The Birth of Colton

Colton’s birth was an amazingly calm and beautiful one.  Here is his birth story as told by Doula Becca (check her out here – she’s incredible).

“Jen’s third birth is one that I had been eagerly awaiting for 9 long months. Having been her doula for her second birth, I knew that I could look forward to another beautiful, empowering birth experience. Had I known what was in store, the wait would have been absolutely unbearable!

We became friends after the birth of Easton, so I wasn’t surprised to get a call from her inviting me to lunch out of the blue one day. During that lunch, she told me she had just taken a pregnancy test and it was positive!! She hadn’t been to the doctor yet but wanted to let me know that she was hoping to have me as her doula again. What an honor! I was so excited at the thought of being with her for another birth!

Eason’s birth was one of my first births as a doula and my first unmedicated one. Truth be told, Jen taught me a lot about natural birth and how a woman free of restricting pain medications can move and flow and dance through labor. I’ve come a long way and learned a lot since his birth, but moments during that labor have stuck with me and shaped the way I approach each birth since. I asked Jen and Justin to join me at one of my HypnoBirthing series this time around. I knew that she had the capacity for a beautiful birth, but I wanted to see if I could help make it even calmer, even more empowering. She chose to birth with the midwives at UF North, which was a big change from the hospital births she had already experienced, so I felt like preparing with a bit of HypnoBirthing would be the icing on the cake.

In the days leading up to Colton’s arrival, Jen’s body was doing quite a bit of warming up. She was showing many signs of her impending labor as many as 2 weeks before he was actually born. On Thursday, August 11 at noon I called her. I was on my way to Jacksonville to teach a private HypnoBirthing class and wanted to make sure she was doing well before I got that far away from her. Still having persistent warm-ups, but nothing exciting happening. She was just going about her day as a busy mom of two like a pro. So I headed south knowing that it would likely be later that night when we were going to be welcoming little Colton to the world. No sooner than I get to my client’s house and get started teaching did I get the text. THE text! She was really having to focus through these surges and had called Justin to come home and asked that I join her too. It was go time! I headed in her direction immediately, the couple who I was teaching were excited and gracious about the sudden change of plans!

Justin was ahead of me and would reach her first.  Based on what she was telling me that she was feeling, and knowing how her labor had progressed the last time, I suggested that he pick her up and bring her straight to the birth center. I would meet them there. Exactly one hour from her first text, Justin pulled up to the valet with a smiling but focused Jen in the passenger seat. I had called up and asked the midwives to get the tub ready for her as I knew she was pretty far along and would be wanting to get in right away. The room was all set up for us, the photographer was on her way and Jen’s family were headed in with Kaelyn and Easton so they could be there for the birth. Jen got in the tub, the midwives were in and out taking vitals and monitoring baby and Jen, Justin and I were chatting and laughing like friends do. The vibe in the room was light and airy and everyone was settling in for whatever this birth had in store for us.

photos UF North Birth center labor and deliveryDoula laughing during labor UF North birth photography contractions during labor doula support

Since the midwives still had clinic patients to see, they peeked in and told me to come get them when we needed them. Jen would focus and breathe with her eyes closed during surges, then laugh and chat with Justin and me in between. I knew things were getting serious when Jen stopped Justin from talking through one particularly strong surge. Just a gentle shake of his hands told him that she was trying to focus, so we all followed her lead and quieted ourselves as she was so clearly progressing through labor.

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The next moments all ran together for me. Jen so gracefully following her body’s lead began assisting her body’s natural pushes. Angela, her midwife, magically appeared at our side to help.

North jacksonville photography pushing during water birth

Just a few surges later and Jen changed her position from a side-lying one to a half-kneeling stance as she received her son into the world. Seemingly effortlessly, she brought him up to her chest and leaned back without so much as a hair out of place.

after birth laboring mom meets baby

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Midwives deliver baby at UF Health North

This gorgeous, strong, brave friend of mine had birthed her baby and made it look easy. Overwhelmed with happiness we all congratulated and cheered and just reveled in the absolute joy of the moment. I was so proud of her, as her doula. I was so amazed by her as a woman. I was so humbled as a woman of God, as I am at every birth, by this great miracle of birth that I had just witnessed.

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UF midwife does gentle newborn exmBirth center newborn exam after birthbaby toes admired by dad after birth

Jen’s second birth was wonderful and beautiful and natural. But this birth, Colton’s birth, showed how truly empowering birth can be when a woman is trusted to birth as nature intended. Instinctually, calmly and freely.”


Thank you to this family for sharing and allowing me to capture this special (birth)day!

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.