Mom gives a thumbs up while waiting for labor to kick up more. This picture was taken about 2 hours before birth.
Mom relaxes in the tub with two of her doulas.
A cool towel feels good to wipe her brow while her husband watches.
The first internal exam...mom is scared at this point. She says over and over that she's afraid that the contractions aren't doing anything, they are 'sharp' but "not that bad". The midwife checks her and says she's 4-5cm dilated, 90% effaced, baby "right there" at +2 station. Mom is THRILLED and says, "I can do this!". This is at 11:43am and the dad leaves to gather the children who are at school so that they can bear witness to the birth of their sister.
Mom relaxes as she breathes through the next contraction after the internal.
Within 10 minutes of being checked, mom is fighting with a very strong urge to push..and is told to BREATHE! Dad and the children aren't back...and mom fights through the urge to push with the help of her doulas while phone calls are made to dad's cell phone to HURRY UP!
23 minutes after leaving, dad arrives with the older siblings just in time for mom to reach her hand down to her bottom and yell, "She's coming! She's coming!" She feels a crowning baby's head - this is at 12:06pm.
Dad reaches in and supports mom's bottom as she births the head. Mom focuses on dad while he says to her, "You are fine..you're almost done.."
The baby's head is out, and dad checks for a cord around the neck. There isn't one...and mom pushes again for the last time.
The baby's body slips out under the water into dad's hands - with mom's hands not far behind. A beautiful baby girl is lifted out of the water and into mom's arms at 12:12pm.
Mom cradles her new baby and says, "My baby! Mommy loves you....I love you...my baby....".
Dad laughs as mom says, "That was FAST!" Big sister and grandma are all smiles as they look at the new baby.
Big brother and sister as well as both grandmas are thrilled.
Mom and dad clamp the baby's umbilical cord so that mom can hand the baby to dad and get cleaned up and out of the tub.
Big sister (with dad's help) cuts her little sister's cord.
Mom hands the baby to dad's waiting hands. Baby's back is covered in thick vernix.
Placenta birthed and back into the bed, baby gets her first meal as a hat is put on her head.
Little baby Megan Elizabeth, just an hour after birth.
Mom helps big sister hold the baby for the first time.
The girls of the family have a bonding moment.
Later that same day, and baby is nursing well and big sister couldn't be happier.
Megan Elizabeth...2 days old.