Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Birth Story

Day of Birth
Let me start by saying that I have been preparing to have a natural birth throughout my pregnancy.  I know we can't control what happens in birth, but I've taken steps to help prepare my mind and body to labor drug-free.  I had the same intentions for my first birth with Kestan.  The short version of that experience is - Kestan came 8 days before his "due date."  I went 27 hours unmedicated going through intense labor. I had a midwife, doula and my husband helping me along the way.  My contractions slowed and after 23 hours I stalled at 9 cm for another 4 hours.  We tried everything before my midwife finally recommended an epidural.  At first I felt very disappointed and was still determined to go all the way drug-free, but I was dehydrated and exhausted.  The epidural did get me to 10 cm and allowed me to work through another 3 1/2 hours of pushing.

Although I was happy to go as long as I did, I had hoped for a birthing experience where I would feel the urge to push and feel my baby come out without any interventions.

Being pregnant for the second time, just as the first, was a wonderful experience for me.  Other than the occasional acid reflux and sore feet, I felt really good.  I love feeling my baby grow and move inside me and I find pregnancy to be very enjoyable.  

This time around my sweet Ashton Quinn was 6 days past his "due date."  I knew that Ashton would come when he was ready.

Healthy diet?  Check.
Doula?  Check.
Midwife?  Check.
Attentive husband?  Check.
Affirmations?  Check.
Birthing ball?  Check.
Evening primrose?  Check.
Pre-natal yoga throughout pregnancy?  Check.
Pre-natal chiropractic care?  Check.
Evening meditations?  Check.
Prayer beads?  Check.
Read Birthing from Within? (among many others)  Check.
Relaxing CD's?  Check.

Ok...I was ready.  Bring it on.

Trust Affirmation
Wednesday, October 13th, 
3:00 a.m.
I woke up to what felt like very mild menstrual cramps.  I knew this was the start of something, but also knew that it was just the beginning, and that I had time.  I went downstairs for a bowl of cereal, some water and went back to bed.

4:45 a.m.
I woke up to what felt like a trickle, which I assumed was my water breaking.  I got up and told Chris that today is the day.

He loaded up the car.  (I've had my hospital bag packed for weeks!)  He called my midwife, doula and mom to give them a heads up.  They all knew we had time. My mom was going to come over and take care of Kestan for the day. My midwife wanted me to labor at home as long as possible to avoid getting to the hospital too early.  My doula would be on the lookout for our next call.

5:15 a.m.
I started feeling incredible labor pains.  The contractions jumped into high gear.  I was shocked at how painful it already felt and secretly wondered, "How did I do this for 27 hours last time?!"  Still thinking we had plenty of time, considering that during my first birth I labored at home for 12 hours before going to the hospital.

Kestan woke up and  joined us in the bathroom.  He had his doggie jammies on and a sock monkey in his hand.  He was quiet and very in touch.  He knew that baby brother was on his way.  He knew mommy was in pain and he even tried to make me laugh.

5:30 a.m.
I felt the urge to push!  All of a sudden my contractions shifted and I thought I might have to push him out in my bathroom.  My mom still wasn't there and I knew that if I didn't get to the hospital quick it was going to be bad.  We all got in the car - Chris calm as ever, Kestan in his jammies, and me in the front seat on my knees.  I had to keep my hand between my legs because I felt as though he may come out at any moment.

"Mommy, do you see the train?"  "Aaggghhh....yes, Kestan, I see the train."

As I mentioned before, I never knew what the urge to push felt like.  I certainly knew what it was this time around.  I just couldn't believe how quickly it came about. I felt like I skipped over the entire labor and went right into pushing mode.

And all my preparation to have a natural birth came into play in this moment.  My breath and my mind had to connect fully and deeply to my body and baby who were off doing their own thing.  I had to find a way to unify them.  I closed my eyes and went to a deep, deep place - a present-moment place - where only Ashton and I were communicating to each other.  "Hold on baby.  Don't come yet.  Just a little longer."  Breathe, breathe, breathe...  (scream)  "Hold on baby.  We can do this.  We can do this together."  Breathe...

