Category: childbirth

deacon levi’s birth story

10 weeks later and I’ve finally got around to posting Deacon’s birth story! You can read Darby’s birth story here.

For the week before Deacon’s birth I was having contractions every evening from about 5-11pm lasting 30-45 seconds 15 minutes apart. Every night they got more intense, and every night I went to bed thinking that this was the night I would give birth, so every morning I was disappointed when I woke up and there was still no baby. It was really tough. I purposefully didn’t let anyone know that I was having contractions all week because I was already having such a hard time with people constantly asking me if I’d had the baby yet!

On the morning of the 26th at 4 am I woke up having contractions about 10 minutes apart lasting about 40 seconds, I tried to sleep as much as I could knowing that if this was the day that I was going to have my baby I would need lots of energy! At 7 am they started to space out and by 8 am the contractions stopped again…all the starting and stopping was exhausting for me. I continued on with my day and at 1.30pm the contractions started again. At this point I didn’t want to get my hopes up anymore so I just ignored them, I knew that they were getting more intense but since there was no defining pattern (some were 15 mins apart, some were 7 mins apart lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute) I tried to not pay much attention to them. Gabriel took Gracen to swim at his uncles house and I decided to take a nap.

When I couldn’t sleep through the contractions anymore I decided to text Gabriel and my midwife…”I haven’t really been able to rest. The last hours they’ve been averaging 1 min long every 7-10 mins, I had one 20 minute break that I could rest but I’m really starting to have to focus through them”.

At this point I was so nervous that the contractions would just stop again (like they had so many times before) that I kept telling myself “if I have 3 more intense contractions I’m going to tell Gabriel to come home”…and they did, so I did ;)

When he arrived at the house, he called my midwife (who was already loading up her car) and told her she should come. He asked me if I wanted him to fill up the birth pool and I told him no. I had another intense contraction and remembered that it took 45 mins to fill up the birth pool so I decided he should start filling it just in case. This whole time I was thinking “Amy is going to get here and I’m going to be at like 5 centimeters but I’m really gonna hope that I’m at a 7″. The wonderful thing about natural childbirth (versus pitocin induced) is that in between contractions you feel like you get a break. With both Darby’s birth and this birth I was always surprised when I looked at my timer because even though a contraction would be 1 minute long it wouldn’t feel that long and even though the space between was like 30 seconds it would feel like minutes. I actually felt like I got to gather my strength in between contractions.

I knew that the contractions were starting to have a pattern 30 seconds mild contraction, 30 seconds intense, 30 seconds mild, 30 seconds break so I knew he was getting close. This was at 4:20 pm. At this point I tried many things and couldn’t get comfortable. Sitting on the birthing ball, sitting on the toilet, I even ended up laying on the bathroom floor with my face over the ac vent with cold air blowing on me! The only position that felt any kind of comfort for leaning over the counter, so I made my way to the kitchen to be with Gabriel.

I started to freak out a little at this point, wondering how much more I could take and hoping that when Amy got here I wouldn’t have to much time to go.

Then Amy walked through the door. She put some counter pressure on my back and immediately my water broke the same way it did with Darby, a huge gush. I was completely in shock at this point. I knew this meant that he was coming soon and I couldn’t believe that it was already time! I started to say “Amy I am not doing good. I can’t do this” (I should’ve know that I was in transition at this point!). All I remember is Amy saying “Debbie, let me have your eyes, look at me” and when I looked at her she said “you can do this”.

4:57 pm was the last contraction that I timed right when Amy walked through the door. Soon after my water broke I started to get on all fours. This was one of the positions that I always said I would never give birth in, but I just found myself going there and at that time I didn’t have time to think about anything. I knew Deacon was coming right now. Amy ran to go get supplies and I started saying “I guess I’m not getting in the pool this time either!”. She had Gabriel come over and join me on the kitchen floor and I rested my head in his lap.

