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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Major

Luke's Birth Story

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

I don't know about you, but I LOVE reading birth stories. Maybe it's the insane things that women endure that blow my mind. Maybe it's the overwhelming feelings of overcoming. Whatever it is, the stories are always amazing and I love how much we celebrate birth. No matter what happens, I always finish reading them in awe of the person that wrote the story.

Whatever it is for you...I hope you feel ENCOURAGED, CAPABLE and OPEN to whatever God has in store for you after reading my story.

Let's get to it....

My water breaking and hanging out at home:

My water broke on Thursday morning at 5 am when I was 41 weeks and 3 days. I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore, but I also knew that baby would come when baby was ready. I had fully expected to go to at least 41 weeks since this was my first baby and it's really more of a due month.

It was weird. Not much fluid came out at first and I was mostly just leaking small amounts of fluid throughout the day instead of one big gush. I called my midwives, told Dan, and then went back to bed....we were both very confused by it being so uneventful, lol.

I didn't feel much besides maybe some light cramping that day. My midwives had let me know that the majority of people go into labor within 24 hours of their water breaking, so I was hopeful that things would start moving that night or early into the next morning.

By early Friday morning, I finally was feeling some contractions. By around 7 or 8 am, I had told Dan that we would be going to the birth center soon, I was sure of it (yea that's funny now). My contractions were about 3-4 cm apart and they needed to be about 2-3 cm apart before my widmives wanted us to start heading to the birth center. I had asked my amazing and wonderful doula, Madi, to come over around 9 am because they were getting much stronger and I was wanting some more support. Right around the time Madi showed up, my contractions started to slow down quite a bit and were back to about 8 minutes apart. Instead of her supporting me through tough contractions, she ended up helping me into some positions to get labor progressing again and baby moving down. She headed back home and we continued to wait. I didn't feel worried, annoyed, or even anxious...but I did laugh about how baby Luke did not want to come out :)

I had a lot of SUPPORT from my MIDWIVES AND DOULA that I knew I could call at any time. They NEVER made me feel WORRIED OR RUSHED and that was a huge help in keeping me CALM AND UNPHASED. I often repeated my favorite line from my doula too, "birth is unpredictable" because it reminds me that we do what we can and then we give the rest to God. He's the one that designed our bodies to have these beautiful babies, and He's the one that I'm going to trust through it all. And thankfully I had Dan home with me and his calm presence was also helpful. We actually had a really relaxed day of doing puzzles and spending time together while we waited and it was really lovely TO BE HOME and just the two of us.

Speeding up contractions:

My contractions continued to be slow and off and on throughout the day. My midwives asked me to come in that afternoon so we could do a few different things to hopefully get labor progressing. The biggest thing that we were starting to think about was that your risk for getting an infection increases pretty drastically once your water has been broken for 24 hours. Since it had been past that and my contractions were still spaced out, they wanted me to come in to help get things moving.

I got to the birth center around 5 pm on Friday. They made me a smoothie with castor oil that honestly tasted like fruity pebbles and wasn't bad at all, and I was instructed to use my breast pump at home that evening too. Everything else looked good and baby was doing great!

Finally, around 8 pm, the contractions started to pick up again. They were all about 2-3 minutes apart, but every 10 minutes or so I would have one that would be about 6 minutes apart (annoying, lol). The midwives kept in close contact with me and we kept giving it more time until about 10 pm they told me us to head that way. I was stoked and so ready.

The birth center is only about 15 minutes from our house, but dang that car ride was not fun! We finally arrived and it was quiet, peaceful, and dimly lit. Our doula met us there along with a couple of the midwives and student midwives. I knew them all very well and I was really comfortable. Unfortunately for me (and probably everyone involvedッ) my contractions started to slow down again. All throughout the night and into the next day, they continued to get close together and then space out again. They definitely weren't very fun, but I never felt like I couldn't do it anymore. And honestly, I had the worst hip pain that felt like my hips were on fire with every contraction and that was so much worse than the contractions. I completely lost track of time and didn't realize how long I had been laboring until I saw the sun come out the next day!

The birth center:

Madi and Dan were tag teaming taking care of me, feeding me, encouraging me, and keeping me calm. I'm so grateful for them. They were amazing and they also were going on a couple days with no sleep. Even with everything taking longer than expected (and my body being quite uncomfortable for so long haha), I felt relaxed and calm the whole time. I was just grateful for my body doing its best and grateful for the intimate setting with wonderful people taking care of me.

Once the sun was out and it was Saturday morning, my midwives started to have conversations with me about my options and risks/benefits with those options. I decided to have a cervical check, which told us that my cervix was still not fully effaced (even after all that laboring ッ). We were trying to avoid as many cervical checks as possible because each one increases your risk for an infection and my risk was already super high with my water being broken for almost 50 hours at this point.