Chris called my mom and told her to turn around and meet us at the hospital.  He called my midwife and doula and warned them of the situation.  I discovered that meconium was coming out. (For those of you who don't know - meconium is babies poop in the womb - and can cause concern if it gets into the babies lungs.)  I knew it wasn't good - especially since there was so much of it.

Again, Chris was surprisingly calm.  Even when we was telling me that the midwife said if we think we aren't going to make it we should pull over and call 911.  What?!!  I think that was the extra motivation Ashton and I needed to hear to hold off on any pushing until we got the hospital.  I'm forever grateful that I didn't have him on the side of the road.

Maternity Ward
6:00 a.m.
We pulled up to the emergency room and Chris waved a nurse to come help.  She brought a wheelchair for me and again I had to kneel on the seat.  I grabbed on to her tightly and felt a small sense of relief that at least we made it there.  I knew I'd be able to push soon.

Once I was wheeled into the maternity ward it felt very much like an episode from some hospital drama. All the nurses jumped from behind the desk, although it felt like slow motion to me, and they quickly brought me to the first room.  Ashton was the only birth that entire day so the floor was quiet and plenty of staff was available.

They quickly got me in bed.

I laid on my side and held on for dear life to nurse Jessica.  She placed an oxygen mask on my face so her face was slightly distorted as I looked through it.  With each urge to push she'd talk me through my breaths. I begged her to "help me."  And she did.  Staring into her eyes, feeling her squeeze my hands, and breathing with her helped me.  My mind kept repeating, "Trust, trust, trust...  Healthy baby.  Healthy baby.  Trust, trust, trust.."

Here I was, laying in a bright hospital room, with what felt like hundreds of people coming in and out.  A far cry from the quiet, dark, candle-lit, soaking tub, aroma-therapy, accupressure, soft music, experience I had envisioned.

A nurse checked me.  She announced that I was complete and that it was a boy.  She could feel his testicles coming out.  I'm happy I already knew he was a boy. Could you imagine if we had been waiting for that exciting moment to find out the sex of our child and this is how it was announced to us!?

Wait...what?  Where's his head?

Ashton had been head down for weeks.  In fact, I was just checked on Monday and he was supposedly head down.  I never felt a huge flip - how could he all of a sudden be breech?

Nurse Jessica said I would have to have a c-section.

"Trust, trust, trust..."

6:10 a.m.
My midwife arrived.  Thank god!  She will prove these nurses wrong.  She'll tell me he's head down, let me push and soon this will all be over.  I'll be holding my healthy baby boy in no time.


She affirmed what the nurses so matter-of-factly declared - emergency c-section was the only way to ensure a safe delivery of our baby who was completely breech.

"Trust, trust, trust..."

My husband was back after handing Kestan off to Nana in the lobby.  I stared into his eyes and said, "Bubs, I can't believe this."  He whispered back, "Everything will be ok."

There was lots of commotion, including getting an epidural that quickly took the pain away.  They counted to three and hoisted me with a sheet onto another bed and wheeled me to the operating room.  Someone put a surgical cap on my head and I remember thinking that it was crooked and half my hair was sticking out on one side.  I felt exposed.  I felt scared.  I couldn't believe this was happening.

6:30 ish a.m.
I was ready for surgery.  Chris came in and looked at me.  He got close to my ear and said with total confidence, "You came into the world this same way and look how wonderful you turned out."

In that moment I felt peace come over me.  I had survived being breech, with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, which resulted in an emergency c-section for my mom.  I survived.  I was ok.  I was healthy.  My mom healed beautifully.  We can do this.

My View
Chris was to my left, the nurse was to my right.  Both were holding my hands and I was tightly squeezing back.  Then I took some breaths. I relaxed into that moment.  My mantra now changed to, "Accept, accept, accept..."  I remembered how Eckhart Tolle says we have three choices in any situation: enthusiasm, excitement or acceptance.  In that moment I knew that I couldn't resist anymore.  My body was forced to completely surrender.  Now, my mind and spirit were ready to make peace and let go - to accept that this is the way my baby was going to enter the world and to trust that everything is going to be ok.

Asthon Holding Daddy's Hand
6:56 a.m.
Ashton Quinn took his first breath.  It seemed like it took a few minutes as they had to make sure he didn't take in any meconium.  Finally, I could hear him.  I still couldn't see my angel.  I had to accept that his umbilical cord was cut before it stopped pulsing.  I had to accept that my husband would not be the one cutting the cord.  I had to accept that Ashton wasn't handed directly to my chest.

