I met with Julia a couple of times early in her pregnancy as she decided what was best for her and her family. She had planned a home birth with her first daughter but the pregnancy ended in a more frightening preterm delivery and abruption after dealing with a very stressful job situation. She was frightened about having another preterm delivery and what her risks were with this new pregnancy. We talked over everything, answered questions, did research and finally decided attempting another home birth was definitely in Julia’s future. We made plans for what would happen if she did go into preterm labor and as that week mark approached that Julia delivered at before, I encouraged her to trust her body and remind herself that she was in a very different position with her last baby than she was with this baby and as 32 weeks came and went, Julia took a deep breath and then 36 weeks came and went and Julia was finally able to truly and deeply relax knowing that she had reached the mark she could have a home birth if she went into labor! We waited patiently for baby and celebrated each week she stayed pregnant!

At 39 weeks even, I received a text from Julia letting me know she felt she was in early labor. Since her daughter was so small with her first pregnancy, we didn’t know how long/fast her labor would be. I assumed she’d still act like a second time mama with a quicker labor but didn’t know if the size of baby would contribute to things being slower. Julia brought in her doula and as the night progressed, Julia worked with each contraction beautifully. Of course, the sun came up and everything seemed to slow down with the decrease in oxytocin. Everyone took that time to nap and rest and as the sun went down things quickly picked up! I arrived around 7:30pm to find Julia laboring like a champ in the tub. Before I arrived, Julia was having rapid contractions that were long and intense and when she got in the tub, everything spaced out to 6 minutes apart again! We all enjoyed the break but after an hour and a half of the spaced-out pattern, we decided to get out of the tub and move around more. As Julia got out of the tub, her contractions quickly picked up and she wanted to rest in bed. Just 30 minutes later of closer contractions and Julia started to feel the urge to push! I asked if she wanted to get back in the tub but she was comfortable in her bed and started pushing there. Not long after the initial urge to push set in, baby’s head began to emerge! We all cheered Julia on as she pushed with all her strength and her husband Patrick reached over and caught his second daughter as Julia delivered her. He placed his sweet baby on Julia’s chest and we all marveled that she was done and she had MADE IT!! Sweet Sage was welcomed into the world at 6lbs 8oz! Thank you to your amazing family for allowing me to share in this wonderfully intimate time!! What a gift it was to be able to serve you and encourage you through this entire journey!

Incredibly photography provided by Ariel Hayes

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