I was very excited for this birth for many reasons and let me tell you it could not have been any more amazing than it was. I first met Jenni a couple months ago to see if we were a good match. I was crossing my fingers so hard because I loved everything she had to say, I adored the support between her husband and her and I could relate to her in a few areas of pregnancy and labor. I was so happy she liked me as much as I liked her! 😉 All of Jenni’s other baby’s came before their due date but this time she went two days past her due date. Over the past month her husband Brian had kept me informed anytime she had contractions, which would come for a day or night here and there and then stop. I was optimistic that when it finally was time it would go fast and very well since her body had been preparing so well overtime. On Monday April 24th at 10:29 am he texted “Contractions again, for what it’s worth she thinks this is it”. I responded “Sounds good, If it is, it is, and if it’s not, it will be soon” (I would later learn that she went to her other kids’ school event at this point- yes, she is amazing) At 2:23pm he said “Seems legit, still at it and picking up intensity. Our kids are off, we will let you know when ready” and at 2:50pm they told me to come over. I arrived at 3pm. (Added bonus that I live 5 minutes from them!) When I arrived Jenni was laboring on a ball and contractions were lasting 30 seconds. We all giggled as she explained that her contractions were “Bitchy” but they weren’t lasting long enough, so she decided to go for a walk outside. The weather was amazing, the sun was out, flowers had bloomed, skies were blue and it was the perfect temperature. They began their walk at 3:26pm laughing and chatting and stopping for contractions. At 3:35pm I smiled and told them how adorable they were walking in the street, and they laughed, Jenni responded, “can’t be more in love than this!” (Little did we know that an hour later (one minute shy of an exact hour) baby would arrive.) By the time we got back to the house contractions had increased in length, about 50 seconds. Jenni continued to labor outside for about 15 minutes before needing to go in and use the bathroom. They came in at 4pm and then contractions started coming back to back. At 4:12 her midwife mentioned thinking about getting in the birth pool. Jenni and Brian got in the pool at 4:22. Jenni was so amazing at moving and breathing the way she needed to send energy to her body and baby and Brian was there supporting her however she needed. Her midwife, Heather, reminded her of how close she was to meeting her baby. When Jenni reached to feel her baby nearing we discovered baby was still en caul (the amniotic sac still intact) many people consider this an omen of good luck. At 4:34pm just as big sister was walking up the driveway to come home baby was born. Jenni held her baby repeating, “Good job baby!” which was so sweet because she was not even thinking about what a great job she just did. Baby was covered in vernix, had a full head of hair, and like so many home birth and water birth babies, was so calm. Big sister was excited to learn she had a sister (she has two brothers already) and a little sad she just missed it but was eager to get in the pool with everyone. As she changed into her swimsuit Jenni and Brian exchanged thank you’s to each other and went back and forth about how amazing the other one was. This was one of my favorite parts of the day. After a while big sister cut the cord, and they all relaxed together and eventually did the newborn exam. Mabel was just perfect at 21″ inches long and 8lb 13oz. The other thing that made this home birth extra special is that just 3 hours after Mabel had come into the world she was surrounded by family being baptized. Her oldest brother played the organ as family sang. After the baptism they celebrated with a cheers and gifts including a welcome card big brother made that he had everyone sign. As family continued to visit I left to go put my kids in bed and then came back an hour later for Jenni and Mabel’s herbal birth. The perfect ending to the day before they went to sleep in their own bed. (Which is one of the best parts of home births if you ask me, going to sleep in your own bed at night!)
A huge congrats to Jenni, Brian, their children, and family. Thank you so so very much for giving me the honor of capturing this birth. Jenni, you are a birth warrior my friend. Brian was right, you are really good at this. <3
You can contact Jenni’s midwife at: https://www.birthbeautifuldetroit.com/ Heather, it was wonderful working with you!