Saturday, August 13, 2011

emerson's birth story- part one

written: august 7, 2011

It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting at my computer for the first time in what seems like forever. It’s time to write down the feelings in my heart before these feelings fade into new feelings and experiences. I don’t know if there are words to adequately express exactly how I feel at this moment- but I will attempt to do my emotions justice. I am still on a euphoric high from all of the events of the past few days. My whole world smells of newborn and I’m so in love with everything that has to do with my little boy. He’s perfect in every way and I couldn’t be a happier mom.

Thursday was his due date. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t anxious to get him here. I really just wanted to have him out of my body already, to meet him, to kiss him, to get to love him. 40 weeks inside is a long time and I was getting super impatient! It seemed that every other mom around me, who was due basically at the same time, had already had their baby. I wondered if he’d ever come out- or if he was content to just stay in there forever. I was beginning to have my doubts. But, regardless of when I wanted him to come, I was forcing myself to be patient and reminding myself that he would come when he was ready. It was his birthday, after all. Britton and I had done oodles of preparation throughout the pregnancy and we wanted, more than anything, a completely natural, unmedicated birth free of any interventions. That meant no induction. He was going to be born at home and it was going to happen when he was ready for it to happen. So when Thursday rolled around and there wasn’t any serious signs of labor I was even more anxious and ready. I decided to stay as active as I had been up to that point. All week long I had been going for morning walks, averaging 45mins. The fresh air was nice and the sunshine felt so good. Thursday was no different. I woke early and went for a 30 minute walk. I spent the rest of the day around the house finishing up the laundry, the cleaning, prepping, working on my computer etc... (Earlier in the week my desktop harddrive had decided that it wanted to crash and so we had just installed a new harddrive and I needed to download software/updates- not the most enjoyable thing to have happen, but fortunately I have a computer wiz for a husband and he fixed it all up for me. I’m such a lucky girl).

With evening approaching and still no real signs of labor, I decided to just continue about doing what I could to stay active and to keep my mind on other things. Our landlord had just brought over the lawn mower and so, at 9 months pregnant, on my child’s due date and at 3pm in the afternoon, I ventured outside to mow the lawn. Call me crazy, but it really needed to be done and I had the biggest desire to do it. So I mowed. And then, right after I finished, a storm rolled in. I showered up and then sat down and thought “tonight could be the night... tonight really could be it.” Not long after, I began to get very uncomfortable. I sent Britton a text wondering when he was going to be home from work. I needed him here. I just knew that I was really going to need him. By the time he got home I was rolled over on a birth ball in the living room, trying to relax. Things were starting. I made dinner, we ate and then Melody (our midwife) came over to check on me. I had been keeping in touch with her throughout the day, sending her questions and updates. One thing that had concerned me was that I had a continual flow of mucus tinged with blood throughout the day. I had to check just to make sure that that was ok. She listened to his heart tones, said that things seemed great, made up some hotpacks, put them in the oven and then left- telling me to let her know whenever I was ready for her to come back.

All this time, Britton was moving around the house like an excited little boy, getting all the final things ready, so excited for a grand adventure. He was very ready and very excited. He called over his long-time fried, Dan, to see if he could help him move the couch from our bedroom. They got the birth tub situated. And then Britton and I decided to enjoy some quality couple time. We sat down and turned on our tv... one last time, just us two. We watched a standup comedian on Netflix. I really didn’t have any particular desire to watch one thing, I just wanted something to make me laugh as the contractions increased. Afterwards, I was so tired and we decided to try and get some rest. By this time the contractions were roughly 6 minutes apart and lasted anywhere from 30-45 seconds. We laid down and tried to sleep. Unfortunately, it was really hard to get a good amount of rest. We would need it later too... but it wasn’t meant to be. Melody came back around 1:30am and Britton helped her finish getting the tub ready. She really knows her stuff and the whole process was down to a science. It was obvious that she was set to do exactly what we had entrusted her to do. It felt great to know that she was there to support and to help bring our baby into this world. Reflecting now, upon it all, I am even more convinced that she was the right person to help with the care and delivery of our baby boy. At around 3am I ended up calling my mom, and Alisha (Stamper) and Christine (Olson). They all headed on over and got there around 4am. Alisha and Christine were so good to just drop everything and come be my support team. Together we are part of a tight-knit group of photographers, we refer to ourselves as F/8. I really strongly value these women and my relationships with them. I knew that I wanted my labor and delivery documented and I feel so fortunate to have such awesome friends willing to do so! Having my mom here was also super special to me. She kept us all fed and cared for.

Anyway, I continued to labor, so excited that I was going to meet my son before the day was through...

photo by alisha stamper (4x5 polaroid shot on a Studio monorail)

photos by christine olson

more photos and the rest of the story to come soon.....


  1. Good job mama! I loved being in the water during my labour too.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! i am excited to read the rest of the story. i did a natural birth also with a doula and was perfect!

  3. So happy for you Carolee! Sounds like the start of your boy's birth was a great experience...having such a support group, what a blessing! And you mowed the lawn!!! superwoman right there :) Can't wait to read the rest of your birth story...

  4. thank you for sharing with us!
    I can't wait to read the exciting!