Where to begin the birth story of Olivia Marie, our precious daughter, our little jewel?  Thinking on it, I guess it must begin with the birth of our son Jordan, 3 years earlier.  I had planned to have a medicated birth with him.  I had just assumed...  Why go through the pain when there is no need?  Due to the time and other factors, I ended up giving birth to him with no pain medications.  The feelings I had afterwards were indescribable.  I felt so powerful. I had an instant connection to women through out time.  I felt primeval.  I felt I MUST do this again!
Oh Olivia, the perfect compliment to our family.  She makes us complete.
This is the story of our homebirth as I remember it and see it on video and am reminded of by my doulas.  I hope you enjoy it.  I tried to convey some of the feelings that I experienced but am afraid I have come up lacking.  It is hard to express such powerful feelings into words.  But almost any woman who has traveled a similar road (and even not so similar roads) will be able to understand.
My doula has been kind enough to add some comments to our story.  These I have put in italics and used a different color.
We decided that around 3 years was a good space between children.  So in January of 2000 we tried and were successful in getting pregnant.  I had never really given much thought to actually having a homebirth myself but for some reason the thought kept tickling the back of my mind.  My sister had had a homebirth but it was not a very good experience for her.  My good freind and original doula mentor had a homebirth and it was a great experience.  I started to do a bit of research on the subject.  The more I read, the more I thought of it as an actual possibility for me.  I finally decided that yes, this is what I wanted. This was a whole journey for me.  Sometime I would like to write about it but this story is not about that process I went through.  I wanted the comfort and safety of birthing in my own home.  I wanted to birth as I wished and not as was decreed by a doctor or hospital policy.  I wanted to make this birth truly mine and take with it the responsibility of choices that I made along with the consequences, be they good or bad.  I wanted to deliver my baby, not be delivered.   Now for convincing Justin.  Of course he thought I was crazy when I first mentioned it.  The deciding factor was that he trusted my judgement and knew that I would not do something as monumental as this without knowing what I was talking about.  He felt it was not his place to deny me something that was my decision to make.  I am thankful for his trust.
My midwife did her prenatals in a town about an hour and a half from us.  Due to the distance and that I had no air conditioner in my car, I was doing the last few prenatals locally at our county health clinic.  They had no experience with homebirthers.  The first appt. was somewhat uncomfortable. They just didn't know what to think of me.  They didn't know how to respond to me when I declined the AFP test or said "no thank you" to the gestational diabetes test.  I tried not to feel defensive but it was hard.  I had to bite my tongue a few times not to quote studies and research at them.  After that though, they seemed to be ok and my last few visits were a lot friendlier.  They even started asking some questions about homebirthing.  On Sept. 12 I had an appointment but due to the tragedies of Sept. 11, the clinic was closed.  I had to reschedule for the 18th.   I went in and had my first vaginal exam.  I had always had a ton of braxton hicks contractions but felt that surely "something" had been happening.  I was 2 cm. dilated, cervix was soft, -2 station.  This is all very well and good but means nothing as far as impending labor.  Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable as happens in late pregnancy, so was glad for any little progress that had been made.  We made another appointment for the next Tues. Sept. 25.
 Throughout this time, Danielle and I were meeting and discussing my birth.
Georganne had recently come to Oklahoma before she and Justin decided to try to have their second child. I met her at our local Doula group meeting. The next month, we were hosting an informational booth at a local Toy’s R Us, when we felt that we "clicked". Later that evening at the meeting she mentioned her need for a Doula. I told her I would be honored to serve her at her birth. She told me of her plans to have a homebirth, no problem; she would be my 2nd homebirth and my 14th client. As the months passed, I told her of my desire to meet with her and Justin. I felt that it was just as important for Justin to feel comfortable with me as she did, since this event would really be about the two of them, and the birth of their child. We met for an informal lunch date and I passed Justin’s approval.
Even though I was planning a homebirth, she made sure to know of my wishes should a transfer be necessary.
