As I am getting so close to delivering my own little one, I am loving these birth stories!  Kali is a sweet friend of mine and I am so grateful to her for writing out her birth story for the blog!  This birth is so sweet and is making me soooo excited to deliver my own baby soon!

(If you would like your birth story featured, please email it to me at cassmillerphoto at gmail dot com! We would love to feature it!)


{Locke’s Birth Story}

My previous labor and birth with my second child had been my first natural at home birth. It also had turned out to be an extremely intense difficult labor and birth with a few hiccups like baby being posterior, painful back labor, my body stopped dilating around a 7, having to push through contractions to finish dilating myself and severe chest and back pain from ribs being out of place. Needless to say I was pretty terrified to do it again. But I also knew that more than anything I wanted to stick with a natural home birth for any other children I may have in the future.

When it came time that I was expecting again I was pretty anxious and nervous for the potential labor and birth that awaited me. I shared my concerns with my midwife early on and she assured me that there was no way I could be so unlucky a second time. I just had to keep telling myself that I had gotten through the previous one and no matter what this time would at least be a little better. This Pregnacy was by far my hardest. I was the sickest I had been for the longest I had been. Plus I was taking care of two little ones now. The first four months or so I was really blue and mostly kept to myself. I had a hard time connecting with the pregnancy and really just wished it were over. I had all the usual discomforts the last few months. The aches and pains and heartburn. I had experienced back pain the last week or two of my first pregnancy and then again with the second but lasting a good month and much more painful. I learned the day before my second was born that it was caused from ribs being out of place and it gave me a lot of grief during labor. So with this third pregnancy I knew to possibly expect it. Luckily for me my Mother in law had moved to town that year and her husband is a chiropractor. I had regular adjustments starting about half way through the pregnancy. This time the pain came around 7 months and didn’t let up until after the birth. I was constantly in pain. It varied by the hour but never went away.The last 6 weeks or so I was seeing him every other day to be adjusted to try and keep the pain under wraps. It hurt to stand, to lay, to sit and most especially to drive in the car.

By my 40 week appointment I was feeling beyond done. I finally had my midwife Liz check me for the first time and I was around a 2. I had been experiencing prodromal labor for a good week without knowing what that was. The contractions would start up every single night around midnight and come strong and uncomfortable for a couple hours only to come to a stand still. Then nothing the whole day till night would hit and again they would come. It was a constant battle in my mind between pshycing myself up and talking myself down. Payton would just calmly remind me that when it was the real thing we would know and not to worry. I remember attending a neighborhood function at 5 days past my due date and having to answer the same questions over a good dozen times to shocked faces. “Yes I am 5 days overdue. Yes, the baby and I are both okay. No, Im not seeing a doctor that is planning to induce me.” I remember feeling so bad for my kids near the end because I was constantly saying sorry my back hurts and I can’t do this or that. I had a handful of breakdowns to my sister over the phone that I was loosing it. Lots of women say at the end of pregnancy that they feel like they are going to be pregnant forever. I had a a few mental episodes where I truly believed this was just it, it was all a big joke and there really was no baby. I continued having prodromal labor. I reached 41 weeks. I saw Liz again. I was dilated to a 2.

I continued to see Liz daily after that. sweeping my membranes  each time. I asked one day truly concerned, “Liz, what if I don’t go into labor by 42 weeks?” She answered that she wouldn’t answer that until she had to. Each day I saw Liz I had dilated one centimeter more. By 41 weeks and 5 days I had reached almost a 6. I asked her again, much more concerned, “what if I dont go into labor by day 14?” She answered this time, “You will have to go to the hospital and be induced.” Although I had already been fearing that for days, hearing it from her finally solidified how terrified I was.  On Thursday morning, now 13 days overdue, I got Liz on the phone and I think we both realized we had reached the breaking point. She asked if I wanted to take castor oil. I quickly answered no since I had sworn to myself I would never in my life take that again after it had failed to induce labor with my first and was truly a miserable experience. She said I could wait till tomorrow and then I would have to. I told her ok i’ll do it and the second I got off the phone ran to the kitchen, found the bottle and psyched myself up to drink it down. I immediately regretted it. I spent the next couple hours with the repercussions . Thankfully my mom had decided to come to town the day before and had taken my kids to her condo to give me a break. Once I felt everything finally calm down I called Liz back. She told me to eat something and then come see her.

I took myself to Wendys and while in line ran into a woman from my neighborhood. She asked when I was due and upon hearing my answer gave the most terrified face I may have ever seen and abruptly asked if I was okay. I joked back yes hopefully i’ll have a baby by tonight. I was at  6 when liz checked me. I returned home and by then Payton was home from work and my mom came by with my kids. I was having random contractions but played them off since I had been having plenty for the last few weeks. I decided to have my mom take the kids for the night and once she left decided to go for a walk. I had taken myself on a handful of walks before causing lots of painful contractions that would only stop once I returned home. The second I took off a good hard contraction overcame me and I smiled with relief. I started to time it and within a couple minutes another good one. I thought to myself yes this is good! I love how you crave to just be in pain already since that means good things are happening. I walked up to the park by my house and all along the way good, steady, strong contractions accompanied me. I ran into a good friend and she offered to walk the loop with me a few times. Suddenly the contractions started being longer apart and not as strong. I immediately felt hopeless. I was almost lying to myself and trying to tell my friend they were better than they really were. I headed home and got to bed about 10:00.

