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  • The birth of our Finley

    Wednesday, January 15 | Comments

    This is a little late, but better late than never, right? Finley was born early on a Thursday morning right on her due date after a short, but intense, 7 hour labor. First though, at 2:45am on the 6th I started to have some mild contractions that came every 10 minutes until about 7am. I had a feeling they wouldn’t continue, and they didn’t. I got out of bed after calling Kim, my midwife,  and the contractions just stopped, as I thought they would.

    That morning I ate a huge buttermilk bar doughnut and it was a huge mistake, haha. I felt sort of sick all day and had on and off light contractions. We went to REI with Myles and Molly {Grayson’s sister who was up for the birth} and I felt awful. Between the contractions and the doughnut nausea I just wanted to lay down. Myles sat on the floor of the camping sections and wanted me to pretend to make/drink coffee with him, it was so cute but I felt so yucky! By the middle of the day I was hoping it would be tonight, I just want it to either stop completely or get moving and lead to the birth of this baby! I felt fine for a while then at 5:30 when we sat down for dinner I started to have more really light contractions. They were 6 ½ minutes apart on average and lasting about 30 seconds. I called Kim at 7:30 to give her a heads up and we just thought we’d wait and see what happens! At 8:15 they were still going so I decided to help them along. Grayson and I went on a walk after Myles was asleep and we walked for a good hour though our chilly neighborhood. It was so pretty out with the streetlights and the fall leaves. My contractions started to pick up the pace at 2 ½ to 3 ½ minutes apart, that was good! They were somewhat mild. I told Grayson that if this is what normal labor is like I could do this all day! {I would eat my words later} My labor with Myles was 4-6 minute contractions, all of which triple peaked, the entire 30 hours. This was a cakewalk compared to that! We held hands and just walked casually, stopping when I’d have a contraction then continuing on. We joked about the people who guessed she would have dark hair on our poll. “What a waste of a guess” Grayson said. We headed home after a few laps around the neighborhood and hoped it would continue on!

    Jesse and Jessica were there when we got home just to hang out. I was in a really good mood, handling all the contractions just fine. They were so easy.. and only 30 seconds to 1 minute! We all just hung out and talked, joked about random things. Pretty soon they started to get a little more intense. We called Kim to let her know and she said she’d be there around 10pm and to call if I turn a corner.



    I leaned on my exercise ball for every contraction and for some reason it was the only position that felt right.  Always right in front of the fire. I called Kim again because they were getting closer together, about 4-5 minutes apart and starting to hurt more. I had Mary, our doula, head over too. Everyone wanted to pray for me before they all got there so they laid hands on my back while I laid over the ball and took turns praying, it was such a nice and peaceful moment, the calm before the storm essentially. As soon as they all finished praying Mary came in followed soon after by Kim right around 10:30 and the contractions were pretty intense at that point.

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    Everyone but Grayson and Mary headed upstairs so Kim could check my dilation. They seemed to think I wasn’t very far along; I had a feeling I was. She was surprised to find I was 4.5cm dilated, neither of them was expecting that.  I was so happy to be that far along because last time it took me 24 hours of exhausting labor and 6 minute long contractions to get to 3cm.  I was still in a very light mood between contractions, just happy things were moving along so quickly.

    As soon as she was done I wanted the extra friends to head out so I could focus. They gave me hugs and left, it was about 11:15 now. Right away the contractions picked up the pace and the intensity, they became really, really painful. My body started to shake and I felt a bit cold, they said it was adrenaline. My legs felt shaky from kneeling on them for so long. I didn’t want them to be so weak when I had to push so I moved to the couch, laying on my side. As soon as I did that I’m pretty sure I went into transition. The contractions got worse and worse. I counted my breaths through every one, that helped to distract me. The first 2 were bearable and I didn’t squeeze Grayson’s hand at all. It was surreal being in the exact same spot and scenario as last time. Being in transition, laying on my left side on my couch with Grayson sitting on the ottoman in front of me waiting for my cue that one was staring. The fire place and Christmas lights above the mantel were on, it was the perfect set up. He got close and held my hand for every single one. With each one the pain got stronger. I had a heating pad on my back and for some reason when a contraction would hit it felt 100% hotter and my lower back just burned. At first the peaked at 10 deep breaths and started to come down, then at the 4th deep breath followed by the 17th deep breath and finally ending around 20.Right about then is when our good friend, Joy, got there to photograph the birth. It was so amazing having her there to document this for us, we are so much more than grateful to her.