I felt it necessary for me to know what they would like in any situation. Once she told me I never mentioned it again. (I also prayed for her birth to go as she planned.)
I also had wishes and plans for being at home.  She knew who would be there and what I expected of each of them.  This ability of doulas to gently direct friends and family at any birth can be extremely important.  While I really did want certain people there, I did not want my birth to become a spectator sport.  A watched pot never boils, is an adage that certainly proved true for my first birth.  There are plenty of jobs to go around.
I want to include in this story the letter that I sent to those attending my birth.  I considered this my homebirth plan.
A special letter to those attending our baby's birth.
I would like to write a few things down so that you will be a more comfortable member of my birthing team. These are just some little things to let you know what to expect and hopefully help it to be a more enjoyable occasion for us all.
Who will be there?
Of course me, Georganne.
Justin (daddy)
Gail Brown (midwife)
Danielle (doula)
Eilleen (back up doula)
I have also invited:
Char (my sister)
Anne (my sister)
Avone (my niece)
Jordan will be over at grandmother's house next door. This is not a hard and fast rule. Keep in mind that Janet (grandmother) has no desire to hear or witness any active part of my labor, as this would make her uncomfortable.  In other words, someone may have to bring Jordan to her vs. her coming to get him.  If she calls here, you can take the phone outside.
When I believe labor to be starting, we will call everyone to let you know to start making arrangements for later. If labor starts with a bang, we will advise you to go ahead and come on. We will try to give you as much advanced warning as possible. Please bring what ever you need to be comfortable, clothes, pillows, etc.  Keep in mind that it might take a long time.
When you get here you can knock softly on the door and come on in. No one may be available to open the door and I would not want you to have to wait outside. Please make yourself at home. Please introduce yourself to the others. I want everyone to feel comfortable with everyone else. If I am able to, I will of course see and visit with you.
Please feel free to help where ever you see the need. This is not a spectator sport and I would like you all to be involved at the level you feel comfortable at. Also please keep in mind that Gail has driven a long ways (as all of you will) to be here. She may be tired from attending a
previous birth etc. We would like to reserve Jordan's bed for her and/or Danielle to take naps if they need. Danielle will be 7 months pregnant at the time so will also need some extra loving care.
When I found out that I was expecting after a nine-year break. :0, I wanted to have a serious talk with Georganne, I felt that because I would be so far along, I was afraid that I would not be physically able to serve her during labor. I wanted her to know that I would not be upset if she decided to ask another doula to attend her birth, but she had become emotionally attached to me by that time. I was not going to "abandon her". I asked her if there was anyone else that she felt comfortable with, and suggested a back-up person. She just happened to choose a doula that lived only 5 minutes away from me. So that was the plan.
Anyone can use the shower, (if I'm not in it lol) eat, drink, whatever as you want to. It would be nice for you to help make sure that Justin, Gail, and Danielle has food and drink, as they may be too busy to care for their own needs.
While everyone invited is somewhat familiar with the realities of birth (noises, etc.) I know this is the first homebirth that the 3 of you have attended. Here are some general guidelines to help us all.
Telling birth horror stories is not appropriate.
I would love for you all to share in the celebration that birth is.
I have complete faith in my body, my baby, my midwife, and of course, God, that my body was built to birth this baby. Please keep as positive an attitude as you can even though you may find some parts of labor
uncomfortable or even scary. (I don't see this as being a problem for those whom I have invited).
Know that my midwife is VERY experienced and also has on hand, equipment for emergencies.
If you feel overwhelmed, feel free to step outside.
Depending on the situation, chitchat, TV, etc. may or may not be appropriate.
One of the best things about home birthing is that I will not be confined to the bed. Don't be surprised if I labor in the kitchen or the yard if that is where I feel the need to be.
Different positions can help baby to descend and me to deal with the pain of labor. I plan on using as many as I feel the need for.