I woke up to a good strong contraction at midnight and decided to watch the clock. Two minutes later, another. And then another. They were uncomfortable but not painful enough I thought. Still I timed anyways. They continued on steadily for a full hour. I called Liz at 1:00 and could hear myself lying through my teeth that I thought it was time. She lives just minutes away and headed straight over. When I answered the door in my mind I was thinking crap I really hope i’m actually in labor. I was completely in denial. The assistant showed and I woke Payton to tell him it was time. All the while in my own mind thinking to myself that I sounded like such a liar. Liz checked and I was still at a 6. I told Payton he could relax for a bit while I hung out in the living room with Liz and her assistant. They both sat on the couch while I hung over my yoga ball working on making sure the baby wasn’t posterior  this time around. We were laughing and having a great conversation about how Liz had been searching for the Summit Rock. You would win a cash prize if you found it. All the while feeling like I needed to be more convincing that I might actually be in labor since I wasn’t truly convinced myself. Every few minutes the contractions would come and I would stop talking and try to breathe and relax while I rocked back and forth on the ball. The assistant finally reached over during a contraction and pressed her thumb between my eyebrows and told me to consciously relax my face during the contractions. That proved to be my saving grace to help me relax every time one would hit. I would focus all my energy on my face and making it as relaxed as possible as I would breath deeply. One finally hit that was significantly more painful and I decided it was time for the tub.

Liz filled the tub and added some lavender oil while the assistant got out my birth kit and readied the crock pot with warm towels. The warm tub felt amazing and I was grateful once again to be able to have it to labor in like the last time. I finally slowly started to let myself believe that maybe I truly was having a baby soon.  With my last labor I felt like I was just holding on for dear life the whole time till it was over. This time around was like night and day. I was so clam and felt in complete control the entire time. Liz and her assistant took turns resting on the couch while the other sat with me and poured warm water over my belly during contractions. Payton was there to help if we needed things and then rested also. I was able to stay light and happy between the pain and enjoy conversation. Liz told me at one point since I was feeling dizzy and hot to make a deep humming sound when I exhaled during my contractions. She felt I was releasing to much oxygen blowing out like I had been. Between that and focusing on my face I was owning each and every one. I just let myself be swept away with them. I was completely unaware of the time, only know that we had to re warm the water multiple times. I finally told the assistant that I didn’t feel like the contractions were strong enough, painful enough. I had read Ina Mays guide to childbirth this time around and it really helped change my mindset on laboring and how I wanted to be able to help my body do what it already knew how to do all on its own. She suggested that I try moving to all fours while still in the tub. The first contraction in this position proved much stronger and I fully welcomed the pain.  At this point I had gotten extremely tired and all conversation stopped. I would swap to sitting and laying over to the seat in the tub and almost fall asleep between the time I would feel the wave of pain returning when I would move back to all fours and breath and rock and hum. Still not knowing the passing of time Liz said to get out and check me. They had set up a spot on the side of my bed by the bathroom and I moved from the tub to the floor. She checked me and I was only dilated to an 8. Looking back now I believe from the time they came to my house till that point it was around four hours.

She said she wanted to break my water but couldn’t quite reach it. She had me push during my next contraction which helped her break it then. That dilated me to a 9. She told me to try pushing again on the next one and that it may help bring his head down. I did but with no success. She suggested I try a different position which I gladly accepted since I wanted to do any and everything to move it along. before the next contraction I moved to all fours realizing I was much too tired since I had already been in that position for a long time in the tub. I quickly pulled myself up into a squat with my back to the bed. Payton was able to hook his arms under mine and support me as I held my hands on the side of the bed down my hips. No sooner had I gotten into this position that I felt the pain of transition and his head in the birth canal. I Began to moan and they told me push! I pushed and moaned with all my might and did manage to yelp, “get him out!” It was a total of 4 minutes since I squatted and he was born. Payton released my arms and I squatted lower as I reached and took my baby from Liz’s arms. “I am done!” I exclaimed. Not even done with the labor or birth but so relieved that I was DONE being pregnant!

With my birth before this I was in shock and frazzled and in pain and unconnected with my baby. I needed time to process. This birth was all that I had ever dreamed of and more. I felt that euphoria that you hear about where for a moment your truly are numb and the pain is gone. I love the feeling of your warm, wet, freshly born baby in your arms.  Locke Val Hugie was born close to 6 in the morning and was 8lbs 9 ozs. He was perfect in every way. I settled back on the pillows and snuggled him to my chest. He latched and suckled as we waited for the placenta to pass. After being cleaned up I climbed in bed and watched as Liz weighed and dressed him. I reflected on the moments prior and the beautiful peaceful feeling that washed over me. I remembered back to the birth with my second and sitting in the very same spot, watching the same thing but feeling the complete opposite. Feeling raw and shaken and a mess. I am truly so grateful for the new and perfect experience I was able to have. The pregnancy may have been my toughest but my labor and delivery were by far my most amazing.  Liz and her assistant observed for about an hour and then left Payton and I snuggled in bed with our sweet newborn between us. My most favorite part of all.

We chatted about names as I drifted into sleep. When I woke a short time later Payton was home from picking up the kids to come meet their new baby brother. We all gathered together in our bed, our new family of five. Even the new kitty joined us. In that moment, life was pretty darn perfect.