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Birth Stories

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Ava Noelle
December 29, 2022

Chelse reached out after deciding that she was going to have a homebirth with a midwife. She had talked to different providers at a few different hospitals and felt they were not a good fit for her and Jacob’s ideal birth experience.

 

Jacob was immensely supportive throughout the entire birth, and his love and admiration for Chelse were so evident! During the early morning December 29th, around midnight Chelse woke up having some mild contractions. Chelse laid in bed timing contractions from midnight until 2 a.m. to make sure this was the real deal before waking Jacob up. Around 2 a.m. Chelse woke up Jacob and said “I think it’s happening... they are lasting a minute and coming 5-6 mins.” Jacob was so excited and immediately got up to rub her back through some of them in bed. 

 

After awhile they decided to get out of bed and started to get a few things ready around the house, while still working through the contractions. He brought down all of the birth supplies they had purchased and worked to get the birthing pool setup in the kitchen, while Chelse cleaned up the house a bit. He would go to Chelse whenever he heard a new contraction happening to rub her lower back or let her lean on him for support. He dropped everything he was doing to be right at her side every time. 

 

Chelse texted me and her midwife at 5:07 am saying that she had been having mild contractions that were 5 and 1/2 minutes apart, lasting roughly a minute. We suggested resting and maybe taking a bath. Chelse is a first time mom, so she was thought she might be in labor for a while and rest is SUPER important early onFrom 7 until 9 a.m., they were able to snuggle up in bed and were able to sleep through some contractions.

 

 For the majority of the labor, before Chelse’s water broke, it was a lot of the same. Jacob putting counter pressure on her lower back, telling her that she could do this and making sure she kept a positive mindset. They continued to work through contractions together as a team with Jacobs continued hands on support.She texted me again at 10:40 a.m. saying contractions were continuing regularly and roughly the same intensity, but with a little more pressure. Chelse and Jacob were still coping well and was comfortable at her home.

 

At 12:30 p.m., the midwife called Chelse and Jacob and talked to her on the phone. The midwife felt that things were progressing slowly and that baby could possibly be here in the middle of the night. She told Chelse to take a shower and then lay down and rest again to see if she could sleep. Chelse was feeling a little discouraged after the call with midwife in the afternoon saying baby was probably not coming until way later in the evening. She remembers saying to Jacob “I really don’t want to be doing this until midnight.”

 

 They decided to try and get a little nap in and save up energy for later this evening. After she laid down and the next two contractions were intense, way more intense than they had been all morning. It was obvious there would be no sleeping! Jacob helped was able to help her get out of bed to use the bathroom again. When she stood up and she felt a gush of water. After getting to the restroom, she discovered her water had just broken!At 1:26 p.m she texted me and said “Okay, no resting. My water just broke and things are way more intense. The midwife is coming when she is finished with her patients”

 

The contractions that followed her water breaking, were much more painful than before and Jacob could tell she was in a lot more pain. He ran her a bath and helped her get in the tub. He kept holding her hand, running water down on her back. Throughout the whole labor Jacob continued to remind Chelse “You are doing it and we were going to get through all of this with our sweet baby.” Soon Chelse started feeling the urge to bear down and push but it was still just Chelse and Jacob at the house. This is where Jacob got noticeably concerned that is when the texts got a little bit more urgent, and then at 1:46 p.m. I got a text that said “Please come now.”

 

Even though Chelse’s labor started to intensify, Jacob still stayed calm and kept reassuring her that her body was made to do this and it was all going to be worth it in the end. Chelse reiterates that she  “could not have done it without him!” At 2:55pm, Jacob started finished setting up the birth pool just as the midwife Jeannette arrived, and together helped Chelse get into the pool.I got to Chelse and Jacob’s house at 3:15 pm and she obviously bearing down and pushing with contractions. The midwife was calmly letting Chelse’s body do what it was made to do. I got some lavender diffusing and then held Chelse’s hand during contractions. She instinctively moved her body with what it was telling her to do. After about 30 minutes we decided to move to the toilet for some contractions and to allow Chelse to empty her bladder. She felt very comfortable on the toilet and kept bearing down with contractions. Soon the other midwife arrived and brought in all of her tools and medications in case needed. 

 

At 4:20 p.m. Chelse moved to her bed and opted for a cervical exam to verify that she was indeed complete and to see what station baby was at. The midwife said she was obviously 10cm dilated and the baby was +1 station. Chelse did some resting and pushing with the peanut ball in a side lying position. She did this on both sides and was making slow, but steady progress.

 

 At 5:15p.m. We decided to move back to the toilet in the bathroom to see if emptying her bladder and pushing on the toilet would help. After a few contractions in this position, it was an obvious shift in baby’s position. Chelse got off the toilet and did a few contractions and pushes on hands and knees on the floor and was really moving baby down! The midwives talked to Chelse and Jacob about where they would like the baby to be born and the decision was made to move back to the bed. 

 

Once assisted back to bed, she instinctively moved to hands and knees. Then after few more powerful strong pushes, their daughter was born! The midwife passed the baby between Chelse’s knees and up to her chest skin to skin, as Jacob lovingly gazed at his new daughter. A few tears were shed between everyone as Chelse said “I can’t believe I did it! That was SO hard!”

 

Ava Noelle

7lbs 13oz

12/29/2022 5:57 p.m.

 

Born at home into the loving arms of her parents! Jacob and Chelse will be such amazing parents. They worked together so well in helping bring Ava in to the world and were such an awesome team. Jacob provided continuous support and encouragement for her throughout the whole birth experience, and the love he had for Chelse and his daughter poured in to the birth space. Chelse really trusted her body and trusted the labor process! Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your powerful homebirth!

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Mila Kate
December 21, 2022

Maria reached out for her second pregnancy with interest in doing a VBAC. Her first birth was a 37 week, 3 day long induction that ultimately ended in a C-section. She was looking for a different experience with this second baby as she felt the first birth was long and exhausting.  She was hoping for a more intimate and personal birth with a calm environment.

 

When meeting with Maria leading up to her birth, we discussed ways to help her body be as ready as possible. She started choking down dates and doing her circuits frequently, as well as staying active with a toddler! She waited patiently for her body and baby to be ready to go in to labor. 

 

On Tuesday night, 12/20 Maria was having some mild irregular period cramping. We discussed different things to try and see what her contractions would do. Contractions were some what irregular but seemed to be coming more frequently. That evening Maria and Tyler decided to head to Tylers parents house in Larchwood, so the drive to Sioux Falls would be shorter if labor decided to continue. Once Maria and Tyler were there, they were able to sleep for some of the night as well as get their daughter Gracie tucked in.

 

Maria texted me at 6:43 am on 12/21, and said “My water just broke!”. Tyler and Maria decided to head in to the hospital and let me know when they were ready for me to head up to Sioux Falls. After getting settled in at the hospital, Maria was checked and she was 2cm dilated and 60% effaced and not contracting much. We talked about the importance of getting up and walking and moving to see if contractions would start up. 

 

At 10:15 a.m. I checked in with Maria and she said she felt like contractions were picking up and getting more intense. She had not had any cervical checks yet since the initial one, but we decided that I would start getting things ready and heading up to Sioux Falls. The midwife had discussed starting Pitocin, but Tyler and Maria opted to wait a little bit and give her body a chance to continue building contractions.

 

Maria had been checked about 12:30p.m. and was 4cm dilated and 80% effaced. She and Tyler had decided that she was going to get the epidural and try rest for a little bit as it looked like it might be a little bit until the baby was here. I got up to Sioux Falls around 1:15p.m. ( due to snowy roads) and Maria had just gotten an epidural placed. I set up the room with dim lights and started some lavender diffusing. We also had some calm spa like music playing over the speaker to help Maria relax through contractions.  Maria was resting while Tyler was giving her a back massage and “cuddled” up in her blankets.

At 1:45p.m. Maria felt her epidural was completely not working on the left side. We had worked on different positions to help it set up better, but with no success. The decision was made to come in and give her a bolus of another medication to see if it would help her to get over the edge of the pain. This medication made no difference in her pain relief, unfortunately. At 2:45p.m. the anesthesiologist came back in and decided to try replace Maria’s epidural catheter and see if this would help her.

 

Once this was done, Maria had almost immediate relief! She felt SO much more comfortable and fell asleep quickly. The nurse and I assisted Maria in doing side lying release while she slept. After side lying release we assisted her in to flying cowgirl with the peanut ball as baby had been a -2 station with the cervical check from a few hours ago. While in the position, Maria was able to fall in to a deep sleep and Tyler was able to rest as well and take a short nap. We kept everything calm and quiet and allowed for rest.

 

At 4:00pm, the midwife came in to check Maria’s cervix and decide if Pitocin was needed.  Her contractions had spaced about to about every 7 minutes, and was unsure if her labor was progressing due to this. The midwife was also wonderful with waiting to do a cervical check until Maria was more comfortable with her epidural.

 

When midwife went to check her cervix, to everyone’s surprise Maria was 8.5 cm dilated and baby was at 0 station! We were all so excited at this progress! The midwife felt she definitely did not need Pitocin as her body was making great changes and baby was coming down! 

 

We helped Maria to an exaggerated runners position on her left side so she could continue to rest. No one was able to sleep at this point though as we were all so excited! Her successful VBAC was in sight! Maria and I got the chance during this time to reminisce and laugh about the years we worked together at Pizza Ranch when we were in high school. Life is crazy that it brought us from high school co-workers to me getting to help support while bringing her baby in to the world! God is so good! 

 

At 5:00pm, the nurse came to insert a catheter to drain her bladder as it been a few hours since it had been done. When she was inserting the catheter laughs and says “Umm, I can see the baby’s head. It’s right there!” 

 

She called the midwife and she came in and everyone in the room was laughing and the excitement was definitely felt! We were just waiting for all the correct staff to come in the room and for the delivery table to be set up to begin pushing. Maria was completely comfortable throughout all of this, and was glowing with such excitement! Tyler was going to be announcing the gender of the baby (they did not know) so everyone was making their final guesses as they were SO close to meeting their new baby!

 

At 5:12p.m. everyone was ready, and Maria began actively pushing with assistance of Tyler, me,  and staff. She was such a strong pusher! Especially for being as numb as she was! She moved baby with each powerful push! It was so fun to watch Tylers face throughout this as his JOY was SO evident with seeing a little bit of his baby each time. 

 

Soon it was obvious that this baby would have A LOT of dark hair! The nurse brought in a mirror so Maria could see all the baby’s hair and so she could see where she was pushing. Maria was so excited as she said she “was hoping for a dark haired baby!!”

 

At 5:28pm, at 40 weeks 2 days and with only 16 minutes of pushing, their baby was born!

 

The midwife was suctioning the baby with bulb syringe and Maria was the first one to see the gender! She screamed the most purely JOYFUL… “IT’S A GIRL!!!!!” 

 

It was the most exciting, beautiful, overwhelmingly happy moment! She had an amazingly successful VBAC!

 

Mila Kate

December 21, 2022 at 5:28pm

6lbs 14oz

 

Maria and Tyler were SO much fun to work with and Mila’s birth was such a beautiful birth to be a part of! The amount of love that Tyler and Maria showed throughout the labor process was so special to witness. The pure excitement that they had the moment their daughter was born,  brought tears to my eyes. Maria, I am so proud of how you prepared your body for birth and trusted your body to birth your baby! You were so patient in waiting for labor, and it truly paid off! Thank you for inviting me in to Mila’s birth, it was a truly special birth to be a part of! I will forever cherish the memories!

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Quinn Alexandra
December 16, 2022

Being a part of Paige and Zach’s birth experience was so special to me because I was their nurse for the delivery of their first child. I was so excited they hired me as a doula for the birth of their second child.

 

Throughout pregnancy, Paige, Zach, and I processed her last delivery experience and went through what they wanted for this one. Paige’s hope was for a low intervention birth. Specifically avoiding induction, epidural, and not pushing on her back (all of which she had with her first delivery). During pregnancy, we worked on ways to prepare Paige’s body for labor and coping techniques to prepare for an unmedicated birth. 

 

When Paige’s due date came around, her and her doctor discussed induction due to potential risks of going over 41 weeks. Paige decided that an induction at this point was good for her but hoped that she would go into labor on her own before then. Paige continued to try all the natural induction methods but her induction date rolled around with no labor. Paige discussed with both her doctor and I what she wanted for her induction and we made a plan of how we hoped things would go. 

 

On Friday morning, Paige went in for her induction and had a foley bulb placed to help with dilation. Paige was already 2cm dilated at this point, which helped her feel more reassured that her body was more prepared for induction than the last time. Her doctor also wanted to start a low dose of Pitocin with the foley bulb in place to help stimulate contractions. The plan was for me to stay at home till the foley came out or contractions became stronger and more regular. I texted Paige to try to be up and moving as much as possible with the foley bulb to help put more pressure on the cervix. 3.5 hours later, the foley was out and Paige was 6cm dilated, 70% thinned out, and on 2u of Pitocin. At this point, her doctor wanted to break her water and turn off the Pitocin but Paige wanted to wait and consider all options before breaking her water. She declined and asked to re-discuss after I arrived to the hospital. 

 

Around 12pm, I got to the hospital and talked with Paige about how she was feeling about the next steps in her induction. Her foley was out but her Pitocin was still going and she was contracting every 1-3 minutes. It was now 12:30 when her doctor came in again and asked if he could break Paige’s water. Paige asked to be checked again since it had been another hour on the Pitocin and decide afterwards. Paige was now 7cm dilated and 80% thinned out. She asked her doctor to step out so that the 3 of us could discuss what she wanted to do next. We discussed the options of turning off the pit and breaking her water or just leaving the pit on and not breaking her water. Paige then asked, “what if I don’t do any of it?”. Paige wanted to see what her body would do on its own since she was now 7cm and barely on any Pitocin. My response was “Heck yeah, of course you can!”.

 

Paige's doctor came back at 1pm to discuss Paige’s decision to turn off the Pitocin. Her doctor discouraged her from this but Paige stood firm and wanted to give her body a chance to do it on its own for a little while. The nurses unhooked the Pitocin and Paige got in the tub. Paige loved the tub for relief while we played Christian music and continued to work through contractions. Even though Paige's Pitocin was turned off, she continued to contract every 1-4 minutes. As contractions got stronger, I continued to remind her that her body was doing this all on its own now.

 

After about an hour and a half in the tub, Paige was ready to get out and move around again. Paige sat on the birth ball while leaning over the bed, stood over the side of the bed rocking her hips and squatting, and also did hands & knees position once out of the tub. Zach and I also offered lots of counter pressure to her hips throughout contractions. 

 

Another hour and a half went by and Paige was coping so well with contractions but was feeling like she was ready to potentially have her water broke in hopes that it would speed up this last part of her labor. At 4pm, Paige’s doctor broke her water. It was go time! Paige’s contractions went to the next level. The intensity was a lot but Paige worked so hard to try to stay in control of all the pressure she was feeling. Paige got in the tub for about 10-15 minutes while I tried to help her stay focused through contractions. Paige started feeling the urge to push through contractions so we helped her out of the tub and onto the bed. Her doctor came in to check her and called her 8cm. With the pressure she felt and the way Paige was breathing, I knew it wasn’t going to be long before that last bit of cervix was gone. Paige breathed through contractions on her side and started grunting through some pushes. The nurses looked over and saw hair! They called the doctor in and with the next contraction, Paige delivered her baby girl! 

 

Quinn Alexandra was placed on Paige’s chest and let us all know she had made her arrival with her very strong lungs. 

 

Quinn Alexandra 

Born December 16 at 4:31pm 

Weighing 7lbs 9oz

 

Paige— I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of your self awareness and courage to advocate for yourself and your labor experience. I hope that your story can inspire many women to do the same. I feel so blessed to be a part of not only one but both of your birth experiences. I have loved getting to know you and your family better. Your children are so lucky to have a loving, determined, and powerful mama like you!

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Truett Paul
December 13, 2022

Truett’s birth is forever going to hold a special place in this doula’s heart since he’s my birthday buddy!

 

Korrie reached out to me pretty much as soon as she found out she was pregnant for doula services. This was her second pregnancy and birth and was desiring to have low intervention birth avoiding induction and an epidural this time around. Korrie and her husband soaked up all the education we went through and also attended our in person BBBB class to help prepare for labor. 

 

In the few weeks leading up to her due date Korrie had been walking around at 2cm dilated and having braxton hick contractions. She continued to wait and prepare for labor to come on its own. On her due date Korrie went into her appointment and consented to a cervical exam and membrane sweep. Korrie was 3-4cm dilated and her doctor said that her cervix was very ready for labor. After her appointment Korrie was having more cramping and some mild contractions so we waited to see if they continued to turn into real labor. Cramping after a membrane sweep is common and sometimes it goes away and sometimes it turns into labor. So we waited to see which it would be. Korrie continued through the evening having cramping that was mild so she went to bed. 

 

At 4am Korrie woke up and was having regular, more intense contractions. She got up and worked through her contractions at home. At 6am Korrie called me to let me know she was in labor. We had talked in our birth planning about me coming to Korrie’s house to help her labor at home for a while but we decided against doing that since the weather and roads weren’t very good because we were in the middle of an ice storm. We decided the best bet was to get to the hospital sooner so that we weren’t stuck anywhere unable to get there. We met at the hospital just after 7am. In the car ride Korrie’s contractions continued to intensify. When we got to the hospital the nurse checked on the baby and performed a cervical exam and found Korrie was 7cm dilated and the baby was very low. Korrie breathed through a couple more contractions lying on her side in the bed while Chris or I offered sacral pressure. Korrie asked for an epidural at this point because her contractions were intense and not giving her a lot of break. I suggested she try the tub while the nurse prepare for the epidural in hopes it would help relax Korrie and help her progress fast so that she could do this without the epidural like he had originally hoped for. We got Korrie in the tub and she labored on hands and knees. Chris sat by her head supporting her while I sprayed warm water on her back.

Not even 15 minutes into being in the tub Korrie looked up and said, “I’m pushing” and her water broke in the tub. The nurses came rushing in and her nurse said, “I see the head” Korrie had gone from 7cm to crowning in 20 minutes! Thankfully Korrie’s doctor had already been called and was right outside the door. Her doctor came into the bathroom preparing to have an unplanned water birth! Korrie found the strength to get out of the tub and walk to the bed. She breathed through another contraction on her hands and knees in bed when her doctor asked her to move to her back. Korrie’s response to that was “ON MY BACK!?!?” Her nurse suggested her side as a good compromise for her and her doctor. Korrie moved to her side and with one push delivered her baby’s head. With one more push the body was fully delivered and Truett was officially earthside. Chris announced to us all, "It's a BOY!" Korrie’s labor was SO fast and so intense with no induction, no epidural, and no tearing!

 

It ended up being a good thing that there was an ice storm and we decided to meet at the hospital otherwise we probably wouldn’t have made it to the hospital for delivery!

 

Truett Paul 

Born December 13 at 7: 43am

weighing 7lbs 15oz

 

I can’t think of a better way to start off my birthday than with a beautiful birth. Korrie it was an honor to get to know you and your family more throughout our pregnancy and to be welcomed into your birth space. Your labor shows the power of women and the beauty of birth.