I think one of my favorite parts of the natural world is that I always feel in charge and I'm able to make the best decisions for me and the baby. There's a lot of respect both ways between the professional and the patient. And at the end of the day (or at some point), I'm going to go home, and I'm the one responsible for my health. I also don't have to advocate as much because their BELIEFS OFTEN ALIGN with my beliefs such as EDUCATING before deciding, ASKING for consent, and explaining RISKS/BENEFITS along with OPTIONS.

With that being said, I decided to keep laboring for a little bit longer. I think we had determined that the baby had moved down a little bit and that gave me a new sense of energy. After a couple more hours, I still never really got the urge to push, even after the many different techniques/positions our doula and midwives recommended and helped with. I understood that this was turning into a not normal birth, which is what the hospital is more equipped for (another funny thing....another mom had come in and had her baby at the birth center while I was still laboring...LOL). They gave me 2 options. I could do some directed pushing for an hour (along with an IV of sugar to give me some energy beforehand) to see if that could get baby to engage or we could transfer to the hospital. After spending time thinking about it, I decided to try the directed pushing. I always knew transferring to the hospital was a possibility, but I wanted to do everything I possibly could first.

They gave me the IV of sugar and I felt SO much worse. Looking back, that was a BLESSING because I think it was time to transfer and that helped me to know. My midwives also affirmed me that it seemed like the best decision, especially knowing that the IV was supposed to help me feel better. Our birth center had a 10% transfer rate, so I just had to keep that quota going (kidding...ッ). Before transferring, I also finally agreed to an IV of antibiotics since I was starting to show signs of an infection as well.

To the hospital:

At around 4 pm on Saturday, Dan and I drove to the hospital. Madi met us there and our midwife also drove over there to get us TRANSFERRED SMOOTHLY. It was incredible to have them with us and my midwife was able to answer their million and ten questions which was so nice.

We were welcomed so warmly at the hospital. The one we chose works closely with birth centers/midwifery care and handles a lot of those hospital transfers and I was super impressed. They did such a great job of listening to what I wanted, asking what my birth plan was, and doing their best to accommodate. We did have a PLAN in place for if we needed to transfer (which hospital, how that would work, what to do at the hospital, etc.) and that was helpful because it was LESS DECISIONS in the moment and a little LESS UNCERTAINTY.

After getting settled in, the nurse asked me if I planned on using the tub they had in the room (which was super cool) and I laughed and said, "I don't think I can do that anymore." I felt like I was going to have to labor all over again and I just couldn't. I had talked with everyone before transferring, so I had a good idea that the best option for me at this point would probably be an epidural and Pitocin, which I did and it all went smoothly. I was nervous but the nurses and doctors did a great job of supporting me and Madi stayed through this part to support me too.

Everyone was pretty confident that I would be having this baby within a few hours of those interventions...but jokes on us :) My contractions still were not picking up very much. They were about 6ish minutes apart and would continue to slow down and speed up. But my awful hip pain was gone (thank goodness) and I wasn't feeling much of the contractions at that point so I was able to REST off and on throughout the night, which was lovely.

It was now Sunday morning and this was the one time where I was starting to get nervous about having a C-SECTION. I really didn't want to have ALL THE INTERVENTIONS I had, to just end up having a c-section on top of it. I knew it would be okay if we had to go that route, but I was really hoping to avoid that. I kept trying to probe the nurses and ask them if they thought we were headed that way, but they were so great about dismissing that as an option for now and not worrying me. Even if it was on their mind, they didn't say a word about it, and it helped me continue to feel CONFIDENT that I was going to be able to have him vaginally.

Almost there:

I remember talking with my nurse around 10 am (this nurse was our FAVORITE and she was the one that checked us into the hospital, and then her next shift was the next day with us and she delivered our baby which was so cool) and asking her to do another cervical check, which she agreed would be good at this point. It seemed like my contractions were picking up and I was feeling a lot of pressure. After her check, she goes, "yep, I think you are ready to start pushing!" I was quite shocked but so excited that we were making progress. Probably the only mom to be excited to start pushing, lol.

Dan was trying to get a nap in and I excitingly told him we were going to start pushing. His face basically told me, yea, I'll believe it when I see it ッ

My fav nurse helped me push for about an hour. She said she wouldn't call the doctor in until baby was about out...she jokingly (but not jokingly) said nurses do all the work and I could certainly see that! I let her know that I was in so much pain and felt like I was feeling everything. This honestly was the worst part for me. I swore his head was almost out after like 20 minutes of pushing because it felt like so much intense pressure and I still had a ways to go...yikes.

