The Birth Story of Violet June Miller

Pregnancy, for me, was a beautiful experience. I LOVED being pregnant, and with my first child, I anticipated a birth that would be just as beautiful as the months leading up to it. Of course pregnancy did come without some days of nausea and vomiting, but I considered it to be a blessing after having no symptoms with my very first pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage. However, my first birth experience was completely opposite of everything I had planned for myself and my baby. I wanted to have my baby at home and ended up in the hospital with an epidural and pitocin. I should note that I am extremely grateful that I did NOT end up with a cesarean section and was able to still deliver my precious baby girl vaginally. This was an incredible blessing. I found strength in myself that I didn’t know existed for such a long and stressful labor. Enter now into the realm of my next pregnancy and anticipation of our newest addition to the family.

The months leading up to this birth were just a beautiful. However, this time, I told myself I had no expectations with this birth. I wanted to let go of everything and let my body and my baby work together without my control. I think I had too many expectations for myself the first time, and being a chiropractor, I was supposed to have a natural birth. The days leading up to the birth flew by. I completely expected this baby to be two weeks late like my first daughter but at 39.3 weeks, I was suddenly in labor!

I had several months of Braxton Hicks contractions at various times of the day, but that Friday, I had about 5 hours of contractions about 5-6 minutes apart. I had lost my part of my mucous plug the previous night and had no expectation of labor any time in the new future. I put my mom on standby, as she was three and half hours away in my hometown in Indiana, and we had planned for her to come up and take care of Fiona. I drank some tea and rested on the couch and went to bed with ease and no progression of labor. Saturday afternoon, my mom surprised me and drove up for the weekend because she had a “feeling” and wanted to be close just in case. I think this was a big stress reliever since I didn’t want to have to call her at 2am one morning to have her drive up here on very little sleep. We went out to dinner that night and enjoyed a movie on the couch with my mom and my husband. About 10:30pm that night I felt a “pop” inside my stomach and was immediately attentive to my belly because I was clueless as to what had happened. It felt like someone had just popped a balloon inside my belly. Duh! I thought, maybe it was my water! Nothing was evident until I stood up off the couch and small gushes started to leak out. This was different for me from my first because my water did not release until about 18 hours into my first labor! I wasn’t having any significant contractions, just the Braxton Hicks again about 5-6 minutes apart like the previous night.

I went to the bathroom to check things out, and mostly to be sure I didn’t just pee my pants! However, I was pleasantly surprised and officially called Jen to let her know that status of my pregnancy. I told her I was not having anything significant happen, and I was going to try to get some sleep. I laid down about 11:00pm and by 11:30pm I could tell some things were happening! This baby was on its way and way before I was expecting the arrival! I was so excited! I knew there would be something so different and so beautiful about this birth. My body was so happy to be able try this adventure again and my heart was bursting with pride!

I decided to get out of bed about 12:30am, as the contractions were strong enough that I couldn’t sleep. I grabbed my phone to listen to music and sat on the exercise ball with my ear buds and just enjoyed the moment. This baby was going to be born very soon, and I wanted to soak up the last bit of pregnancy that I could. Nine months had gone by so quickly, and at times seemed to drag on, but I know that each one is precious. It was so amazing, so still, so quiet in my house. Nothing but myself, this baby, and some instrumental music to help us share this beautiful dance we were about to have. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and I really expected to have another long, drawn out labor. I reminded myself to let go and let my body take control. I was hoping I didn’t stand in my own way for this birth.

My husband checked on me frequently as I sat in the stillness of the dark house. I knew he probably wouldn’t sleep much either, but I didn’t want him to worry. I think with Fiona’s birth, it aged him about 10 years! Around 2am, he was up with me, and I decided I wanted to set up the birth tub. My mom was also up then, and I was able to help her make the bed. I was still breathing well through each contraction, and I could still talk through them so I knew I was just biding my time up the magic began. It was only about a half hour later that things started to pick up. The contractions demanded ALL of my attention and it was time for me to keep moving around the house. I started to have lots of back labor, so I was trying to get the baby shifted around with each of my movements. I had Curt call Jen and get the ball rolling with all our amazing midwives! Labor was in full swing, and I wasn’t sure how quickly things would progress.

I labored over the ball for about an hour, some hands and knees, but strangely enough, I loved hanging all my weight from the kitchen sink down to the floor. I knew I needed to work with my body, and with each breath I wanted to make sure I was providing optimal space downward with gravity! I focused on my breathing and envisioned the muscles of the uterus contracting down. I did A LOT of belly breathing and pushed out my abdomen with each phase of my contractions. I’m not sure exactly what time I decided to get into the birth tub, but man did it feel like serenity! I LOVED it! It immediately took away the stress and pressure on my lower half. Don’t get me wrong, the pain is not eliminated, but it was exactly what my body needed to help this baby move around into a better position. I continued to labor in the tub for another couple hours. I think around 5am I started to feel an intense pressure in my lower pelvic area. My hips were killing me and I decided to reach down and I could feel my baby’s head! My fingers fit into my cervix all the way up to my palm, and this gave me a burst of excitement and adrenaline! I was going to have this baby in my house! I was going to do it, and it was going to be perfect!

