Happy Monday! We’re so excited to share a beautiful birth story today. Photographer Brittany Cascio captured this home birth so beautifully we can feel the excitement and the joy in each photo. We’ll jump right in with some thoughts from the beautiful mother Jaelyn, as she shares some thoughts on her very special day with us. Thank you so much Jaelyn and Brittany!
“I have always had a positive few of childbirth, even before I ever became of mother. My mom always had a positive view and had all of her kids naturally. Because of this, I was always determined to have natural births. The first time came in 2007 when I delivered my first baby, a girl. She was born in the hospital by a doctor who was very supportive of my natural ways. I had two more children, both girls, in the same hospital by the same doctor. All were positive experiences for me. However, I longed for a completely natural childbirth, free of interventions. I had a few interventions that were not medically necessary and I wanted a birth completely free of that. By the time I became pregnant with my 4th (a boy this time!), I knew I wanted a home birth for a few reasons. We now lived a big urban area, where the chances were high that I would get an on call doctor. I didn’t like the idea that I could possibly deliver with someone who wasn’t so open to my natural ways. Even though we live in a highly populated area, the nearest hospital is 25 minutes away. That may not seem like such a long distance, but I go very quickly at the end of my labors. With my last two daughters, I went from 7 to delivered in 4 minutes for one and 6 minutes for the other. My doctor barely made it for the deliveries and he was just down the hall, literally. I began searching for midwives online when I came across Sherri Price. As weird as it sounds, I knew she would deliver my baby as soon as I saw her picture. I scheduled an appointment with her to meet her. I wanted my husband to come along so that he could ask any questions that he had and so that we could both see how we felt about it. After meeting with her for over an hour, any concern that my husband and I had, were gone. We immediately booked our first prenatal appointment with her. As my pregnancy went on, we became more and more comfortable with our decision. My midwife is amazing. My appointments were never rushed and I could feel that she really cared for me. I had her cell phone number and could call or text anytime I had a question. My appointments were always very thorough where diet and exercise were discussed, not just the usual prenatal hullabaloo. The last 2 weeks of my pregnancy came, and along with that came prodromal labor. I had never experienced this and it was very interesting. My mom is 3 hours away, my sister and the photographer are 2 hours away. I began to worry if I would ever know when it was real. The prodromal labor was never painful, but my labors don’t kick into high gear until the end. Two days before my due date, the usual prodromal labor started around 11 pm. It was not at all painful, just Braxton hicks, every 6 minutes. I was not going to lose any sleep on fake labor and decided to go to bed, figuring they would wake me up if they were real. By 4 am, they were still coming. I decided to let everyone know to be on stand by, but also told them that the real kicker would be if they lasted past 6 am. That’s when they always seemed to stop. I said a little prayer that I would know when to let my mom know to come for sure since she was 3 hours away. Not even 20 minutes labor, I felt that she should come. They were not painful yet, as I could walk and still easily talk through them. They were still 6 minutes apart. My mom got packed and headed up right then. As well as my sister and photographer. At 6:30 am, I decide that I better get up and do some last minute things if this was going to be the real deal. Within minutes of standing up, my contractions jumped to 2 1/2 minutes apart! I had to stop what I was doing and focus on getting through them. My husband called Sherri to let her know. By 6:40, the student midwife was here. Sherri called around 6:45 to see how I was doing and to let me know she was about 15 minutes away. She told me to get into the tub if I felt like it. I really wanted to, but was a little worried in my mind that it would stop the labor since I really didn’t know if I was in active labor yet. I got in anyway, since it sounded so nice. I always labored in the tubs with my other kids and it was my saving grace. As soon as I got in, the uncomfortable contractions were almost not noticeable. It was fantastic! But also made me very nervous, since I worried about it stalling my labor and everyone was now on their way to my house. Sherri arrived at 7 and asked if I wanted to be checked. I told her, “yes and no. I am worried I won’t even be a 3 yet. So, just tell me I am a three. Even if I am not.” She checked me and let me know I was 100% effaced. I was happy with just that info since it meant something was happening. I told her to tell me I was at least a 3! She sat for a second and then replied,”you are a 7-8!” What?! I was very much excited. The rest of the labor was spent in the tub. My midwife and another midwife would apply pressure to my knees with every contraction and it was amazing. It made them almost completely pain free. I sat on my knees for some time and they applied oils and pressure to my back. Around 7:20 my photographer and sister arrived. The room was always calm and happy. Jokes were told and laughing happened. I remember laughing during a contraction and thinking how amazing it was that labor could be so enjoyable. At 8 o’clock I was an 8. At 8:10 my mom arrived. I was so happy she was finally here. At 8:15, I was a 9 and starting to feel pressure. I remember my midwife telling me about the bulging bag and that I could feel it if I wanted to. It was amazing. We somehow convinced my hubby to feel it too. It feels like a balloon. (I should note that my hubby knows me and how I labor. He is always near silently observing and helps whenever I ask for anything.) I remember just going with the pressure and letting my body do the work. I would do little grunts while my midwife applied olive oil and pressure to my perineum. At 8:27 my water popped. (Which the word “pop” is a very accurate word. It literally sounds like a pop, at least to the mom.) At 8:29 he was crowning and at 8:30 he was born. Less than 2 hours after I began to think it was definitely real! It was by far the best birth experience. Surprisingly to many, it was my cleanest birth also. I got to move to my very own bed where I stayed for the next 3 days to let my body heal and rest. I didn’t tear and had a very short amount of bleeding afterwards. My husband was so happy with the experience that he would never have a hospital birth again, unless it were medically necessary. I highly recommend waterbirth, home birth, and midwives. Childbirth can be a very beautiful, happy thing. I am very blessed to have experienced this. I am extremely grateful that I was able to have it documented in photos too. It is a priceless gift that I will treasure forever!”