A Young Mother’s Birth Story Told with Photos

A Young Mother’s Birth Story Told with Photos

“This is my album of my home birth. I labored in water and delivered on land.Β  I am 18 years old and feel this is my biggest accomplishment in my life already!”

“Painless” contractions have been going on for about 11 hours now. It’s 9 am. I have barely slept 5 hours due to being so uncomfortable and dealing with the annoying back pain.

“I am dilated to a shy 3cm and rocking through a contraction. They are so slow. I received and asked for some pitocin to help me speed things a bit. My contractions were just honestly…very…slow. I finally decide to put some clothes on (boo). Just got done cleaning my kitchen, doing the dishes, and “dancing” through contractions. My midwives and mama were crackin’ up at me because I couldn’t dance for shit!

“I couldn’t stop laughing because my mom was cracking me up, and smiling because I was so happy to be in labor. Finally! After almost 43 weeks (ultrasound due date, I find it highly inaccurate), I was so ready!”

“Things are rolling. 4 centimeters. I decided to moan and ‘wah’ through contractions and managed to get myself another clothing change in a fabulous pink outfit. The pan is for throwing up, which I luckily, never did. But I felt really nauseous!”

“Finally blowing up the pool. Had to wait until I was dilated to a 4 for the teeny possibility that contractions could slow down if I get TOO relaxed. Later I found out after I got into the pool that it didn’t take away any PAIN, but the warm water feels nice and allows you to get more comfortable.”

“Just received some more pitocin, simply because my contractions were slowing down a whole lot again, and I was being too dramatic to walk around. I wanted to lay down, especially hardly getting sleep. Big cry baby. I needed Shane.”

“Connecting with the Universe, God, and my Angels. There is beautiful Tibetan Monk music playing in the background and my Daya (mother) and Shane are helping me so much, supporting my spirit.”

“Ahhhh. Definitely in my zone. I am at a 6 here.”

“Chilled for awhile longer…at a 7. Things are really starting to hurt and “getting real”.

“I am talking to my midwife’s assistant (her daughter). Shane;s having a lolly good time apparently!”

“Stuck at a 7 here. I was stuck there for what felt like forever, but honestly it was probably only a couple hours.”

“8 centimeters. I tell the room, ‘I feel like giving up…but I will not give up!’

This is transition, where most women say ‘F*** this’ or ‘I’m leaving’ or ‘I will do this later’. I know I asked my midwife if she had something to take the edge off, Tylenol to be exact. πŸ™‚ She chuckled under her breath, but I wasn’t mad.”

“I am trying so hard to focus within, but the contractions are so intense and fast. I start hyperventilating because my body is trying to push at 8cm, but I am definitely not ready to push yet. My midwife tells me to put my hand over my mouth and take fast breaths so it will give me something to focus on and help my body stop pushing when its not ready yet!”

“9 cm. Shane is telling me how proud he is of me and how far I have come.”

“10 cm. Holy goodness. Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Scott! Contractions are a bit less painful now. I am ready to push…I look doped out because I’m so tired. :/”

“Pushing. I have been pushing for THREE HOURS now. I am so discouraged. Pushing has shown no progress whatsoever! I have been trying to take a nap, because I’m so sleepy and exhausted! It has been 21 hours and I feel like I’ve had enough. After discussing c-sections and hospitals my midwife kindly asked if she could break my water. She calmly told me that she couldn’t break my water before, because she didnt want me to tear so bad that I would need stitches. The caul has helped “stretch” and Shane has been massaging my back.”

She broke my water and I instantly feel like I have to shit a cantaloupe out. I could feel his head engaging lower and lower. I wobble to the bathroom and sit on the toilet, just to rock through contractions. I ask my midwife’s daughter to come and talk to me. She happily obliges. When I am sitting there on the toilet, rocking, I look into her eyes and tell her she’s beautiful and that her eyes look like my grandfather’s. They were the spitting image. My grandfather died shortly after I told him I was pregnant, so I truly felt his presence through her eyes.

I immediately got up after and KNEW my son was ready. I went as fast as I could to the bedroom, where my mom, midwife, and Shane were patiently waiting for me. My midwife told Shane to sit in the chair, I squat like an Indian between Shane’s legs, both of us facing everyone else in the room, while he helped hold me up.

