The Unassisted Birth of Corran

A shred of nervousness with an abundance of excitement, I was looking forward to this unassisted birth for months. As time stretched on I definitely started to become worried. Inching past 41 weeks and powering through 42, I never imaged with a second time mama I’d have to consider finding a backup...but at 42 weeks and 3 days I only had a single day left before I was leaving for Utah to visit a close friend pregnant with twins. By some grace of God, I got the call at 10 am, just one day and hours before my flight. Jowana lived a nice hike just shy of 2 hours away, thankfully with all of my time to prepare I was able to get in my car almost immediately and leave.

When I arrived at Jowana’s home, my heart sank a bit...the second I walked in the door, my glasses grew a mighty thick fog. It was a damn sauna in her home, preparing the birthing tub and keeping the kitchen warm resulted in one steamy environment. Meaning only one thing - a steamy lens. I started some quick thinking and asked to crack a window. Using the cold breeze from outside I was able to de-fog my lens just long enough to snap a few photos before I had to run back to the window to defog again. This thankfully worked pretty well! (With some still noticeable steam on the first few photos you see here).

I ended up cracking another window and opening a couple doors, keeping the home warm yet steam free and let the magic unfold.

This Mama knew her body and knew it well, she followed it wherever it took her. Whether that be leaning with counter pressure, soaking in water, or some nice rebozo pulls, she was laboring beautifully. Her partner Dylan amazingly receptive and being as hands-on as one could ever hope. I also really loved the added dynamic a little brought to this birth, with their daughter running around the home enjoying being a part of every transition. Peaking in to explore what was happening next. As well as her Aunt, reminding Jowana to keep breaths slow and calm. Expressing how proud she was of her, and acknowledging her strength. The perfect birth team.

At barely 2 hours of me being there, Jowana was huddled in the bathroom when her water broke. Labor progressing at lightness speed, she had plans to birth in the water but no longer wanted to move from this standing position in the bathroom. Yelling to Dylan, “The babies head is coming!” He positioned himself accordingly, with their little running up to see what mama was up to. Pushing hard, and well, baby was out within only 4 minutes!

Into dads hands, nuchal cord (wrapped around the neck) was easily untangled as he began to rub the babes back. Time went on a little longer before hearing a cry or seeing a proper breath, so I told dad that the fluid needed to be out of the babies body. Papa bear mode activated, he didn’t skip a beat when I told him that the best way to do this quickly would be by sucking it out by mouth. Pull after pull, we finally heard that sweet first cry.

Deciding last minute for a lotus birth, they carefully put the placenta in a container to carry around. Jowana being exhausted, sat down in her birthing tub, dad cradling his new son with tears fresh on his face.

Then time for skin to skin with mama, they relaxed in the birthing tub together for their first nursing session and some serious bonding time, before eventually getting out and snuggling up in bed. A new family of 4.

This swift 3-hour birth blew my mind, the comfort of birthing at home with nothing but your own direction and instinct is something so beautifully unique. I am so thankful that they trusted me to be in their birth space, and to be the one to capture these future heirlooms!

I’ve said it a million times, I have the best job ever.

Hayden Trace