• F and M started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  F and M had their first baby with me, and were looking forward to another home birth.  You can read about their first journey here. Prodromal labor kicked in with a fury once F’s estimated due date passed.  On May […]

  • L and S transferred care to me in the beginning of the third trimester of L’s second pregnancy.  She had been hoping to transfer to a midwife her whole pregnancy, and was thrilled to finally get to make the transition in her final weeks before birthing day. L’s pregnancy progressed along normally.  L had been […]

  • 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 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

B and R started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  B had an unmedicated birth in a hospital in another state using Bradley method techniques with her first pregnancy, and was looking forward to a home birth using hypnobabies with this journey.

Five days after her estimated due date, B came in for her regular weekly appointment.  She had been experiencing prodromal labor for weeks, and was ready to get this little guy out.  I gave B some herbs, and did an exam and membrane sweep.  B was 3cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  Her cervix was very stretchy, and easily opened to 4-5cm with the sweep.  Knowing that B’s first labor was relatively short for the first baby, I had prepped B with what signs to notify me of as I did not want her to wait too long to call me.

B said contractions continued all day.  She already had a meeting scheduled with her doula for 3pm that afternoon, which I figured would be a good gauge of what was happening.

B’s doula J called me a little after 4pm to let me know she was watching things, but thought it would be soon.  B was laying down with R listening to a hypnobabies tract, seeing what her journey would take.  I started prepping everything so I could be ready to go.  Unfortunately, time of day in the month of December meant traffic was to be brutal, so I wanted to be prepared.

About 445pm, J said she definitely thought soon, but not yet.  I went ahead and told both my apprentices to be en route since their drives were lengthier than mine.

I left my house at 507pm when J said it was definitely time.  B was moaning with contractions, and things were moving along quickly.

Due to time of day, my normally 10-15 minute drive to B took 30 minutes.  Contractions rapidly intensified.  J kept me updated, and let me know that B was unable to hold back the urge to push at 535pm.

I pulled in at 537pm, and ran into the house.  I found B fully dressed, sitting on the birth ball, and spontaneously pushing with contractions.  I told B she could have the baby wherever, but we needed to get her bottoms off.  J and I quickly helped B undress in between contractions, then B decided to move to left side lying on her bed to push.

B’s water broke during a contraction at 544pm with meconium.  Baby was at a +3 station.  J grabbed my doppler for me, and a couple moments later I listened and found baby to be having some tremendous decelerations.  I talked to B about pushing powerfully with the next contraction to get the baby out as soon as we could.

My birth assistant H arrived with the next push, and I had her prep the oxygen tank and supplies asap in preparation for a resuscitation. The next minute, the baby was crowning.  After allowing him to sit and stretch, the baby’s head was born a minute later, followed by the rest of the baby the next minute.

Welcome to the world Colby, born earthside on December 14th, 2017 at 558pm, weighing in at 6lbs 14ozs, 20in long.  He nursed like a champ right after the birth, which we always like to see!  What a whirlwind journey he took his sweet mama on!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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