• A and R started care with me in the first trimester of their fourth pregnancy.  A had previously had a birth center birth, and was looking forward to a home birth. To everyone’s surprise, contractions started 9 days before A’s due date.  All day contractions ranged from 5-10 minutes apart, eventually getting closer, longer, and […]

  • “I was beyond skeptical, and concerned, when my wife mentioned that she was interested in a home birth. I wanted to know that my wife and baby would receive the best care, and it seemed far too risky to have a home birth. But then I met Shannon! With each visit in Shannon’s home I […]

  • “Shannon is the only midwife I know, but I know she’s the best. Her and her team are the most caring women I know, and I am honored they were a part of my birth. Shannon is there for you anytime you need her throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. She is very knowledgeable, and I […]

  • C and J started care with me in the second trimester of their second pregnancy.  C had achieved her goal of an unmedicated birth with her first, and was hoping to achieve her goal of a home birth with this little one’s journey. On November 7th, a few days before her estimated due date, C […]

  • S and J started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  S had her previous baby with me, and was looking forward to another beautiful VBAC experience.  You can read her previous birth story here. S sent me a text the morning of October 29th letting me know that she had […]

A and R started care with me in the first trimester of their fourth pregnancy.  A had previously had a birth center birth, and was looking forward to a home birth.

To everyone’s surprise, contractions started 9 days before A’s due date.  All day contractions ranged from 5-10 minutes apart, eventually getting closer, longer, and stronger.

A’s doula said it was go time that evening when contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes, lasting 60-90 seconds in length.

I arrived right before midnight, and found A laboring peacefully on her right side in her bed. I checked A’s and baby’s vitals, and then did a cervical exam.  I found A to be 3cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -4 station.

After the exam, I recommended doing the abdominal lift and tuck for ten contractions using the rebozo to help get baby more into the pelvis.  R helped do the lift and tuck, which definitely shifted the contractions.

After the lift and tuck, A got back on her side in the bed, alternating sides.  As 1am neared, A was feeling emotional.  We all encouraged and reminded that each baby has to make their unique way earthside.

As 2am neared, A was up and moving.  A’s doula had her doing captain morgan’s with slutty circles for several contractions, then A labored on the birth ball continuing the slutty circles to help baby move down.

Contractions intensified at 3am, coming every 2.5-3 minutes, lasting 75 seconds.  Nausea was hitting hard.  A stated there was bloody show, which was promising for the end goal!

A requested an exam at 430am.  The contractions were not as regular anymore.  Her cervix was 3cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby at a -3.  The cervix was now anterior, but I felt scar tissue on the cervix.  I attempted to massage the scar tissue during a contraction.  A was feeling discouraged, and just wanted to be done.  Since contractions were irregular, I recommended napping while she could, and we would see where things were when she woke up.

Everyone got a nice three hour nap.  Once A was up and moving, we chatted about how she was feeling and what she wanted to do.  Contractions were still present, but not as strong.  A said she wanted to try and get things going again to have a baby.  I got some herbs together for her, while R cooked her some eggs and bacon for breakfast.  At 8am, contractions were coming every 3.5 minutes, lasting 30 seconds, and were mild in intensity.

After A ate breakfast, she went out for a walk with her doula and R to see how it would move things along.  They walked for an hour, and then A took a shower before we did an exam.

I did an exam at 1030am and found A to be 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at  -2 station with a nice bulgy bag of water.  I massaged the scar tissue, and had a fair amount of bloody show on my glove.  Definitely good progress!

I suggested doing another round of lift and tuck to help further intensify contractions, as well as bring baby down.  A was game for getting things closer to the finish line.

Lift and tuck did its magic, and contractions were every 3 minutes, lasting 90 seconds, and strong after the round of ten.  A was ready for the birth pool.  She requested her water to be broken before getting in the pool to help get things moving along, hopefully quickly, after we reviewed risks and benefits.

At 12pm, I broke A’s water.  She was 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  Baby was at a good 0 station once the cushion was removed. A got up, and moved to laboring on her knees in the birth pool.

A moved to semi reclining while in the pool.  Contractions were coming every 2-2.5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.  The pressure was starting to come and go at the peaks.  A did an excellent job of listening to her body and moving positions as she felt was needed.

At 2pm, A wanted to be checked due to the pressure.  I could not get a good feel of the cervix, but could feel a lot of swelling.  I recommended A get out of the pool, and get in the open knee chest position for 40 minutes to help reduce swelling.

I did an exam at 3pm, and found A to be 6cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  i encouraged A not to push into the pressure she was feeling, but let it build and melt her cervix away.  I discussed with her to rest with R, and discuss any emotional or mental road blocks that could be causing stalls in her journey.

