• This is a unique birth story to share.  I was honored to have helped A welcome her own baby into the world at home a couple years ago, you can read my version here and her version here.  This time, A was being a surrogate for a couple who were excited to be welcoming TWINS […]

  • A and J started care with me in the first trimester of their sixth pregnancy.  This was their second baby that I got to be their midwife.  You can read about their first birth with me here. A came to group prenatal on June 11th, and wanted to try some herbal tea and a sweep […]

  • T and H started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  They had birthed their first child at a birth center, and were looking forward to staying home for this little one’s journey. At her 39.0 weekly appointment, T was talking about how she really hoped she would go into labor […]

  • 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 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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G and E started care with me at the end of the second trimester of G’s fourth pregnancy.  G’s sister in law had a home birth with me, and G was looking forward to her experience.

G experienced lots of prodromal labor in those last weeks leading up to her due date.  At 39.1, G came over for a membrane sweep and some herbs to see if it would help her body get an active labor pattern.  She had contractions over the last 24 hours that were different, but not changing too much.  G was 5cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  G drank the herbal tea blend I made, and I recommend she eat, walk, and keep me posted.

G came back over around 4:40pm for another sweep and tea.  She had contractions through out the day ranging 3-7 minutes apart, and building in intensity.  G was now 6-7cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I discussed with G about the possibility of active labor going quick, and to keep me well updated.

G asked me to come at 7pm, since contractions were shifting and were coming stronger and closer.

I arrived right before 8pm, and found G sitting on her birth ball.  Vitals were good.  I did an exam and G was 7cm dilated, 90% effaced and baby was at a 0 station.  I recommended doing lift and tuck with the rebozo x10 contractions to help baby’s position.  G agreed.  Contractions became much closer and stronger with the lift and tuck, coming every 3 minutes, lasting 45 seconds long.

G sat on her birth ball for a few contractions, hydrating and eating a snack.  I recommend G get up and try a few captain morgan’s with slutty circles to help baby move down.  E thought this position was a lot of fun, and helped G through it.  E kept making a lot of jokes during this time, and we were all busting out laughing!

G was feeling things much more intensely as 10pm neared.  She tried laboring on her hands and knees for a few minutes, before getting back up and moving.  I suggested that we try the lift and tuck for one more set, and then get into the waiting birth pool.  G agreed, joking that the lift and tuck didn’t make things hurt that bad.

Well this set of lift and tuck was much different.  Each contraction shifted, and became more powerful.  E was at her side, encouraging her, while I did the lift and tuck and encouraged G from behind.  Emotions were high when the last lift and tuck of the series was complete.  G immediately went towards the birth pool.

G got into the birth pool right after 11pm, laboring on her knees.  G says she is feeling pressure. I encouraged G to let that pressure build until she can’t hold it back anymore. Contractions were coming every 2.5-3 minutes, lasting 75 seconds long.

E gets into the pool, and G moves into semi reclining against E at 11:08pm.  The pressure was building, and at 11:11pm, G began to spontaneously push with contractions.

I found G had a cervical lip at 11:19pm.  I encouraged G to blow through a few contractions until her body began taking over the pushing.

The urge to push changed, and G began to push again at 11:30pm.  Things moved quickly from there.  Her water broke with the birth of the head a minute later, followed by the baby a minute after that.  He was here!

Welcome to the world Gideon, born earthside on January 30th, 2017 at 11:32pm, weighing in at 8.0#, 19.75 inches long.

It was such a privelege to help this couple through their first home birth.  Looking forward to the next journey.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

Photos taken by Kristyn Cuevas of The Audacious Dreamer.

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S and C started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  S had her previous baby at home with me as well.  You can read that story here.

S’s pregnancy progressed along normally.  S had her first baby after 41 weeks, so we were all surprised on the morning of her due date when S said she thought today was going to be the day.  Contractions were coming consistently despite her activities.

I was finishing postpartum care at another birth, and recommended S to be sure she stays hydrated and to try a bath or shower and see what happens.

I came home and took a nap.  I sent S a text around 430pm to check in.  She was feeling a little crampy and tightness in the lower part of her abdomen.  She was currently resting in bed, but was planning to get up and finish cooking dinner.

S sent a text a little after 6pm that things were feeling stronger, but almost like she was constipated.  She was more worried that her body was reacting to constipation and that it wasn’t labor.  I asked S to call me with the next wave of cramping so we could see how things sounded.  S sounded calm and collected, and I could just barely hear the voice change with contractions.  We discussed S going to milk the goats and feed the animals and see what it does to the cramping.  I made the joke that I wanted S to be very aware of what is going on, because I didn’t want things to switch and she suddenly say, “Oh crap, this isn’t crap!”  We hung up around 620pm.

S sent a text at 637pm saying there was no way she could feed the animals.  Things were suddenly intense.

I got out the door in minutes and raced over to S, who lived about 15-20 minutes away.

I arrived at 703pm, grabbing just what I needed for delivery as I was confident baby was close.  I ran into the house and found S laboring in her bath tub.  Bloody show was noted in the tub.  S was feeling very panicky from the intensity of labor.  I sat beside her for a moment to help her refocus, before stepping away to grab gloves.

Two minutes after my arrival, S began to spontaneously push.  Baby was at a +3 station, the bulgy bag of water bulging out with pushing.

I continued to gently encourage S to take cleansing breaths, and focus the energy down.  Soon the head was on the perineum.  As the head was birthed, S’s bag of water broke at the same time.  Seconds later, baby was here!

My birth assistant walked in right after the birth, and quickly helped get things set up to get mom and baby settled in the bed.

Welcome to the world Caralynn, born earthside on May 1, 2017 at 715pm, weighing in at 7.0 pounds, 20.5 inches long.  It was a wonderful, blessing to be part of this little ones very fast and furious journey earthside.  I love having the privilege of working with clients multiple times.

#sacredjourneymidwifery