I start to push REAL pushes, these feel AMAZING. As gross as it may sound to you, it was orgasmic. Not saying I actually had an orgasm, but it felt so good to where having an orgasm is the only physical feeling that comes close to the feeling of truly pushing out a baby. I am scared now and am thinking about stopping pushing, because everything is SO REAL right now! My midwife says “NO! LILY! FEEL YOUR BABY’S HEAD”. I put my hand down to feel his head. Hair. Lots of it.

Immediately I felt the most spiritual presence take over my body, and I YELLED. For the first time during my entire labor. I screamed. “I CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

1st push, his head is out.

2nd push, shoulders.

3rd push, my midwife says “Lily, get on all fours now sweetie.” I did exactly as she said and the rest of his body is out. I feel as if literally a fish has swam out from inside me and an instant relief of pain, the “weight” of pregnancy, and contractions. I am filled with joy and ecstasy!”

“I look on the soft floor, where my son is laying under my stomach (I’m on all fours). My midwife delivered him from behind me and handed him to me with finesse. I say out loud, “He is cute! I mean really really cute!”. He came out with no vernix, slick as a seal and perfectly clean! Shane picks him up with me and I go to lay down on the bed. “It’s all over!! I’m-I’m done!” I say. After 25 hours of labor, IT’S OVER!! β™₯ My midwife is sucking out his nose with a syringe bulb.”

“He is absolutely perfect. We are warming up his little white hands to get more oxygen and blood to him. The cord is still attached. We leave it attached until it is a white limp cord so all of the nutrients from the placenta can pump through to my son.”

“Whoohoo! I am in shock obviously. I receive some kind of liquid therapy herb tincture for my dizziness and shock. I have also lost a lot of blood.”

“Shane is blowing oxygen on his face, nothing is wrong, but there’s definitely nothing wrong with blowing pure oxygen to him. I’m sure we both need it! :P”

“Baby’s side of the placenta. Healthy rich and beautiful!”

“Shane finally cuts the cord, weighs him with a fish scale, and puts a white onesie and diaper on him.”

“Shane Robert Tai Cooney II. Big boy at 8 lbs, 2 ounces, 21 1/2 inches long.Β  The greatest thing of all of this…my son was born July 30th. My birthday is June 30th and Shane’s is October 30th. My grandpa? The one whose eyes reside in my midwife’s daughter/assistant? Born on April 30th. I do believe in miracles.”

“Caught the meconium on his sock!”

“Little Tai. I know I’m partial, But he’s beautiful. We had latching problems. He just couldn’t latch. I felt inadequate as a mother, and terrible that I was so mentally and physically exhausted. I couldn’t do anything to help it. My midwife (thank the Heavens for this woman) came over the next day and clipped his frenulum under his tongue. He latched IMMEDIATELY after. God, The Universe, all of it…Is good.β™₯”


65 thoughts on “A Young Mother’s Birth Story Told with Photos

  1. What an amazing young woman to take her health into her own hands and do what she thought was best for her child. I admire that. My son was also born without the use of pain medications and at a birth center. If only more women would look into their options before they just opt to a hospital.

  2. I love this! I had also just turned 18 when I gave birth to my first at home in the water. Its great to see other young moms trusting their bodies instead of the system. Beautiful birth!

  3. He’s just beautiful, and your story beautiful as well. Congratulations! It thrills my heart to see such a young mama take such interest in learning about birth, and doing things naturally. You did a fantastic job!

  4. Amazing. As a young mom myself – I wish more young women could see the positive birth outcomes at home and in independent birth centers. Curious though – using pitocin at home? I know midwives carry it for PPH, but I did not think they augmented labor at home with it.

    1. I agree…I’m very confused. Not only is it not customary, I don’t really think it’s very safe to use a drug that can cause distress in a location where emergency services are not immediately available.

      Besides that though…

      I was also a young mother (not quite 21) and had a homebirth πŸ™‚ It is wonderful to see other young women making wise, informed choices for their own healthcare. Inspiring!

    2. Im wondering if her midwife was using black and blue cohosh and not pitocin. My midwife gave that to me several times during labor to help facilitate things. She could just be confusing the two?

  5. It’s nice to hear about other people around my age (I’m 19) having home births.. or even just natural hospital/birth center births. I think this generation –and definitely our kids’ generation– is going to bring big changes.

