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© 2018 by Living Body Works

The Birth of Nora

This lovely mama contacted me about midway through her pregnancy. I could tell from the first moment that she and I were going to click. She told me with zero hesitation that she wanted to birth naturally, was reading and doing all the things and was so ready to be a mom... Here's the story of how Kelsey became a mom and Nora came earthside...


It was Christmas night and I was just pulling on my PJs after a wonderful and love-filled day with my family and at 9:45pm I get a text from Kelsey letting me know that she's been cramping all day and that it might be turning into contractions. Of course I laughed because I always tell my clients to CALL ME when they think they are going into labor, and not text just in case I'm asleep, but then I told her to call me when she was sure they were contractions. 11:30pm I get the call! She's definitely in labor but doing well. Trying to get some sleep but it's not working very well. I ask her to call me back when she needs me to come. I get out of my nice warm bed, put on my clothes, put my bag by the door, double check my camera bag and and SD cards, then crawl back between the covers to try to catch a little more sleep. I wake up at 1:30am and get a sense that it's about time. I make coffee and my two pieces of toast with butter (the same meal I eat on my way to every birth) and 20 minutes later Kelsey calls me. She's very clearly in labor and needs some help. Off I go!


When I pull up in the driveway, a very sleepy Jesse was installing the car seat. I walk into the bedroom and mama is on her hands and knees breathing through the surges.


After supporting her through a few contractions that were coming really fast, but short and very painful, it seemed like maybe her baby just wasn't in a good position, so we did a few rounds of #spinningbabies exercises followed by some belly lifts sitting backwards on the toilet and she felt her baby shift and her labor slowed way down. She now was in less pain, her contractions were 6-8 minutes apart. She got back into bed and she slept between contractions. Her husband was asleep on the couch... Poor guy is a paramedic and had been up for almost 48 hours when his wife went into labor. I told him we'd wake him when we needed him.



After about 2 hours of laying in bed and catching some good sleep between contractions she was suddenly very uncomfortable and it was clear her labor was picking up. She went and got into her tub. She had all the lovely affirmations from friends and family strung above the tub.





The sweet relief that is a tub during labor... Amazes me every time!

She labored peacefully and calmly like this for about 2 more hours with only the sound of her breathing breaking the silence.


And just before the sun started to rise, she had two really big contractions. The kind when you're a #birthworker #doula you know that baby is coming sooner than later. I suggested that we get going to the hospital very soon and went to wake up her husband. I've never seen someone jump to alert so quickly in my life, but Jesse had mustered in a matter of milliseconds. Help out of the tub, then clothes and into the car for the drive during sunrise to the hospital.



In the car and ready to go!

As always, I followed behind in my car. And when we arrived at the hospital, it was clear that she was pushing and things were moving very quickly!


At this point I'm asking her to pant instead of holding her breath and bearing down!

So this first time mama, walks into the hospital, pausing with each contraction, and yes, bearing down. So, Jesse stays downstairs to get her checked in while I go up the elevator with Kelsey to triage where they just clearly don't believe this very in-control mama when we try to explain that baby is coming and they leave us alone in triage to change into a gown while I'm getting pretty sure that I'll be the one catching this baby in triage. Finally a nurse comes in and asks if she's been checked and Kelsey, bless her heart, says "NO!! But this baby is coming out now!" She reaches her hand down between her legs as if to hold a baby in! The nurse kind of rolls her eyes and asks her to lay down so she can check her. Kelsey obliges, and hikes up her gown so we can see the bag of waters bulging out of her along with the faint outline of baby's head! At this point the nurse whisks us to the closest room!


This nurse's hair was ON POINT that morning!

There just so happened to be a doctor from the practice that she was at hanging out at the hospital that morning so she comes in and suits up quickly.


And then it was baby time! She was coming whether anyone was ready or not.



That tiny nuchal hand was so cute!




IT'S A GIRL!!!

This mama finally got to tell the world if her baby was a boy or a girl! It was a girl! I love when surprise gender babies get to be revealed by mom!







Both parents getting to soak up their new baby girl!

This little girl had so much vernix on her back! The nurses did a great job of leaving it be and allowing it to soak in

I personally always like to get a placenta shot... I think it's so cool to see this amazing organ that's as unique as the baby it grew.


Placenta was born and baby girl was nursing like a champ! This couple had initially thought that Jesse's parents would be waiting in the waiting room during the birth and that Kelsey's mom would actually be present for the birth. Things happened so fast that it was impossible. No one knew how quickly this amazing first time mom would have her baby. So, right after baby was born they decided to keep it a secret and just tell their parents that they should come to the hospital and quickly. Jesse's parents were the first to arrive!



Getting her first good look at her new grandbaby!


I loved this hug from mother to son on the birth of his first baby!

And then after about 15 minutes, Kelsey's mom made her way. We were all laughing and joking and the curtain was pulled across the door so when she walked in, she said "what's all this laughing going on!?" and then pulled back the curtain to walk in and this was her priceless reaction to finding her daughter was now a mother...





Tears were shed by everyone!

Three generations of women having their first of many hugs!



Hugs for the newly-minted grandmas

After about an hour and a half post partum, mama felt it was time for the newborn exam.


Two dads talking about the amazing morning!

Who doesn't love baby toes!?

Then back to mom for some more snuggles....



Thank you Kelsey and Jesse for trusting me to be your doula and to document the amazing natural birth of your daughter Nora!

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