Tag Archives | natural birth

Tag Archives | natural birth

Major’s Birth | Part 3

As soon as he was out, the girls hopped down off the bed to either side of me.  Their little hands quickly grabbing hold of his, feeling his head, his back.  I couldn’t think of a time I had ever been more happy or fulfilled.

Harlo looked at him, “You’re right, mom.  He looks like a Major.”  Major is the name I had loved for a boy, but Harlo hadn’t been so sure until she saw him.  “Can we name him Major?” she asked.  My girls sat at my side as I delivered the placenta.  “Look girls!” I said “That’s where the baby lived while he was in my belly. That’s where he got all his nutrients to grow.” Janae held up the placenta and bag attached for the girls to check out.  Easily the coolest science project I’ll ever be able to show them.

I held him while we all oo’d and aww’d over his sweet little face, his too-big-for-his-body hands, his long feet and toes.  We were all completely smitten.  We giggled about how he looked exactly like Stella, and I told the girls about their own births and how they were the same and different from this one.

The girls helped Brady cut the cord while we all marveled in the miracle of life.  We snuggled into my bed in the wee hours of the morning and let the feeling of heaven opening right up for our family soak in.  Our boy was here, and life was all but perfect.

Mr. Miller has a son!


After Thoughts:

 My son’s birth was one of the sweetest experiences in my life.  Having my girls there to witness this miracle will go down as my favorite moment with them.  Their precious little spirits were so calming to me as I worked hard to delivery their brother.  Stella humming alongside me kept me focused and comforted, and it helped me accomplish my goal of bringing this baby into a calm, loving space.  Harlo’s excitement and wonder was just the most precious thing.  They weren’t nervous or worried, they were calm and thrilled.  There was never a single moment I wished they weren’t there.  They know me so well, and knew just how to help me in ways that no one else could have.  They are still talking about this experience even two months later.  They loved being a part of this, they were so mature and handled themselves so well.  What a sweet bonding experience it was for them and I.  My precious big girls!  Heaven sent.

This birth was my third natural home birth.  It surprises me each time how different my birth experiences can be.  Major’s labor was as sweet as they come, but he really made me work for every last bit.  I overcame physical limits I had never had to before.  Pushing out that strapping son of mine was hard work.  So hard, that I was certain he would be at least 9 lbs.. maybe 10.  I was only slightly disappointed when he was 7.13 – not even my biggest baby.  Ha! Major’s birth story will be my favorite labor, and my toughest delivery.  But worth every last drop, times one million.  Would I do it all over again?  Absolutely.  If I have another baby, would I do a natural home birth again?  For me, it’s the only way.  My babies have the absolute best of care and love as they come into this world.  My birth team, especially my midwife, is the best there is.  Janae loves my babies fiercely  – she handles them as they’re her very own.  She has supported me in some of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make, and has walked with me as I have found myself and settled into my own slice of motherhood.  Every pregnant mother deserves a Janae.  She is invaluable to me, and I know she was divinely placed in my life.

A few weeks before I delivered, I wondered if not finding out the gender was the right choice.  I felt myself being worried about the possibility of having a boy.  Two weeks before my due date, I asked Brady, “Should we just go get an ultrasound?” Ha!  I will tell you that that moment of finding out what our baby was – all together in that special way – was the most thrilling experience.  There was no room for worry or disappointment, and I’m so glad I got to experience that.  I have never experienced anything sweeter than that moment with my family.  If we have any more babies, there is no way we would find out ever again.  That surprise was just too too good.  What a wonderful welcome!

Major came into my life exactly when he was supposed to.  I know that more than ever.  He brought with him such peace, joy, healing, and faith restored.  Since he arrived, there has been an abundance of happiness in our home.  He is exactly what our family was waiting for.  Simply put, this boy is everything we never knew we needed.


