• Pics taken by Taylor Elizabeth Photography. O and A started care with me in the second trimester of their first pregnancy.  O had well researched her birth options, and was looking forward to welcoming her much longed for little one into the world at home! O’s due date came and went.  She came in at […]

  • A and N started care with me in the second trimester of their third pregnancy.  A had her last baby at a birth center, and was looking forward to having this baby at home. A’s pregnancy progressed along perfectly.  Her first baby was an induction turned cesarean, and her second baby was a spontaneous labor […]

  • A and E started care with me in the second trimester of her third pregnancy.  A had started care with another midwife, but moved to the other end of town and transferred care to me. A was ready for her anatomy scan at her first appointment.  After giving her the information to schedule the ultrasound, […]

  • Photos taken by the talented Stephanie Shirley Photography. S and D started care with me in the first trimester of her second pregnancy.  S’s first baby was a surgical birth, and she was excited to have her healing VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Around 5am on August 5th, S sent me a text letting me […]

  • D and T started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  D was super excited about her pregnancy and planning her home birth. At 38.6 weeks is when D entered her birthing time.  T came home at 3am that morning from work.  D had been asleep.  Contractions woke D at 330am, […]

Pics taken by Taylor Elizabeth Photography.

O and A started care with me in the second trimester of their first pregnancy.  O had well researched her birth options, and was looking forward to welcoming her much longed for little one into the world at home!

O’s due date came and went.  She came in at 40.6 weeks for her weekly appointment.  We discussed ways to get her body into labor, and came up with a plan.  O set up an acupuncture appointment, as well as planned to come over the next evening for a membrane sweep and herbs.  I did an exam and a gentle sweep, and found O to be 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  The sweep made O be off and on crampy through out the day.

O had her acupuncture session the next afternoon, and then came and saw me the next evening.  She drank my herbal tea blend, and then we did an exam and sweep.  She was 2cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  The cramping from the day before had been doing some good work!  O was already feeling some good cramping waves before she left.  I reviewed stages of labor and when I come, and O and A headed home.

O experienced frequent, short contractions for several hours after the sweep and herbs.  Around 1am, they became stronger and O got into the bath tub which provided some relief.

Contractions became more regular after 3am, coming every 2 minutes, lasting 1 minute.  O’s doula arrived and provided support.

A called me at 438am, and stated that O was feeling some pressure.  Things were moving quickly!  I got dressed, and headed their way!

I arrived at 509am, and found O laboring in her bath tub with both her doula and A at her side, providing support.  I listened to O through contractions, and could hear those all too familiar sounds of a woman close to meeting her baby.  I told O I could check her in the tub, but I would need her to rotate her body around so I could reach her.  I did an exam at 522am, and found O to be 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +2 station.

O was happy to hear she was close to the finish line.  O began to push with contractions in the pool.  I encouraged her to follow that pressure with each push, to bring her baby closer.

I recommended O try to empty her bladder, since she had not emptied her bladder since about 330am.  O moved from the bath tub to the toilet at 545am, which ended up being such a great position switch!

The pressure changed tremendously on the toilet.  O pushed very effectively with each contraction, and just a couple minutes after moving to the toilet, I could see her bag of water starting to bulge on to the perineum.

With each contraction, O brought more and more of the bulging bag and head on to the perineum.  At 602am, the baby was crowning.  O did fabulous at allowing her perineum to stretch and give her body time for the rest of the journey.  Two minutes later, baby was ready.  Her water broke as the head was born, followed quickly by the rest of him!

This little guy had already passed meconium in his water, so when the water broke, there was meconium every where.  You can see that on the above picture that he was covered in meconium.  You can also see the membranes from the bag of water under my hand in the picture, which is neat sight.

This little guy made no respiratory effort at delivery.  It was definitely my toughest resuscitation to date.  I repeated stimulation, suctioning with the bulb and delee, and performing PPV.  His heart rate normalized after the first minute, but it took several minutes to get this little guy to get used to using his lungs.  These are the times that delayed cord clamping are huge!  His ten minute APGAR was an 8, and he was golden from there.  O’s wonderful doula is also an area chiropractor, who was able to adjust little guy and further help him with breathing.

