• 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 […]

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 23rd at 40.4 weeks, F was getting frustrated with things.  She had experienced contractions every 8-12 minutes that were strong enough to effect her sleep.  She was ready to get the show on the road.  She asked about coming over for a membrane sweep, so we set up a time for later that afternoon.

F’s body had been working hard, as her cervix had made a good amount of change since her last exam.  F was 4cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.  When F and M left, F planned to see her chiropractor to ensure things would progress optimally.

Contractions continued coming about every 8 minutes through out the evening.  Around 930pm, F was planning to take a shower and get some rest until things picked up more.

Contractions shifted at 11pm, coming on much stronger and regular.  F called me at 12:38am, and I could tell things were very active, and it was not going to be long until she was going to meet her baby.  F said contractions were coming every 2-5 minutes, and she wanted me to come and break her water because she was done.

I arrived at 1:24am, and found F laboring on the toilet, with her doula at her side.  F was feeling very pushy, and was giving some pushes on the toilet.  The birth pool was filling, but it was not looking optimal that birthing in the pool was going to happen this time.

F moved to her bedroom floor on hands and knees at 1:27am.  My back up midwife, A, was on one side to help with delivery, and my bed rest self was on the other side while the birth assistant rapidly set up for delivery.

The head was visible on the perineum at 1:31am.  F did a beautiful job slowly moving her sweet girl down.  The head crowned and was birthed rapidly, while the song “Godzilla” played.  The head just hung out there for a minute, before swiftly bringing the rest of her baby into her arms at 1:34am.

Welcome to the world, Kathleen!  Born earthside on May 24th, 2018 at 1:34am, weighing in at 7lbs 2ozs, 19.5in long.  Her mama was a champ through her long prodromal labor and quick active labor phases, bringing her sweet girl earth side perfectly.  It was such a joy to work with this sweet family for a second time.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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 over 41 weeks when she had her first baby, so we were not surprised when L’s due date came and passed.

L came in around noon at 41 weeks to try some herbs and a membrane sweep.  L was 2cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station.  While I performed the membrane sweep, I noticed that the baby was presenting funny, but was unsure.  I felt the length of an extremity, but not a hand or foot to officially tell me anything.  I felt around deeper, and could not identify a butt or head behind the extremity.  I let L know the baby was presenting funny, and we would give another feel later that day and/or in labor to identify.

L and S left here around 1pm, and went for some lunch.  After lunch, they went walking around Wal-Mart.  Around 245pm, L text me that contractions were definitely regular and stronger, but she had no problem holding a conversation.  They got home around 3pm, and L said she wanted to try a nap, but contractions were definitely increasing in intensity.  I encouraged her to nap if she could, and let me know when she woke.

S called me at 3:20pm to let me know that L’s water broke.  Something inside me was on high alert.  I asked S to watch a couple contractions, and if they were much more intense, then I needed to make sure the entire birth team was on the way.

See I was currently 32 weeks pregnant and on bed rest, and was not suppose to be attending births.  However, when S responded that things were very intense, I notified my apprentice, assistant, and back up midwife, and looked at my husband and told him he could drive me or I was driving myself, but I needed to get over to this client ASAP.  He opted to drive me, which was helpful because he brought needed birth supplies upstairs for me when we arrived.

I arrived at 3:45pm, and found L laboring semi reclining in her bath tub, moaning with contractions. I could tell things were picking up quickly.  I grabbed a couple items I would need in case this baby came before any of the other team members arrived, and was at L’s side.

Baby’s heart tones were great.  As 4pm neared, L stated that she was feeling so much pressure in her butt.  I helped encourage L, while encouraging her to blow through the pressure as long as she could.  About this time, L’s oldest daughter got home from school.  I knew then that L would feel free to birth her baby, as it was very important to L that her daughter was there.

I did an exam at 4:04pm, and found L to be 10cm dilated and baby at a +3 station…. and double footling breech.  I was still alone with all my birth team en route.  I said a prayer, and continued to encourage L to blow.

At 4:06pm, out pop two precious, criss-crossed feet, actively kicking in the water. Three minutes later, baby was out to her umbilicus.  My apprentice and assistant arrived at 4:10pm, and moved into high gear for delivery prep as the shoulders were delivered.  Baby restituted for delivery, and at 4:12pm, she was here!

Baby K needed some encouragement to breathe after delivery, but after I worked on her for a bit, she made her presence known with a beautiful cry.

Welcome to the world, Katherine!  Born earth side on May 15th, 2018 at 4:12pm, weighing in at 6lbs 3ozs, 19.5 in long.  After seeing her placenta, which was not fully developed and one of the worst placenta’s I have ever seen, I am confident this sweet girl has an extra special place in this world.

Blessed that I got to be part of this sweet girl’s journey earthside, and get to be part of this family’s journey from a family of 3 to a family of 4.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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 was at high risk for preterm delivery, and that we needed to take my contractions more seriously.  I gave C the option of coming in for a membrane sweep and herbs if she wanted me there for sure or if she was okay with things happening how they happened.  C said she would come over that afternoon.

C arrived for labor encouragement.  She had seen the acupuncturist that morning, and was feeling some irregular contractions.  I did C’s exam, and found her cervix to be 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I told C to go for a walk after leaving my place, and let me know how contractions were.

Contractions increased fairly soon after C left.  Her doula arrived at 735pm, and did lift and tuck.  By contraction 8 of lift and tuck, contractions were much more intense, and C was feeling some pressure, so I was instructed to come.  C is big on wanting her water broke at a certain point in labor, and she was ready for her water to be broken.

I arrived at 9pm, and found C laying on her left side during contractions.  C got up and moved around while I did her vitals.

I did an exam at 930pm, and found C to be 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  C said she wanted her water broke, and I was able to snag her bag with my finger during a contraction.

C’s doula prepped her labor tea to drink that her acupuncturist prescribed.  C had drank this tea in her previous labors, and felt it helped speed up the process.  C likes efficiency in labor!

Right before 10pm, the birth pool was ready, and C was ready to try laboring in it.  She alternated laboring in semi reclining and kneeling in the pool. During contractions, C was all work, but in between she was chatting and laughing and having a good time.

C soon began to feel some pressure, and began giving some small pushes when her body gave the urge.  C opted for an exam at 1021pm, and she was 8cm dilated, and baby at a +1 station.  We talked about resisting the urge for a little bit longer.

C felt the pool was slowing things down, and opted to get out.  She moved to the bed into hands and knees, and within a couple contractions, began to push at 1034pm.

C pushed well on her hands and knees.  We soon could see a little bit of baby’s head peeking out at us.  C was getting tired pushing in hands and knees, but decided to stay there versus moving at first because it was feeling effective.

Soon we could see more head, but C could feel him move back up slightly after contractions.  At 1055pm, frustrated he would not stay put, C exclaimed, “The little f***er went back in!!!” We all got a good laugh, as C rolled onto her left side, determined more than ever to get baby out!

A minute later, C birthed his head.  Baby came out with a hand beside his head and the cord around his neck, which I took care of as he came out slowly.  At 1057pm, C gave one final push and brought her sweet boy earthside into J’s waiting hands.  He was here!

Welcome to the world Emmett, born earthside on April 23rd, 2018 at 1057pm, weighing in at 8lbs 0ozs, 20.75 inches long.  His mama worked hard and efficiently to bring him earth side at home, just as she hoped and prepared for.  It was such a joy to help this mama through her birthing journey.

Pictures by the talented Stephanie Shirley of Stephanie Shirley Photography.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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 in hopes for a VBAC during this journey.

M had a history for growing “big” babies, and neither she nor D were very comfortable going very many days past her estimated due date. M decided she would like to come in the evening before her due date to try a membrane sweep and some herbs before she went to work to see if it may help get her into labor.  M’s cervix was 1-2cm dilated, 40% effaced, and baby at a -4 station.

M went to work that evening (she is a nurse), and began feeling some stronger contractions than she had felt before.  She decided to head home around 1am, and requested her doula to come a little while later.  Around 5am, she took a nap, and when she woke the contractions had fizzled.  M was discouraged.  I encouraged her to spend the day resting, and to see if she could see her chiropractor that day.  We made plans to try again, if needed, three days later.

Friday came, and M was now three days passed her “estimated” due date.  I told her later I could tell a sweep and herbs were not going to do much within minutes of her arriving.  Her sweet twins were having an off day, and were very clingy.  We repeated some herbs and did another sweep.  M’s cervix was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  I encouraged M to try and get a walk in, and get help with the twins.

Contractions, at times, were similarly to Monday, but never progressed.  M had her inlaws take the kiddos that evening, and planned to come back with D the next morning to try one more time.

M and D came the next morning to get an early start to see if labor would begin.  D was very anxious about baby’s size and uterine rupture.  We talked for awhile, and reviewed M’s wishes.  They mutually decided if they were not in labor that evening, that they wanted to go in to the hospital for a repeat cesarean.  Knowing their wishes, M requested wanting her water broken with the sweep so that we were throwing everything at getting labor going since they had a timeline of comfort.

M’s cervix was 3cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  I reviewed risks and benefits of artificial rupture of membranes, and then broke M’s water.  Right away, contractions were much stronger than any M had felt.  It seemed likely she would enter active labor soon.  I recommended they try to eat some breakfast, and go for a walk before heading home if she felt up to it.

Contractions were regular and felt fairly strong right away.  M and D ate some breakfast, then headed home since things were strong.  It was not long, and they requested their doula to come.  She arrived at 130pm.  M’s doula requested I come fairly soon after she arrived, with my arrival time at 230pm.

I found M laboring on her knees in the living room, leaning over her birth ball, with her doula providing counter pressure during contractions.

I did an exam at about 3pm, and found M to be 5cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  Contractions were coming about every 3 minutes, lasting 50 seconds in length.  M’s doula began doing the abdominal lift and tuck with the rebozo to help baby engage further into the pelvis.

After the lift and tuck, M began alternating between laboring on the birth ball and walking around the house.

A little after 5pm, M was tired and wanted to try a restful position.  We got her into the bed to labor, helping her rotate between her left and right side every 30-45 minutes.  M said she was getting rest between contractions, so we continued to encourage her to rest for awhile.

M got up and walked around some at 7pm.  Since they were wanting to be very conservative with making decisions about transporting, I requested an exam shortly after M got up.

I did an exam at 725pm, and found M to be the same as earlier as well as some cervical edema.  D was very set on the minute there was no progress, they needed to go in.  I suggested trying open knee chest for 40 minutes, then some moving around, and recheck at the hour mark.  D and M agreed to that plan.

M got into open knee chest for 40 minutes as requested, and contractions spaced some.  When she completed the 40 minutes, she walked around the house for a few minutes before being ready for an exam.  At 835pm, I did another exam, and found the same information as earlier.  M and D requested I begin to initiate a transport to the hospital she worked at.

I called and gave a report, and M and D headed to the hospital at 9pm.

The process at the hospital was smooth and efficient, and they proceeded with the cesarean fairly quickly after arrival.

Welcome to the world Kaison, born earth side on March 17th, 2018 at 1052pm, weighing in at 9 pounds, 21 inches long.  M felt empowered by the experience, and was happy to get to be in charge of the decisions towards his birth experience.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

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 one seemed to stop growing right at the end, but this little one was chunking up perfectly.

Two days passed her estimated due date, E was in for her regular prenatal appointment.  She decided to do an exam just to see where her cervix was at, since she had experienced several nights of prodromal labor.  She was 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station.  E decided she wanted to try a membrane sweep to see what might happen.

Through out the afternoon, E stated she was having regular contractions that were not very painful, with a lot of hip/back pain and some occasional rectal pressure.  Knowing how E’s first labor went, I was on high alert about the back/hip pain as being a potential sign of progress for her labor.  We decided I should head over that evening, with an estimated time of arrival at 630pm.

E was sitting on the birth ball, eating a snack, when I arrived.  I made her some herbal tea, and began to give her some homeopathy while we began to get E and baby’s vitals.

I did an exam a few minutes passed 7pm, and found E to be 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  E asked me when I thought baby would be born, and I said by midnight was my guess.

E sat back to labor on her birth ball, before moving to hands and knees while the birth pool was prepared.  E was feeling a big shift in her contractions, which was bringing more pressure in her back.  F began to provide counter pressure during contractions for comfort.

E felt like she needed to move, and began to pace around the house.  I suggested trying lift and tuck with the rebozo for ten contractions, and E agreed.  My apprentice A began to do them to see if it would shift the labor pattern.  Contractions were coming every 2 minutes, lasting 40-50 seconds.

E decided to rest in her bed on her left side while the pool was finishing being filled.  At 912pm, E got into the birth pool in a semi reclined position.  She never had a chance to enjoy the pool in her previous birth, and was happy to get that relaxation this time.

E moved to laboring on her knees.  Pressure was building.  As 10pm came, E felt like she had to push, that she could not continue much longer.  I did an exam, and found E to be 8cm dilated with baby at a +1 station.  Her cervix was starting to swell a little bit, so I recommended shifting position around in the pool, and told E not to push.  My birth assistant H began to provide words of encouragement over E.

As 11pm neared contractions were coming every 2-2.5 minutes, lasting 55 seconds.  I started to discuss fears with E, and asking her if there was anything she was fearful or worried about.  We decided it would be good to get out of the pool, and try open knee chest in the bed.  A provided hip squeezes and counter pressure while H provided words of encouragement through the waves.

I like to do open knee chest for a minimum of 40 minutes, as it is usually magical in that time frame.  At 38 minutes in, E exclaimed that she had to push.  She adjusted her position to hands and knees, and began to spontaneously push with contractions.

At 1149pm, E moved to semi reclining as she wanted to push like she did with her previous baby.  I found her to be 10cm dilated, and baby at a +3 station.

E’s water broke at 1155pm.  I suggested trying tug of war with the rebozo since it had worked well in her previous birth, and E agreed.  A began to do tug of war with E at 1159pm.

Tug of war was magic!  At 1203am, baby began to crown, quickly followed by the head and body!  E placed her hands at the right time, and helped deliver her sweet boy into her waiting hands, and brought him to her chest with my assistance.

Welcome to the world Jonas!  Born earthside on January 31st, 2018 at 1203am, weighing in at 7lbs 8ozs, 19″ long.  He was much bigger than his big sister, which we all anticipated and were happy about!

It was such a joy to help support this client through another birth journey!  Repeat clients are always so special!  #sacredjourneymidwifery