Callie called early in the morning to let me know that she thought her labor might be brewing. Definitely having some new sensations with contractions, but no regular pattern yet. She wondered if now was the time to alert her and Phil's dear friends from Missouri who were planning to drive to Philly and be here for the birth, or if it was too early. "I know it could still be a couple of days once things get started," she says. With beautiful baby Elliott making her arrival by lunchtime, it's funny to think that we thought it might be days! When I first arrived Callie was leaning over the bathroom sink with Phil squeezing her hips, moaning, and she looked at me between contractions and said seriously: "I think this is going a lot faster than we thought." There was no doubt in my mind from the moment I walked in the house, so I started setting up my equipment right away.
A few minutes later, Callie turned to me again and said, "Just so you know, I'm starting to push a little bit-it just feels right." At which point I called Christy who raced over to join us as well as doula Mayumi Miller. Rarely do we have a first time mama whose labor goes so fast!
Callie spent most of her short and intense labor on her hands and knees by the side of the bed. Phil was by her side squeezing her hips when needed, whispering encouraging and loving words, and being an amazing presence and witness to the miracle unfolding. Callie's mom, who came to be with them postpartum, marveled at how beautiful and calm the whole environment was in their home... indeed it was that way through the pregnancy and birthing as well.
At the end of her labor, Callie moved from the floor where she had been crouching down to the bed. Soon the baby began to crown, and when her head came out, Elliott turned all the way around, sputtering and making noise, to look straight up at us. So special for Callie to be able to look down towards her baby looking up at her, while the rest of her body was still inside. We all just stared in awe and delight...each birth is so unique.
And just a month after 7lb 3oz baby Elliott Ama Magdalene's arrival, Callie gets ordained as an Episcopalian priest...an achievement that was much more than 9 months in gestation. Congratulations, Callie & Phil!