Janae’s Website HERE

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Major’s Birth | part 2

After we got the girls to bed, I was still having contractions on the regular.  I was trying to ignore it, because I swear my labor is afraid of it’s own shadow.  If I mention that I’m having contractions, they’ll shrink away immediately!  I got the house picked up, and folded the rest of the baby laundry.  I read over my birth affirmations and put on my birthing necklace for all the good energy I could muster.  I prayed, and meditated a bit connecting with my baby and my body.  I had text Janae earlier letting her know what was going on, and by 10:30 or so, I was feeling more ready to have her come.  Brady got the birth tub out and ready to fill for when the time came, and around 11, Janae (midwife) and April (friend and videographer) both showed up.

We all sat in my room chatting a bit, and my contractions slowed way down.  (I told you my labor is afraid of it’s own shadow..) at 12ish, Janae suggested she and April go in the other room and see if my labor picks back up.  At this point I felt like it was more prodromal labor and my contractions were dying down.  I felt super discouraged.  I asked Brady to give me a priesthood blessing.  He gave me such a sweet blessing; that my body would be strong, and my mind would be at peace, and our baby would be safe and sound.  As soon as my blessing came to a close, a contraction hit strong and steady.  In a minute, another, and then a minute after that.  Janae and April had probably been out of my room for 5 minutes and when they came back in, I was in full blown, in-the-zone labor.

They quickly got to getting the tub filled, which proved to be a little difficult with our 1950’s house and tiny water heater.  As I waited, contractions were becoming stronger and stronger.  During each contraction, my sweet little team would take turns pressing on my hips with my heating pad.  Once the tub was ready, I happily climbed in and immediately felt the relief I was hoping for.

Trisha, my doula (and janae’s birth assistant) who has been at all of my births, was headed out of town for the night when my labor started, but she turned around and came back for me.  I was so so happy to see her and felt so grateful she would do that.  A birth without her just wouldn’t be the same.

For weeks, the girls had been making me promise that if I went into labor during the day, I would check them out of school, and if I went into labor at night, I would wake them up.  I promised I would.  While I was laboring in the tub, we kept talking about when we should wake the girls.  Sometime after a few very strong contractions and when I was feeling more pressure in my hips, we decided it was time.  While I was still in the tub, my sweet, sleepy girls came walking in. “Hi mom,” Stella said, with Harlo quietly creeping in behind her.  They hopped up on the bed and got comfortable, just taking in the scene from this exciting night.  The sight of their sweet little faces was so precious to me in this time.  I was so glad they were here.

We chatted between contractions a bit, and I’m not even sure what about now, but several times I got the giggles so bad and had to tell Mr. Miller to stop making me laugh.  I thought in the back of my mind how much I loved having babies with my Mr. Miller.  This is one of my favorite versions of him – seeing our babies in the world together.  It’s such a happy and exciting time, and I cherished having my older girls be able to witness this with us.

Pretty soon I wanted out of the tub.  I’m not sure why I always want out of the tub when my transition starts, but I just feel out of control.  I’m not a big water person in general, and I just can’t fully let go when I’m in the water, even though it does feel so good.  I decided to get out and get checked and go from there.

Janae went to check me and I said “am I even progressing?  I’m not like at a 2 and you all are going home soon?” The false labor always plays with my mind.  They all laughed and Janae said I still had a lip and could start pushing or doing whatever I wanted.  At this point I could feel the baby moving down just like it was supposed to, and felt grateful that sweet thing was helping me out.  I felt the need to be in a squatting position, and when I got into that position, the baby slipped even further into my pelvis and I suddenly had excruciating pressure in my tailbone and hips.  I felt like they were going to split in two.  Just then my legs started cramping up – their nightly routine – and I had to quickly move back to my back to stretch them out.  I stayed there fighting with my body for a little while… taking turns stretching my legs out to avoid a charlie horse, and then getting back up to relieve my back/hip pressure.

I made a point to focus on my laboring necklace and all the good energy it brought to my birth.  I would glance up and look at my birthing affirmations that said things like “my body is strong”, “my baby is coming!”, “birth is joyous”.  I would make one my internal mantra for the next few contractions.  I was surrounded by the most perfect birth team – my midwife Janae and her assistant Trisha, some of my two closest friends, April and Ashley who were there to shoot video and pictures, my sister was tuning in via FaceTime in California, my two precious girls who were calm and sweet and brought such a neat energy into the room, and my strong and capable husband who was there to see me through like he always, always has.  In this moment, I felt so so blessed.  I knew I could get through this labor.

