I love how you can see the clock in several of these pictures. Juliette Anala was born at 3 pm, after I had Labored for two hours at the Birth Center.
My first Labor lasted 20 hours. My lovely Midwife had said Labor for most second-time Mamas typically last half the time of their first Birth. Mine lasted for 5 hours. I think the Dates helped.
I have written about before the importance of having a Doula. I think the photos below really show just how much my Doula helped. Gwen kept me focused and knew EXACTLY what to say when I felt like the pain was too much too bear.
Whenever a friend asks, I always tell her that I think the #1 best thing you can do to prepare for Labor is hire a Doula. This is ESPECIALLY true, if you are planning a Hospital Birth. My husband and I took a 13 week Child-birth class, during my first Pregnancy. Our Bradley Class readied us as much as we could be readied and was very helpful. But, honestly, I don't think I could have had an un-medicated Birth without my Doula.
I think some of my favorite photos are the ones of Papa Bear and I in the bathroom. When I really began to push in earnest, my Midwife suggested that I sit on the toilet for a bit. Conveniently, my waters broke soon after I sat down. We heard this amazing pop. I had thought the baby might be born in the Caul, since my Labor had progressed so quickly without my waters breaking. She had other plans.
Here is Part II of my Birth Story told in photos. You can see Part I right here.