Birth Story: A Whole New Person is in the World

Mama: Julie Moon
Scarlett, born February 28 at 11:11am, 8 pounds 13 ounces, 21 3/4 inches

Excerpted from Belly Button Bliss:  A Small Collection of Happy Birth Stories

I awake around 3:45 a.m. on my due date with contractions about six minutes apart. A terrible storm rages outside. I call my mother and my best friend, Stephanie, to give them time enough to arrive for Scarlett’s birth.

My husband, Joe, is awake too, fixing a snack. My son, Jackson, is cozy and safe at his grandparents’ house, where he’d gone to spend the night when I recognized the signs of early labor the afternoon before. Mom and Stephanie arrive by 5 a.m.

“I think Scarlett is going to be born today,” I whisper to my daughter Savannah when I go in to wake her. She pops her head right up, so excited! Soon after, my photographer friend, Tracey, arrives.

We laugh a lot, focusing on fun rather than the contractions. By 6:15 a.m., I’m contracting every three minutes or so. We call the midwife to alert her, and thirty minutes later, we’re on our way to the hospital. Scarlett, it seems, will be arriving on her due date, something that only 4 percent of babies do! By 7 a.m., we’re at the hospital.

Now the rain outside is calm and peaceful. I’m more than 5 centimeters dilated, and Scarlett is head down and waiting. Savannah sits with Stephanie, playing games and reading books. Tracey waits and watches, at ease in a rocking chair in the corner. Mom and I answer questions for the nurse, and Joe waits patiently for me to need his support.

When I birth, my thighs burn during contractions, and I need a catnap. Soon, it’s time for both. Joe rubs the top of my thighs, melting the pain and seemingly shortening my contractions. I lean over the bed and moan through each rubdown, then stand back up and chat and laugh, sharing stories of birthing Jackson and Savannah, and enjoying the company of the wonderful people experiencing this birth with me. Then it’s time for that catnap.

Julie Moon Birth Pic-2Tired, I climb into bed and doze for about twenty minutes. When I awake, everyone agrees things are picking up. By 9:45 a.m., I sound “transitional” in my moans. After one contraction, Savannah passes me a note that says, “Mommy, that one was loud!”

It’s 10:06 a.m., and my pants are off, a sure sign that birth is near! I never labor in a gown, always in comfortable yoga pants and a shirt. When things heat up, the pants come off. I began talking to my intact bag of waters: “Release, please release,” knowing this would speed things along. At 10:58 a.m., I ask Susan, my midwife, to break my water. Scarlett’s head is so far down that nothing much seems to happen.

Following Susan’s advice, my mom steps in to help. She places her gloved hand over my perineum and offers firm support as I push on my hands and knees. Soon, Scarlett’s head fills her hand, and at 11:11 a.m., my girl arrives! One hand is up by her head waving, and she cries so strongly. Once Scarlett’s head and shoulders are out and the cord untangled from her, Mom lifts her up a bit so I can pull her the rest of the way out.

Big sister Savannah says it best: “A whole new person is in the world!”

Indeed! Scarlett weights an impressive 8 pounds 13 ounces—my biggest baby by more than a pound!

She’s beautiful, plump, and ruddy, with medium brown hair. Savannah says, “I can’t believe I’m going to do that someday.” And I hope that both my girls get such a magical day, surrounded by those who love them, embracing birth, and truly enjoying the experience.

Excerpted from Belly Button Bliss: A Small Collection of Happy Birth Stories (Fairview Press, 2010)

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  1. The picture says it all. Gorgeous. Every birth really is a story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Such a beautiful birth story!

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