"Accept, accept, accept..."

Ashton and Mommy
Finally, someone held him up so I could see him.  Major relief and a flood of tears - I quickly scanned to make sure he had all of his fingers and toes.  He was beautiful.  So gentle and so sweet looking.  He seemed to say, "I'm ok mom. I'll be in your arms soon."

Daddy's Hand
They kept Ashton in the room with us and Chris stayed there, holding his hand, until it was time to return to our room.  It took about 20 minutes for them to stitch me back up.

7:30 ish a.m.
Ashton was in my arms and nursing like a champ.  This baby loves milk and I haven't had to correct his latch even once!  In fact, the nurses and doctor were shocked that Ashton surpassed his birth weight before leaving the hospital.

I was in recovery for the next 2 hours and everything is a little vague at this point.  I think I was still in shock at how fast the morning went.  My water broke at 4:45 and just over two hours later I had abdominal surgery and was nursing the child that grew inside me for 9 plus months.  Very, very surreal.

10 a.m.
Kestan met his baby brother for the first time.  He was a little unsure at first, but quickly warmed up to him with lots of hugs and kisses.  He was especially excited that baby brother brought him "Woody" from Toy Story.  Nana, Baba, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Lindsay came in soon after to meet baby Ashton.

Mom and Kestan
Kestan was intimidated by the hospital bed at first.  Then my sensitive one came into my arms and I know he just wanted to make sure I was ok.

The Four of Us

I spent the next three days resting, crying, and falling in love...  At one point my phone battery died, Chris left to be with Kestan and the CD player didn't work - and these were all great gifts!  For a good part of two days Ashton and I rested quietly together, other than the occasional nurse check-ups.  It offered us wonderful quality time to bond and recover from what felt like a traumatizing beginning. 

Ashton in Hospital
Ashton is a very calm and peaceful baby. I look into his eyes and see an old soul.  He's only 10 days old and has already taught me a great lesson in letting go.  He's living so presently - sleeping, eating, observing, and truly being at peace.  That's it and that's all that really matters.  

I found this quote that I had written a few times in my journal before the birth:

"Birth requires a knowing from the inside, a knowing that you are powerful, and that you are love.  Your voice inside will guide you, and show you that you have the power to bring a new life into this world with love." (I'm not sure where I found this.)

Affirmation Board
So even though I didn't get to experience the natural birth I so wanted, and the fact that my birth was almost the total opposite of "natural," this quote reminds me that I still listened to my voice within.  Had I not honored my intuition at the very beginning of labor, this child could have been born in my bathroom or on the highway and who knows if we would have had complications.  I listened to my inner voice, "Trust, healthy baby, accept..." and it resulted in being fully present for my cesarean birth.

It's hard to not ask questions like, "Was he breech the entire time but we had his position wrong?  Had we known could the outcome have been different?  Could he have been born safely breech and I could have avoided the dreaded c-section? Has our birth become just another c-section statistic?  Do these pain meds go through my breast milk and effect my baby in anyway?  Will I be able to have a VBAC if I choose to have more children?  Why didn't I get to experience the natural birth I felt ready for?  Why did this have to happen after such an easy pregnancy?"  I know I need time to grieve that my ideal birth didn't happen.  I know that I have to let go of these "why" and "would-if" questions to truly accept the outcome and move on.  And I know that I have so much to celebrate and be grateful for.  

I still have some healing to do - both physically and emotionally.  But one thing is for certain - I brought this beautiful being into the world with a whole lotta love.  And I have such an appreciation for LIFE!

I came home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my mother-in-law, a bed made especially for me on our couch from my husband, and a veggie lasagna meal and apple crisp from my mom and sister.  It was a beautiful homecoming and has been a perfect resting spot.

We are healing.  We are healthy.  And we are oh so very happy.

Milk Power
Milk power!

Your Personal Reflection:  Do you have a birth story you'd like to share?  What have you learned from giving birth?  What, in you, is ready to be born?  Are you ready to accept the past and be at peace with the present moment?

