Birth Story-Baby Logan Elliot

DSC_0259Baby: Baby Logan Elliot 

Born at a Birthing Center to:

Natural Mama: Jenna Elliot    Proud Daddy: Philip Elliot


1. What made you want to have a natural child birth?
I wanted a natural childbirth halfway through the pregnancy after talking with a friend who delivered at the birth center. Hearing her talk about reasons she didn’t want an epidural was really the first time I heard someone not want an epidural and it got me thinking. I then decided to take the birth class offered at the birth center (as opposed to the hospital birth class) and the more I was educated about the epidurals, pitocin, c-sections, etc the more convinced I was that I wanted to go natural. All that information was new to me and I was floored to learn how intervention actually causes more problems during childbirth.

2. Did you take any birthing classes to help you prepare for a natural birth?
Yes, I took the birth class offered at our birth center. It is taught by the two midwives and a doula who assists in the teaching. The class meets 3 hours, once a week for 6 weeks. It is very in-depth and wonderful. We had to read articles, practice different coping methods for pain, and discuss all kinds of relevant information for birthing. In addition, I also took a newborn class, which covered newborn care and breastfeeding and an infant CPR class. Both of the additional classes were taught by the midwife as well.

3. Best advice you can give to someone who wants a natural childbirth but is afraid?
Best advice that worked for me was this:  know that each contraction will only last for 60 seconds and you can do anything for 60 seconds. There is a natural break coming in between each contraction and truly rest and enjoy each and every break without stressing over the upcoming contraction. Believe that your body was designed to do this and this is the best way for the baby to come out. And to relax during each contraction, which is something you must practice and focus on doing, it’s not natural at first. Relaxing during the contraction really does lessen the pain. And know that it is possible to deliver without medication!

4. A quick tip you can share for first time moms or something you wish you had known before you became a mom?
Do not feel guilty to let the chores go undone for the first three months. Enjoy each day with your newborn baby, study them, learn them, cherish them. The dishes, laundry, cleaning can wait and will still be there! Give yourself permission to sit in the rocking chair and rock your baby while he/she sleeps and just rest without feeling guilty. A routine will develop in time, but don’t stress over it. It was four months before it began feeling like my ‘new normal.’  That’s when I picked up the pace and started adding more chores back into my daily routine. My husband was great those first three months when I was feeling guilty for ‘not getting anything done during the day’ and he told me this often: “Was the baby fed today? Was the baby changed today? Did the baby sleep today? Is the baby alive today? Then you had a successful day as a mom and did your job well!”


At week 37 I was convinced I had at least three weeks to go, if not more. I was completely shocked to wake up during week 37 of my pregnancy to discover my water had broken while I was sleeping. My husband and I went to our birth center to see what the midwife would say. She calmly and sweetly explained that I had 24 hours to get the baby out and had a long labor in front of me. With my water broken and no contractions, it was up to me to induce myself naturally to get things rolling.

Not exactly how I would have imagined or hoped for my first labor to go. However, the process and work that I went through to get my son here naturally was worth every minute involved!

My amazing husband and midwife encouraged and supported me every step of the way as I began the process of naturally inducing myself. I pumped for 30 minutes and walked for 30 minutes, pumping, walking, pumping, walking for 8 hours. It was exhausting and tiring work, but was successful in starting my labor. It clearly takes longer to go this route than using pitocin at the hospital, but this method allowed me to have a natural birth, so it was worth it for me.

The entire time of my labor the midwife was mentioning the hospital as a possibility if my labor did not progress. It was basically a race against the clock. I was nervous, unsure of my ability to labor naturally, and at times just didn’t know how this baby was going to get here. I had seen the birthing video, took the birth class and yet still had no idea how this baby would really come out of my body!

Once things progressed and I started having stronger contractions I began to see that 8 hours of pumping and walking really did pay off. We were well underway into the laboring process. It was some time during the phase where contractions really start to hurt that I surrendered my body to the experience and stopped fighting the process. At that point things got easier, although more painful at the same time. Birthing truly is 90% mental and only 10% physical, just like my midwife had said.

As I observed myself going deeper into labor, and feeling incredibly painful contractions, something inside of me came out and I discovered a new part of myself I had never known before. The midwife referred to me as a birth warrior. It became apparent to me that I no longer cared how much the pain was, my main objective was to get my baby out safe within the time frame to avoid being transferred to the hospital.

