• 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • K and N started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  They had used me for their first pregnancy, and we were all hoping for a much different outcome for this little one’s journey.  You can read about her first journey here. K’s pregnancy progressed perfectly.  There were no signs of […]

  • R and B were surprised to find out they were expecting their fourth child when they were well into the second trimester.  R began care with a hospital provider, as I was set to be on vacation during her due window.  I told R if she was still pregnant when I got home, then I […]

R and A started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  R did a fabulous job through out her entire pregnancy to do all the things to make things for the best for her pregnancy, birth, and baby.

On September 6th at 41 weeks 3 days gestation, R came over for labor encouragement.  R had an ultrasound follow up the day before that suggested that it would be a good idea to work on having a baby.  R was ready, and agreed to getting things going.  I made R an herbal tea blend to drink while we talked and did vitals.  I found her cervix to be 3cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I swept her membranes.  I suggested R head home, eat lunch, and go for a nice walk and see where things went from there.

Things began to start fairly soon after R left my place.  She did everything I suggested, and decided later in the afternoon that she wanted her doula to come over.  Her doula chatted with me upon her arrival around 515pm, and I suggested trying lift and tuck and seeing what that would do to contractions.

Things became stronger and more active.  At 730pm, I was asked to come that way.

I arrived at 830pm, and found R laboring on the birth ball.  Contractions seemed regular and strong.  I did mom and baby’s vitals before asking R about an exam.

I did an exam right before 9pm, and found R to be 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  Things were moving along nicely.

We began to prep the birth pool, while R alternated laboring standing while her doula provided hip squeezes and sitting on her birth ball.  Contractions were coming every 2.5 minutes, lasting 70 seconds.

R moved to the birth pool at 940pm, laboring semi reclining.  After a few minutes, she moved to her knees, while A was at her side offering support.  R labored so calmly through out her journey.

As 10pm came, R was beginning to feel some pressure, and we could see some bloody show on the floor of the pool.  She asked A to do counter pressure on her back to help with the pressure of baby moving down.

A got into the pool right before 11pm, and R moved into semi reclining against A for comfort.

R got out of the pool around 1130pm, and emptied her bladder and labored on the toilet for a couple contractions before returning to the pool again.  Contractions were coming every 3.5 minutes, lasting 90 seconds, and were strong in intensity.

I did an exam on R right before midnight in the pool, and found her to be 9cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  She was getting close!  I recommended R try side lunging on her knees in the pool, doing hip circles during contractions to help get rid of the rest of the cervix.

R tried that for a few contractions, before moving to her hands and knees in the water to labor.

I noticed the baby having a deceleration during a contraction a little before 1am.  I did an exam soon after, and found R to have some cervical swelling and recommended she get out of the pool and into open knee chest to help the baby with dilating her cervix and giving the baby oxygen.  We also began giving R a homeopathic every 3-5 minutes to help give extra oxygen to the baby.  Things improved after the first couple of doses.

At 151am, R began pushing with my assistance to help the lip of cervix move over the babies head while in a semi reclining position.

R’s water broke during a contraction at 222am, and was so powerful it shot across the room and hit the bedroom wall!  It made us all laugh!  She was pushing so well.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 90 seconds.  R was 10cm, and baby at a +2 station.

R moved to pushing on her left side at 242am.  Baby was having occasional minor decelerations, but overall was handling pushing like a champ.

At 248am, R moved to hands and knees to push while leaning on pillows in her bed.  Shortly after 3am, baby was at a +3 station, and getting closer to making her appearance!

R moved back to semi reclining at 313am, and did tug of war with the rebozo with her doula to give some extra power to her pushing. During this time, R began to experience some awful leg cramps, and we all took turns trying to help give her some relief from the leg cramps.

The head was visible on the perineum at 330am.  I began using warm compresses and oils to help the perineum stretch and to minimize any issues with tearing.  The head was birthed at 354am, followed by the rest of her body at 355am.  Baby girl had gotten herself quite wrapped in her cord, so I unlooped her out of her cord upon delivery.  She was here!

Welcome to the world Eden, born earthside on September 7th, 2017 at 355am, weighing in at 7lbs 12ozs, 20 inches long.  Sweet Eden made her presence known with her powerful, sweet cries.  She definitely did not like anyone moving or messing with her after she was born.