*Special thanks to my family and friends for all of your love and support.  Thanks to my doula, Ashley, for making sure Chris had his camera in surgery!  Thanks to my midwife, Jeane, and my nurse, Becky, for taking such great care of me. And thanks to those of you who visit my space here.  I appreciate you all so very much.  xoxo

*Most of these photos were taken by my husband, Chris. 
Thank you, bubs, for EVERY thing.  I love you.


  1. What a great story! I was riveted all the way through. But I have to tell you that I have not met anyone more "accepting" than you are. You may have felt it differently, but from an outside perspective, Honey, you are a CHAMP at opening yourself up to whatever life is ready to hand you. I can remember one of our first discussions, about co-sleeping, and can still quote exactly what you said: "I have embraced having him in the bed with us."

    What you planned? Apparently not. But you were rolling with it. So how could I possibly be surprised at how well you handled Ashton's birth? You rock, Sister.


  2. Shannon, thank you so much for posting your birth story! My labor and delivery with Griffey progressed so smoothly and everything went as I had hoped and prepared for. As I prepare for the birth of little boy #2 in a few months, I have to keep reminding myself that things may not go as smoothly and I may have to call on myself in ways I've never had to before to accept things that may not happen as I hope they will. I will draw strength from your story in those moments! And, WHAT is it with labor and delivery nurses who are insensitive to women in labor??? The nurse I had when I first showed up at the hospital acted like I should be admitted to the MENTAL WARD, not the maternity ward, when I told her I didn't want to use any drugs! The most important part of your story is that your sweet little baby boy is here, he's healthy, and he has the blessings of loving parents and a sweet older brother!


  3. Many congratulations on the safe arrival of your son! I love a good birth story. My second child I stood up to go to the loo - my waters broke, I got my shoes on, called my babysitter, managed it down three flights of stairs with my partner, got driven to the hospital, walked to the maternity unit (upstairs!!!) all the time breathing and having to stop every few steps.

    I lay on the observation table for 25 minutes linked to a monitor before pleading to be allowed to go for a wee. 'Please! I just need to go to the toilet'. I had never needed a wee so badly in all my life. The midwife took one look at me, pulled my tracksuit bottoms of and went 'sssshhhiiitt' - looked me right in the eye and said very sternly 'DO NOT PUSH' ran outside and shouted 'hands!' someone came running in with a wheelchair and I heard her say 'not enough time, the baby is coming!' and Gwyn looked down, looked at me and said 'I can see the head' and I think a few ***VERY INTENSE*** pushes later they handed me George.

    I had not been expecting that!! - he was 10 days early and my last labour had been 7 and a half hours.

    My mantra was 'breathing in golden light: breathing out releasing tension'. I was imagining an inky dark green for some reason. I did a hypnotherapy CD preceding the birth and if I have another baby I will be doing it again. (and walking around with a bucket between my legs for the last month of pregnancy....just in case!)

    Your boys are beautiful. You are a very lucky lady. I hope you heal well xxx

  4. What an amazing story! My tears flowed, as I felt the emotions you shared. I never really wrote birth stories for my kids but now I feel it is a healing way to remember and let go at the same time. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. Rest and enjoy!

  5. Thank you for sharing yours and Ashton's experience! Your honesty and acceptance is inspirational. Congratulations on brining your second beautiful baby boy into our world!


  6. Congrats sweet mama!

    I know it's so hard to lose our ideas of birth. To lose our ideas of anything can be heartbreaking. ((hugs)) to you and to your sweet sweet baby boy. And thank you for sharing your experience and your transition through it.

  7. Wow. What a story! Sorry you didn't get the birth you had hoped for but at least the end result is exactly what you wanted! A beautiful, healthy baby boy!
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. WOW! I know it isn't what you planned, but what an amazing story!

    I'm a childbirth educator, and am often disheartened by c-section stories because I can usually pinpoint what could have possibly been done to prevent it... or certainly things that didn't help. But, listening to your story, it sounds like there wasn't anything anyone could have done differently! He was breech AND had meconium, not a good combo for a "natural" delivery. You're one of those fortunate women who got a c-section that they really and truly needed, and you and your baby are safe because of it! What a miracle!

