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.


{Finn’s Birth Story}

I felt like my third pregnancy was so different in so many ways, my labor was even different. This was going to be my second home birth and I knew what to expect. I was kind of scared to actually go into labor this time around because I knew the pain I was going to have to endure. I was perfectly content cooking that baby for as long as possible, and not to add I was so busy chasing my older two around. I felt like my hands were already full. My first home birth went well, it went fast, and it was painful. It went so fast in fact I was holding a baby in my arms before I even had any chance to process any of my labor. Or at least that’s how I felt. I enjoyed my experience, but felt like I never really was in control of that labor, my body took over, I was out of it, and I felt defeated by the pain, I had completely surrendered. I still wouldn’t have traded my experience, but I knew what I wanted to do it different this time around. I wanted to be present in this labor and to be able to really process every moment of this birth with every contraction, but I was nervous.

My sister in law happened to be pregnant with me at the same time, just a month ahead. She was a professional natural laborer, and on her 6th child. So I went to her for advice. I wanted to know all of her secrets and what really helped her through all of her births. Her advice to me was, “You have to birth without fear. You have to mentally get your self in a state of mind where you are in control, and you are telling your body what to do, that it’s not painful, and to take control.” So I was determined.

My first two boys were a week early, so I was kind of thinking Finn would come early too. I didn’t want to put that in my mind though just in case he didn’t come early, and I didn’t want to get discouraged if he was late. But I was eager to meet him. We had been working on little projects here and there in our home for his arrival, so I wanted to be sure those were done before he came. Beau cut it close, but he did it, now we were ready for our new little babe.

A couple weeks before my birth I had started to get contractions in the night, they were pretty strong I would think this is going to be it. With both of my last pregnancies once I got the strong period cramp contractions that usually meant I was starting to go into labor shortly, so in the back of my mind every time I would get these contractions I would think, this is going to be it. But they always ended up going away. At first it was kind of frusterating because I didn’t know what my body was doing. I kept getting false hope. But then I thought ok, this is good. Hopefully this means my body is in early labor and doing most of the work now, so when I actually go into hard labor I will be able to process it a little better. I kept getting these contractions off and on through out the next couple of weeks. Then came my due date, Monday the 12th. Which I never thought I would have met baby-less. But I welcomed it. I immediately called my chiropractor who I had been seeing once a week for that whole month, and made an appointment. I was going to do whatever I could to have this baby, I was determined. Also, I kind of just had a feeling he was going to come, I kept telling myself this was the day. I went and got adjusted and carried on through out my day like I would have any other day. I wasn’t getting any consistent contractions that gave me any hope of labor. I called my beau and told him to plan on going for a walk when he got off work. I was ready to walk this baby right out. I had been going on walks every night that weekend before to try and get things started but it never worked. It would give me some strong contractions, but they always ended up stopping after a few. I knew things were getting so close, I just had to try and get them going and keep them going.

Monday evening came, and we headed out for our family walk. This was my first walk where I didn’t have to slow down from any contractions. I thought that was weird. All of my other previous walks had given me a handful of good contractions, and then right before we headed into the house from our walk I got hit with a contraction.. It was a good contraction. I went straight to my yoga ball to roll around my hips and in hopes it would keep things going a little bit, and also relieve some of my back pressure from the contraction. I had been sitting on the yoga ball avidly for weeks now. My contractions kept coming about 10 minutes apart and I thought ok this is it. At this time it was about 7:30pm I text my sister to let her know I was going to probably have a baby that night, and to stay close to her phone. I would update her if they got any closer. I had also text my midwife, Liz, to let her know my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and I would call her if they got any closer. At this point my contractions had now gotten to be about 5-7 minutes apart. My sister was on her way over, so Beau and I (mostly Beau) got our boys ready for bed and tucked them in. My sister got to my house around 8:40pm and started to help Beau get things ready, the crock pot with hot towels, my birthing tub, birth kit supplies. This was my first time doing the birthing tub and at this point my contractions were pretty painful and I was excited to use the pool to relieve some of my back pressure. My contractions had stayed consistent at about 5 minutes apart. Beau kept on asking if I wanted to call Liz and have her head over, but I wanted to be sure I was far enough along in labor before she came. But sure enough with the next contraction I knew we were getting close. It was about 9:38pm when we called Liz and told her it was time to come out, and we made the phone call to my parents as well.

It was 10pm once everyone had arrived by now I had gotten into the labor pool and it felt amazing. I could actually relax. I was kind of nervous it was going to slow down my contractions, just in time for my midwife to get there. I thought oh great, now that Liz is here of course my labor is going to stall. But it didn’t, with each contraction I knew things were going to happen soon. She had checked me when she arrived but I don’t remember what I was dilated to, also my water still hadn’t broke. I labored in the pool through each contraction for the next 45 minutes, as Liz would monitor Finn’s heartbeat. I was laying on the side of the tub for support. Each contraction Beau would put pressure on my back, my mom was going back and forth from the crock pot to the pool with hot towels for my belly, and my sister was pouring bath water on the hot towels that were on my stomach. It helped with the pain SO much. What I really loved even more about the pool, is once I was able to get through a contraction I could just lay weightlessly in the pool and truly relax. It made the world of a difference, and felt amazing.