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Reuben Tait
December 6, 2022

Courtney and Ben met while working at Pizza Ranch, and were so excited to get to welcome their own “special delivery” into their world!

 

Courtney decided to get induced at 40 weeks 2 days pregnant. She got to the hospital around 8 am on Monday December 5th and was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced. The decision was made to start Pitocin. Contractions took a little bit to start getting more regular and more intense. I went to the hospital at 1pm as Courtney felt like contractions were picking up in intensity and were coming every few minutes. At this point Courtney was in the tub and able to talk after contractions, but had to concentrate through each surge. Her last cervical exam showed that baby was at -1 station so we worked on some positions to open the mid pelvis as well as having Courtney work with her body and relax. After the tub we decided to go to the bed for some resting positions. We continued to reposition and move every 30 minutes or so. At 2:25 the doctor came to check Courtney and said she was a 3-4 and opted to break her water. Soon after this we were able to do some upright positioning and she decided to get back in to the tub as intensity of contractions were picking up after her water breaking. 

 

At 4:00 Courtney was starting to talk about getting her epidural as contractions were becoming much more intense as well as making her vomit. The doctor came to check her to see where she was at before the epidural. She was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced! The process of getting an epidural for Courtney was an…interesting… one. She was doing amazing breathing through every contraction and was holding still. After the epidural needle was placed, her husband turns and says “I’m not feeling so good. I’m very light headed…” He was very pale! The nurse and I helped him sit down in a chair and the nurse ran to get water. After about 30 seconds he said “I’m going to pass out…” and sure enough he did! The student observing the epidural and I helped him to the floor and called for more help. A minute later he woke up with several nurses around him, and he knew exactly what happened! The first thing he did was look up at Courtney finishing getting her epidural “Oh hello love, how are you doing?” After everything settled down, everyone including Courtney were laughing and teasing Ben about it. Courtney said it was a good distraction from her epidural! Her epidural was started at 5:50pm. 

 

Courtneys epidural was dosed a little bit higher and she was able to rest for a bit in a runners position with the peanut ball. At 7:40 she was checked by the nurse as she was feeling more pressure and she was 9.5cm! She wasn’t having and “urge” to push, so Courtney decided to rest and labor down. The doctor checked in at 8:43pm and Courtney was obviously completely dilated. She did some different practice pushes and positions and then the decision to have the epidural turned down was made, as Courtney was not able to feel where she was pushing. 

 

Courtney really started pushing effectively at 10:30pm when she was able to feel what she was doing and the epidural had worn off a bit. She was able to get in to all different types of positions and was making great progress the first hour! But during the next 2 hours, baby did not make much progress in descent. We tried every position (and some made up positions) with pushing trying to get baby to descend to crowning as we were able to see some of baby’s hair with every contraction/push. 

 

She was SO STRONG and pushed so hard trying to get baby to move. The doctor was very open minded to trying all different positions to try. But as time went on, he began to become more nervous about baby being stuck. Respiratory and another doctor were called in to the room around 12:30 a.m. for extra support and to be prepared in case he was really stuck.

 

Courtney was obviously now starting to get tired, and the doctor offered to attempt vacuum extraction to see if could help baby get to crowning. Courtney and Ben consented.At 1:00 am the vacuum was placed and Courtney pushed with all her might. It unfortunately, was not successful. This same thing was attempted 2 more times, with again, no success in even moving baby an inch. Baby tolerated this happening to him very well! 

 

At this point, everyone knew that baby was stuck - stuck. The doctor talked to her and Ben about the risks and benefits of attempting to keep pushing or going to C-section. Courtney and Ben and the doctor felt that it was time for a caesarean birth.They called in the crew and everyone went back to the OR around 1:30 a.m. In the meantime, I helped move Courtney and Ben’s stuff over to their room and then waiting for them to come back from surgery.

 

Courtney and Ben did not know the gender of their baby, but everyone had their guesses!

 

December 6th, 2022

1:49 a.m. Reuben Tait was born!

8lbs 2oz

22inches long!

Wide eyed as could be!

 

Awhile later the Respiratory Therapist and nurse went to the nursery with Ben as baby was having some issues maintaining his temperature. He was also having some blood sugar issues. He stabilized and Courtney was able to get some snuggles in as well as start nursing. Later throughout the day, Rueban was continuing to have a hard time keep his sugars and temperatures up. There was also some concern about the swelling in his head from the vacuum, and the decision was made to transfer Reuben to the NICU for more specialized care.

 

Courtney was so strong and worked so hard to get her baby here! She told me when she was in her C-section the doctor had to vaginally push his head back up and it was very difficult! Birth is something that truly can be unpredictable. You can work so hard and do everything right, and sometimes it isn’t doesn’t always end in a vaginal birth, unfortunately. But that’s where we leave it up to God! Courtney and Ben handled everything with such grace and faith! They were such a fun couple to work with. Courtney told me that she had wanted an upbeat birth experience and we all spent most of the labor laughing and cracking jokes! As well as doing our fair share of teasing Ben about fainting. Thank you for inviting me to get to be a part of Reuben’s birth! It was a blessing to get to work with you!

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Johanna Marie
November 29, 2022

Johanna's birth was an honor to be welcomed into and to witness the beauty of labor and the power of a support team. I'm so thankful to have been welcomed into the birth space.

On Monday night, the evening of her due date, Alyson was having some mild contractions so she let me know and decided to try and sleep and see what happened. At 1:30am contractions picked up and Alyson wasn’t able to sleep so she got up and tried the shower. Contractions were every 1-2 minutes but were on the shorter side lasting about 30 seconds. At 2am Tim called me to come over that labor was definitely here. Alyson was in the shower when I got there. She felt the shower helped take the edge off the contractions and slow them down to about every 2-3 minutes. Soon after, Alyson was ready to get out of the shower and moved to the birth rubbed her back.

 We then decided to do a labor circuit with the peanut ball to help get the baby into the best position. Throughout the labor circuit Alyson's contractions became more spaced out but they were getting longer in duration. We decided that since she was able to rest in between contractions while laying down she would try and rest for a little while. At this time I also went home to rest which was conveniently just houses down the street. Not even a half hour later I got a text that contractions picked back up to every 2 minutes. It was about 5am at this point and Alyson was ready to try the shower again to help with contractions. Alyson got in the shower and we prepared to head to the hospital soon because things were definitely changing and Alyson’s past two labors were fairly quick. After a quick shower Alyson was ready to head to the hospital and use their awesome labor tub. Alyson got out of the shower and breathed through contractions on hands and knees on the bathroom floor between drying off and getting dressed.

 At 5:30am we all left for the hospital which was just a quick 3 minute drive. When we got to the hospital Alyson stood at the bedside and rocked her hips through contractions while Tim or I helped with double hip squeezes as counter pressure. Alyson opted for another cervical check and she was 4-5 cm dilated 100% thinned out and very low. Contractions were changing quite quickly, already becoming longer and stronger so Alyson wanted to get in the tub as soon as she could. After monitoring that the baby was doing ok Alyson got in the tub. Alyson continued to breathe and move through contraction in the tub using different positions in the tub like laying back, squatting, and hands and knees, while Tim and I tried to continue with hip squeezed when we could reach. At 6:30 Alyson was ready to get out of the tub and try something new. She wanted to stand again so we went back to standing over the bedside doing hip squeezes for a couple contractions and then it was time to try something different again so Alyson laid on her side in the bed while Tim offered counter pressure to her back while I encouraged Alyson to power through contractions because the end was near. After about 20 minutes laying on her side Alyson moved to hands and knees. On hands and knees Alyson's water broke at 6:51am. Every time Alyson’s water broke the baby was born very shortly after so Alyson moved to her side since she wanted to push on her side and we got the nurse and doctor to come in. Alyson breathed through strong contractions full of pressure while Tim encouraged her and sported her back. At 6:54am her doctor was there and told Alyson she could push with her next contraction with that next contraction her baby's head was delivered. After the head was delivered the shoulders were stuck  so the nurses quickly shifted Alyson from her side to her back and moved her knees to her chest for a strong push to help dislodge the shoulder and deliver the baby. With that push Johanna was fully delivered and officially earth side! Throughout this short pushing process Johanna also had 2 nuchal cords the doctor unwrapped around her neck. Johanna was placed on Alyson’s chest and cried right away. Tim announced the gender to us all “It’s a GIRL” the look of pure shock on Alyson's face was absolutely priceless as she was convinced she was having a boy. 

 

Johanna Marie 

9lbs 1oz 

born November 29, 2022 at 6:58am

 

Alyson's birth space was an honor to be welcomed into. Birth is a beautiful sacred space and I will never lose sight of what an honor it is to be invited into. I am so excited to have been a part of Johannas birth and to get the opportunity to watch her grow up. 

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Dawson Crew
November 23, 2022

“I freaking did it” Abby's words of power, triumph, exhilaration and relief when Dawson was placed on her chest and in her arms. 

 

Abby became pregnant with her 3rd child and began thinking through her desires for her labor this third time around. After two epiduralized labors Abby's main goal was to obtain a low intervention birth especially trying to avoid the epidural. Prenatally Abby and I discussed ways to prepare for a low intervention birth in the hospital. 

 

In Abby's previous pregnancy she was induced due to high blood pressure. It was a concern that this could develop again and would require an induction. High blood pressure can be very serious in pregnancy for both mother and baby and needs to be assessed closely. Abby throughout pregnancy in her third trimester had a few slightly elevated blood pressures that weren’t too concerning until 2 day before her due date. 2 days before Abbys due date she had an appointment where her blood pressure was significantly elevated. Her doctor had her stay for some testing to make sure the baby was doing okay and to see if her BP came down. Sadly her BP stayed high but her baby looked good so the decision was made to induce Abby that afternoon. Thankfully Abby was already starting some early labor over the past week and was dilated to a 4 that morning in the clinic. Abby went home and got ready to come back to the hospital that afternoon. 

Abby's induction was scheduled for 1:00pm on Wednesday November 25. We met at the hospital then and came up with a game plan for her induction. Abby felt strongly that she wanted to avoid Pitocin as much as possible so the plan was to have her doctor break her water since she was already 4cm. At 1:30pm her doctor came in to break her water and to our surprise over the past few hours since her clinic appointment she had progressed to 5cm, her cervix was 50% thinned out and her baby was +3 station so still fairly high up in the pelvis. 

The goal with breaking her water would be to help bring the baby lower and put pressure on the cervix. Thankfully Abby's body was already starting early labor and it was only a matter of a small amount of time before her body would have gone into labor on its own. Her water was broke at this time and we got to work with labor positions to get her baby into a good position. 

Our labor warm up started with positions in bed to stretch her muscles and let the nurses monitor the baby for a little while. We then focused on upright positions to engage the baby into the pelvis and get pressure on the cervix. After using upright position for about an hour Abby was clearing becoming more uncomfortable with stronger contractions and more pelvic pressure and was ready to try the tub around 4 in the afternoon. In the tub Abby laid back and relaxed through her contractions utilizing deep calm breathing through her contractions. Every couple contractions Abby changed position in the tub to either hands and knees or squatting through a contraction or two to keep her pelvis moving to help her baby continue to engage lower into the pelvis. After about an hour in the tub Abby was ready to try something else so we moved to the shower. This hospital had a shower separate from the tub so we walked to the shower and Abby sat on the birth ball in the shower while warm water was sprayed on her back. She said this was her favorite labor position. Another hour or so in the shower and it was time to change things up again. Abby tried to lay down with the peanut ball but as soon as a contraction came she felt that she needed to stand up. So she stood up next to her bed leaning over the bedside while I offered double hip squeezes as counter pressure through contractions. Contractions were getting longer and much more intense and Abby was getting nauseous and shaky. All signs of progressing labor and transition. Abby's doctor came by at this time and asked to check Abby's progress with a cervical exam. Abby consented and her doctor found that her cervix was 7cm, nearly comply thinned out and 0 station. Even though it was a 2cm change in 5 hours this was huge progress with how thinned out and how much lower the baby got.

Labor progress is usually exponential so the last centimeters usually dilated the fastest. The finish line was in sight and Abby's body and contraction patterns were showing us that it was not going to be long. Abby stood up and moved with her body through contractions like before and was feeling the overwhelming feeling of it all being too much. She was tired and the contractions were intense! I encouraged her that this was her body finishing the job and she was so close to the end. Abby still felt like she might need something to take the edge off and asked for some kind of narcotic medication to help with the edge. Her nurse asked her doctor and her doctor explained that she didn’t want to give her any narcotics because the baby would also get some of the medication and since she was so close to delivery there was a chance the narcotics would make her baby tired and not a great breather at delivery. Abby understood this and opted to be checked again because her contractions were so strong and she was feeling a lot more pressure even though it had only been 20 minutes since her last check. Abby was now 9cm dilated and this was the reassurance she needed to get to the end and power through without any medication. I told you those last centimeters go exponentially faster! Abby moved back to standing at the bedside and with her next two contractions she felt a strong urge to push. I had Abby move to hands and knees in the bed for delivery. A few contractions later at 6:56pm Abby was completely dilated and able to push. With just 9 minutes of pushing Abby delivered Dawson Crew on hands and knees unmedicated! Dawson was placed on her chest and Abby said,“I freaking did it!”

 

 Dawson Crew born November 25 at 7:05pm weighing 7lbs 13 oz 

 

Abby you persevered through an intense labor and were so strong to reach your goal. It was so special to be a part of your birth team and walk with you through your pregnancy and labor. Being your doula was an honor!

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Kai Lynn
November 21, 2022

Brittany and Luke reached out as first time parents early pregnancy for support as they were looking for a natural unmedicated birth experience. Brittany believed that women were created to give birth, and completely trusted her body to do so. She worked hard during pregnancy in staying active and being patient. She was hoping her baby would be here by Thanksgiving, but was content if the baby was not.  

 

Brittany texted me around 7 am on November 20th, at 40 weeks and 1 day, saying that she was having some cramping that was in her back and abdomen. The cramping was irregular and not very intense yet. Throughout the day we continued to talk back and forth about different things to try to see if we could get the contractions to be a in a more regular pattern and pick up in intensity. 

Brittany and Luke live an hour away from the hospital, and at 7:30 pm they decided that it possibly was going to be a long night as contractions had got a bit more intense, and decided to head to the hospital. They figured it would be better to drive in earlier rather then in the middle of the night. We decided that they would get settled in the hospital and have a cervical check and then we could come up with a game plan after that. 

I got a text from Brittany at 8:53 pm that they had just gotten to the hospital and that she was now having some spotting. She had not had any spotting before this throughout the day at all. Soon after the text from Brittany, my phone rings at 9:13 pm and its her husband Luke. I answer and he says “They just checked Brittany, and she’s 8 centimeters!” 

 

I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door as the hospital is 50 minutes away from me as well! Upon arrival to the hospital, Brittany was on hands and knees on the bed with the bottom of the bed dropped down. Her contractions were visibly intense, and yet Brittany was moaning so powerfully through each one. She was truly in the zone and was allowing her body to completely relax in between.  Luke was up by Brittany’s head and the doctor was massage Brittany’s calves and feet. This doctor told me that he likes to “describe himself as half doula!” I got to setting up with room with lavender diffusing right by Brittany and the lights hung. They already had music playing and the lights turned down. I coached Luke in providing counter pressure and took over rubbing Brittany’s legs, while the doctor started taking pictures since I jokingly “took his job”. After a few contractions we decided that Brittany should try empty her bladder and do a few contractions straddling the toilet. Luke helped her to the toilet where she did a few contractions and I provided counter pressure. During this time Brittany began to feel pushy pressure. The doctor suggested that she have a cervical exam to see where she was at. After a cervical exam was suggested, Brittany stated that “she would like the nurse with the small hands to do it and not the doctor!” As he had much larger hands then the nurse. Everyone burst out laughing as well as the doctor and completely agreed with her! She said later that she had had a cervical exam by him in the office and “had given it the ole’ college try!” But was going to not have that during labor.At 11:03pm we helped her back to the bed and the nurse with the small hands checked Brittany’s cervix. She was 10cm dilated! Brittany’s water had not broken yet, so she was still able to continue to cope with contractions extremely well!After the cervical exam, she went to hands and knees with a peanut ball as Brittany was most comfortable this way. She had had quite a bit of back pain throughout the day, and had utilized a TENS unit to help her with the back pain. Later she told me that the TENS unit had been a lifesaver for her!

Time becomes very fluid during the labor process as it turns in to coping though one contraction at a time, and that’s exactly how Brittany went through labor. She had the perfect support team that allowed her body to keep doing what it was made to do. The environment was so beautiful and you could just feel the support and respect for the birth process radiating through the room. She was so powerful and moaned and roared her way through each contraction, one contraction at a time. 

 

At 11:47 she began to bear down at the end of contractions. She was never holding her breath and counting, but more moaning and bearing down and working with her body. After about 40 minutes of doing this, Brittany moved herself to sitting back on her knees and continuing to work with contractions. At 12:29 a.m. there was a pop! Brittany’s water had finally broke! The doctor and I suggested that Brittany move to a squatting position with the squat bar for support as it felt her body was trying to get into a squatting position naturally. This way she could utilize gravity to aid in helping the baby come through the birth canal. We all helped move her to a squat position and leaning over the squat bar. The moving positions was the most intense part of labor, and the only time Brittany asked for any pain relief. The team reassured her that this was a very normal feeling and reminded her that she was so close to meeting her baby and finding out the gender!

Once squatting, Brittany showed so much strength! She moaned through 2 more strong contractions, allowing her body to stretch with each one. Brittany had stayed crowning, and with last powerful contraction, Brittany roared her baby earth side in one strong push!

 

12:50 a.m., the doctor announced “It’s a BOY!”

 

He cried immediately and placed directly on Brittany’s chest. She looked down on him with so much love and relief as natural oxytocin flooded her body. She snuggled him close and said over and over “hi baby, we did it!”

 

Kai Lynn Arrowood

7lbs 15oz 

And a head FULL of dark hair!!

Kai’s birth experience was a testament of how powerful women truly are! Undisturbed birth is so raw and primal. Brittany surrendered to the labor process and trusted her body every step of the way. She focused on relaxing her body and allowing the contraction to do what it was made to do! Birth can be such an influential event in a women’s life. Not only is a baby born, but a mother is born as well! 

Thank you Brittany and Luke for inviting me to be a support, and witness in the empowering birth of Kai! Being a doula is the BEST job!

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Anna Joy
October 27, 2022

Anna’s birth story started back when Irene and Jeremy reached out to hire a doula when they they were pregnant with their second baby. Irene had previously had a C-section due to her first daughter being in a breech position and having a heart shape uterus. She had initially wanted to do home births all of her children, but now since she was going to have a VBAC, she no longer qualified.

 

When meeting with Irene and Jeremy, Irene had voiced her want to be at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital. If you ever met Irene, you will know she is a woman who does her research and knows all risks and benefits of all things involving birth. In the weeks leading up to birth, Irene was seeing a chiropractor and staying active by walking and keeping up with their toddler daughter.

