*warning* this post has a lot of photos that show blood from giving birth!
On that note though- I would 1000% recommend having a birth photographer! These photos are so precious to me and having someone there to capture these once in a lifetime memories was priceless. If you are debating, DO NOT even hesitate. It was totally worth it!! Abi Lentine was our photographer and we absolutely loved her!! When I was 36 weeks pregnant, I felt like I should hire a birth photographer and stumbled upon her website. I still wasn’t sure about it, but paid the deposit anyway and luckily she had an opening! I’m so glad I did because it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!! I look back at these photos so often and relive the moment Nellie was born all the time 😭 Matt was able to be fully present while I was in labor (without having to worry about taking photos or videos) and Abi was with us all night- I hardly even noticed that she was there. And she captured moments that I don’t even remember happening!
I also had the best midwife in the entire world. We went with Megan Kitterman and she was incredible! I literally had her cellphone number to text with any questions, only saw her throughout my pregnancy, and didn’t have to worry about which doctor was on call. She was so supportive, knowledgeable, and honestly let me trust my body through the entire process. Of all of my pregnancies and deliveries, this was by far my best experience and it’s all thanks to Megan!
Ok so on to Nellie’s birth story! I was dilated to a 3 for a few days, so we weren’t really sure when to go in to the hospital. For a few nights in a row, Matt and I would go for late night walks to see if my contractions would continue only for them to ease up and then we would go home and go to sleep. But on Wednesday night, I went to the gym and as I was stretching, I could feel my contractions start to shift. They weren’t intense yet but I just had a feeling that tonight was the night.
We called Megan and met her at the hospital around 11pm. I still wasn’t dilated further but decided to walk around for a bit and see if I was progressing. She checked me after about an hour and decided to admit me. I texted Abi that it was time and she met us at the hospital shortly after!
I have a history of hemorrhaging with my other babes, so my number one goal was to avoid that this time! I really wanted to be present for the entire process and to avoid any unexpected problems like I have had before.
My labors with Carter and Clare had complications and were also really fast! So I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time. I decided to get into the tub right away since my contractions were steady and getting more and more intense.
I remember laughing in between every contraction and being so at peace throughout their peaks. During my pregnancy, I had been practicing hypnobirthing and that truly helped so much. I really didn’t feel a lot of pain in the tub, mostly pressure and it wasn’t bad at all.
Matt was even able to take a nap because I was so relaxed. I was in the water for a few hours then decided to get out and move around to see if that would help my contractions pick back up again.
I was still feeling so calm, we were chatting and laughing in between contractions! Whenever I started to feel any pressure, I would just breathe through it.
At some point, my midwife wanted me to try to push. I wasn’t really feeling ready but the baby was so low and my body was getting so tired! So I pushed for about an hour and then decided to take a nap instead haha!
Eventually I wasn’t able to sleep through the contractions anymore. When I woke up, I had a few crackers and some juice. I was just hanging out and not really feeling anything until WHAM! I flipped over so fast and knew it was time to push!! It was like all of a sudden the baby was ready and my body was ready and it was time!
I literally pushed once and there she was! Our perfect baby girl. (Stop scrolling here if you get queasy looking at blood) because during my labor I actually had a partial placental abruption. All night the baby was only receiving 50% oxygen and blood from my placenta and we had no idea. Luckily, I was adamant about the baby being on a monitor the entire time so her vitals were perfect and showed no signs of distress. It was truly a miracle! I know that we were both being watched over and had so much help from the other side.
Meeting her for the first time felt so perfect. Like she has always been a part of our family. She is so sweet and gentle and peaceful, and holding her in my arms for the first time was so surreal. Heaven is so close during childbirth and I just feel so lucky that these little spirits chose me to be their mom. Helping little angels get their bodies is truly such a miracle that I will never feel worthy enough to be a part of.