the weather starting to come in, and to update me hourly.

At 9am, A sent a text saying contractions were stronger, and she was now having bloody show.  I knew this meant it was going to be baby day.

I had my birth assistant prep to come my way so that we could ride together, and had my apprentice start to head the direction of A.  The normally 30 minute drive to A ended up taking us over 90 minutes.

My birth assistant and I finally arrived at 1125am.  A was semi reclining in the bed, leaning against R.  She was chatty in between contractions, and focused deeply when a wave would come.  I did her vitals, and then prepped for an exam.  We had previously chatted when I was leaving about doing a sweep to try to make things more active for her, but this was obviously not necessary!  A was 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station with a bulgy bag of water.  Thank God we left when we did, and made it safely!

A continued to work through each birthing wave as it came, waiting for the urge to push to come.  Contractions were coming every 2.5 minutes, lasting 60-70 seconds in length.

I suggested A to try to push through a contraction or two at 1223pm, and she agreed.  She felt the urge when she started pushing, and baby began to move efficiently down the birth canal.

It was not long, and A’s bag of water began to bulge onto the perineum.  We were hopeful that this little one might be born in the caul with as sturdy as her bag was!  The head began to start to sit on the perineum at 1251pm.

Each push brought more of the baby’s head.  A’s bag ruptured at 1256pm, greatly accelerating the birth process.  As soon as the bag was gone, the baby came out fast and furious at 1257pm.  No crowning or preparation necessary!

Welcome to the world Paxton, born earthside on January 16th, 2018 weighing in at 7lbs 8ozs, 20 inches long.  He was quite ready to be born, and what a special day it was to be born while big, beautiful snow flakes fell to the ground outside.  It was definitely a memorable day!  #sacredjourneymidwifery