Unassisted Birth of a Rainbow Baby

by January Harshe on August 16, 2012

“These pictures were taken by my hubby literally about 2 or 3 minutes after birth. This is our 5th baby (all girls) and she’s a rainbow baby. We’ve experienced 4 losses over the years, with the last one being just 4 months before we got pregnant with Baby J.

My last birth with baby #4 was a traumatic one that left me with PTSD for about a year. After lots of prayer, research, and soul searching I knew the best decision was for us to birth at home, unassisted. This was our first home birth, first unassisted birth, and first water birth.

Depending on which dates you use (my conception date or the first ultrasound date), I was between 41wks 5d and 42wks when Baby J decided she was ready to come earthside. Labor was about 78 1/2 hours total with the last 29 1/2hrs of that with waters leaking/broken. While labor itself was long, pushing was quick and she was out within a minute.

I had hoped to go “overdue“- call me nuts lol, and was so grateful to have gotten my wish. The birth itself was amazing and everything was so healing for me.

As BWF says– unassisted birth isn’t for everyone and I can’t endorse it, but for us it was the best decision we could have made for our daughter’s birth and I will cherish the memories forever!”

I can not get over their little girl’s eyes right after birth. She is so aware and looks to be incredibly wise.

Her ‘all knowing’ look on her face and the cord still attached. Amazing.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Everyday Miracle Doula August 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

She’s a wise one 🙂 amazing pictures x


Jenny August 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I LOVE seeing the brightness in the eyes of unmedicated babies. Beautiful little girl!


Johanna August 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Wow, what a gorgeous little girl and lovely birth story! I don’t know if I have ever seen a brand-new baby with an expression quite like that.


Natasha August 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

What a beautiful lil baby!!!!


Reannan Keene August 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Wow! So beautiful. Congratulations on your family 🙂


Kimberly August 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Incredibly beautiful! I’m in tears.


mandy williams August 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Wow what a gorgeous baby! She looks so much older th

an just a few minutes. thanks for sharing.


Candice August 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Wow!! She is beautiful! Congrats to all of you.


Mae Redmond August 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Look at those eyes! She is gorgeous.


Katara August 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Beautiful! I’m new to bwf what does rainbow baby mean?


Becca August 17, 2012 at 5:48 am

Katana, I’m fairly new too & had to google it, I believe it means a baby born after a loss/losses, being by miscarriage or stillborn. One lady referred to her rainbow baby as a rainbow after the storm 🙂

And goodness gracious that is one beautiful & wise little soul! Congratulations! x


Sam August 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

Rainbow baby means that they didn’t know the gender before birth. People often describe boys as blue babies, or girls as pink babies. I have also heard yellow and green used to describe a surprise gender baby.


Mrs. BWF August 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

Rainbow baby refers to a special baby born after a preview loss. They do not replace the baby lost, but are the rainbow after the storm. It does not have to do with gender.


earthmama Gise August 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

Going “Team Green” is not knowing the sex of the baby:)


Sarah L August 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Absolutely incredible !!!! She cooked in there for a long time which is all the better !! High IQ , bright opened eyes, neck strong and ready for life !! Excellent job !! And thank u for sharing !! Xxxxx


Jen August 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

My son had the same look. Wide eyed with that peaceful awareness and calm. Brings tears to my eyes looking at this sweet newborn girl and nursing my now 7 month old boy. He’s my first, and only his father and I were there for his birth, very intentionally so. 🙂 When I was researching and learning about birth my favorite resources were Laura Shanley’s site unassistedbirth.com and Sarah J Buckley’s ebook “ecstatic birth.”


Amy August 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

So beautiful! That one is an old soul.


earthmama Gise August 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

I agree with Amy.. this sweet, beautiful, and intelligent baby is absolutely an old soul! Congratulations!


Andrea August 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

WOW what a great story I can only imagine the feelings you and your family have what a beautiful daughter you have and so alert. Congarts and I wish you all the luck in the world. What a strong mama you are and I love that you got to experience a home unassisted water birth not many get to do that and exsp being your last its def one you will never forget.


itslikemusic August 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm

oh my gosh, she is BEAUTIFUL! <3 Congratulations on such a little sweet pea!!!


Kellan August 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

She is beautiful! I plan on having my last child home & unassisted, as well, assuming all is well with my pregnancy when I get to that point. 🙂

For now, I just keep reading the stories on BWF – they’re all different kinds, and each one is inspiring!


Kerri August 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Beautiful baby girl! My husband looked at that picture and just said “Wow.” There’s another point on the “Don’t medicate” side of my inner birthing debate!


Sylvia August 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Wow! That is the most beautiful baby! She’s perfect! Congratulations! You’re one strong mama to labor so long for your baby!


Kandice September 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm

your daughter has eyes wise beyond her years. Definitely ones that see through to your souls. Congrats your blessing.


Alena Belleque September 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

She is so gorgeous *hearts* My Serenity was born with red hair, too, and she looked at me like that! Four months old now, and still incredibly aware and so so precious.

I don’t know if you’ll see this, or if you do if you will be comfortable with it, but I was wondering if you might be willing to email with me about the PTSD issue. I have it, from an abusive childhood, and I think Serenity’s birth either made it worse or that I may have a whole new set of issues with it as a result of a very very scary birth experience. I feel traumatized, and I have no support, and I could really use some advice. If you don’t want to do that, I completely understand, and won’t hold it against you. Just thought I’d ask 🙂

Blessings on your beautiful family *smiles & luv*


Krystal C., Doula November 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

January, do you have or know where I can find this birth video? I remember she posted it in BWF and it was amazing. It had an underwater camera and her husband was so calm.


Mrs. BWF November 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I’m trying to think. I thought I did have it or it was on here…let me look.


Krystal C., Doula November 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I thought it was on here, too 🙂 If you wouldn’t mind letting me know if you find it, that would be so lovely.


Krystal November 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Me too! Lol 🙂 any chance you found it?


Betty Jackson March 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Beautiful little Rainbow! Congrats!!!


Nicollette March 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

your baby is absolutely stunning!!!! thank you fir sharing


Jade March 2, 2013 at 7:25 am

A lot of people don’t know who alert unmediated baby’s are!! I LOVE it. Seconds after t daughter was born she went straight to the breast with a strong latch. Even weeks after a baby being Born with an epidural they still appear un alert and drugged. Sad:(


Elsie March 2, 2013 at 10:56 am

Wow, beautiful!! My daughter was born wide eyed as well. Amazing. Very happy for you all.


Linda L. Martin July 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

Wow, those pictures are amazing. She is so beautiful, and her alertness and knowing look are just breathtaking.

Our daughter is a rainbow baby too. She’s our only living child after 3 losses, (2 of those being a set of twins lost at 20 weeks.) I only wish that her birth had been that beautiful. It was more along the lines of your 3rd birth that you mentioned.

She is 3 now, and I hope that some day, I will have a better birth with another baby…


Linda had a little Lamb November 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm

These photos are beautiful. And I LOVE to read birth stories where the woman is in control of the situation and births in the best way for herself and the baby.


Trudy December 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

Thank you…for your bravery…your beauty….your heart-sharing.


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