The world is pouring its interest (and judgement) over the powerful, inspiring, love filled water birth images of 4.5 year old sister assisting the amazing mama and midwife in the catching of the new baby brother.
Waterbirth is not something new and images are rapidly becoming normalized; but it is not everyday that we see a young family member become a mini midwife with such hands on attentiveness and curiosity in front line birthwork.
Her primal instincts set in naturally as she protected her mother and brother through the process; reminding with power; others are not allowed to touch her brother:
Sister to Midwife: "Don't touch my brother!"
Midwife: "I know it's your baby, I'm not going to touch him, I promise, I Promise I will not let you miss the big moment"
She stayed with mama the whole time, asking the midwife medical questions like:
"what is a caul?"
Big sister gleamed ear to ear with happiness as her mama progressed and the time to CATCH arrived, the eagerness filled the room and everyone supported the divine dance and the big moment- The catch!
HE IS HERE- "I catched him"- Announced Big sister.
Read Birth Story Below; View Birth Video Below
BIRTH STORY WRITTEN BY MAMA ARIEL
"I woke up around 8am and immediately started messaging a friend. It had become like a daily routine at this point. We joked about how our womb babies probably weren’t really in us, but that they were instead probably just large ringworms and we weren’t even pregnant. We talked about how I was going to cause a banana shortage at the store if I stayed pregnant any longer (I went through 26 bananas that week just baking my way through the rest of my pregnancy). Thankfully she had her lucky cat shirt on though! We talked about how to get the babies out of us because we were both SO DONE! We started talking about buying a full pineapple (again) to make a smoothie to try to coax labor on. I had 4 contractions in the 40 minutes we had been talking though so I joked that maybe I didn’t need the pineapple after all. She was trying to convince me to get out of bed and dance my baby out. I told her she must not understand the level of lazy I was feeling. Haha. Finally, at about 9:10 I got out of bed and started bouncing on my birth ball. I texted my midwife and birth photographer to let them know I was crampy with some random contractions but I wasn’t timing them because I wasn’t convinced anything was really happening. I think I went to go lay back down at about 10am after getting Izzy some breakfast and a movie turned on. I started napping off and on when I went to lay back down. My contractions were waking me up, but they were sporadic enough for me to get some good rest.
I got back up at about 1:50pm and went back to bounce on the ball. I texted my husband at 2:10 asking him to pick me up some sherbet, frozen yogurt, or something frozen and a pineapple on his way home from work. He was sore for he settled for buying me a slurpee. Each contraction was making me hot and the intensity was picking up a little. It still wasn’t much to “write home” about though. I had two false alarms already with stronger and more consistent contractions so I didn’t think much of this, but I started timing them at about 2:30 anyways.
Tom got home about 3 pm and I turned on the movie Murder Mystery for us to watch and I bounced on my ball throughout the movie and continued timing contractions. I only had 5 or 6 contractions during the movie. The movie got over at about 4:50 and I was still feeling pretty good so I got up to go do the dishes and clean the house up. I had a pretty strong contraction when I stood up so I texted my midwife to tell her that my contractions were getting intense but still all over the place. My exact words were, “I think tonight is gonna be the night, but my body is being weird. Lol” I also started feeling him in my butt with each contraction. No need to push, just him getting lower. I finished doing the dishes and thought about going to walk up and down the stairs but decided I didn’t want to get dressed so I went to lay down instead at 5:30pm.
At about 7:45pm things started getting a lot more real. The contractions were strong but still spread apart and not consistent. I actually cried at this point for a few minutes because I just wanted my baby out of me and I didn’t think it was real labor still. I even texted my midwife saying, “I’m still in denial that it’s even real, but at the same time there’s no way these are this intense without it being real.” (7:53pm) She responded in the best way possible and calmed me down. I texted my photographer to let her know what was going on too, and at 8:15 she asked if she could come hang out in a bit.
At 8:30pm I knew I needed to get up because things were getting too intense. I thought maybe my bladder was full and that was causing them to pick up. It had been 3 hours since I went to the bathroom after all. I called Tom to the room to help me out of bed and I had a strong contraction when I got up out of bed, so I leaned on him through it and when it was over he went to get in the shower. I was going to take a shower after him, so I started getting things to bring to the bathroom and had another contraction where I had to lean on the dresser and moan through it. Then I walked to the bathroom and had another contraction when I sat on the toilet. I remember sitting on the toilet and joking with tom that I wasn’t having fun and he said, “Did you expect labor to be fun?” And I jokingly said back, “Kinda,” and then not so jokingly, “but this isn’t labor.” I got up to wash my hands after that and then had another one.
After that contraction I decided not to shower and to go get the birth pool set up just in case. I walked out to the living room to grab the birth pool and had another contraction as I went to get it. Tom told me to move and that he would take care of it, so I walked to the dresser in our living room to lean on and I had another contraction. At this point, I decided to text my midwife and my birth photographer to have them come. (8:41pm). Tom got most of the birth pool set up but told me he wasn’t going to blow the seat up inside of it because the pump wouldn’t reach, so we had an argument about him not wanting to blow the seat up with his mouth, but really him just being blind and not seeing the extension cord right in front of his face, so I walked over to the table mid contraction and threw the thing at him so he could finish setting up the pool.
My midwife didn’t answer, so I decided just to call her in a bit because I was probably okay without her for a little anyways. Then I had another contraction that took the breathe out of me and I had to squat in to, so I called her again at 8:51. She answered and I went on to listen to the funniest conversation ever as she yells at her husband that they need to leave (Walmart) NOW!
At this point my brain isn’t working, so I ask how I can get everything to slow down so she doesn’t miss the birth and she tells me to labor on hands and knees with my butt in the air. So I go to do that at about 9pm. My birth photographer got there a few minutes later. My midwife got to me at about 9:25. I got my tripod set up with the help of Brezi and then I got in the pool. I was STILL in denial that I was in labor, so I asked Tiffany if she was okay with me checking my cervix. I felt a bulging back and just a lip of cervix and at that moment I felt 100% at peace because things were actually happening. The pool was like an epidural for me so I messaged my mom and grandma to let them know I was in labor and I called my mother in law to make sure she was on her way.
The rest of the birth team got there and I started pushing at about 9:40. After a couple contractions pushing leaning back Tiffany asked if I wanted to flip over, so I did. My mother in law and sisters in law came in a few minutes after I flipped over right in time to watch him be born. I kept my finger on the top of my baby’s head while pushing as a motivation to keep going because I could feel him coming down with each push. His head was about half way out when I felt the amniotic sac tear and then burst while the rest of his head came out. At 9:55pm he was brought earthside into the hands of his big sister with the help of Tiffany. A few minutes after he was born, I felt the urge to push my placenta out so I pushed. The membranes got stuck, so I had help from my midwife and once it was out, she handed it right to me. I showed my daughter and she asked to hold it, so together we checked it out. I couldn’t have asked for a better birth experience. I am so thankful for the love and care that Lauren, Tiffany, and their team gave me throughout my pregnancy and birth and I am thankful for Brezi for these images to have forever."
View Birth Images Here: https://www.facebook.com/ariel.studebaker/media_set?set=a.2447605231990894&type=3