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Knoxville Home Birth Photographer | Birth Story told by Mom

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Birth is sacred. That moment when you bring your baby out and into your arms...Nothing on earth can compare. I can already feel some details about this birth slipping from my memory and reality. This moment happened 4 days ago and somehow it feels like it happened 5 minutes ago and yet also like it happened a lifetime ago.  Birth has always felt like an out-of-body experience for me. Each and every one of my four very special births have been so different and individually sacred. This one is no exception to how special and sacred it was for me.  My water released at 11:30pm on 10/23. I was in bed when I felt it and ran to the bathroom to confirm. Because of my labor experience with Conrad, I had really hoped my water would stay intact for laboring this time. I was filled with a sense of anxiety that this labor would also be more intense and powerful because of my water being released before active labor. I did my very best to clear my heart and mind of those anxious feelings but once the contractions started, I knew it was going to be very hard work again.  The waves came 3-4 min apart from the start. I called my midwife, and then photographer. Then felt a sense of disbelief that my baby was actually coming. I would like to say I was excited considering I was 40+6 and felt very ready but in fact, I felt the opposite. After a few more contractions, I looked at Trevor, started to cry and said, “Trev, I don’t if I can actually do this.” Not knowing exactly how long this labor would be and already feeling the intensity in such a short amount of time, I couldn’t help but to feel a little discouraged...and it had only been 20 min and just a few contractions! Trevor encouraged me and said, “I know you can do this! And, you kind of have to do it anyway.” 

From there, the contractions got more powerful and closer together. I found a lot of mental and emotional stability with my HypnoBirthing affirmations. I needed peace and quiet but there was something encouraging about hearing positive calm words to help me through each contraction. 

I had some great support from my mom and sisters as well. With each contraction that came, my sisters would use counter pressure to help where they could. Around 1:30pm I remember feeling the pressure sensation and felt as though she was coming faster than expected...but I thought, “there’s no way she could be coming this fast.” I asked to have the tub filled. And I swear it took forever!! I remember sitter on the birth ball, watching as that water line seemed to barely move and feeling like it wasn’t getting any fuller. 

Feeling the physical pressure and wanting to ease into that water tested my patience. When I heard the words, “ok, you can probably get in now, if you want.” I jumped right up so excited. But my patience was tested again. I couldn’t get in the calm water quite yet as I knew I was going to throw up. I had another contraction, threw up and finally felt like it was time and I was able to drop into the warm water. 

Once I got into the tub, so much was relieved. I had an instinct to reach and feel inside to connect with my baby’s head. I felt her soft head and the thin cervix that barely felt like 2 inches around. I remember thinking, “well that’s not big enough for her head to come out.” I knew I was feeling like I needed to bare down but I question my body. I asked my midwife, “can I trust that my body is already ready to push? It hasn’t even been long enough.” My midwife looked at me and said, “Yes!! You can always trust your body!” I reach again to feel and her head was there. Crowing. So close!! I called out, “Go get the boys up! She’s coming!” 

I had one more contraction and the urge to push and her head came out. I reached down to feel her soft head and touched her little eyes and nose. Trevor carried Conrad into the room with Watson following behind. “Where’s McCoy?! Her head is out!” I said. Once I saw McCoy come in and soon after, I felt her come out easily into my hands and I pulled her up and out onto my chest. 

She was perfect. Covered in a thick vernix that none of my other babies had. She took her first breath and I heard her first cry and I cried out in joy with her. We did it! My baby girl and I did it. Together. We accomplished it together. 

As we stayed relaxed in the water, we locked eyes, and my first thought was, “oh she looks so much like McCoy!” It meant so much for my boys to be there and whiteness this birth. When it came time to cut the cord, I posed the question to McCoy and he politely said he didn’t want to. And as quick as he said no, Watson perked up and said, “I’ll do it!” 

I wouldn’t have had it any other way. In my home, with my family and this is Rooney’s story.

Midwife: Christie Cambridge

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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