DawningLife Midwifery

Experienced homebirth midwives serving Metro-Atlanta and North Georgia families for over 35 years!

Caleb's Homebirth Story

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We started this pregnancy with See Baby Midwifery, but at our first appointment at 11 weeks, both the midwife and Dr. Bootstaylor mentioned we would be great candidates for home birth. While we have friends who have had homebirths, we hadn’t ever considered it for our family. We researched and met with Constance for a consultation, and we decided that home birth was our new plan! I loved the long and personal prenatal appointments. I loved getting to know Constance and Debbie and the student midwives. I was blown away with how peaceful and loving our home birth was.

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Noam's Homebirth

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Let me set the scene:

I’m very hugely pregnant (measuring 44 cm a week before the birth). I had about 8 hours of “practice” labor at 39 weeks. My mom came to stay with us 3 days prior to this. We had asked her to be at the birth to help take care of the kids. At the point this story begins, I have been in early labor for a day or so, with contractions about 10 minutes apart….

Monday, May 4, 2015 (41w2d)

I woke up a little after 2 AM for yet another trip to the bathroom, then again just after 5 AM. The second trip I found more bloody show. Yay! I went back to bed, but couldn’t sleep. Around 6 AM, I noticed my doula (Kim W.) was online and messaged her, “This is gonna be a long one, but at least it’s easy. The contractions aren’t really worse. A little longer this morning though, but also a little more spread out. Last night they were more like 10min/30sec, now they are more like 15min/over a min. I consider that the same.” An hour later, I was back to the bathroom again - more bloody show (and lots of it!). Yay!

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Winnie's Homebirth

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Everyone thought I would go early this time around. I was huge (really I was appropriately big for a second baby…still, my mom thought for sure I was having twins). Charlotte showed up on her due date, and when my due date came and went, I was getting a bit antsy. I kept adding things to my to do list that already included the go to suggestions for inducing labor. I cleaned the house and had to clean it again. I got groceries and had to get groceries again.

It felt like forever, but it was only four days past my due date when I woke up with some contractions that started to feel more like the real thing. I encouraged them along with a little nipple stimulation as I considered whether or not to have James stay home from work. It was 7:30, and the contractions were mild, short, and 6-7 minutes apart. James was tired anyways, so I told him that he should stay home to see if this develops into anything.

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Felix's Homebirth

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It was a Sunday. We went shopping for a couch to furnish the living room in our new house. The salesman told us two other pregnant women had come in recently too, and ended up giving birth the next day. I’m not sure how he knew that, but anyway, I was sick of people making comments about when I would pop, but I was nice to him anyway. We picked a couch and a chair and went home. Later, we were watching The Walking Dead, and about half way through (about 9:30), I started having a few contractions. Guess the salesman called it.

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Joanna Elise Gabriella Homebirth

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Joanna Elise Gabriella's Birth Story

Our precious little girl is such a miracle! She is our sixth baby, but the first that we have been given the gift of bringing into the world and shepherding. Part of me cannot believe it has been almost a year—I had planned to do this much sooner—it has actually been written since May, but alas! ☺). However, the gift of learning the art of surrender with which Debbie and Claudia blessed me with has proved a more challenging lesson than I thought—which serves to prove how much I need to focus on embracing surrender. I am realizing that part of the reason that I could not write this until four months after her birth really had very little to do with having not watched the video all the way through (although it was enlightening—there were a few things that did not remember and that I was surprised by—namely that I was actually pretty sweet to everyone, even funny at times, that I called out to The Lord for help when I needed it most, and that I could transition so quickly to being this little one's mama—more on that later), but that I still feel I'm in the birth process. Being postpartum has been the most challenging time in my life and in many ways I will always be postpartum and so this growing and changing will always be a part of me for the better-this is just an element that I could never have imagined. However, I feIt I could finally write this because I felt myself waking up to who I truly am-though I know that may not make much sense, but just a few weeks before she was four months, I felt I began to see myself clearly and quite possibly for the first time because the feeling was identical to seeing her for the first time—part 'oh, so there you are—it's you' and 'who are you, sweet one?'-a strong sense of knowing coupled with the realization that there is a vastness yet unknown which has produced a strong desire to learn how to know more fully. I know this is supposed to be our birth story and not a window into my process of 'forging the smithy of my soul’—just beware that I cannot help it, and perhaps you may find that you won't be able to either, because my journey with this child has been just that and more.

