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Birth Story of Callum | Home Water Birth | Justine Michelle Films

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

2020 brought so many changes to our lives. Some we could have done without but some have been a blessing we never knew was waiting for us.

Many families have chosen to give birth at home this year who would have never considered it if it hadn't been for Covid-19. But with hospital restrictions and risk of actually contracting covid while in the hospital has made many families look to other options. With Annie's wonderful birth history she was a great fit for home birth.

Annie experienced prodromal labor, something I relate to very much! Prodromal labor is when your body will seem to be in labor. Contractions become regular and closer together and can even increase in intensity making you wonder if it is in fact labor. But eventually the contractions stop. Sometimes this goes on for one hour but sometimes it can be all night long and then suddenly the contractions melt away. While it seems like your body is playing a cruel trick on you, the silver lining is that many times it is in fact working. And many women who have prodromal labor have shorter labors when it finally does kick into gear for the final time. This was the case for Annie as well.

I tell all my clients to PLEASE tell me everything when they are having signs or symptoms of labor. I even want to know if you are having diarhea! Not because I am nosy but because with 5 kiddos it can be so very helpful to have some kind of warning that baby will be coming soon, even if it is still days away. I plan our life a little differently if I know you are having contractions. And Prodromal labor doesn't bother me, well I mean it isn't my favorite thing to have personally ( I had it with 4/5 of my kids) but it doesn't bother me as your photographer! I would so much rather get 10 "false alarm" texts and be ready than to get one all of a sudden with no warning and then be scrambling to get to you in time!

And Annie...she wins the day for communication! I appreciated all her texts and that she took my advice to tell me each time she had contractions because when they day finally came, I was completely ready! I literally had to put my bags in the car and go! And 40 minutes later I was at her door ready to film this sweet baby's arrival. I was thinking with all that work she did ahead of time, baby was just going to fall right out. But the house was so calm, I thought maybe there will be more time after all. No, Annie is just a birth angel. She breathed through the contractions with her husband and daughters by her side. Her amazing midwives with Birthstream Midwifery sat nearby calmly observing. Norah Jones was playing and all seemed well with the world in that glorious moment.

It almost seemed like Annie and baby were waiting for me to get there. Not long after I arrived, baby began to make his descent. Annie leaned back against Jeremiah and she reached down to catch her baby. His head eased out and concerned that his head was going back in she leaned forward onto her knees in a sort of lunge and the rest of his head emerged. A pause, a chance to take a quick rest and then shortly after she pushed and the rest of his perfect little body came out. Her midwife helped guide him between her legs and up onto her chest and it almost seemed as if he was sleeping. He was so calm. He began pinking up before even letting out a cry and then the sound every mother longs to hear, his first cry!

After a couple of minutes in the tub Annie was ready to get out and rest on the couch near the fire. Before we all really knew what was happening she was up and out of the tub and heading to the couch! She moved so graceful and quick, you never would have guessed she had just given birth if it hadn't been for the baby still attached to her! She rested a while then it was time for the 3rd stage of labor...did you realize the 3rd stage is AFTER baby?? The third stage is to birth the placenta. While this isn't the most fun or rewarding part, it is equally important.

But just as this sweet baby had been stubborn with his arrival, his placenta was as well. It gave Annie quite the trouble to fully release. But after herbs and some Pitocin it too finally gave in and decided to be born. It turned out to be bilobed, meaning it had two lobes instead of just one round lobe. Once the placenta was out, this sweet family could finally relax and begin to really get to know the newest little member.

It doesn't matter how many births I am privileged to witness, it never gets old or less amazing!

Justine is a birth photographer/filmmaker and doula in the greater Knoxville area, serving Maryville, Greenback, Madisonville, Loudon, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Fountain City, Townsend, Sevierville, Strawberry Plains, Gatlinburg, etc. Justine is passionate about physiological birth the way God designed it and thus specializes in home and natural births. Interested in hiring Justine for your birth, click here to get in touch.

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