Charlie – his birth story

This past Monday, our family became a family of 4! We have a little son!!

I don’t write personal blog posts like this on my website often, or at all, but I needed a place where it could be accessed by our friends and family who are so far away and for anyone who likes a good birth story to read 🙂

WARNING: For those of you who like to hear birth stories, keep reading on. For those of you who don’t, just keep scrolling!

At 36 weeks I went in for my appointment and asked to be checked because we were heading to Bellingham (6 hrs away) for almost 2 weeks and I wanted to make sure nothing was happening. At this appointment I was already dilated 1 & 1/2 centimeters. My midwife wasn’t concerned but did think that I wouldn’t make it to my due date which was January 23rd. So, we went on our trip, I missed my 37 week appointment, I shot a wedding (at 38 weeks) and tried to rest as much as possible so I wouldn’t kick-start my labor. We got back late the day before my 38 week appointment and as we went in that morning (Monday) I was shocked to learn that I hadn’t progressed… I thought that at least shooting the wedding or just being away from home would’ve been enough to at least progress me a little. But nope.

The week progressed and my Braxton Hicks kept going (I’ve always had a bunch and felt them as early as 18 weeks with this one). On Thursday they started to get as intense as the beginning of Rowen’s labor, but I didn’t really trust it because it would mean that I would deliver 11 days early. Really? I could never be that lucky. But I timed them and let my midwife know what was going on, and she happened to be nearby already so she stopped by to check me and to see what was going on. To my surprise, and pretty big disappointment, I hadn’t changed at all. So I just kept on my merry way and Friday was a lower-key day but then Saturday it really felt like my contractions were doing something, but because of Thursday’s disappointment I didn’t want Beth (my midwife) to come over and see that nothing had happened again. Again, when I thought I was in labor, my contractions fizzled out toward the evening so, nothing.

On Monday morning at my 39 week appointment we headed to her clinic for our regular check-up to see what was going on and we were beyond shocked. We had prayed together on the way there that our child will be born at the perfect appointed time by the Lord. The night before I had also made many requests known to the Lord about my heart concerning the arrival of our babe in prayer. So I laid there on the table in my midwife’s office, and she checked my progress yet again (that is if there was any). I was just praying for progress of at least 2cm–I needed something as my athletic mentality craves continuous progress toward a goal… My midwife looks up at me with a calm yet cheeky “oh you definitely progressed… you’re at a 5 right now…” and as she continued to check me and sweep my membrane I got to a 7 with very little effort. She said, “This should put you into labor this evening or at least within 24 hrs; your body is ready!” Jer and I were both so shocked. How is that even possible? With Row I dilated to 5cm before I went into active labor (which was already not normal) so I had this threshold in my head where I was supposed to reach without it hurting yet so to be past that at 7cm (which was what I jokingly prayed to God about) seemed wayyy too good to be true. (sorry ladies this is NOT a normal labor and delivery story). So then we left in awe and giddily picked up our last birth supplies, a few groceries, and then headed home to prepare the house for the for the arrival of our new baby. During the day I felt pressure perhaps but not even real contractions, and it had me second-guessing whether it was really going to happen today or tomorrow. At 5 PM I texted my aunts with “why is nothing happening yet?! I’m sitting at a seven!” And then within the hour my contractions started coming just like the Braxton Hicks I’d had but more regular. I really didn’t trust what was going on or I was still somewhat in denial. We were sitting at the dinner table eating and I’m swaying through a contraction and Jer says to me “I think you should start timing them”.. “oh, I guess so…” So we did and I showed my midwife, and she came right on over…;) She got here at 8 PM, checked me and I was sitting at 9 cm!  I was so shocked! 9cm!!? whhaatt? how?! I didn’t even feel like I was really in labor yet nor what labor feels at 9cm when my experience before was that I was dying with Rowen at 9 cm. So we hung out in the living room, my two friends arrived, my Doula came and Jer started filling up the birth tub. I had regular contractions and they were starting to increase in intensity but still nothing like with Rowen’s labor. We were chatting and talking and laughing–mostly in disbelief that this was even possible at 9 cm.

At 9 PM the tub was ready and I was able to get in and relax through the contractions as best I could–it takes so much pressure off! Beth checked me again and at 9:09pm she broke my water because I was sitting at 9.5 cm and ready to do this! (or get it over with) This amped up the contractions quickly and the pain settled in real nice and good and the contractions came pretty close together for about 45 minutes. Definitely more intense than with Rowen. And I have to say with how fast everything was going, my body was ready (cleeeaaarrrly) but mentally I struggled. I couldn’t quite relax myself the way I did with Row but did my best not to tense up with the power of each contraction – and I did wince more. Then the urge to push came. It started with little pushes toward the end of each contraction and Jer, who was applying pressure to my lower back, could feel it every time too. Beth checked me again to make sure I was ready to push and once I was cleared to go, I pushed for 2 min and he was born – like a crazy unstoppable force. One of my friends actually video taped the last 1.5 min of his birth and you can see my midwife tell me calmly to slow down or Ill blast the baby out… I managed to take a breath and then said “I cant!” and he was out! Thankfully the blast was calmed by the water and worked out just fine – haha. Before he even made it to my chest, Jer who was behind me holding my hands through the pushing yelled ” it’s a BOY!!” and then we both freaked out together and laughed in disbelief that we had a SON! Rowen happened to wake up right at the time of pushing and we got her up to see her baby brother. She was pretty surprised at all the commotion but handled it very well and then went back to bed happily. Also, having my friends there was a God-send as Rowen knew them and was totally fine with them taking care of her while I was preoccupied. And my mom who was hoping to make it to the birth got to skype in and “be there” for the whole thing! Thank you technology!

best moment EVER!

So our little guy (7lbs, 11oz, and 20.5in) arrived a week early, born right in our living room and in the birthing tub! (So so cool btw!)

The first few days after were a little rough. I had some pretty intense after-birth pains (like comparable with labor) and with very little sleep I felt like I was in full survival mode and was not able to enjoy my little boy as much as I had hoped. Jer had his big licensing exam scheduled for Thursday so he had to try and get some studying in and then take it with very minimal sleep (poor guy!) And our little miss was having some trouble trying to wrap her head around why mom is not available 24/7. She’s come up to me a few times while I was holding him or while nursing and says “all done”… which totally breaks my heart…BUT my mom arrived last night and all is well in her world – and ours! YAY for sleep! We feel much much better today.

His name: he is named after Jeremy’s grandpa Charles Mullavey. A wonderful, kind and loving father and grandfather, and great-grandfather who passed away nearly two years ago. (we really miss him!) And since our son is the first 4th generation male who will carry the Mullavey name, we thought it was very fitting. He will be affectionately known as “Charlie” : ) If this little guy grows up to be even half the man his great grandfather was we will be truly blessed! Charlie, you have some big shoes to fill.

Thank you all for your kind wishes, prayers, food, visits, encouragement, and love – we appreciate it so much!


All the above pictures were taken with my camera by my sweet doula Ellen and edited by me 🙂 THANK YOU!

PS: I’ll be back to blogging photography sessions shortly!







Rachel - 01/21/2017 - 2:14 pm

Charlie’s birth story is absolutely beautiful! And captured so so well on camera! The feeling of it all is captured so well 🙂 and those sweet moments of you, Jeremy and Rowen all getting to meet baby are just priceless!

Susan - 01/22/2017 - 2:53 pm

Congratulations again to you and your family. What a lovely story! How precious and special to have photos of those first moments! Love and hugs to you. xo

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