When Scary Can Still Be Peaceful and Oh, So Beautiful

So, here I am in Michigan, enjoying my children and my grandchildren and the opportunity to help Hannah, my midwife daughter, with a handful of her clients. Among those I’ve had the pleasure to meet is Sabrina, a mother of two boys, one very newly born. As we sat and talked and admired the baby, Sabrina showed us a film her mother took of the birth. It was stunning. The birth itself was gorgeous, but beyond gorgeous was the shoulder dystocia Hannah handled so gently Sabrina hadn’t even realized her baby had been stuck! She posted the film on a facebook mama group and, there, was enlightened.

I thought I’d share her story with you this week, written by Sabrina herself.
Be sure to read through to the end where you’ll find a link to the film!


Jovan Edward, born at 4:06 in the afternoon, July 27th 2017, to Sabrina and Shannon and Jordan
11 hours of labor; 8lbs 14oz; 14 1/2 inch head; 14 inch chest; 21 1/4 inches long

At the beginning of my pregnancy I imagined having a home birth with a midwife. The little searching I did led me to believe that wasn’t possible. I then settled for what I considered to be the next best thing, doula with a traditional doctor. After weeks of searching, I finally found Deb Codde & Kaylan Eash. They came with such high reviews that I was more than happy to interview them and, when I did, knew immediately we needed them throughout this pregnancy. At thirty weeks I mentioned to Shannon how badly I wanted a homebirth. The next day, Deb introduced us to Hannah Simmons. My prayers were answered! We were going to have our home birth.

The night before I went into labor I had a sense of restlessness. Between the heartburn and the tossing and turning, I probably only received an hour of uninterrupted sleep. I woke up with mild cramps and what I thought was Braxton-Hicks contractions. I breathed through them and tried relaxing enough to get sleep, but it didn’t work. I decided at about 5:30 a.m. that I would start timing the “Braxton-Hicks” just to see what they were doing. To my surprise, the contractions were averaging a minute and two seconds, and were seven minutes and fifteen seconds apart. At 6:10 a.m. I contacted my doula and my midwife and let them know I was timing contractions and that I had noticed a very slight leak of amniotic fluid. My midwife, Hannah Simmons arrived and confirmed my baby was head down and said I was dilated to five centimeters. The midwife apprentice/doula, Jenni Jones, and my doulas, Deb Codde and Kaylan Eash, arrived soon after. This is where the excitement became more real. We were going to have a baby!

As I labored, the time passed with good conversation, a walk in the long field behind my house, snacks of vegetables and fruit, lavender scented massages, and the recitation of positive affirmations that I was able to repeat in my head throughout my contractions. As my contractions intensified, my midwives prepped the birth pool. The birth pool, hands down, was the best thing for my contractions. The water was kept around 98°. My doula, Deb Codde, held my hands through my contractions, whispering the affirmations into my ears and reminding me that the last contraction was one I wouldn’t have to do again – that I was one contraction closer to meeting my baby.

My only complication during labor was that a lip of cervix remained before Jovan’s head, making it difficult for him to pass. Hearing he still hadn’t descended past my cervix was so disheartening! I felt like labor would never be over! My doulas were there for me every step of the way, reminding me what I was doing it all for. Coaching me and breathing with me really helped me get through each intensifying contraction. My bag of waters popped and with a little help from my midwife, I was finally able to push my baby past my cervix. I pushed for eleven minutes and I finally delivered Jovan!

My home birth was an amazing experience. It was relaxing, I felt in control, I felt empowered by my women, and I birthed a beautiful, healthy baby boy. My number one goal for doing this medication free and in a totally relaxed environment was to birth a healthy baby. To let my body do what it was naturally designed to do. I am more than grateful for being able to experience that. It is absolutely something we will do with any our future babies!

Click here to watch the film of Sabrina and Jovan’s birth.

Many thanks to Deb Peekstok Codde, Kaylan EashHannah Woodard Simmons, and Jenni Jones. You all were so amazing! A special thank you to my mother – I can’t imagine not having you by my side. ❤️

Photos taken by Shawna Gerry Photography

Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author

Books by Kim:

Homebirth: Safe & Sacred

Homebirth: Commonly Asked Questions

A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life

Nourish + Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing

One Little Life at a Time: Recommendations + Record Keeping for Aspiring Homebirth Midwives

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