Hallie Birth Story- North Georgia Home Birth
I've known Courtney for years and have always admired her passions. One of her biggest passions is advocating for women, health, and the power of home birth. Last week I had the amazing blessing and honor of capturing her second daughter Hallie enter the world. Courtney's first birth involved a pre-ruptured membrane, a lot of change of plans, and a very very long labor. Going into this delivery neither her nor I were sure what to expect. When her due date came and went we both waited patiently for Hallie to show signs she was ready to come into the world.
I had been in communication with Courtney everyday to ask how she was doing, if there was any new progress, etc. and for the first few days after that 40 week milestone she wasn't feeling much of anything. Things kicked into high-gear though on the evening of July 6th. Around 1:45 the morning of the 7th her contractions picked up and they started to get ready to leave. She texted me at 3:43 letting me now that she was in labor and they packed up the van and headed to her parents house down the road where they planned to have Hallie. At 5:45 I got the call to head to the house and made my way over. With big sister Piper sleeping upstairs, they set up her parent's basement into a calm and beautiful birthing space. Candles lit and twinkle lights sparkling around the room, birth affirmations framed beside the bed and birthing pool, and a playlist of worship music and scripture on a bluetooth speaker.
When I arrived at 6:00 Courtney was calm and smiling, talking a bit through some of her contractions, but she was so incredibly peaceful and joyful in the process. Even the midwives made a comment how Courtney just had a sense of peace about her spirit.
Close to 7:00 Big sister Piper woke up and we could her her feet pitter pattering upstairs. In a wave of emotion, Courtney was brought to tears- which made everyone in the room a little emotional as well. What an incredible experience to be able to give birth to your baby downstairs while you other baby is playing upstairs almost seemingly unaware of what is really going on down below. Piper came down for a quite visit and morning kisses and then Courtney's mom brought her back upstairs to eat breakfast and play for a bit.
Courtney continued to labor in the pool for a few hours. and started to experience some back labor- which she was all too familiar with having her oldest Piper.
Every so often, Courtney's mom would come down to check on her. She would offer some sources of energy like honey, or watermelon, and then stroke her hair and speak encouraging words over her during her contractions.
Soon Courtney was getting into transition. Her Sister in law Emily was there to be another source of encouragement by her side the entire time, making her smile, hying her up, fixing her hair, and being a hand to squeeze when needed!
We could all tell that things were getting close when Courtney was about to give up.
Hallie was crowning and Courtney was able to reach down and feel her head. The biggest smile burst on her face through her exhaustion and it gave her the last bit of motivation and energy she needed to finish strong. Between those last contractions the room was singing worship songs and praying. Courtney praying in thanks to the Lord for everyone in the room, for the strength, for peace, and to finish strong.
With a few strong pushes Hallie Jewell was born at 9:48am on July 7th. After a quick embrace and some tears, Courtney's immediate response was to call for Piper to come downstairs and meet her sister. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room at this point.
Piper came down to meet her little sister Hallie for the first time. She was a little unsure of what to think of everything, but offer a sweet little wave.
Soon Courtney and Hallie moved to the bed for some skin to skin time and for Courtney to refuel and rest.
It was a beautiful and amazing birth and I am so proud and honored to be part of documenting Hallie's birth story.
You can check out this highlight video from the day below!