“Shannon was recommended by my birth classes instructor and making the decision (very very late in my pregnancy) to change over to a midwife was one of the best and biggest decisions we made. Shannon was amazing, she is born for midwifery and she is such a remarkable person too! A precious gem!!” Fiona, Houston, mother of Ali born on August 17, 2016
N and A started care with me near the end of their second trimester of their second pregnancy. N had her first baby in the hospital, and was wanting a different experience for this birth.
N woke with contractions in the early hours of April 18th, 2017. Contractions were coming every 8-10 minutes, lasting 30 seconds. N rested as she best could in between contractions.
N and A came by around 11am to check vitals and do an exam. She had seen her chiropractor right before the appointment for an adjustment. Contractions seemed pretty far apart and mild at this time. N was 3cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station. I recommended N eat a good lunch, then curb walk, and climb her stairs to help baby’s position.
N asked me to come around 4pm. I arrived around 430pm, and found N resting on her side in the bed. Contractions were coming about every 5 minutes, lasting right under one minute. I talked with N about alternating resting positions with working positions to keep things moving. She agreed, and decided to come down stairs and do some activities.
N put her dancing for labor music on, and walked around the living room, moving into hands and knees with contractions. I talked with N about trying three captain morgan’s with slutty circles (always gets a good laugh and helps the oxytocin flow!) on each leg to help little one move down into the pelvis.
I did abdominal lift and tuck with N using a rebozo for ten contractions. Contractions were coming about the same, but the lift and tuck definitely changed the intensity. At 630pm when I was done with lift and tuck, it was clear we were now in active labor. We began setting up the birth pool, and calling the rest of the birth team in.
I did an exam right before 7pm, and found N to be 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station. N decided to rest on her left side in her bed, A at her side, while we got the birth pool filled. N was now shaking and nauseous, always good signs!
My apprentice R talked with N about doing one more set of lift and tuck before getting in the pool. N was such a trooper, she agreed! Contractions were coming every 6 minutes, lasting 60+ seconds in length before the lift and tuck. After lift and tuck, they were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 75+ seconds.
N was very happy to get into the birth pool around 845pm. Contractions were intense, and N was beginning to gently moan with contractions.
N moved from her knees to sitting, doing what felt right in the pool. She asked A to get in the pool with her around 915pm. She was starting to feel pressure, and N felt supported leaning against A in the pool.
N says she was feeling very pushy around 940pm. We discussed waiting for the urge to push to become unbearable and uncontrollable. N continued to blow through the next few contractions.
N’s water broke spontaneously at 954pm. I knew the unbearable urge was soon going to come.
N began to spontaneously push at 1003pm, and the head was crowning and born a minute later. Little one came out with a hand by her head. With the next urge, N pushed her sweet baby all the way out! She was here!
Welcome to the world Aiza, born earthside on April 18, 2017 at 1005pm, weighing in at 6lbs 4ozs, 19.5″ long. It was an honor to be part of N’s peaceful, healing home birth. The best part is always sitting next to a new mama who is beaming with love and pride as she exclaims, “I did it! I had my baby at home!”
C contacted me soon after she had a positive test, and we were both sad to discover that C’s due date fell smack dab in the middle of my already booked vacation. We talked, and decided C would do her care with me, and another midwife would attend a few appointments and attend her birth while I was gone… or so we thought!
At her 38 week appointment, C decided maybe I should do a membrane sweep and see what happens. The baby had a couple small issues that C was deliberating whether it would be nicer to control the process and have the baby in the middle of the week where he could get in with pediatrician sooner. I was also leaving in five days, and neither of us deep down wanted to miss this journey. We have been through two other journeys together!
C was 1-2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby was at a -4 station. I swept her membranes and she opened to 2-3cm. I told C if she wanted to try to further encourage, she could always come back that evening or the next day, but it would be unlikely the initial sweep would work. We discussed that if the body was ready, labor generally begins within 48 hours.
Apparently her body was ready! Contractions began about an hour after she left the office. C told me to come after my 5pm client left. I arrived at her house around 620pm.
I found C laying on her left side in the bed, breathing gently through contractions. I started to get vitals. A minute later, C looked at me after a contraction and said, “I just felt a pop but nothing came out.” We both had a slight internal panic moment. I couldn’t get heart tones on her side, so she rotated on her back. When she did, the flood gates opened. Her water had broke. We both sighed in relief! Baby sounded good. I did an exam and found C to be 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -1 station. This was at 6:34pm.
Things hit fast and furious. C was moaning through contractions. She got into the pool at 6:44pm, laboring on her hands and knees.
Contractions were coming, one on top of the other, only giving C seconds of break in between. As 7pm neared, C stated the baby was pushing during contractions, and she was having a hard time resisting the urge. C had asked weeks before that when she felt pushy, she wanted to be checked and any cervical lip to be held back as she didn’t want to be held up longer than necessary from a lip. I did an exam and found C to be 5-6cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a 0 station. I encouraged C to blow through contractions and resist the urge to bear down a little longer.
A few minutes later, C rotated her position to semi reclining. Labor was fast and intense. She looked at me and said she could not control the urge. At 7:15pm, she was 6-7cm. J and I both stayed at C’s side. I told her it was normal for a precipitous labor to feel out of control. She was powerful, and had the strength within her to get through the journey.
I gave C Rescue Remedy to help the feelings of panic that were going on within her. Fast labors are just so hard to get a grasp on.
C was feeling a lot of pressure at 7:29pm, and I found her to be 8cm dilated. Three minutes later, C was spontaneously pushing. She had just a cervical lip, that I quickly reduced per her birth plan request. One minute later, sweet Titus came barreling down the birth canal and into his mama’s waiting arms. He decided to make it a tad more difficult by presenting with a hand by his head. Since he came so quickly, he was a little shell shocked and needed me to give him a few puffs to get him going. After the puffs, he let out a loud cry and made his sweet presence known!