My contractions picked up in intensity and I immediately found the need to lean on that strong and supportive birth team.  Stella hummed with me through contractions which kept me grounded and focused, between contractions she would hop down and rub my arms and back.  Harlo would lean down a hand for me to hold.  Brady attended to my every whim applying pressure on my tailbone the way I always like.  Janae kept my mind focused.  Trisha kept the towels coming in non stop rotation, April and Ashley encouraged me right along, getting me sips of water, or whatever else I would need.

I started feeling defeated, as the end of labor makes one feel.  “Janae.. help me!” I whined through contractions.  I could feel every inch of the baby in my hips and the pressure was unbearable.  She had me lay back to check me and though I was fully dilated, I still had that lip of cervix to get through.  “Want me to break your water?” she said “YESSSSSS”, I almost shouted.  She broke my bulging water bag which gave me quick relief of pressure, but just as soon as the relief came, so did the intense contractions.

“You’re just going to have to push through that lip, Cass and it will be all over.”  Much like Grae’s birth, she had me lay flat and pull my legs back.  She asked if I wanted help moving the cervix out of the way and I said yes, but when time push came to shove (literally) I quickly snapped “No! I remember what that feels like and I don’t want to do that.” This part was hurting so much more than my others had and I couldn’t take a bit more discomfort than I was already experiencing.  I pulled my legs back and pushed and the hip-splitting pain intensified.  When I would quit pushing, the contractions seemed to overtake me.  I would push against the contraction, and again my bones felt like they were being ripped apart.  I knew my girls were there and I wanted to control myself for them, but in my head I was losing control.  “WHY ISN’T IT COMING OUT?” I exclaimed through exasperated breath. “The head is right there! When you push we can see the top of his head.. just a little more, Cass!” everyone encouraged.  My irritability was gaining momentum and I suddenly felt the fury I needed to get inside myself and finish this labor.  I curled over my huge belly one last time and pushed with every single inch of strength I could muster.  Pushhhhhhhh, quick breath, pushhhhhhh, quick sob escaping, pushhhhhhh.  There was the head top of the head.  I pushed hard again, and out inched the face.  I waited for the easy part to come, when the baby just slips out, but that wasn’t happening.  I pushed again.  “Okay, Cass, here you go! Grab the shoulders!” It seemed nearly impossible to think about my arms reaching down to get this baby, but I somehow managed it anyway.  I wrapped my arms around those sweet shoulders and had to push just one last time to get the rest of the body out.  This baby made me work for every last inch.

I pulled this precious child onto my chest.  The sweetest relief I’ve ever felt.  I wanted to lay just like that for 100 years.  “What is it?!” Janae said, “I don’t know,” I brushed off, not even being able to think about the next step through my exhaustion.  And in this split second, I truly didn’t care.  I loved this baby. This was MY BABY, the one I had been waiting and waiting for.  The one that was sent just for me.  Whether it was a boy or a girl seemed somehow insignificant now that I was holding it in my arms.  I reached up to move it’s warm little leg out of the way.  “It’s a boy!” Janae and I announced simultaneously.  I heard the room roar with excitement and I held him even closer.  Brady half-laughed/half-sobbed into the back of my neck as he wrapped his hands around my arms.  I felt so proud and secure right there in his arms, holding our newborn son.

“Our son.  I have a son,” I thought.  “My son!  Of course!  Of course it’s you!  My son!” I said over and over in my head.

IT’S A BOY!!!!!

(special thanks to Ashley Flowers Photography for these precious, priceless photos)



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The Birth Series | Julie & Jude

I can’t tell you how excited I am to feature this birth today (it’s not my own – mine will be coming soon!).  Julie is the sweet sister in law of one of my best friends, Ashley.  I was lucky to be present for Ashley’s birth, and she really helped me prepare for Major’s birth this time around by telling me some of the things Julie has taught her about natural birth.  I feel that I have birthed very similar and had some of the same ideas as Julie and so I was so excited when Julie agreed to write a bit about her birth experiences for my blog.  We are in for a serious treat today!  Julie is such an inspiring mother in so many ways, and I’m so glad I get to share her incredible perspective of natural birth with you today.