 

In the afternoon of Wednesday October 26th at 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, Irene called me and told me that her water had broken. She had been having Braxton hicks contractions, but no real labor contractions yet. Did you know only 7% of women’s water break with no contractions? Her plan was to wait home and see if labor started. They went for a walk and did some pumping. Around supper time, contractions started to become more intense and Irene decided she was ready for me to come to their house. By the time I arrived, contractions had faded and everyone made the decision to try sleep for a little while. At 10:00 pm contractions picked back up and were intense again. Irene felt as if baby was still high and not well engaged yet, so we did some abdominal lift and tucks with contractions, and then decided to rest some more in flying cowgirl. While in flying cowgirl, Irene and Jeremy were able to sleep as it was now midnight and I rubbed her leg with contractions. After about an hour in flying cowgirl, contractions became too intense to lay down through and Irene got back in the tub. The bathroom was set up beautifully with candles burning and essential oils diffusing with soft music playing. Jeremy went back and forth from providing counter pressure, to supporting Irene about by her head and reminding her that her body was made to do this. After awhile contractions were starting to become painful in Irene’s back and she was not feeling them much in her abdomen. With these extremely painful back contractions, Irene made the decision that she was ready to go to the hospital to opt for some medicine for pain relief.

 

We all arrived at the hospital and to Irene’s room around 3:45 am. At 3:55 she opted for a cervical exam and was 6-7cm dilated. She then decided to get in the tub after an IV was started. The nursing staff and doctor were wonderful and extremely respectful of Irene’s requests as well as explaining the risks and benefits of the medication options.  Irene decided she wanted to try the narcotic pain relief. This was a wonderful thing for her as it helped her to relax and regain control of her birth and breathing. She labored in the tub for next hour and a half with dim lighting, soft Christian music plain and oils diffusing. Jeremy held Irene’s hands and she laid on his shoulder to rest after each contraction. The doctor sat quietly crossed legged on the bathroom floor and continued to let her body and baby do what it was made to do. He even took my phone and snapped some pictures of us in “action!”. During this time in the tub, she decided for one more dose of the pain medication to help her with her back contractions. Soon Irene’s body started to push her baby out. She continued breathing through each contraction and bear down with them and stayed in complete control the entire time. We all helped Irene back to the bed, as she breathed through the surges of contractions and the doctor checked her cervix at 6:44 a.m. and she was obviously complete. The squat bar was set up and Irene pulled herself up to the squat bar. She squatted and with the next contractions, Irene gave 2 strong pushes, and the baby was here!

 

On October 27th at 6:52 a.m.,  Jeremy was assisted by the doctor in catching his sweet new dark haired daughter. He looked up at Irene with the most loving eyes said “You did it! Anna is here! You are amazing!”

Irene had a moderate amount bleeding after birth, so the doctor asked for consent to administer IV Pitocin. She and Jeremy agreed to this, as well as the need some sutures.

 

Irene and pushed through fatigue and extremely painful back contractions and was able to have a successful vaginal birth after her first C-section. She showed true strength and power as she leaned in to the contractions and breathed through them one at a time. She continued to listen to her body and move in different positions to accommodate Anna coming in to the world. She stayed completely in tune with her body/baby and knew what she needed. Her and Jeremy were the sweetest couple to work with, and their true love and commitment to each other showed the ENTIRE birth. Thank you so much for allowing me to a part of this beautiful experience!

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Sutton Rae
October 25, 2022

Sweet Sutton's birth was such an honor to witness. Hannah was so strong to achieve her goal of an unmedicated labor even when things didn’t go exactly as planned. Hannah went in for her OB check on Monday October 24 and at this point was 39week and 3 days pregnant. Over the weekend Hannah has started some cramping and braxton hicks contractions and was excited that her body was starting to prepare for labor. Hannah decided to get a cervical exam and a membrane sweep in hopes of starting labor. Hannah was 2cm dilated and had her membrane sweep in the clinic. The plan was to go home and see what happened over the next day or so but Sutton had a different plan. When Hannah got up from her appointment her water broke right there in the clinic office. So much for waiting to see what happens, it was happening now.

 Hannah was brought over to the labor and delivery unit to be monitored. At this point Hannah wasn't having any strong regular contractions and we were hoping she could go home until contractions started but her doctor wanted her to stay for monitoring just in case. By this point it was already early evening so the plan was to rest and see what her body did over the next few hours and see if contractions started on their own. Throughout the evening Hannah progressed to 3cm and was having some regular contractions that prevented her from getting much rest. In the early morning around 3am Hannah was checked again and was still at 3cm and her contractions had died down. Her doctor wanted to start Pitocin at this point to keep her labor progressing. Hannah wasn’t thrilled about needing Pitocin but wanted to keep things moving. The Pitocin started working quickly to rev up contractions. 

At 5:45am Hannah's husband Clay called me that she was ready for me to come and help her through contractions as they were becoming much more intense. At 6:45am I got to the hospital. Hannah was sitting on the birth ball breathing beautifully through contractions. We sat down and chatted about how things were going and how Hannah was feeling about her whirlwind of the past 12 hours. Her doctor came in again to check on Hannah's progress at 8am and Hannah was now 4cm and her cervix was nearly all the way thinned out. Even though the dilation didn’t seem like a lot of progress, being completely thinned out is great progress so that the cervix can dilate faster. The nurses continued to increase Hannahs Pitocin while we changed positions between the birth ball, hands and knees, and standing leaning over the bed. Around 10am Hannah decided that the tub would feel good on her lower back. The tub worked wonders. Hannah continued to breathe through contractions and breath her baby down in the water. Pitocin contractions are no joke especially with your water broke but Hannah stayed so calm and in control of her breathing the whole time. Just before noon Hannah was still in the tub when her doctor came in to do another cervical exam. He did this while she was in the tub and said he thought Hannah was completely dilated but wasn’t positive because of her position in the tub and would like to do a check in the bed before starting pushing. He offered that Hannah could continue to breathe through contraction in the water but Hannah was ready to be done and start pushing if she could so she got out of the tub to be checked. This check found that Hannah still had a small lip of cervix all the way around and wasn’t quite fully dilated. This wasn’t what Hannah was hoping for but there was no other option but to keep going because the end was in sight. For 45 minutes Hannah breathed through contraction in a squatting position in bed. At 1:00 Hannah was fully dilated and able to start pushing. First Hannah pushed in a seat squat position in bed and did so great controlling her breath and focusing her energy down towards her baby. After pushing in this position for about 20 minutes I suggested a change to try tug of war pushing. Tug of war worked great on the first push like this we were able to see the first peek of baby hair. Tug of war was working well for Hannah so she kept pushing this way until her baby was nearly crowning. On the last push to change up her hips we had Hannah pull her leg back and with that push Suttun Rae was born. 

 

Sutton Rae

Born October 25 at 2:04pm

weighing 6lbs 14oz 

 

Hannah, your strength through intense pitocin contraction was so amazing and something to brag about. It was an honor to see your strength in person and be a part of your birth story. 

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Winston Paul
October 20, 2022

Emma hired a doula for her third pregnancy in hopes of achieving a more natural birth after a previous induction and 2 epidurals. Emma did so much front work in her pregnancy to prepare for labor including working with Kyla, attending our BBBB class, working with a Webster certified chiropractor, eating dates, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, labor exercises, and mental preparation for childbirth. Initially Emma consented to a 39 4/7 induction with the reasoning of a big baby. As Emma prepared for her induction she began feeling uneasy about it and decided that the induction didn’t seem right at this time so she canceled her induction in hopes of going into labor on her own. Another week and a half past and still no labor. There had been lots of prodromal labor but still no contractions that came and stayed consistent. At this point her doctor recommended induction die to her being 41 weeks pregnant. Emma was disappointed that she was still needing to be induced but was feeling much better about this induction because of the extra time he gave her body to prepare. Emma went in for her induction on Wednesday night October 19. Emma was 2 centimeters dilated and was given a dose of vaginal cytotec to help continue to ripen and prep the cervix. I stopped by that evening to set up all my doula things, do a labor warm up with Emma and discuss what interventions she would prefer for her induction. Later that evening after I had gone home to sleep Emma’s doctor came in again and placed another dose of vaginal cytotec which was double the original dose. The first cytotec caused some random mild contractions and this second started some more regular mild contractions. It was late at this point and contractions were not very intense at this point so that plan was to try and get some sleep before active labor kicked in. Emma was able to rest/sleep on and off for a couple hours about around 3:30am contractions were becoming too strong to sleep/rest through. Emma had her husband give me a call that she was needing more support coping through contractions around 4:15am and I got to the hospital around 4:45am. Emma was sitting on the edge of the bed breathing through her contractions when I got to the hospital. She told me that she had tried walking, squatting, and laying down and nothing was comfortable. I could tell by the way Emma was acting that she was really progressing in labor so I suggested the tub as this was something she really wanted to utilize this birth. While we waited for the tub to fill Emma breathed through a few contractions on hands and knees while Dustin and I massaged Emma's back and hips. A little after 5am Emma got into the tub. Contraction continued to grow in the tub quickly. Within 15 minutes of being in the tub Emma started to feel a lot more pressure during contraction and a couple contractions later was starting to feel the urge to push. I ran out to tell the nurse and have them call the doctor that things were getting close. When I got back Emma was breathing through contractions but felt that her body was pushing without her control. Emma's uterus was pushing for her and moving her baby down. A few contractions later Emma said she felt the baby in her bottom and sure enough through the water I saw a peak of the top of her baby’s head. The hospital she delivered at doesn’t do water births and the doctor wasn’t there yet so Dustin and I quickly helped Emma out of the tub to get to the bed. Emma went onto hands and knees in the bed and as she got in bed her baby head delivered. With the next contractions Emma pushed the rest of Winston's body out and he was caught by the nurse and I.

 

Winston Paul 

Born Thursday, October 20 at 5:34am 

Weighing 10lbs 2oz and 23.5 inches long 

 

 A couple minutes later her doctor arrives to deliver the placenta. With how fast Winston's birth went goes to show how ready Emma's body was for labor. Emma, your hard work during pregnancy to care for your baby and your body was so clear and really paid off. It was an honor to support you through this process and help deliver Winston. This will be a birth I will never forget. 

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Josiah James "JJ"
September 16, 2022

Happy Birthday Josiah James! 

Emily and Derek recently moved to the area from Denver, and when they found out they were  pregnant they reached out to NWIBN for doula, lactation, and placenta services! 

Throughout the pregnancy Emily and Derek and I often stayed in contact about different  prenatal questions they maybe had or thoughts about labor and delivery. In the third trimester,  Emily made sure that she was doing all the things she could do to prepare her body to be  receptive to the labor hormones. She was eating dates, curb walking (so much “her calves  were sore”) and seeing a Webster certified chiropractor regularly. We stayed in touch often  during the last couple weeks of pregnancy.  

When Emily was 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, she began to have a small amount of  spotting. The spotting continued through out the day, but she had a doctors appointment  Friday morning. Friday morning she called to the hospital to inform them of the spotting and  the nurse thought she could maybe be in early labor.  

At her appointment at 10:45 her doctor did a cervical check and Emily was 2cm dilated and  70% thinned out. The doctor also was slightly concerned about the amount of spotting that  Emily was having. She offered Emily the option of induction that afternoon, or coming back to  the hospital everyday that weekend for a non stress test and maybe ultrasound. Emily and  Derek live an hour away from the hospital, so after discussion with the doctor, the decision was  made for an induction that afternoon. 

Emily was a tad disappointed with needing an induction, but understood that it was maybe the  safest option for her and her baby.  

They arrived to labor and delivery around 1:00pm. We continued to talk back and forth  throughout the early induction process. At 2:30 pm Pitocin was started to initiate contractions,  and soon after contractions started becoming more intense. I decided to head up to the  hospital around 4:30pm when Emily began have regular and strong contractions.  

When I got to the hospital at 5:30pm, she was on the birth ball and having to stop and breathe  through contractions with Derek apply counter pressure. Emily had wanted to utilize the tub  during labor, but since she was on continuous monitoring, it was not possible. At 5:50 the  nurse offered a cervical check and Emily was 3cm dilated and 80% thinned out.  

After this cervical check, Derek and I helped Emily into a flying cowgirl position to encourage  baby to come down into the pelvis. She did this for approximately 20 minutes on each side.  Soon Emily felt as though she needed to get up and move to cope with contractions as they  

visibly had gotten more intense after flying cowgirl. She went to the bathroom and tried to  empty her bladder as well as labor for a few contractions on the toilet. At this point Emily  decided she was ready for an epidural as her contractions on the Pitocin seemed to be coming  one after the other with little breaks. 

While waiting for the anesthesiologist to come, we did a modified forward leaning inversion  with counter pressure comfort. During this, contractions became so uncomfortable that Emily  vomited. Throughout the intense ness of the contractions Emily stayed in complete control of  her breathing and utilizing low moans visualization of breathing her baby down. It was obvious  she had been practicing her breathing skills! 

Soon the anesthesiologist came and placed Emily’s epidural without difficulty and Derek was  able to stay right by her for reassurance during placement. Her epidural medication was started at 7:33 pm. Emily had great relief from her epidural and said over and over “I don’t know why  anyone would do this without an epidural!”  

After the epidural medication was infusing and Emily was comfortable, the nurse offered  another cervical check. At 8:03pm she was 6 cm dilated and 90% thinned out and baby had  moved down. The nurse was WONDERFUL and worked with us a team to help Emily to move  in to different positions with her epidural. During the next hour Derek, the nurse, and I laughed  more then I ever have during a labor! If you know Emily at all, you will understand her sense of  humor and lack of filter that was making us all crack up!

Emily soon began to feel pressure and felt her body pushing involuntarily. The nurse checked  her at 9:15 p.m. and she was 9.5cm with a rim on the left side. The nurse called the doctor and  Derek and I helped Emily move to a position to help the rim disappear.  

The doctor on call arrived at bedside at 9:23 p.m. and checked Emily and she was 10cm  dilated! Her water had not broken yet, so at the time Emily consented to her water being broke.  This was done at 9:26 p.m. and the baby came down to almost crowning! Right after her water  broke was a little bit hectic as the nurse and doctor were having a hard time finding baby’s  heart tones due to baby’s rapid descent. But soon, she started actively pushing at 9:32 pm and  7 minutes later he was born! 

Josiah James 

 born September 16th, 2022 9:39 p.m. 

7lbs  18.5inches long 

& a head full of jet black hair 

Emily worked so hard to prepare her body for labor and delivery, and it definitely paid off with  her short induction! It was so much fun getting to know Derek and Emily and the sweet couple  that they are! Josiahs birth was a true celebration and a JOY to be a part of! He will be so  extremely loved! Thank you Derek and Emily for inviting me in to your birth space and allowing  me to be part of such a joyous birth! Being a doula is the BEST!

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Grace Christine
October 12, 2022

When I first met with Marissa when she was early in her pregnancy, she decided to look in to the birth doula process. She wanted support for her, but also for her husband, Josh, during labor. Throughout the duration of her pregnancy, Marissa saw a Webster certified chiropractor. When she was in her third trimester she went for walks daily as well as frequently doing the miles circuit.We sat down for her birth plan meeting around 35 weeks and discussed what her ideal birth experience would be. This is when I saw a more stubborn side of Marissa, where she made her mind up that she was going to do everything she could do to not have an epidural. She and I talked about different coping mechanisms that could be utilized in helping cope through labor. Ultimately she decided to do her best to go without an epidural, but was under the understanding that it was there if she needed it.

 

Marissa’s due date was on Monday the 10th, and she was not feeling much contractions or signs of labor. She had an appointment with her doctor on Tuesday the 11th, to check on baby’s growth. At the ultrasound, it was found that Marissa had low amniotic fluid. So Marissa discussed with the doctor and decided to start a foley bulb induction right after her appointment. Marissa was sent over to labor and delivery where they did an non stress test and a cervical exam. The Foley bulb was placed at 2:30pm and she was 2cm dilated and 60-70% effaced. During the next few hours, Marissa and I stayed in contact with some different positions to try as well as encouraging rest as she may have to be up in the middle of the night with harder labor.At 7:30 pm, Marissa’s foley bulb fell and out and she was having mild contractions. At 9:30, the doctor came to check her and she was 6cm and 75% effaced. When the doctor and her and discussed induction with pitocin, Marissa stated that she wanted to take the pitocin very slowly and see if she could give her body a chance to “take over” labor on her own. So pitocin was started very very conservative at 10:30 pm, and Marissa was going to try and sleep. The plan was to run a low dose pitocin overnight to hopefully allow for a chance for Marissa to sleep.Marissa and I discussed trying to get some sleep for a few hours and to have her call me when she was ready for me to be there. Right as soon as we finished discussing our plan, she had 3 intense contractions. She decided at 11:00pm she was ready for me to be there as baby had obviously moved further down and her last few contractions had gotten more intense.

 

I arrived at the hospital at 11:30 pm and Marissa was laying in the bed breathing and concentrating through her contractions. Her pitocin had been just turned up to 3 units and she was ready to get in the tub. Marissa got in the tub around midnight, and it was where we spent the next 2 hours and 20 minutes. She got huge relief from the tub, and she was able to close her eyes and doze off in the 3 minutes in between contractions. We took one contraction at a time and Marissa breathed flawlessly through them while I applied counter pressure to her hips.The tub is definitely natures epidural! Around 1:00 am the doctor came to Marissa in the tub and asked if she would consent to a cervical exam. At this point Marissa had slipped in to “labor land” and was completely in the zone. So much so, she didn’t even hear the doctor talking to her! The doctor decided that it was obvious that Marissa was progressing and told us to call when she started to feel pushy.

 

At 2:15 am, she had 3 intense contractions and Marissa stated she was ready to have a break. Right after this she vomited a few times and started getting quite shaky, and we knew she was in transition! While she was vomiting she felt a pop and fluid leaking (even in the tub you can sometimes still feel this). At 2:20 we decided it was time to go back to the bed and get ready for delivery! The doctor met her a bedside and Marissa agreed to a cervical exam. She was 9cm dilated and baby was at 0 station. She changed out of her wet clothes and put new bands on. During this time her Pitocin IV was paused to allow for her arm to get in clean clothes. Her body kept contracting with intense contractions, so the doctor opted to leave the Pitocin off. We assisted in Marissa in exaggerated runners position on her right side for 20 minutes and the switched to the left side. At 3:05 am, she began to involuntarily bear down with contractions. She was not pushing, but more of a bear down motion. She declined a positional check with the doctors hands at this time as she felt she was having too much pressure and the doctor held warm compresses to her perineum to aid in comfort. At 3:54 it was found that Marissa still had a partial bag of water intact. This was broken by the doctor and baby got to the point where the baby’s head started becoming visible. Soon after baby was having some concerning heart tones and Respiratory Therapy was called to bedside in case their was need for extra help with baby. Baby recovered with the next 2 pushes and seemed to be doing better. But after the next contraction, the heart tones remained low and the doctor discussed use of a vacuum with Marissa. She consented and the doctor attempted to place the vacuum at 4:06 a.m. Marissa did NOT like how the vacuum felt and decided to push her baby out with the next 2 contractions! She pushed past the vacuum and at 4:08 a.m. the baby was born! Josh and Marissa did not know the gender of the baby. Josh was more squemish than Marissa, so Marissa was able to look down and announce to the room with complete shock, “It’s a GIRL!!!” . She had spent the last 9 months CONVINCED her baby was a boy.