    I am amazed beyond belief at your positive attitude... what a reminder to me during my current pregnancy to be roll with whatever the universe has in store my new one.

    Congrats again on your beautiful baby!

  9. Your inner life force is a force to be reckoned with. I first fell in love with your insatiable appetite to live life fully. And I am still madly in love with your inner and outer beauty. I am so fortunate to witnessed your deeply rooted understanding of self. Thank you for teaching me that it is OK to go deeper. Thank you for connecting so profoundly to our son Ashton Quinn Duh. He will become the person he will become because of the bond you to share. We all are touched by you.

  10. Congratulations mama. What a beautiful story to share. As I read all I can to prepare for pregnanacy next year (fingers crossed), I will always remember that despite planning, I will need to accept where the birth and my little one take me. Enjoy!

  11. I have tears rolling down my face from reading your story. Every birth story is so amazing to me. To share even when it wasn't your ideal must have required so much courage. Thank you.

    My older child's birth was SO MUCH like your first birth experience, too. I was scared for my second birth, though I read and tried to trust and listen to my midwife tell me the second would not be the same as the first. It wasn't, and I'm grateful for that experience. I always feel a huge swelling of pride when I think about the birth of either of my children, pride in my body and mind and the amazing connection my husband and I had during the labor and delivery process. Now my babes are school-aged and I see sweet newborns like yours and feel wistful. But we are enough just as we are now, our family of 4.

    Bright Blessings on all of you and a continued healing to you, too.

  12. Oh my. I'm speachless. All I can say sweet friend is that I'm sending you love for you and your wonderful family. Love is everything.

    Have a good time with your little ones and take good care of yourself!

    Manon xxxx

  13. Oh, my dear sweet Shannon. I loved reading your thoughts and experience. As someone else said above, I am amazed and proud of your inner and outer beauty. Having written your thoughts will certainly help w/healing, as will holding and loving your beautiful boys. I love you!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing your story Shannon. After a relatively straightforward vaginal birth w/epidural the first time around, I too tried for a more natural birth the second time. Oh how different things turned out! I too had my checklist (and midwife and doula in place) and felt totally prepared, except for the unexpected. Naively, I did not even consider a c-section a possibility having had one successful vaginal birth under my belt. I did not have the very quick labor that you had, which I'm sure is a frightening experience in it's own right, but there were circumstances surrounding my second son's birth that were downright scary. I too ran the gamut of emotions while recovering from my c-section (one poor nurse really received my wrath) and had difficulty reconciling my memories of my two birth experiences. The first memory is filled with feelings of overwhelming joy, the second memory with feelings of overwhelming fear. I feel lucky in that my recovery was pretty quick and I soon got over those feelings, and my bond with my second son is special and unique, and continues to grow each day. I'm so happy you and Ashton are happy and healthy and wishing you the best as you continue to heal and get to know one another. xoxo

  15. Thanks so much for sharing Ashton's birth story. I cried. :*) He is beautiful!

    My son's birth story is amazingly similar except that they were able to get him out with an extractor instead of going through with an emergency c-section. He was born in the ER and my husband was not present because it was considered an emergency.

    I didn't even know he was out at first because I was in Lala Land with my eyes closed and had only been pushing for a few minutes. The clue was that the 1,000 people hovering over me saying, "Push! Push!" suddenly backed away and everything got quiet. I opened my eyes, felt my belly and said, "Is he out?"

    Fortunately, he didn't inhale any meconium and they were able to quickly get the cord off his neck. Within a few minutes, he was cleaned up and in my arms and they let my husband in.

    It wasn't at all what I wanted--I wanted the same thing as you did--but I do have a healthy child and now, 7 years later, none of that seems to matter all that much. It have come to feel that it would have been nice if it had been different (especially the bit about either my husband or me actually witnessing the birth), but ultimately, he arrived safely. The rest is details.

    Take your time to process everything and enjoy your new baby! Congratulations!

  16. shannon my love, congratulations you! you've done so well just to have a happy healthy baby. \i too had to let go of my natural birth wishes when my 2nd took 3 days to come out and by then it included gas and air, epidural and very nearly c section, but not quite. \Everything natural went out the window. It's been quite a trip ever since. \i believe in karmic journeys'

    Stay well and heal, I send love and wishes from across the pond and lots of healing :)


  17. Thanks to each and every one of you for sharing your comments. It really means the world to me - to feel your love and support and to hear your own stories. As mothers and as women we are all connected by that special bond.

