OKAY! OKAY! I hear you….I do! You are screaming it…more birth stories!! The thing is that in order for me to share birth stories I need EXPLICIT permission from my client. Well, I don’t need permission to share their births without identifying information – but I require it because I try and give the utmost respect and consideration to them and won’t talk about even the smallest detail about their births without permission.

HOWEVER….that being said, I do find that many of my clients have been VERY generous in not only allowing me to share their stories – but many of them are readers of this blog and seem to actually WANT me to share their births (I think it’s because they want my perspective on it and to know what I “really” think.)

So the next two blog posts will be birth stories…this one is a birth I just attended 2 days ago, and the next one will be with graphic pictures of a birth I did about 3 weeks ago. But lets not get ahead of ourselves (like how I drag YOU into it by claiming that WE are getting ahead of OURSELVES?)

Remember this disclaimer of my telling birth stories.


Lynnette is the type of person that is ALWAYS smiling, always a joy to be around. She had a challenging hospital birth with her daughter that left her dissatisfied and disappointed. Her sister, K, had a beautiful homebirth with our practice about a year previously and recommended to Lynnette that she check us out and consider a homebirth.

Lynnette had the perfect pregnancy, no issues at all – she took excellent care of herself. I got a call from her that she had been feeling ‘different’ all day, and that contractions had definitely changed. This was 11:30 pm on June 2nd. I asked her if she was giving us a heads-up or wanted us to head over and she said just a heads-up. Her sister, K, was going to be at the birth and helping her as her doula and Lynnette said that K was on her way and that they would contact me if anything changed. At 12:30am K called me to say that Lynnette thought her water just broke.

Now…if you ask those who have worked with me in this job they will probably tell you that I am always shrugging when women ask when the baby will be here – laugh at the idea that we can predict who will be a fast or slow birther – know that this is the most unpredictable that life gets! HOWEVER, anyone who has ever worked with me knows that I have one and only one ‘rule of thumb’ that I follow…”NEVER TRUST A MULTIP WITH HER WATER BROKEN”. (a “multip” meaning someone who has previously birthed a baby) I don’t trust them…no I do not. Not one bit. They may not go quickly (remember this is unpredictable) – however, of those who have I have seen have fast as lightening births, MOST of them have been a 2+ mom having contractions and her water breaks.

So I don’t even ask if they are ready for me…I think I was on the phone with K for about 15 seconds. She said her water broke, and I said, “I’m on my way…call if anything changes!” I flew out of bed, tossed on my clothes while calling Kate (apprentice), grabbed my purse and was out the door!

(edited to add:  As I drove to their home at 1 in the morning, what are the odds that in Mesa, Arizona at 1am on the way to a birth that I’d get stopped by a TRAIN?  Yep…here is a picture I took with my cell phone while waiting for the train to pass….)

When I arrived, Lynnette was sitting on the birth ball with her sister behind her giving her ample amounts of love and encouragement. Lynnette was calm, focused….and it wasn’t until she opened her eyes and looked at me that it struck me – this was the first time I’d seen her look at me without a smile!!! More like…a sleepy glare. I don’t want to giggle at someone who is feeling that way, but in my line of work we tend to get happier the more unhappy our clients appear! (that’s not nearly as sadistic as it sounds…we get happier because it usually means a baby is coming).

I whispered hi to her, checked the baby’s heartbeat which was WONDERFUL, and rushed to start setting up our things: equipment tray, oxygen tank ready, supplies distributed..

Kate arrived about 2 minutes after me and I laughing and thought, “Wow, she’s gotten used to driving at midwife speed already!!”

By the time we had done all of the setting up (takes about 5 minutes), Lynnette announced she wanted to get into the bath. We drew her a bath and only 25 minutes after we had arrived she slipped into the bath and relaxed.

12 minutes later, I heard the first tell-tale grunty sounds. When a mom is in transition, her body often begins the process of starting to tighten and press down. She’s not PUSHING exactly…but she’s no longer completely relaxed – she’s “grunty”. I left the bathroom and went into the bedroom where Kate was busy charting and grabbed my gloves. Kate raised an eyebrow at me as if to say, “Really??”, grabbed the gear/tray, and followed me. I love how intuitive she is and well we work as a team, not always having to talk to communicate.