My apprentice A suggested A try sitting backwards on the toilet.  This position seemed to be a bit magical for A, as contractions felt different in this position.  A then had her doing side lunges, before back on the toilet.  A did lift and tuck while A sat backwards on the toilet.  Contractions were intense, and causing A to grunt at peaks from the shift in pressure.

I did an exam at 6pm, and found it was not quite time to push.  A was 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  I encouraged A to hold off on pushing.

A did open knee chest again, followed by side lying, and laboring on the toilet.  She was starting to get more and more exhausted from the length of her journey.

A’s chiropractor arrived at 8pm to do an adjustment and some pressure point work.  It seemed to help change A’s perspective and demeanor.

At 9pm, A labored sitting on the floor.  A said there was so much pressure in her butt.  She alternated positions frequently, moving from the toilet to hands and knees to the floor to side lying.  Different members of the birth team were at her side, providing comfort measures and support.

A moved to the toilet at 936pm.  A shift happened, and she yelled for me minutes later.  There was lots of bloody show, and A was not wanting to deliver on the toilet.  We helped her move to the bed at 943pm, where she began to push.  Baby was at a +3 station.

After two minutes of pushing, A’s sweet baby was furiously brought earthside, being caught by R and brought to A’s chest.  What a journey it was!

Welcome to the world Benjamin, born earthside on November 11th, 2017 at 945pm, weighing in 7lb 10ozs, 19.75 inches long.  A had so much strength and endurance through her marathon labor.  It was an honor to support her through her journey.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

Testimonial #55

“I was beyond skeptical, and concerned, when my wife mentioned that she was interested in a home birth. I wanted to know that my wife and baby would receive the best care, and it seemed far too risky to have a home birth. But then I met Shannon! With each visit in Shannon’s home I felt more comfortable. She was patient enough to answer all my questions—and I had a lot! Although I started as a skeptic, I’m now something of a home birth evangelist—now I find myself pushing everyone to pursue a home birth! Now my only fear is that we’ll move too far for Shannon to deliver our next baby! ”  David, Cypress, spouse of Stacy, father of Thomas, born on August 5th, 2017

Testimonial #54

Shannon is the only midwife I know, but I know she’s the best. Her and her team are the most caring women I know, and I am honored they were a part of my birth. Shannon is there for you anytime you need her throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. She is very knowledgeable, and I loved her alternative ways of treatment. She is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in my book.”  Octavia, Houston, mother of Levi, born on July 27th, 2017

C and J started care with me in the second trimester of their second pregnancy.  C had achieved her goal of an unmedicated birth with her first, and was hoping to achieve her goal of a home birth with this little one’s journey.

On November 7th, a few days before her estimated due date, C sent me a text at 7am saying she was experiencing contractions every 5 minutes, lasting 20-25 seconds, with bloody show.  I discussed eating a good breakfast, and going for a walk.

Contractions stayed fairly similar until close to noon.  At 1230pm, C sent a text that her contractions were coming every 3 minutes, 60 seconds long, and she was shaking with them.  Since she lived just down the road with me, I told her I would just be a few minutes and would be on my way.

I arrived at 1245pm, and found C walking around the house.  All vitals were normal.  I did an exam a little after 1pm, and found C to be 9cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  C was overjoyed with her progress!

The birth pool was soon ready, and C got into the pool soon after, sitting and enjoying the warm water.  As 2pm neared, C moved to kneeling, contractions were coming every 2 minutes, lasting 50-60 seconds.

C labored beautifully through the 2 o’clock hour, commenting that the urge was there and getting stronger.  At 255pm, the urge was too strong to hold back, and C began to push.

After a couple pushes, C moved into semi reclining while pushing.  I did an exam at 325pm, and found C to be 10cm dilated, and baby at a +2 station.  C had a very bulgy bag of water.

C’s water broke at 335pm, increasing the pushing urge.  My apprentice A used the rebozo to do tug of war to help C with some extra strength with pushing for a few contractions.

I suggested C get out of the tub and let’s try emptying the bladder and doing some other positions at 355pm.  She first labored at the pool side, then began to squat and push with contractions.  C said she felt like baby was descending with gravity.

C moved to the toilet at 406pm, and the burning sensation was soon present.  Apparently this little guy just needed a lot of gravity positions to want to make his appearance!  I talked and encouraged C as she began to bring her baby onto her perineum.

Baby began to crown at 415pm.  Since C was on the toilet, I coached her to squat over the toilet for the birth.  C squatted, and birthed her baby boy a minute later.  I brought him to his mama’s chest, and she sat back on the toilet to take it all in.  He was here!