 

Beautiful, healthy Grace Christine was placed directly on to moms chest and let out a loud cry! She had a head full of dark hair and Marissa said again and again “She’s here, I did it! She’s here, I did it!”

 

Marissa showed great determination and power throughout her pregnancy and birth experience that I admire.  She worked so hard to prepare her body for delivery, and it definitely paid off. Throughout labor, she breathed through each contraction and stayed in control of her mind flawlessly. She was able to have raw, powerful, non epidural birth experience that she was looking for! And to top it off, she worked with her body and ended up with no tearing! Witnessing the strength of a mother throughout labor shows the extent of how amazing women can truly be! Being a doula is the most amazing job!

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Iris Pearl
September 9, 2022

Iris Pearl’s birth was a simply beautiful home birth.
Kaylee’s decision to home birth came after two previous induced hospital births. Kaylee desired a more individualized mother focused care for her third child and chose home birth as the best option for her and her baby. Iris’s birth story began Friday morning when Kaylee was 41weeks and 1 day pregnant. Kaylee had joked that this baby was a good listener because Kaylee had wanted to not go into labor until 41 weeks. She asked the baby to listen one more time and to come this past weekend.
Well I guess Iris is a good listener, we will see how long that lasts,  because Friday morning it all began. Kaylee went to her midwife appointment that morning and decided to decline any intervention to start labor yet. She had an NST which ended up showing that Kaylee was already contracting a lot but barely feeling anything. Kaylee then came to my house and we worked on stretches and positions to help prepare for labor and hopefully coax this baby into a good position for labor to really start. That afternoon Kaylee decided to try come caster oil and see if the mix of early contractions, good stretches, and caster oil would do the trick.
We aren’t sure what was the final straw that made it happen (probably just that her body was ready to go into labor) but it happened, Friday afternoon labor had started. Initially Kaylee was having some cramping and feeling off, like something was changing, so she took it it easy and rested to start out. A couple hours later Kaylee wasn’t able to rest anymore and decided to try the shower because her back was achy. At this point contractions were coming every 8-9 minutes. In the shower is where is all changed. Contractions picked up significantly in the shower becoming much closer together and more intense. Coming out of the shower Kaylee had a bunch in contractions right on top of eachother that made her water break! This is when I the midwife and I got that call that is was time to get moving to her house. I got to her house just before 6 pm and Kaylee was on hands and knees breathing calmly through contractions that were coming every 2-3 minutes. I did some rebozo sifting and counter pressure for Kaylee through a few contractions but she was already feeling ready to get in the tub. The tub was filled and Kaylee got in on hands and knees and continued to breathing through contractions that were clearly intensifying and moving her baby down. Even in the tub it’s good to keep moving and changing position even slightly to help the baby navigate the pelvis so Kaylee would put one leg up in a runners start/side lunge through a couple contractions and then change back or hands and knees or the other side. Kaylees got tired of being on her hands and knees after about  30 minutes in the tub and tried laying back through a couple contractions. Just a contraction later Kaylee had to move back to hands and knees as the pressure was intense. The urge to push was strong and her midwife encouraged her to try pushing. A couple pushes and Kaylee’s baby was moving down quickly. Kaylees reached down and was able to feel her baby’s head molding and moving down the birth canal. With only a few more pushes Kaylee reached down and caught her baby girl  and laid her on her chest and yelled “It’s a GIRL!”
Iris Pearl came fast and  furiously at 7pm on Friday September 9th in the warmth and peace of her home.
Home births really do give all the feels of an intimate natural experience that is oriented to the woman and the family.  Kaylee, even thought I wasn’t there long thank you for letting be a part of your birth story. It is beautiful to witness such a miracle.


 

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Deacon Connor
August 21, 2022

Deacon’s birth was a beautiful and intense whirlwind. Jacki started to have some mild contractions on Saturday evening. She decided to stay home through early labor so that she could rest. I suggested some stretches for her to try and also encouraged her to sleep while contractions were mild. Throughout the night contractions increased and by 2am were coming every 2-3 minutes and Jacki was having to stop to breathe through them. She decided that she felt best getting ready to head to the hospital at this point. I met Jacki and Connor at the hospital at 3am. Jacki was so focused and in control through her contractions I was able to step back and let her listen to her body and move with her contractions. Jacki's doctor stopped by and offered a cervical exam but she declined as she knew she was in labor and didn’t feel the need to be checked. Jacki gravitated to movement through contractions. She walked the room between contractions and swayed and squatted through them. Jacki then tried to rest through a couple contractions on her sides. She did so well staying relaxed and focused so that she could rest between her increasingly intense contractions. After a short rest laying down Jacki felt the need to stand and move through her contractions again . Connor and I helped her through contractions by supporting her deep squats and offering counter pressure to her hips. Jacki and I would speak words of affirmations over her, her baby, and her birth throughout her increasingly intense contractions. At 8:15am Jacki was ready to be checked to see how her labor was progressing, our wonderful labor nurse Brenna checked and Jackie was 7-8cm dilated. It was clear that Jacki was getting tired and worn out from laboring all night but she really desired to avoid pain medication so I suggested a shower. Jacki said that she didn’t enjoy the tub in her last birth because she couldn’t move and it was clear in this labor that movement was helping her cope through contractions. In the shower Jacki would be able to sway and squat through contractions which I thought would work better for her. Jacki continued to work through her contractions in the shower using different positions like hands and knees, squatting, standing, swaying, and leaning over. In the shower we could see Jacki's sacrum move as the baby had come down. This is called the rhombus of michaelis. It is the sacrum moving out of the way for the baby to descend into the pelvis. It was so cool to see and a great sign that Jacki was getting close to the end. Jacki stayed in the shower for about an hour until she started to feel pushy. We helped her out of the shower and started to move to the bed when another contraction came and Jacki went down to all fours to breathe through her contraction. Between the next contraction she was able to move next to the bed and lean over the edge of the bed. Jacki was having a strong urge to push so her doctor checked her cervix to see if she was completely dilated. Jacki still had an anterior lip of cervix that was starting to have some swelling. Her doctor told her not to push till her cervix was completely dilated. Jacki worked so hard to stay focused through the incense urge to push. Her baby was getting so low and the overwhelming need to push with a low baby and no epidural is nearly impossible to fight. Her doctor checked again but Jacki still had an anterior lip of cervix that he thought was continuing to swell. He was becoming worried of a cervical tear if she were to push and deliver before it resolved. We all discussed some options of what to do and Jacki consented to having her water broke. We hoped that the pressure of the baby’s head on the cervix would help it fully dilate. Jacki's urge to push was even stronger now but she continued to focus on her breathing but it was much more difficult and she started to have some involuntary pushing. Her doctor checked another time to see if breaking her water had helped but once again the cervical lip was still there. Her doctor suggested they call anesthesia to do a fast spinal so that she wouldn’t feel the pressure and wouldn’t involuntarily push. Doing this wasn’t ideal but Jacki was open to it if it would prevent her from having a cervical tear. While we waited for anesthesia Jacki continued to try and focus on her breathing and not push even though her body was pushing all on its own. She told us that the baby was right there and he was coming. Connor and I reassured her that there was a lot of pressure and she was doing great breathing through it. After a couple more contractions she was telling us again that he was coming and was right there so I looked sure enough she was crowing! There was no stopping or delaying this delivery now so her doctor came behind her and told her to give a push and Deacon Connor was born on hands and knees on the hospital floor. Jacki then moved onto the bed so that her doctor could deliver the placenta and assess for bleeding or a cervical tear since Jackie never got to completely dilated. There was no cervical tear & minimal bleeding!

 

Deacon Connor was a perfect gift from God. 

Born August 21 at 9:40am weighing 9lbs 1oz. and 22inches long. 

 

Deacon's birth was one of focus, intensity, and the Lord's faithfulness. It was so special to be welcomed into this birth space and witness Jacki’s strength. Thank you Jacki and Connor for letting me be a part of Deacon's birth and get to know each of you and your family.

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Davis Benjamin
August 4, 2022

Davis’s birth story starts back in April when Ben and McKayla were pregnant with their third baby. For McKayla’s previous 2 births she had gone to 41 weeks and was induced, she also had had epidurals with both. For her third baby Ben and McKayla decided they wanted to try for a different birth experience. The first thing that they did is take our BBBB class in April and decided to start learning about physiological birth and different coping mechanisms. After taking the class, they decided they wanted to hire Ashtyn as a doula! Throughout pregnancy McKayla was so receptive to any words of advice Ashtyn might have. She was also amazing at asking questions at doing her research!

 

Around 34ish weeks McKayla began choking down dates and had seen a Webster certified chiropractor. She also was doing forward leaning inversions and side lying release multiple times a week. Mckayla regularly went for walks and was staying active with 2 other little boys at home! She read all the books suggested and practiced her controlled breathing every day!

 

As 40 weeks started approaching, I went to McKayla’s house and lent her my peanut ball and showed her some different positions to do with it. As well as demonstrated different positions on the exercise ball. McKayla was faithful in making sure that the regular stretches and being on the birth ball as much as she possibly could. She had made it clear to her doctor that she wanted to go to at least 41 weeks before planning for induction. She had gone over her birth preferences with him throughly and he was in agreement. McKayla had mentally prepared to go to 41 weeks, since she had with her last, and also understood that your “due date” is more of a “guess date”.  So when her due date came (August 1) and there was no major signs of labor starting, McKayla stayed patient with wanting her goal to be an unmedicated physiological labor to happen.

 

At 40 weeks 3 days McKayla was going to have another doctors appt. We talked back and forth prior to the days leading and McKayla decided that she wanted to try and have her membranes swept to see if that would help encourage labor. The 5 days prior to the appt, McKayla’s cervix and been closed and high up, but on Wednesday she was 4cm dilated and 50% thinned out! Her doctor was able to really strip her membranes well, and we all said a prayer that if this was God’s will, that her labor would start on its own to avoid induction.

 

After McKayla’s appt, I encouraged her to go for a walk, pump, spend some adult time together. Around 9pm, Wednesday night McKayla said that she was having some pressure and some cramping, but nothing too crazy. I suggested that she sleep and rest if she could and see what the night brought!

 

The morning of the 4th, McKayla had woken up around 4 am when had to unload Ben calves that were coming in. She was able to sleep again for a bit, but then at 6:00 am the contractions started up hard! She texted me at 6:10 and was going to start timing them. We continued to stay in touch throughout the hour, and around 7 am McKayla said she was having to stop and sway and breathe through the contractions. I got my stuff ready and started getting ready to head over. At 7:20 Ben texted me that McKayla have vomited and contractions were intense. I arrived at 7:35 and McKayla was still going around the house getting stuff packed. But when a contraction started it took both Ben and I helping McKayla cope through the contraction. We did some positioning such as flying cowgirl with the peanut ball through a few contractions, but ultimately McKayla gravitated towards hands and knees types of positions. We did a few contractions over the birth ball with counter pressure from behind. Soon we decided to try some standing and swaying with some deep lunges. Based of the way labor was progressing and the way contractions were becoming more intense, we did some asymmetrical movements to help encourage baby further in to the pelvis. During the contractions that we did swaying, McKayla slipped in to what we call as “labor land”. Before she was able to talk to us in between contractions and just concentrate through contractions, but now McKayla was in her own world and just closed her eyes and swayed between the contraction surges. She could communicate but all her mental space was going to coping with labor.

 

McKayla began to feel lots of pressure with contractions and at 9:00 am, we decided to head to the hospital. I jumped in the car with Ben and McKayla so I could provide counter pressure as McKayla rode on hands and knees in the middle. She stayed in complete control throughout every intense contraction! She worked on focusing on breathing all the way to the peak of the contraction and breathed the baby down as it came back down. After the contraction was over, she kept her eyes closed and allowed her body to completely relax and make room for baby. We called ahead to the hospital to make sure they had a room ready for us.

 

We arrived at the hospital at 9:15 am. The receptionist took us back to the room and was getting ready to ask McKayla all the check in questions when a contraction hit. Mckayla dropped to the floor on hands and knees and hung on to the side of the bed while Ben did counter pressure and I coached Mckayla through it. The receptionist said “ I think we can worry about these questions later..” and sent the nurse in immediately. After that contraction was over, I encouraged Mckayla to try use the bathroom as sometimes a full bladder can get in the way of babies descent. Straddling the toilet backwards can be sometimes called the “dilation station.” McKayla did about 3 contractions on the toilet with Ben doing counter pressure and I got the lights and music set up. With the last of those 3 contractions McKayla stated “ I have to push!!”. We let the contraction come back down, and Ben and I walked McKayla back to the bed where so leaned over the peanut ball on hands and knees.

 

The doctor came in and checked McKayla at 9:24 and she was 10cm dilated and ready to push! She did awesome breathing out for pushing and bearing down towards the pressure. We played soft Christian music in the background and McKayla closed her eyes and completely “melted” in to the bed after each contraction passed. Allowing your body to relax helps make room the baby to encourage stretching and decreases your risks of tearing. She did this in hands and knees as this was most comfortable to her!  Baby was moving down, but was taking awhile. With support of the doctor and nursing staff, we switched positions to using a squat bar and McKayla pushing while using gravity and hanging over the bar. Soon baby really began to move! Her water at not broke yet, but with a contraction at 10:16 it “popped”! Her legs began to get tired from squatting so for the last few contractions she turned back around to hands and knees. The last few pushes were intense, but McKayla fought through and stayed calm and in control of her breathing and allowed her body to do what it was made to do!

 

At 10:32 am, (after only 4.5 hours of labor) Davis Benjamin was born with McKayla on hands and knees, with “ The Blessing” by Kari Jobe  playing in the background! It was a beautiful moment and I will forever believe birth is such a miracle!

 

After he was born he was suctioned by the doctor and then McKayla swung her leg over the chord and Davis was placed on her stomach. He had a short chord so was only able to go up to her stomach, which also explains why pushing needed more force behind it as well! He was also almost 2 pounds bigger then her last 2 babies at 8lbs 14oz, but since she was so controlled and patient that she had no tearing!

 

Throughout McKayla’s pregnancy journey, she worked to hard to prepare her body to be receptive to the labor hormones when they started! She was so patient in waiting for labor to begin and made her wants clear to the doctor. It was such a blessing to get to know McKayla and pray for her and her baby throughout! She was so powerful and fought through every contraction to get to the birth she had dreamed of. Doing the prep work before birth, can really encourage your labor to go smoothly!

 

Ben and McKayla, THANK YOU for having me along this pregnancy and birth journey with you! It was truly a beautiful time getting to know you and know your family and then getting to support you through birth of Davis. Getting to be your doula was amazing, but you also becoming a friend throughout the process! I’m so proud of you and how determined you were to fight for what you wanted! You always did your “homework” and it definitely showed! Being a doula is such a blessing.

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Joshua Lawrence
August 19, 2022

Being a part of Joshua's birth was extra special for me because he's my cousin (once removed) 

Joshua's dad is my first cousin and this summer at a family party I got to talking to Alex and Rachel about all things birth and doula as they were expecting their first child. For family I'll make special trips and I made a special trip to Minneapolis for Joshua’s birth. 

 

I took 2 weeks off of work while Rachel was 39-41weeks in hopes to make her labor. On Thursday Rachel was 41weeks and 1 day and it was my last day off before having to work the weekend and Rachel’s water broke! Rachel texted me Thursday morning with the update and I packed up and hit the road for my drive to Minneapolis. While I was on my drive up Rachel had a scheduled appointment with her midwife. Even though her water was broke they were going to let her go home and wait for contractions to start and Rachel was only feeling mildly crampy at this point. Later they found out that other local hospitals were on divert or closed and that her hospital's OB floor was filling up and if they were full Rachel would have to go to another random hospital to deliver. She really wanted to deliver at her hospital with her midwife so she decided to go into triage right away to make sure she had a bed. I got there right as Rachel and Alex were checking into triage. In triage Rachel was starting to have some regular mild contractions that she was able to talk through still. The nurse in triage checked Rachels cervix and she was 3cm dilated. The nurse was able to tell that her water had definitely broken because of the presence of meconium in the fluid. Rachel was hoping for a low intervention water birth but sadly that was no longer an option at this hospital when there is meconium. This was disappointing but we made the best of it and rolled with the punches. Meconium is common in the fluid when babies are “overdue” because their bowels are mature, but it can also be linked to a sign of fetal distress so a water birth was not allowed and she was going to have to be continuously monitored. We hung out in triage for a couple hours while we waited for a bed to be ready. At 2:30pm we were moved over to a labor room. Rachel was still pretty comfortable at this point with some mild contractions so we settled in, got some chipotle for lunch, and hung out. The midwife stopped by in the early evening to see how things were going. Overall Rachel was still fairly comfortable through her contractions but definitely feeling them more than before. Her midwife was great about being hands off and letting her body take some time to kick in on its own. Rachel did some stretches and tried to take a nap for a while before things got more intense. She wasn't able to sleep but the rest was good. After some rest we went out and walked the halls where we got to know some of the night nurses and even ran into someone that went to nursing school with Rachel. We asked to see the other rooms like the water birth room just to see. One of the nurses gave us a little tour and showed us one of their remodeled rooms with a large walk in shower. The room we were currently in was old and had a shower the size of what felt like 2 feet. Earlier in the day when the unit was full this was the only room available but now they had some new rooms open and they let us move into a new one with a large walk in shower. It always helps to make friends with the nurses! Rachel was having regular contractions but still looked overall pretty calm and comfortable by the time her midwife came by to check on her around 9:30pm. To my pleasant surprise Rachel had progressed to 5cm and was 90% effaced. The midwife thought it was good to just see what Rachels body continued to do on its own through the night. We took a couple walks and tried to rest. Rachel continued to have regular contractions but breathed through them calmly and rested in between. Her midwife came back at 1:30am and Rachel was now 6cm dilated. The plan again was to stay the course to avoid an augmentation if possible. Rachel tried to rest again laying on her side in bed but it was becoming more difficult. I suggested trying to rest in a child's pose with a rebozo sifting. After that it was time for another walk and some standing positions. As contractions became stronger Rachel gravitated to standing positions leaning over the bed. Alex and I were able to take turns rubbing her back and offering counter pressure. 5:00am rolled around and Rachel midwife checked her and she was dilated to 8cm. I could barely believe how well Rachel was coping through contractions all night, dilated to an 8, with her water broken! We continued standing through some contractions then decided to try something different and try a shower. We brought the birth ball in the shower and Rachel went on hands and knees leaning over the ball while Alex or I sprayed warm water on her back. In the shower Rachel became more focused on contractions and was working harder to breathe through them. Rachel claimed that she was never going to leave the shower and she stayed there for the next 3 hours. Rachel started to feel more pressure and an urge to push and decided to get out of the bathroom so that she could push for delivery. At first Rachel breathed through some contractions standing next to the bed and after a few contractions she started to inadvertently push and that's how we knew it was baby time. Rachel tried a few practice pushes standing and then going into a deep squat, then moved to a supported sitting squat in the bed with the squat bar. Next she tried pushing on hands and knees and this was Rachel's favorite. Pushing was intense and a lot of work but in a little under 2 hours of pushing Joshua Lawrence was born on Friday August 19 at 12:31pm weighing 8lbs 7oz.