{Julie’s Birth Experience}

My moms birthing experiences

My Mom had 8 children naturally and pain-free over the span of 18 years between 1967 and 1985. Her mother had very hard pregnancies and deliveries. Most of the things my mom had heard about having a baby were mostly just bad experiences. She said she just didn’t listen to them, and tried to stay positive. She had really good pregnancies and didn’t really get sick at all with any of them.

Her first baby was a natural, pain-free, vaginal birth. He was born breech, coming out bottom first. This was before they would insist on C-Section delivery. With her second child she decided to go to a natural childbirth doctor. She shared with him her first experience of having no pain and he told her that she just couldn’t remember the delivery with her first. She switched doctors and went to one on the Air Force base where my Dad was stationed. From then on, with the next five doctors she delivered her other kids with, she kind of kept quiet about the way she delivered her babies. She would just wait to see the doctors’ and nurses’ reactions when she was so calm and easy going during delivery. When they saw it, they couldn’t deny the experience they witnessed. She has always been so humble about this. She feels so grateful and really lucky. Everyone she would share her experiences with, would either say they hate her, or that she should write a book and teach others how she does it. But she never felt like she could explain how to experience what she experienced, because it just kind of happened naturally. It was nothing she studied or learned, just positive attitude and positive concentration, and luck I guess?
Now I know what you’re thinking… Is that even possible? I know you probably think I’m stretching the truth a bit… by the term pain-free. The only way I can describe it is that you’re basically just feeling pressure. The tightening and releasing of each contractions with only pressure, no pain sensation or cramping at all. It is a really tranquil experience with focused concentration and inner peace. Staying positive with no fear. Being in tune with your body. Trusting that your god-given body knows what to do, and is capable of bringing this baby into the world.

Without having any study or information about Hypnobirthing, I had heard people talk about it, and was curious to see if it was similar. I recently read a little bit about Hypnobirthing in trying to find any similarities. In Hypnobirthing they mentioned the medically proven theory behind Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome and how by eliminating the fear, you can eliminate the pain. For some reason staying positive and eliminating the fear and pain came naturally without even realizing what was happening.

My birthing experiences

I am the mom to 6 amazing children, 3 boys and 3 girls. I had my first 3 children naturally in a hospital in St. George. My sister referred me to her doctor, he was easy going and she had a great experience with him. My sister also experienced the same pain-free deliveries as my mom, and I did.

With my 1st baby Gabriel Ryan, around my 38-39 week doctors appt. The Dr. mentioned that I was dilating and thinning further along than usual, and that he may come early. Of course after getting my hopes up, Gabe decided to come 2 days late. Even though I was dilated to a 5-6 and fully effaced for almost 2 weeks. When he finally decided to come, I started having contractions pretty close together and walked in pretty much fully dilated, they broke my water, and he was born shortly after. With only about 4-5 pushes total. I remember not being nervous or scared to deliver him, the only thing that I was a little afraid of was the IV needle, since I’m not a huge fan of needles, but the nurse was really great and gentle with me.

With my 2nd baby Ethan Joseph, my husband Bucky decided to go on a trip out of town with his family to Austin, TX, right around my due date. For some reason that baby sure wanted his daddy to be there when he was born cause he patiently waited until his dad got home around midnight, and then woke me up around 4:00 a.m. with some contractions, I got to the hospital fully dilated, they broke by water, and he was born around 6:30 a.m. with an almost identical delivery 4-5 pushes.

My next two girls Lauren Jane and Grace Lily were like clockwork very similar pregnancies and deliveries, as their brothers had been. Grace was born in Northern Utah because we were living up there at the time.

