Thursday, July 12

isla mary

on july 1st i got to witness my big sister, meghan, become a mom. to say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement. i believe that my calling in life is to be a midwife. why did i go to school for business and early childhood education? i am meant to catch babies. anyone who reads this and is pregnant: please let me convince you that i need to be your doula. thank you.









having experienced childbirth au natural three times myself, i talked my sister into letting me be there when she went in to labor and delivered her sweet first born. i convinced her by saying things like i will just sit there in the corner and not even look at you if you get uncomfortable with me being there, and you know, i'm the only one that knows the pressure points that will help relieve the pain. and she was sold. i mean...who wouldn't be? you know you want me there, too. i even convinced her to watch the business of being born. some may say that i am sort of sickly obsessed with childbirth. i get crazy excited when i start to feel the pain of contractions. don't get me wrong.. hands down the most horrendous pain i've ever felt in my life. but also? the most amazing thing i have experienced in life thus far. i will probably end up with more children than the duggars, only to experience child birth one.more.time. i'm kidding. kindasortanotreally.

isla's first moments

she went into her labor with an open mind. the best way to go into labor in my opinion. i feel like: if you need drugs, you need drugs. if the pain swallows you alive, it swallows you alive. if you have a natural childbirth, you have a natural childbirth. if you have a c-section, you have a c-section. to each her own. no one's birth story trumps anyone elses. your birth story is amazing and sacred and yours… no matter how you did it. having this be her first baby no one really knew what to expect, how she would labor, or handle the pain. well folks… she handled the pain. she blew me out of the water with surrendering to pain. that was my mantra to her the whole time as i was pushing on her lower back surrender to the pain! don't fight it! you got this! i am a firm believer in surrendering to the pain. can ya tell?

me and the sister cousins

as the end of her labored neared, my mom and i took turns wiping her face with the cold clothes, pushing her hair out of her face (mom, remember the time you almost ripped her nose ring out of her nose? HA!), and giving her sips of the to-die-for icy water. soon it came time to push. my brother-in-law and mom tend to be a tad squeamish, but not i. they positioned themselves up a little higher, while i grabbed a leg. HELLO. birth tv shows and movies have got nothing on being there, holding your sister's leg, and watching your niece be born. meg, being the champ she is, pushed for almost an hour and then, no holds barred, got that girl out. she beat my first time pushing time by leaps and bounds. hi, i pushed two and half hours, had an episiotomy, and then gave birth to a toddler who needed respiratory therapy immediately.

she likes to nap on my legs. what can i say?

and all of the sudden my sweet baby niece was there. as steve, my mom, and i burst into tears and did a victory dance, the midwife and nurses exclaimed, take your baby, meghan! she's here! you did it! meghan did the EXACT same thing i did with all my babies. the out of body experience had just come to a head, literally. she laid back and limply held her daughter, and said hi baby! over and over again, all while pondering what in the world just happened in her life.

and in that moment i felt overwhelmed with the love i have for my sister, my new niece, and my family. i was so proud of her. we haven't walked many similar paths in life, meghan and i, but now here we are. having both experienced one of the greatest blessings and amazing experiences that this life has to offer.

i mean… can you even handle the love?

my precious niece is so beautiful and all sorts of wonderful. one of the best parts of all of this is that isla and story are only four months apart. they will be besties. oh they will fight like cats and dogs, i'm sure of it. but their moms will force them to love each other through it all. and i can't forget the most important detail: i cut the umbilical cord. isla is forever tied to her crazy aunt danielle.. whether she likes it or not.

i got to take some pictures of my sweet niece the other day.

warning: your ovaries will start aching in…

three… 
two… 
one… 
















welcome to the world, isla! you are so loved.

67 comments:

  1. What an amazing story and baby!! She is so absolutely precious and gorgeous. Ahhh little babies are just the best, aren't they? I really liked how you wrote the birth story from your perspective.. a story that isn't told enough.

    Congratulations Aunt Danielle!

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  2. oh my ovaries are aching! my husband is NOT going to be happy! lol! this was a beautiful post!

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  3. I totally cried reading this. Such a beautiful tale of your sisters journey. And the pictures DID make my ovaries ache!

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  4. Good grief. Time for more babies! Also, love what you said about how no one's birth story trumps anyone else's. I dealt with so much guilt over the fact that my birth plan didn't go as I'd hoped! But you know what? I BIRTHED A HUMAN. So, I win.

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    1. AMEN. you BIRTHED a freaking human. go girl.

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  5. This is the most beautiful story. Your sister is lucky to have you!

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  6. For someone who is dealing with a serious case of baby fever, this post is just the best thing ever. She is such a gorgeous little one, and the way you described the birth is beautiful as well. Can't wait to have one of my own!

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  7. what a beautiful baby! and a beautiful story. congratulations to your sister!

