Birth-You Know How To Do This!

You know how to do this – if only every woman grew up hearing those words, it would change our total outlook on birth.  From the beginning of our chat, I was inspired by this woman.  Her story and why she wanted her birth captured really struck a nerve with me.  Not only did she want this empowering experience for herself, but she wants to be able to share it with her community and family for years to come!  I’m really passionate about sharing birth stories, so I thought it would be a great idea to share her before birth story.  I’m so happy to introduce this amazing woman, my birth client – Gabrielle!

Jacksonville Florida maternity session before birth

Image by Amanda Robinson Photography

“The first thing new mamas and mamas delivering naturally for the first time hear from me is – You Know How To Do This!  Birthing is so primitive and innate that our only work really is to get out of our own way.  I hadn’t always believed that.

My first pregnancy and choice for delivery in 2008 with my oldest girl, Elyasia was shaped by much of what I’d witnessed with most other moms.  You have your baby at a hospital and stay for 48 hours to make sure all is well, then you can go home with your new squishy!!  That’s pretty much how my first birth went.  It wasn’t a bad experience but I knew I wanted to have a different experience the next time.

After recapping my first birth, the things I knew were not necessary, what I didn’t want to have in my next birthing – NO Pitocin, NO pain relief, No epidural, and NO episiotomy!  Each intervention led to the next and there was a price to pay for each.  We know how to do this is what I kept thinking!  And that idea led me to much research in books, on the net, and connecting with groups on social media.  I’d learn there the beauty of breastfeeding, natural and water birthing, the potential complications of epidurals and traditional birthing interventions such as forceps and vacuum extractors.  Most of these interventions were all so common to me.  It’s all I’d ever seen on television and even with my mom when she birthed my youngest sibling.

It was time to paint a new picture around the way women in our family birthed!

In 2013 I married a wonderful gentleman, Juan.  We quickly began family planning and discussing baby names and gender preferences.  I was a bit worried about his ideas of birthing because I was already certain I wanted to have a water birth, intervention free!  Thankfully he was very receptive to birthing as natural as possible and being my number 1 support person the entire way through.  Happily, in May of 2014, we had the opportunity to experience the sweetest birth center water birth a woman could ask for!  We had a complication-free pregnancy and our midwives were amazing at Fruitful Vine Midwifery Service, here in Jacksonville, Florida.  I’m still in awe that baby was born at 11am and we were back home by 2pm!  The support and love they give in their practice are felt long after baby makes its way earthside.  Each appointment was smooth, filled with care, and left the imprint of empowerment and trust in me.  I do REALLY KNOW how to do this!  All of my wishes were respected and I have so much gratitude for these women, for really holding my hand as I did what I already knew how to do.

Shortly after birthing our sweet little girl Phoenix in 2014, I became an advocate for natural birthing and started working with expecting mothers in helping them shape the birth they’d want, on their own terms.  I’d attended many hospital births to support friends and they always wanted me there.  I began feeling that this was a calling  for me to be a Birth Doula and professionally support mothers through pregnancy and labor.  I love taking on families and often times introducing them to this new, well old, paradigm of birthing and parenting.  Each family is different and has unique desires.  Thankfully, I have been able to support them all, where they are.

Now I am literally days away from birthing again, another baby girl – this time at home as a water birth.  My husband Juan has set up the birthing pool and bed awaiting our 3rd sweet princess!  Big sister Elyasia, 8 years old, and Phoenix, 2 years old, are anxiously waiting to meet their new little sister!  We look forward to sharing this next chapter with you!”

maternity session jacksonville beach

Image by Amanda Robinson Photography

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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.