With our 5th baby Gwen Lyla, we found out we were moving to Austin, Texas. I hadn’t been to a doctor yet, and didn’t see any reason to go to one in Utah. So around 13-14 weeks along I finally decided to call around to find a doctor in Texas. For some reason the 3 hospitals I called considered me “high risk” and would not accept a new patient that had not seen a doctor previously with this pregnancy and being that far along. I was kind of panicking. Before this, I had never even considered any other way to deliver, other than at a hospital. I asked around what my other options were, and a friend suggested a Midwife and Natural Birthing Center. I decided to look into it. We went on a tour of one nearby. Both my husband and I were really impressed with it and decided to go ahead and use the Natural Birth Center. To be honest, I really didn’t have any other option.

This was our first baby gender surprise since we had 2 of each, so it was extra exciting to wait and find out what we were having. Before the Birthing Center experience, I never realized what I was missing out on, and how serene a delivery could be until I experienced one outside of the hospital, not hooked up to machines and IV’s. They let us just experience her and left us alone with her, even before they weighed her and measured her. It was so different than I was used to, and I loved every minute of it. It was so wonderful being able to take it all in without being bothered. It was also nice because we got to go home really soon after, which I usually try to do anyways. Our previous hospital experiences were really great, but there was just a different feel and energy, and calmness I felt while at the Birth Center.

This is a message Bucky wrote to our family back in Utah about our daughter Gwen’s birth story:

“We have the worst traffic coming in during the morning rush hour. So I drove like a maniac the back way. We got here at 7:45 a.m. when they checked her she was completely dilated already. So they broke her water, and had her start pushing and she was born at 8:09 am. Fastest one ever. Despite being quick, it was very quiet and calm. The mid-wife took her sneakers off and sat crosslegged at the end of the bed as Julie pushed quietly 4-5 times. Julie did amazing. I cried when I saw it was a girl because she was healthy and safe and because I feel so blessed. Julie is so strong and beautiful. I love her so much and all these amazing children I get to be the father of. The Lord sure knows how to soften my heart, sending me three girls in a row. After the baby was born everyone kind of just left us alone to be with our little girl. She’s nursing now. Thanks for all the support, we feel close to family and friends even though we’re so far away. We love you all.”

With our caboose 6th baby we were living back in Northern Utah again, and decided to use a midwife again. This time I was ready to try a home birth. I hadn’t been against them, I just hadn’t really seriously considered them for myself. But with the crazy rush hour traffic I dealt with on the way to deliver Gwen I decided to try it out. Since my deliveries were all so easy and so similar I felt like it would be a good option for me.

For some reason I have the worst luck with Bucky going out of town, during the end of my pregnancies. This time he gave me two options; either he can go to New York City the week before I was due, or he can go to London, England the week I was due. Well I’m sure you can guess which one I chose. Bucky went to New York City for a week and got home September 12th at midnight.

The day went really quite perfect. Bucky got home late Saturday night. We had a relaxing Sunday around the house. In the evening the kids and I were outside in the yard talking with the neighbors and having smores on their fire pit. Playing on the tree swing, and jumping on the tramp. We went inside and the kids had a bath and after I put the kids in bed I started to have some steady contractions pretty close together.

This is a message Bucky wrote to our family about Jude’s birth story:

“It’s a boy! 9 lbs. 10 oz. – 22 1/2 inches. Born on September 13th, 2015 11:33 p.m. We had a pretty chill day at home. Julie started having contractions at about 9:45 p.m. We called the midwives at about 10:21 p.m. and they got here at 11:09 p.m. They checked her and she was completely dilated. They broke her water and Julie said she had to go pee one last time so she did. Then I hear… “This baby is coming, I have to push.” And Julie comes running out of the bathroom and jumps on the bed and gives half a push and the baby was out. I yelled out to the other two midwives “We’ve got a baby in here” and they came running in. They all three were kind of bustling around frantically because they weren’t really expecting him to come so quickly because Julie was so relaxed. Julie and I were just laughing cuz it was so crazy fast even for her. He caught us all by surprise. He was ready to come out.

Last night Julie had a dream that he punched out of the top of her stomach and popped his head out. Glad he was head-down so he punched out the right direction, haha. Glad to have him here safe and healthy. We are so blessed. Now the hardest part.. picking a name.”

