A Surprise Gender Home Water Birth - Freya's Birth Story

There are some births that are just so perfect there are hardly any words to describe them. This was one of them.


It was March 13. It was a rare point in time during the long winter where there was no snow on the ground, thanks to a recent spike in temperatures and some rain. I was still running high from another birth the day before. Mom was past her due date, had been feeling more consistent contractions and increased appetite that morning.


I got the text from dad at 8:48pm that mom was in active labor and they had called the Midwife. “We don’t need you yet, but you’ll probably be hearing from us tonight.” I (im)patiently waited on the couch, trying to distract myself with episodes of Frasier. I dozed off around 10pm.


My son (who was still wide awake) woke me up - “Mom! Your phone beeped!” At 11:32pm I got the text that they were ready for me to head over.


When I arrived, the room was dark, quiet and peaceful. Their sweet little girl, 3 year-old Penny, was standing next to the pool, rubbing her momma’s hand. The room was lit with holiday lights and salt lamps, and I could smell lavender in the air.



I quietly got my gear ready and started shooting.


It didn’t take long… Momma was close. So close.


She’s a doula herself, so no stranger to birth. But when you’re in it, the experience is very different. She was working so hard. She was definitely reaching her edge.



She looked at her midwife and asked, with the most beautiful and desperate innocence: “How much longer? How many more pushes? Two? Three?”



Meanwhile, Penny stands by her side, comforting her momma through the surges. “It’s okay, Mommy. You don’t have to be scared” I think my heart literally melted a little…



I was in the room with her for no longer than 15 minutes when baby emerged underwater.



“I can’t do it...”


Her midwife gently reminded her that she can do it. That she had already done it. “There’s your baby. Pick her up”



Momma pulled her baby out of the water, relieved and exhausted. She didn’t even care right away whether her baby was a boy or a girl - she just knew she finally had her baby in her arms.



What is it?!?!


IT’S A GIRL!!! Oh my God, it’s a girl!!



“You’re so cheesy!” Mom was fascinated with all the birthday frosting this little one was born with.



Dad called downstairs, where Grandma was patiently waiting. She rushed up to meet her new granddaughter for the first time.



Mom was helped out of the tub and into her own bed, to rest, recover and enjoy her new little girl. Ms. Freya was welcomed with so much love...



She was so alert, and completely infatuated with her momma.


Happy Birthday, baby girl! Here’s to many more...



I left their home with my heart full and happy. Witnessing the magic of childbirth never gets old, and I’m so blessed that I get to be there to capture it. I have so much gratitude for Alyssa and her family for trusting me with such an important mission. How lucky am I!


By the way, are we hanging out on Facebook yet? Like and follow my page for more empowering images and birth stories!

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Lincoln, NE birth photographer serving southeast Nebraska

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Leslie Castleberry

Tel: 402-217-1495

leslie@novitaphoto.com

© 2019 by Novita Family Photostories, LLC.