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Annabelle Homebirth

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At 1:30am, my water broke in a few gushes, and I started having irregular, and occasionally strong, contractions. After one of the strong ones, N decided to call his mom in case things got more serious.

Around 10:30am, N and I left the kids at home with Grandma, and we went to my sister’s house so I could nurse her newborn. I had good, strong, regular contractions (~3min apart) for a while. Went to Panera to pick up lunch, brought it home to eat, still having contractions... but things calmed down by about 1:30pm. Later that afternoon I took a nap.

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Charlotte Jean Homebirth

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The night before my guess date, I had some quality time with James, my husband. I had convinced him that we needed to take advantage of every opportunity to be intimate since we wouldn’t be able to for weeks after the baby was born (a much more enticing way of asking him to insert some prostaglandin-rich semen near my cervix to soften things up). I fell asleep to a hypnosis track like I did every night and woke up when I felt something that was a bit different than all the braxton hicks I had been having. I looked at the clock--it was 1:50 am. I felt it again and decided to get up and go to the bathroom. The second I moved, I felt a trickle down my leg--pretty sure I had just leaked some amniotic fluid. I was giddy thinking that this was probably going to be the day--and on my guess date none the less. I knew I should get some sleep. I decided to do a fear clearing session since my water was leaking, and I didn’t want to worry about infection or worry about labor not really starting for a long time. I was still awake when that track finished, and then I listened to Birthing Day Affirmations.

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Alexa Homebirth

Alexa
Alexa was born at 3:31am on 02-21-12. Here is how the labor and birth unfolded. At 2am on the 20th I began having some contractions about 10 minutes apart. I took a warm shower for about an hour then woke Forrest up, I didn’t want to call the midwife because I wasn’t sure if I was actually moving into labor. At 7am I decided to call the midwife just to see what she thought.

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Oliver James Homebirth

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Oliver's Belated Birthday Story

I cannot believe it has been almost two months. My little boy, although I swear he just arrived yesterday, has now been here for two whole months. I have been trying to figure out how to start this post since the day he was born. How do you convey such a feeling? How do I explain the power of his arrival? The automatic shift in my heart and soul the moment he was put into my arms? I have NO idea. But I am going to attempt it.

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Asher Vincent Homebirth

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He’s here.

It’s been 32 hours and I still can’t believe that a) I have a baby and b) I made it through labor alive! Over the coarse of the pregnancy I hadn’t thought much about how much pain a natural childbirth would bring and boy am I glad I didn’t. If I had thought about it I might have not made it through it. I’m going to try and remember the details but some things are a little fuzzy, which is probably a good thing. For those of you who get embarrassed easily you probably don’t want to read this. In order to really get people to understand what a home birth is I’m not going to be so discrete so don’t read if you are squeamish or if you will look at me funny from now on after you know what I went through.

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Noah X Homebirth

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I had been having contractions every night since 37 weeks. They would come and go, irregular, but would make me wonder "was this it??" and I would get my hopes up, only to wake up in the middle of the night to no contractions :/ Elijah (5 years old) was born at 37 weeks, and Jeremiah (3 years old) was 39 weeks, so I was SO sure I'd go early. Well, around 38.5 weeks I went into labor. I called my midwife team and my friends who were to attend the birth (this was about 10pm). Contractions were every three minutes, but not really increasing in intensity. So when the midwife got here I was at 3 cm. I labored like that until 6am...when the contractions just stopped. I was 5cm. I couldn't believe it! But I was pretty exhausted so everyone went home and I slept, believing labor would restart any second. It didn't.

