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Old 11-18-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

Day 1
My contractions started around 7pm on Friday. I thought I might actually get my 11/11/11 baby like I was hoping for! They were definitely real contractions and a whole lot stronger than the Braxton hicks I had been having for weeks. I decided to start timing them so that I could let my photographer know when it was time to come over. She had a 30 minute drive and had to arrange for childcare. As soon as they were 3-5 minutes apart I decided to tell her she could come over. The contractions were uncomfortable but not unbearable. Exactly how they were with Jameson’s birth. The contractions never got out of control with him, never too painful, making me question if I was really in labor the entire time. So I thought maybe this time was the same? Our photographer got here around midnight and the contractions were now 1 to 3 minutes apart. I kept waiting for things to progress or me to start feeling pushy but it wasn’t happening. By 3 am I was exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open. I decided it was not going to happen for a while and told our photographer she could go home and get some rest and I would all her when I was SURE it was time. She was nervous about leaving and possibly missing the birth but I just knew it wasn’t happening. My body was just too tired to let me progress. I decided to go to bed and try and get some rest. The contractions spaced out to 10 minutes apart but continued the entire night. They were still strong, causing me to have to go to bathroom with every one. I was hoping to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed but this was not the case.
Day 2
My mom came over early in the morning to take the kids to her house anticipating that I would be having the baby early that day. As soon as I was out of bed the contractions picked right back up to 5 minutes apart. I was still so tired and tried to rest throughout the day. Travis and I went for a walk around the river hoping to help things along but no luck. We decided to go to my parent’s house for dinner to see the kids as I was missing them. Contractions started to get stronger during dinner and it was becoming hard for me to just sit there and not concentrate through them so I told Travis we needed to head home. When we got home I started to get weepy. I was starting to question my body and my ability to do this. I was so exhausted and didn’t know how much more I could take. Travis and I had been planning an unassisted birth the entire pregnancy but decided not to share this information with anyone until after the fact. Our trusted midwife lives close by and was in contact with us and available to us in the event that we decided we needed her. She came over around 8 to check in on me. She wanted to be sure there weren’t any underlying issues not allowing labor to progress. She checked my blood pressure, perfect. Baby’s heartbeat, perfect. Baby’s position, perfect. I was also 5-6m and 100% effaced. The water bag was bulging and she suspected it would end up breaking on its own within the next day. So the contractions were doing something! She said that my body was probably just too tired to let me progress. She suggested taking a unisom and some magnesium to slow down the contractions and allow me to get some rest. I agreed that this was the best choice. We decided that she would come back in the morning and break my water if things were still favorable and I was still contracting. Contractions spaced out to 30 minutes apart and allowed me to get a much better night’s sleep than the previous few nights.
Day 3
I slept until around 8 and woke up in much better spirits. I felt refreshed and knew I could do this! I called my midwife and we planned for her to come over around 10:30. She checked me again and I was still about the same but a lot mushier and the baby head was tucked and ready to go! Around 11:15 she easily broke my water. The fluid was clear and everything looked good. I contacted my photographer to let her know and told her that I would let her know when it was time to come. The contractions started to pick up a little after noon and I could tell things were going fast. I told the photographer to head over. Travis and I set up the pool and got everything ready. I’m not sure what time the photographer showed up as I was already in the pool and in the zone. I kept going back and forth between the pool and the bathroom. It felt so good to sit on the toilet. With the last contraction on the toilet I started feeling pushy and Travis calmly said “Please don’t deliver the baby in the toilet” after the contraction was over I waddled back to the pool and got in. I was finding it hard to believe that I was already starting to feel pushy because the contractions were not one on top of another like I had experienced in my previous labors. It was so nice though. I was able to feel really in control and was able to stay on top of the pain. I probably pushed for about 15-20 minutes (my shortest pushing time by a long shot!) I kept my hand on her head the whole time. It was a little frustrating in the beginning to feel her descend during a contraction and then slide back up a little when it was over. I kept trying to feel for hair and couldn’t tell if she was bald or not. I started to feel the need to push harder. I found myself talking to her “come on baby, come out” I felt my pelvic bones pop open and she slid down. I had never felt that before and it was such a weird sensation! I was so happy to feel that though because I knew it meant she was not going back up again! With the next contraction her head was out! Travis exclaimed “You’re almost done! It’s almost over!” One more push and she slid to into my arms. Hadley wren was born at 2:18pm on Sunday November 13 at exactly 38 weeks. I pulled her up to my chest. She was covered in a thick oat of vernix but was still so beautiful. She was so calm and peaceful and just lay on my chest and stared up at me. She never let out a loud cry or made too much noise. She was just so relaxed. I delivered the placenta before her cord stopped pulsing, so we waited a while longer for her cord to stop pulsing and we cut her cord. I got out of the pool and hopped into the shower to rinse off really quick. When I got out she was hungry and ready to nurse. She latched on immediately and nursed like a pro. My parents brought the kids over to meet their new baby sister a couple of hours after she was born. It was so sweet to see their reactions. They were so excited the baby was finally here!
It’s hard to believe it was a week ago today that this whole process began and even though it was the most intense and emotionally trying thing I have ever gone through, as I sit here cuddling my sweet baby girl I wouldn’t change a thing.

some of her birth pictures

slideshow of her birth


Ashley Happily married to my high school sweetheart SAHM to Malayna 1.18.07 Myleigh 5.1.08 Jameson 12.27.09 (our first homebirth) Hadley 11.13.11 (planned unassisted)

Last edited by malaynasmommy; 01-07-2012 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

Great story! Thanks for sharing, mama
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

Very beautiful story. Thank-you for sharing
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

Beautiful! I love the pictures... especially the one with both of you texting while you're still in the tub

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Old 11-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

I wish I could see the pics! congrats again
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

Happiness comes from within
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:14 PM   #7
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Awe, she's so sweet!!
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:03 AM   #8
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

I was wondering if you had posted this somewhere. Thank you for sharing, Ashley! It is a beautiful story =)
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

awesome! i hope to UC next time
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: The unassisted birth of Hadley Wren

Wow! Beautiful story! Congratulations!
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