I had read Hynobirthing during this last pregnancy and one of the things I took away from this was “breathing the baby out” instead of pushing to prevent tearing. So this is what I did. I focused on not forcing my body to push but just letting it happen. Once his head and shoulders were out Amy actually asked me to push because he was stuck at his belly. He was so much bigger than my other two!
Deacon Levi's Birth Story
At 5:06 pm Deacon Levi entered the world on my kitchen floor weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces and 22 inches long. 9 minutes after my midwife arrived! I cannot thank Amy Cefalo of Natural State Midwife for all of her support pre and post natal. And of course my amazing husband for all of his support not only during my labor but during our difficult transition as a family of 5.
Deacon Levi's Birth Story
Deacon Levi's Birth Story

And here are some newborn portraits of our little man:
Deacon Levi's Birth Story
Deacon Levi's Birth Story
Deacon Levi's Birth Story
Deacon Levi's Birth Story
Deacon Levi's Birth Story. Newborn Portraits

darby’s birth story


Here is the long awaited birth story of Darby Lowe Mayes. Born 10.14.2010 at 1:25am weighing 6 lbs 4 ozs.

We found out we were pregnant in February and at the end of March we moved to Little Rock and I made up my mind that a homebirth was our best option for delivery. I had done all my research and knew in my heart that this is what I wanted for us. I came to Gabriel with the idea and initially, he was very skeptical, but once we met with our midwife, Mary, we both felt peace about it and we knew that she was going to be our midwife.

Although I was much more nauseous than I was with Gracen until the middle of my second trimester my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. At 36 weeks we set up the birthing tub in our living room, and waited. I think seeing the birthing tub every day and getting the house ready every night ‘just in case’ made me pretty anxious for her to come. I had been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, and I was convinced that she was going to be 2 weeks early. On the 28th of September Amy checked me and I was 2cm dilated and 75% effaced which convinced me even further that it could be ‘any day’ – I predicted the 9th of October. When the 9th came and went I convinced myself that she was never going to come, just so that I would be more relaxed about the whole thing! Early on in my pregnancy we knew that our midwifes (Mary and Amy) were going to be out of town from the 12th-17th and if she came during that time Joni, another midwife, would be the one to deliver her. I met Joni and liked her, but I really wanted Amy, who we had built a strong bond with, to be there when I was in labor. I further convinced myself that she would not be born until they came back into town, and it would be even better if she were born on the 19th, her great-grandfather’s birthday. Her due date was the 21st so I was preparing myself for the long haul. On the 11th, Mary checked me and I was still 2cm.

Mary called me on Wednesday (the 13th) to see how I was doing and I let her know that I was just fine and still having Braxton Hicks. They had increased in intensity but were not in any kind of pattern – I figured it would be a few more days (at least) until I went into ‘real labor’. The Braxton Hicks continued throughout the day and we left for a youth service at 6pm. When we got to the church I was getting out of the car and I had an contraction that was more intense than any others. I told Gabriel “I’m starting to remember what contractions feel like and I’m starting to get nervous because this is going to hurt!”. During worship I started to have more intense contractions but I could still talk through them so I figured this was early labor and would last for a long time, at least until the next day. I didn’t want to get excited about being in labor and then it take days so I just kept telling myself that this was just the beginning of a long haul. After worship ended I decided to time my contractions which were all over the place sometimes 6, 7 even 10 minutes apart and lasting anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute. Because there was no pattern I figured it was very early labor and didn’t pay much attention. When youth was over (8ish) we went into worship practice and at that point the contractions slowed down to at least 10 minutes apart so I thought I was just ‘warming up’ and labor wasn’t happening.

When we got home (9ish) I cleaned the kitchen and Gabriel re-inflated the birthing tub. I really was convinced that I wasn’t in labor and that she might come the next day, or maybe later. Gabriel asked me if he could go out with the guys and I said yes because I was just going to be sleeping anyway. I wanted to make sure that if I did go into labor I had lots of rest so that I was strong. I took 8mg of melatonin and went to sleep, Gabriel said he would call me at 10.30. At this point I knew I was having contractions but I was so sleepy from the medicine that I was just in and out. Gabriel called me by accident at 11.37 and while he was on the phone I had a strong contraction and told him to come home. When he called me back at 11.44 to tell me he was in his car and on the way, I had another contraction and realized I was in labor. I yelled at him over the phone “COME HOME! YOUR WIFE IS IN LABOR!”

