I got a call from Stephen at 5am on February 12th, saying that today was the day! Jenn's contractions were definitely the real deal. Thankful for an (almost) full-night's sleep, I got up and got ready to go. I arrived at their house at 6:30, and Jenn was doing so well, chatting and watching Ice Age 3. As soon as a contraction hit, though, I could tell this was active labor. She leaned up against a wall, relaxed, and moaned through it. It was dark and candles were lit; the perfect environment for labor.
Karen got there shortly after I did, and got her computer and paperwork all set up on the kitchen table.
Don't you think she looks like an angel?
Well, she is. A birth angel. ;)
Jenn had group prenatal meetings/childbirth education with her midwives and a group of women due around the same time she was. They all wore these bracelets to remind eachother of their bond through each of their births.
So peaceful. Resting between contractions. All that relaxation practice was paying off.
Muffins Jenn had prepared in advance for the birth team. Labor was in full swing at 9:05am.
Swaying with Stephen ~ he was her rock.
Doula at work! Thanks, Karen, for this shot!
As labor progressed, Jenn moved to the tub to help her relax more fully.
Jenn's mom arrived toward the end of her labor. Her presence and hand-holding was such a comfort to Jenn.
Midwife Christina, checking baby's heart tones.
The final push...
Seeley Michael Carter was born at 2:01pm on February 12. 6 lbs 11 oz. 19 inches.
Jenn's labor was about 12 hours long, with only 30 minutes of pushing.
I am continually amazed at the intensity and amazing challenge of labor and birth. During Jenn's most difficult contractions, Karen would pray, "Thank you, Jesus, for these powerful contractions. Thank you that her body is doing what you made it to do. Thank you!" It was with much gratitude and leaning on God that Jenn birthed her baby into the world. What a holy and joyful experience!