Depending on the stage of labor I am in, what time of day or night, you may want to rest.
There are plenty of things you can do to help:
Keep everyone in drinks. Feel free to make tea, juice, ice, etc. Please take care of Justin and my birth team.
Answer the phone or make phone calls for us.
Put on or change the music.
Light candles.
Someone may want to cook something for after the birth as laboring makes you realllly hungry. There will be meals in the freezer.
I really need someone to run the camcorder and to take pictures. Do NOT worry about getting too graphic of shots. The video and pictures are for ME.
I plan to make an edited copy of it later for special viewing.  Get as graphic as you can if it shows the essence of my labor and the joyful occasion of our baby's birth. Make sure to include everyone there, the feelings and emotions that are present, the timeline of when things happen. Who ever is running the camcorder may want to keep in mind that your voice carries onto the tape very well. You may want to talk softly.
In the case that a transport to the hospital is necessary, you all may come if you care to but Gail (and Justin if he chooses to) is to remain with me at all times, even in the event of surgery.
Please let me know what your plans are. Do you plan to come right away as soon as I call to say I am in labor, wait until you get off of work, etc.
This way I can plan a bit better on who will be here when.
I am honored to have you at my birth. I hope to share the true wonder and joy of birth. Can hardly wait to see you all.
Thank you,
Georganne and Justin
And this is just an aside I copied from my midwife's email to me.
"Remember to stay with your comfort level, and to remind them that...Presently these are the duties and plans, however since Labor is a very un-mapped journey, your comfort level may change, and you may need privacy so that you can concentrate on the job at hand -relaxation is a MUST. Make sure they are really there for YOU and your needs, not just to get to witness the birth. Too many people can slow things down, for some people, others may thrive on it, but I see most do not. However, it is your call, it does not affect me - UNLESS it affects your progress and comfort level."
There were a few things I was concerned about considering my homebirth.  No, not safety issues.  I had done my homework and knew that homebirth was safest for me.  The condition of my house and the "restability factor" of after birth was sticking in my mind.  I tried and tried to keep my house clean.  I wanted it to be just right when the time came.  I am not obsessive about the neatness of my house (would be hard with a 3 year old) but I do feel most comfortable when it is clean and looking good.  Most days though, it was all I could do to get the dishes done and do up a load or two of laundry.  I had a couple of sessions of nesting which was nice but it wasn't the everyday, overall cleaning that I felt I needed to be able to relax.  I had made up several meals for the freezer for after the birth but I did not really know how things would go as far as entertaining my 3 year old son and being able to rest.  Thankfully I have a wonderful mother in law who really helped in taking care of him afterwards.  He is a definite handful and she has her own problems that needed to be taken into consideration.  She also did a LOT of cooking for our family in the weeks following.  I couldn't order a better mother in law from a genie!  She is a true friend to me.
Monday, Sept. 24, I was feeling miserable.  I spent the day doing up some laundry, a bit of housework, running around town paying bills, and sitting at my computer.  I had things that needed to be done but sure felt sorry for myself when I had to do them.  I just wanted to rest but I couldn't allow myself to rest until I had these things taken care of.  I had all my birth supplies ready, my bedroom was newly cleaned (again), batteries in the camcorder were charged...I felt ready.  I thought that it would be soon but also knew that that could be wishful thinking.  I had been patient and had tried to enjoy this last part of my pregnancy.  I knew it would be our last.  That is the plan anyway.
I had taken Jordan out for ice cream and to the play land a couple of days before to spend some time with him as his last days of being an only child were coming to a close.  How melancholy that made me feel.  I was about to change his life forever and wondered again if it was the right thing to do.  We had waited until we were "older" to have him and he had made such changes in our lives.  He has taught us so many things.  Through him we learned we could love unconditionally.  We learned that children are forgiving.  We learned that the perfect home is not necessary, just lots of love.  We learned that there is no "perfect time" to have children.  Life goes on, along with the problems that ARE life.  We learn daily how to deal with them, as does he.