As I went into the transition part of labor, the pain was real and strong.  My body was so hot that I didn’t want the bed sheet touching even my toe. My husband pushed on my back with a hot pad, the midwife and birth assistant were encouraging me along the way, and helping out in every way possible. I took each contraction in stride and focused on the fact that in less than one minute the pain would stop and that would be one less contraction to worry about. Each contraction got me closer to the end goal. I took comfort in knowing I only had to go through each contraction once. I mentally checked each one off in my head as a way to stay encouraged that I was getting closer to the finish line!

Finally, after 20 long hours of laboring I was fully dilated. It was time to push. The pain of contractions had ceased. The midwife had me push in several different positions: squatting on the floor, laying on the bed, and sitting over the toilet. Pushing over the toilet seemed very strange to me, but it actually helped. It allowed me to use gravity, the same as squatting, but gave my legs a break of holding my weight.

During the pushing part my son’s head would appear, and then disappear. He was in the proper position, but his head was turned sideways, making his head bigger and more difficult to come out.

Two hours of pushing, added on top of the 20 hours of laboring and I was spent. I really didn’t know how he was going to come out, but I knew one thing. If I was transferred to the hospital at this point they would use an epidural and I would most likely be rushed into an emergency c-section because we were now very close to the 24 hour mark of when my water broke.

The midwife, who was tired now too, called the other midwife to get a fresh perspective. The other midwife showed up at the birth center within 10 minutes to help. I love these midwives! They will do anything to help a woman have the birth they desire!

The second midwife came, evaluated the situation and said we would need to discuss the hospital because he wasn’t coming. I looked at her and said, politely, that I brought myself from a 1 to a 10 and I would not go to the hospital to let the medicine finish the rest of the work for me. I wanted to finish what I had started! She smiled back at me and said, “You’re not going to the hospital! He is coming right here!” She told me I needed an episiotomy to make more clearance for his head to come out since it was tilted. She numbed me, then made the cut.

Up until now we had heard his strong little heart beat each time she checked. She had me push again and checked his heart rate again. This time was different. I didn’t hear anything. No one said out loud what we all were thinking, we just knew. My midwife told me definitively, “He needs to come out now.” I knew what was at stake. I pushed, nothing. I prayed and asked the Lord to reach in and pull him out because I did not know how to get him out. I prayed, and the Lord answered. I pushed and out came my sweet, beautiful baby boy. He was a healthy 7’7” and 19 inches, not too shabby for being 3 weeks early!

After being stitched up for a severe third degree tear (my least favorite part of the entire process!), I held my son (my most favorite part of the entire process!), nursed him and felt an incredible rush of energy, joy, love, and gratefulness. After a whopping 22 hours of intensely grueling labor/delivery, I was suddenly very awake! The release of adrenaline after a natural childbirth is quite amazing!

Four hours later my husband, baby and me were back at our home. I was to stay in bed for the next three days to let my body rest and bond with my baby and husband. Being told to stay in pajamas for three days and do nothing but sleep, eat, nurse and love on my new baby with my husband, um, yes, sign me up, I can definitely do that!

Even though it was an incredible amount of work and pain, knowing that I brought my baby here without an epidural was very empowering to me. I felt a sense of accomplishment, pride, and confidence that I did what I needed to do to get my baby here safely. It was the first experience I shared with my son and we did it together, with the amazing support of my husband and two midwives. I knew that day that I wanted to deliver naturally every time. It brought out this woman inside of me that I didn’t know before. It brought out my maternal instincts. I am grateful for such caring and supportive midwives who believe whole-heartedly that God designed a woman’s body to birth naturally, and that the mother and baby can do it together, and begin an amazing bonding experience. I am grateful for my husband, who truly is my other half and I could not have delivered this way without him. I am grateful for our little boy that we had prayed two years for the Lord to bring. And I am grateful for the Lord who blows me away with His love and care for us. Going into all of this I was very unsure of my ability to deliver naturally, and coming out on the other side I believe that any woman who chooses to go naturally is able to and will discover a new part of herself that she had never met before. At least that was my experience.


Baby Logan Elliot born 7lbs 7oz and 19 inches on February 22, 2010


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