It was such a privilege to help support this sweet couple as they worked so hard to welcome their first child into the world.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

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S and J started care with me near the end of the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  S had a friend who recently had a home birth, and she was excited to be planning a home birth for her journey too.

S came in at 40.6 weeks for her regular appointment.  We talked through a plan for 41 weeks.  S originally wanted to come the next day for labor encouragement, but I ended up at a birth with another mama, so we made plans for her to come the following day at 41.1 weeks.

S came over in the morning for a membrane sweep and tea.  She was excited because she woke with contractions at 3am that felt different and were coming every 10-15 minutes.  We were hopeful a membrane sweep and herbs would get her into active labor.  S was 1-2cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  I recommended S and J get some lunch, go for a walk, and try a nap.

Contractions picked up nicely by the evening, coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting a minute long, but were relatively mild.  S and J walked, and ate dinner.  I recommended they try the abdominal lift and tuck before getting some sleep, which shifted her contractions to 5 minutes apart, lasting over a minute in length.

The next morning around 630am, S sent me a text that contractions were much stronger, coming every 5-6 minutes, lasting 1-2 minutes.  She tried to sleep as much as possible, but found it difficult at times.  She called her doula over to support her.

Things were all over the place with contractions through out the day.  We decided S and J should come back over for a check that evening.  J said contractions were still 5-6 minutes, lasting 1-2 minutes.  Contractions seemed mild, but much stronger than the day before.  We did another round of herbs and membrane sweep.  S had made good change since the day before.  Her cervix was now 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at -1 station.I encouraged S to try and get some rest, and reviewed when to call her doula back over, and when to call me over.

2am the next day, S called and said her water broke.  Seemed like all was normal, and she wanted to try and get some rest.  By 5am, she wasn’t able to rest well, and asked her doula to come back.  Her doula sent me a text at 630am, letting me know contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting 90 seconds and there was some meconium in the fluid.  I let her know I would head over shortly.

I arrived at 730am and found mom and baby to be doing perfectly.  I did an exam at 745am and found S was 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  S decided to labor in the shower, while I checked to make sure birth team were on the way.  We did not realize this little princess’s motto was slow and steady!

After the shower, S moved to laboring on her birth ball until my apprentice R arrived.  She decided to jump in and do lift and tuck with the rebozo for ten contractions.  During lift and tuck, contractions were coming every 4 minutes, lasting 2 minutes long.

S sat on the birth ball to rest her legs after, doing beautifully at eating and drinking.  Her play list got turned on at some point, which was one of the most lively play lists I had heard ever at a birth.  It helped her get some good hip movement on the birth ball.

After some time on the ball, S got up and started moving around the room, at one point salsa dancing with her talented doula.  S was doing beautifully at helping work her little girl down and out.

As 10am neared, we encouraged S to try captain morgan’s with slutty circles, alternating legs every three contractions to help open her pelvis.  She continued to move around the room, doing very active positions.  At 1130am, she decided she wanted to try and labor on her left side in bed, and see if she could get some rest.

After some rest, it was time to do an exam.  At 1pm, S was now 9cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  We were excited at the wonderful progress!

The birth pool was being finished filling for S.  Meanwhile, my apprentice A did a series of lift and tucks for 10 contractions to help things along.  Contractions were 3.5 minutes apart, lasting 90+ seconds in length.

S got into the pool at 220pm, laboring in a sitting position in the water, before alternating to kneeling.  Contractions intensified, and S began to moan with contractions.  At 330pm, S was beginning to feel some rectal pressure with the peaks of contractions.

I did an exam around 4pm and found S to have an anterior lip left to her cervix.  S decided she wanted to attempt to push with me trying to hold the lip back, but I did not feel it was working so I encouraged S to continue to labor until the lip was gone.

S moved to hands and knees in the pool while J provided counter pressure on her sacrum.  Slowly we began to notice the contractions were fizzling out.  By 5pm, S was contracting every 10 minutes.

