5 August 2014

Millie Brave :: birth story

Our second sweet girl came into the world early in the morning on July 24th. I have learned so many things thus far being a mother of two (in my mere 12 days of experience) and I can't wait to write out my thoughts, but for now I thought I would share Millie's birth story. 

As a Doula I know that births very often don't go the way you planned. There are just so many variables. I certainly experienced this with Hazel and therefore I didn't expect to have a completely serene experience this time which I seem to read about in all of the birthing books. But I also didn't expect anything like what happened.

I was 6 days overdue when I last visited my doctor. He said my cervix was 'ripe' and 3cm dilated. He asked what my plans were, careful not to push for induction or make any suggestions. I had entered the room intent on not asking to be induced. However after asking him a few questions about the possibility of induction via breaking my water only, no drugs involved and whether he thought that would work to progress things, he said this was possible and I decided to make the appointment, thinking I could always break it later if Bob and I decided it wasn't the best option for us. The appointment was made for Thursday morning 7:30am July 24th. 


Until Wednesday night I was still on the fence about whether induction via breaking my water was the right option. Should I just let my body naturally progress or not? The doula in me said to let my body do it's thing but the mother in me who had been experiencing false labor virtually every day for the last 8 days told me my body was weary. After speaking with a friend who is a labor and delivery nurse and also with my aunt who worked L&D for 30 years I made peace with the fast that there was no shame in giving my body and baby a helping hand. 

I finished my conversation with my Aunt on the phone at 8pm. Feeling peaceful about my decision and I joined the staff for worship at the campfire. At 8:30 I made my way up to the chapel to take my shift watching the campers during their movie night and as soon as I reached the building my water broke. It was just a bit at first and I wasn't completely sure so after getting someone to cover me with the kids I made my way back to our house and I was positive my water was breaking... And kept breaking then! This was a huge answer to prayer, I had been praying that my water would break so I would 'know' the baby was on the way since I had been having false labour (even consistent 4 minute apart contractions) for days. I had also been praying that if my water broke that no one would be around, quite a feat with 150 people in the general area at all times! 

There was some meconium in my water so I knew we shouldn't wait too long before heading in to the hospital about 25 minutes away. But I wanted to wait at least until I had some consistent contractions going! By 11pm my contractions were picking up and we headed in. When we arrived they checked me and I was 4cm. They had to keep the fetal monitors on because of the meconium but I was able to pace the room which was important to me. 

By 2:30am my contractions were a bit stronger but I was still managing perfectly fine. The nurse was in the room for a contraction that suddenly was double strength of what I had been having previously, and she did not like how the baby's heart rate responded. She then asked if I would lay down for the next contraction so she could get a good read on the heartbeat. As soon as I laid down I had three contractions right on top of each other and much stronger than before. When they finished I heard the monitor slow to a boom........boom........................ Boom.........boom. That's when everything got a little crazy. 

All of a sudden the nurse was calling everyone into the room, they were instructing me to get on my hands and knees, then side, then back and all over again. I then stayed on my hands and knees while they tried to get a scalp monitor on the baby's head while they were shoving an oxygen mask in my face and asking Bob to rip off all of my jewllery (I knew at this point that they were prepping for an emergency c-section). The nurse attempting to get the scalp monitor on made an announcement that she felt that I could get this baby out on my own, and before I knew what on earth was happening she began stretching my cervix with each contraction. It was incredibly painful to have the pain of a contraction as well as the added pain and pressure of her stretching me. In just a few contractions I was fully dilated and they had me flipping over to push. I remember looking at Bob saying I didn't think I could do it. He was amazing although he told me later he was scared out of his mind at what was happening. 

The nurse looked at me and said "we don't have time to wait for contractions, you need to get this baby out, so push". It was pretty crazy but in 3 or 4 pushes she was out. They rushed our girl to the waiting team of nurses while Bob stayed by my side whispering a powerful prayer for the Holy Spirits peace and protection into my ear. After what seemed like an eternity we heard her cry and I felt an overwhelming peace that everything would be ok. 


There was no immediate ski to skin, no straight to the breast. Again my baby was taken for tests and to be artificially warmed by blankets and heating beds. But I knew that this is how it had to be. I felt incredibly thankful for the team of nurses who were on that night, both with me and with Millie. I knew things could have gone so differently. Millie recovered amazingly, the nurses and Doctor were all amazed at her resilience. We spent the first night apart while she had some tests done. Including an ultrasound on her brain to be sure no damage had been done, which came back perfectly, Praise The Lord! And was given a clean bill of health and perfection the next day and able to stay in my room with me. 

 She was 6lb and 15oz (a whole pound lighter than her sister! ) And 20 inches long. Millie was a name that Bob and I liked early on in my pregnancy and it means "gentle strength". We chose 'Brave' for her middle name partly because of Bethel Music's song "You Make Me Brave" 

My favourite line from the song says "you call me out beyond the shore into the waves". Bob and I feel that this is what we are learning to trust The Lord in, He is calling us from the safe places into the unpredictable sea. We pray that Millie will know this trust in Him too, so we wanted to signify her birth at this time in our lives where we are living in great trust of The Lord, with her middle name. We thought it was also lifting that she made a dramatic appearance into the world with a middle name like that :) 

We are so thankful for Millie in our family. Hazel has done so well adjusting to her sister and her new role as the big sister! She loves to help me burp Millie and loves to bring me wipes and diapers and take the dirty diapers to the garbage (score!!). Bob is over the moon with 'his girls' and I love seeing him continue to be such an amazing Dad. 

I'll end by sharing Bethels song You Make Me Brave. If you haven't heard it yet, it's worth a listen!!



  1. Wow, what an amazing story! So happy she is here and healthy. God is good!

  2. What a beautiful story, Hannah! I had tears in my eyes for you when things started going down hill but I am so thankful you have a happy ending and a beautiful baby girl :) Love her name!

  3. So cool!!! I'm glad everyone is healthy and happy!!

  4. What an amazing story! Being a family of 4 looks great on all of you! :)

  5. Been waiting for this! Oh praise the Lord fir his always and forever perfect plan. So encouraging to heard that you see it this way despite the birthing experience being different than you imagined. Good reminder to me. XO friend!

  6. This is such a beautiful story - your trust in God just stands out from a mile! I am so thankful that you both are safe and healthy! Thank you so very much for sharing.

  7. I'm so glad your baby girl ended up being fine. Congrats on your birth.

  8. Wow! Such a beautiful story. He really had His hand on y'all the night of sweet baby girl's birth! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm so thankful everything turned out okay. I love love love the meaning behind baby girl's name. What an amazing way to lift up the Lord's name! So glad I found your blog! Oh and p.s. Thank you for being a doula for the birthing community! Such a special job!


  9. I'm a new reader! Found your blog through Pinterest, poked around a few pages, and noticed we both have two girls, love Jesus, and have a passion for birth. My second is also Millie :) born by natural VBAC one month ago!

  10. Thank you so much for reading! Thats amazing how much we have in common! Right down to our girls both being named Millie!! :) and born so close together too! So sweet! Hope to connect more :)


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