Born at Home on Valentine's Day | Baby Clive | Portland and Vancouver Birth Photographer
Baby Clive's story is extra special in so many ways. Let's start at the beginning. So, for the birth of my second son, I had a doula (who was also a good friend) named Jessica. Jessica had also been the doula for the birth of Madison's (Clive's Mommy) daughter. When Madison found out that she was pregnant with number 2, she immediately asked Jessica to be her doula again. Well, Jess is now in school to become a midwife with an incredibly tough schedule and didn't feel like she could be on call for Madison 7 days a week. Jess approached me to see if I would be up for sharing the on call time, with me being on call on weekdays and Jess being on call on weekends around Madison's due date. Of course I said yes! I went out to visit Madison and her family for an initial consultation, just to make sure we meshed, and I felt a connection right away. I got along with them so well and I was really hoping they would allow me to be a part of this experience! Not only did Madison and Jacob invite me to be a part of their journey, but they were also using the same midwives that delivered my second son, Ethan. The chance to work alongside my midwives was so exciting! As Madison's pregnancy progressed, I felt like we grew closer and closer. She, Jacob and their daughter (oh, and don't forget their pup!) were so sweet and loving and caring, and I just love everything about them. Even though I was hopeful that Jess would get to be there for Clive's birth (which, by the way, they didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl!), I really wanted to be there, too.
Sunday, February 14th (Valentine's Day!) we got the call that Madison was in labor. Her first labor was pretty quick, so Jess and I had both planned we would head out there ASAP when labor started. They also live in Vancouver, so it was a bit longer than my usual drive. But, because it was a weekend day, that meant BOTH Jess and I were available. We had asked Madison and Jacob ahead of time if they were okay with both of us coming should we be available and they agreed that it would be wonderful. Well, Jess and I were available so we both hit the road.
Jess beat me by a few minutes. I walked in and was immediately greeted by two of the midwives who were there when Ethan was born. I gave them each a HUGE hug and we chatted for a minute or two. Madison was in their bedroom resting. When she came out of her room a few minutes later, I couldn't believe how beautiful she was. She greeted me with the biggest smile and I gave her a hug. She did not seem like a woman that was in active labor - she handled every contraction beautifully. Jacob and Jess supported her during contractions and worked to fill the tub in between. Because Jess was there too, I was able to step back and get some photos of the magic.
The midwives chatted quietly amongst themselves and for a short maybe 20 minutes, they thought maybe they had arrived too soon. Not long after receiving a dose of antibiotics, Madison said she felt like she wanted to get in the tub. She gracefully stepped in and then like a beautiful birth goddess, she just continued to labor like she was made to do this. It wasn't long before Madison started pushing. Now, even though I knew she was pushing, I didn't realize baby Clive was going to come as quickly as he did! Suddenly, his head had been delivered - and it was in the caul! (My first ever en caul birth!) Madison just sat there, relaxed, waiting patiently for her next contraction to come on so she could deliver him the rest of the way. Madison had expressed desire to try and catch her baby herself, and I watched in amazement as she did just that. It was truly like watching someone who had given birth a thousand times. She just reached down and pulled him to the surface. It was a few moments before she and Jacob saw that Clive was a boy and It was such an honor to watch them gaze at each other in complete happiness and relief, before looking down to see the sex of their baby.
Madison continued to handle everything beautifully after that. And I just felt so lucky that I got to be there. So, let's recap...Valentine's Day baby, born en caul, born on the weekend so both Jess and I could be there, and born with the same midwives that attended my own home birth. What else could make this day even more special? Well, Madison's placenta was heart shaped! Yep, heart shaped. Pretty cool, huh? Welcome earthside, baby Clive! The world is so happy you're here.