Glenburn Maine Birth Photography
Glenburn Maine Birth Photography
Images by Breezy Photography
Glenburn Maine Birth Photography story told by mother Olivia Lee. In the early morning hours, on December second I decided I was fully prepared for my home birth. I put away the fear of an unmedicated birth. I also knew the dates 12-2-21 or 12-3-21 would be the best day to be born and that the time had come to have faith over fear. We did our regular morning schedule and my 3 children finished their day of home schooling. The evening was full of final tasks… bringing my son in for a hair cut, stopping at Target and Hannaford.
9pm comes and I decided to spend some peaceful time on my birthing ball while paying attention to a YouTube birthing meditation video. 10 minutes I was calm imagining my cervix being totally open when I had my first extremely extraordinary contraction. I timed it on my pregnancy app and had another one about 15 mins later. After several of these occured, I let my birth team know castor oil was probably my next step but that intense contractions were coming out of no where. Chris, my midwife, called me right away and asked if I would like her to come over. I informed her that I would ring her again when I had one more contraction. I really wasn’t actually convinced labor was truly happening. A few minutes passed, another contraction, I made the call to have them come. The midwives were getting everything together and headed to our house.
My whole birth team arrived at the same time. Midwives of Holly No 7 Birth Center In Bangor, Chris and Grace, and our photographer, Bree. They set everything up and checked my vitals. After a little time, and things picked up, they filled the birthing tub. By 11:30pm I was ready to take the castor oil due to being nervous that it was false labor. I also knew that everyone was here and waiting on me it seemed! I took the castor oil in a cup with pear juice.
I asked Grace around 12:30AM to check where my cervix was at. That way we could see where things were at. My cervix was about 5 cms dilated. I decided to get back on the yoga ball and listen to the affirmation video on repeat. I kept envisioning my cervix wide open. After that, my contractions started to get even more intense.
It was 1am when my 3 year old daughter woke up, just as she does every night, came into the bedroom, and laid on her little blanket bed. She sang beautiful little songs to me in the dim light of the salt lamps. l loved hearing her and watching her as I did my birthing ball exercises. It was a moment that I will never forget. Everything was so peaceful and calm, just the way I needed things to be. My husband napped on the couch and my birth team made coffee, had snacks and rested.
At around 2:30am, I got up to take my 3 year old to pee, waited my turn and all of a sudden there was fluid coming out. I was sure it was my water breaking, but when I looked down I saw blood pouring all down my legs and onto the floor. My daughter was very worried about me. My midwife came in and told me everything was okay and to get into the birth tub. I was surprised, and asked if she was sure. I got in the tub and Bree woke Jimmy up and started to get in their spots around the birthing tub in our bathroom.
I was so grateful for the two recommendations I was give, using newborn combs for each hand and an old fashion hand fan that Jimmy used to fan me with. Around 3AM, I felt 3 big contractions that were much more intense but I also felt so much more relaxed being in the birth tub! My husband woke my older two children so all three were waiting patiently in the other room to hear the first cries of their new baby brother or sister.
The next part felt like it happened so fast that it still shocks me it took from around 3AM till 3:38AM for the final stage of labor. Contractions came consistently for another 15 minutes, and became even more intense and close together. My breaks between each wave helped me relax so much. The birth affirmations continued to play on repeat. I said over and over to my midwife that I didn’t know, I just didn’t know. The fear, the unknown, the excitement. She just continued to reassured me that I did not have to know, and that it was just here and now and to focus on this very moment. I kept saying, “I can do anything for a minute.” And my birth photographer reminded me to do horse lips when I would exhale.
At about 3:25AM, when the next wave came and I felt a pop and I knew that my water had broken. Chris looked at me and told me the baby would most likely be born in the next contraction or so. She said if I felt a sensation to push to listen to what my body was telling me to do. That’s when I really realized this was really happening, there was no going back at this point. A few more contractions, and then there was the sensation, I felt like I had to push! This was such a new feeling after having an epidural with my previous 3 births and being numb to it! However, that first push, I did not feel like I accomplished anything, but this did help me grasp what was happening and how it would all feel.
The next contraction, I pushed harder and deeper, but it was till not enough to get the baby out. This was when I realized if I didn’t give it my all the baby was just going to continue to rocking back and forth inside me, which was not a great feeling. So I looked at my midwife and told her, “Well this sucks!!!” My fear of pushing the baby out had to be put aside. The rocking sensation was going to get old real quick! My midwife told me I had a few moments for a break and then it would be time, but only if I was ready. On the next one, I gave it a real hard push and their head was out. The next contraction, the shoulders came out and seconds later, the rest of the body was out.
Grace placed our beautiful baby on my chest. That first warm, soft, wet life filled sensation took over my entire body. I am certain it was from not having an epidural. All of my senses were in full force and my baby just felt so different compared to her 3 siblings. I instantly fell in love and was in such awe of what I had just experienced and accomplished. The room felt relaxing and warm. The water felt so calming around me and my baby.
My midwife checked her lungs and pulse. Our sweet baby was just taking her time between breaths to fully breathe. My midwife assisted her with a few mask compressions and then turned her back to me. A few moments later she was still not completely comfortable with her breathing, so she picked up my baby and gave her a few mouth to mouth breaths, that was all it took. A beautiful moment to see such an incredibly experienced midwife in tune with every beat of baby and mommy. My midwife stayed so calm while she made sure we were safe and well. It still brings tears to my eyes. I gave my baby a couple more stimulating love rubs and she cried big. My children then peaked their heads around the corner and got to see baby on me, it was such a beautiful moment.
On the next contraction, I tried to birth the placenta but it was not ready. I decided to get out of the birth tub and carry my baby to the bed still attached to the cord and placenta inside still. My next contraction, the placenta came out and about an hour later, daddy cut the drained cord! It was such a beautiful moment to watch him cut the cord that had been still peacefully attached. Then I got in the shower, and rinsed myself off while they stripped the bed and prepped it for me and baby. The newborn exam and my exam were after, it was all so peaceful and relaxing. Everything happened right in my bed, and I could ask for a safer place.
Delta Joline Lee was born at home in the water at 3:38am on Friday December 3rd, 2021.
Weighing 8lbs 7ozs, 21 inches long and had a head circumference of 13.5.
The birthing team packed everything up, and then they left. I got to enjoy every little ounce of my baby in bed for hours and hours on end. My 3 year old daughter went to school in the morning and our Christmas decorators arrived to decorate our home and make it into a beautiful Christmas cozy scene. I spent the next 8 hours with my baby on me, nursing and blissfully enjoying every single movement, every sense, every second. The first day is always the best day.
The next day, Bree, our photographer returned for a fresh 48 photo session. Our placenta encapsulation doula also came made my pills and mothers broth from my placenta.
The following day, my midwife, Grace returned to do a newborn and postpartum check. Everything was well and my baby weighed 8lbs 2ozs. I am doing the 10, 10, 10 recovery. I am hoping to avoid mastitis for the first time and really enjoy every moment with my baby. This method is 10 days in bed, 10 days on the bed and 10 days around the bed. I thank God for giving me this wonderful experience at home and for my amazing husband. I feel like I couldn’t have done it without him. He was my rock and continues to be all that and more.
My biggest fear about home birth was the unknown. The moment never came, I never felt like I wanted to change my mind and go to the hospital. I never doubted myself, my body, my baby or my team.