Around 10:00 p.m., Monday night, Justin went to bed.  I stayed up reading email.  By then I was too excited to sleep.  "Something MIGHT be going on."  I don't know why I thought this.  I was not having contractions.  I just KNEW.  I thought about going for a walk but already had my nightgown on and didn't feel up to changing clothes.  I ended up digging out my old, comfy, two sizes too big, flannel nightgown that I use as a housecoat from the depths of my closet.  I put it on, as it was chilly outside.  The extremely hot southern Oklahoma weather that had plagued my pregnancy had finally broken.   I slipped on my shoes; the cheapy, slip on shoes I had bought from Wal-Mart that would fit over my swollen feet.  We have a nice yard.  It is large and rectangular in shape, very long.  I started out by just going back and forth from the front of the yard to the back.  The moon was about half full and it was so brilliantly shinning.  It was a magical moon.  The grass was heavy with dew and my feet were soon wet.  It felt good.  They had been hot and swollen.  I walked back and forth, back and forth, thoughts running quickly through my mind.  Was I ready?  I mean, really ready?  Were there any emotional aspects of birthing this baby that was going to hold me back once things got started?  I had been through that before and did not care to do it again.  I WAS ready.  I was sure of myself, my body, Justin, my midwife, and my doulas.  As far as it was in my power, it was time.
I made several "laps" around the yard, watching the moon.  I did not feel anything happening but felt better for the fresh air and exercise.  Maybe I could sleep tonight.  "Just make one more lap."  I go to the front yard.  "Look at how well my morning glories on the fence did."  The front of my yard is almost totally blocked off from the street due to the thick morning glories on my chain link fence.  The deep purple ones are my favorite, though in general; purple is not a color I care for.  "Well, I might as well make one more lap to the back of the yard.  I haven't really been out that long."  I look over my garden as I walk in the back yard.  It did great this year.  Too well.  Towards the end of my pregnancy, and due to the heat of the summers here, it was more then I could care for.  I still have tomatoes and okra and green beans making.  The squash is done so Justin mowed them down.  "Oh might as well make just one more lap.  It is so beautiful out here in my yard under the moon.  One last little moment to myself."  I walk and walk.  I am glad I took this time to make sure I was at peace with my world and myself.  I finally am walked out and am ready to go inside.  Still, I feel nothing happening so I decide to go to bed and try to sleep.
I wake up at around 1:00 am.  Nothing new there.  Get up, go to the bathroom, get back in bed, snuggle up to my 3 year old, go back to sleep.  Amazingly enough I DO get right back to sleep.  Normally it takes forever for me to get back to sleep.  I wake up again and look at the clock.  1:10 am.  "Crap!  I JUST went pee."  I was so irritated.  I just wanted to get some rest.  Get up, go to the bathroom, get back in bed, snuggle up to my 3 year old, reach over him and pat my husband on the shoulder, go back to sleep.  Wake up again!  Look at the clock.  1:20 am.  I wake up from the Land of DUH!  The lightbulb goes on in my head.  Ok 10 minutes apart.  They are not painful, just enough to wake me up.  So then I take my own advice and try to go back to sleep.  Well rested uteri work the most efficiently, right?  It took all of about 10 minutes to realize that going back to sleep was NOT going to happen.  I get up and fix myself a cup of coffee.  I think I posted to my girlfriends online that "this was it".  It was exciting to be able to share the news.  I load the dishwasher and put the load of laundry which was in the washer into the dryer and get it started.  By now I feel the contractions without having to pay attention to them.  I draw a deep bath and put in some lavender.  "Should I wash my hair?"  I hate having wet hair in bed and do not like to blow dry it.  I didn't want to go into labor with wet hair.  Strange what thoughts go through your head.  "Yes, I have time to wash my hair and for it to dry."  I lay in my deep, garden tub bath and try to relax.  I talk to my baby and tell her it is ok for her to come now.  "We are looking forward to meeting you."  "I will try to help your birth be as gentle as possible."  "You will be safe my baby."  I get out and dry off.  I wonder if I should just get dressed.  I decide to put my nightgown back on.  It is comfortable, short,  and cool.  I know I will be hot later on.  I contemplate calling my midwife and doulas but decide to wait.  I was enjoying this time by myself, just letting my body do it's thing and seeing how well I was able to work with it.