I started to get the urge to push, and I really didn’t want to accidentally go to the bathroom in the pool. My midwife told me I could stay in the pool if I wanted, but I felt like I wanted to go and labor on my toilet for a while. With my last birth I really didn’t like the toilet, but this time I thought I would give it a shot. I felt different this time around, and I had been working through my contractions really well, and that’s what sounded good. I went into my bathroom around 10:45pm and sat on the toilet. At this point my contractions were only a minute apart, leaving not a lot of room to be able to relax in between. I labored on my toilet, which felt pretty good this time, I had a stool at my feet, Beau was still applying pressure to my back through contractions and my mom was at my side with hot towels to help. I would kind of push through each contraction, not hard but to where it felt comfortable. By this time I knew the baby was getting close, because I started having the urge to push. After about 10 minutes on the toilet, I decided to get back into the tub. My sister had been taking pictures the entire time, and I got to the point where I really just needed her help, and I didn’t want her busy taking pictures, so I had her call my good friend, Cassidy, who was awaiting my call for pictures if the time came, and it did. It was 11:00pm at this time and through each contraction I would lightly push through my contractions . Hopping back in the pool felt so good. I was able to relax a little more. I had my sister add some hot water to the tub to take the edge off even more, and continued to labor in there. My water still had not broke, I thought it had broke at some point in the tub, Liz checked me to make sure, and it never had. When she checked me I was at an 8, and I remember that was not a number I wanted to hear, I felt like I was really ready to push, and had the urge, so figured I was definitely a 10. She told me to not get discouraged and an 8 was as good as a 10 since this was my third baby. By this time it was about midnight and she went ahead and broke my water, and things immediately progressed. I was starting to transition because I finally got to the point where I didn’t think I could take another contraction. I was done. I kept visualizing holding my brand new baby and really tried to stay focused and not get discouraged. I had a few more good contractions in the pool, and pushed through each one. The way I was sitting in the pool was making it hard for my baby to come up under my pelvic bone, Liz said I could continue to labor in the pool or if I wanted to get him here quicker I could get out and lay on the floor to help his head move up under my bone. At this point I really just wanted to meet my baby so I was ready to do just about anything.

It was about 12:15am now, I had one last hard contraction in the pool, and then Beau helped me out. I got situated on the floor, and Liz got everything ready for delivery. The moment was finally here and I was ready. The thought of being so close to holding my baby I’d been waiting for so long to hold was finally here, I just had to push. My mom kept bringing me hot towels, and at this point I didn’t have Beau to help relieve my back pressure, because he was getting ready to help catch a baby. I had my sister and Liz’s assistant at my sides, holding up my legs, coaching me, and Cassidy holding my hand and trying to take pictures at the same time. This was the hardest part and if I could just hang in a little while longer my reward would finally be here. I gave a few hard pushes. I remember trying to push his head out and thinking he was going to be stuck in there forever. I was pushing as hard as I could and I didn’t feel like he was coming, but everyone assured me he was right there and they could see his head. All of their support and words of encouragement got me through that hard push, and we had a head. I was so happy. Most of my work was done. I put my hands down to feel my baby. I was ready to catch him myself, but I knew Beau had planned on doing that, so I rested in between my last contraction while Liz got Beau ready to catch Finn and was coaching him on what to do. She told me to push once more to get his shoulders through. I remember thinking I have to push again? Impossible. I remember Hudson just falling out in one push, so I wasn’t prepared to have to push again, But I gave it one last push with the next contraction and out he came at exactly 12:22am. I cannot even put into words the feeling I had in that moment. That was the feeling I was waiting for this whole labor. My baby was finally here. I kept saying, oh baby, my baby you are finally here. Beau put him up on my chest, and I was in heaven. I was so relieved I was at the end of my labor, and he was finally here. I started observing my perfect little boy. He was beautiful, I couldn’t believe how perfect he was, and he had hair. I was eyeing every little perfection on my brand new baby. I had waited 9 long months to meet him and he was finally here. Beau came up to my side and together we stared at our new, straight from heaven, beautiful boy. We felt so blessed. I felt so blessed.

I finished delivering my placenta, and then slowly made my way to my bed. Beau had taken Finn to show him off to his Papa, and our visitors we had accquired. Once I was in my bed, Liz cleaned him up a bit and started to weigh him, measure him and check him. Erroll Finn Flowers weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. Straight perfection. I was in heaven, I felt great, and I could finally relax now that my baby was here. Once Liz was done with him she handed him to me, and he was all mine. I breathed him in and starred at him some more. Beau came and laid down beside us and together we fell in love with this new little spirit. The minute Finn had came out he was ready to nurse, so he latched right away and nursed until his heart was content. My boys had slept through the entire thing and I wanted so badly to wake them up to come and meet their brother, but I decided to wait, and to surprise them in the morning. Once everyone knew we were ok, and that the baby was adjusting well, they all cleared their way out and went home. It was just Beau, Finn and I and we just laid together and eventually drifted off to sleep.

A few hours passed and Hudson was the first to wake up just like he usually is and made his way into our room. I immediately woke up Beau so he could go get Noah. Beau grabbed Hudson and together they went to wake up Noah. Once they were both awake they came into my room for their morning surprise. They couldn’t believe their new baby brother was here. Watching my two older boys meet their baby brother for the first time will definitely go down as one of my favorite moments in time. Finn’s presence and the spirit he brought with him was so strong. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude, and love. I felt like he had been apart of our family the whole time, and we were finally complete. All of my loves snuggled into my bed and we just oohed and awed over our little Finn..

Special Thanks to Janae Godfrey for this incredible birth video.
And to Liz Smith, Midwife.