• K and M started care with me at the end of the second trimester of their second pregnancy.  K’s pregnancy progressed along beautifully. The last week before her due date, K began to experience an increase in braxton hicks.  She had her regular weekly appointment the day before her due date, and decided she would […]

  • K started care with us at the end of the second trimester of her first pregnancy.  She was currently under care with an OBGYN that she didn’t feel was supportive of her wishes.  K knew my apprentice Rowan, and decided to start care with us. K was fantastic at taking any advice and guidance we […]

  • T and C started care with me in the second trimester of their fourth pregnancy.  They were moving back home to Texas, and T was excited to have a much desired home birth for her fourth baby. T came in for her regular weekly appointment at 40.4 weeks.  She decided she wanted to try a […]

  • M and J started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  I had known M for a few years through the hard years of infertility and working through IVF.  She wanted a home birth.  There were a couple things in her health history that were not best to be manged by […]

  • K and M started care with me in the first trimester of K’s third pregnancy.  K had experienced two hospital deliveries, and was looking forward to a different experience with this birth. K came to the office at 40.3 weeks pregnant for a membrane sweep to help get her early labor phase more active.  She […]

K and M started care with me at the end of the second trimester of their second pregnancy.  K’s pregnancy progressed along beautifully.

The last week before her due date, K began to experience an increase in braxton hicks.  She had her regular weekly appointment the day before her due date, and decided she would try to do a sweep and some herbs and see if baby was ready to come.

On May 26th, the day before her due date, K was experiencing a lot more cramping and braxton hicks.  I found her cervix to be dilated 1-2cm, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station. I swept her membranes, and gave her an herbal labor tea blend.  We discussed going for a walk, and letting me know how things progressed.

Contractions continued to increase in intensity and become more frequent through out the day, taking a change into active labor around 8pm.  K and M asked me to come at 1045pm as the contractions were very intense and lasting a minute long.

I arrived at 1135pm, and found K peacefully laboring in her bath tub.  We did a check in on how things were going.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting over a minute long.

K moved to the toilet as midnight drew near so that I could do her vitals.  I could tell by physical changes that things were moving along, and the exam completely agreed!  K was 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a +1 station.

K labored sitting on her bed, while waiting for the birth pool to finish filling.  Nausea was starting to come in waves.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 75 seconds after the exam.

As the pool was almost ready, K decided to move to the toilet before the birth pool.  She was starting to feel some pressure now as it seemed the baby was moving down.

K sat in the warm water of the birth pool at 1251am.  She was feeling warm, so we began to apply cold wash clothes to her forehead and neck to help keep her cool.

As 130am drew near, K said the pressure was getting to be intense, and she felt as if her body was pushing at the peaks of the contractions.  I encouraged K to allow the pressure to build until it was unbearable.

As 2am was nearing, K decided she would like an exam.  She had an anterior lip, and baby was at a +2 station.  I discussed options, and K decided that she would like me to reduce her cervical lip.  Within two contractions, the lip was gone.

At 201am, K’s water broke.  Baby was shocked from her cushion being taken away, so we gave K a homeopathic every few minutes to help with the decelerations in her heart rate.  It worked like a charm, and soon little one’s heart beat had normalized.

The baby’s head began to crown at 214am, followed by the birth of the head and baby a minute later.  Sweet Raelynn was here!

Welcome to the world Raelynn, born earthside on May 27th, 2017 at 215am, weighing in at 7lbs 4ozs, 20″ long.  It was such a blessing to support this sweet couple through their peaceful, gentle home water birth.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

K started care with us at the end of the second trimester of her first pregnancy.  She was currently under care with an OBGYN that she didn’t feel was supportive of her wishes.  K knew my apprentice Rowan, and decided to start care with us.

K was fantastic at taking any advice and guidance we had.  We talked about taking childbirth classes, and she signed up that day.  She hired a doula within days of us suggesting it.  She began chiropractic care.  She was doing everything she needed to make for the most ideal birth experience.

K sent a text to the birth team at 8am on May 15th letting everyone know her water had broken at 430am.  She wasn’t feeling much activity yet.  K was going to shower and eat breakfast, then come by around noon for vitals, an exam, and some herbs to get contractions to start.

K arrived with her friend a little after 12.  Vitals were great.  K was feeling very mild contractions coming every 8 minutes, lasting 30 seconds long.  K was 3cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.  I swept her membranes, which felt intense to K.  Cervix felt stretchy after the sweep.  K drank the labor tea blend, while we talked about a game plan for once she left.  We discussed eating a good lunch and then going for a vigorous walk.