I talked to S about getting out of the pool and trying some things to get her contractions to pick up again.  S agreed.  Meanwhile, we began dosing her with homeopathy and using essential oils to see if we could strengthen her contractions again.  S moved around for a bit, then we helped her into open knee chest on the bed at 530pm for 40 minutes to see if it would shift things around.

While S was in open knee chest,  I discussed with J and birth team that S’s sacrum looked unusual to me, and I wondered if we needed to do some different releases and maneuvers to help get the sacrum to open and let baby down.  We worked out a plan of action so we were ready to introduce positions to S after open knee chest.

S moved to the toilet to labor, while we discussed our plan with S.  She was such a trooper, and game for whatever it takes to have a baby.  At 640pm, S’s doula did the side lying release with S on both sides.  Then she moved on to the sacral release.  Contractions were irregular, but generally coming every 6 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.

J offered a position idea to have S try tailor sitting on a heating pad to see if it would loosen things up. It was so sweet to see his tender interactions with her as he helped her in the whole labor, but particularly this position.

At 8pm, we did the last release before I was to do an exam, and begin pushing.  My apprentice R gloved up and began working on the coccyx and internal ligaments.  The funniest moment from the entire labor happened after when a rooky error resulted in a life time inside joke and new nickname for R.

I did an exam at 815pm, and S was 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  Contractions were coming about every 10 minutes.  S agreed she was ready to try and push this baby out.  We tried some different herbs and homeopathics to see if her body would respond any differently.

S reclined into J’s strong arms for support as she pushed with my guidance in the bed.  After an hour, we tried pushing with S doing tug of war with the rebozo.  Contractions had picked up to every 5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds at this point.

We then started rounding the clock with positions with pushing.  S pushed on her left side for several pushed, then moved to hands and knees to push, and last on her right side.  When contractions would come, S would push with everything within her.

S moved to the toilet a little after 11pm, and pushed while spending some quiet time with J.  Right before midnight, she moved to the birth stool to allow gravity to help move baby down.

As midnight came, we moved back to the bed in semi reclining to push a couple more times doing tug of war so I could see if baby had moved down at all.  After a couple final pushes, I had the conversation with S and J that no one wanted to have.  Although mom and baby were doing great, and S had been pushing phenomenally, baby girl was not coming down and it was time to make the decision to transport.

S began prepping for a transport, while J verified what hospital near them was covered on their insurance.  I called the hospital and spoke to the hospitalist at 1am, before we headed that way.

Upon arrival, S and J were brought back, and no support people were allowed back with them.  After getting triaged in, they were taken to the OR right before 3am.  S was given the chance to push a few more times, before a cesarean was performed.

Welcome to the world Juliana, born earthside on September 6th, 2017 at 422am weighing in at 7 pounds.  We never would have imagined that the beginning of early labor to the finale would be 72 hours, but she took her mama on quite the wild ride.  S was powerful and strong through her birthing time, and we have lots of fond memories from what we all call the “party birth.”

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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H and D started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  H had a great pregnancy, and it was fun watching her get closer to her estimated due date and birthing time.

Two days passed her due date, H woke with contractions, cramping, and bloody show.  She had an appointment scheduled with me that day so we decided she should keep it.  H was experiencing contractions q2-3 minutes, lasting 30 seconds and seemed to be mild in intensity.  I did an exam and found H to be 1-2 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I gave her some herbs to drink, and recommended she eat and go for a walk and keep in touch with me.

H sent me regular updates.  At 6pm, contractions became 2 minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds long.  By 7pm, she decided she wanted her team to come to her and start prepping for her birthing time.

I arrived at 745pm and found H laboring on the couch, snuggled next to D.  I suggested getting a walk in since the sun was setting, so we set out for a walk to see how the contractions felt while walking.

After the walk, H came in and sat on the toilet to labor for a few contractions.  I did her vitals and found everything to be perfect.  I suggest a set of lift and tucks that my apprentice with A performed to help make the contractions stronger.

At 915pm, H wanted to try a small nap with D.  I got her positioned on her left side, and recommended napping for an hour or so before getting up and working.

Contractions intensified during the rest period alone.  An hour later, H was feeling more vocal with her contractions, and her MIL was performing hip squeezes for some relief.

I did an exam at 11pm, and found H to be 3cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  There was bloody show on my glove.