Welcome to the world Levi, born earthside on July 27th, 2017 at 604am, weighing in at 6lbs 14ozs, 20.5″ long.  It was such an honor to support his sweet parents through the journey to bring him earth side.  He has one strong mama!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

A and N started care with me in the second trimester of their third pregnancy.  A had her last baby at a birth center, and was looking forward to having this baby at home.

A’s pregnancy progressed along perfectly.  Her first baby was an induction turned cesarean, and her second baby was a spontaneous labor and VBAC delivery at 40.3 weeks.  A felt that she probably would deliver around the same time as her VBAC baby.

We were all surprised when 41 weeks came around!  A decided she was ready to give baby a nudge to see if that would encourage labor to begin.  A decided to try the herbal tea blend, and then we did a sweep.  A was 3-4cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.  Her cervix was very soft, and I could feel her bag of water bulging.  We reviewed when to update me, and A left for home.

Contractions started fairly soon, and were frequent and short.  I checked in with A at 115pm, since it had been two hours since she had left.  Her lower back was achey and this was definitely different.  She was going to try and take a nap and then update me.

A sent a text a few minutes after 4pm to let me know she couldn’t really rest because of the contractions.  She was helping send off her other kiddos, when she sent the text at 408pm that her water just broke.

Things picked up very quickly from there.  A was having bloody show, and contractions were coming every 2 minutes, lasting 45 seconds.  A was laboring in her bath tub, while N started to blow up the birth pool.

I arrived at 444pm, and found A laboring on her hands and knees in her bath tub.  I immediately could tell we were close to having a baby.  There was bloody show in the pool, and the next contraction A sounded grunty.

A was 10cm dilated, baby at a +3 station.  A began to gently push and bring her baby down.  My birth assistant walked in the door right as the head was visible on the perineum at 504pm.  A did a great job of relaxing in between waves.  Baby was crowning at 507pm, and head was born at 508pm with a very tight cord around the neck.

N helped deliver the head, and was ready to finish the delivery, but this little guy got a little stuck.  I helped prop A’s leg up into runner’s, and was able to help get baby’s shoulder out.  I somersaulted him out of his nuchal cord and brought him to his mama’s waiting arms at 510pm.  This little guy was a little stunned, so we gave him a few puffs with bag and mask, and then he was great!

Welcome to the world Noah, born earthside on August 2nd, 2017 at 510pm, weighing in at 8lbs 14ozs (over 1.5 pounds bigger than her biggest baby!!!), 20.75 inches long.

It was an honor to support this awesome couple through their second VBAC journey!  What a wild ride this little one’s journey was, with an active labor of a whopping 36 minutes, 26 minutes of pushing!  This is one amazing woman!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

A and E started care with me in the second trimester of her third pregnancy.  A had started care with another midwife, but moved to the other end of town and transferred care to me.

A was ready for her anatomy scan at her first appointment.  After giving her the information to schedule the ultrasound, she was surprised to find out that she was due almost three weeks sooner than she was originally given previously.  Being do much sooner was a little overwhelming, but soon they adjusted to the new time frame.

A experienced many days of prodromal labor, which always comes with some emotional frustration and physical exhaustion.

A came in for her weekly appointment at 39.2 weeks very frustrated with the prodromal labor.  She had very regular contractions the night before that abruptly stopped when her body shut down due to an emotional trigger.  We talked a lot about trauma history, as well as how we can pretend all we want that things are okay, but when labor happens, everything will hit the fan if it is not worked through ahead of time.  A requested a cervical check and was 1cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby at a -2 station and acynclitic.  I recommended some positions to try the next few days, as well as some self care and relaxation so that A would feel safe and loved enough to go into labor.

A sent me a text at 5am on July 4th, 2017 to let me know she was having much stronger contractions than what she had been experiencing for awhile.  They were coming every 4 minutes, lasting under a minute, and her doula E was present and providing support.  I encouraged A to rest as much as she could, as well as eat and drink frequently, and to keep me posted.