Reality smacked me in the face a little, as I asked Jen to check me. I was dilated to about an 8 or 9, but I had this lovely thing called an anterior cervical lip. Boo. I didn’t let it beat my spirit, so I told myself, it was fine and my body knew what it needed to do. The next hour dragged on and my contractions were becoming so close together. I couldn’t shake the pressure in my hips and the pain of each contraction. I wanted to breath this baby down, but the process was becoming more difficult. Jen checked my cervical lip again, but it hadn’t thinned much over the last hour. She asked me if I wanted to try and push my baby past the lip while she held it up. At first, it felt amazing and exactly what my body needed. As the baby moved down, however, it hurt like hell. Skin tearing, blood throbbing, and pain of pushing this baby down with each contraction was just awful! I thought my body would surely split in half! I needed a break and I wanted out of the tub. Also, every half hour or so, my husband had been checking my sacrum. It felt better and eased the pressure if he was hold up on my sacral notch on the right. This just helps to lift the sacrum at the base by the lower back and move out of the way for baby. However, I had reached a point where I was ready to be done. Ready to end this labor and concede that I couldn’t do it any longer. My body was spent and my energy was wiped. I needed to be up and moving around to regain some focus. I went to the toilet and believe it or not it felt amazing! This not only held up my sacrum, but I started to feel the urge to push! Yay! I was so happy and I knew it wouldn’t be long until I would be kissing all over my new baby! My emotions were all over the place and it took every ounce of my being to bring my focus back and finish this race, or marathon. Ha! I moved to the bed and more cervical lip holding! Ah! I was so ready to be past this. I moved back to the toilet and my mom was holding me up and holding my hand. It was such a special moment. I cry tears now just thinking about it all. Those moments of pure joy mixed in with moments of intense pain. It was just so soul fulfilling.

My daughter was awake about this time and my mom left to bring her into to see me. She always cries for mom when she first wakes up. I was so worried that she would be frightened, but she just watched in awe. It was as if she knew something special was happening and she sat very still and silent for quite some time. She didn’t worry at the sight of me in pain like she did before. As I moved from the toilet back to the tub and daddy held my hands, she reached her little hand over and said, “Good job, mommy. You are doing great!” So sweet and so tender. I let a few tears roll from my eyes then, and I felt so proud that she could see the beauty that is this process and know that everything was going to be wonderful.

Que more cervical lip holding and more pain, but I finally pushed my baby past the opening and now the final phase was taking over! As I sat in the tub, I was trying to find some stability on the walls of the tub, but I was too short. I had nothing to push off of from behind me as I semi-sat in the birth tub. My amazing midwives told my husband it’s time for you to jump in! He hopped right in behind me, no questions asked, and it was exactly what I needed! His presence was perfect and I pushed all my weight into him. He held me so tight and gave me so much encouragement! His strength and support were the perfect combination. I knew this moment was so special, and I was so grateful that any moment we would be meeting out precious little baby! The head was just touching the water and it was time to blow all the air out! No pushing and lots of pressure! I could feel my baby slowly moving through, but the pain almost seemed not existent. I was so happy in my moment with my body, my baby, my husband, my family, and my birth team. It is so hard to describe truly what was happening. It almost feels like an out of body experience. I knew it was painful, but I didn’t seem to care. I definitely felt the stretch and burn as the head just started to emerge and there was hair! Dark hair just like daddy when he was born. My first baby had no hair! Patrice asked me if I wanted to look and at first I didn’t, but when I saw the top of the head I was so happy! This was it! It didn’t take much time at all before the baby was out and we found out SHE WAS A GIRL! Violet June Miller was finally here! I can hardly type these words without tears in my eyes. It was the most perfect moment, and I did it! I was feeling so high and there was so much bliss. She came out a little floppy, but I knew she was well. She just needed that moment with mommy, right on my chest. She didn’t cry much, but once I heard her voice, all seemed right in the world. Here was my brand new baby, my husband cradling the two of us, with my other daughter looking on with amazement that there was this brand new little baby in the room with us. I felt so blessed! There was nothing more fantastic than the moments following. I couldn’t believe what I had just accomplished. I couldn’t be more grateful for my birth team. After a long and tough experience with my first birth, they stuck by me and encouraged me to the final finish. The midwives of Full Circle are so incredible! I wish all women could experience the beauty that is birth in the place they feel safe and most comfortable like I did in my home. It was pure bliss. I felt so raw and emotional. My body had just performed in the most incredible adventure for a second time, but in such a different way. I felt empowered and uplifted, and many of the scars I bear from my first birth seemed to be healed. Though there creeped in some sadness for my first baby girl, a wise woman reminded me that my first birth made me who I am. It brought me more strength and integrity to be able to have this second beautiful experience in my home without complication. And for that, I will be forever grateful. Be still my heart and cherish the love and adventurous nature of the birth of my two baby girls.