    Fin007  Fin009

    The thing I love about having my babies at home is how relaxed the atmosphere it. I loved hearing people talk normally, laugh and just be.. Fin010 Fin011

    They got more and more unbearable and I started rubbing Grayson’s thumb harder than I normally would to cope. Then I had to run the palm of my hand across his, pressing down hard without squeezing so I wasn’t fighting the contraction. I didn’t want to clench, I knew it would make it worse.  The rubbing seemed to help. At one point I smacked Grayson’s hand like I was giving him a high five and I heard him chuckle. For one I even just flung my arm around in the air, haha, it seemed to help. They started to double peak. I got a little worried because last time they all double and triple peaked and it was because he was in a bad position. Mary said it was fine.

    The pressure and burning in my back was unbearable and I was shaking like a leaf. I decided to move back to the exercise ball. As soon as I did the contraction came without a break. Three in a row each time, then a small break. I shook through every one, staring hard into Grayson’s eyes and he would talk me through it. As long as he was talking I felt ok. My back felt like it was on fire and I was being taken over. It was such a conscious effort not to clench down in pain so I found other ways of cheating around it, like rubbing his thumb.

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    I wanted Grayson’s sister Molly to be there for the birth to, she ended up being the best back rubber ever :] We’ve been close since we met so I thought it would nice to have here there for this.Fin014 Fin015Fin016  Fin018 Fin019Fin020 Fin021 Fin022

    This is when the final stage started. I knew it was going to be SOON so I decided it was necessary to put my hair in a pony tail between contractions, hahaFin023

    Pretty quickly  {at about 12:30} I felt like my body was pushing. I told Kim and she said I was probably pushing on the water bag. I accepted that for a minute then said it again. The pushing urge was so intense and taking over each contraction. I kept saying I wanted to go upstairs and get in the tub and no one seemed to think it was urgent. Finally after a few more three in a row contractions Mary said I should go to the bathroom to empty my bladder before getting in the tub. I remember wondering why, I could just pee IN the tub, haha. The second my contraction ended I jumped up and went pee. I was so scared of having a contraction on the toilet that I sped through it, I know how painful it is it have a contraction sitting down. I stood up and one hit.. and really, really bad one. I wrapped myself around Grayson and barely held on, it was the most pain I had ever felt in my life. I smashed the palms of my hands into his back and counted each breath as I had been doing the entire time.

    Fin024 Fin025

    As soon as that one ended I rushed up the stairs as fast as I could, I wanted to at least be in my bedroom when the next one hit.  Fin026Fin027

    I got to my closet and asked Grayson to put my bathing suit top on me, he was helping as fast as he could and we got it all on when one hit. I dropped to my hands and knees and noticed the tripod for the video wasn’t set up so I asked “where’s the tri pod? Is the Go Pro set up?” He told me not to worry about it, that Molly would handle it. I realized he was right, why am I thinking about that right now?? The contraction and pushing urge quickly got worse to I sat up to be on my knees. As soon as I sat up I could feel Finley coming out, I felt her crowning and felt my water burst!! I was squeezing Grayson so hard, as wrapped around him as I could possibly be and kept saying “I want to get in the tub!” and he apologized because there was no time. I kept thinking I could make it but knew I couldn’t. She’s coming now.

    They were frantically trying to get my pants off, someone was pulling them down and Grayson lifted me up so Mary could yank them off. All of this was within 5 seconds. Once she started crowning then was no stopping her. She just slid out as I screamed my head off, so loud it caught off guard.  It was just this long, loud, uncontrollable scream. I felt out of control like my body was taking over and pushing me to the side. I didn’t even really push, the contraction just took her out. I could feel every part of her sliding smoothly out in one quick motion. Her head crowning, her head out, her slippery shoulders and her squishy legs and then a relief like I have never felt before followed instantly by the thought “it’s over.”