Doula E sent a text at 7am stating contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, lasting 80 seconds long, and keeping the same intensity.  I recommended some positions, and A said she wanted to be checked.  E talked with her, and A said things felt too intense to get into a car, and felt she wanted me to come and join her.

I arrived at 8am, and found A laying on her left side in her bed, gently moaning with contractions.  Vitals were great.  I did an exam at 825am.  Prior to birthing day, I had discussed with A that there may be scar tissue on her cervix (based on history she gave to me) that may need to be massaged in labor.  As guessed, A had some scaring on her cervix.  A consented and allowed me to massage the scar tissue through a contraction.  She was now 3cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  I suggested A go for a walk so that I could observe contractions, and to help things kick into gear.

After the walk, A agreed to letting doula E do a round of lift and tuck for ten contractions with the rebozo.  A had a pendulous abdomen, and I felt doing lift and tucks in labor would help get baby better positioned on her cervix.  After the lift and tucks, E sat on her birth ball and did hip circles with contractions.

At 10am, we decided to do another exam to continue to break up the scar tissue.  A wanted to avoid being in labor any longer than necessary.  I massaged the scar tissue through a contraction.  A was 4cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.

A stayed in a semi reclining position in the bed, and began to drink a tea blend I made of red raspberry leaf and black and blue cohosh.

As 11am neared, A stated the contractions were becoming more intense.  She labored on the toilet for a few contractions, then walked around the room, becoming more vocal with the labor waves.  We suggested another round of lift and tuck, and A agreed.  Apprentice A did another round of lift and tuck with A. Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 80 seconds long.

A decided she wanted to rest, and try to get a nap in since contractions were intensifying.  A got into bed with E, and rested on her left side.  Birth team left for awhile to allow A to rest and to get some lunch.

Doula E sent me a text about 130pm that A was up and ready for us to return to work!  I did an exam at 135pm, and found A to be 5cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby at a -1 station, her bag of water was very bulgy and present and her cervix soft.

A was game for another round of lift and tuck, because she felt with each round her contractions became more powerful.  She then positioned herself on her birth ball, leaning her back against the wall and her feet on her bed.  Contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting over 90 seconds long.

When A got up from the birth ball, there was bloody show on the towel.  This was big, as there had been no bloody show yet!

A labored on the toilet at 3pm, feeling that there was much more pressure in her butt, before doing another round of lift and tuck (lots of lift and tuck action happening at this birth!).

A moved back to the toilet, and then the birth ball as 4pm neared.  Things were intense, but she was ready for a check to see what change had happened.  While talking about options, A stated she thought she might want a membrane sweep, even if it meant her water might break during it as at the previous exam, her bag had been very bulgy.

I did the exam at 440pm, and A was 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I did a membrane sweep, and felt that her bag was weak and as if maybe one of the layers of the bag was opening, but not fully rupturing.

A labored on the ball while eating Chik-fil-a nuggets.  She felt things were most productive when she labored on the ball.

A stood and labored leaning over bed, while her doula rubbed her back with essential oils.  I began to give her some homeopathy to help continue to strengthen her contractions.  A then labored in hands and knees, and doula E did the booty shake with the rebozo to jiggle the baby.  A then requested that apprentice A do another round of lift and tuck because she wanted things to feel more intense.

As 6pm came upon us, A was feeling emotional.  She was frustrated that her birth journey wasn’t going the way she expected.  She was frustrated that things were moving at what she felt was a snails pace.  She said she going to go “run” this baby out.  A and E went outside for some time together, and to walk the baby out.  She wanted an exam when she came back in.

I did an exam at 630pm, and found A had a nice bulgy bag still and was now 7cm.  A wanted her waters broken. She was ready to meet her baby.  I broke her forebag, and baby handled it like a champ.

A was emotional.  She got into the bed and labored on her right side.  We talked about how exams made her feel triggered, and reminded her she was safe, she was loved, and she was in charge.  We encouraged her to rest, and to embrace this baby’s unique journey earth side.