Welcome to the world, Zion, born earthside on November 7th, 2017 at 416pm, weighing in at 8lbs 12ozs, 21 in long.  His mama was powerfully strong bringing this sweet guy into the world.  It was an honor to be part of their journey!  #sacredjourneymidwifery

S and J started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  S had her previous baby with me, and was looking forward to another beautiful VBAC experience.  You can read her previous birth story here.

S sent me a text the morning of October 29th letting me know that she had been having contractions since 6am, and now thought her water had broken.  After chatting for awhile, we decided I would head that way.

I arrived at 1220pm, and found S laboring in her room.  I did her vitals, followed by a cervical exam.  I found S to be 3-4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  S was feeling emotional after the exam, as she had a lot of things on her mind and was emotional about having to go through the labor process.  I talked with her for awhile, and then decided to do abdominal lift and tuck for ten contractions.

The lift and tuck strengthened the contractions.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 60 seconds in length.  After the lift and tuck, S got into semi reclining in the bed to spend some time with J.

S labored on the birth ball at 215pm after feeling like the contractions were not as effective after resting, followed by another set of lift and tuck.

I did an exam shortly after 3pm after hearing some decelerations.  I felt scar tissue on her cervix that S agreed for me to massage.  That helped immensely, and now S was 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.

S got on her left side in the bed to try to rest.  She soon asked for varying birth team members to help as her emotions were high again, and she needed the support.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 90 seconds.

As 5pm neared, we helped S get into open knee chest to help with progression.  Apprentice R helped with counterpressure through the contractions.

An exam was done at 530pm, and S was 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  She was ready for the birth pool, and got in to labor on her knees at 540pm.  S, J and I talked through how S was feeling and what did she need to help her feel safe and to progress.

S got out of the birth pool near 630pm, and alternated laboring on the toilet and walking around the house, moaning with contractions as she was starting to feel some pressure.

Chiropractor N arrived at 7pm to give S an adjustment to see if that would help with progression and give baby more room to rotate.

S began to bear down at the peaks at 735pm as the pressure was building.  I did an exam at 8pm, and found S to be 8cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I suggested open knee chest again to help alleviate some of the pressure from the baby, and help to dilate.

S asked if I could try to reduce the lip as it was hard to hold back pushing.  She was now 9cm+ at 830pm.  S decided to move to the toilet where she blew through contractions.  After the toilet, she stood and did captain morgan’s with deep hip circles for three on each leg.  She was sounding more grunty, so we decided to do an exam in a few minutes,

S was 10cm dilated, and spontaneously pushing at 915pm.  S’s first birth was a surgical birth that happened at pushing, and caused a lot of emotions with her first VBAC, so a longer pushing phase was definitely expected by me.

S began alternating positions in the bed as she pushed.  First on her hands and knees, then in semi reclining, and then on her left side.  We began giving a homeopathic to help with giving more oxygen to baby.

At 10pm, S began pushing in a squat at her bedside, before moving to the birth stool to push.  Baby’s position was not perfect at the moment, and was trying to rotate while coming down at the same time.  Contractions 2.5-3 minutes apart, lasting 60-75 seconds in length.

I requested S take a break for a few contractions from pushing at 1045pm, and stay in hands and knees to help baby rotate.  S was weepy and emotional at this point.  At 1120pm, S looked at J and myself and said she mentally needed to transport.  Her life stress was more than she could cope with, and she could not let go and have this baby.  I talked with her about what a transport meant, and the potential likelihood of a repeat cesarean at her local hospitals.  S agreed, and requested to go to the nearest hospital.  I called ahead to the nearest hospital, and they refused to accept S if I brought her in.  I called the second nearest hospital and gave a report.

S decided to transport by private car, so I rode along with her and J since she was complete right before midnight.  Her last exam, S was 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a +1 station.  Funny thing, I am never without my phone, but somehow I forgot my phone at S’s house.  Thankfully my birth assistant H found it, and brought it with her.

We arrived at the hospital, and they had a room waiting for her.  She was told they would be taking her back for a cesarean once she was prepped for one, but when the doctor did an exam, the baby had come way down in the car ride and was now a +3.  The doctor told S she needed to push with contractions.

The doctor had some unique ways to “encourage” efficient pushing that I would not recommend utilizing, but I gently encouraged S to push with all her strength and get this sweet baby out vaginally.  The doctor used a vacuum when he was tired of waiting, and S had the baby crowning.  Within seconds, he was here… and anterior at birth.  S had been convinced baby would not rotate.

Welcome to the world Julian, born earthside on October 30th, 2017 at 1250am, weighing in at 7lbs 13ozs, a whole pound bigger than his older brother and sister at birth!

So proud of this mama for working so hard despite so much mental and emotional stress to achieve her VBAC.  It was not the way any of us had planned or wanted, but it was the journey this sweet little one needed.

#sacredjourneymidwifery