For her 5th child, mom has chosen to have a homebirth with her husband, midwife, midwife's assistant, and sister (who is a certified doula) in attendance. Pictures of the placenta being delivered are included, as well as a .mpg of the actual moment of birth.

Just hours before mom will go into labor, her youngest points to her very pregnant belly to tell where his baby brother is. Little does he know that by this time tomorrow, he will no longer be "the baby of the family".

Mom labors quietly in her bathtub with her favorite music, Eagles, playing on the stereo and the lights turned down.

Dad tries to offer mom comfort.

A few minutes later, the midwife arrives. She immediately checks on the baby's heart tones. Everything sounds good!

Even though the baby is anterior, mom is having some back labor. Dad tries to give counter pressure to mom's back.

The first vaginal exam, only 32 minutes after midwife arrives, shows mom to be at 7 centemeters.

Doula tries to show dad how to provide counter pressure to the back to try to relieve some of the pain that mom is feeling.

Mom gets onto her knees and does a kneeling squat on the bed. Labor is very intense at this point.

Doula provides counter pressure so that dad can be "up" with mom.

Another vaginal exam shows that mom is still at 7 cm. Midwife suggest maybe breaking mom's water. Mom says says he doesn't think it's a good idea. They decide to wait a little while longer to see if any progression can be made on its own.

10 minutes later and still at 7cm, they agree to have their membranes ruptured. Here the midwife inserts the amniohook and ruptures mom's membranes.

Mom moves to the floor to try to cope with the intense contractions. Mom is very tired now.

Mom decides to try the tub, but doesn't feel comfortable delivering in the water so she soon gets out.

Mom returns to the bed and gets on her hands and knees. A flashlight is being held so that the midwife can see better. The head can be seen in this photo right at the tip of the midwife's fingers.

In one contraction, mom gives it all she's got. The baby's head goes from only being seen when the labia is being held open, to completely out. Here the baby's head is about half-way out.

And the head is out!

The midwife checks to see if there is a cord aroung the baby's neck. There isn't one.

The baby is suctioned while dad peers around mom for his first glimpse of his new baby.

Here come the shoulders!

Shoulders are free...

...and here is the baby!!
View this birth as an .MPG! 1 MEG (1000K)

A new life, still with liberal vernex covering him, enters the world.

"It's a boy!" announces dad. The baby is suctioned again before meeting his mom for the first time.

Mom rolls over and is handed her baby.

Dad is elated, and mom is overwhelmed as she cradles her son.

Dad cuts the cord.

The midwife gently applies tension to the cord to help pull the placenta out.

The placenta is free and begins to come....

...a healthy placenta... birthed.
View the placenta being birthed in an .MPG! 409K

The midwife checks for tearing...she finds a tiny "skid mark" that can be seen right on the perineum at the tip of her right finger. Nothing to worry about..and it doesn't bother mom after the next few hours.

Mom calls her mother to let her know that the newest grandbaby has been born.

The big sisters (ages 4 and 3) are woken up by daddy to let them know that the baby has been born.

They aren't too sleepy to go into the bedroom and meet their baby brother!

Baby has his first meal.

The 2 year old, used to being "the baby of the family", meets his little brother for the first time.

The baby's head is measured.

And it's length is taken....19 inches.

Finally, the baby is weighed. 7 pounds 9 ounces! Terrific!

With her oldest child at his father's, the rest of the family gathers with a chocolate cake to celebrate the baby's first (and only true) birthday. The big brother of the family (12 years old) will meet his brother when he is 2 days old.

What a beautiful baby boy he is!! And what a blessing...