Welcome Constance Lou

“I went to bed around 10:45 pm with no signs of labor whatsoever and had had a totally normal, busy day at work. I had just dozed off and was in that weird in-between stage of sleep and consciousness at 11:45 pm when all of a sudden felt a gush or water balloon popping and told George to turn on the light because I just peed the bed. I was soaked and when I lifted up the covers, I saw that there was a HUGE wet spot. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. I called my midwife and asked her if there was somewhere I could go to test if my water had broken. I meant a drug store still open for PH strips but she told me to go to the ER. I didn’t think I was actually in labor so I didn’t want to go to a hospital. I was still 15 mins away from being 36 weeks and it was too early! We were planning a homebirth and I knew I had to be 37 weeks to deliver at home with the midwife. Because of this, George and I were confused about what to do and where to go. The water kept gushing out so I said, “Yea, I guess this might be my water.” George was in shock and slightly freaking out but I was still in denial so I was like, “It’s fineeeeee, we have plenty of time. You can go 24 hours before a baby comes after your water breaks.” I called our doula, Danae, and she asked where I wanted to go since I couldn’t deliver at home yet. We decided on the hospital and started casually packing a bag since I figured it would be the 24 hours before I actually delivered. Nothing was packed yet bc we hadn’t planned on needing to go anywhere and we grabbed random things. George took a shower to wake up and while he was in there I had my first contraction around 12:15 am. It was pretty intense and I got a little nervous since I had thought labor would come on slowly. By 12:45 am I had 3 more strong contractions and had thrown up so I said we need to leave SOON! I could tell this was about to get intense soon. George had left our “in case of emergency” birth plan at the office so he headed that way to pick it up on the way to the hospital. When we pulled out of the driveway I said “I’m downloading a contraction app because they’re too close. I’m having another one and I have to breathe through them.” I started timing and they were lasting 1.5 minutes and were 3-4 mins apart in the car!!!! I was DEFINITELY in labor. George was set on getting the birth plan because his biggest fear was delivering in a hospital without me being able to communicate what I wanted in delivery and for him to be empty-handed. So we got the birth plan which looking back was not needed at all! He got us to the hospital in less than 10 minutes. We checked in at 1:15 am and I had 3 more contractions while trying to give my ID at the front desk. They realized that I was REALLY in labor so they stopped the check-in process and put me in a triage room. My contractions started getting really close together and I couldn’t hold a conversation. My doula and George had to talk me through them and told the nurse we needed to get to a room ASAP. I was having contractions leaning on George and couldn’t sit down anymore. The OB on call came in around 1:45 am and checked me between my 2 minute apart contractions and said I was 5 cm. In my head, I said, “There’s no way I’m a 5 and it’s this intense. I am NOT going to be able to do this for another 5.” 5 cm’s sounded to me like I would be in labor for at least another 10 hours and there was no way I could naturally keep going for that long. I had planned a natural, medication-free birth but this pain was scaring me and I was contemplating asking for an epidural when I got to my room. About 5 minutes later my room was ready. It was about 100 feet away and it was too painful to sit in the wheelchair so I walked to the room. I got halfway there and had a REALLY intense contraction in the hallway, practically squatting on the ground. The nurses said don’t have a baby in the hallway! We got in the room and I immediately leaned against the bed and had 3 contractions that had pressure down there so I knew baby was coming soon. I wasn’t going to have to wait hours and I knew I could do it without an epidural!

Mom labors at St. Vincent's southside during fast birth
After those 3, I started making the typical “pushing” sound so they yelled for the OB to come back. He checked me again while I was leaning over and said I was 10 cm and we were having a baby. This was maybe 10 mins after he said I was only 5 cm! The OB really wanted me in the bed and at that point, I didn’t care where I delivered because I just wanted to get the baby out. I got helped into the bed and kneeled against the back of it.

Mom labors with doula danae bunso of Jax wellness and birth services
There was no way I was going to lay on my back. I had 2-3 more contractions and I was PUSHING and bearing down throughout them. The OB then told me to reach down to feel the baby’s head almost out. The next contraction I felt like the baby’s head wasn’t going to fit and I said I couldn’t do it.

Mom roars during a contraction of her un-medication birth
George told me to breathe the baby down and my doula said to concentrate on pushing back towards her instead of tightening up on the next contraction. That encouragement gave me energy and determination. For the last contraction, I pushed as hard as I could and baby literally shot out all at once! It was instant relief.

Mom and dad find out they have a baby girl after giving birth

Constance Lou Cost, Coco as we call her, was born at 2:27 am weighing 5.7 lbs and 18.5 inches. George announced that it was a girl and the OB immediately handed her through my legs for me to hold. And we were parents.

Mom holds baby for the first time as dad looks on after giving birth on hands and knees

She was absolutely perfect. I held her to my chest and she fit perfectly. She was covered in baby newness and so tiny! George kept telling me “You did it!” and I kept saying “Oh my God.”

Mom feels relief and joy and giving birth to her baby girl naturally at 36 weeksBaby girl covered in vernix lays on mom's chest after birth
George holding her for the first time was the most beautiful moment of my life. He was made to be a dad and I saw love beaming from him when she snuggled up to his chest.

Dad holds daughter for the first time doing skin to skin
She grunted and talked to us for hours after she was born and she breastfed and latched perfectly in between those grunts.

mom and dad admire baby she is born quickly and without pain medicine at St. Vincent's hospitalmom does skin to skin with baby girl after being born quickly at 36 weeks
Mom latches baby for the first time after giving birth naturally at St. Vincent's SouthsideBreastfeeding baby for the first time after giving birth naturally at 36 weeks
After birth baby girl sits under the warmer as dad comforts her

At just 2 hours old I got to perform the most amazing adjustment of my life that I had waited to do for so long. I knew that adjusting my own baby would be a special moment but in that moment I felt so connected to her and knew we were going to have an amazing bond for the rest of our lives.

Chiropractor mom adjusts baby girl 2 hours after giving birth naturally

There was no time for any interventions to be attempted. No IV, no fluids, I wasn’t even admitted to the hospital officially, no paperwork, no vitals taken during labor, no laying on my back, no directed pushing. This is exactly what our birth plan was. Even though we didn’t get to deliver at home, everything was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t be happier with Coco’s birth.

Mom and dad snuggle their daughter after the birth at St. Vincent's hospital jackonvillefamily snuggles after a very fast labor and birth

She is named after my Granny who passed away 6 years ago. We were going to have her initials be the same but decided to just do the full name. My mom called my Grandpa that morning and told him it’s a girl and her name is Constance Lou. He didn’t say anything for a minute and then said that’s the best name I’ve ever heard.”

~You can view her birth *film* below~

This birth with a beautiful whirlwind and I’m so thankful to have been there!

If you are interested in having your little one’s birth day captured in photos and/or video, I would love to chat!

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.