H labored in the shower for a few contractions, then moved to the bed into open knee chest per my recommendations.  H was having a hard time, so we started using some essential oils to help emotionally and did some herbs to help calm.

As midnight came, H labored beside her bed while I did hip squeezes for relief.  Her contractions were coming every 1.5-2 minutes, lasting 60-75 seconds and stronger in intensity.

H got into the birth pool at 1am.  It helped take the edge off the intensity initially.  H looked at us and exclaimed, “I know why people cuss!”

D got into the pool after awhile.  H looked at me and asked him to knock her out.  He told her it was illegal, and she looked at him and said she wouldn’t tell.  We all laughed at her humor!

H got out of the pool close to 3am, and prepared for an exam.  She was now 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  Baby was acynclitic, and putting a lot of pressure on her pubic bone.

H got back into the pool and rotated between sitting and kneeling while getting comfortable.  D assisted doing lift and tuck for 10 contractions while in the pool to help baby rotate.

I began to give H rescue remedy to help relax and calm.  The intensity of active labor and being tired was making things a struggle.  We all surrounded her with encouragement that she was doing perfectly and that she could do this.

H moved to laboring in the bathroom at 4am, standing while leaning on the counter.  She was feeling so tired.  Contractions were coming every 2.5-3 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.  H decided she wanted to try to rest, so I helped position her on her right side in the bed.

H found it hard to rest, and was laboring on the toilet before 5am.  We got her to snack on some apple sauce to help with energy.  H leaned over the counter top again.  I recommended H try some other positions, as forward leaning positions would not be the most productive positions based on baby’s position. After some time, H agreed to let my apprentice A do another set of lift and tucks.

As 6am neared, H labored leaning on her bed, wanting counter pressure.  She felt the contractions were much stronger.  I provided counter pressure with contractions.

I started reminding H that it would be time for an exam after 7am to make sure things were moving in the right direction, and that baby had rotated.  H was weepy and exhausted, and feeling so done.  We all tried to encourage H how brave and strong she was, but H was ready to transport.  I left H and D to talk.

At 7am, they made the decision to transport.  We had a transport plan in place with a provider at the nearby hospital in case a transport was needed.  I called the provider, and she agreed to meet us at the hospital in 45 minutes.

We arrived at the hospital at 740am, and they quickly gave her a dose of fentanyl to take the edge off while getting things started.

H moved to laboring on the birth ball at 815am.  The hospital provider arrived at 820am, and came and greeted H.

While waiting for anesthesia, the other provider pulled out essential oils to diffuse and gave H a back rub to help comfort.

H received her epidural at 915am, and she was happy to have some relief from the pain.  At 947am, she was positioned in the bed with a peanut ball to help labor progress.

H was checked at 10am, and was 6cm and 100% effaced, and her water was broken to help move things along.  Pitocin was started soon after.

H began to sleep and get some much deserved rest.

She began pushing after 1pm.  It took some work, but she heroically pushed her sweet baby boy into the world at 311pm into daddy’s waiting hands!

Welcome to the world Wesson, born earthside on September 2nd, 2017 at 311pm, weighing in at 8lbs 8ozs, 20.75″ long.  It was such a blessing to have been part of this couple’s journey.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

C and A started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  They had their first baby with me after a very long, hard labor that ended in a transport, and we were prepping for a different journey this time.  You can read about C’s first journey here.

In C’s first labor, we discovered she had cervical scar tissue in labor that made things intense and hard to dilate.  Since we knew this was an issue the last time, C began our scar tissue regimen at 37 weeks to help make this easier this time around.

The morning of C’s due date, August 24th, C sent me a text message saying she had been having cramps that seemed more like labor all through the night, approximately 20 minutes apart. C napped and did things around the house to stay distracted.

At 10am, the intensity was a little stronger, and the waves were now coming every 7-10 minutes.  C had her weekly appointment with me that afternoon, so we decided she would keep her 3pm appointment as planned unless something changed.

