With my bags already packed in preparation for her due date, I got in my car within 5 minutes, and took the very short drive to her house in the wee morning hours. I'm so lucky I live in a very central location in Spokane...everything is convenient for me! I got to watch as the sun greeted the morning sky to create cotton candy colors all above me. Mama was just slipping into the warm pool water when I walked in, and she took a big sigh of relief as she found the bottom..relaxation. Her midwife, who just so happens to also be her dear friend [bonus points], came up beside her in-between surges to check her blood pressure, and baby's heart tones: All were perfect!
Her mother and sister were there to support her, switching in & out of active doula role, squeezing her hips and telling her how awesome she was doing. It was so sweet to watch them mother her so well! One by one...as the minutes ticked by...her kids woke up for the day, and came down to see what all the commotion was about. Just as her first child came down, it was then that she felt that urge take over her...she was pushing. Honestly, you would barely even know she was in labor up until this point, because she was so quiet, but you could watch her physically bear down. I'm telling you...this little guy came popping right out so fast into mom's hands! So beautiful to watch her bring this baby straight up to her chest, cover him up with a towel to stay warm, gently rubbed his back, and begin to talk to him ever-so softly. Although he came out with a slight lack of color [totally normal] and even a slight meconium stain, he pinked-up in less than 5 minutes, with great ease. He was incredibly alert, and just looking around at all the eyes in the room on him. I cannot even begin to express the excitement on all the older sibling's and cousin's faces when they all got to meet the newest addition in the family...all these little hands were reaching his way, and at one point they even started arguing on who got to hold him first! So entirely and purely loved already, at not even 5 minutes old. One of the greatest things to watch during home births is how the older children are incorporated into the birth story, and this birth was so special with all the little people in attendance.
Mama and her amazing midwife, Kayla [from Spokane River Midwives], even got to take a quick "birth selfie" right after he arrived, which made me crack up...why did I not think about doing this with any of my births...? Duh, Natalie! Genius idea!!!
Baby's cord was cut, and he was handed to daddy for some skin-to-skin goodness while mama delivered her placenta (with the help of Iron Man...of course). Then, baby was taken with mom to do their healing herbal bath, and the midwife checked out the placenta. Once done, baby 'K' got weighed/measured by dad right on the bed while mama got tucked in to bed. It was the perfect timing for me to leave this beautiful home birth, just in time to make it to the newborn session I had planned that morning at 10am...! This birth filled my bucket to the brim; Congratulations to this amazing family, so elated for you all.
Natalie Bee is a Birth Photographer and Doula, a mother of four wildlings, and coffee junkie. She captures the beauty of motherhood and birth through a passionate photojournalist approach.