We are just about at the first birthday of Adeline, a baby born last year during a busy May for our practice. This birth was powerful and joyful, and was attended by a good friend of Sarah’s who is also a photographer and posted the following montage of her labor and birth. Watch the video of Adeline’s birth here.
Sarah and I emailed recently and she said ” I’m grateful to you both for helping me have a fantastic first time mother natural birthing experience. You gave me the greatest gift any woman can give another woman, confidence in myself and my body to achieve what it was made to achieve. The entire experience was blissful, every appointment so perfect in your friendly and mother-inspiring cottage! ” She also enclosed some one year pictures of Adeline who is thriving in Oklahoma where they are now living. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!
(All pictures posted with express permission. Photos from Sarah Huff)
Here’s Deanna’s birth story and her adorable baby. Her own words and chosen picture are posted with her permission. Thank you for sharing this with us, Deanna.
” It had been a long week already by the time I woke up at 2am with the unmistakable signs of real labor. I was uncomfortable by that point but not in serious pain, so I got out of bed and went to the bathroom thinking “maybe I just need to go #2…” Nope. I tried getting back into bed, but even in the 10 minutes I had been gone, my bed had already become a fluffy cloud of unsupportive cotton. I woke up my hubby and told him “babe, I think I’m in labor. For real this time.” He was immediately awake and told me to call Jenni, my primary care provider. She sounded low key and excited for me when I called and encouraged me to get as much rest as I could and to call again when I saw spotting.
I grabbed my faithful body pillow and made a comfy nest on the ubiquitous pile of laundry in the corner next to my bed and got as comfortable as I could with the firm support of the carpet under my back. By this point the contractions were getting stronger and though I managed to doze, I woke up when each one started every five minutes or so.
Jenni headed my way as soon as I called her with news of spotting and I tried to stay calm though I was by this point a little muzzy with pain and ecstatic at the thought of seeing my baby in a few hours!
When she arrived, we moved out to the living room and I spent the next 8-10 hours alternately laying on my side and walking around, swaying my hips and trying to help baby move down into position. Thankfully our apartment has indoor stairs so I didn’t need to go outside and walk up and down a hill in the cold january morning.
Unfortunately I was afflicted with labor nausea and was unable to eat or drink for the duration of my labor. Jenni had some anti nausea medicine as well as some homeopathic remedies but I would throw them up before they had a chance to work (ugh, just like morning sickness!)
Once the contractions became stronger I started having back labor, which was definitely worse than the belly cramps but Jenni knew which pressure points to massage and that gave me a lot of relief. My hubby went and got coffee around 9 or 10 am, and then Jenni showed him how to massage my back so that he could take care of me while she went to go get some tea and breakfast. Other than the pain and vomiting, it was a languid and peaceful morning.
I got in the shower a few times when I started to become stressed and the back pain got worse, and the hot water helped a lot combined with the back massages. We kept an eye on my energy and hydration levels since I wasn’t able to drink more than a few sips of water without puking, and Jenni assured me that she had the supplies to set up an I.V. for water if needed. ( I hate needles so I’m very thankful it didn’t come to that)
Everything progressed over the span of about 16 hours, in and out of the shower, up and down from my comfy spot on the floor, walking up and down the stairs a few times when she encouraged it. My hubby had never been around during a birth in his life, and he stayed so calm and was so sweet and supportive!
Once we realized I was in transition I got back in the shower and let the tub fill while I enjoyed the heat. Jenni did a cervical check at this point and immediately afterward I realized that I had started pushing! This was right when my mom arrived and the tub wasn’t really doing it for me so we all moved into the guest room which I had set up as a birth area several weeks before.