We named him Soren “Jude” Flowers, he mostly goes by Jude. He was my largest baby, longest baby, fastest delivery, by far! I thought he was going to come out in the toilet because I had that sudden immediate urge to push, that’s why I ran from the bathroom and jumped on the bed. Literally seconds later his head came out without even one push, then I did like a half of a push to get his body out. Bucky and I both just sat there laughing, because it was so fast and unexpected. That boy jumped into this world, he wasn’t wasting any time. The midwives left us alone for a while for me to nurse him and so we could relax and just enjoy our sweet new baby.

When he was born the kids were all still asleep. We decided not to wake them yet and just enjoy the quiet time together. A couple hours later our almost 5 year old, Grace came up to our room, half asleep in the middle of the night. So we introduced her to her new baby brother, she was in heaven. She ended up falling back asleep in our bed after she loved and cuddled him. We woke up the next morning and decided to wake the kids up one by one, to let them meet their new baby brother. We woke up Gabe first and told him to hurry and get ready for school, that he was going to be late. Unless he wanted to stay home and hang out with his new baby brother instead. Half asleep he realized what we were implying, he heard a little baby whimpering in our room across the hall. He jumped out of bed and ran in our room. He cuddled him and picked him up saying over and over, “Hey Jude, I’m your big brother Gabe!” There was a debate going on about his name between Bucky and the kids and I. Bucky wanted to call him Soren, and the kids and I were more fond of Jude. So right after Gabe was holding him, he said to Bucky. “His name is Jude, Dad, deal with it!” We were cracking up. One by one the kids came upstairs like “Christmas Morning” to meet their new baby brother, it was the most special day! We ended up letting all the kids stay home from school that day to spend time together as a family. It was so special and a day I’ll never forget!

My delivery reality

With each delivery I get to that point of realizing that the time is here for them to come. Even though I have really easy pregnancies and deliveries. I always get this slight panic inside, when I know its time. Not a fear kind of panic, but one that wishes I could have one more day. Not wanting to have to do the hard thing right now.

After I go through that thought process. I switch my brain into a positive mode where my brain and body take over. I give my body full control over what is going to happen next to get ready for this baby to come. Each contraction is just pressure that I quietly concentrate through until its over. It doesn’t hurt at all, but it does take mental energy. It is really empowering to be able to experience this type of childbirth. Any insecurities that I normally have about myself or my capabilities as a woman all take a back seat. I become a confidant capable woman that has power over fear and pain. I don’t have many things about myself that I can honestly say I’m great at, or even have talents or hobbies I’m mediocre at. But for some reason this comes really naturally for me and I don’t even know how to really explain it or take credit for it. It’s like athletes that are naturally good at things, and artists that are naturally creative.

All 6 pregnancies I would dilate early, I kind of just got used to it. It’s like my body would gradually prepare for the delivery, with mild pressure Braxton Hicks-like contractions, a couple weeks before the baby would come. I wonder if that is maybe why I didn’t feel pain, because it was a slow gradual process where the body didn’t have to suddenly react.

With all my pregnancies and deliveries I have been so very lucky and blessed to be able to have them go so smoothly and well. I honestly do not know how to explain why it comes so natural to me. I feel so grateful to have had 6 amazing and healthy children that I get to learn and grow from everyday. They truly make me a better person, and teach me so much. I am amazed at how different and unique they all are. I feel so lucky to be called their mom! Thanks to all the moms all over the world who sacrifice so much for their sweet babies.

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The Birth Series | Randi & Penny

Right now I am featuring a collection of real birth stories on the blog as I prepare for my own upcoming delivery.  To submit a birth story, please email me at cassmillerphoto (at) gmail (dot) com. **All birth stories are welcome in this series – it is not limited to natural or home births.  I am hoping to showcase all types of births and experiences.** 

Back with another beautiful birth story today.  Wish it was mine, but alas, I will use this story as inspiration and hopefully, hopefully, I’ll be experiencing my own birth story this week!

Randi was so sweet for letting me feature her incredible home birth experience.  She is a blogger as well, and wrote about her journey to discovering home birth HERE if you’d like to hope over to read that first.  I always love hearing about how people stumble onto different birth choices, and I especially love hearing when that journey leads them to a great birth.  So excited to be featuring this especially sweet story today….