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Karina Samir Homebirth

Karina
To my beautiful daughter,

Four months later, I have finally sat down to write the story of your birth; you are a handful!

The funniest thing I will remember about your birth is the night before I went into labor with you. Daddy and I spent the previous day at the pool since it was the Fourth of July long weekend. Daddy had dove into the pool and ruptured his eardrum, but we spent the day there anyway. I did a lot of swimming and stretching to get ready for you! That night he said to me, “Please don’t go into labor tonight, my ear hurts so badly.”

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Virginia Elizabeth Homebirth

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My due date was December 10. I had stopped working (substitute teaching) at the beginning of December and was just awaiting the birth of my baby. On December 6, around 8:30 in the morning I got up to use the bathroom. I got back into bed knowing that I wasn’t going back to sleep, but just wanting to lie there for a few more minutes. I was talking to John (my husband) when I suddenly felt my water break. I looked at him in disgust, but he was excited.

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Elena Merav Homebirth

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Dear Elena,

The story of your birth begins many months before you actually began your journey out into the world. When I was about 5 months pregnant with you, your Abba and I enrolled in a 12-week Bradley Childbirth class. Although my parents had taken Bradley classes with me 30 years ago, I wasn’t particularly committed to a drug-free birth, even though that’s Bradley’s thing. I didn’t feel that I had anything to prove to myself or the world by having a natural birth – I just didn’t want to be in horrible pain. This was my mindset when we started class.

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Lillianna Marie Homebirth

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After a few extra days, our precious little girl is here. Lillianna Marie Banguilan was born at 6:53 am on 10/23/09 in our home. She weighs 9 lbs 9 oz and is 20.5" long. At the moment, she is sleeping peacefully in her swing and Nanay and Jaiden are at the Taste of Suwanee Festival (so it's a little quiet). I thought I would take this moment and write down some details before I forget so here is my version. (Anna's to come.)

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Iris Neoma Homebirth

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Saturday, June 20th, I was feeling radiant. Hot and exhausted. But Radiant all the same! I took my 5 year old daughter to a birthday party, at which nearly everyone asked when the baby was due (of course). I responded to almost everyone who asked~ “ last Wednesday, but I’m having the baby tomorrow.” I was ready. It just seemed right that the baby should come. My best friend had been telling me for months that the baby would be born on her birthday (June 21st). Anyway, we left the birthday party and went to a cookout at my folks place where I picked a bunch of green beans and continued to insinuate that the baby would be born tomorrow. “Bye, see you at the pool tomorrow unless I’m having a baby!”

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Raine Bronwen Homebirth

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The morning is full of hope, and this morning especially so. On Thursday, June 11, 2009, I awoke knowing that by the end of the day, I would be holding my new baby. I had spent an hour or two in and out of sleep with waves of contractions. When I got out of bed it was just after 4:00 a.m., so I told David to keep sleeping, and I went downstairs. I warmed up a rose and neroli aromatherapy oil. I had for a few days wrestled with some anxious thoughts, but this morning, alone with the Lord, I felt clear and uplifted, empowered and embraced. For the next couple of hours, I listened to praise music by Phil Wickham, ate a little strawberry yogurt, started some laundry, listened to Hypnobabies birthing affirmations while timing contractions on the birth ball, peeled carrots for the birth day cake, and walked around the still-dark house. Just before 6:00 a.m., I felt the intensity of my pressure waves increasing, so I decided to call my midwife, Debbie. Since the contractions were lasting about a minute and coming every five, she said that she would leave her home in Marietta right away.

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Lyric Athena Homebirth

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June 8 we finally get some early morning signs that the baby is on it's way. Even though there were no contractions/pressure waves yet my body was definitely telling me that Lyric was getting ready.

