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Dancing Through Labor :: Denver Birth Videography

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Dancing Through Labor :: Denver Birth Videography

. .:: We’ve quickly stumbled upon the anniversary of Elias’ birth, and as time has flown, so has he grown. I feel so blessed to have been a small part of Elias’ birth day. I’ll never forget Tiffanie’s warm, welcoming embrace upon my arrival at the hospital, her tireless determination to do everything in her power to keep those contractions coming, her delightful dancing and always positive spirit, joking with hubby between contractions, Elias’ abrupt and startling entrance into the world, and their insistence that I hold that tiny, perfect soul before I left them. But enough from me, now. Enjoy his momma’s beautiful account, below. ::. .

Doula in training: Hayley Mazula

My son, Elias,

Today is your First Birthday and as I am reflecting on how quickly this year has seemed to pass and perusing photos from your birth, my heart yearns to share with you about the day you joined us earth side.

I believe that you are a "way maker", and that you are destined for greatness, Elias. Your story of birth is beautiful and cherished, as are you. The name Elias translates "The Lord is my God" and is a form of the name, Elijah. Your name carries strength and blessing my son, and you have brought strength and blessing to our home in more ways than you may ever know...although I hope that someday, you will know, and I will always do my best to convey it as well as I can!

Let me tell you about how you arrived on this earth.

We had a normal and healthy pregnancy all the way to the day you and God decided you guys were going to call the shots instead of letting mama stick to her plans. ;)

It was the 5th day after your "due date" and I had gone to the Boulder Birth Center that morning to have a check up done to make sure you were not under any stress. Since it was 5 days past the day everyone thought you might come, it was a good idea to keep an eye on everything and make sure you were safe and mommy was safe. At this appointment, the sweet midwives hooked up a monitoring device to my tummy to help us hear your heartbeat and see how you were doing in there. You were moving a little bit slowly and seemed a little sleepy so mommy drank some juice to wake you up a bit. You still were pretty sleepy after a while and the midwives recommended that I head over to the hospital to do an ultrasound where we could see you better and also so we could measure how much amniotic fluid was present. (That's the name for the baby waterbed that I'll tell you about when you look at these pictures with me for the first time.)

I was a little stressed out about finding an appointment time because they said the only time they could see me was in the afternoon. I knew I needed to pick up your sister from school in the afternoon. I asked the midwives if they would call me if the hospital came up with anything open sooner and I walked toward the door to go home. As I was leaving, they called after me, "Wait!! They can see you right now!!! Just go straight over!" Yes!!! I got excited and exclaimed, "Yes!! Everything always works out for me!" and I drove to the hospital.

They got me in and did the ultrasound right away and it turned out that the amniotic fluid in my uterus was actually very very low, and it was not safe to let you stay put any longer. So, they told me I needed to go upstairs to the labor and delivery department where the babies get to be born and that I would not be able to go home, or to go to the Birth Center to deliver you (like we had been planning to do.) I was very shaken up and I called your daddy right away and told him what was happening. I was very sad because I had gotten to know the midwives at the Birth Center all through the journey of your growth in my tummy and I had my heart set on having one of them help you come earth-side.

After I talked with daddy on the phone, the nurses sent me upstairs to the hospital Labor and Delivery area and I got checked into a room. It was room 327! This was the same room your big brother was born in! And when your sister was born, she came at 3:27 in the afternoon! I loved that little connection. The nurse that was helping me hooked up a monitor to my belly so we could listen to your heart and make sure you were still happy and safe in my tummy as I waited for daddy to arrive. He had been at work since it was a Thursday. I called our doula, Hayley and she said she was going to bring me some lunch and come over right away.

Eventually daddy and Hayley both arrived and there was discussion about what we would do in order to help you come out to meet us. I knew that I wanted to deliver you without the help of any medicines and so we all agreed that since I was not in labor yet, we would try all the things we could to get labor started naturally. A midwife came and we started the process that eventually brought you out to meet everyone. You and I danced, exercised, walked up and down the halls, put on oils, and used the breast pump to help stimulate contractions. We did this for hours and hours on end until finally, we all decided it was time to break my water the rest of the way. This would hopefully encourage a more regular pattern of labor in order to bring you out.

SUCCESS!!!

As soon as we did this, I knew you would be here soon. It was like you were pushing your own way along the birth canal now. You were ready! I was ready! Everyone was ready! I sat on the birthing ball at the end of the bed for a short while and then decided I needed to try to use the restroom a final time before you made your debut. I hobbled to the bathroom with the help of daddy and Hayley. We were not in there very long and on the way back to the bed, which was a very short distance, I felt you making your way out. We had planned to have me get into the bed and lay down on my side when it was time to push but we had only reached the corner of the bed when I said, "He's coming!!!" There was no time to get into the bed because you were coming to meet us NOW. Standing up, right there at the edge of the bed with daddy holding me by one arm and Hayley holding me by the other, I groaned and pushed 3 times and delivered you into the hands of our midwife and nurses. It was like time stopped. The experience was very surreal and I'll never forget how ecstatically happy I was to finally hold you in my arms. We cozied up in the bed together, let your cord stop pulsing, and then daddy cut it for you. You were tiny and perfect and weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz. Your hair was dark and your sweet tiny fingers curled and uncurled, feeling their way around. The midwife and nurses were working on helping mommy's body and so we snuggled and adored one another for a good hour, if I recall correctly. It may have been even longer. During this time, you nursed for the first time and you took to it so easily. We put some Frankincense on your back and laughed and talked and cherished you.