I am starving.  I want to eat and eat a lot.  I know I had better make something light though as I vomited last time.  Though very normal for women in labor, still not a pleasant experience.  I peel an apple.  Hmmm, guess Jordan has been playing with this one as it is bruised almost beyond saving.  I eat the part that is not too bruised.  That just wasn't enough.  I fix myself a small bowl of Cheerios.
By about 3:00 am, the contractions are getting more noticeable.  I wake up Justin just enough to tell him that today we will be having a baby.  "Do you need me to get up?"  "No, go back to sleep...unless you want to get up and clean the living room."  He went back to sleep.  By 4:30 I no longer wanted to be alone.  I woke him up.  He fixes himself a cup of coffee and gives me a hug.  "Have you called "your girls" yet?"  I hadn't.  I didn't know whether I should call them yet or not.  I was trying to wait until 5:00 am.  I decided I better not wait.  I called Gail, my midwife.  I told her the contractions were 7 minutes apart, lasting a minute in length.  She said she was on her way.  She had a 2 1/2 hour drive so decided to come on.  I called my main doula, Danielle, who had a 1 ½  hour drive to get here.  "Can you talk through the contractions?"  "If I HAVE to."  "Do you want to wait an hour and call me back to see where you are then?"  "Sure."  She would call our backup doula, Eileen.
After the phone call, my husband asked if "this was it?" I told him Yes! I then got up to get ready for my next call, I did not think she would make the hour! lol!  I called Eileen to put her on stand-by. She was going to drive.
She wanted a backup since she is 7 months pregnant.  Immediately after hanging up we noticed that the contractions were coming every 4 minutes.  Uh oh.  We called Danielle back.  "That wasn't a very long hour was it?" I said sheepishly.  I felt bad about making her get up.  "I didn't think you would make it an hour.  We're on our way."  I was a bit nervous that I had waited too long to call.
I was so nervous, waiting for Eileen to come to my house, it felt like forever, of course it was not that long! I was always in control of transportation for my 13 other births so, this made me nervous, and on top of that, I did not know exactly where we were going!
Justin really did not want to deliver this baby.  I knew I COULD if I had to but I really wanted the company of women around me for support right now.  I called my sister Char in Dallas (about 2 1/2 hours away).  She said she would be right here lol.  I called my niece, Avone.  I left a message on her voice mail.

My doulas, Eileen and Danielle at the Penny Simkin (doula)conferance, Sept. 7, 2001.
Instinctually, my body knew to slow down.  My contractions spaced back out to 7 minutes.  It had decided to wait for the support I needed.  "Thank you body.  I knew I could trust you."  I tried many different positions and locations in my house.  I got the big, green turtle pillow and put it on the couch.  I put the sheepskin on the floor for my knees and leaned over onto the couch.  I had Justin rub my back.  I had to work through the contractions now.  There were these moans coming from my mouth that I had very little control over.  They helped me immensely.  I didn't know I would be such a noisy birther but the moans stayed with me all the way through labor.  Ohhhh, ohhhh, oohhhhh,  ahhhhh.  Deep breath!  At first I was still puttering around the house between contractions.  I was amazed how great I felt in between them.  Justin picked up the living room and did some puttering himself.  He made me some toast, as I was still hungry.  I remember I ate a couple of bites and left the rest on the table.  I guess Justin threw it away because later I thought "I just left my toast on the table, no napkin or anything".  That seemed strange to me.  Around 5:00 am Jordan woke up.  We tried sitting him in the "the big daddy chair" with his blankie and a video but he is too smart for that.  He knew something was going on.  "Don't cry mommy, I will get you some tissue."  He is the sweetest boy.