Marcos stayed home with me, and cooked me a huge breakfast. Then we took a nice walk and came home and I took a nap. After my nap around 3-4 pm, I started to have pressure waves about 10 minutes apart. By 6 pm they were 6 minutes apart, so we called Katy Jo to come and help with the kids.

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Emery Mendes Homebirth

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I lay down to take a nap with Arkady around 4 o'clock. While he was sleeping and nursing I felt some fluid and wondered if I could be leaking amniotic fluid. The leaking continued until I was positive it was amniotic fluid. I cherished snuggling with my first born so much as I began to realize that these were are last moments together before another precious child was added to our family.

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Quinn Emerson Homebirth

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The births of my three children were some of the most memorable moments of my life. I had my third child at home with DawningLife Midwifery. Here is how the story goes.

On a Thursday, which was 11 days after my due date, I had been having periodic contractions. They didn’t seem like anything more than what I had been feeling for weeks. Coming close to 2 weeks overdue, I was also over-ready for this baby to make its way into the world. I was huge and uncomfortable and losing patience as the days ticked by. That day, I decided to try nipple stimulation to get things going. I felt contractions as I was in and out of sleep through the night until 2:30 a.m. At that point, I felt like they were getting strong enough and regular enough that we should time them.

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Sophia's Homebirth:The Day I Met My Grandmother

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The connection between mother and daughter cannot be described in words, you can try, but only nature knows the secret of this beautiful connection. July 17th, would be the day that would connect me, my daughter and granddaughter forever. We would be guided by instincts and love.

My daughter Jody was 11 days overdue, according to the calendar, but nature and God had a plan. Thursday, July 17th, Jody had an appointment with Claudia to start encouraging this child, already with a mind of it's own, to come out and play. At this visit, Jody received reassurance, comfort, cervical massage, blue and black cohosh and was instructed to start nipple manipulation. Jody returned home, with a new hope that this child would finally come out!!

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Kathryne Elaine

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My husband Shawn is studying to be a chiropractor and he is the one that first introduced me to the idea of homebirth. I remember thinking that he was crazy!! I mean who would have their baby at home when there were two perfectly functional hospitals within 10 miles of them? Why would anyone take that kind of risk? I would not even consider it. I knew I wanted a drug free birth, but I planned to have my baby in the hospital just like all the "normal" people do. So Shawn did not push and we found a great midwife that was going to deliver our baby at North Fulton Hospital.

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Cameron Bogan

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Cameron Bogan Jacobs was born on October 1, 2007 at 41 weeks and 3 days gestation. He was 8 lbs., 15 oz. and 22" long. He arrived peacefully at 11:40 pm in the privacy and comfort of our own bedroom. Here is the story... I'll start with December 2006. Conception, although unplanned, happened. No more details needed there! In January 2007 I did a pregnancy test after being late, and low and behold, it was positive!!!!! My feelings were many... elated (how could I not be, I was having a baby!), scared (after all, I had just returned from Walt Disney World, so this baby rode every ride multiple times), and worried (I had 2 previous miscarriages in the last year). But mostly I was thrilled!!!

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Manning Mitchell

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On Thursday (9/6/07) morning we had a cleaning lady come to the house, a gift from my dad. I planned a bit of a day of pampering for myself in order to get out of her way. At 9:45 I had an appointment with my chiropractor. She adjusted my hips and pubic bone (ooh, feels good) and worked on some pressure points to help my hips. She told me that these pressure points could cause labor if you're ready. And if I got closer to my due-date I could come back and she'd work on the same pressure points some more. I felt awesome after my appointment.

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Liam Forrester

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It was at the end of July and I was a week away from my due date. That afternoon I was at the vet with my 13 year-old invalid dog Boo, trying to figure out a way to help her be as comfortable as possible in her last days (I had decided to hold off on helping her let go of this life until after my baby had come—I hadn’t wanted to experience the grief of her loss while I was carrying my child).

