The Birth of Hazel

When I first met Jess, they had just moved their family back from Guam in order to give birth the way that she and her family wanted.  “I’m an LLL Leader and big birth rights advocate, and after having my last baby at home (we had a small homestead about an hour north in Georgia) I couldn’t accept that my only options on Guam for this baby were a very medicalized hospital birth, over managed birth center birth, or unassisted. I love homebirth midwives and want one by my side for this third and last birth” said Jess.  She chose the midwives from The Birth Center of Jacksonville to be there with her.  I couldn’t wait to document her birth!

Jess and her family moved into their new house, unpacked, and got ready for baby!  She sent me a few pics as they prepared – her birth space was GORGEOUS!  December 29th, I got a message that contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart and I headed over around 6 pm.

Jacksonville Fl homebirthbefore giving birth laboring at home

This Momma was so sweet to think of her birth team and visitors.  She had made snacks and drinks for everyone.  The family enjoyed dinner, around the table that Dad had built, as mom labored.  The kids joking that Dad’s store bought hummus was nowhere near as good as Mom’s homemade.

birth ball through the night during home birthjacksonville breastfeeding during home birth

The kids said goodnight and finally went bed.  Who wouldn’t be excited to meet their new baby brother or sister?!  Jess was tired.  She knew her body needed rest.  Her husband and I could hear that she was in a deep sleep, with the surges almost seeming to stop, so we both decided to call it a night.  At 7 am the next morning, I got the call and rushed over.  I walked in to see Jess laboring around the tub, waiting for the right time to get in.

waiting for baby at home water birthin the tub birthing at home with midwivesBirth center of jacksonville midwife hope terrell attends homebirthJacksonville Florida laboring woman during homebirth

Her husband floated around the house, tending to the kids and completing little tasks, all while supporting Jess.  He knew when his wife needed him and he was right there by her side when she did.

during homebirth father in tub with wife

Her surges grew more intense and she soon felt the urge to push!

midwives assist in delivering baby birth center of jaxmidwives from riverside birth center of jacksonville attend homebirth

Their surprise baby girl was born at 10:30 am!

newborn baby born in the water at homeafter giving birth in tub tandem nursingwith newborn and family at home postpartum

after birth showing little one the placentaafter homebirth newborn exam done at home

Midwife Hope gently examined Hazel as the family watched on.  This girl weighed 9lbs 2oz!

North Jacksonville family enjoying their newborn after homebirth

They relaxed in bed together as a family, soaking in every detail of their new baby girl.  These boys were in awe of their sister and you could see the excitement in their eyes.  I think Jess and her family got the beautiful homebirth that they had worked so hard for – congrats!

If you are interested in having your birth captured, I would love to chat!

4 comments
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  • Gabby - I loved this birth story! I love how these brothers got to be so involved in welcoming their new baby sister in the world. And I love the photo of one of the brothers sharing mommy with his new sister. So precious! I wish lots of luck, health and happiness to this beautiful family! 
    #birthgoalsReplyCancel

  • Shelly - Such a beautiful story! I love it when parents involve the older siblings in the birth. That’s one lucky little girl, she is going to have two big brothers to take care of her!ReplyCancel

  • lindsay - What a beautiful family!! What an amazing birth space! I can really feel their love and joy in this story. You did an amazing job capturing this, Melissa! ReplyCancel

  • Cat Fancote - Oh how I love me a home birth story *swoon*! What a gorgeous family (and a gorgeous birth space!). Beautiful birth imagery Melissa. Welcome earthside little one.ReplyCancel

Hi I'm Melissa!

I'm an introverted, T-shirt wearing, animal loving, nature admiring, lucky wife, mother of 3, photography and birth obsessed lady.

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