Being a part of a new life being born is so honoring and this one was extra special to also watch my cousins become mom and dad. It is so special to be your cousin Joshua and I can't wait to tell you all the time that I was there when you were born! 

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Zackary Daniel
July 4, 2022

Baby Zack gets to have a celebration every year on his birthday because he shares a birthday with America!

 

Lydia texted me on Sunday morning around 9 a.m., July 3rd, that she was having trickling of amniotic fluid. She said that it was clear and was having mild contractions. Lydia had battled pretty severe fatigue through out pregnancy and she wanted to try nap while she was able. We kept in touch throughout the day on Sunday and I advised a few things to try encourage contractions to pick up. Things such a pumping, curb walking, and going for walks. Walking seemed to help her the best and help increase contractions. After another afternoon nap and supper, Phillip and Lydia decided it was time to go to the hospital. We all arrived at the hospital around 8:30 p.m. Everyone got settled in and we did some hall walking before getting in the tub.At almost 9:30pm the doctor came in and discussed the idea of adding in Pitocin to encourage labor since Lydia’s water had been broken for over 12 hours. Phillip and Lydia discussed this and decided they wanted to wait and see if labor would pick up on its own. The night consisted of sleeping off and on, changing positions for comfort, and some in and out of the tub. Lydia’s contractions would pick up and get more intense for awhile, and then disappear almost completely. So we did what we could between balancing resting and encouraging contractions to continue.

At 7:30 the next morning the doctor came to check on Phillip and Lydia and see how the night went. The doctor did a cervical exam and Lydia was 3 cm dilated at 70% effaced. At this point Lydia and Phillip decided to start the Pitocin. After the Pitocin was started, contractions became much more intense. We utilized the bath again and Phillip climbed in behind her to help her relax. The water was able to take the “edge” off her contractions for awhile and she was able to rest.

 

Soon contractions became overwhelmingly intense and Lydia and Phillip started discussing an epidural. She asked for the pitocin to be turned off as it was becoming unbearable for her. After the pitocin was off, Lydia continued to have contractions around every 5 minutes, but were still very intense. Before the epidural, the doctor and nurses strongly encouraged a cervical check. At 12:46 Lydia was 4cm dilated per the nurse. Before this, Lydia was told she had to wait a few hours for the epidural due to the anesthesiologist being on a different case in a different town. While waiting, she worked so hard and stayed in control of her breathing. She leaned into Phillip with each contraction, while I provided counter pressure. She held on to him and swayed, and completely allowed her body to relax in between the contraction waves. I was so proud the way she handled each contraction and stayed in control of her breathing!

 

At 1:15 pm Lydia received her epidural, and with each contraction she felt more and more relief. When Lydia was comfortable with the epidural, it was decided to start Pitocin again as her contraction pattern had completely spaced out with the epidural medication. Pitocin this time was MUCH more tolerable for her. With an epidural, you still want to continue to move positions at minimum of every 30 minutes and utilize the peanut ball and pillows. We did some flying cowgirl to try aid Baby Zack to come further down in the to pelvis. This is a great position for people with an epidural, and also allows rest. During the afternoon, all of us were able to rest and take short naps. Phillip and Lydia were also able to FaceTime with their daughter Bethany, and I took a short walk outside to talk to my husband and kiddos. After talking with our families and taking short naps, everyone was feeling much more refreshed and had a second wind of energy!

 

At 5:03 pm, the doctor and nurses came in and said that they were noticing some “head compression” on Lydia’s monitoring strip, and asked if they could check her cervix. When the nurse went to check Lydia, Baby Zack’s head was very close to coming all the way out! Lydia had a very dense epidural and had felt minimal pressure. After everything was set up and nurses were ready, Lydia gave her last bit of energy to push her baby out.

 

5:30 pm, July 4th, 2022

Zackary Daniel

7lbs 2oz

 

It was the sweetest moment getting to be a part of Phillip and Lydia meeting sweet Zack for the first time! It was a moment filled with overwhelming love and emotions. Tears were shed by all! I am so proud of Lydia and Phillip on how they worked together as a team during Zack’s birth and Lydia’s pregnancy! Lydia fought through her extreme fatigue to use all her energy to birth her baby! Mother’s are SO strong when they are faced with challenging times, and Lydia went through and proved that! It was such a blessing to get to know Phillip, Lydia, and Bethany throughout pregnancy, and I am forever grateful they chose me to be their doula!

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Flora Mae
July 3, 2022

Flora’s birth had us all in for a ride but in the end every crazy turn was worth it for a beautiful blonde chunky girl.

 

McKenzie waited patiently for her body to go into labor on its own when Friday night at 41weeks 1 day her water broke! Part of McKenzie original birth plan was to labor at home as long as possible but after her water broke she noticed that her fluid was not clear and that most likely she her meconium stained fluid which meant that baby had pooped in utero. With this information McKenzie and Michael decided that they felt best going into the hospital that evening. We all showed up to the hospital just after midnight Saturday morning July 2. McKenzie was contracting very minimal and was still pretty comfortable. It was clear she wasn't in true labor yet. After getting settled we did some stretches and then decided to try and sleep before things got more intense. The next morning at 6:15am McKenzie had her cervix checked and she was 4 cm dilated. She still was contracting very infrequently and was comfortable through contractions. Around 10:30am in when labor really started to kick into gear. McKenzie got in the tub and within 15 minutes in  the tub her contractions started in a regular pattern about every 5 minutes and were growing in intensity. McKenzie utilized the tub and positions on the toilet to progress labor for the next 2 hours. At 12:20pm McKenzie opted for another cervical check and she was 6 cm dilated and more thinned out. She breathed through a couple contractions laying on her side in the bed then wanted to move back to the tub. Over the next few hours McKenzie utilized the tub, toilet, counter pressure, vocalization and birth ball to cope with her intensifying contractions. At 6:15pm McKenzie was 8 cm dilated. Her contractions were right on top of each other every 1-2 minutes making McKenzie work so hard to stay in control. Around 7:30pm McKenzie maybe thought she had there urge push and was checked again she was 8-9cm dilated. After a long day of laboring and thinking she was closer to the end McKenzie needed a break and hit a breaking point. This is a normal part of labor that so many people have as their body is trying to get to the finish line but then are physically and mentally drained. McKenzie decided she needed something to help her cope through contractions and requested for a shot of Stadol and shot of pain medication to hopefully take and edge off. After giving the Stadol a chance to work McKenzie felt it hadn’t touched her pain and she requested an epidural. At 9pm the epidural was in and McKenzie could relax. Quickly after the epidural was in it was like McKenzie had come back to us after being lost in the intensity of labor. We all took this time to rest. Every half hour I helped move McKenzie into a different position to try and help her labor to keep progressing. Throughout the rest of the night McKenzie was able to rest mostly, she also felt pressure occasionally through the night thinking she was complete but persistently she was 9cm. At 4:30 am on Sunday morning she was finally complete. McKenzie was still comfortable with her epidural so we decided to have her labor down in hopes to bring the baby lower without having to exert forceful pushing energy. We all got another nap in when her doctor came in at 8:30am and McKenzie started pushing. McKenzie tried pushing in a seated squat, side lying, tug of war and hands and knees. She gravitated to a deep seated squat as her favorite pushing position. After about 2 hours of pushing McKenzie was getting tired and she was having a painful spot on her hip that persisted through the epidural that made it more difficult to push. We wondered if baby was in a weird position putting extra pressure on her left hip. We decided to take a break and do some reset positions to try and loosen ligaments and give the baby a change to move into a better position that wasn't hung up on her hip. We did a forward leaning inversion, side lying release, exaggerated runners, and hip openers. After a 2 hours break McKenzie hip was feeling good and she got some energy back and was ready to go back at it with pushing. She used great power with her pushes with her renewed energy. Another hour of pushing passed and McKenzie contractions were becoming spaced out. Her doctor asked if they could start some low dose Pitocin to make the contractions closer together. McKenzie consented and the Pitocin was started at 4:10pm. McKenzie continued to push alternating between deep squats, runners start, and hands and knees positions. At 2:45 her doctor mentioned the possible need for c-section as she had been actively pushing for almost 5 hours and the last hour the baby was not making much decent. Sadly this wasn't the information we wanted to hear. McKenzie gave it a couple more good strong pushes but after those also didn't make much change she accepted that it was time to go an alternate route. Thankfully baby was tolerating labor wonderfully and was having no signs of distress so we were able to prepare for the c-section without rush and were able to ask lots of questions. Around 3:45pm Mackenzie was brought back for her c-section.

 

Sunday afternoon July 3 at 4:16pm Flora Mae was born.

Surprising us all with her stats of 9lbs 4oz and 22 inches long!

 

Flora had found her way into an OP position at some point during labor. This meant that her back was also to McKenzie back. This position is associated with longer labor and increased rate of c-section due to the more difficultly to pass though the pelvis. A mix of a not ideal position and a large baby made for a difficult slow progressing labor and long pushing stage. There is no denying though that Makenzie worked as hard as she could to delivery her baby vaginally and when that was no longer working she decided with her birth team that a c-section was the best option even though it wouldn't have been anyone first choice.

 

Labor is long and intense and so unknown. McKenzie worked so hard throughout pregnancy to prepare herself for labor and still things didn't go as planned. We can do all the right things and still there are simply things we can’t change. Labor is a time of surrender and vulnerability and Makenzie you were a resilient mom through it all. I am so proud of you and all the power you have.

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Marlow Lynn 
June 8, 2022

Hannah and Austin hired me in early pregnancy to help them plan and prepare for a low intervention natural water birth. Which is totally my jam and I was super excited to be working with them preparing for the birth of their first child? Plans for a water birth and most likely spontaneous labor got derailed when Hannah started having some high blood pressures around 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. Her Midwives consulted with maternal fetal medicine and watched Hannahs blood pressure's and any preeclampsia symptoms closely. At Hannahs 37 week prenatal appointment Hannahs blood pressure was even higher than it had been and she was sent to OB triage for an NST and some lab work. Hannah called me with the update and I was ready to drive over at any time. After a couple hours the decision was made to induce on Sunday night June 5th. Hannahs initial plans for her delivery were no longer the safest option for her or her baby.

 

On Sunday night Hannah and Austin went in for their induction. I sent Hannah a labor warm up and stretches to do that evening as I didn't plan to come to Sioux Falls that evening unless her labor really started. Hannah was 1cm dilated and the Midwife on call placed vaginal cervidil for cervical ripening. The cervidil was left in throughout the night and releases medication to soften the cervix over 12 hours. Monday morning the new midwife on call removed the cervidil and found that Hannahs cervix still had not changed from the cervidil and the midwife ordered oral cytotec. Hannah felt some mild cramping with the cytotec but no obvious contractions. Hannah and Austin watched movies, walked the halls, and did some stretches trying to patiently wait for active labor to begin. Hannah suggested that I say home still as there wasn't much labor to help her cope through at this point and I was on call for them with whatever they needed through text or calls. In the afternoon the nurse administered a second dose of oral cytotec as Hannah still was not having any contractions. I decided since it was already coming up on 24 hours since the start of this induction that I would drive up to see Hannah. I got there Monday evening right after the midwife stopped by to check Hannahs cervix again. Hannah was still 1cm dilated and now 70% effaced and the baby head was engaged in the pelvis. After discussing with the midwife they decided to do another night with the cervidil in place. When I got there Monday night Hannah was pretty much bored. Being cooped up in the hospital is pretty boring. I set up my doula things and tried a couple positions and stretches with Hannah to stretch out her lower uterine and pelvic liniments and open the pelvic inlet to help the baby engage into the pelvis. I got a hotel for the night and Hannah tried to get a good nights rest while she still could. The next morning the new midwife on call removed the cervidil. The cervidl can really irritate the cervix and and vaginal tissue and because of this Hannah declined a cervical exam. Hannah still was not having any regular contractions so the midwife ordered a 3rd dose of oral cytotec. I came that morning and continued with more stretches and positions. At 2pm the midwife came back to reassess how Hannah was doing, and from how Hannah was feeling there wasn't much change. The Midwife checked her cervix and Hannah was now 2cm dilated! Almost 48 hours and we had made it a centimeter. These early first time mom inductions sure do show you patience. The midwife suggested placing a cooks catheter into Hannah cervix to help her cervix dilate and thin. A cooks catheter is a flexible tube placed in the cervix and then a small balloon is blown up with sterile water on both the inside and outside of the cervix to compress the cervix and help with thinning and dilating. After the cooks was placed Hannah had a huge wave of nausea and pressure. The cooks definitely made some natural labor hormones release. Hannah had a lot of pressure from the cooks and started having some regular contractions. We decided to try out the tub to help with the pressure and the contractions. In the tub Hannah was having contractions about every 5 minutes and they were strong ones that needed Hannahs focus to breath though them. Hannah made my job so easy breathing through her contractions perfectly. Austin and I sat with her in the bathroom just being with her, encouraging, and reassuring her. After about 2 hours in the tub we took a walk in the halls and then laid down. After laying down for a little while Hannahs contractions became less intense and she was able to take a little nap. Once she woke up Hannahs contractions were still there but not as intense or as close together. We tried a couple different standing positions, circles on the birth ball, and pumping to see if we could naturally help the contractions pick up again. At 10pm that night the midwife came by and lightly tugged on the cooks catheter because it was still in place to see if it would fall out. It didn’t. Since Hannahs contractions were less frequent and intense the midwife suggested pitocin to augment her labor. The pitocin was started and we tried to rest again because we were knew/were hoping active labor would start at any time now that the pitocin was going. We were all able to rest but not really sleep for a couple hours until Hannah needed to get some more relief from her contractions. Hannah was up to 10 milliunits of pit (the max is 20 and it starts at 2) and she was working hard to breath through contractions. It was about 2:20am now Wednesday morning and the midwife came in to take out the cooks catheter. They are only able to stay in for 12 hours unless they fall out sooner. After taking out the cooks Hannah was 4cm. They left the pitocin on and Hannah decided to get back into the tub to help her cope with contractions. Hannahs contractions were clearly becoming stronger while in the tub. She used low deep breathing and moaning to cope through her contractions. At 4:45am Hannah asked to be checked to see if she was progressing. She wanted this information to decide if she was ready for an epidural or could hold out a little longer. Hannah was 6-7cm dilated and the decision was made with her midwife to break her water. Things went to a whole other level when Hannahs water broke. Her contractions became very strong and intense and Hannah worked so hard to stay in control. We tried many different positions to help her dilate and help the baby descend and get into the best position for delivery. Around 6:15 Hannah was getting tired and the contractions were becoming overwhelming. The nurse checked her cervix and found her to be 8cm dilated. Hannah was working so hard and was going on 60 hours of labor, her tank was running low. She asked for an epidural to help her make it to the end. The epidural can take around an hour to prep for before being placed so Hannah inhaled nitrous oxide (laughing gas) during contractions to lessen the intensity. While waiting for the anesthesiologist Hannah asked for the pitocin to be shut off as the contractions were so intense. The nurse turned off the pitocin and the contraction pain became way more bearable within minutes. This goes to show the intensity that pitocin adds to contractions.

 

At 7:20 the epidural was is and Hannah was a whole new person. The epidural made her completely numb from the waist down with absolutely no feeling. This was nice now but made changing positions and pushing a challenge later on. After the epidural around 7:50 the midwife stopped by and checked Hannah and found that she was 9.5cm dilated. We decided to take a nap while Hannah labored down. At 9:06am Hannah was officially completely dilated and we started pushing. With a couple practice pushes Hannah got the hang of pushing quickly. Our pushing positions were limited due to Hannah not having any feeling of her contractions or her legs. Hannah did great using tug of war for pushing because she could involve her upper body which she had good control over. An hour into pushing Hannah started not feeling well. Her pushing wasn’t as strong and her face was pale and she felt lightheaded and weak. We’re not sure exactly why she was feeling this way but our guesses were some lower blood pressures from the epidural, lack of sleep, and overall fatigue. After trying to reposition Hannah to help with her lightheadedness we decided to take a pushing break to try and refill some energy. The nurses gave Hannah some extra IV fluids, we got her a snack and repositioned her into a closed knee side-lying position to help open the pelvic outlet while we took a pushing break. Just after 11am the midwife came back and we decided to try pushing again. Hannah said she felt like she had a little bit more energy and could try to finish this labor and meet her baby girl. Within two pushing Marlow was crowning! The energy boost was exactly what Hannah needed. With a couple more pushes Marlow Lynn was earth side at 11:33am. Marlow was placed on Hannahs crying along with the rest of us. Marlow was long awaited and worked very hard for.

 

Marlow Lynn

Born June 8 (6/8)

Weighing 6lbs 8oz

 

40 minutes after delivery Hannahs placenta had not yet released from her uterine wall despite medications and fundal massage. Hannahs midwife called in the OBGYN on call to help with the situation. The OBGYN ended up needing to manually remove the placenta. Once seeing the placenta we knew something was wrong. Usually the placenta is smooth but Hannahs placenta was frayed. The OB then had to manually scrape the wall of her uterus to get any pieces of her placenta that had been broken off by the frayed pieces. This is a very painful process so for Hannah is was a good thing she ended up getting he epidural. Through this process Hannah continued to loose bloody ore blood then after a usual delivery. The her midwife, OB, and nurses gave Hannah a couple extra medications to help stop her bleeding. Once all was said and done with Hannahs placenta and bleeding she once again was feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and faint. Not a fun feeling and then wasn't able to hold her sweet baby because she could barely focus. After and hour or so her body to recover a little from the blood loss and she was able to hold Marlow and breastfeed her daughter. Thankfully Marlow latched in right away making at least one thing easy for Hannah.

 

Marlow’s birth story is one that goes to show the unexpected things happen in labor and sadly we only have control over so much. Hannah persevered through a 64 hour long induction and achieved her main end goal, a vaginal delivery with a safe and healthy baby girl. Though the labor was long and tough it was an honor to be a part of a beautiful birth story.

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Hayes Kenneth 
June 8, 2022

On 6/8/22 I became an auntie again!

Hayes’s birth story started when my sister Tabi took us all by surprise at family Christmas and announced that she was 16 weeks pregnant! That night she asked me to be her doula as well! I was THRILLED!

Tabi’s pregnancy was going extremely smoothly and she felt great! She saw a Webster certified chiropractor throughout pregnancy and kept active. As Tabi entered in to her third trimester, baby was found to be in a breech position. At this point I had Tabi doing all the spinning babies maneuvers that aid in helping a breech baby flip! We knew that we had some time yet for him to flip. As 36 weeks started approaching, and ultrasound confirmed that Hayes was still breech, but not engaged yet.  At 37 weeks 3 days Tabi opted for an external cephalic version performed by her local doctor. Prior to the version we did some education with Tabi and Demry and we talked through what to expect for this. On the day of her version, I made the trip to meet them at the hospital to be there for them for support. The physician tried his best, but after an hour, it was concluded that the version would not work. Tabi and Demry were obviously upset, but ultimately trusted God for Hayes birth plan.