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Gabriel Ryan

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Perfect.

That is the only word I can think of to describe my pregnancy and birth. Ryan and I got married 18 December 2005, and by the beginning of January, I wanted to be pregnant NOW. Only problem was that I wasn’t scheduled to graduate until May 2007, a year and a half away. I started reading books, most of which came from my mom, and charting my cycles to prepare for (and to prevent for the time being) pregnancy. Ryan and I had many conversations about when we would try to get pregnant.

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Stella Kathryn

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It was July 21st, my estimated due date, but I felt like I was overdue. I was huge, it was hot, and since my first child came two weeks early, I was expecting this one a little early too. I was also expecting this baby to come quickly and it seemed that everyone I interacted with thought that would be the case. I knew that it would take the Debbie, my midwife, around two hours to get to my house and if my labor was at all similar to my mother’s second labor that would be just enough time.

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Iris Aurora

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Now that Iris is four months old, perhaps it is time for me to finish writing her birth story. I started writing this two months ago. It's a challenge, as it feels like I'm stealing time from her in getting it written, but already I fear I'm forgetting things, so negligent or not, here I go...

Wednesday (June 27) began with my by-then standard flurry of nesting activity. Already suspecting that today might be the day, I loaded the car full of recycling and donations for the thrift store, tasks I knew would never be taken care of after the birth. A phone call from my mom with the admonition, "No babies tonight!" added to my suspicions... I loaded Galen in the car and set out.

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Joshua Loucas

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Lord, your will be done….BUT, if I have any say in the matter, I’d REALLY like to have this baby tomorrow.

That was my whispered prayer Thursday night. Never mind the fact the whole house had been sick all week, and never mind the fact I still had last minute things to do to prepare for this baby. I was ready.

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Callan Timothy

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I woke up the morning of Friday December 14th, 8 days after Callan’s due date and decided it would be a fantastic day to have a baby. It was beautiful outside, warm and sunny, and a crisp perfect day. I had spent the past two days inside feeling big and hormonal and wanting to be a recluse. It was nice to wake up energetic and inspired. So I decided to throw on clothes and walk and walk and walk to get my uterus in action.

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Lyllea May

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(This birth story was written by Lyllea’s 8 year old brother, Colin, and printed here exactly as written by him.)

The day my sistor was born. Lillea I love you.

I was at school lirning about pennies and adding them together. enthen the ofes cold me for dis misel on the iner com. enthen my teacher saide get yor book bag, and yellow folder, and egenda. I pakt up and I went for dis missle. I was thinking about my mom having a baby. i wont doune the hall.

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Seths Homebirth: The View from a Squeamish Grandmother

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by Susan H. Stempel

The Birth of Seth Edward

The phone rang early that morning. It was Alix. She was in the early stages of her third pregnancy and we were all a little on edge because she miscarried a year ago. Her first pregnancy produced our now eight year-old Noah.

“Mom, I’m thinking about having a home birth this time. You know, using a midwife. But I would only do it if every thing is okay.”

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Seth Edward

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This is not a birth story that I thought would be mine. When I became pregnant with our second child, I assumed I would have a hospital birth, as I did with our first. It was not a good experience, but I had not allowed myself to consider other options. After a previous early miscarriage, I was on pins and needles for the first trimester and wanted to see if this would be a go. The blessed second trimester mark passed, and I began to research birth on the internet.

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Riley Larkin

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On Monday Oct 9th around 1:30am I awoke because it felt like I had wet myself. I went to the bathroom and there was a lot more fluid than usual but not enough to make me think my water had broken because I always thought it would be like a gush of fluid. I changed my undies and pantyliner and went back to bed. A few minutes later I had leaked again and this time felt like this must mean something. I went and woke Joe up to tell him and, after discussing it for a little while, went back to bed. I tried to sleep, but it was hard to knowing that this meant our baby would soon be here. Besides, I continued to leak the rest of the night and felt crampy.