12.04pm – Gabriel got home fast and I laid on the bed while he called Mary. Mary told Gabriel to call Joni which he did at 12:07. She told him to have me take a shower or change positions and call back in an hour. I continued to lay in the bed and relax and had Gabriel bring me some coconut water. As each contraction came I tried to focus on staying open and relaxed but the contractions were still not following any consistent pattern, so I thought I was far away from giving birth.

12.30pm – I was squatting at the side of the bed and Amy called. At this point I could still talk (somewhat) through the contractions and Amy affirmed me telling me over and over again, “this is so perfect, everything is perfect”. It made me feel so good because I was feeling kind of sad that she wasn’t going to be there during the labor. After I got off the phone with Amy I felt like I needed to use the rest room and while on the toilet I had a strong contraction and cussed, to which Gabriel replied, “it is time to call the midwife” (I never cuss!). I kept telling Gabriel not to call because it hadn’t been an hour and I didn’t want her to get here and me be only 4 cm and labor last hours and hours.

12.48pm – Gabriel called Joni and she said she was on her way. At this point I wanted to get in the shower and I wanted my birthing ball to be with me so I could squat and lay over it with the water hitting my back. I got in the shower and Gabriel tried with all his might to get the birthing ball through our shower door. He was pushing and kicking it and finally it popped through! As I lay draped across the birthing ball, Gabriel went to fill up the birthing pool and I tried to focus on the water dripping down my face which sounded like rain. It was so relaxing when all of a sudden I felt a pop and realized that my water broke…my body was pushing! I screamed “GAAABBBRRRRIIIIEEEEELLLLLL!!” and he ran from the living room, I told him my water had broken and I was pushing.

1:07am – Gabriel called Joni, she told him she had just got on the freeway and he should get me out of the shower. He then stripped naked and started running towards me and I looked at him and said “what are you doing?! The midwife is going to get here and your going to be NAKED!!”. I’m so glad that, even though I was in the middle of pushing, I still had the presence of mind to know that Gabriel needed to have clothes on in that moment! It was at this time the event started to change, Gabriel referred to this moment as “the eye before the storm”. He was very calm and focused and moved me to the bed. When he laid me down, he saw Darby’s head.

1:13am – Joni was on speakerphone this entire time. She told him to put lots of towels under and around me and for me to “breath through” the contractions and not push. She heard me have a contraction and realized that there was no “breathing through” them….I was pushing and she started to talk Gabriel through the delivery. At this point Gabriel had completely zoned her out because he knew he was about to deliver his baby without her. There was no holding my legs back, taking a deep breath and pushing for ten seconds. I was just following my bodies cues, laying on my side and pushing. When I was pregnant I would tell Gabriel that I didn’t think I would be much of a vocal person while in labor, but at this point I felt almost like my animal instinct took over and I began to vocalize and try very hard to focus on being in a lower octave because all I wanted to do was scream!!! When her head came out facedown in the palm of Gabriel’s hand her body began to rotate and Gabriel could feel her body turning inside of me.

1.25am …she came out. He held her for a few seconds and then I scooped her up and held her close. We covered her in towels and waited for the midwife to get there. Darby entered the world and the midwife arrived 15 minutes later.

It was absolutely beautiful, the whole thing exactly how God intended it. Darby will forever know that Gabriel is the one who delivered her. That is so special to us. There are no pictures and no video like we planned, but her story is so much more special than all of that.

Darby’s birth truly was a miracle. Everything happened at exactly the right time and moment. God really is mindful of us all. Darby is absolutely perfect and we are so blessed to have her in our lives.


Our Home Birth was made possible by Birth Works in Little Rock, AR. They are amazing women who not only provide midwife care, but also Doula’s (which I believe is a MUST if you are planning a hospital birth!) I cannot recommend them enough!
Click for Birth Works Website