I'm pretty sure I basically broke the epidural button (at this point, I was using pain meds and I wanted them to work lol) and the nurse talked with the doctor and they decided to give me some time to see if that would kick in more and help with the pain (it didn't). I was grateful for this "break" because I still had the sensations to push but I could do it on my own and just let my body push instead of forcing it. About an hour later, the nurse came back in and I think I pushed for another hour or so. I'm pretty sure this whole process lasted a few hours and I had never wanted to push that head out SO BAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

Final push:

FINALLY, the nurse called in the doctor and I knew we were getting so close. A lot of other people were there and I didn't care at that point. I knew they were worried about me and the baby, and I was fine with the "just in case" measures at this point. There were a few people from the NICU and I didn't know this but I think there were other doctors there in case I needed to head to surgery. Along with lots of nurses too. It felt like a PARTY and I never would thought I would say this, but after all I had been through, I loved the feeling of CELEBRATION, and everyone there to encourage me and support me. I also think their laid back conversing and joking was just the environment I needed at that point. The doctor literally said, "what's the baby's name?" and when we told him Luke, he goes, "Oh, I like Mark better" and that DRY SENSE OF HUMOR was everything I needed, lol. Everyone felt very nonchalant about it all and it made me feel like everything was going to be okay.

I did a few more pushes with so much encouragement from the nurses. I wasn't crying from the pain, but I was close (all things I knew about pushing went out the window at this point, lol). I remember telling Dan that I needed him to tell me I could do this because I didn't think I could anymore. They kept telling me that baby was so close and I could do it and I needed to hear that. One more big push and his head popped out along with the rest of his body and omg, SO MUCH RELIEF. I had wanted this baby out for days and that moment brought instant relief to my body lol. They plopped his body on my chest and I just knew he was okay. He was crying and gagging, and I couldn't believe this baby had just come out of me!

Here's our big 9 pound and 6 ounce baby!

We both were somehow very healthy and did great. Neither or us had any issues. A lot of the nurses told me afterwards that they for sure thought I was going to have a c-section (which we all laughed about) and I told them how grateful I was that they never worried me about that.

Final thoughts:

We ended up going home the next day. We DECLINED a few different things because I felt they would do more harm than good and they were all pretty respectful and understanding of our viewpoints. They shared risks and benefits with us and then we decided what was best for us. I think it's easy for us to forget that we know our bodies best and are capable of making decisions, even if it's not what others think is best. We often view professional experience above our own and diminish our own experiences and knowledge, but BOTH HAVE VALUE. I do not stand for being feared into making decisions.

Holy moly, what a birth that was. What's so amazing about it all, is that it never felt traumatic and that's something I worked hard to avoid because I know how common traumatic births are. It was honestly an incredible experience full of amazing people. I was so grateful that I was able to do my pregnancy care and part of my birth as natural as possible and I'm so grateful for the midwives STEADINESS, WISDOM, AND SENSE OF PEACE AROUND BIRTH. But I'm also so grateful for hospitals when things don't go as planned. Their PREPAREDNESS, and understanding of HOW TO HANDLE SITUATIONS THAT AREN'T NORMAL is incredibly valuable. Both worlds serve their own purposes and I feel fortunate to have been able to be apart of both. And it was also super cool to watch professionals from each world work together. God was definitely looking over us and He put the most wonderful people in our path.

I didn't want to fail at having a natural birth:

I had a lot of FEARS about birth originally. One of my fears was that I wouldn't be able to have a natural birth like I really wanted and I would feel like a failure.

But I never felt like a failure. I felt the complete opposite. I was so proud of all that I did, but I was more proud of how CALM I was the entire time and that I managed to keep LAUGHING through it all. I don't know why my birth happened the way it did, but I felt SAFE AND CONFIDENT the whole time (I guess besides those last few minutes, lol). I chose the natural birth route for a variety of reasons, and I had the best care, but I knew there was always a chance for a hospital transfer. Once we did transfer, I knew it was for the best to keep us both safe, and it did.

Looking back, I think I was able to stay so calm and trusting because I knew that no matter what happened, we would be taken care of. In a Godless society, it's easy to get caught up in making sure you make the right decision, "or else..." but with God, He's got your back. We get to make our own decisions with His wisdom, and when we trust Him, He will always be there with us, even if what we had in mind is DIFFERENT THAN THE OUTCOME.

The whole process taught me so much.

Have a plan, but know that birth is UNPREDICTABLE. TRUST the God that DESIGNED your body to have babies. Be open to your birth not going according to plan. God already has it all mapped out, and you're just ALONG FOR THE RIDE :) You're not a failure if the ideal birth you had in mind doesn't happen, or if you need something that you didn't think you would need. And it's okay to hope and dream for your ideal birth too. You need that HOPE. You need those GOOD THOUGHTS.

All you can do, is your best. You don't need to be perfect and have the most picture-perfect birth. Everyone just wants you and baby to be safe and healthy. And when you look back, the things that you will stick with you the most is how you felt. ♡

Much love,


If you have a baby on the way, all my favorites are all linked here! This would be really helpful to use if you're building a registry too!

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