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Eva Rose

Eva Rose
As an only child of an only child (my mother), I didn’t have much exposure to babies or birth in my early life. Both my mother and grandmother gave birth under anesthesia so when I was first pregnant and the Nurse at the OB/GYN asked if I would like a natural birth I thought she meant do I want to be awake. It’s funny to think back to that now - like another life. My first child was born in a hospital with a Certified Nurse Midwife in attendance. I labored 14 hours at home and used the last 4 hours to travel, admit, settle in, and deliver my daughter, Jordan Elizabeth.

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Kanate` Rajah

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For about 2 weeks I'd been having contractions that would look like a regular pattern was forming, but would never progress. They were doing some good work for me, but I felt like something was needing to be done before the baby would come. So, on the date I was due, I meditated on my baby and myself and said, "I really want you to come now, what do we have to do?" They answer was, not have a lot of people at my birth. Oh...that's all? We were going to have several of my close women friends present to help with my 2 year old daughter, and assist me etc. But I knew this baby didn't want that, and I felt a huge burden lift when I said to my husband that if we went into labor that night, we weren't going to call anybody.

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Rory McKenzie

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Born Sunday, October 9, 2005 at 1:11am.

Weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces, 20 ¼” long, 13 ½” head, 13 ¾” chest.

On Thursday and Friday I was trying to fill the days. I thought my baby would have already been born and I was ready. Michael came home on Friday and wanted to know what the vibe was he was picking up from me. I said, “I’m bored – I want to have this baby.” I was excited upon going to bed because we had a full day planned for Saturday.

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Sadie Rose

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My "Labor" Day!

Thought I would share my birth story for those of you who like to read stuff like that :)

It's hard to tell when my labor actually started. We had a difficult time figuring that out for the birth paperwork afterwards because for two days I had some strong contractions that felt like "something"...I could tell they weren't Braxton Hicks because they kept me awake at night but were not very painful, just "sit up and pay attention" contractions. I had also started to have bloody show and loose stools. (Hey, you've read this far so hopefully this stuff doesn't gross you out!)

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Lila Marie

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Lila Marie was born at home June 27 at 5:11pm at 39w 1d gestation. She weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz and was 21 inches long.

Early Labor: Sunday, June 26
With no signs of impending labor in the preceding days and weeks, I awoke Sunday and began my day as usual. My due date was in one week, but to try and thwart my impatience, I had mentally prepared to be a 42-weeker. A trip to the bathroom around noon revealed a small bit of pinkish mucus.

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Jacob Ian

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Jacob's Birth Story: Believing God! We welcomed a 7 lb 13 oz baby on Sunday, March 20th at 2:48 in the morning. However, I would like to back up a little bit and tell some truths about my pregnancy in order to fulfill the title of this story. 

Prenatal:
Once I found out I was pregnant, knowing there is no birth centers in Atlanta, I decided on a home birth. After talking with several local doulas, I decided to receive dual care meaning regular OB visits along with planning the home birth/water birth. Almost every visit to the OB/GYN was disappointing.

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Charles Grey

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The Birth of Charles Grey!

When I look at my son today, two weeks since his birth, I feel such gratitude. I thank God for entrusting me with such a precious soul. I thank God for giving me the intuition to trust my body more than drugs and machines, I thank the amazing women my intuition brought me to - Claudia, Debbie, and Ruth for all their love, understanding, and for believing in me. I thank my fiancé Matt for knowing me- for trusting in my body and my strength more than I did. Without all of these, Grey's birth would have been very different.

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Reed Jezmund

ReedJezmund
Maureen’s version...
I woke at about 4 am to a nice strong contraction. I glanced at my watch to note the time, and dozed back off. About 8 minutes later, I was woke by another one... This pattern continued till about 6 am, I was starving, so I got up for a quick bowl of cereal, and laid back down to continue resting while I could.

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