At this point Tabi began seeing a Webster certified chiropractor nearly every day. She also spent multiple evenings upside down on an ironing board, trying to do everything she could!

After the last version,  Tabi had met with her primary doctor again and voiced that she would like to try an external cephalic version one more time before opting for a primary c-section.  She was referred to an OB/GYN in  a larger Des Moines hospital and at 38 weeks 3 days, an external cephalic version was attempted again. This doctor tried and tried, but was again unsuccessful.

Tabi decided to schedule a c-section as close to her due date as possible, to give Hayes as much time as possible to flip on his own. But at this point, Tabi started the grieving process of a vaginal delivery. Tabi had wanted to go completely unmedicated and birth as naturally as possible,so she definitely had to process the new birth story.

I am so proud of her and Demry as I watched them relinquish their control of Hayes’s birth, and completely surrender it to God. Through the next week, they began to become at peace with the decision of a c-section. We talked multiple times through out the week to discuss the emotions Tabi was feeling. We also came up a c-section preferences plan. Things such as making sure to do skin to skin as soon as possible, and creating a calm environment throughout the c section. We  talked through what to expect for the surgery and supplies to have at home for recovery as well, to try help them prepare.

The morning of her c-section, I met Tabi and Demry at Pella Regional Health at 7:30 a.m. I got to sit with them while she was waiting to go back to the OR to help answer any last minute questions as well as provide moral support. We had some laughs and cracked jokes to help cal, everyone’s nerves. If you know Tabi, it’s never boring when she’s around! Before she was wheeled back to the OR at 9:30 a.m., we held hands and prayed over Hayes’s birth story. We prayed for protection for Tabi and calm nerves for Demry. We prayed for the surgeons, the doctors, and the nurses. We prayed for a good healing process, but the main prayer was for happy healthy baby.

At 9:54 a.m. on June 8th, 2022, Hayes Kenneth was welcomed in to the world.

He was 6lbs 15.5oz of pure perfection.

He had strawberry blond hair and 18 inches long.

I was waiting in her postpartum room for her and Demry to return. Upon returning we had “The Blessing” by Kari Jobe and Cody Cranes playing softly in the background. Tabi was wheeled in followed by Demry and new baby Hayes. I was so excited to meet him!  Hayes had been able to nurse in recovery, but I was still able to help her get him to latch.

Hayes’s birth story, looked quite a bit different that Tabi and Demry had initially thought. I am so proud of how hard Tabi worked to do LITERALLY everything in her power to get Hayes in a non breech position. She was stubborn and never gave up in giving herself every chance to have a vaginal delivery. When it wasn’t possible, she allowed herself to feel the emotions and process a different type of birth. She will persevere through motherhood the way she preserved through this pregnancy. Her and Demry are going to be the BEST parents and will raise Hayes to be a fighter, just like his mama! I am so blessed to get to be a part of my nephews birth story!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

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Rhett Jay
June 5, 2022

Alexa is one of my dear friends, so when she hired me to be her doula for her first baby, I was ecstatic!

I consider it such an honor to be a part of loved one’s birth stories!

Alexa called me on Friday night June 3rd at 10:15pm to tell me that her water had broke “and gushed like in the movies!” She wasn’t really having super strong contractions yet, and her GBS status was negative,  so after discussion Alex opted to stay home and try and get some sleep. I set an alarm every 2 hours to text Alexa and check in how things were going. At the 4:00 am alarm, Alexa and Derek were ready for me to head over to their house.

I got to Alexa and Derek’s house around 5:00 a.m. When I got there, Alexa was in their tub coping through contractions. She did great using a comb to apply pressure to her hand and held Derek’s hand with the other. She was utilizing low and slow noises during contractions to help relax the pelvic floor. We did multiple position changes as well as counter pressure for coping.

Contractions had visibly become more intense after a few hours, and Derek and Alexa decided it was time to go to the hospital.=

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 a.m. on June 4th. At 8:25 the doctor came in and Alexa opted for a cervical exam. She was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced (thinned out). After this she decided to get in the tub again for comfort. Derek held Alexa’s hands in the front of the tub while I provided counter pressure from behind. At 1:15pm, Alexa opted for another cervical exam. She was 6cm and baby had moved lower in the pelvis. She continued to labor and breathe through every contraction. She allowed her body to relax in between to allow for baby to continue to descend. We used the peanut ball and multiple variations of hands and knees.

The doctor came back around 6:30 pm and she was 7cm. But baby had not come any further down into the birth canal. She was making progress, but very slowly. Alexa was also starting to get pretty tired as she had been laboring since the night before. We continued to try multiple different positioning such as squatting through contractions and having her lay her head back on Derek. The decision was also made that it was time to start Pitocin. Before Pitocin was started, we went for a short walk outside to regroup and said a prayer that God would give us all encouragement for this labor. But also that we be at peace with God’s plan for Rhett’s birth plan whatever it may be.

When we came back inside, Pitocin was started and Alexa got back in the tub. The contractions with Pitocin were INTENSE. She breathed through every contraction and held onto Derek while I continued with the counter pressure. In the tub I suggested multiple different positions to accommodate the head to descend. We did some deep lunging as well as being on all 4’s with some cat-cow movements.

AT 10:45pm the doctor came back again per Alexa’s request as she was exhausted and contractions were so much more painful on the Pitocin. She was 7cm and had not made much change in head position since earlier. Alexa decided she was ready for an epidural and rest.

The anesthesiologist placed the epidural and it was started at 11:30pm. We all decided to try get some sleep during this time. After 2 hours, the baby was not tolerating the epidural well by not having as much heart rate reactivity as consider “normal”. The nurse (Kyla) had tried to every intervention that she could to “correct” the heart rate. The doctor was called back to the bedside for the minimal variability and Alexa was 8cm. A fetal scalp electrode was placed to keep a closer eye on the heart rate. This is a tiny internal monitor and goes directly in to the baby’s fontanel. After this was placed, Pitocin was started again to try encourage baby the rest of the way.

At 3:00 a.m. the baby continued not to tolerate the epidural medication and was very “sleepy” even with the internal monitoring. Since baby had been stressed out for awhile despite all interventions and corrections that were done, a decision was made with Alexa, Derek, and her doctor to go to C-section.

 

At 3:40 a.m., Derek announced to Alexa, “It’s a BOY!”

Rhett Jay

Born Sunday June 5, weighing 8lbs 0oz, and 21inches long.

With a large head at 14 3/4inch that had gotten stuck asynclitic when her water broke.

Rhett was also found to have the chord wrapped around his neck which potentially caused some issues.

I am SO proud of Alexa and Derek in how hard they worked to bring precious Rhett in to the world. Alexa did not want a c section, but when her baby was in distress, she completely surrendered to the need for one. She is a true testament to the selflessness a mother and did whatever needed to keep her baby safe. It was a beautiful moment to witness her unconditional love for Rhett. It was such an honor to get to work with Alexa and Derek throughout pregnancy and birth. It will forever be a special bond that we will forever get to share! God is so good!

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Evelyn Faye
May 9, 2022

Mother’s Day evening was spent supporting Morgan and James through Evelyn’s labor!

Morgan had texted me around 11:30 a.m. on Mother’s Day, 5-8-22 and telling me that she had been having irregular cramping since 3:00 a.m. today. She was able to go to church, but the cramping was still coming and going. After talking more, we guessed she was in early labor! I texted Morgan some things to try such as going for a walk and curb walking, and to keep me updated!

At 1:30 Morgan let me know that her cramping had turned more to contractions and were easier to time. I encouraged her to try to take a nap as it sounded like she would be in labor during the night. Rest is SO important in early labor if possible to save energy for the point where contractions are needing a lot of effort for coping. 3:15 came around and Morgan said that she had tried resting, but was needing to move and sway through the contractions. I offered to go to her house and help with a few coping techniques as well as positioning to help facilitate baby’s head in to the pelvis. I got to Morgan and James house at 4:00, at this point Morgan was able to talk through contractions, but had to stop talking and just focus on breathing when contractions were happening. We did flying cowgirl on both sides for multiple contractions. After we finished doing this, it was obvious that the intensity of Morgans contractions had increased. We discussed that since it was a drive to the hospital, it was probably time to go in.

I got to the hospital at almost 6 pm, before Morgan and James so that I could set up a calm room environment and to get a copy of Morgan’s birth preferences to the nurse. When I got to the hospital, I was excited to find out that Kyla got to be our nurse!

At 7:38 p.m.the doctor came in and Morgan opted for a cervical exam. She was 3-4cm and baby was very low! We decided to get in the tub for comfort. James climbed in behind Morgan while she was on hands and knees to provide counter pressure to her hips and sacrum. I ran water over her back as well as doing some neck massage through each contraction. She stayed so strong taking on one contraction at a time!

10:17p.m. the doctor came in again to see how Morgan was doing. Contractions had visibly become more intense, so she offered a cervical exam again. She was 5cm dilated but the cervix had almost completely thinned out and baby had moved even lower in to the birth canal. At this point Morgan was getting tired so we decided to do some side lying positions with the peanut ball in the bed so that she could rest in between contractions. James held her hands by head of her bed and I did counter pressure with each contractions. They were both able to sleep a bit in between contractions.

At 1:45 a.m. Morgan had another obvious change in intensity of contractions, and began feeling tons of pressure to push. The doctor was called and got back to her room around 2:00 a.m. Morgan had just a “rim” on the front part of her cervix. We moved to an exaggerated runners position to facilitate helping the cervix disappear.

An hour later Morgan was 10cm dilated and was ready to start pushing! The doctor had broken her bag of waters at 2:50 as the bag was starting to appear out of her body. She started pushing, and pushed in a multitude of different positions based off of what her body was telling her. She let her body completely relax and rest in between each contraction so that she could save her energy for pushing.

After 3 1/2 hours of pushing, we wondered if maybe baby was in an OP position and that was making the pushing phase prolonged. Morgan was so strong through each contraction and worked SO physically hard to get her baby out!

At 6:31 a.m. Evelyn Faye was born with a compound presentation, which means her hand directly by her face! That’s why Morgan had to push so hard to get her out! Morgan and done a great job breathing through multiple contractions and allowing her body to stretch all the tissue. She remained in insane control and focused on her breathing with each push that she ended up with minimal tearing! This is very rare when a baby is born with compound presentation!

Morgan and James were an awesome team in working to bring Evelyn in to this world! They are the sweetest couple and were so fun to get to know! I am forever in awe with every birth I do of how fierce and strong women are. Morgan was exhausted but she had set her mind that she was not going to have any pain meds, and she did it! She put her head down and fought to stay in control with every contraction and James stayed right be her side, supporting her all the way! Thank you for inviting me to be a part of Evelyns birth! I will forever be blessed to get to be a part of your birth space!

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Briar Ray
May 3, 2022

Sweet Briar Ray kept us on our toes throughout Kaitlyn’s pregnancy and birth. 

I loved being able to work with Kaitlyn planning a peaceful home birth for her daughter. Around 36 weeks pregnant Kaitlyn started having some contractions, most were not painful and just braxton hicks but at one point some got pretty intense and she started showing some other signs of real labor. At 36 weeks Kaitlyn would have to transfer care to a hospital. Thankfully her painful contractions stopped after a couple hours and we prayed that little lady would stay put for a little while. And stay put she did! Kaitlyn continued the next 4 weeks with braxton hicks contractions but no signs of real labor. Briar was being quite the tease with so much practice labor.

On Monday, 3 days after her due date Kaitlyn was checked by the midwife and was 4cm dilated and her midwife felt like labor was definitely coming soon. I went to bed Monday night with my phone on loud ready for a call at anytime. Morning rolled around and I finally woke up to the call I had been waiting for at 9am. Kaitlyn called to let me know that she had started contracting around 3am and they were coming regularly and were growing in intensity now. I got ready and headed to Kaitlyn’s house and got there at 10am Tuesday morning. I could see the change in Kaitlyn’s face when I walked in. The face of being in labor. This was finally the real deal. Kaitlyn was on the birth ball when I got there. She was coping so well through contractions breathing through them while her mom was by her side rubbing her back through contractions. I got settled and sat and talked with Kaitlyn about how things were going. Her contractions were getting stronger but still a little irregular. I asked if we could start with some stretching to make sure everything was loosened out for delivery. I helped Kaitlyn with the side lying release, rebozo sifting, and the flying cowgirl position before going back to the birth ball. Kaitlyn sat on the birth ball and leaned forward through contractions. It was now 11:40 and I decided it was time we should update Kaitlyn’s midwife. I sent her midwife a text that Kaitlyn’s contractions were more intense but still irregular and positional, every 3-6 minutes depending on her position. After sending that text Kaitlyn had two big contractions that were much more intense than the ones before. I suggested Kaitlyn go on hands and knees over the birth ball while I provided sacral pressure. Those contractions were intense and Kaitlyn was feeling more lower pressure. I texted the midwife and told her it was time to come now because things just picked up.

It was 12pm at this point. Kaitlyn moved back to sitting on the birth ball and I noticed that through contractions she would lean forward and tense up bracing the coffee table. I suggested we use my birth sling so that she could relax more through contractions and not tense so much through them. The sling worked great for this. While she was breathing through contractions Dillion her husband and I got thing ready for delivery filling up the birth pool and we turned on the Christian hypnobirthing tracks of birth affirmations. About 15 minutes later Kaitlyn was ready to get in the tub. I helped her to the bathroom and suggested she try to use the bathroom first. I stepped out for a minute to give her some privacy but a minute later Kaitlyn called my name and I ran in to find her on hands and knees on the bathroom floor breathing through a contraction. It was go time and it was only going to be a matter of minutes before Briar would be here and the midwife wasn’t there yet. I helped Kaitlyn to the tub where she rested over the edge on hands and knees. She had her husband and mother by her head with me behind providing sacral pressure. Kaitlyn had another big contraction where she felt the urge to push and after she looked up and me and said “Kyla you might need to deliver this baby” I rolled up my sleeves and said okay here we go. Another contraction later and Kaitlyn was practically pushing. Thankfully Kaitlyn’s midwife came through the door. I was off the hook of delivering this baby. 2 contractions of pushing later Briar was born at 12:25pm. Briar was brought to Kaitlyn’s chest and snuggled right up to her mama. Briars birth was beautiful, peaceful, and fast! I almost got to catch my first baby! 

 

Briar Ray 

Born May 3 at 12:25pm 

8lbs 11oz 

 

Kaitlyn thank you for having me be a part of  your pregnancy and Briars birth. I love getting to be a part of undisturbed natural birth just they way it was intended to be. You were so patience and in turn with your body and it was beautiful to witness. 

Mason Andrew Gabriel
May 2, 2022

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Masons birth story is a perfect example of how we can’t predict or even really plan birth. We can try and we can have desires and preferences but those can quickly go out the door sometimes. 

Ashton was doctoring in Sioux Falls for her pregnancy after previously loosing her son Gabriel in the second trimester and also after developing some placental bleeding in the 3rd trimester of Masons pregnancy. Considering this her physician suggested an induction between 37-38 week gestation. Ashton and Andrew were hesitant to an induction because they desired a natural labor but also wanted to safest option for their baby. They decided to do a compromise of a later induction a little latter at 38weeks and 3 days to try and get her body closer to her due date and a better induction success. 

Monday morning the day of her induction rolled around and I got a call at 6:45am from Ashton that she had started some contractions on her own. I was super excited! She was getting ready to leave for Sioux Falls and her body was starting to do labor on its own! This induction was going to go so smooth because her body was ready. I started getting ready to head to Sioux Falls and Ashton and her husband Andrew were now on their way. 30 minutes later I get a text that says “we are going to Sioux Center” 

My mouth I think hit the floor! I said “like going to the Sioux center hospital” instead of Sioux Falls? Yup they sure were! Ashton had only made it 30 minutes down the road and her contractions really picked up and felt that she could handle another hour and 15 minutes to Sioux Falls. I jumped in the car and zoomed over to the Sioux Center hospital. 

Ashton and Andrew arrived to the hospital at 7:30am and I got there just a couple minutes later. The nurses got Ashton in a room and checked her cervix and she was already 7-8cm. Probably a good call to not drive all the way to Sioux Falls. Ashton was on her hands and knees breathing through contractions as Andrew provided counter pressure to her hips. I quickly set down my bag and never got a chance to set up any of my doula things. I provided Ashton with rebozo sifting on hands and knees between contractions and counter pressure during them. 

At 8:06 Ashton’s water broke naturally. Her body was so ready and progressing quickly. She decided to have the doctor check her after a couple contractions and she was 9.5cm dilated at 0818. Ashton was supposed to check into her induction at 9am. That would have been an uncomfortable 40 minute ride being nearly complete. We adjusted the head of the bed so that Ashton was still in hands and knees but with her head elevated to use gravity to our advantage and let the nurses place an IV. I helped Ashton focus on her breathing. Things were getting intense and staying in control can be so difficult. Ashton had me and Andrew there to help talk her down and remind her to focus and power through because her baby was going to be here soon. 

At 8:35 Ashton’s lip of cervix was still there. I suggested that she try a new position. I had her lay in her side with her feet apart with a peanut ball to change the position of the pelvis and hopefully make some space for her baby to move past that lip of cervix.  She continued to breath through contractions until she felt the urge to push. Andrew continued to rub her back while I held her hands helping her breath through contractions and keep her focus. Around 9am Ashton was feeling the urge to push so we did a couple practice pushes on her side when at 9:17am the doctor came in and said it was time to start really pushing. Ashton changed positions to hands and knees to start pushing. Once Ashton worked so hard to move her baby down to come earthside. We tried many different positions like hands and knees, side lying tug of war, squatting with the squat bar, and laying back with knees together. Pushing was intense! The physician was worried that Mason was too big to fit through Ashton’s pelvis. The nurses were prepared for mason to be stuck. Together Ashton and her physician decided to cut a small episiotomy to make more room for delivery. Two pushes after Mason was born! Mason was is a sunny side position making pushing more difficult but Ashton made it happen in only an hour and a half of pushing. 

Mason was placed on Ashton’s chest and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Masons birth was one of redemption after the loss of masons brother at 16 weeks and a long difficult first labor. 

Mason Andrew Gabriel 

Named after his angel brother and his dad 

Born May 2, 2022 at 10:41am 

8lbs 2oz

21 inches

Ashton and Andrew thank you for welcoming me into your birth space and letting me walk with you through Masons pregnancy and birth. It was a wild ride to say the least.

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Navy Claire
April 28, 2022

“It’s a GIRL!”

Some of most excited words I have ever heard!

