“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.
What an incredible year I have had with so many wonderful couples! I am blessed to have served 37 couples this year. Love each and every one of these couples and precious babies, and honored they chose A Sacred Journey Midwifery Services PLLC to help them through this journey. My clients this year have been so wonderfully flexible with recurrent appointment reschedules due to my personal journey going through IVF in 2017. Like every year, I am sent the best clients to work with! Here are the stats for 2017:
Total Births: 38 (one set of twins in the hospital!)
Boys: 27 (71%)
Girls: 11 (29%)
Most Births in a Day: 2
Biggest Baby: 10lbs, 2ozs
Smallest Baby: 5lbs, 12ozs
Longest Baby: 22″
Shortest Baby: 18″
Longest Labor: 32 hours, 14 minutes
Shortest Labor: 45 minutes (several other with labors around 60 minutes!!)
Vaginal Births: 35 (92%)
Cesarean Births: 3 (8%)
VBACs: 8 out of 8 total clients planning a VBAC achieved their VBAC (100%)
First Time Clients Served: 10 (26%) ‘
Repeat Clients Served: 10 (26%)
Water Births: 15 (39%)
Labored in the Water: 33 (87%)
Used a Doula: 19 (50%)
Breastfeeding at 6 Weeks Postpartum: 38 (100%)
Labor Started With SROM: 2 (5%)
Earliest to Deliver: 38.0 weeks
Latest to Deliver: 41.4 weeks
I have 15 clients for 2018, as well as expecting my own little blessing in July! Looking forward to seeing what lessons are learned and blessings are had for 2018.
K and Z started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.
The morning of October 5th, 5 days before her due date, K sent me a text stating she had been having bloody show and contractions that were 4-8 minutes apart, lasting 90 seconds for the last two hours. She was unsure if she should go to work this morning, in which I told her no. It sounded like early labor, and that she should focus on preparing for the journey ahead. We discussed that she should eat breakfast, take a walk, and check back in.
At 10am, K had finished her walk, and found her contractions were 3.5 minutes long, lasting 30-45 seconds. We decided she would go into the office for an adjustment (K is a chiropractor), and then come over for an assessment.
K arrived at my place right at noon. All vitals were normal, and contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 35 seconds. I did an exam and found K to be 3cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station. I swept her membranes. We were both surprised that her water was actually broken when she arrived. K was unsure when that happened. We discussed some positions to try at home, and when to call her doula and myself over.
K went to the grocery store, and then went home and napped. Contractions became much stronger, and K decided to call her doula over at 330pm.
K’s doula, J, kept me updated from there. By 530pm, J said it seemed like I should head over, as contractions were frequent and long.
I arrived a little after 6pm, and found K laboring on the birth ball. At 630pm, I did an exam and found K to be 7cm dilated, 100 % effaced, and baby at a +1 station. K decided she would like to try laboring in her bath tub while waiting for the birth pool to be ready.
K labored so calmly in the bath tub, while the birth pool was filling. J played some music to help.
A little after 7pm, K moved to the toilet. She was feeling a lot of pressure, and was beginning to get the shakes. As soon as we heard the pool was ready, K readily moved to the waiting birth pool.
K moved to sitting in the birth pool at 722pm. Her body was beginning to push on its own at the peaks. K moved to leaning over the pool 15 minutes later, pushing more with each contraction.
I did an exam at 743pm, and found K to be 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +3 station. I told K she could push with each contraction if she wanted.
K began to push with each contraction. Baby did not like that a whole bunch, so we began to administer a homeopathic to help with oxygenation. That worked beautifully.
At 8pm, K moved into semi reclining, and began to push while doing tug of war with the rebozo with J. K was pushing powerfully, and we could see the head peeking on the perineum, but the baby wasn’t coming any further.
I suggested we get out of the pool and move to the birth stool to see if gravity helped bring baby down. K agreed, and she moved to the birth stool at 821pm.
The birth stool was the magic spot. The head was staying visible on the perineum a few moments later. The head was crowning at 833pm. K did an excellent job of letting everything stretch, birthing the head a minute later, followed quickly by the rest of the body. Baby was wrapped in his cord that I quickly unraveled, and brought him to K’s waiting arms. He was here!
Welcome to the world Max, born earthside on October 5th, 2017 at 834pm, weighing in at 6lbs 6ozs, 20.25 inches long. His mama was so poised and peaceful through her labor journey, and powerfully brought her sweet little one earthside in the comfort of her bedroom. It was such a joy to serve this family! #sacredjourneymidwifery