A labored on the toilet for a few minutes, while the birth pool filled.  Before getting into the birth pool, apprentice A did a few lift and tucks.  A was ready for the birth pool when she got in at 740pm.  A alternated between laboring on her knees and semi reclining.

As 830pm neared, A felt like the baby’s head had dropped, and that pushing was near.  I encouraged A to wait for things to feel impossible to hold back.

Frustrations arose, and A began feeling emotional again that things weren’t happening fast enough.  She labored on the toilet for a few contractions, and then moved to her birth ball.

Doula E worked on doing some guided visualization with A while she labored on the ball.  After that, E and I helped A get into Walcher’s to see if it would help baby move down.

I did an exam at 1020pm, and knew immediately at this point that we had some emotions to work through because A wasn’t feeling safe to have this baby.  A was now 6cm, 80% effaced.  Her contractions were now coming every 7-10 minutes, lasting a minute.  I did not tell A she had regressed.  Her emotions were high, and she weeped over the stall she was experiencing.

Doula E and I talked with her about trying to rest with E, talk together about how she is feeling and working through anything mentally and emotionally holding her up, and I would make her some more herbal tea blend to help contractions.  We helped her get in open knee chest, and left them to have privacy.

Slowly the things on her mind were coming out.  A and E began to hash out all the doubts and all the things that were causing A stress and anxiety.  Doula E and I walked in to give her tea, and to reiterate that A needs to feel safe in order to have this baby.  We shut the door, and said we would wait for the door to open to know that everything has been aired out and ready to have a baby.

A came storming out of the bedroom a few minutes passed midnight, and requested doula E go talk to E because she can’t anymore.  I sat with A, and reminded her of her goals and plans to feel safe enough to let this baby be born.  As we talked, contractions came back, stronger.  She was contracting every 3-4 minutes, lasting 80 seconds.

A was staying more in the game during the 1am hour.  She spoke over herself repeatedly that only she can choose to stall her labor, and she was not going to choose that.  E was napping, and doula E and I were at her side.  A labored standing, slow dancing with doula E through contractions at 150am.  Moaning was intensifying, and we could tell that these were feeling different.  When A felt discouraged, we both passionately spoke to her, keeping her in the game.  Praise and worship music was turned on to help change the atmosphere, and it helped encourage A.

A labored sitting at 220am because her legs were tired.  We encouraged A that her body seemed to labor more efficiently with standing, so she was back on her feet and working that baby down at 235am.

She felt baby was close at 250am, and took off her bottoms.  Her mind became flooded with doubts.  She wasn’t trusting her strength.  We reminded her that she was so strong, so powerful.  I did an exam at 308am, and found A to be 9+cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a +1 station.  I told A it was time to stop running from the journey, and to be ready to meet her baby.

A moved to her left side in the baby at 316am, her legs were so tired.  We began pushing soon after.  A had an anterior lip that I held back, while A pushed while playing tug of war with the rebozo with apprentice A.  Contractions were coming every 5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.

A became weepy and shut down at 337am, because she wasn’t feeling connected to E.  Doula E went to find E and had a chat with him.  E came back into the room at 342am, and was game ready.  I told E that A would not be able to have this baby until she felt connected, loved, and supported by him.

Pushing wasn’t as effective, so at 4am I told A that the birth team was going to step into the other room while her and E reconnected.  I said we would stay out for 15 minutes, or until she yelled that the baby was on the perineum.  I knew she needed to feel connected in order to feel safe to meet her baby.

At 419am, A exclaimed, “Shannon, there is a head!”  A was 10cm, and baby at a +2 station.  Pushes were powerful and perfect.

I began applying warm compresses to her bottom at 430am, as the head was starting to peak at us.  The head was staying on the perineum at 435am.  A powerfully brought her baby’s head to crowning two minutes later, quickly followed by the rest of him!  He was here!  A had her due date baby that worked so very hard for!

Welcome to the world Emiliano, born earthside on July 5th, 2017 at 437am, weighing in at 7lbs 14ozs, 20.75 inches long.  His mama had so many battles to fight and overcome in her journey to bring him earthside, and she did powerfully.  So proud of this sweet mama for being stronger than she knew, and had her baby at home just as intended.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

 

 

 

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Photos taken by the talented Stephanie Shirley Photography.