We called my mother in law.  She lives next door.  "Time to get up and get a cup of coffee.  We'll try to give you some time to get woken up before we bring Jordan over."  (Yes, we are a family of coffee drinkers.)  It wasn't very long before Justin had to leave to bring him over there.  I just could not concentrate with Jordan being worried about me and needing my attention.  I of course had the option of keeping him with us, but decided at this time, it was best if he left.
Around 7:30 am I was asking Justin, "When are they going to get here?  Isn't it time for them to be here yet?"  I started to feel a little panicky at this point.  He assured me that they were on their way and would be here in plenty of time.  I wonder if he really thought that or was just trying to reassure me.  I bet he was sweating it haa haa.  Danielle and Gail called a time or two each to see how I was and to let us know where they were.  They mostly had to talk to Justin.  While talking on the phone, I had to whisper.  All my strength was being used for labor.  I remember talking to one of them on the phone but during a contraction just dropping the phone in Justin's general direction.  I guess that is what is meant by not being able to talk through a contraction.
Even coming from farthest away, Gail got there first.  I believe it was around 8:00 am.   I think she passed my doulas on the highway.
I had always made sure that I knew where my clients lived by making a home visit before labor began. I will stick to that rule, no matter what in the future!  Having to read every sign that you see is tortuous and time consuming.
I wonder if she was speeding just a tad.  Haa haa.   I think about the time her and Justin got her stuff in, our doulas had arrived.  When Danielle walked in the door I started to cry.  I guess it was relief.  I was just so happy to see her and I knew that she would understand my tears.
I think tears of relief and joy since her "labor crew" had made it and her labor and birth would now become that which she had envisioned.
She was able to help me get my focus back pretty quickly.  The contractions demanded it!  It's time to see how dilated I am and listen to our heartbeats.  8 centimeters!  Yeaaa!  I was so glad to be progressing so well.  I kept asking, "How do women do this for so long?"  I knew I would be done some time that day but know of women who go through labor for far longer then I knew I would.
Labor progressed.  What a packed sentence that is.  It has so much meaning.  My doulas and Gail kept me moving.  I hated each time they told me to go to the bathroom.  Sitting on the toilet was agony.  I would practically run in there after a contraction was over, rip up my nightgown, and try to pee before the next contraction hit.  A doula would have to accompany me.  As soon as I was done I would have to stand up to lean over the back of the toilet to finish the contraction that it would bring on.  They were so powerful.  These were the only contractions that really scared me.  I labored in the kitchen, straddling a chair with the turtle pillow over the back of it.  Danielle would sit on her birth ball behind me giving me counter pressure and rubbing my back and shoulders.  Eileen would grab my hand and squeeze the pressure point there.  That was my "ritual".  I would find myself waving my hand for her to grab when a contraction started.  It is good for birthing women to have a ritual or rythem.  It is a good tool to signal that you are having a contraction.  I walked up and down my hallway, stopping for contractions to lean over my washer and dryer.  I lay on my side in my bed when I felt the need to rest.  I asked for a honey stick to boost my energy.  It tasted really gross at the time.  My doulas were great about keeping me hydrated and kept bringing my water from room to room.  They were my constant companions.  Justin did not want such an active role and needed to feel that he could come and go as he felt the need to.  I never felt his abscense though thanks to my doulas.  My sister Char was my videographer.  She did a terrific job in capturing the essence of my labor.  I told her to make the video as graphic as my labor was.  I could edit it for public viewing later.  Avone showed up.  I was so happy that she was there to experience this beautiful part of birth.  She kept some of my girlfriends online updated on my progress.  They were so excited to get a play by play and I printed it all up for Olivia's baby book.
All throughout labor we just visited.  We chatted as if we were girlfriends at a slumber party.  Sometimes we laughed and giggled.  Sometimes we were silly.