 

Katie texted me around 6:00 am on the morning of 4/28/22, at 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, that she was have pains in her back that were about lasting about a minute long each. I encouraged Katie that this was probably early labor and gave her some stretches to do. She went for a walk, and texted a few hours later that her back pains were more intense and coming every few minutes. First initially, when a doula hears “back pains” it can be a sign of a baby that is facing “sunny side up”. Katie talked to her mom during the previous few hours, and her mom had said that she only had back labor with Katie and her siblings! So after doing a few positions to encourage baby to turn in case the baby was “sunny side up” or OP, she decided to head in to the clinic to be checked.  I had a feeling that Katie was going to labor the same way her mom did, and not have any abdominal contractions.

Katie was checked in the clinic by the midwife at 11:20 am and was found to be 5cm dilated and 80% effaced, with the baby still high. I got up to Sioux Falls and met Katie and Kevin as they were being checked in to Labor and Delivery. She was doing a great job breathing through contractions as I set up the room with dim lights, got essential oils diffusing, and started the tub filling up. We went over Katies birth preferences with her nurse and the midwife on call. She got in the tub around 12:15, and continued breathing through contractions. Contractions began getting more intense and Katie was tired from lack of sleep the night before. We opted to do some positions in bed, so she could rest. These different positions allowed Kevin to be able to provide sacral counter pressure and Katie could sleep in between contractions. Again throughout the intensity of the contractions, she remained in control of her breathing. At 3:23pm, Katie opted for a cervical exam. She was found to be 7cm, with a bulging bag of water and 100% thinned out. The baby’s head had also come down. We continued to do different positions based on the position of the baby. Kevin continued to counter pressure and I did leg and foot massage for Katie. We just continued to take one contraction at a time and allowed labor to naturally progress. At 4:39pm, there was a “pop” and Kevin and I both jumped as Katies water broke onto the bed. At this time Katie began to feel larger amount of pressure with an urge to push. 4:45pm the midwife was at the bedside and observed Katie. She stood back and allowed Katie to bear down and do what her body was telling her. Still at this point, Katie took each contraction as a wave. She stayed calm and focused on low noises and breathing her baby out. 5:03pm Katie was checked and was 10cm dilated and baby was +3 station. Which means the baby was right there ready to be born! At this point, Katie took each contraction at a time and focused on allowing the baby to stretch everything. I have never ever witnessed someone allow the baby’s head to be breathed through with each contraction without an epidural! She was so powerful!

 

At 6:00pm, With no tearing and not a single abdominal contraction the entire labor, Navy Claire was born!  Navy was placed on Katies chest, and Kevin exclaimed with extreme joy…. “It’s a GIRL!” It was such a beautiful moment

 

Navy Claire

7lbs 7oz

20.5 in

 

After Katies placenta delivered it was found that, a piece of the placenta had torn off. The midwife called for the OB on call to come in to help. They did a manual removal of the placenta, which can be very painful. But Katie fought through all of it without any pain meds!

 

To sum up Navy’s birth, the main thing I can think to say is that…Women are Powerful! Katie put in HOURS of prep work in practicing her breathing techniques and visualization of how she wanted her birth. She amazed all the nurses in how in control and strong she was throughout labor! I was so proud of Katie and Kevin in how hard they both worked to bring sweet Navy in to the world! They were an awesome team. Getting to be a part of Navy’s birth story, and get to know this sweet couple, was such a blessing for me! It is such a joy to be a doula!

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Kendrick Robert
April 22, 2022

It was such an honor to walk with Madison and Zach throughout their pregnancy with Kendrick. Around 20 weeks Madison found out that Kendrick had a 2 vessel cord and would need some extra monitoring throughout pregnancy. Her goal was still to have an as natural as possible labor. Our biggest concern with a 2 vessel cord was that baby would be small due to less blood flow. Madison’s doctors continued to monitor Kendrick’s growth and being too small was definitely not a problem. At 39 weeks Madison’s doctor wanted to induce her for a large baby and because of the two vessel cord. Madison, Zach, and I met and talked many times to go through options pros and cons of induction and questions to ask her provider. Madison decided to go through with the induction at 39 weeks. She worked with a Webster certified chiropractor the day before her induction and continued to do her stretches that I had taught her to prepare her body for labor. 

Wednesday afternoon at 4pm Madison went in for her induction. She was 2cm dilated and 70% thinned out. A dose of cytotec was placed. After the cytotec we did a labor warm up and even got to walk outside and get some fresh air. Madison was contracting away with her one dose of cytotec so her doctor decided to not add any more interventions for the night and let her sleep. I headed home and we all tried to get a good nights rest.

At 7am I came back to the hospital and before I got there Madison called me that her contractions were getting more intense. We talked about her options and next steps depending on what her doctor offered and how dilated she was. Madison was 3cm dilated and decided to wait to add anymore intervention and give the tub a try. After an hour in the tub she also tried pumping, the side lying release, and flying cowgirl to get her stretched out and hopefully get baby to drop into the pelvis. Around 11am Madison was still 3 cm dilated and Madison decided she was okay with getting a foley bulb to help dilate her cervix. The foley bulb added a lot of pressure and Madison decided to get back into the tub. An hour and a half later her foley bulb came out in the tub and she continued relaxing in the tub. After her foley bulb came out Madison felt that her contractions had started to space out so she decided she was okay with starting some pitocin to increase the frequency and strength of her contractions. She decided to get out of the tub and try some more positions to help baby drop and put pressure on her cervix. 

At 3pm Madison was 6cm and 80% effaced. She did lots of walking and more of my crazy position suggestions. At 7pm Madison was 7cm 90% effaced and baby had dropped lower in the pelvis. Her doctor suggested breaking her water and Madison agreed. After breaking her water Madison got back in the tub and her contractions got much stronger. She breathed so calmly through contractions. I could barely believe how composed and controlled she was. She made my job look easy! She was doing amazing. At 9:30pm Madison asked to be checked because she was getting tired from her intense contractions and we debating if she wanted an epidural. She was still 7cm dilated but baby had dropped even lower. Madison decided to get the epidural. At 10:40 her epidural was in so we turned down the lights and tired to rest. 

At 11:20 her nurse came in to check in on us and Madison was able to tell her she felt like she couldn’t swallow. The nurse called out my name to help and the nurse quickly called a rapid response. Madison’s epidural had gone not only down but also up and had numbed her upper body and was having trouble taking deep breaths and her ability to swallow. We helped turn Madison to her side to give baby more blood flow and the nurses got to work stopping her epidural calling in the anesthesiologist and doctor. Zach and I held Madison in her side and reminded her to keep taking deep breaths as we waited for the epidural to wear off. All I could do is this very intense and scare moment was pray. Thankfully after about 30 minutes her epidural was wearing off and she was getting her feeling back. The color returned to her face and she looked like herself again. We all took very big sighs of relief. Somehow Kendrick was a champ through that crazy episode and was barely phased. We all tried to take a rest again after the craziness.

Around 2am Madison’s epidural had practically fully worn off and she was feeling a lot of pressure. The Doctor was called and she was completely dilated and ready to push. I got to have Madison try pushing in my new favorite pushing position, side lying tug of war. She pushed on both sides with tug of war then some hands and knees and finished pushing and delivered in a squatting tug of war position. 

Kendrick Robert entered the world on Friday April 22 at 4:05am. He was 8lbs 3oz of pure sweetness. 

Madison powered through a long induction with many unexpected twisted and turns. I admire your strength to push through an eventful 36 hour long labor. Thank you for letting me be a part of your pregnancy and birth story. It was such a blessing to be welcomed into your birth space and witness Kendrick’s delivery. 

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Phillip Elder
April 7, 2022

Faiths pregnancy was anything but simple but she took every twist and turn that came at her with grace. Her doctor suggested induction at 38 weeks & 3 days for her gestational diabetes, The morning was off to a slow but eventful start with many IV attempts and monitoring before the induction even got started. At 9am she got her first dose of cytotec and she was 1cm dilated. She wasn’t feeling much for contractions so I gave her some position and stretching ideas to do before I got there. Around 12:30pm I came into the hospital because Faith was starting to have more regular contractions. I set up the room, started the diffuser, strung the lights, started the music and set the vibe. We used a lot of different positions to try and loosen ligaments and help baby drop into the pelvis. Faith used positions like deep squats in the peanut ball, abdominal lift and tucks, flying cowgirl, walking, forward leaning inversion, and hands and knees.

 

At 3:30 faith was 2-3cm and still baby was high in the pelvis. The decision was made to start Pitocin. Faith bounced on the birth ball, squatted on hands and knees in the bed while eating ices and listening the 90's music. At 5:45 Faith was 3cm dilated. Little Lip definitely needed some coaxing to come out, so Faith decided to have her water broken. After her water broke contractions became much stronger. We utilized some standing and other out of bed positions before her epidural. At 7pm Faith got her epidural after 7, yes 7 attempts. Thankfully that 7th attempted worked and Faith got some relief. We all took a big of a rest after that. Every half hour or so I would help Faith switch up her side lying positions to help make more room for little Lip to descend. We used much more than flipping side to side with the peanut ball. Using different side lying positions continues to move the pelvis and stretch ligaments.  At 9:30pm Faiths cervix was 4cm and baby was still fairly high in the pelvis. It was clear her body just wasn’t ready for labor a took some time to get baby down in the pelvis. We continued with positions changes and Faith was able to take a nap doing flying cowgirl and hands and knees. Around midnight Faith was in hands and knees and told us she was starting to feel pressure.  

The nurse asked to check her and she was 8cm! She sat up in high throne and the pressure increased. At 12:45am Faith felt the need to push with her contraction. She was starting to feel it all. Her epidural started not working as well because Phillip finally decided he was ready and descend, she was feeling that pressure. At 12:57am Faith was 9.5cm dilated and breathing so well through her very intense contractions. She labored down on her side breathing away her last bit of cervix. About 15 minutes later Faith was complete and pushing.

 

After 3 strong pushes Faith delivered baby Phillip into the world! Initially Philip was placed on Faiths chest but then was brought to the warmer to be evaluated by the nurses after about a minute of life. Phillip had made a very rapid decent and entrance into the world and was taking some extra time to adjust. He required so positive pressure ventilation and then some supplemental oxygen. The decision was made that Phillip should go to a facility with a NICU team to be sure he would turn around. As hard as the situation was not being able to be with Phillip initially Faith was able to be discharged and see him that evening in the NICU and hold her baby boy. He was discharged the next day and is doing amazing now. 

 

Phillip Elder 

Born April 7, 2022 at 1:24am

7lbs 8lbs

Thank you Faith for letting me a part of you and Phillips birth story. 

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Elsie Christine
February 24, 2022

Malea called me Tuesday night at 7pm that her water had broke. She wasn't having regular contractions yet so I told her to rest, relax, take a bath, a nap and do some stretches and see how the evening went. I was at work when Malea called so I gave Ashtyn a call to see if she would be able to come in and work for me if needed. After a couple hours I decided to head to Worthington to help Malea through contractions. At 3am Wednesday morning Malea was having mild contractions every 3-4 minutes. We did a lot of stretches and positions to try and relax her pelvic floor. We also tried using her breast pump to stimulate contractions. At 7am we decided to head to the hospital because her water had now been broken for 12 hours. When we got to the hospital the nurse checked Malea and she was 6 cm dilated and the baby was VERY low. We were all pumped! Melea’s contractions were slowly increasing in intensity so we continued with positions to help with pain and to progress her labor. We did a lot of hand and knees positions, used the tub, Malea really enjoyed using the birth ball, she also did positions standing like hip sways and abdominal lift and tucks. Around 12:30pm Malea’s contractions were intensifying and she needed to breathe through her contractions more. She asked if her midwife would stop by to check her cervix. The midwife checked and called Malea 4 cm dilated. It was pretty disappointing to hear that she was actually 4 cm not 6. But what is a gal to do but keep going. We decided to try and rest and I had Malea lay in bed with closed knees to help open the pelvic outlet. Malea was able to rest for a little while and we decided to try the tub again. In the tub Malea worked hard through her increasing contractions. At 4:30pm Malea asked to be checked again and she was 5 cm dilated. I along with her midwife and nurse encouraged her that she was doing so well and so in control during her contractions but Malea was feeling tired and was starting to think about getting an epidural. She decided that she would give it another half hour, see how much she progressed, then decide if she needed the epidural. So this doula decided it was go time. I put Malea into hands and knees on the bed with closed knees. This position within a couple minutes picked up Malea’s contractions from every 5 minutes to every 2-3 and they got much more intense. I did a double hip squeeze with each contraction to help open the pelvic outlet and I may have used all my might, and it may have left a bruise or two to prove it (sorry Malea). Both the midwife and I noticed the change that happened in the last half hour and we were excited to see how well she was doing. At 5pm Malea was ready to check her progress and if she wanted an epidural. Malea was 6 cm 100% thinned out and the baby was even lower in the pelvis. Malea made the decision that she was ready for the epidural. She was doing amazing but it had been a long day and was ready for a rest before pushing. They started getting things ready for the epidural and I asked Malea to try some standing positions until the epidural to use gravity to our advantage. It was so awesome to watch Malea listen to her body, she squatted with closed knees as a natural position that felt most comfortable to her. At 5:45 pm the anesthesiologist arrived and the midwife asked to check her one more time and she was 7 cm dilated. The epidural was in and running at 6:15 pm, which is also when Malea told us she was getting light headed. Malea’s blood pressure dropped from the epidural and she was nearly ready to pass out. The nurses and anesthesiologist gave Malea some fluids and medication to get her blood pressure back up and thankfully it worked within a couple of minutes. Malea’s pain was practically gone and she barely felt contractions and she was tired from labor and her blood pressure drop. We decided to try and nap and rest. Both Malea and Evan were able to take a nap on and off for a couple hours. At 7: 45 Malea’s midwife woke her up to ask if they could start some Pitocin and antibiotics. Malea’s contractions had really spaced out after the epidural and we wanted them to pick up again. Malea’s water had now been broken for 24 hours and the midwife wanted to try and prevent any uterine infection. As the nurses increased the Pitocin I helped Malea into different side-lying positions while she rested between changes. At 11pm Malea was checked again; she was 8 cm. We decided to try some new positions. I had Malea do a supported squat in bed to use gravity to help bring the baby down. Moving to this position helped Malea start feeling more pelvic pressure with the epidural. She was starting to have to breathe through contractions more which we were excited about because that meant things were starting to pick up again. I then had Malea do a squatting hand and knees in the bed with the head of the bed all the way up and Malea’s head and arms over the top of the bed. Malea's pelvic pressure increased in this position and she felt like she may need to push. The midwife checked at 12:07am  and Malea was 9.5 cm dilated! We moved Malea to a side-lying position to give her knees a break and at 12:26am Malea made what we birth nerds call the “birth roar” the midwife and I both knew she didn't need to check if Malea was complete that noise told us she was so Malea started to pushing. Malea pushing like a champ side-lying moving her baby down with each push. She then tried pushing on hands and knees and we started seeing Elsie’s hair peak out during pushes! At 1:31am Malea delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl.

 

Elsie Christine 

 born February 24th at 1:31am

7lbs 10oz

21inches long 

 

Elsies story was long, tiring, emotional, and beautiful. Malea persevered through her 36 hour long labor like a champ and didn't give up. She pushed through to the end to meet her baby earth side. 

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Alice May 
February 3, 2022

Alice’s birth story was a whirlwind! Around 8 weeks Amanda had been advised for a c section because of a previous shoulder dystocia with her second baby that weighed 8lbs 10oz. She trusted her instincts and got a second opinion on a vaginal delivery. Another provider felt comfortable letting her deliver at a local hospital until she was 38 weeks, and then advised a c section. Amanda had her previous deliveries at 36 weeks and 37 weeks, so she figured she would deliver before the 38 week mark anyways. At 35 weeks Amanda had an ultrasound to check growth and baby was found to be breech. Again a c section was encouraged, but Amanda decided she wanted to try a External Cephalic Version (ECV). A few days later Alice had flipped head down on her own! At 37 weeks Amanda had not delivered yet, so rural hospital did not feel comfortable to have her deliver there. So Amanda and Jared made the decision to switch to a higher level hospital that deliveries high risk OB patients and also had a NICU available if needed. At Amanda’s 37 week appt baby at the higher level hospital Alice was found to be breech again! Amanda was set up to do a ECV that day. The ECV went flawlessly and Alice flipped head down right away. Amanda also had a cervical check at at appt and was 4cm dilated. She had contractions off and on for the next week. During that week and throughout pregnancy I had encouraged Amanda to see a Webster certified chiropractor, to keep encouraging baby to stay head down as well as taking away pregnancy aches and pains! At 38 weeks she had another appt with the specialists and was 5cm dilated. The specialist stripped her membranes again and that caused Amanda to start having contractions. She went to her grandmas house for awhile to see if contractions continued, before heading home as the high level hospital is 1.5 hours away. The contractions continued and became more intense, so Amanda headed in to triage to be monitored. Her husband and I rode up together so they didn’t have an extra vehicle 1.5 hours away. At 8:15pm Amanda was 6cm and moved to the labor and delivery unit where Jered and I met her in her room. I strung lights, turned the lights down and started diffusing oils so that when she came to her room it was calm and relaxing. We did the birth warm up which consists of multiple different positions on the birth ball and side lying release, as well as lots of walking as that really helped Amanda continue contractions professing.

At 11:30pm Amanda and the on call OB decided to start Pitocin as still 6cm dilated. Everyone decided to try rest as she was tolerating contractions well. Amanda slept with the peanut ball in a flying cowgirl position to get baby engaged. Around 2am Amanda was unable to sleep through contractions anymore and decided to get in the tub. The tub took away the intense-ness of the contractions. I put my galaxy lights in the bathroom and my speaker that played Amanda’s playlist to keep a calm environment. We focused on breathing low and slow through out contractions and breathing baby down through the pelvis. This really helped Amanda relax. 
At 5:01 am Amanda was 8cm with a bulging bag of water. 6:00 Amanda was 9 cm with feeling the urge to push as her water was still intact. We were told the Dr. was in the OR and was unable to come to break her water. Amanda continued to breathe through contractions on her hands and knees while we waited for the doctor. At 8:10 am the specialist doctor came in and when he went to check Amanda, broke her bag of water. She was complete at 8:15 am and the doctor was called back for delivery. Amanda did a few practice pushes and the doctor felt she would be pushing for awhile, and decided to go to another room. The only ones left in the room were the nurse, a tech, me and Jared.

2 minutes after the doctor left the room Amanda yelled “She’s COMING!” Amanda did not have any pain medications or epidural, so fetal ejection reflex happened! The head was immediately out caught by the tech and the nurse was on the phone calling for help. Seconds later the body followed and was caught by me! The tech and I placed Alice on Amanda chest as the nurse grabbed a blanket and hat for baby. Amanda repeated over and over “I did it, I did it, I did it!!” The doctor came back after approximately 5 minutes to deliver the placenta.  He comes in the room laughing and says “I guess there wasn’t any shoulder dystocia!”

Alice Mae
7lbs 15oz
Amanda’s story was a whirlwind of opinions and recommendations, but she ultimately trusted her maternal instinct. I am so proud of Amanda for being so strong! I will forever be thankful to be a part of Alice’s birth!