  6. @Mandy, some of us don’t have a choice. The closest midwife to me who can legally deliver in my state is over 2 hours away–a distance that neither my partner or I feel comfortable risking. The best we can do is do the research and educate ourselves–clearly the young woman whose story we’ve just read has done that! And congrats to her on a job well done!

    1. I completely agree! Some women don’t really have a choice, but hopefully someday here soon there will be more birthing centers and midwives around, so more women and families can enjoy the benefits of midwifery and home births. I wanted to have a homebirth, but the only midwives around here are over 2 hrs away, and that’s just too risky. I”m pregnant with our fourth, and we are going to have a water birth in the hospital with our midwife. I’ve had three natural births in the hospital, and have been told I am a birthing machine lol. Having a baby in the hospital doesn’t make you any lesser of a person than having a homebirth. It’s just harder to make the Dr. do what you want rather than what they want. You just gotta stand your ground and tell them to F-OFF it’s your body not theirs. And to this young mother, you are amazing! I laughed and got all teary eyed reading your story. Congratulations!!! πŸ™‚

  7. I am so impressed! You have a wisdom and connection to Spirit that many people never find! What a beautiful birth … I love how he was received with so much love and support .. he’s a lucky little fellow. I also love how you fell in love with him instantly … as it was meant to be … and something that is often impaired by the drugs in hospitals. Enjoy your babymoon! <3

  8. “she broke my water and I instantly feel like I have to shit a cantaloupe out”

    this made me laugh until I teared up. best, most honest description ever. Way to go mama!!!!

  9. I love this story and I understand the feeling of being inadequate because you can’t nurse. My oldest just plain couldnt latch. We tried everything for days before finally seeing a LC and getting nipple shields. She immediately latched and had no problems after that. I would say, judging from your story, you’re anything but inadequate! Congrats and welcome to motherhood.

    @Mandy, Just remember that some women *choose* hospitals, and that’s ok. Some, also have no birth centers in their area (the nearest to me for my first born was 200 miles away!). Whatever a woman chooses to do, it is her choice and hers alone.

  10. INCREDIBLE!! I am also a young mother, 23, was 21 when I birthed my son. I had a natural birth but at a hospital. I plan on birthing at home with my next kiddos. I love all of your pictures, you are so strong and beautiful! Now you can be a advocate for young mothers who maybe doubt their bodies and their strength. Our son is also the II πŸ™‚

  11. Congrats Hun! Your story was a great read. I also love hearing of young mothers who birth at home and in an extremely educated way instead of just going to the hospital and letting the doctors do what they want with us. Great job mama!

  12. That was an absolutely gorgeous birth story! What a strong momma to know her options at such a young age. Rock on!

  13. This is an amazing birth story! And yes a miracle indeed! I gave birth to my 1st daughter at 20 and she was a miracle as well born on the 29th September I’m the 29th April and my partner is 29th January!

  14. i am so floored by your beautiful and incredibly *real* documentation of birth. i am floored also by the confidence you have in your body and its ability to birth, at the age of 18. i’m 35 and when i was 18, i did not trust my body at all. i think many younger mamas just don’t know about their options, and are not encouraged to trust their bodies. this is one of my top two favorite birth stories — and i’ve read a lot. it’s so uplifting. congratulations, and excellent work, mama. he is such a stunning, gorgeous little soul.

  15. OMFG! i loved your birth story! the best one yet! i plan on having a home water birth with my second boy who is due is just 5 weeks! I cannot wait! I hope everything is going good for you! If you get this and you have a facebook or email please get a hold of me. I’m only 20 and i would love to chat with you about your birth and such. This was the most amazing birth story i have ever read! This gives me hope that i can do this even more now! Thank you so much!

  16. I’m so happy to see other young mamas aware of the benefits of home/birthing center births. I am 18 and also had my son at a birthing center. It is such an incredible experience and I wish I could connect more with young mom’s who understand the importance of these birth plans, and such. Very beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  17. I wish I could be like you. You have so much heart and power! I am determined to have a great labour and birth, if i could just get pregnant. After 2 years of trying we are close to giving up and adopting, but I know that will take just as long again!
    Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy, you are right, he is beautiful! x

