Natural Waterbirth at Mountain Midwifery Center; the peaceful birth of Ileana


Christina contacted me several months ago about photographing her birth at our local birth center in Denver, Mountain Midwifery Center.  She had a homebirth with her first daughter who came early, at 38 weeks; so I fully expected her to go into labor around 38 weeks for this pregnancy.  But birth and pregnancy are different for each child, and this little lady had other plans, and she came a few days after her due date at 40 weeks and 3 days on July 5, 2014.

I got a text on July 5th saying that contractions had started that morning, and Christina kept in contact all day, in the afternoon they decided it was time to head to the birth center, so I got in the car and drove there as well.   When I arrived it was hard to tell Christina was in labor, until she’d suddenly stop, squat and breathe quietly though a contraction.  It was very peaceful.  She, Jo and Ingrid their daughter, were set up in the Log Room at MMC.    She labored inside for a little while, and then outside on the walkway as the sun was setting, it was beautiful light and such a peaceful setting.  Christina was checked and 4cm dilated when she arrived at the birth center, and when checked again just over an hour later, she was already at 7cm!   Things got a lot more intense after that, but you couldn’t really tell with Christina, she was calm and relaxed the whole time with the help of her doula Sara.  Take a minute to read more about her peaceful labor and birth, and check out some more images from this natural birth at the birth center.

Ileana Noreen Rogel, welcomed by her parents Christina and Joktan 7 lbs 5.5 oz and 19 inches long Born at Mountain Midwifery Center with midwives Laura Pearson and Chance Galindo. Doula Sara Krafft Kulsar from Cocoon Birth and Colorado Inspired Birth Doula and Wellness.

Denver area birth photographer, natural birth photographer

It was perfect light when I arrived around 6:30pm on Saturday and Christina was first in the log room and then wanted to go outside.  Her doula, Sara, was with her each step of the way.  How do doulas just know what you need?  I don’t know, but Sara sure did.  She knew exactly what Christina wanted/needed and did it, without being asked and when Christina had a question or request during labor, Sara was there to help.  They worked really well as a team.   Christina’s husband Jo was nearby throughout the labor, and he also checked in with their 2.5 year old daughter Ingrid and her sibling doula Jasmine.  Ingrid popped in and out during labor to check on mom.

Doula supporting mama during birth

birth at mmc

After being outside for a while, Christina came back in and contractions were really starting to pick up, she was ready to get into the water in the Log Room, but the water happened to be cold in the tub.  Sara suggested sitting backwards on the toilet to help things to progress, and she helped Christina through some stronger contractions in the dark bathroom.  I could tell things were getting more intense, but Christina was still very quiet and calm.

birth supportHere Christina is enjoying the last of the sun and a bit of breeze on a hot July evening.  She looks so peaceful and simply beautiful here, it was perfection.   Jo was such a calming presence for Christina when he came in to help her, he looked at his wife with such love.

beauty in laborpeaceful waterbirthsupport in labor

It was a really hot night, dad got in the tub to support mom, and their doula kept handing Christina cold wash clothes to put on her head.  A hot July night was the perfect night for a baby to be born, Ileana is a true summertime babe!

happy birth team

I love all the smiles in this photo!  Smiling midwives, smiling dad and mom too, not even an hour before baby was born!  Such wonderful support, loving and caring husband, it was pretty perfect.   birth center in denversupported in birthmidwives checking on baby with dopplerThis little baby happened to be posterior (sunny side up) so mama pushed for about 45 minutes to get her out.   A posterior baby is difficult because mama is pushing a larger part of the head out first.    The term ‘back labor’ is often used when a baby is posterior and this type of labor can be very intense and painful, but I still couldn’t tell with Christina’s calm demeanor.

waterbirth in the birth tubbirth center, waterbirth

When Ileana was starting to crown and come out, it took several contractions to get her head out.  Christina handled it all with such grace.  She only said ‘ring of fire, ouch’ once.  Such grace from mama.

first embracenatural birth


delivered by midwivesnew baby, fresh 48IMG_6571_LowResolutionI was so blessed to get to know Christina throughout the months before Ileana was born and I hope I get to see little Ileana again.  My first witness to a posterior birth, naturally, in water.  Now this family of three is a family of four, what a blessing!

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