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A Home Birth Story

I love it when my clients share their birth stories with me and the public. It can be so inspiring to hear how other women did it.

Apple Blossom Families

It’s her 5 month birthday today, and after much consideration I’ve decided to publish her birth story along with some images that were taken. After she was born I’m so happy I took the time to write this out, because 5 months later the experience is tainted a little bit with the love and admiration I have for her.

Short story:We had a home birthMy water broke before I had contractionsI labored for 5.5 hours, including pushingWe had the best birth team ever including two midwives, a doula, and a midwife intern from the UKMister was the best pillar of support I could have ever asked for.We were completely surprised we had a girl.

We wandered around the city ducking into stores to avoid the rain. Call it mother’s intuition but I had a feeling that it would be our last weekend alone, so I cherished every moment and held his hand as we moved in and out of crowds and sat on furniture and enjoyed sharing a grilled cheese sandwich from mama’s food truck. It was his first experience and it is one I will both always remember where we sat under cover at Robson square as we watched couples and young children skate on the outdoor rink.

As dusk began to envelope the city casting a pink glow on the mountains we decided to call it a day and began to make our way to the grocers. We wondered once again up-and-down aisles searching for the best meal for us to prepare. He suggested a meal full of salmon and roasted asparagus. I shook my head no and playfully decided we should have spicy Indian. They say spicy food is supposed to start contractions – I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. As we made our way to the checkout and contemplated one more item I turned him and said “I think my water just broke”. He stared at me with confusion and a little bit of wonder and asked if I was sure. I was sure. He finished up at the check out while I quickly made my way to the car. As we drove home I quickly called my midwife and doula to let them know that my water broke. They both were in a little bit of disbelief and assumed I wouldn’t go into full labor until morning. Since they said nothing would happen till morning I enjoyed the quiet of the evening and was able to remain calm despite knowing that my doula was currently attending another labour.

My midwife suggested that I relax myself with a glass of wine and soak in a bath. I typically would have taken it but instead I chose to spend the evening with my love knowing once again it would be a last time together, just the two of us. We moved around the kitchen like two old souls who knew each other intimately. As we put together a dinner of spicy butter chicken I smiled at him thinking how funny that just a few hours ago we joked that this meal would start contractions. The night fading we cheered to our baby arriving soon and enjoyed our meal over a glass table and stem less wine glasses savoring the moment. We slowly made our way to the couch and stared at the view from our 32nd floor windows overlooking the city while looking at each other in disbelief that soon our baby would arrive. Just before 11:00PM we brushed our teeth and washed our faces before climbing into our bed with fresh sheets, hoping to get a good nights rest. We knew we would have a homebirth, but just in case, our hospital bags were prepared and sitting by the door.

Mister had been fighting a cold and had taken some Neocitron and had fallen asleep immediately. I slipped on my eye-mask hoping I would get some sleep before the first contraction. As I rolled over to get comfortable a half hour later, I felt my first contraction. I went through a few uncomfortable cramps before getting out of bed to take some Tylenol and gravel to help relieve some of the pain and help me sleep. Neither of them did the trick.

Not wanting to wake Mister I went to the bathroom and closed the door to labour alone. Throughout my pregnancy I always knew that I would find myself in the bathroom so it felt like the most comfortable place to be. During the mild contractions I downloaded an app called icontraction to help me time them and keep my mind off of the pain. It worked wonders.

For two hours I labored and moved through each contraction on my own in the solitude of our bathroom. I thought my labor would consist of time in the bath or shower but neither of those things happened. I labored through each contraction swaying back and forth breathing in the only way my body knew how.

After those two hours I was exhausted and all I could think about was getting some sleep. So I quietly tried to crawl back into bed as to not wake Mister, but right in the middle of me getting into bed I went through another contraction and happened to wake him up. The look on his face was quite astonishing; I would have laughed if I could have. But I was so happy he was finally awake, I really desired a hot pack on my lower back but didn’t have the strength to walk to the kitchen to warm it up myself.

Apple Blossom Families

While he heated up the heatpack I headed back to where I felt the most secure, the bathroom. Mister came back to support and help me time my contractions which were over a minute long and averaging 3 minutes apart. Because my doula and midwife thought I wouldn’t have the baby till the next day, I wasn’t sure if what I was feeling was active labour or early labour so I decided to just do it alone.

After Mister and I worked on laboring together for about an hour and half I had a moment of clarity in what I believe was a transition period. I knew I was moving into the pushing phase of my labour and suggested to him that he call our doula and midwife again. This was close to 2:30 in the morning. As soon as he picked up the phone to call them my contractions were one on top of the other and I wasn’t able to talk anymore so when he told them my contractions were 90 seconds long three minutes apart all I could do was shake my head no. Thankfully my midwife was intuitive and asked to listen to me going through a contraction and once she heard me attempting to cope through the most intense pressure I’ve ever experienced, she said she’d be over immediately as they were definitely closer together. When he hung up I had a moment of panic, what if I wasn’t as far along as I thought I was and I was making them get out of bed for nothing?

Adam wrapped me in his arms during my moment of panic and told me not to worry but to rely on my body “just do what feels natural”. It was exactly what I needed to hear while I sunk into his arms and just focused on listening to my body.

Our midwife arrived and prepared the space for our birth with the fresh sheets and large pillows. I felt myself completely relax into the mattress while holding onto Mister’s hands. My doula was amazing. She knew exactly how to position me to help me deal with the pain and I could hear her calming me with words of encouragement while Mister held me close.

After some time of pushing they announced that I needed to slow everything down. That was the most difficult thing they could have asked of me, but somehow my body knew exactly what it was supposed to do. I looked at Mister for support and his eyes were glistening full of excitement and awe. I knew without a doubt that I was the most amazing woman he had ever seen. With one last breath I felt her slip out and I was washed over with the greatest feeling of relief and joy.

Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings

I looked down and saw a beautiful pink face confused by what had just transpired. Between her cries she stared at me and I knew she was mine and I kept on repeating the words that were just said to me just moments before “you are safe, you are loved”

I was looking at an image of my younger self; she was a miniature version of me. I looked up and announced “We have an Isla”. We were gifted a beautiful little girl that we instantly adored. It was a moment of apprehension and hesitation all in one, I so wanted to hold her and kiss her all over, but at the same time I didn’t. I was so unbelievably scared by what was before me.

Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings
Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings
Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings

Once everyone had settled down and we settled in, we said goodbye to our birth team. They left us tucked in our bed, the three of us under a clean white duvet. I expected that we wouldn’t get much sleep – everyone talks about how all they want to do is stare at their new baby, but we smiled at each other, slid her up the bed so we wouldn’t roll over and all drifted off into a deep sleep.

To read another inspiring home birth story here.

Morag Hastings is a Doula and Birth Photographer located in Vancouver, BC Canada. Come check out more of her work on her facebook page at or feel free to email me at

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