Pushing was hard work, y’all. Hard freaking work. For the first 45 minutes or so it didn’t feel like much was happening and by this point I was howling and cursing and SO ready do be done, but then I started feeling the baby move down every time I pushed, and after a few more gargantuan efforts the little head popped out, and then one more push and my little guy was born! I would have been happy either way, but I really wanted a boy and I was so excited to see him! I settled back onto some pillows while Jenni and Melek (the assisting midwife) checked me out and helped me birth the placenta. Unfortunately there was some tearing and I had to have some stitches, but c’est la vie. I ate some orange sherbet and drank some water, then we moved everything to the bed and I settled down to sleep with my little Willie Ryan. (Aka Pinkle) “
So excited to see him! (minutes after the birth)
Fields of bluebonnets at the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center
Spring has arrived in central Texas! We are luxuriating in warmer evenings for eating outside and the smells of our amazing wysteria vine next to the office.
The bees love it too!
” A LIGHT exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here. ” (Emily Dickenson)
In good spring tradition, we are cleaning out and starting things anew, in this case restarting the blog posts featuring our client’s birth stories. We have heard from so many people about the power of hearing normal birth stories, including all the messiness of daily life alongside the courage and power of ordinary folks. The birth photography world has certainly expanded the images available to most of us, and helps to normalize the experience of giving birth naturally. As well, there are many podcast options out there that feature birth stories. One of the newer ones I’ve discovered is Doing It At Home , with two parents from a home birth family interviewing others about their experiences.
If you feel inspired, share other recommendations in the comments; we’d love to pass them on to other clients. And, email us your stories and we’ll post them for others to read and be inspired by.
Enjoy the spring, wherever and however it finds you.
Happy International Day of the Midwife!
I was reading about this annual celebration of our work and discovered that it was established in 1992! Almost 25 years of celebrating midwives and the incredible care they provide pregnant and birthing people, and their families, all over the world. The International Confederation of Midwives spearheads this celebration. Separately and together, Christy and Jenni have celebrated International Day of Midwife in many different places and with lots of different activities.
Here are previous years’ pictures and Christy’s post from 2009.
This year, if we are not attending a birth, we will be:
a) Hosting our monthly group prenatal at our office, with (as always) food demo’d by Christy and discussion facilitated by the three of us. Our topic this week is newborn care and early postpartum norms.
b) Feeling grateful for midwifery knowledge and the home birth of Haven, now ten months old and making things very exciting at our house.
c) Checking in with midwives from across Texas and our dear friend Marinah Farrell from Arizona, President of the Midwives Alliance of North America at the Association of Texas Midwives‘ Annual Conference (May 5 – 7).
d) Appreciating the ever-growing skills and general fabulousness of our apprentice, Chandra Fisher. We are lucky to have her and I know that our current and past clients appreciate her involvement in their care at prenatals and births.
e) Expanding Christy’s offering of primary care appointments and fertility consultations at our practice. See our website for more details and please refer your friends and family!
f) Getting ready for the launch of midwifery-model culturally-appropriate prenatal education with the Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman clinic opening in June. Paula Rojas, a former apprentice with MotherBloom and now a Licensed Midwife, is integral to this project; Christy is a midwife advisor and Jenni is providing volunteer technical support with the use of an EHR.
Thank you for continuing to support us both in doing this amazing work.
From our good friend and fabulous facilitator Lanell:
” Throwing out a lifeline for new mamas and babies before school’s out for summer!
Raini Gomez, Le Cordon Bleu chef and doula, will prepare a delicious, nourishing breakfast for us each week! It’s gonna be YUMMY! “
WHEN: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Thursdays, May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 8 (last meeting is on a WEDNESDAY)
WHERE: 1401 Ridgehaven Drive, 78723 cell 512-663-9320
WHAT: bring yourself and your baby
COST: $275 (includes breakfast each week)
I am passionate about connecting mothers and supporting your unfolding journey from my nearly 20 years of experience working with mothers, birth, and breastfeeding. You don’t have to figure all this out by yourself. There is support and love and RELIEF just waiting for you!
We were never meant to go it alone in the care of our young children. The company of mothers helps us make sense of the day to day tasks, the miracle unfolding in our laps, and the heart-exploding love we feel for our babies. And being in community releases tons of oxytocin, helping us feel connected, warm and fuzzy.
Read recent participant testimonials, here:
https://consciousbirthingaustin. com/classes/ mothers-unfolding
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Email Lanell directly to register: lanellcoultas (at) gmail.com