{Penny’s Birth Story}

Towards the end of my pregnancy, Trenton and I took a hypnobabies class. I wanted to equip myself mentally to be able to withstand the pain of labor. Hypnobabies was so much more than just teaching me to fight pain.. it was a marriage strengthening, confidence building, mind strengthening, knowledge building experience. I love how hypnobabies provided me with tracks to listen to daily – particularly the positive affirmations track that was filled with positive words that calmed me. Hypnobabies was extremely helpful to me in preparing me mentally to believe in my ability to fulfill my calling as a woman. Just as a note, Hypnobabies uses a different language: Contractions are called pressure waves, labor is called birthing time, and transition is called transformation.

The day after my due date, (January 28th) I had my midwife check me to find that I was not dilated or thinning hardly at all. I was quite discouraged because I was feeling Braxton hicks and lots of pressure in my cervix. I had my midwife sweep me but we weren’t confident it would do much. Also baby hadn’t grown since the previous week so I was a bit worried. I used the fear clearing track that night to calm myself along with prayer.

Friday, January 29th, I woke up after having a good cry the night before. I was worried about everything Thursday – worried about baby’s growth, about going over my due date and having to go to the hospital, worried about complications arising, etc. Friday morning however, I felt peace. I had taken all my worries and placed them in front of me – gave them a good look then tossed them out. I no longer felt worry – just determination to do all that I needed to do to get baby here. I hung out on the birthing ball all day and if i wasn’t bouncing on the ball, i was doing exercises and stretches. Mid morning that day I lost my mucus plug. I was excited to see something happen that meant progress but I had seen this before with my second pregnancy and still got induced days later. I started getting sporadic “birthing waves” (contractions) but didn’t think much about that either.

Saturday morning (January 30th) I woke at 4:30am to contractions that were 30 seconds long and about 10 minutes apart. I waited til 6:00am to text my midwife. My midwife then told me to track the contractions for another hour then and by 8am they were stronger and closer together. We called my parents and asked them to come pick up the boys – not really knowing if we would have a baby that day. We sat down as a family of four on our bed and Trenton said a family prayer. Trenton also gave me a blessing right after the prayer. His prayer and blessing were beautiful and the spirit was strongly present. As contractions got stronger I was pausing to focus and Maxwell was concerned – asking me if I was sad. I told him I was very happy but that I had a stomach ache. hehe. Jude was just really bouncy and didn’t notice what was even going on. I was glad at that moment to have my parents coming to get them.

I got in my bathtub (as my midwife suggested to me) and listened to my birthing day affirmations and started channelling my hypno-anesthesia with each wave. (Hypno-anesthesia is a visualization technique that helps eliminate pain.) I found myself turning my switch to center and saying in my head “pressure not pain” as I visualized the anesthesia attacking the pain in my body. I was doing quite good at eliminating pain or at least dulling it. I felt really calm and in control of my contractions.

My midwife Cyndi arrived around 9:00am. When she had told me she was coming over but wasn’t going to rush I thought “Oh I guess she’s just coming as support… that’s so nice!” I still wasn’t sure if I was having a baby that day or not. haha! Anyway, when my midwife saw me in my bath she asked if it was helping and if I wanted to use her birthing pool… I hadn’t planned to use it but opted to try it because the water was nice but my tub was not comfortable. The birthing assistant April brought the pool and we filled it up while I got out of the bath and used my hypnosis through each birthing wave – while sitting on the birthing ball. We decided to put the birthing pool in Penny’s room simply because it fit best there. I didn’t know if I’d delver there and thought maybe I’d just use the water for comfort but thought it would be fun to deliver in Penny’s room if it worked out that way.

