Family Centered Home Birth | Alma Helen’s Birth Story | St. Louis Birth Photographer

*Uncensored real birth images ahead. Images were posted with permission.

I heard the loud ding of my phone. I opened my eyes and saw by the light coming through the windows that it was early morning. My heart always skips a beat when I hear my phone go off if I’m on call for a mama due soon. The anticipation grows which each passing day. I had a feeling it was her and sure enough when I looked at my phone, Michelle had texted me saying that “Today is definitely a possibility.” 

Yes! It was baby day! I immediately started getting childcare lined up for the day, hopped in the shower, and quickly got all my things ready. We decided it was probably best for Josh (my husband) to stay home with the kids because I need to head over to Michelle’s home sooner rather than later. This was her 5th baby, with her last birth only lasting 6 hours from start to finish. WITH TWINS. I knew I didn’t want to risk running late and missing the birth. 

I arrived around 7:45am and could immediately tell Michelle was well into active labor. Her husband Brad, supported her through each contraction while her other children curiously watched their mama work to bring baby down. 

Worship music filled the entire room with words of truth and comfort. 

Soon her midwives, Allison & Andi, showed up. With their arrival, a calming energy entered the room. They gently reassured Michelle as to what a great job she was doing. Their soothing voices helped calm her down and helped her slow her breathing. It was just what she needed to continue to relax during contractions and continue to progress. 

Within the next hour labor really started to pick up and Michelle was entering transition, the most intense part of labor. She was having a hard time finding a comfortable position in the tub. 

The midwives realized that the birth pool Michelle was laboring in would be too cool for baby’s arrival so they helped maneuver Michelle to the floor next to the tub where Michelle would have her baby not 40 minutes later. 

She listened to what her body needed and moved into many positions to open her hips and let baby descend in the birth canal: hands and knees, right leg propped up, left leg propped up, squatting, standing, leaning on her husband, back to hands and knees, leaning against a birth ball, standing, squatting, water breaking, meconium stained, again hands and knees, heart tones dipping, left side lying, baby’s heart rate normal, pushing, moaning, sounds that fill the room telling of baby’s imminent arrival.

Soon we could see a head of hair start to emerge and you could feel the excitement. Finally, with one last push, sweet Alma Helen arrived. Shouts were made, tears were cried, but mostly JOY took over. The next several hours were filled with many hugs, kisses and snuggles. 

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Gretchen Day Photography

St. Louis maternity, birth, fresh 48, newborn, & family photographer