    I am doing really well and feel so much better. My little angel is super sweet and a joy to our family. Kestan LOVES being a big brother and gives Ashton hugs and kisses all throughout the day.

    I'm off all pain medication and feeling excited to get out and enjoy this beautiful autumn.

    Happiness to each of you...

  18. Oh sweetie...what a beautiful story! I had all those same questions after both of my ceserean births! 4 years later and I still feel sad some times, but mostly I am glad I had those experiences and know that it happened that way for a reason...even if it's to relate and comfort others. You are an amazing woman with such a wonderful family! I am so happy for you!!

  19. god, this was such a beautiful story...I love your attitude throughout...incredible. So glad I stumbled upon your blog!
    My birth story is hard to tell....nothing horrible, etc. Just not what i had imagined my boy's welcome into the world would be. Not what he deserved. And I can't stand hospitals and all of their miserable staff people.
    It is stories like yours that make me feel...better. thank you.

  20. Shannon--Congratulations! I am so happy for you to have your precious little one, safe and healthy. I had a similar unexpected emergency C-section with my son after lots of "natural" preparations and 30 hours of intense labor, due to his position ("face presentation" the way you can't push out). I am now preparing for my #2, planning for a home birth (we'll see what happens!).

    You are handling this so beautifully, and giving yourself time and space to process. What a great example for all of us.

    Every blessing to you and your family--


  21. Shannon - I can completely relate to your story and thank you for sharing it here!

    I also was *convinced* that I would have a natural birth and refused to even listen or read anything about c-sections or epidurals. I was certain that I would have a beautiful, spiritual all-natural water birth.

    My birth story is too long to relate here - but after 4 days of labor! they finally did a c-section and my baby and I were both fine.

    I was very upset about this for a long, long time - and even remember telling my gynacologist afterwards that - everything that could have gone wrong - did! To which she correctly answered - no it didn't - you and your baby are healthy, and that is most important thing. A hundred years ago, lots of women still died in childbirth.

    So Shannon, I know it is painful, and I know it is not the birth you were hoping for - but you are here and your baby is here - and we are all celebrating with you today! It does get better with time :) Big hugs! xo

  22. So happy for you and your whole family.
    It's great that you trusted a normal hospital birth - that's what the hospitals are for - the point is that you're both healthy and you're healing well. Sure, a natural birth sounds lovely, but modern methods need to step in to save lives....
    That is one adorable first photo of your family of FOUR!
    Big Hugs ;)

  23. That is an amazing story you should be so happy with yourself. I have 3 kids and all the births were different , they one thing I learned was that you have to have trust and let go just like you did , Enjoy your beautiful family.

  24. What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. It seems you did not find the quote; the quote found you.

    Ashton is beautiful. The four of you are beautiful together.

    Love. xoxoxo

  25. What an incredible birth story! I love Kestan pointing out the train to you. Hee hee. I love your attitude, your approach to life, how you adjusted your expectations and desires. I too wanted a natural birth. With my first, I had an acute preeclampsia on-set after a healthy pregnancy (emergency c-section); the second I had twins. The doc said I could have had a VBAC if there had been one baby, but she didn't want to risk it. Ironically the twins were both head down. My first had been head down but then he breeched himself sideways. For my third baby, a c-section because she was big and the twin pregnancy (and 2nd section) had done a number on the old uterine wall. So there you have it, four babies, three c-sections. I have always felt a little different because of the sections, but you know what the babies got here the way they needed to get here, and everything is fine.
    I am so grateful for your sharing. Women (and men) need to hear these stories. You bring so much light to the world. Thank you for providing this beautiful space and for being you. Much love to you and your beautiful family, Angela

  26. my heart is so full. thanks to each of you. xoxo

  27. shannon - you are both (all) so beautiful. all of your important preparation was never wasted. you experienced it all and more. much love to your family. xo

  28. I've been wanting to comment here for DAYS but your story made me think back to when Isaak was born almost two years ago, and I'm so - filled with emotion! I'm in awe of how you were able to put this all down in words - it's a beautiful story because it ended with your baby boy safely in your arms, and it reinforces the lesson that we can't plan and control all the life forces at work...

