Welcome to the world Baby Charlotte!

 nurse checking on mother; feeling baby's position

I first met this momma because I announced a model call, ran a facebook ad, and she was one of the respondents. She and her husband already had a beautiful, vivacious young boy, and their family was about to grow, as “#2” was due at the end of July. #2 is how they referred to the baby because they wanted the gender to be a surprise at birth. Mom and I chatted by Facebook messenger a few times, set up an appointment to meet in person and go over all the details for her birth plan and how she envisioned #2’s story to unfold. Momma and I kept in touch every couple of weeks, as the due date for #2 got closer.

 dad fidgeting as time is passing and mom is laboring

3:07 AM July 24th: Momma reached out to let me know her water broke and that we were getting closer to go time. This amazing, determined momma just knew that #2’s birth story was destined to be a VBAC. She had previously changed providers to specifically find one that was not going to push her to a c-section, and she found one that literally has one of the highest VBAC success rates in the country! She felt so good with her decision, and she should have! Momma and I are messaging back and forth checking in with each other all day, and her labor is progressing, but by 2:06 pm that day, she was still not dilated. Yet she persisted. Her amazing husband and mother were there with her every step of the way, supporting her. Her OB trusted that she knew her body, and let her work through her labor at #2’s pace.

At 6:36 PM, she messages me: “Come!” My bags were already packed and sitting next to the front door, so I run into the other room, kiss my husband goodbye, and run out the door. Momma, her husband, and her mother are all just having a great time in the L&D room while waiting for #2 to do things in her own time. The midwife comes in and performs another check on Momma and declares that she is only dilated 2 cm, baby hasn’t fully turned yet, and that her best guess is no baby tonight. Momma tells her mom and me to go home and get some rest, and that she or her husband will keep us updated as #2 progresses. I am sure Momma didn’t sleep much that night; I know I didn’t!

 mom laying in hospital bed, removing contact lenses while her husband holds the contact lens case for her.

10:24 AM July 25th: Momma texts me that she just had her first check since the overnight, and she has progressed to 3cm, and that they just started pitocin to get her to 6 cm because #2 has still not turned and they want momma to be a 6cm before turning #2.

By 1:47 PM, Momma has hit 4 cm, and though tired, she is still focused on her goal: #2 will be a VBAC!

At 4:10 PM, Momma said they are giving her 1 more hour before they will be considering a c-section. At this point, this brave, strong momma had her water break 37 hours earlier and has been laboring to bring #2 earthside.

At 5:21 PM I get another beautiful update from momma; she has hit 7cm AND they have flipped #2! The peanut ball and pitocin drip were helping!

At 7:03 PM Momma messages me and says, “Come on!” so, I grab my bags, run to kiss my husband goodbye and out the door I go, excited to meet #2!

 mom and dad smiling at each other while they joke around inbetween contractions

I get to the hospital about 15 minutes later and the Midwife is in the room, Mom is back, and the husband is there, OAR is blasting, and everyone is laughing having a great time! You would never guess that this Momma had been laboring for over 40 hours at this point! I hadn’t met this midwife the previous night, so I introduce myself, and the Midwife says, “oh good! we were waiting to push until you got here!”

And guys, I am not kidding, I barely got my camera fully out of the bag before Momma started pushing!

The energy in the room was this beautiful combination of excitement, confidence, and determination, and It. Was. Magical!

 mom has the best support system in her husband and in grandma.

Momma made sure to dig deep and really maximize each contraction to help bring #2 into this world! She was surrounded by so much love, positivity, and encouragement from her mother, her husband, her midwife, and her nurse! Everyone was on team VBAC making sure Momma knew what an amazing goal she was working towards and how well she was doing in making progress!

They had set up a large mirror so that Momma wouldn’t miss a moment of her own progress, and the Midwife made sure to point out to Momma the very beginning of crowning so that she could see the results of all of her work and determination!

 mom's reaction to seeing her baby's headafter pushing it out

8:36 PM July 25th: #2 fully makes an appearance earthside and in that moment, there was not a dry eye in the room. #2 is passed up to Momma, laid on her chest, and covered with a blanket while Momma and #2 begin a lifetime of bonding.

Seeing how hard Momma worked, knowing how important this was to her, and knowing how much her provider supported and trusted her; it was all overwhelming but in such a good way!

But wait!!

Is #2 a boy or a girl?!?

They have a beautiful toddler boy at home, if you remember. Does he have a brother, or a sister?

 mom crying "i am so happy" with her newborn daughter on her chest while dad looks down at her from beside the bed.

After several minutes of bonding and Momma repeatedly exclaiming “I’m so happy!” while smiling and crying, it hits all of us in the room; is #2 a boy or a girl?

IT’S A GIRL!!

 Mom and Dad smiling with a "we did it" emotion.  Dad looking at his new daughter and Mom is looking at Dad.

Beautiful, strong Charlotte is here! Momma and her husband are just in awe, and grandma is so excited, she can’t keep the news to herself!

 dad feeding mom pizza after nearly 40 hours of laboring

I have so much admiration for this Momma; she knew what she wanted and she fought through everything to make that happen. I have so much respect for her provider who put their trust in Momma that she knew her body and that she WAS capable of achieving the VBAC she dreamed of almost 42 hours after her water broke.

I say it to each Momma that I get to work with, and it’s because I believe it to be true. Being invited into someone’s birth space is such a privilege and an honor! Being able to witness Charlotte’s birth was also inspiring; a memory I know I will carry with me forever, and I know Momma will too!

 newborn being weighed

Welcome to the world, Charlotte.

May you go forth and continue to do things in your own time; bringing joy, love and inspiration to everyone that you meet throughout your life. <3