Vanessa Mendez Photography

Birth Stories

The Birth of Stella Lauren | San Antonio Birth Photographer

The birth of Stella Lauren, from the words of here mama, written about a month after her birth!

"First off, I can't believe it's already been a month since my beautiful birth. A home birth had always been a dream of mine, and after meeting my midwife I knew I had made the right decision. She was also the one who referred Vanessa to me and I can't thank her enough for that! I delivered on a Friday but had been in prodromal labor since the Monday prior. My midwife had stripped my membranes that day and I had instantly gone from a 1 to a 4 in dilation. My midwife had asked my husband and I if we were ready to have a baby that night?! Without hesitation I said yes, my husband was a little more reluctant.. he was a little scared as it had been almost 4 years since my first daughter was born. But my body nor my baby were ready that night, or the next, or the next.. every day I would have contractions but they would come and go so frequently and every morning I would wake up so upset. I couldn't understand how my first born came at 38 weeks but now my body wanted to be stubborn? I was frustrated and discouraged and everything in between... Vanessa and I had been texting on and off all that week (mainly her asking where the baby was and me complaining). But when the time actually came Vanessa came just in time!

Thursday evening I had been having contractions, weak and far apart. When I went to bed I thought it was just going to be like every other night before, but at about midnight my contractions had actually woken me up! I was so anxious and excited there was no going back to sleep for me so I just sat there staring at my adorable, sleeping husband and timing my contractions and thinking how our family of 3 was about to be forever changed. I waited patiently for my contractions to become unbearable before I texted my midwife. I woke my husband up and I texted her at around 3 am telling her that my contractions were a little under 5 minutes apart and very strong. She immediately replied " I'm on my way". My biggest fear was for her to drive 45 minutes for nothing, so she opted to send her apprentice instead since she was closer.

I don't like calling her apprentice so we will call her Amanda. As soon as Amanda arrived I wanted her to check me right away to see how far along I was. When she checked me I was still at a 4 (the same dilation I had been since Monday)!!!! I so badly wanted to curse at the top of my lungs. Not only did I think eternal pregnancy was my fate but I felt so awful for sweet Amanda , who was pregnant herself, for driving all the way there at 3 am for absolutely nothing. She tells me to text her if my contractions get stronger and she left. At around 6 am I texted her how they were way worse and that I had to have dilated at least a little bit. Amanda arrived and checks me again and surprise, surprise - I'M STILL AT A FREAKING 4! I instantly started crying, she did say that my cervix was much more forward than before and that was some progress at least. So she stayed, thank god. I then started doing everything I could to get this show on the road, yoga ball, toilet contractions, and breast pump.

Shortly after my amazing midwife walked through the door at about 7:30 and I felt instant relief. She could see how much pain I was in by the sheer look on my face, she took my hand and I knew then that it was going to be okay and that this pain was only going to be temporary. She checks me again and I was still a 4 (I know, this is getting old) she told me my body was working way too hard for the amount of progress I had made and that I was only going to tire my self out for when active labor actually came. She asks me if I wanted her to break my water because she could feel how thick my amniotic sac was and that if I let it break on its own I was going to be in labor much longer. Aint nobody got time for that.. so I said yes. After 3 attempts she broke my water and it was like a rush of relief because I knew my baby was going to be here so soon. Contractions really started at that point, I went from a 4 to a 7. My first thought was Vanessa! I had everyone text Vanessa - she was not missing this! My rockstar midwife had already texted her. From that point I had got into the bathtub, I wish I could tell you I was one of those amazing women who labored beautifully and laughed in between contractions but I was anything but. My husband sat outside the bathtub and held my hand and kept reassuring me that I could do this. Bless his heart, I dug my nails further and further into his arms with every contraction and he never moved away from me. After about 10 contractions I knew a water birth just wasn't for me, I was hot and I could not get comfortable for the life of me. Everyone in the room helped me move to my bed and I knew this was where she was going to be born, I felt like at that moment my baby could finally come.

All I could think about was how my neighbors could probably hear me at this point, I was grunting that loud. I eventually got that feeling to push, that feeling no one forgets. My midwife kept asking if I wanted to feel her head, but I just couldn't, in my mind I felt like I was so much further a long than I probably was and I didn't want to be let down. All I kept saying was "don't let me give up" I quickly got a response of " oh it's too late to give up even if you wanted to".

Ha Ha.

Within 20 minutes my sweet Stella Lauren was earthside. My husband helped deliver her and I'm so thankful I was able to witness such a beautiful moment in time, I'll never forget the look on his face, he was so proud. It was sweet relief from that point on, the pain was over and nothing else mattered. Me and my new baby were so content and no one could bring me down from that euphoric feeling. My birth was everything I could have ever wanted, it was so simple and peaceful. It was just my husband, my midwives, and of course Vanessa, who I didn't even know was there (thats how stealthy she is), and thats all I needed. We spent the next few hours laughing and rejoicing, it was literally the best day of my life. Childbirth is so empowering, I would have done it all over and over again and to this day it replays in my mind."

If you were not cracking up while reading this wonderful story you have no sense of humor!  I have ready this about 6 times and every time I just about die laughing!

Nicole was amazing as she brought Stella Earth-Side and I not only made a forever friend, but will never forget the power she has and the love her husband has!

Midwife: Galyn Lacewell
Midwife: Amanda Castro Millan