I remember Justin coming into the room to check on Georganne and saying " I never imagined laughing would be a part labor, this is good!" He may not know that he had perfect timing; Georganne had just asked for him before he came into the room.
It's a very strange sensation to be laughing during transition.  Danielle put my hair up after I fluffed my ponytail in her face while she was sitting behind me.  At the time, it was hilarious.  I remember thinking that it was so nice to have these women around me, taking care of me, comforting me.  It felt so right.  I also remember how nice Gail's cool hands felt against my hot skin as she gave me some pats of love and strength.
After a few hours of this, Gail thought we might want to break my water.  I had had a bulging bag but now there was not that much water in front of baby's head.  I had been doing all this work just to push her through the bulge of water.
This was not "wasted time" it was used to empower her. She was able to work through some of the issues that came up emotionally from her first birth. We talked about them and she was able to move through it at her own pace.
I told her I was scared.  "Of what?"  "The pain that will get worse after my water is broken."  "Maybe it will hurt more but it will make your labor progress.  You are not really progressing now," I think I asked to wait.  I did agree to it shortly thereafter though.  I just needed a few mintues to prepare my mind for this last little bit.  I appreciated that no one tried to talk me into something I was not ready for.  I was afraid but I was also afraid of getting tired and I was about ready to get done already.  "Let's get this show on the road."
Gail broke my water and it was clear.  Great!  That was a relief to me.  My body was constantly reminding me that it knew what it was doing and could do it well!    I finally felt a small need to push.  It was never an overwhelming need but it was definitely there.  This is just another instance where my births differ.  With Jordan, I never felt the urge at all.  There is so much to be said for allowing your body the time it needs to get the job done.  I have learned well that ten is not the magic number.  It does not matter if you are 10 centimeters.  If you wait for your body’s help, the job is exponentially easier.
I gave birth with my torso propped up on pillows on my bed.  I was not flat on my back but slightly on my side.  I didn’t think I would birth in this position but it really was the most comfortable for me at the time.  It was nice to know that I could have stood on my head if that is what I felt the need to do.  As the contractions became more intense so did the attention directed towards me.  Every one was there, helping me, praying for me, giving me encouragement and praising my strength, lending me their strength to lean on when mine failed.  It seemed a very momentous time.  Danielle reminded me to work with my body and let it open up.  Gail used the crockpot with ginger root in it to keep the compresses warm.  These felt good on my perineum.  Danielle reminded me that I wanted to see and touch my baby as she was crowning.  I reached down and felt that my daughter had hair.  My doula made sure somone brought my mirror so I could see.  This was it.  My support team reminding me to push through the pain, I pushed that first scary push.  Her head was born.  Gail checked for a cord around her neck.  She was good.  My contractions stopped.  We waited.  We waited some more.  Gail looked at her watch.  I took a deep breath.  I started to wonder how long was too long between contractions once the head is born.  I asked if we were waiting too long.  Gail calmly said we need to get her out pretty soon.  Her shoulders did not rotate as they are supposed to do and that may have had something to do with this situation.  I said, "I’m scared."  "Of what?" came the reply from several.  "Shoulders."  I could see in the mirror that my baby's face was getting pretty dark.  I decided to go ahead and push without the help of contractions.  I knew she needed to be born.  I could feel it.  I think my fear of her shoulders being born was the culprit that stopped my contractions but I was not going to let that stop me of course.  After getting some reassurance from my team, I pushed.  I pushed again.  My body took the hint and kicked in a helping hand.
Yes, when Olivia did not rotate her shoulders everything stopped. I was so impressed with Gail; she let Georganne talk about her fear and gave her time to get past it and use her maternal instincts to know when to push without letting panic set in.