Eventually it was time for you to have a check up to measure you, weigh you, and make footprints for your hospital records. Mommy ate some breakfast while the nurses and the pediatrician checked you over and then daddy got to hold you for a while too. The nurses moved us into a different hospital room where we stayed for a couple of days to recover a little bit and the whole time you slept and nursed like a pro. You were taking to life outside the womb like a champ. While we were there, you were visited by some different doctors and nurses and also your brother, sister, and grandma. You charmed us all and you have continued to do that every day since.

It is with great joy and love in my heart that I celebrate you today, my son. You are cherished beyond measure and loved beyond words.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.

Love,

Mama

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The Birth of Henry :: Mountain Midwifery Center

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The Birth of Henry :: Mountain Midwifery Center

This is the story of the birth of Henry, born at Mountain Midwifery Center in Colorado. Henry's mother was supported throughout her labor by her husband, her sister, and the incredible staff at MMC.

So many times, he seemed to mirror her during labor. It was a beautiful dance, where she would shift and he would adjust to accommodate and support her. They were doing it together, completely, entirely. It’s amazing what can happen when we listen to our inner, primal voices and immerse ourselves in the moment.

Here's this incredible woman's take on that day:

“Henry was born on our first wedding anniversary - the greatest gift we could have given each other!

My husband, sister, and I felt completely at ease and supported at Mountain Midwifery. What felt like a timeless fog to me was really eight hours of active labor (and pushing for three - ha!). I clung to words of encouragement from our nurse and midwife and was fearless in their care.

They say you forget all about birth. And, while I agree that the memories of the more intense parts have faded, I will never forget the emotion and excitement of that day. I wonder what we’ll be doing next year!”

The Birth of Henry :: Mountain Midwifery Center

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The Birth of Skylar :: Denver Home Birth Photographer

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The Birth of Skylar :: Denver Home Birth Photographer

. .:: Not so long ago, I was blessed to witness the birth of little Harper. Now I've returned again to document her little sister's entrance into the world. I love this family so much, this woman inspires me endlessly, and it was incredible to watch Harper take it all in and meet her sis for the first time! Skylar's birth was attended by Gina Gerboth, MPH, RM, CPM, IBCLC and apprentice Donna Blythe. ::. .

The Birth of Skylar :: Denver Home Birth Photographer

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The Birth of Madison at Baby & Company in Denver, Colorado

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The Birth of Madison at Baby & Company in Denver, Colorado

My friend and client has generously offered to share her birth story with us all, and reading it has left me so grateful for her voice, as she shares details from her first birth, in the hospital, and her second babe, and Baby & Company in Wheat Ridge, CO. We have no preference regarding our clients' birthing choices... we will follow their story wherever it takes us. The thing that matters most to us, above anything else, is that they have a positive birth experience! I will say, however, each time I've worked at Baby & Company, I've felt so utterly confident that my client's wishes would be respected, and that the process of labor would be honored and given the time and patience it naturally requires. The midwives don't just show up when it's time for baby to arrive... they sit with families as guides and supports through the entire process.

Please enjoy her story, with photos to follow.

-Michelle-

 

**Note: All images are reviewed and approved by our clients prior to being made public**


Contractions started around 9:30 Sunday morning but were inconsistent all day. Sometimes 8-9 minutes apart and fairly intense, other times 3-4 minutes apart and not bad at all. We were visiting friends in Brighton and had gone to their church that morning; we left church early because we didn't know how long we'd have before we had to get to the birth center, ha! One of the ladies on the church welcome team had observed that I looked "close"--when she asked when I was due, I said next week, and she said she thought baby might come sooner. I laughed and said "I think so too" but didn't want to freak her out by telling her I was actually having contractions and was expecting another in the next couple minutes.

I spent the afternoon at home, taking care of a few more things on my pre-baby to-do list between contractions. I tried to hide my contractions from A but sometimes they were just too strong and she would ask "okay Mama?" I always told her yes but I'm sure after awhile she would have stopped believing me.

After a busy evening making arrangements for people to care for A for the next 24 hours, and then some time in the tub at home to see if the water would affect my contractions at all, we finally left for the birth center at midnight. I was a 5 when we got there, so I was glad to have made progress during the day but wondered how much longer labor would last, since it had already been 15 hours. My labor with A was 22 hours, so I comforted myself with the thought that it had to be less than that this time around. The midwife tied a rebozo around my belly to help pressure Madison in and downward, since my short torso meant she had nowhere to go but out, ever since halfway through pregnancy.