  18. I just wanted to THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful story! I believe people underestimate womens choice to have natural births and even more so young women. As if we are too young & naive to “know better” had homebirths with both of my pregnancies (1st birth I was 24) I have always said since I was in my teens that I wanted to give birth naturally and with just one doctor (I didn’t know what a midwife was until I was 17). My mom laughed thinking “yeah right, you whine when you stub your toe.” Everyone else told me “just wait! You will want an epidural. and as for privacy…when your in labor you won’t care who sees you” so when my husband and I decided to have a homebirth many people we shocked that all these years I was serious. Most tried to be supportive but some would keep trying to tell me I was wrong and selfish and that I I could kill my baby or myself! And to just wait and see ill be begging for an epi…no such thing happened! It was the most amazing day of my life. I thank you for sharing your story. I believe it will help empower other young women against all the nay sayers and show them it CAN BE DONE! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  19. Beautiful pictures! I’m very curious…did your midwife give you actual pitocin during the labor? It wasn’t herbal tinctures? I’ve never heard of a midwife using pitocin at home during labor, so I was just curious. πŸ™‚

  20. Great job..I’m in awe of your wisdom and awareness at the age of 18. (not that I think *all* 18 year olds are immature ninnies but I certainly was)

  21. I loved your birth story. its nice to see more and more people are communicating about labour in a positive way. its so tough but so beautiful and worth being present for for the whole part.

  22. Amazing story! I, like you was only 18 when I gave birth to my son.
    However I had a hospital birth, but it was a good experience. Not a bad one. But good on you for birthing the way you thought was best!
    I am also going to now research delayed cord clamping. I have heard of it here and there but don’t know much about it.
    Thankyou for sharing!

  23. absolutely beautiful!! you, your baby, your story, all of it! i’m so proud of you mama and you should be too, job well done!!!
    much love!

  24. I love these photos. I am left wondering where this took place? What type of midwife can bring pitocin other than for 3rd stage use to a homebirth?

  25. This is beautiful. I wish I had been this smart when I had my daughter and I was even a couple years older. Had an awful hospital experience ending with an unnecessary c-section : ( But I WILL have my chance to do it this way and reading about stories like yours empowers me a little bit more each day.

  26. Loved reading your birth story. Reminded me so much of the birth of my daughter. Congratulations and proud of you!

  27. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, empowering birth story. Your honest and raw descriptions made it seem like I was there with you. I am expecting in September and have a home birth planned. I hope to harness the strength and fierceness that you were able to in my birth and to have an amazing birth experience as well. Your story inspired me deeply and I’m certain has inspired many others.
    Again, thank you. And many blessings to you in motherhood.

  28. I love, love, love this story. I was 21 when I had my first daughter…at a hospital, doped up with the epidural and pitocin…I was a scared-shitless, nervous wreck when I went into labor. I went on to educate myself, delivered my second baby naturally at a hospital, and my husband caught our third baby, in my dark bathroom when we had a surprise unassisted birth at home (10lb-er no less!) The differences between my births are staggering and my sons accidental unassisted birth is one of the best experiences I’ve had in my 27 years.

    You are so strong mama!

  29. This (teens) isn’t the only age we were built to have babies, or else that would be the only age women would be having babies without medical help.
    Women were built to have babies at lots of different ages. I’ve read numerous history books and genealogy books listing women having healthy children while in their teens all the way into their 40’s, it was common. Not so much a new thing as people would have us believe.
    Congratulations to this young woman on taking control of her health. What a beautiful birth story!

    1. I had a horror hospital birth with my son at 31 and then an amazing homebirth with my daughter at 41.

      I agree – this is a beautiful birth story.

      Pitocin during a homebirth sounds risky to me – here in Australia you can’t have any drugs during a homebirth unless it was to deal with an emergency… I would have tried nipple stimulation as a natural way of stimulating contractions.

  30. My heart! This is just beautiful! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your birth story. Such a strong, lovely woman you are. At 18! So proud for you. How spectacular.

  31. ps- I agree about pushing feeling almost orgasmic. There are no words to describe the relief/ecstasy of pushing when the baby is ready. So glad to hear that from someone else:)

  32. Ooo yeah mama, good job!!! Loved reading your story. Put me right back into my own labor and delivery experience. I had a home birth too for my son born last month. I had planned on water birthing but the pool made my contractions too “sleepy” as well. I got stuck in transition at around 8 centimeters dilation for hours with a swollen lip on my cervix that was blocking my babies head and preventing me from feeling the urge to push. So glad i had 2 incredibly skilled midwives who knew how to help me get through that. Anyways, you’re a truly incredible young lady!!! Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy

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