Baby's crowning - I'm listening to heart tones with the doppler. I LOVE the look on dad's face!!

I sat down next to the bathtub. Lynnette was sitting sideways in the tub with sister K on one side and husband/daddy on her other side. Despite being a little eeked out about mucus and blood and all things birthy, dad was sitting on the edge of the tub next to Lynnette with his feet in the water and just surrounding her with as much love and support as I’ve seen from anyone! He was wonderful….exactly what she needed.

The very next contraction hit and Lynnette felt her body starting to bear down…and it scared her. She fought it, wondering why she was feeling that, simply unable to understand or accept that she might actually be close to birthing her baby! After all – it was so fast!! She asked me if I could please check her as she was scared she wasn’t ready….a quick exam at only 1:51am (1 hour and 20 minutes after contractions had picked up) showed she was 9+ cm dilated and just about ready to have her baby! She seemed shocked…

By 2:07am she was full on pushing – no grunting, but full body pushing. She was intuitive, listening to her body, surrounded by love….just beautiful.

At 2:19am, after only 12 minutes of pushing, the head was almost out. Almost…as in born to the eyes. Usually, once you get to the brow the entire head slips easily out – but not this baby! Born to the eyes and Lynnette gave a BIG push…and another….

My midwife bells are going off…and I grab the Doppler to check baby’s heartrate that had been beautiful and in the 130-140 range (which is PERFECT) was now 110….so I encouraged Lynnette to push HARD!

And at 2:20am the head is born! I immediately check for the cord I thought would be around the neck, and it was…TIGHT! Very tight – very very tight. I briefly consider clamping and cutting, but hearing heart tones dipping down makes that an option that I want to reserve as the LAST option because I want the placenta and all of it’s wonderful blood and oxygen to be available to this baby once it’s born. Lynnette pushes for the shoulders, and nothing happens.

One try and getting the shoulders out was all I was going to be able to give us before we needed to get her out of the tub and take more active measures. I explained to Lynnette quickly that I was going to help her, but she needed to push with everything she had and NOT STOP until she felt her baby slip out! Ready? She nodded…ready!

And she pushed…and I held baby’s head tight to her thigh/crotch to try to summersault the baby out while still keeping the cord intact. Baby didn’t come…Lynnette kept pushing. I swept a finger in hook baby’s armpit and help with angles…and felt the shoulder start to move. “GOOD, Lynnette….keep going….”

Lynnette holds her son for the first time - her smile is back!

And here comes baby!! I support the head tight to her thigh (with the cord still super tight) until baby’s body is out. Still under water, the body floated while the cord held baby’s head tight to her vagina. I quickly unwrapped the cord and lifted baby up into Lynnette’s waiting arms.

At 2:23am a beautiful little boy was born!!

Baby’s body was white with a dark purple head from the challenging birth. She rubbed and talked to him while I monitored the heart rate…80. Still 80. Wait…finally it’s coming up…90…100….and baby opens his eyes and does his first coughing attempt at breathing.

YEAH FOR NOT CUTTING THE CORD! Phew…the gentle touches of mama and support from the placenta was all he needed to gently come around. He quickly was looking around the bathroom and his powerful mama who had been so strong for him. What could have been scary…turned out to be a peaceful family moment.

Aunt K cuts the cord

Lynnette got out of the tub and birthed the placenta on her bed while nursing her new son. Sister K was thrilled to cut her nephew’s cord….and after we cleaned up (while they snuggled) and eventually performed the newborn exam, we left the family happy and healthy and tucked in for the remainder of the morning.

Newborn Exam: Poor little boy....the blue head with petechiae is from the super tight cord. The discoloration was gone within 48 hours.

So from beginning to end, Lynnette’s labor was under 3 hours! We had 2 minutes of concern…but besides that it was beautiful, peaceful, and all that we hope for our clients when welcoming a baby!!

A proud dad holds his son

Lynnette’s smile was as bright and beautiful as always when we saw her the day after the baby was born – with good reason.

Congratulations on a beautiful baby boy, Lynnette!!