Later on video, I could see (and hear) that I had added grunting to my Ohhhhh’s.  I did not realize it at the time.  I guess I really was in labor land (where a laboring woman belongs).  One shoulder came out to the sound of my one and only yell.  I tore.  The other shoulder followed soon after.  Then, at long last, her body, followed by a huge, forceful swoosh of water.  Relief, concern, adrenaline, satisfaction, empowerment, SUCCESS!!!!  I did it!
Gail wiped her face off and gently suctioned her with the bulb.  She lifted her up to me.  My doulas threw a warm towel from the dryer over both of us.  I raised my nightgown so we could be skin to skin.  I peeked at her face under the towel. She was a little gurgley so I asked for the bulb and suctioned her myself, only slightly, not deep.  What a beautiful person we had made.  Danielle asked if I wanted to check to make sure she was a girl.  She was.  She was a sweet little girl with thick dark hair and plenty of vernix.  Olivia Marie.  9 lbs. even.  19 ½" long.   Born at 11:43 am.  I did tear to muscle since her shoulders did not rotate.  It healed fine, though it did take a bit longer then I thought it would.  I bled a bit more after birth then the midwife liked but we took care of that also.  Well, where to go from here?  How do I continue a story that is the beginning of life?  I guess I can not in the written form.  I can only love and care for my daughter as her life develops.  Because of this wonderous birth, I was taught to trust my body again.  In my last birth I was eleven days "late" due to emotional dystocia. I had gotten extremly ill with preeclampsia. I was induced because my body "just wouldn't work right and go into labor on its own," and I always felt that I was not being told the complete story when asking questions of my caregivers. No one told me I actually could birth a baby without drugs, and I was threatened during the pushing stage with vacuum extraction if I did not get this baby out "right NOW". I did not even realize the extent to which I had come to not trusting my body.  I thought I had come to terms with things that had happened previously and in fact had worked out some of that in my subconscience.  Little did I know how much more work I had yet to do.  Fortunatly I had chosen the perfect group of people to help me on my way.   What an awesome journey.  Thank you.
I want to say "Thank You" for allowing me to be present at the birth of your beautiful daughter, Olivia.  I was very honored to be able to serve you, as you brought forth this wonderful blessing from God.  Georganne, I am very proud of you! I will continue to pray for you and your family. Love in Christ, your Agape Doula, Danielle
Unfortunatly, the new roll of film I had set aside for the birth pictures did not actually get put in the camera.  I was very sad about this but at least we got great video.  These are pictures from my mother in law's camera that she took when she brought Jordan back home.  It was about 2 hours after the birth.
Jordan's first meeting with his sister.  He was a bit trepiditious.
My sweet midwife Gail, and my sweet children.  Jordan was so excited by then.
"MY baby!"
Jordan 3, Olivia 6 weeks
9 months old.
My practice black and white photos.
Click on the picture above to see more.
Exciting news!!!!  I was contacted by:
Rachel Gurevich -- Rachel@myria.com
Assistant Editor, Myria Media Inc.
And author...
Fabjob.com Guide to Becoming a Doula
My birthstory has been included in her book!  The book was published in Spring of 2003.  The title is:

"The Doula Advantage: A Practical and Informative Guide on Labor, Postpartum and Antepartum Doulas"

It is published by Prima Publishing, a division of Random House. You can find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

A few years ago I was also interviewed and included in her Fabjob.com

"Guide to Becoming a Doula."

It took me 6 weeks to finish writing this birthstory.  I also really updated it and added the comments from my doula right at Olivia's 10 month birthday.  I would really appriciate any comments in my guestbook.
See the creation of my belly cast.
I had it sitting on my table to use as a focus point during labor.
Or visit my Doula page.
November 2002
Christmas 2002
January 2002
Easter 2002, Olivia at 6 months old!
Some pictures here of Olivia and Jordan at their cousins birthday party
Memorial Weekend, Summer Kickoff Karaoke Party
One Year Old, First Birthday pics, Coming soon!
This site and all photographs are copyrighted (c) Georganne Hampton 2001-2003 and may not be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission.