Meet Will… and a birth story. {Snohomish and King County, WA child and family photographer}

**Warning…  This post is lengthy. So if you are interested in reading, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair!

Feels like it’s been so long since I’ve posted here in this little space! I have been busy spending the last few months finishing up sessions for all of my wonderful clients, nesting up, and resting my body and mind for our new adventure to come… welcoming the birth of our third child!

And on Nov. 11th, 2012, we did just that.

I love to hear birth stories, so I thought I would share just a bit of the events leading up to our baby’s birth…

Tuesday, Nov. 6th {Election day} found me at my 38 1/2 week apt. I headed into the hospital that morning accompanied with my trusty inquisitive side-kick, my three year old daughter and attempted the usual: a weigh in on the scale {my absolute FAVORITE part of these visits}, putting pee pee in a cup, and chit chat with one of the midwives. I had been feeling pretty tired the week before and trying to “rest” up {which is not the easiest thing for a hyperactive, nesting mom of two kids to do} but on THIS particular day, I was feeling great… lots of energy. In fact, the day before, I think my exact statement to Jeff was, “I feel like I can climb a mountain today.” Quite possibly, I think… tell tale signs of what the week held before us…

However at this appointment, my blood pressure was checking pretty high. So high, that my midwife sent me straight over for a blood draw to check for pre-eclampsia. I had NO other symptoms of that and felt confident that all was well. Turns out, I was right and everything checked out fine. But, they wanted me keeping track of my blood pressure 2x a day for the next week with again, strict orders to “REST”! They told me to call them if it got above 140/90.

Pressing onward…

Thursday, Nov. 8th, my BP checked out higher than what they wanted {can’t remember the exact number}, so I put in the call.

“Come in for a non-stress test and another blood draw later this afternoon,” Heather, my midwife said.

“Alrighty… see you in a bit.”

I “rested” up during the non-stress test for about 45 minutes, at which time our baby wasn’t giving them the movements that they wanted to see, so they sent me up for my blood draw and then over to Maternal Fetal Medicine for an ultrasound and some more monitoring. My BP was still checking out pretty high, but the blood draw results came back just fine and the second screening of baby came back normal too, which was good news. They sent me home telling me to call the midwives in the morning where the discussion of an induction would be a possibility.

I have to be honest and say that as soon as I heard the word, induction, my stubborn self dug in its heels. Our desire has always been for a natural, drug free birth, of which I had had with our daughter and I felt totally confident that my body would start what it needed to do in it’s own time… on it’s own.

I called Shanna, another one of our midwives the next day {Friday, Nov. 9th} and we started discussing our options. She told me that all seemed to be checking out fine with the baby but their concern lyed with me, since I had been having such high BP. She said that if I was with a regular OB that they would have wanted me in that day to begin an induction. She suggested having me come in the next day, Saturday {which would have put me right at 39 weeks} for this and I shared with her my thoughts. We landed on a compromise of sorts: For me to continue to rest to keep my BP down, for me to continue monitoring my BP at home, and for me to come in, starting on Sunday and through the following week for more monitoring and blood draws. I was on board with the plan and also added an addendum, which was to see if I could kick start things on my own to get my body going. I was not so confident in this though, since both of my babies have always come within 1-2 days of my due dates and this baby wasn’t due until the following week. But I wasn’t going down without a fight, so I thought exhausting all possibilities was within reason.

So, we enjoyed spicy food, lots of walks, and a few other “things” to get things moving along.

Saturday, Nov. 10th… God knew what was to come for us that night because He gifted both Jeff and I with the most fabulous two hour long nap that afternoon, which hardly ever happens around here when you have a five year old that pops in and out of his room during his rest time. Praise Jesus for this! We woke up and ventured out for yet, another family walk. Or for me, it was a waddle at this point. By 5:30 pm, I remembered that I had a gift certificate to a local nail salon and I thought how nice it would be to head in for a pedicure… plus, a friend had mentioned to me that there is a spot on a woman’s ankles that can be rubbed during a pedicure that could cause labor to start. I thought, “What the heck. I’ll give it a try!” and popped into the salon, asking the nice gal if this was possible. Victoria was her name, and she swore up and down that that would do the trick. Half heartedly believing her, I settled in for some nice relaxing foot rubs and she did her thing.

7pm found me back at home on our couch enjoying breakfast for dinner {Jeff’s speciality}. We relaxed in and Netflixed an episode of Parenthood.

10pm and I was beginning to take note of the funny rushes I had been having for the past two hours. I hadn’t thought anything of it at first since I had been getting lots of braxton hicks throughout the last part of my pregnancy, but the regularity of these was what made me take note. Hmmm… coming about every 5 minutes for the past couple of hours. Could this be it? If so, Victoria at Creative Nails must really know her stuff!

I mentioned to Jeff that these guys were coming pretty regularly and told him that I was going to give our friend a call to make sure she was on board to come over to watch the kids… IN CASE things got going later in the night. Jeff gave me the look that he usually gives me when I tell him not to worry and that I’m NOT sure this is the real thing and went into “Jeff mode” beginning to finish up laundry, pack, and get things ready to roll out.

11pm and I suggested that we hit the sack, since my rushes weren’t very strong yet and I thought it best to get some rest, IN CASE, this was the real deal. So, we headed to bed. I think Jeff fell asleep and I slept for maybe an hour, until I began feeling some more intense contractions. Lying in bed timing those and even though they were feeling a lot stronger, they were more spread apart than the easier ones from before. I quietly got up and thought moving around a bit down in the family room for awhile might make them a bit closer together. I hung out down there for awhile until they began to feel much stronger, it warranted me to wake up Jeff.

2am… Yep, this was the real deal. I called the midwife on call, Cathleen, and called our friend to alert her to go ahead and come on over to watch our kids, so we could get ready to head to the hospital, while Jeff went more rapidly into Jeff mode… finishing packing things up.

Our friend, Suzanne got to the house and we hung out in the family room working through the stronger contractions together. I am forever thankful for her calm, soothing spirit as I leaned on her, breathing deeply through them.

Hoped in the car with my love and started the 25 minute drive to the hospital. Still breathing and groaning through those rushes, I remember thinking how peaceful it was outside… the frigid November starry clear night… we had the road pretty much to ourselves… and the worship CD on in our car was exactly what I needed to hear and see in those moments. I was taking it all in, which had been my prayer through my entire pregnancy. Such a beautiful season for me. For us. For our family. I was excited and exhillerated and yet a part of me felt a bit sad too… as I knew I wouldn’t be pregnant any longer. This would be our last pregnancy. Our last baby. Taking it all in for sure.

We arrived to the hospital around 4am and as Jeff parked the car, I waddled in with my usual beaming sense of humor, in between rushes, exclaiming proudly to the front desk staff, “I’m here to have a baby!” Yes. Humor is what tends to keep me sane in intense moments at times. It is one of my coping methods. Don’t judge.

We were escorted back to our room and Cathleen walked in, checked me and she said I was about a 5-6 cm. dialated. Whoo hoo! Half way there was all I could think. At this point, while I was lying on the hospital bed, she also checked my BP… Very high. So high, they didn’t tell me what the numbers were. She told me that I needed to stay lying down on my left side.

What?! No. No. No… She didn’t understand… See, I labor best while I am standing and moving around. The last thing I had wanted was to be told that I had to stay put on my side. I clearly didn’t like this, so I asked her if I could get up and move around whenever the contractions came… While Cathleen told me as gently, but firmly as she could that this was the way it needed to be, Jeff was giving me the look that said, “Kelly, shut up and do what these people tell you. It’s for your own good.”

O.k.. O.k.. I had a moment when I wondered if I could do it on my own, while LYING down because in my mind and in past experience, this wasn’t the way in which I was comfortable with, BUT, I rallied the troops and told myself that I COULD do it.

Around 5:45 am, I think, Cathleen checked me again and I was at a 9. Good times. I was ready to get this baby out… The rushes were at their most intense at this point, but it was also nice to get a couple of minutes to rest between each one. So glad God made it like that! Jeff was doing great rubbing my back while I was still in my favorite position… lying down on my side. I began to feel a lot of pressure and I kept communicating this to the nurses and Cathleen. I remember a lot of moving around with the nursing staff, getting things ready to go and this. This I remember the most… that baby bed being rolled in… You know the one with the clear sides. And, that was when it hit me… I was about to meet our baby. Our last baby. And, I began to cry. I looked up at Jeff and told him through my tears that I love him and I gave him a kiss. Although, by the funny sound I made through my tears, he thought I was going to throw up in his mouth.

It was time. Pushin time! Jeff got his gloves on to catch the baby and I remember him having a stunned look on his face, although, he would say that he was just in awe.=) Cathleen was in position, down South. And, the most beautiful amazing nurse, whom I don’t even remember when she came in, was right next to me, right up in my face, coaching me with her soothing words between my pushes, “Blow out the candles, blow out the candles,” to signal rests. I did just as she told me and felt the head come out. Then with my third push, out came our baby.

Jeff yelled out, “It’s a boy!” and they layed his tiny, slippery body on my chest. I cried some more. Thank you, Jesus for this most precious amazing gift.

And, that about sums the birth story all up! It was an experience that was everything I had hoped and prayed it would be and I am so thankful for our little one.

And, I still continue to take it all in… these last four weeks… amongst the little amounts of sleep and poured strong coffee and soiled diapers and baby cries and milk drunk sighs… knowing just as I said before, that this is our last. Or last season with a newborn. Finding myself taking note of so much more, snapping pictures of everything I can, falling in love all over again with EACH of my children and their uniqueness.

I. Can’t. Believe. I. Am. A. Mom. Of. Three.

Seriously, when did this happen? When did I receive so much blessed goodness in my life?

I could go on and on, really. So much hormonal emotion I have been experiencing! Can I get an AMEN from any other mommas out there who know what I’m talkin about!=)

But, I will stop with my words for now and introduce you to our newest son.

Meet William Owen Harper
Born November 11th, 2012 @ 6:20am
7lbs. 8oz.
20 1/2 inches long



Four days new.



Big Sister is ENAMORED by him! Seriously. She follows me around EVERYWHERE I go, helping me change his diaper or sitting with me while I nurse and she rubs his hair. I melt when she talks to him in her sweet little voice when he fusses, saying, “It’s okay Will. It’s okay.”



Seven days new.



Big brother. Also in love with him… in his own boyish way. Ben doesn’t know yet all of the fun he is going to have when Will gets older and can join him in play!






Eight days new.



And, a very proud Daddy!



Nine days new.





My cup runneth over.



Ten days new.

  • Jeanna Snyder

    Wow Kelly! Your birth story is so precious, thank you for sharing with all of us! I’m so glad that you were able to enjoy the quiet moments and take everything in! The photos of your kiddos are amazing! Love little Will smiling! You are so very talented!


  • Laura

    Thanks for sharing your story. It makes me miss my boys as babies. They are so big now. Enjoy every moment. I love how you have embraced being a mommy of 3. Love you, Kelly!ReplyCancel

  • Mary

    Your photos are really amazing and your birth story is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

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