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  8. so gorgeous. come be my doula when i have a baby someday. ovaries are aching. you're amazing. xo

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    1. um yes, i will come. time to get pregnant!

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  9. Danielle you're a doula AND a newborn photographer!? :)

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    1. you just happen to be my favorite commenter. :)

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  10. tears flowing right now!!!! So happy for her and that you got to be there...not only did I love this because I love birth stories and it is so amazing to hear but it makes me hopeful and excited for my girlies to be there for each other like you and your sister soemday. seriously just the picture you described of you, your sister and your mom being there all together is literally making me weep right now. AHHH! love you girl. youre such a great mama and sister and aunt. :) and doula too. :)

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  11. beautiful, precious isla!! wow!

    YOU are the best sister!

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  12. Oh, I love this so so much!

    P.S. You & I are so similar it's hilarious.

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    1. thank you friend! and please tell me our similarities! i need to know them!

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  13. So beautiful!! What a blessing!

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  14. i love this. i want another baby. and would totally have you be my doula if you lived closer! :)
    watching someone else deliver a baby is incredible, i have done it 2 times this year and its literally the most amazing thing you will ever see.
    xo!

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    1. i vote yes to next baby for you :) and i will totes fly to seattle. mkay?

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  15. she's beautiful!! I'm expecting my first in a couple months!! This post made me cry...as does every birth story these days! you will make a great doula you should do it!! Thank you for the advice, "surrender to the pain...." I'm gonna hear that phrase when I go into labor!

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    1. yes to the surrender! and congratulations!!!

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  16. Meghan told me the whole story on Family Day (including the nose ring incident), I have to agree, having someone there that you're close with and who's not squeamish is definitely a plus! That being said, the pictures are gorgeous, I can't get over how much of a wonderful photographer you've become I'm looking forward to getting the birth announcement in the mail :)

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  17. Oh my, what a precious little girl!!! My husband and I talked about waiting 4 years or so after we got married before starting our family. It will be three years in November, and I just don't know how much longer I can take it. Haha! Your passion for labor cracks me up :D Your sister was blessed to have you there!

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  18. Okay...why didn't you have a disclaimer? If you are pregnant, DO NOT read this??? I'm bawling and so ready to give birth...I have 18 weeks to go thankyouverymuch. In all seriousness, this birth story makes me so excited to do it all over again!

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  19. she is so beautiful, i love her name! she's so loved!


    love the blog girl, can't wait to read more!

    love, rach.
    www.so--hi.blogspot.com

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  20. this gave me goosebumps and made me CRY. so proud of your sissy and, wow, what an honor that you got to be there! do you read like the rain's blog by my friend, kyle? she is in doula school. :-)

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  21. oh man. this made me teary. and the photos came out amazing. wish you could be my doula next week! haha. oh brother i'm scared.

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    1. you are going to rock it, kirra girl. so so excited for you!! can't wait to see your sweet girl's face :)

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    2. also. i wish i was seeing it in person. just saying.

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  22. yep! you just succeeded in making my ovaries hurt! :) i love love loved this "no one's birth story trumps anyone elses. your birth story is amazing and sacred and yours… no matter how you did it". Amen, sister!

    You would make a wonderful doula!

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  23. BEAUTIFUL baby. wow oh wow. and story too.

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  24. You were right about the ovaries aching. Sheesh.
    What a gorgeous little niece! Man, those photos are presh. Lucky girl, surrounded by beautiful little people!!!

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  25. That is an amazingly beautiful baby! & thank you for making my ovaries ache!

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  26. Thanks a lot. Its 5:30 am. I am crying. And I want a baby. Ha! Seriously though....great great pics and what a beautiful story! Love!

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    1. sorry for the tears but sometimes it's good to start your morning with a good cry… right?! ;) thank you!

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  27. what a beautiful birth story! I am crying and wanting to go and have another baby :) congrats to your family, and thank you for making my morning.

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    1. i'm all for having another baby ;) and thank you for your kind words!

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  28. Such a beautiful post. My goodness. This made me all kinds of crazy excited. Excited for when I have babies, excited for when my sister has babies, excited for them being best friends!
    And, what precious photos. What a beautiful gift for your sister. :)

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  29. Danielle!!! What an amazing story, made me cry and ache :) isla is beyond beautiful! BTW, if I am ever blessed with another baby, I will beg you to be my midwife, seriously.

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    1. oh i am ALL over that, sarah! here's hoping for another one for you ;)

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  30. Beautiful story, you are all kinds of talented girl :) Very sweet post!

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  31. YES!!!! and that's why i love my job as being a certified birth doula!!!
    glad you had an amazing time...
    witnessing an every day miracle!
    awesome!!!!
    she's a beaut, that little niece of yours!
    can't wait to see more pics of her. :)

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  32. New reader, also named Danielle :) haaaay girl. Um, so aching ovaries reached fever pitch at grinning in her sleep baby pictures. OMG. Need. More. Babies.

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