a beautiful beginning: Vincent M’s birth story.

Birth is so unpredictable. Stages of labor can often be estimated by trained eyes of professionals, especially doulas. Vicki was determined to have an intervention free labor and was trying to avoid being checked as long as possible. At triage she learned she was definitely in full active labor and a few hours later, labor was progressing nicely and I got word to come up around 1. Once there, she was doing everything so perfectly and gracefully. I tell ya, there is nothing more beautiful and empowering to me than watching a mother listen to her body and labor with such poise. Contractions were definitely getting longer, stronger and closer together as time passed. A couple weeks before we had met up and chatted about what to expect in her natural labor. She and I both had the amazing, Tracy Kemper, as our Bradley Teacher, and I was saying that everything Tracy taught us about stages is typically dead on. So as Allan, Eileen (her wonderful doula) and I watched Vicki heave over her bed, we thought for sure she was in transition. Since they weren’t at Dr. Bowen’s typical delivering hospital he wanted to have her internally checked to see how long he had to get there. The nurses were also convinced of her nearing completion as they set up the medical cart for delivery. This was only around 5 pm on Monday evening and the nurse assessed her at 5 stretching 6 cm! Whaaaaa?! We were baffled. Vicki was laboring hard for 15 hours, now water broken and still teetering at only half way? I felt for this mama. In and out of the shower all day for hydrotherapy, her body was refusing to open up further. A dead give away to this stalled progression is the positioning of the baby. Allan couldn’t have been a better supporter as he whispered to her in the bathroom, “I’m so proud of you. I’m just so impressed with you. You’re showing a lot of strength here and you’re the strongest woman I know. You’re a beast.” My heart melted so quickly listening to him, I had to write it down.:)

Once Bowen was there, he confirmed that baby was sitting at least sideways, if not full posterior. The dreaded word for laboring mamas! Hours continued to pass and a final check from Bowen at 630p ish finding she’s made it to 7cm finally, buuuuut now the cervix was swelling. That baby’s head wasn’t fitting in the canal properly so the awesome gravity inducing positions she was doing was having the opposite effect. BOO. If you know Dr. B, then you know he’s a huge advocate for natural mamas. You also know when he suggests intervention, you need to trust him. He recommended an epidural so Vicki could lay comfortably to remove the pressure on her swelling cervix to reduce swelling and hopefully at least give her a vaginal birth.  She felt the wonderful numb sensations take over and snoozed off and on till she was complete. Unfortunately for her at that point Bowen was back at the other hospital delivering another mama so now she just had to labor down (sit up right like a tall seated squat) and wait. By this time it was 6am Tuesday.

Once the delivering team was set, she bared down with all her might. The baby was still struggling with positioning and getting under the pubic bone so with some gentle assistance from Bowen, out came their long awaited miracle 30 long hrs later,  at 8:15am. Baby Vincent was cute as can be at 7.8lbs and 20 1/4 in. Big sis Lucia was able to greet him shortly after and give him and mommy some flowers. So sweet.

I know it wasn’t what you intended, but dang mama, you sure did your best and got soooo close. Don’t sell yourself short on all you endured before the finish line! It was a pleasure to be by your side and watch you do your thang! Good luck with your journey ahead, it’s so much fun to have a big sis and little bro combo! Much love your way.

Love, Melanie.

Steph Goetz - September 25, 2013 - 12:42 pm

Just now got the chance to watch the whole thing (and hear the music) for the first time. The most emotional pics and most emotional lyrics of the song perfectly coincide. Brought me to tears…again. Beautiful!

Renae - September 25, 2013 - 4:41 am

your pictures are incredibly powerful. The joy and miracle of birth is beautifully displayed!


Happy Birthday baby boy! More coming soon!




Love, Melanie.

Michael J. Freeman - September 19, 2013 - 3:01 pm

I’m sitting here bawling my eyes out because i’m so happy for you guys. I can feel the joy in your tears as i look at your incredibly beautiful family.
Thank you for sharing this amazing journey with us!
Love you guys!!

JennyBZ - September 18, 2013 - 8:55 pm

oh.. my.. goodness! that baby is ADORABLE!!! love that one of him seemingly looking right at you! so precious. and Goodness are those baby feet imprints in her belly in that first photo?? that really happens?! holy cow!
this is absolutely beautiful! Great job, Mel, as always! xx