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Tessa Ruth 
February 2, 2022

NWIBN baby #1 in a 24 hour period!
Tessa’s birth story started around 7 am on February 2, 2022. Sterling awaited patiently for sweet Tessa to make her arrival, but at 40 weeks and 1 day, Sterling decided to opt for a “whiff” of Pitocin to help her natural labor kick .
Pitocin was started at 9:10am and Sterling discussed with the doctor that she wanted to be very conservative with the amount and how fast they went up on the Pitocin dosing, and the doctor was in agreement. The plan was to go use it more as a tool to help push her in to more regular contraction pattern as Sterling had been having irregular contractions off and on for the last 2 weeks.
Tyler and Sterling also did not know the gender of the baby, they decided that Tyler would announce the gender when the baby was born. I love having dads be able to be the first ones to tell mom what baby is!
After I arrived at the hospital we went through a birth warm up that involves multiple different positioning to aide in getting baby’s head properly aligned such as side lying release, birthball exercises, hands knees as well as making sure your pelvic fascia are loose and ready to accommodate the head as well. We completed the birth circuit and walked the halls to help continue to keep baby in the correct place. It was decided it was time to rest while we could since contractions were not extremely intense yet, she had a cervical exam at 12:00 and was found to be 5cm. Baby was still fairly high in Sterlings pelvis, so we decided to rest in “flying cowgirl” on the left side. After 20 minutes she went to her right side, and then we began to notice that contractions were getting more difficult to rest through. Sterling got up and swayed while resting in Tyler’s arms as the tub was filling up.
Sterling labored hands and knees in the tub with Tyler holding her hands, and me providing counter pressure from behind. As doulas, we are willing to climb behind you in the tub as long as you are comfortable! 
The room was set calm with galaxy lights and soft playing music to facilitate the ability to reduce outside typical hospital noise. Sterling was calm and controlled her breathing through each contraction and completely relaxed her body in between. At 2:20 pm she began to feel the urge to push. Sterling went back to the bed and stood and “slow danced” with Tyler while waiting for the doctor. Upon arrival of the doctor Sterling was on hands and knees and found to be complete and ready push.
She started pushing at 2:28pm and after 5 minutes baby was guided on to the bed, and Tyler announced “Babe, we have a little girl!”
Tessa Ruth
7lbs 5oz
2/2/22 and 2:33pm
Tyler and Sterling, I am so blessed to have been a part of this journey with you! Tessa Ruth is so special and will be extremely well loved by her big brothers! I had such a fun time getting to know both of you and discuss all things farm. 

Blakely Elaine
January 24, 2022

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Blakeley’s birth was a wild, powerful, beautiful and intense process. 

 

This past Tuesday we found out that Madison’s current hospital that she planned to deliver at wouldn’t allow a second support person in the room. After a lot of frustration, stress, phone calls, and begging it was confirmed the next day that the policy stood and I wouldn’t be let in. I thought that was the end of the road for me being physically present at Madison’s birth, but she was having none of that! That day, the day before her due date she decided to switch delivering hospitals so that I could be there! After getting paperwork’s set up at her new hospital we got the message that her old hospital changed their mind! They were now doing to let me in along with Madison’s husband to her original hospital. Already this birth was off to a very crazy start. 

On Sunday night January 22, 3 days after her due date, Madison’s labor started. I had given her some ideas of how to get labor started naturally, and they worked! After two 15 minute pumping sessions Madison’s contractions were every 2-3 minutes for an hour and a half and growing in intensity. So at 11:15pm we decided to pack up and head to the hospital. We had both arrived to the hospital by 12:45am. Madison’s contractions were strong and close together and coupling. She had such controlled relaxed breathing through each wave. The nurse on the unit asked to check her and found Madison’s cervix to be 5-6 cm dilated and very soft and stretchy! When contractions are coupling which means you have 2 right on top of eachother and then a break and then again two on top of eachother and then a break this can be a sign of an OP or sunny side up baby. Madison was having a lot of back labor and her contractions were coupling so I was pretty convinced this baby was in the OP position. In the bed we did a forward leaning inversion with a booty shake to try and turn the back of the baby’s head to the front of her pelvis. After this we did some standing slow dancing with sacral pressure. At this point we had gotten the tub all filled up and ready so she moved to the tub, it was about 1:15am at this point. In the tub Madison was on her knees with her arms over the peanut ball to lay and relax on. Brady her husband sat in front of her holding her through every contraction while I sat behind her pouring water over her back and giving sacral pressure. Madison continued to breath so calmly through contractions in the tub and her and I both repeated encouraging words, “I can do this, my body was made to do this, I have made it so far, my body is so capable and strong.” Madison’s contractions continued to intensify in the tub. 45 minutes into being the the tub Madison’s had made it through transition in labor and was having a lot of intense pressure. Madison stayed in the tub to help with the pressure and help stretch her bottom until she needed to push. When Madison felt the need to push she stood up and stepped out of the tub and squatted right there on the bathroom floor and started pushing! Her body knew it wanted to push standing and was ready to push right then and there. After about 3 strong pushes Madison delivered Blakeley at 2:21am. Delivered by the nurses, without a doctor, standing on the bathroom floor holding on to Brady. 

After she was born Madison held her baby girl and said “I did it” over and over again. There was so much emotion in the space at that moment, so much love and power. 

Her doctor made it in about 5 minutes after Blakeley  was born and he delivered her placenta. After that Blakeley was a breastfeeding champ. 

 

Blakeley Elaine was 8lbs 4ozs of chunky rolls and sweet dimples born January 24, 2022 at 2:21am

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Shepherd Perry
January 3, 2022

The only way to describe Shepherd’s “Shep” birth is, a little slice of Heaven on earth.

Anna and Seth have a beautiful story of how God led them to having the New Years baby! They hired me just 8 days prior to her scheduled induction, and I am SO grateful they did!

 

At 7:41 on January 3rd, Shep was delivered by Seth with assistance of the doctor. The song “The Good Shepherd” resounded in the background as Seth announced “it’s a BOY!” It was a perfect moment where God was abundantly present!

 

“Oh, Good Shepherd

I follow where You lead

Your steps have tested the strength of the ground before me

Oh, Good Shepherd

You're faithful to take the lead

The way may be long, may be wild, but I know You're with me”

 

Seth and Anna, I have no words to thank you for allowing me into your sacred birth space. I will forever be blessed!

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Leora Rose
September 15, 2021

Kaleigh called around midnight on September 15, right at 41 weeks and 0 days pregnant that her contractions had started around 9:30 pm the night before. They were off and on but starting to get stronger and more regular. She was going to take a bath and try rest and see if they continued. 
Kaleigh called again at 1:30 am that her contractions were getting much more painful and were consistently 3-4 minutes apart, her and her husband Brett were ready to head to the hospital. 
We arrived at the hospital at 2:45 am. Side note: I had to wait awhile because Brett had some truck issues… you will have to ask Kaliegh how she felt about that... The nurse checked Kaleigh and she was 4cms dilated and contractions about every 4-5 minutes. She was so tired, so decided to rest in bed for some contractions. As contractions picked up Kaleigh wanted to go to the tub. She did most of her laboring in the tub as it was the most comforting for her. Brett squeezed Kaliegh’s hands during each contraction as I rubbed her back. Around 6:30 am Kaleigh said she started to feel “pushy” and was found to be 8cms with a bulging bag. Around 7 am the doctor came and was 9cms and broke Kaleigh’s water. She was complete at 7:22 and with 3 strong pushes, Leora Rose was earth side at 7:33! 
After delivery is was obvious that Kaleigh was have more bleeding then normal. The nurses and doctor worked to stop the bleeding, but ultimately the decision was made to take Kaleigh to the OR and put her to sleep to take a better look at things and to find the source of her bleeding. 
Kaleigh was so strong and powerful through delivery and a scary post delivery! I am SO blessed to be able to support Brett and Kaleigh throughout pregnancy and through labor!

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Kade Lee
September 3, 2021

Kade mans story was quite something to say the least. 
Kade’s mama Kala was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 32 weeks and due to this needed to be induced at 37 weeks. Kala was induced on Monday Aug. 30 at night and started with a cervidil induction. On Tuesday not much was happening so the doctor throughout the day administered multiple doses of cytotec in hopes to get her body ready for labor. Tuesday evening the decision was made to start Pitocin because still not much was happening. Her body was not sure about this whole labor thing so early. 
At 5:30am Wednesday Kala was feeling more pain from her pitocin but still her body was responding the way we want to pitocin and not dilating or contracting regularly. At this point she was maxed out on pitocin and we were all very tired so the decision was made to turn off the pitocin and rest. 
At 8am the doctor came in and placed a foley bulb to help Kala dilate. At 10:30am it fell out and Kala was 3cm dilated. To hopefully help start some contractions pitocin was started again but after a couple hours it still wasn’t really doing much like the first time and we decided we needed to try something else to keep progressing her labor. At 2:50pm the doc came in and broke Kala’s water. After breaking her water Kala’s body finally started to kick in and go into a labor pattern.
The tub was her best friend to cope through her intensifying contractions as well as lots of position changes and movement. At 6:30pm Kala was 7cm dilated and decided to get an epidural. After getting her epidural we kept doing different positions in bed to keep progressing her labor. After lots of position changes and a little bit of rest at 3am on Thursday morning Kala was 9.5cm dilated! We decided to have her labor down and sleep since she had an epidural and was tired from her long labor and needed energy to eventually push. 
At 8am Thursday morning Kalas doctor came in to check her and she was complete. At 8:30 we started pushing. Kala pushed with her epidural in side lying positing, hands and knees, sitting squat, and tug of war. 
At 12:20pm Thursday September 2 Kade Lee made his entrance.
To be honest this story only barely scratches the surface of Kala and Kade’s birth story. It was along tiring labor but it was so rewarding. I can’t sing the praises of Kala’s strength through her labor and the patience that her provider gave so that she could have a vaginal delivery.  Thank you Kala and Kyle for inviting me into your birth space and allowing me to support you through your birth experience 

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Calum James
August 26, 2021

Mr. Cal man’s birth story started on Wed. night Aug. 25 when Kelsey came in for an OB eval that turned into an induction. She came in already 4cm dilated! An amazing start for a first time mom. Together with her birth team we decided to use pitocin to induce labor. I hung out for a couple hours doing a labor warm up with Kelsey before heading out at 9pm so we could all rest.
I came back in at 3am after Kelsey woke up from a nap and felt she wasnt able to rest anymore. We got in the tub to see if the water would help ease some pain and allow for some more time to rest. At 4:15am she was 6cm dilated and as relaxed as can be through her contractions. We kept moving around stretching and using different positions to get baby into an optimal position in the pelvis. The nurses continued to increase her pitocin but it didn’t phase her! Kelsey progressed through her labor as calm as can be not  phased by her contractions. 
At 1:19pm Kelsey was 8cm dilated and we decided to have her water broken. After Kelsey’s water broke things started getting intense, fast! She got back in the tub to help ease the contractions. She breathed through them and asked for an epidural. The nurse started preparing for the epidural and noticed how intense her contractions became so they checked to see if she was more dilated. Kelsey was a 9.5 cm dilated only an hour after her water was broke. She didn’t need an epidural her body was doing so well and took over labor so we turned off her pitocin infusion and got ready to push. 
Kelsey continued to breath through contractions listening to what her body told her to do and what positions to be in. At 3:30pm she was complete and started pushing. She pushed on her hand & knees, side lying, and delivered in a squatting tug of war position. 
Kelsey delivered a 7lbs 12oz beautiful boy at 5:07pm 
I’ve never seen someone rock a pitocin induction like Kelsey! She did so amazing through her induction and labor on pitocin, without an epidural, and without tearing 
Kelsey, Taylor, & Calum it was my honor to be a part of your birth story. Thank you for letting me be a part of it and be involved in bringing a new life into the world 

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Amelia Jo
August 7, 2021

Emilia’s birth story was a long but beautiful process!
Katie went in for an induction on the night of August 5th. Her contractions started to pick up and become more intense through our the day Friday. I arrived to the hospital to support Katie and her husband around 4pm Friday afternoon. 
Katie felt her contractions were more regular when she was walking around. We did multiple laps around the hospital. Around 6pm Katie’s contractions were not growing much stronger, and after Katie discussing with her medical team, it was decided to break her water. After Katie’s water was ruptured, contractions became much more intense. Katie got in the tub and breathed calmly through intense contractions. Throughout the whole labor process, we kept a calm peaceful atmosphere with dim lights and soft music playing. Soon the tub became too warm and Katie decided she felt best laboring on a birth ball in a forward leaning position. I walked Trent through how to provide sacral pressure so he was able to sit behind her and provide support.
Around 10:30pm Katie decided she ready to get an epidural and rest for a bit as contractions were too intense to sleep through. After Katie was comfortable with the epidural, we decided it would be best if we all tried to sleep for awhile.
I arrived back at the hospital around 4:30 in the morning Saturday, August 7th. When I got there Katie only had a rim of her cervix left and was getting more uncomfortable. She was able to still move with her epidural, so we were able to adjust to different positions. After she was complete, Katie labored down until she felt the urge to push. 
At 5:45 She started pushing in the hands & knees position on the bed. We continued to change pushing positions based off what Katie felt like her body needed to do. At 7:17, and 36 hours of labor, Emilia Jo was born in a tug of war position with a sheet wrapped around the squat bar.
The greatest moment was when Trent announced “It’s a GIRL”
Katie you showed immense strength and power throughout labor and birth. You pushed through complete exhaustion to bring your baby into this world. I will forever be grateful to be a part of your birth! 

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Boaz Herman
July 30, 2021

My first home birth, baby Boaz Herman
A purely magical experience to have been a part of Boaz’s home birth. An experience so focused on loving on his mama and supporting her bringing him into this world! 
I got to Elianna’s house at 11am Friday morning July 30 because she had been having contractions all morning that were growing in frequency and intensity. When I got there she was contracting every 3 minutes and having to breath through some of them. Within an hour of being there I could see things were picking up and she was working harder to breath through her contractions so we had her midwife come at 1pm to check on how Elianna and baby were doing. Both were doing well so she went back to the clinic and I suggested we try the tub as things we’re getting more intense. 
Elianna got in the tub at 2pm and her contractions only continued to intensify. She laid back in the tub and swayed her hips in the water through contractions. At 4:30 we decided it was time to try something else to keep that pelvis moving. We stood through a handful of contractions with me giving sacral pressure and Elianna doing an abdominal lift and tuck through contractions. After standing for a while she wanted to try something laying down so that she could relax better through contractions. 
We moved to the bed to do side lying with the peanut ball. She was surrounded by support doing this. Her husband at her head holding her hand, a nurse rubbing her feet, her doula rubbing her back, and her midwife giving sacral pressure. There was so much support for this hard working laboring mama. 
After a little rest in bed we went back to the tub around 6pm. She went into hands and knees in the tub and rocked through her contractions like a champ. The contractions and pressure was intense! 
Another hour in the tub and she felt the urge to push! We moved from the tub to the bed. Her midwife checked her (for the first time I might add) and she was complete at 7:23pm. 
After only 28 minutes of a combo of hands and knees and side lying pushing Boaz was born! 
July 30, 2021 at 9:51pm Boaz became my first home birth baby

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Judah Loyd
July 29, 2021

Baby Judah what an absolute honor it was to be a part of your sweet birth. Your mom did amazing pushing you out with an unplanned natural birth! 
Jamie was induced on Wednesday night at 9pm. She was contracting every 8-10 minutes on her own but not really feeling them. Her doctor came in that evening and she was dilated to a fingertip and he place one dose of cytotec. I checked in with Jamie and Cole that night and then went to bed so that we could all sleep for a big day Thursday. 
Fast forward to only a couple hours later I got a text at 2:15am Jamie was 2cm dilated and was feeling her contractions more. At 3am they called me in because the contraction were every 2 minutes and very intense! I got to the hospital at 3:40am and Jamie was clearly in active labor breathing through her contraction. She asked for an epidural and they nurses started preparing for placement. I encouraged her to try the tub while we wait for anesthesia because once she would have the epidural she would have to stay in the bed. She got in the tub at 4:06am in hand and knees and breathed like a champ through those contractions! 
4:30am (24 min. later) she told me she had a lot of pelvic pressure. The nurse checked her in the tub and she was 8cm dilated! The magical tub does it again! She stayed in the tub till 4:40 when she told me she felt like she needed to push. The nurse checked again and she was a rim (9.5cm dilated)
We got out of the tub and moved to the bed and breathed through a couple more very intense contractions. At 4:51 she was completely dilated. There wasn’t time for that epidural now. Judah was ready! At 4:58 her was was broke and she started pushing! She pushed side lying and totally rocked it! One of the strongest pushers I’ve every seen! 
Baby Judah Lloyd was born at July 29, 2021 5:29am
8lbs 1oz & 21.5in of cuteness 
Jamie & Cole thank you for letting me be a part of your pregnancy & birth journey. It was an incredible experience that I am so beyond grateful you let me be a part of.

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Whitlee Jaymes
July 24, 2021

Whitlee Jaymes made her appearance at 4:30 am on July 24th! 
Kenli had contractions off and on all day on Friday. After working on a variety of positions at home with me, Kenli and Dalton decided it was time to go to the hospital. After being at the hospital for a few hours it was determined that Kenli was in early labor, and had some time to go to be in active labor. After some discussion with healthcare team, Kenli and Dalton decided to return home to try to sleep and get some rest. 
I received a text from Kenli awhile later saying that her contractions were getting more uncomfortable and frequent then they had previously been. We weighed out laboring at home for a while longer (and some different things she could try) versus heading to the hospital. Kenli and Dalton decided that they were more comfortable to head to the hospital. We all arrived to the hospital around 2:30 am on Saturday, and after laboring in the tub and a multitude of pushing positions, precious Whitlee Jaymes was born without an epidural!
This first doula birth was an intense, emotional, beautiful journey that ended in getting to support my sister and brother in law and meet my sweet niece.
Kenli, I am so proud of you! You showed strength in labor I never knew you possessed and you will be the most amazing mother! Thank you for choosing me to be your doula and support you throughout your pregnancy and birth. It will be an experience that I will forever be blessed to be a part of!

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Landon Cole 
July 14, 2021

Landons birth story started July 13th at 5pm when Nicole’s contractions started. She contracted on an off through the night. She listened to her body and rested when it did and moved when she felt she needed to. I came over the next morning and she was contracting every 5 to 7 minutes. We stretched, bounced on the birth ball, did forward leaning inversions, walked up and down the stairs, and prayed for baby boys arrival. At 11:15 when we left for the hospital. We checked in at 11:45 and got hooked up to the monitors. Babe looked so good with a heart rate of 145 bpm. The doctor came in at noon and she was 7 cm dilated. We filled up the tub and she got it at 12:15. While in the tub contractions picked up to every 2 to 3 minutes and were getting intense! We turned up the praise music while Jordyn (husband) spoke words of strength to Nicole from the Bible. She was in the tub for an hour when at 1:15 she felt she needed to push. We moved to the bed and two beautiful deep breaths later Landon was born at 1:19 pm on July 14, 2021. 
It was a dream birth filled with the love and blessings of the Lord. 
Landon is was my honor and pleasure to witness your birth and support you mom through her pregnancy. I cant wait to watch you grow up little man

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