The Birth Story of Baby Raya

A huge thank you to Tiffany for her email sharing her lovely birth story, photos, and birth slide show! Almost everyone asks when they first meet me what happens if two women are in labor at once. Midwives are always prepared for this possibility, but we know from experience that it is incredibly rare! This was an especially abnormal day, since both births were with first time moms, both were happening very quickly, and it was the middle of the afternoon! I called in my good friend and midwifery colleague, Aly Folin, to help with Tiffany’s birth while I finished things up at the one I was at. As you can see (especially in the remarkable photos by Megan Crown), it all worked out beautifully. Thanks for sharing your story Tiffany!


The story begins November 19th, the first snowfall of the year, when I was in a car accident, baby and I were fine, but my car was totaled.  I was in a mad dash to test drive cars since I didn’t want to have to worry about finding something after baby arrived.  Thankfully we decided on something about a week before she came.  As Raya’s arrival date drew near my midwife suggested I get adjusted by a chiropractor just to help with my alignment and to make sure that baby was positioned well so that delivery would go smoothly.  So on Tuesday December 13th I went to see the recommended chiropractor, Wednesday was a normal uneventful day, Thursday I went out to my mom’s house to wrap Christmas presents and to do some holiday baking.  Thursday morning as I was getting ready there was what I suspected was a bloody show, I’d lost my mucus plug days before and I wasn’t concerned since labor did not seem eminent.  I contacted my midwife and she said I should go about my day as normal and if anything labor like began, to contact her.  I began to have some abdominal pain while wrapping presents at my mom’s house, but kept quiet since my mom tends to be rather excitable, I thought it was just cramps from constipation or gas, not labor!  Well as I continued my wrapping these pains kept coming and they seemed to be coming in a regular pattern, I decided I should probably make the trip home from St. Michael just in case.  I stopped on my way home to get gas and felt a little gush of liquid with each pain, which I still was in denial about as being a contraction, I grabbed some paper towels from the gas pump, shoved them under my bottom as to not get anything on my new leather car seats.  I sang Christmas tunes loudly and badly all the way home to keep my mind off how much stonger the pain was becoming.  I called my midwife and advised her that I would call her back once I was home and I could time the contractions to see what the regularity was, once home, at about 3:10 I texted Animesh that he should probably come home.  My midwife was at a birth in Elk River so she decided it’d be best to send the back up midwife to check on me since the contractions were coming about every 5 minutes.  My water broke shortly after I had the conversation so I knew the backup midwife was on her way, but being home alone was still a little nerve racking.  At this point contractions were about every 2-3 minutes and I called Animesh AGAIN, panting to him that he’d better get home NOW!  I called the birth photographer and she reassured me that everything was going to be ok.

So just after 4:00 the backup midwife’s assistant, Amanda, showed up and I was ready to push, she helped me breath through each contraction and applied counter pressure to my back which was a great relief after trying to work through each rush by myself.  Aly, the midwife, arrived shortly after and once the necessary supplies and floor coverings had been gathered I was told I could push.  Amanda texted Animesh at 4:30 telling him to please hurry cause the baby was close.  Next to arrive was our wonderful birth photographer Megan, who’s reassuring words helped me through the contractions before anyone else had arrived.  Finally at about 5:00, Animesh strolled in to find me half naked with a couple of strangers looking, in his words, up my butt.  After introductions were made he took his place rubbing my back as I pushed through each contraction.  Baby Raya’s head was already visible at this point, I felt scared knowing she was so close to being born.  There was no time to set up the birth tub as I’d hoped, Raya was born at 5:34 on our living room floor near our breakfast bar, low back bar stools are a great height to lean over while in labor, just fyi.  She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20 inches long.  After her first pediatrician visit at about 3 weeks she’s already 8 lbs 11oz and 20.5 inches long.

After I was tucked in bed everyone was a little hungry, thankfully the day before I had marinated some lamb which was still in the fridge ready to be cooked.  Animesh went into host mode and took the lamb downstairs to grill, we had a lovely dinner of baked potatoes, grilled lamb and spinach salad with our birth team including my original midwife who arrived sometime around 6:30ish I think.  After a checkup by my midwife I received a few stitches, which were more painful than the actual birth.  We couldn’t have asked for a better early Christmas present.

Breastfeeding is difficult and painful at first, but you can do it, just stick to it, it will get better.  The madela hydra gel pads you can put in the fridge were a lifesaver for me, I think I may have quit trying had those gel pads not provided such great relief for me.  I’ve included a link to the slide show of a few birth photos. The attached photos are from the newborn shoot which Megan took 6 days after the birth.  I feel so blessed that Megan captured such wonderful images that show the emotion of the day so perfectly.

All the best,

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