K’s doula came over about 630pm that night to help do some positions to get contractions to come more frequent and stronger.

A little before midnight, K’s doula sent us a text and asked Rowan and I to come.  We both arrived right around 1245am.  We found K laboring in her living room.  All vitals were fantastic.  I did an exam at 115am, and found K to be 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  Contractions were coming every 4 minutes, lasting 75 seconds, and felt moderate in intensity.

K walked around the house, while we suggested doing lift and tuck times ten contractions with the rebozo.  K agreed, and Rowan got to work.  Contractions intensified with the lift and tuck, and K began to gently moan with contractions.

K wanted to rest at 230am.  We got her in the bed on her left side, encouraging her to rest in between contractions.

K was up a little after 3am.  She labored on the birth ball for a few minutes, before moving to hands and knees on the couch.  She was feeling uncomfortable, and felt like hands and knees with hip movement provided some relief.  Contractions were coming every 5 minutes, lasting 120 seconds.

K alternated positions in her living room over the next couple of hours, doing what felt good to help bring her baby down.  In hands and knees, she was starting to feel a small amount of pressure at the peaks of contractions.

K was working so hard.  She was in tune with her baby.  As 5am neared, K spoke so sweetly to her baby.  “This hurts.  Taylor come out.  Mommy can’t do this much more.”

I did an exam at 515am, and K was 7cm, 100% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station.  We all were so excited with the great progress K had made!  K decided to lay on her left side in her bed for a few minutes.

The birth pool was ready a little after 6am,  and so was K!  She readily got into the birth pool, and sat in the warm water.  She felt the water felt good, and helped take the edge off.  Contractions were coming every 5 minutes, lasting 90 seconds, and they felt strong.

Rowan did another round of lift and tuck with K during the 7am hour while K labored in the birth pool.  It brought the intensity up another notch, helping us get closer to the goal.

K got out of the pool quarter to 9am.  She decided she wanted a check, and then we recommended a position change.  K was 8-9cm, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  K was making perfect progress.

Rowan and I talked to K about trying the open knee chest position for 40 minutes to help baby’s position and get us closer to pushing.  K was such a trooper, and agreed to try the position.  A couple birth team members stayed at her side to encourage her.  Contractions were coming every 5-6 minutes, lasting 120 seconds in this position.

K stuck with it, but was definitely ready for the birth pool when the 40 minutes was over.  K got back into the birth pool at 930am, laboring on her knees.

K tried laboring in a semi reclining position in the pool.  Contractions began to space to every 8 minutes.  However, K began stating that she was feeling so much pressure.  I did an exam a little before 11am, and found K had just an anterior lip.  K decided to try one contraction with me holding the lip back, but the pressure was too intense and she decided she would rather breathe through contractions a little bit longer.

K got out of the pool at 1122am, instinctively feeling that she needed to labor in the open knee chest position.  We helped her get into this position in her bed.

I checked K at 1215pm.  She still had an anterior lip.  She agreed that she wanted me to try and hold the lip.

Then, such a big lesson on how the mind is powerful happened.  Contractions stopped.  K had a history of trauma, and her body just shut down.  We tried using homeopathy and essential oils, and nothing.

K tried changing her position to bring on a contraction, and nothing.  We encouraged K that she was safe, and it was safe to have her baby.  At 1250, I recommended K speak to her therapist to see if that would help.  After a call over speaker, K decided she needed to have this baby in the hospital.

We all helped K get things together to go to the hospital.  Rowan and her doula went to the hospital with her.  K received great care with nurses and the OBGYN, and finally got to meet sweet Taylor a few hours later!

Welcome to the world Taylor, born earthside on May 16, 2017, weighing in at 8lbs 15ozs.  K was so strong through her intense labor journey, and brave to know when it became too much and making those tough decisions that were best for her and Taylor for Taylor’s birthing time.  It was an honor to work with this sweet mama.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

T and C started care with me in the second trimester of their fourth pregnancy.  They were moving back home to Texas, and T was excited to have a much desired home birth for her fourth baby.

T came in for her regular weekly appointment at 40.4 weeks.  She decided she wanted to try a sweep and tea and see if it would get things going.  T had a good relationship with my apprentice, Rowan, so Rowan did her exam and swept her membranes.  T was 1-2cm dilated, 60-70% effaced, and baby was at a -3 station.  Rowan swept her membranes and T’s cervix opened easily to 4cm.  We gave T our special labor tea blend we make to drink as well.