    All of this happened in about 10 seconds. I reached down and pulled her up from under my legs sticking her right against my body and we both broke into tears crying. Grayson was telling me over and over that I did such a good job. The first think I said was “she has brown hair!” I looked at her and thought she looked nothing like us, haha. She was so clean too! In movies babies are always born so icky and covered in white goup when they’re not born in the water. She was so clean and smooth, not even purple. It was so strange.  I couldn’t believe it was over, she was here.  That labor was so unexpected and fast and just overall intense. I looked at her and thought “oh my gosh she has such dark hair and she doesn’t look like us!”, haha Fin029 Fin030 Fin031 Fin032 Fin033 Fin034 Fin035 Fin036 Fin037 Fin038 Fin039 Fin040 Fin041

    I couldn’t be more thankful to have these women help me through the births of both my babies. Kim is the perfect midwife for our family and we are so excited to see her every time we get a chance! Luckily she’s a naturopath as well so she gets to be our doctor too! She even brought me tasty home made rice pudding for her 3 day home check up! Mary Burgess is hands down the best doula around, she’s training to become a midwife instead so she can deliver babies now! Fin042 Fin043 Fin044 Fin045 Fin046 Fin047 Fin048 Fin049

    I wanted her to be weighed on this towel. I’ve had this towel since I can remember, it’s been around since before I was born and Myles was weighed on it the day he was born. Both babies were 6 pounds, 11 ounces!Fin050 Fin051 Fin052 Fin053 Fin054 Fin055 Fin056 Fin057 Fin058 Fin059

    After it was all over I felt so energized. We all laid around, we were joking and laughing about the whole thing. I just had a baby on my closet floor! Everyone was a little shocked by the whole thing, how quickly it progressed and how fast she flew out.  It was nice just having everyone sitting around my bed chatting, everyone was so excited and lively about the whole thing.

    We were all cracking up. So about 4:00 everyone headed out and the three of us snuggled up in bed. I asked Grayson to pray for her and we reached around her and held hands while he prayed. Then we just fell asleep.



    1. I cry cry cry….

      SO MUCH LOVE!!!!

      Such beautiful photos, full of love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      stunnung !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Shanno says:

      So much beauty here., I just love it (and you all) mucho!

    3. Natalie Butcher says:

      Such a beautiful birth! im due with number three in a week!

    4. Ling says:

      Beautiful! Congratulations.

    5. Natalie says:

      Oh my… so emotional, so touching, I’ve gotten a few tears! What a well written experience; thank you for sharing! Be blessed! Love keeping up with your babies : )

    6. Brooke says:

      Oh my goodness. What an intense and beautiful story. I’m literally crying right now! I just started following your blog and boy am I glad! I am 16 weeks pregnant and it is so empowering to read such positive (and intense, haha) stories. It helps! May God bless you and your sweet little family!


      • Jagger Photography says:

        Oooh congratulations!! That means you get to find out what you’re having in a few weeks! Are you planning a home birth??

        • brooke says:

          Thank you!! Not originally since my.apartment neighbors might not appreciate it, haha! But i definitely want to go natural so I’ve been reading up on birth stories. It’s amazing how much resistance you can get when you tell ppl “nope, no meds” haha.

    7. Jade Mutter says:

      This is amazing! The picture of both of you crying when she was first born made me start crying (even though I don’t know you haha).. Congrats – any woman that gives birth at home in her closet kicks ass in my books. Congrats on the new addition to your family :)

    8. April says:

      Ooooohhhhh mmmmyyyy gggoooossshhhh!!! So lovely!! I cried. A lot. I love you guys!

    9. Keren elise says:

      Wow! Your story is just amazing, I can’t believe how fast she came, and how overall stress-free it was :)
      I haven’t had any children yet, but I really like the idea of having baby at home – as you said, so much more relaxed. Thank you for sharing your special story.

      Many blessings to you and your family :) xx

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