As most of you know, baby Levi was born at home. This was our first home birth, as Jedidiah had been born at a birth center. What do you expect when doing a home birth? Let me introduce you to my team of superstars!
First of all, my midwives- Nikki McIver Brown and Monica Barrientes from San Antonio Nurse Midwife. Can I just say- these ladies were amazing! We loved Nikki from the moment we met her. She was a no nonsense, but lighthearted kind of gal! She has a lengthy background in labor and delivery and she worked in a hospital setting for many years before shifting to the home birth world. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), which is a credential above most midwives. She also has really good relationships and connections at the hospital where she worked (which put my mind at ease in case a transfer would have been necessary). Her office is in Garden Ridge, so it was closer to us than the New Braunfels birth center, where we had delivered Jedidiah. She was so great with both Jedidiah and Yi-Han during our prenatal visits. We joked about Jedi always wanting to go “out-si-side” and she would let Yi-Han help with taking all the vitals and heart tones. These ladies make my heart smile!
Next up, our doula, Mrs. Shelby Miller with Blooming Water Lilies. We’ve known Shelby since Jedidiah’s birth, actually. We attended her birthing classes at the New Braunfels Family Birth Center when we were pregnant with him and found them to be so thorough and informative that we took them a second time (and learned just as much, if not more)! She assisted in Jedidiah’s birth, but in a midwife-in-training capacity, not as our doula (I wish we could’ve afforded her with him). This time around, we asked her to be our doula and we found her to be invaluable!!! Let me just tell you that, although my labor with Levi wasn’t long, it was INTENSE, and I wouldn’t have handled it well without her there. She was so soothing and helpful. She did a million little things that really made a big difference. Even just knowing she was there put me in a different mindset. This time around, Trent was taking care of logistical things (aka calling my birth team, making sure Jedidiah was being watched, getting the birthing tub ready, etc.) and I truthfully don’t think he had a clue how fast things were moving. Well, neither did I, for that matter, so she was with me in the deepest throes of labor, when contractions were coming in waves and I couldn’t get a breath in edgewise. We were thankful to have her as a doula and as a friend!
Our birth photographer, Joy Crampton of San Antonio Birth Photography was also amazing! I was so bummed that we didn’t have a photographer for Jedidiah’s birth. When I went into labor, my dear friend Heather had agreed to take photos for us, but we knew ahead of time that she would be leaving for a family cruise around my due date. So when my water broke the day before they were slated to leave, she agreed to drive down from Austin and take photos for us. I think we all thought that Jedi would come sooner than he did and she stayed way longer than she should have, awaiting his (what we thought was) imminent birth. Well, who would have known that I would push for three and a half hours before he was finally born?!? She left about 45 minutes before he finally made his appearance. Soooo, that left me with a lot of photos of the labor… and really crappy phone photos after he was born (think red-eyes, low light and waaaay too much skin). That was pretty disappointing, so this time I knew we needed to invest in a birth photographer. I’m so thankful that we did!
So, funny story… Levi came so fast and furious that she missed his birth… by about 4 minutes. She walked in the door and I watched her face fall! She was absolutely mortified that she had missed it! But we had already told her about our birth “photos” from Jedidiah and had explained to her that what was most important to us was not the actual birth, but the moments afterwards… us snuggling and loving on our little love, him meeting his brother and big “sister,” etc. So, in my mind, she came just in time! We have wonderful photos and memories of that first day with him. Every time I look at them, I am thankful that I have them!!!
Oh, yeah, and did I mention that she was pregnant and also had a little boy named Levi only a short few months later?
The other vital members of my birth team were, of course, my mother-in-law (who had also been in the trenches with me during Jedidiah’s birth), my father-in-law (who was watching Jedidiah outside while all this was happening), our host daughter, Yi-Han, and of course, my husband!
They were such a blessing to me throughout the whole process. From getting things ready to taking photos, to whispering words of encouragement… I was super lucky!
So there you have it! My birth team! I would recommend any one of them and we were extremely happy with all of them!