Contractions slowly began.  T tried to rest at home, but gradually things intensified.  At 220am on May 13th, T sent me a message saying her contractions were 2-5 minutes apart, lasting a minute long, and she was starting to shake with her labor waves and felt it was time for the birth team to come.

I arrived at 315am, and found T laboring in her bed.  I did vitals, and mom and baby were doing well.  I found her to be 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.

Rowan arrived, and jumped in to do one of my favorite positions, lift and tuck.  She used the rebozo and did the maneuver for ten contractions.  T was feeling shakey, tired, and weak so we did them with her sitting in the bed.

Around 430am while Rowan was finishing the lift and tucks, I decided to check T’s blood sugar since she kept stating she felt that it was low.  We were surprised to find her blood sugar was rather high.  We had her stop drinking coconut water and eating a banana, and decided to do an exam to see how things were progressing since T was feeling weak.

I checked T at 439am and found her to be 8cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  Her bag was bulgy, and her cervix was very stretchy.  I could tell we would be having a baby very soon.

T moved to laboring in her rocking chair until the birth pool was ready, and while the bed was being prepared.

T got into the birth pool at 446am, and with the next labor wave was grunting at the peak of her wave.  With the next wave, T was spontaneously pushing to bring her baby earthside.

T’s water broke at 459am, and we could see the head on the perineum.  Little guy was a little shocked with his cushion gone, so we encouraged T to push strong with her next wave to get her baby to crowning.

The head was born into Rowan’s hands at 505am, and then the real fun started.  The baby was born a minute later, and we found that he must have been a gymnast in utero.  Little guy had a nuchal cord that was not only around his neck, but also his right arm, and his abdomen!  Rowan and I quickly unraveled him under water and brought him to T’s chest.  He was here!

This was very special as this was Rowan’s first time helping catch a baby!

Welcome to the world Levi, born earthside on May 13th, 2017 at 506am, weighing in at 7lbs 6ozs, 20″ long.  This mama completely rocked her 2VBA2C!  Honored I got to be part of her journey.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

M and J started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  I had known M for a few years through the hard years of infertility and working through IVF.  She wanted a home birth.  There were a couple things in her health history that were not best to be manged by a midwife, so we made the plan that we would co-manage care and M would have an OBGYN as well so if an issue, induction or transport (in labor) would become necessary, she was set.

M’s blood pressure began to creep in the 37th week.  She began seeing an acupuncturist which lowered her blood pressure.  We made the plan to naturally begin to try and get labor started around 38 weeks since we knew it would be better for her to try and get into spontaneous labor sooner than later.

The acupuncturist began working on labor inducing points, and M came in at 38 weeks for labor encouragement with me.  Everything looked great on mom and baby!  She was 2cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  I swept her membranes, and had M drink an herbal tea blend.  I recommended they go for a walk when leaving my place.  Our hope was that M would be in labor in the next 48 hours.

M began to respond immediately.  She had mild contractions 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 40 seconds long for most of the afternoon. Since she was responding, we made the plan for her to come back that evening and repeat the sweep and tea.  M was 3cm, and we made the plan for her to eat dinner, walk, and sleep.

Around 11:30pm on May 5th, M and J were heading to bed.  They put come clary sage in the oil diffuser.  M stated she had five very powerful contractions, and then her water broke at 11:55pm.  I recommended that they try to get a nap before active contractions hit.

Contractions became strong at 130am on May 6th.  Within an hour, J sent me a text that M was ready for me to come.  I arrived at 245am and found M swaying at her bedside.  Contractions were coming at very regular intervals, approximately every 3 minutes, lasting a minute long.

I did an exam at 315am and found M to be 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  Things were moving along!

I did lift and tuck for ten contractions using the rebozo at 330am to help strengthen and intensify the contractions.  R, my apprentice, arrived, and got to work on making the labor tea that M’s acupuncturist sent for her to drink in active labor.

M moved to laboring on her hands and knees, while I provided counter pressure to her back.  I began administering a homeopathic to M to help with back pain.

As 5am neared, M labored on her right side to help get some rest in between labor waves.  She was doing an excellent at hydrating and staying nourished.

M got up and walked her stairs, putting chicken curry in the crock pot.  She worked on her birth ball after that, alternating slutty circles on the ball, helping her baby move down into the pelvis.  Contractions were coming about every 3.5 minutes, lasting a minute long.  Baby sounded so great through laboring all night.

I sent M’s chiro a text at 7am asking if she would come to do an adjustment to help move things along.  She agreed, and was planning to arrive around 8am.

I did an exam at 730am and found M to be 5cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I talked with M about considering to do open knee chest for 40 minutes after she got adjusted from her chiro.

M’s chiro arrived at 745am, and got to work.  She worked on M for awhile, trying to help with M’s discomfort and helping her to open up to let baby down.

M got into open knee chest at 810am.  It is a brutal position, but M was trooper and stayed the course.  We did an exam at 9am, and there was no change.  M got into the birth pool a few minutes later to help with relaxing, laboring on her knees.

M alternated between kneeling and doing captain morgan’s and slutty circles in the birth pool.  She was incredible at doing everything she could to help baby move down.

M moved to laboring in the shower at 1015am.  She moved around her room.

I listened to the baby at 1050am, and I caught a pretty significant decel through two contractions.  M and I had an agreement that her labor had to be spotlessly perfect to stay home.  We discussed transporting to her OBGYN.  M and J agreed to the plan.

We left for the hospital a little after 11am.  Baby sounded fine in between contractions at this point, and decels were not as deep during.  M and J went back to triage at 1150am, and got moved to a labor room an hour later.

M did a phenomenal job continuing to cope through her intense labor pains.  J and I stayed at her side, alternating support.  The staff had M on monitors to watch her contractions.

It was decided around 3pm that M would need some pitocin to strengthen things.  M decided she would like to get an epidural before pitocin was begun.  An epidural was placed around 345pm.

M took a little nap for a bit.  Then we worked on alternating positions in the bed best we could.  M was blessed with great nurses who were proactive at trying to help her have a vaginal birth.  Pitocin was increased every 15 minutes to strengthen contractions.

At 630pm, M was 6cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  We had a good time around this point, adding things to the “goal list” that the hospital had on a door, which brought a lot of laughter to all.

M’s evening nurse brought in the peanut ball to use to give the baby some room to maneuver the pelvis and move down.

M was beginning to feel pressure as the end of the evening rolled on.  She felt that the baby was moving down.  It was decided that M would be checked at midnight, May 7th.  M was 7cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  The OBGYN on call began talking to M about a cesarean delivery at this point.  M did not want a cesarean at all, and wasn’t feeling ready to make that decision.  I encouraged M that her baby was not in any distress at this time, and she could take all the time she needed to make the decision she felt was best.

The doctor ended up in another cesarean, so that gave M a couple more hours.  M decided if she hadn’t made enough change, she was ready to meet her baby and have a surgical birth.

As 2am neared, M began feeling some pain in the top of her fundus.  In hindsight, we have a better of idea what was going on, but in the moment we weren’t sure.

M was checked and found to be pretty close to the same.  M and J felt at peace that she had labored a long time, baby was having some variable decels for awhile, and it was time to meet their baby.

The nurses began prepping M for a cesarean.  I stayed with her until she was wheeled back to the OR, with the plan that I would come back in the morning when they were in a room.

Sweet Noah was born earthside on May 7th, 2017 at 320am, weighing in at 6lbs 13ozs and so wrapped in his cord that we swear he must be a gymnast.  M’s uterus was so thin from the labor that during the surgery, her uterus tore and caused some complications.  We assume that the pain M was feeling was her placenta being tugged from the fundus as sweet Noah tried to come down more, but couldn’t since he was wrapped in his cord.

M was amazingly powerful through her difficult journey.  I admire her strength and perseverance while she worked to meet her baby.  Her baby that she worked many years to have.  A woman’s strength is beautiful and never stops amazing me.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

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K and M started care with me in the first trimester of K’s third pregnancy.  K had experienced two hospital deliveries, and was looking forward to a different experience with this birth.

K came to the office at 40.3 weeks pregnant for a membrane sweep to help get her early labor phase more active.  She was having contractions and back pressure all night, with contractions now coming every 10 minutes.  K was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  Membranes were swept, and K drank a strong herbal tea as well to help regulate contractions.  I estimated baby to weigh around 8lbs 8ozs.  I talked with K about eating and going for a walk, and keeping me updated on any changes she noticed.

Around 7pm, K let me know that her doula was on the way, and that she was ready for me to head her way.  Her contractions were feeling stronger to her, coming every 2 minutes, lasting 50 seconds.

I arrived a little before 8:30pm, and found K laboring in her kitchen, leaning over the counter with her doula providing hip squeezes.  I checked vitals and timed contractions, noting they were every 2-2.5 minutes, lasting 50-60 seconds.

My apprentice R did a round of lift and tuck with the rebozo with K to help baby’s position.  I knew from earlier that K had a posterior cervix, and we thought lift and tuck could help things move along.

Contractions felt stronger, and K’s doula made her the special labor tea her acupuncturist sent home with her to help accelerate labor.  K labored on the birth ball, contemplating a cervical check and trying to drink her tea in shots because it had a less than delightful taste.

I did an exam at 10pm and found K to be 3-4cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby at -1 station.  Baby felt acycnlitic at this time.  K decided to rest on her right side in the bed for a few contractions.  Contractions were now steadily coming every 3 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.

K stayed in bed with M and tried to rest in between contractions over the next hour.

K got up and started walking around the house around 11:30pm.  I recommended she do a series of captain morgan’s with slutty circles to help baby become more centered on the cervix.

K snacked on a banana, while we talked about a plan of action to help make contractions stronger and get little one more on her cervix.  K’s doula recommended doing a forward leaning inversion followed by some rebozo work.  K was such a trooper through all our positions and recommendations.

After that, M did the lift and tuck using the rebozo for another set to help baby’s position.  Contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, 90+ seconds long after doing lift and tuck for a second time.

K had the urge to pull on something, so the rebozo was hooked over the door frame.  K pulled on the rebozo and moved her hips around with contractions.

As 2am neared, K was exhausted and wanted to try and rest.  K and M got into the bed and rested in between contractions for the next couple of hours.

We agreed to do a cervical check at 4am.  K’s cervix was very posterior, so I attempted to manually bring it forward with a contraction.  K was 5cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station.  During the contraction, K’s bulgy bag of water gave on my fingers, we confirmed a couple minutes later when K shifted.  I felt terrible as I never want to cause anyone’s water to break.

K got in the shower with M and labored for awhile.  Contractions were much stronger, and K was gently moaning with contractions.

After the shower, K sat on her birth ball in the bathroom and labored through contractions.  Contractions were now coming every 4 minutes, lasting 60-75 seconds in length.

K agreed to a follow up exam at 5:15am to ensure the stubborn posterior cervix was staying more anterior now.  K was 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I felt come caput on baby’s head, and recommended K try a position that may not feel good but can be good for helping with progress and baby’s position.

K moved into open knee chest at 5:25am.  This position works the best if maintained for 40 minutes.  It is tough to do, but K did it.  M, K’s doula, and I were all with her, encouraging her through the 40 minutes.

When the time was up, K moved to her right side.  Things were feeling more intense, and K was starting to hit the wall that most women hit near the end of labor.  K’s doula and I recommended she try sitting in her bath tub to help give her a little comfort.

As 7am neared, K moved to laboring on her birth ball.  Contractions were coming every 4 minutes, lasting 75-90 seconds in length.  K was beginning to feel some pressure in her butt at the peaks of these contractions.

K moved into her bedroom and shifted her position frequently as 8am neared.  K labored on her knees for several contractions, leaning on her bed.  We could tell that baby was putting some pressure now by how things sounded and looked.

K moved into semi reclining on the floor, being supported by her doula for several contractions.  K was working so hard, trying to close her eyes and regain her strength for each contraction to come.

K moved to laying on her left side on her bed around 8:30am, one of us holding up her leg with contractions to give baby room to move down.

K requested an exam at 8:58am to know where she was at.  She was 9.5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +2 station.  K agreed for me to hold back her cervical lip, and two minutes later she was completely dilated.

K pushed beautifully, and at 9:09am, baby was crowning.  The head followed a minute later, but immediately made it clear to me that this baby wasn’t going to come easily.  I reduced the nuchal cord I felt around the baby’s neck, but that wasn’t the issue holding baby up.  I told everyone we needed to move her into hands and knees, so we quickly moved her position.  While trying to lift her leg into runner’s position, I was able to get the shoulder to give and we soon had a baby.

I told K she could roll back over onto her back, and M handed their baby to K.  She was here!

Welcome to the world Katriel, born earthside on May 1st, 2017 at 9:11am, weighing in at 8lbs 14ozs, 21.5 inches long.  This mama was dealt a long, hard labor journey, but she rocked it like a champ!  So honored to have served her through her birth journey.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

Photos taken by Stephanie Shirley of Stephanie Shirley Photography and Kelly Richman of Lifetime of Clicks Photography.

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