S and D started care with me in the first trimester of her second pregnancy.  S’s first baby was a surgical birth, and she was excited to have her healing VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).

Around 5am on August 5th, S sent me a text letting me know she had been having regular contractions since 2am, as well as was experiencing bloody show.  I recommended she eat a good breakfast, stay hydrated, and try to take a warm, and then let me know how things felt.

Contractions began to pick up after the bath.  I headed out, arriving around 850am.

I walked in and found S laboring in her kitchen, breathing well through contractions.  The first thing out of her mouth was to inform me of something funny her husband had been doing that morning, which continued to cause her to burst into laughter all morning.

Vitals were complete, and we moved to the bedroom to do an exam at 905am.  S had some cervical scarring that she let me massage out like a champ.  The rigidity immediately broke up so well on my fingers.  S was 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station.

The birth pool was being filled for S to use.  S sat on her birth ball, laboring through contractions.  Her contractions were coming about every 90 seconds, lasting 45 seconds.

S was having a hard time finding a comfortable position while she waited for the pool. She alternated sitting on the ball, with walking around her home, leaning on D for support with contractions.

The pool was filled and ready for S at 10am.  Later, S and D told me that they had no idea how soon Thomas would be born after getting into the pool.  S got into the pool, and sat semi reclining.  She labored beautifully through each labor wave.

Through out what was transition, S kept talking and talking about how much she wanted to eat a warm, glazed donut.  She wanted one badly.  We encouraged her that certainly someone could get her a donut after she was holding her sweet boy.

S was feeling the urge to push at the peaks of contractions at 1014am.  I encouraged  S to wait for the urge to become unbearable.  S continued to blow the urge away.

I encouraged S to feel for her baby.  At 1026am, S said she could feel her baby’s head inside when she checked.  The pushing pressure was increasing.  S asked me to check at 1029am.  She had an anterior lip, and baby was at a +2 station.

I talked with S about her options, and she requested for me to hold back her lip.  It took two contractions, and the lip was over the baby’s head.

S did a beautiful job listening to her body, and putting all the pressure into the right spots to bring her baby down.  S would check, and help her to bring her baby further down.

We could see the head on the perineum at 1048am.  S looked at me and said she didn’t want to push anymore, it was burning too bad.  I encouraged S to feel her baby, and let him stretch things.

With each contraction, S pushed a little more of her baby’s head out.  She felt his head, as more and more was becoming visible on her perineum.  She helped guide his head out gently into her awaiting hand at 1053am.

Then his head was born, and we waited.  This little guy was born in a bit of a funky position, which unfortunately caused his shoulders to lock under the pubic bone.We tried to do a couple maneuvers with S in her semi reclining position but it wasn’t working.

I had the birth team assist me in flipping S onto her hands and knees.  S continued to listen to me as we worked together to guide her baby out.  We pulled one of her legs in runner’s position, and I was able to get a shoulder out.  Seconds later, Thomas was born into my hands at 1055am.

He was a little shell shocked from his delivery, so we gave a few puffs with the bag and mask, and he let out a cry.

Welcome to the world Thomas, born earthside on August 5th, 2017 at 1055am, weighing in at 8lbs 10ozs, 20 inches long.  His mama did an incredible job bringing him earth side, getting her gentle, healing VBAC she desired.

S continued to talk about that warm glazed donut, so after the placenta was delivered, D ran over to the donut shop and bought a couple dozen donuts as S’s reward.

It was such a joy and privelege to serve this sweet family through this journey.  S totally rocked her HBAC!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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D and T started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  D was super excited about her pregnancy and planning her home birth.

At 38.6 weeks is when D entered her birthing time.  T came home at 3am that morning from work.  D had been asleep.  Contractions woke D at 330am, that immediately started coming every 2 minutes, lasting 20-30 seconds and D was having some bloody show.  T updated me with this info around 430am.  I recommended eating, hydrating, bath, and rest and reviewed when I would come.

