I followed the moaning after arriving to their house in the wee morning hours, and found mama laboring in the bathtub with her husband applying that oh-so-nice lower back counter-pressure; she was obviously very close to delivering, as I have been blessed to attend her previous home birth 3 years ago.
Her knees started hurting in the pool, and she really needed to get into a different position. To the bed, we went! As soon as her hands hit that bed, another wave came crashing over her. This time, it one of the amazing midwives, Eva Sample, who was there to comfort her through it. When it washed through her, they moved her into a comfortable position on the bed to check for fetal heart tones, and ran to wake up their eldest child so she could be present for the delivery. Mama started pushing, and the tip of baby's hair could all of the sudden be seen! Her midwife, Margaret Lipton, says in the sweetest voice, "would you like to feel your baby's head...?", and she helped mama reach down to feel the squishy, silky-soft head emerging. In such an incredibly controlled moment, this amazing woman panted, and pushed, and out came the baby's entire head.
They waited for another contraction, and as the next one started climbing, she pushed one final time to greet her baby GIRL with a joyous smile and a loving "hi baby!!".
Amazement and pure awe were the looks on daddy's and big sister's face; Needless to say, big sister was OVER THE MOON to have a baby sister after 2 baby brothers. You couldn't have wiped that smile off her face if you tried, she was just so happy to witness her strong mom birth this perfect baby sister. Not long after she was born, the sun started rising over the mountains casting a soft pink/orange glow throughout the Spokane Valley, and it just seemed so fitting in that moment. Mama was lying on the bed in silence, nursing her baby girl for the first time, flush in bright pink morning light.
Natalie Bee is a Spokane, Washington-based Birth Doula and Photographer, a mother of four willings, and a PNW native.