By about 11:30 the pool was full and I got in. The water was an amazing comfort and I hadn’t even thought until then about how my special safe place is in water and how right for me a water birth could be.  (A special safe place is a place the very first hypnobabies track tells you to visualize. It’s really sweet! The track tells you to imagine somewhere relaxing and happy. I imagined a pool in a white room with big windows with me floating in the water and my boys around me. The track also tells you to imagine yourself holding your baby and to talk to your baby.. it’s pretty much the sweetest thing to visualize and moved me to tears a few times.) The playlist my dad made for me for my birthing time was playing and as one of my favorite songs came on (homeward bound) I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of peace and joy. I could feel the warmth of the spirit so strongly and I was moved to tears. This feeling was something I had looked forward to – something I knew was more likely to happen in my home than the hospital.

Birthing waves quickly became more and more intense at that point and my husband was doing a great job at saying “relax” and “peace” (both words to signal hypnosis) to calm me. But ultimately, I had to remove myself from the real world and search within myself for strength and peace. I would immerse my entire body except my face and hands (which were holding my husband’s hands) under the water and either pray or say peace to myself. The anesthesia became harder for me to channel and then I became really loud. haha! I remember thinking I sounded like a cow and I think I freaked my husband out a little! hehe!

As I got more vocal, the midwife and birthing assistant started to seem excited and were telling me I was doing great. I kept asking my midwife when I should push and she said I need to trust myself and push when I feel the urge. It was so strange for me to not be told when to push but soon enough I was able to listen to my body. By then it was happening so fast and I lost all control, I did not know how to channel hypnosis anymore. I was scared and I was making a lot of noise. I remember praying to my heavenly father to give me the strength I knew I did not have without his help. I knew what I needed to do but I did not want to do it. I told my midwife I was scared and she then said “Randi, give me your hand.” She put my hand on baby’s crowning head and this incredible peace came over me. All pain left me – I saw my special safe place, my body relaxed and I let out a big sigh. (Trenton also tells me I said “I love her!” but I don’t remember that.) I knew I was about to meet my baby.

Three pushes later and my sweet Penny was on my chest and in my arms. It took some loud noises and pain to get her out but all pain left me instantly once she was in my arms. Our sweet 7 pound, 2 ounce and 21 inches long Penny Belle Gardner was born on January 30th, 2016 at 1:19pm. She was born on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in her bedroom, in our home – just as we had hoped.

After Penny was born, my midwife wanted me to walk to my bedroom to deliver the placenta. I’m still cracking up about how I was holding my baby – umbilical cord still attached – while climbing out of the pool, and walking through the hall to my bed. It’s amazing to me that I could just get up and walk instantly! I felt amazing! I delivered the placenta and Trenton cut the cord after it stopped pulsating. (If you don’t know about delayed cord clamping, look it up! I was shocked to find out that there are many nutrients still remaining in the placenta even after the baby is delivered… it is so beneficial to wait and let the placenta and cord drain before cutting it off from baby.) I didn’t need any stitching – I had a very minor tear. I didn’t need any medicine, or oxygen. Everything was so completely uncomplicated and wonderful.I was able to have skin to skin time with Penny and let Trenton hold her too for a long time while my midwife and birthing assistant cleaned up, did paperwork etc. They then helped me shower while they changed my bed sheets and made my room comfortable! They even fed me! hehe! The care from Cyndi and April was absolutely wonderful. I felt sad when they finally left – like they were my best friends now and I didn’t want to say goodbye. I am so thankful for them and highly recommend them!

It is incredible to have two strong women guiding you but not telling you what to do – reassuring you that YOU have the strength to know how to give birth to a baby. Giving birth naturally is the single most character building experience of my life. I feel like I am this transformed woman walking around in this seemingly normal looking body. Yes I appear to be simply a 27-year old average looking woman.. but inside I am powerful, strong, and immovable. I am daughter of God with the ability to channel his godly power. I have a divine role as a wife to Trenton, a favored son of God and worthy priesthood holder. And as a mother to Jude, Maxwell, Penny and the other sweet spirits waiting for us in heaven. I am not what I appear to be on the outside, I am so much more. And giving birth naturally has made this truth so much more clear to me.

This experience was all that I wanted it to be. It is an incredible experience to do something you never thought you could do. It is amazing to have to rely on the Lord so strongly, to pray harder than ever before, to rely on your husband so strongly and feel that incredible bond of husband and wife bringing life to the earth together.


 View Randi’s full post with pictures HERE.

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