T sent a text at 635am saying contractions were now coming every 2 minutes lasting over a minute for an hour.  We decided I would head their way at about 8am, however things changed.  T texted at 7am saying D was starting to feel a lot of pressure and wanted to push.

My husband started rushing back home from his meeting, and I darted out the door to get to T and D and see what was up.

I arrived at 744am and found D laboring on her left side in bed.  Since she was feeling so much pressure, I started vitals with an exam.  D was 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I could feel a bulgy bag of water.  I also noted cervical scaring on her cervix.  I attempted to massage the scar tissue, but D felt it was too uncomfortable.

D moved to laboring on her knees in the bed.  Contractions were coming every 2-2.5 minutes, 60-75 seconds in length.  My birth assistant arrived and began to set up the pool.

I talked to D about trying open knee chest to get the baby away from putting so much pressure.  I got her into position at 815am, and talked to her about staying in that position for about 40 minutes.  I sent a text to D’s chiro, and she agreed to head that way as well to adjust her.

D was such a trooper through those long 40 minutes!  D said she was ready for me to work on her scar tissue at this point.  A few minutes passed 9am, I did D’s exam and massaged the scar tissue.  D was 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I massaged on the scar tissue through a contraction, and the scar tissue broke up on my fingers.  D’s cervix was very stretchy at this point.

D’s chiro Nora arrived at 915am to adjust her.  She worked on her, and D felt some relief.  D was beyond ready for the birth pool, which was now filled enough and ready.  D got into the birth pool at 930am, and alternated laboring on her knees and semi reclining.

Contractions were coming every 2.5-3 minutes, lasting 60-75 seconds in length.  D was moaning with contractions, and said there was so much pressure.  Different members of the birth team alternated providing hip squeezes and counter pressure.  I began giving D an herbal tincture to help with coping.

T soon got into the pool with D, and was able to help with counter pressure and massage to help D stay comfortable.

D wanted an exam at 1130am.  I found her to be 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I found that part of her cervix felt more swollen than the other side.  I recommended doing a set of ten lift and tucks with the rebozo to help baby sit more evenly on the cervix.  T did the lift and tucks, and D handled them like a champ!  She was so strong!  Contractions were coming every 2-2.5 minutes, lasting 75 seconds long.

After the lift and tuck, D said there was “so much pressure” and that things felt different.  she moved to laboring on her knees, listening well to her body.  D asked for an exam at 1235pm.  She was 8cm dilated, and baby at a +1 station.  Her anterior portion of the cervix was more swollen than the posterior now, so we discussed doing captain morgan with slutty circles.  D got into position on her knees, and beautifully did the position for three contractions on each leg.

The pressure was building, and D was moaning with contractions.  We surrounded her with support and encouragement as she perfectly listened to her body to allow her body and baby to work together.

D had an anterior lip and baby at a +1 station at 125pm.  D said it hurt too much for me to reduce her lip, so we encouraged D to blow through a few contractions until she couldn’t blow through them anymore.

D’s water broke a moment later, and the pressure changed.  D began to bear down at the peaks for a few contractions, before spontaneously beginning to push at 140pm.  She was now 10cm dilated, and baby was at a +2 station.

D was feeling tired, and we decided to try tug of war with the rebozo to give D some extra strength to get baby under the pubic bone.  My apprentice A did tug of war with D with contractions, and it worked so well!

Right before 2pm, baby was at a +3.  D was pushing so well!  T assisted D in getting into a supported squat to help with pushing, while D and A continued to do tug of war.

D’s mom and sister were brought into the room for delivery as D wanted.  The head was sitting on the perineum at 203pm, and began crowning a minute later.  I talked D through the pressure she was feeling, and she delivered the head smoothly at 205pm.  The baby had a nuchal cord, that I somersaulted the baby out of as he was born a minute later.  He was here!

Welcome to the world Tobias, born earth side on July 1st, 2017 at 206pm, weighing in at 7lbs 8ozs, 20.75 inches long.

This first time mama completely rocked her intense labor journey.  I am so honored to have been part of her sacred journey.  #sacredjourneymidwifery