Welcome to the world Titus, born earthside on March 21, 2017 at 7:33pm, weighing in at 7lbs 4ozs, 21″ long. I am so blessed that this little guy decided he was ready to come before I left on vacation. Repeats are always special, but “three peats” are their own kind of special. It was such an honor to help this sweet couple through their third HBA2C. Proud of this mama for the strength she showed through her very intense, quick birth.
“I LOVE LOVE LOVE Shannon!! She is so supportive and caring. I suffer from depression and was having the hardest time in my life during my latest pregnancy. Shannon constantly asked how I was feeling, gave suggestions, and was available really whenever I needed her. She also held me accountable for reading my birthing books, watching my videos, and doing my birthing class (which I really needed)! You just can’t get that from a doctors office!! God willing, when we have more children we will be using Shannon!! I used to think childbirth was just something that you did whatever the doctor told you, now I know there is a different way, a better way for us. My postpartum and recovery was so much better this go around. And Shannon has continued to be amazing. My son had surgery at 6 days old, Shannon was texting and following up the whole time! She knew I wanted to breastfeed and supported me throughout the entire process, especially with the surgery. I could not have done it without her! And now my son is 6 months old and we are STILL EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEEDING!!!! I recommend natural childbirth to everyone now. My mom and sisters tell people our story at least weekly. Shannon literally changed my life!” Courtney, Magnolia, mother of Indy born on August 31, 2016
S and S started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy. Their previous births had occurred at an area birth center where they had a wonderful experience both times. They were looking forward to experiencing a home birth this time around.
The morning of December 1, S sent me a text saying she was feeling cervical contractions and having bloody show. Her last birth was a whirlwind one hour labor, which was making S feel very anxious. She did not want to go through another one hour labor. I did an exam around 915am, and found her to be 4cm dilated, 60% effaced and baby at a -1 station. S wanted to get a pedicure, and then felt she wanted me to sweep her membranes and give her some herbs to help control labor to try and avoid a precipitous labor.
I arrived right before 4pm that afternoon. All vitals were good. S was 4-5cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station. I swept her membranes, and recommended S walk around her house while she sipped on her labor tea.
It took a couple hours, but soon S was having regular, mild contractions. They seemed to be coming every 3.5 minutes, lasting 45 seconds. S labored on her birth ball for a few contractions to give her legs a break.
A little after 6pm, my apprentice R suggested trying lift and tuck to strengthen the contractions and to help baby get further into the pelvis. She showed S how to do them with S. S was quite a comedian though, and took his job of keeping everyone laughing seriously.
Contractions picked up after a series of lift and tucks. They were now coming every 2 minutes, lasting 45 seconds, and appeared to be strengthening in intensity.
S said her chiropractor would come by for an adjustment if needed. I encouraged her to call him, and see if he would come by to adjust her. He arrived a little before 8pm to adjust her, and see if it would help continue to nudge the labor process along.
After the chiro left, it was time to do another cervical exam. S was 5-6cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station. I did another membrane sweep to help strengthen contractions.
Through out all her positions, S felt like her contractions seemed most productive when she labored on the toilet. I encouraged her to go where she felt like it was working the best.
Contractions strengthened on the toilet, but one can only stand sitting on the toilet for so long. As 9pm neared, S got up and started walking around the house again.
There was a number of people in the house, and the contractions were flowing back and forth in strength, but seemed to be strongest when S was in a quiet area, away from others. I talked about this with S around 930pm, and she decided to labor again in her bathroom.
Since contractions seemed so much stronger on the toilet, we decided to try sitting on the birth stool and the birth ball and see if those positions provided more comfort but the same intensity. Unfortunately, only the toilet brought strong, regular contractions.
I had S do another set of ten lift and tucks on S as 10pm neared. Contractions intensified. S moved back to the toilet, where contractions began coming on top of each other. At 1034pm, S asked for an exam on the toilet as she felt things were happening. I felt she was a good 6cm on the toilet, but hard to tell for sure.
At 1050pm, S decided she felt ready to get into the birth pool. We walked to the pool. S had an initial contraction, and then things went quiet. Thirty minutes later, S decided it was time to get out of the pool and concentrate on the positions that were working.
S moved back to the toilet. At one point she commented, “It’s not my favorite place to be, but I’m totally grateful that my mother in law cleaned the toilet today.”
Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 90 seconds. S was gently moaning with her contractions now. When she couldn’t handle sitting on the toilet any longer, then we would move and labor on the bed.
She alternated between the bed and toilet a couple times, before settling on the bed. As 1am was nearing, S was beginning to feel pressure.
A few minutes after 1am, S was grunting at the peaks of the contractions. She asks for a mirror so that she can watch for the changes.
S told me that she felt like her water was bulging. We decided I should do a check at 119am, and found S to have just an anterior lip, 100% effaced, and baby at a +2 station. S decided she would like me to hold back the lip, so we began to push.
The lip quickly reduced. At 127am, the head appeared on the perineum, quickly followed by crowning, and the birth of the baby. Sweet girl had a nuchal cord that I easily unlooped over her head, and placed her on her mama’s waiting chest. She was here!
Welcome to the world Scarlett, born earthside on December 2, 2016 at 127am, weighing in at 6lbs 12ozs, 20.75″ long. She was welcomed by two excited big brothers who were immediately so in love with their precious baby sister.
It was such a joy to get to be part of this little one’s birthing time. S was so strong and poised through her peaceful home birth journey.