    I have to this day not written down my story of giving birth in much detail, because I haven't been able to. I've completely come to terms with my c-section, and wear the scar as a badge of sorts, but the thought that I could have lost Isaak before or during birth is still painful!

    I had a routine check-up at the midwife's office at 40 weeks, 6 days, totally prepared for home-birthing which is pretty much standard practise here, when the baby's heart rate dropped. In a split second, she could have missed that - if she'd stopped listening a split second sooner - because she was just telling me everything sounded great.
    Within 5 hours from leaving home for the check-up, I'd had an emergency c-section in a far-away hospital because our local hospital was closed. They told me Isaak had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice, and there was meconium too, so the chances of him surviving home-birth would have been slim - if he wouldn't have died in the womb before that...

    It was a shocking experience, and I still don't really think I've 'given birth', but I DO have a thriving & beautiful almost-2-yr old boy who is an amazing gift! He had to be here, I really feel that.

    Thanks for sharing your powerful story and creating this space - I'm very grateful you helped me relive my experience... (sorry for taking up so much space!!)

    You are a beautiful family, and Ashton is lucky to be a part of that - no matter how he came into this world! In the end, that doesn't really matter - all that matters is, he's here! xox!

  29. i keep going over this timetable and all you experienced in such a short time. that in itself is amazing! it's wonderful that you kept your mind open to the ever shifting scenario (NOT easy to do when you're in strong pain) and just rolled with it. (i'm not one for rolling with it when i'm in pain, so i'm in deep awe of you there.) it might have not gone the way you imagined, but you rebounded gracefully and look what a cute little button you have on your hands. congrats to all of you!

  30. you really give a gift in sharing and opening yourself up this way, and i am amazed by your positive attitude. how incredible that you were able to echo your trust throughout unexpected circumstances, and come to a place of acceptance even as it was happening. wishing you well as you continue to process and recover. i really love the artwork you created too - the trust/dahlia piece is so beautiful. congratulations again!

  31. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful child and thank you for sharing your story.
    Your feelings are common with anyone who has experienced a birth that hasn't gone according to their intentions.
    You have a lovely way with words which make this story easy reading.

    Giving birth is a huge experience no matter what the conditions and it's the end result of a healthy child and mother that we all want... and you have achieved that.

    Even women who give birth naturally still come away with mixed feelings about the experience.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

    best wishes to you and your family

    PS.. the photos are wonderful :)

  32. Firstly a slightly belated (sorry about that) CONGRATULATIONS to you & your family. And a huge WELCOME to the world to absolutely gorgeous Ashton.

    Your birth story had me gripped & I found myself tearful by your honest moving account. From personal experience I can also relate to your birth story not being the one you planned as due to health reasons my son's birth & early months were not what I'd planned - but I too learned the art of acceptance & gratitude for what is. By things being different I experienced wonderful moments & people that I wouldn't have otherwise.

    You are an inspiration to others. Thank you for sharing your birth story. I am so happy for you all. Well done you, you should be proud. Take care of you. Hugs. Kat Xx

  33. WoW! You are amazing! Super Congrats! Beautiful family :)

  34. Congrats on the new little guy. He is beautiful. It sounds like you had an exciting day.

    What a wonderful recollection to share when Ashton gets of age.

  35. Hi Shannon - I read your story several days ago but finally have two hands to type with so I'm just now getting to say hello. I really appreciate your raw honesty in this post and applaud your willingness to release your "picture" of what birth should be in order to ensure a safe delivery for your son. Congratulations, mama.

  36. shannon,

    your story brought me to tears, especially chris' sweet words. you are a beautiful, amazingly strong mother and i am so happy for you that your baby is here, safe and wrapped in love. enjoy every moment with him on this sweet babymoon.


  37. Wow! I love your bith story. How clever you are and how lucky are we to live in a time when we have options during birthing. As much as we all want a natural labour and we do all that we can, it is nature that makes the final decision. You have another beautiful healthy little boy - you are truly blessed. hxxx


Thanks for sharing!