It was fairly calm from 12:30-3am, contractions were painful and I had to sway or bounce to get through them, but in between I still had a few minutes to talk or watch a movie. (I re-watched the movie when Madison was a week old and was surprised at just how much of it I had missed during contractions! Should have watched a movie I had seen before, haha).

Around 3am the contractions became more intense and closer together, and I experimented with different places in the room to see what helped them to be most bearable. The ladder was helpful, and I also spent some time on the couch hunched over some cushions, just trying to rest between contractions as I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before--I was up late Saturday night looking at photos of A as a newborn, remembering what it was like to have a new baby, and then had gotten up early with her on Sunday morning. I was so tired that I actually did fall asleep for a minute here and there between the contractions, but after maybe 15-20 minutes on the couch I got up and was determined to have a baby soon! I was worried my exhaustion would slow things down again, so I talked myself into feeling awake and alert--I think it worked!

By 4am the contractions were so strong I felt I couldn't get through them alone anymore, and I asked if I could get in the tub. I wanted a water birth, and even though I didn't think birth was imminent, I was desperate for the relief I hoped the tub would bring. The only downside at the birth center is that the tubs are huge and the faucets not so much--so it was another 20 minutes before the tub was full enough for me to get in.

Once I got in the tub, I quickly realized it was the wrong choice. At home, I had found relief and distraction by using my hands to make waves in the water when the contractions hit, but at this point the contractions were far too strong for that sensation to be any help. I had a few contractions in the tub, standing during the actual contraction and resting in the water between, and suddenly my water broke! I got worried (an understatement) at that point because with A, the nurses broke my water in an attempt to move things along, and the pain intensified so much that soon after that I broke down and begged for the epidural because I could no longer continue drug-free and my body seemed to agree as I wasn't progressing. At the birth center, there are no epidurals--which I knew--but there was a brief moment where I wondered if a hospital transfer was still possible at that point just so I could have relief. I knew it wasn't, but I was scared of how much worse the pain might get because I felt like it was already the most that I could handle.

I got out of the tub and struggled to stand still during a contraction while the midwife checked Madison's heartrate to make sure she was still okay. I asked if it was time to push yet, and the midwife turned the question back on me--I didn't answer because I didn't feel the urge to push; I had only asked because I wanted someone to tell me it was time so that this could all be over soon. But the midwife knew better than to dictate the birth process to me, that I needed to let my body decide. A few contractions later, I was ready to crawl out of my skin from the pain and decided to push and see how it felt. I didn't feel anything change, but I tried it again a couple contractions after that and then I felt Madison move, and I knew it was time to get her out!

I was determined to get this baby out as quickly as possible so the pain could be over, and after 15 minutes of pushing, Madison was born at 4:53am on Monday. I was exhausted from 19 1/2 hours of labor and had to rest for a minute before I could even gather the strength to hold her, but thankfully I had M to lean on and the remainder of my belly to support her.

I'm so glad I chose to go epidural-free; I had wanted that for A's birth but there were multiple reasons it didn't happen--and having had the epidural for her made me all the more determined to avoid it (and all its accompanying complications) with Madison. I was able to move around and push how I needed to, and my body suffered far less in the long run even though the pain was obviously much more intense for awhile. I was up walking around (not quickly, but hey I was walking) a couple hours later, and the only pain reliever I needed was ibuprofen. I was on oxycodone for the first 48 hours after A was born, and couldn't walk more than a few steps independently for days. I know a lot of the differences were due to first birth vs second birth, but I think letting my body do what God made it to do without intervention made a difference as well. I know so many moms swear by the epidural, and if that's what works for you, by all means enjoy it! :) It just wasn't for me.

Another birth center difference....A's newborn exam was done several feet away from me, and M was there with her but I wasn't able to watch, as it was done while the nurses were still taking care of me. At the birth center, the midwives gave us "the golden hour" after her birth to just rest and bond as a family, and then came in to take care of everything else, one thing at a time. My view wasn't as good as M's, but I appreciated being able to watch the exam this time! 

The Birth of Madison at Baby & Company in Denver, Colorado

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The Peaceful Home Birth of Corbin :: Centennial, Colorado

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The Peaceful Home Birth of Corbin :: Centennial, Colorado

The room was warm and serene, infused with soothing energy and confidence. This momma relaxed every bit of her body, swaying, breathing, and allowing baby to move down. Midwife Maren Wood remained vigilant and offered quiet support, while midwife Sena Johnson explained everything to the excited older siblings. Doula Krystal Bruchs kept the ice cold rags coming as she read affirmations and talked mom through contractions. Dad eagerly anticipated the arrival of his first baby, but he looked more like a veteran than anything, knowing just how to support the mother of his child, totally confident in the birthing process. This is the birth of Corbin.

 

The Peaceful Home Birth of Corbin :: Centennial, CO

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