Contractions shifted when they were trying to get out the door.  Since Hurricane Harvey was about to hit the next day, we decided that they should still come and do a membrane sweep and herbal tea to get things active.  When they arrived at 3pm, C was still chatty, but needed to stand, move, and not talk with contractions, which were coming every 2-5 minutes, lasting 40-60 seconds at this point.  C drank the tea, and I moved along quickly with getting vitals complete.  I did a cervical check, and found C to be 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.  I swept her membranes, and massaged the cervical scar tissue.  I had one more client to see, and then planned to head over to their place shortly after.

I got a call from A at 338pm that C’s water broke while driving home, and things were picking up.  C and A live close to me, so I told A I was finishing up with the client I was seeing and would be en route.  My ETA was 403pm.

A couple minutes before 4pm, C’s doula A sent me a text saying that A messaged her saying “red alert.”  I tried calling A, but he did not answer.  I sped the last few minutes, not knowing how serious things were going to be when I arrived.

I pulled in the drive way at 4pm, and found their vehicle parked wildly in the drive way.  I grabbed my initial bag I needed, and darted into the house.

I found things in chaos when I walked in.  C was sitting on the bathroom floor, moaning with contractions.  I could see bloody show with contractions coming onto the floor.  A was quickly getting the birth pool filled, while their sweet toddler cried, wanting attention.  The sibling doula was en route.

I took over with C, and helped her move out of the bathroom and into a more comfortable position. I put down a shower curtain on the floor beside her bed, and C moved to laboring on her knees at her bed side.  I listened to the baby, and found him sounding perfect.  C leaned on me during contractions, while I provided counter pressure to help with the pain in her back.

The sibling doula arrived at 415pm, and was able to take charge of their toddler which was such a help.  The next contraction, C looked at me and said, “I need this thing to come out!  There is so much pressure!”  I continued to encourage her through the waves, providing counter pressure in between.

After another contraction, C exclaimed, “I feel like he is right there!”  I checked her while she stood next to her bed, and found her to be 10cm dilated, and baby at a +2 station.

C started to push at 429pm.  The pool was almost ready, so C began to push while standing next to her bed.  The pool was ready at 435pm, and C quickly got in and labored in a semi reclining position.

Around this point my birth assistant H arrived, and started to get everything set up.

C was pushing so well.  At 437pm, we could see some of the head sitting on the perineum with contractions.The head was crowning at 440pm, and birthed at 441pm.  Baby had a loose nuchal cord that unwrapped over the baby’s head.  He was born one minute later after one more swift push, and brought to his mama’s chest.  He was here…. and born at home!!

Welcome to the world Bastiaan, born earthside on his due date on August 24th, 2017 at 442pm, weighing in at 9lbs 2ozs, 21.5 inches long.

It was such a blessing and honor to serve this family a second time, and I was so overjoyed that this birth experience was completely opposite of big brother’s!  A was so pumped that he started talking about having the 4th baby, and number 3 hasn’t even happened yet!  C was amazingly powerful through her very fast and furious active labor phase!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

Testimonial #53

“I met Shannon at the B.I.R.T.H. Fair in Houston prior to becoming pregnant in 2015, but knew immediately that I wanted her to be my midwife in the future. Shannon has such a caring demeanor, and is capable of putting anyone at ease. She was amazing and gave us quality care at every prenatal visit. Her birth team works so cohesively, and my home birth was everything I could have possibly asked for. I delivered a healthy baby boy (10lbs,10oz) at home on August 31, 2016. What I would really like to emphasize about my entire experience, though, is the postpartum care that Shannon provided. After my first hospital birth, I suffered from undiagnosed postpartum depression. I was deeply depressed and had no support system. I saw my ob/gyn at 6 weeks postpartum, and that was the only care I received. No one followed up with me. I chose a home birth because I knew I wanted a different experience. Shannon tailors her care to each woman’s unique situation. It truly is one-of-a-kind, woman-centered care. Not only did she help me prepare for my postpartum period before I gave birth, she was vigilant about checking on me after I delivered and always available when I needed her advice. She helped me seek additional support when it became necessary for my postpartum depression and for my difficulties breastfeeding. Rather than seeing her once, I saw her several times over the course of my postpartum period, and that truly made all the difference in my recovery. My depression did not last as long, and I still feel as though I have a great network of support through Shannon and her team. Shannon truly makes everyone feel like family.” Jessica, Baytown, mother of Phillip, born on August 31st, 2016