New Year, New Baby: The Birth of Hazel Addie

The day before Hazel was born I had a midwife appointment at 1pm. Jackie, my midwife, checked me and I was 4cm dilated. She stripped my membranes and stretched me to 5cm. I was 10 days overdue and she suggested I get an ultrasound, and consider taking a cotton root tincture to start labor. Hazel got a perfect score on her ultrasound and at 7:30 pm I took one dose of cotton root every 30 minutes until 10:30pm.

At midnight contractions started 30 minutes apart. By 2 am they were 10 minutes apart and getting stronger, so I took a bath and then went back to bed. I tried to wake Christopher, my husband, at 2am but he didn’t want to get up. He finally got up at 5 am when I threw up on the bed (good morning!) and contractions were 5 minutes apart. He started getting the house ready for our home birth while stopping every 5 minutes to help me breathe and work through contractions.

At 7am Christopher suggested we call the midwives, and my mom to wake up Ruby (our 22 month old) and bring her to her house. I said no, let the midwives sleep a little longer. lol He said,”No I’m calling them.” lol Ok, I thought. At 7:30am my parents had arrived and Ruby had awakened. I was in the birth pool when Ruby kissed me goodbye before heading to Maw Maw’s house. Contractions were now 3 minutes apart.

In between contractions

The midwives were on their way when Jackie called to tell Christopher that if I say the baby is coming to call and put them on speaker phone. They were thinking baby might be here before them! Midwives Jackie Griggs and Camelia May, from the Bay Area Birth Center, arrived at 9am when I was 8cm dilated.

Christopher continued to encourage me to relax and breathe through contractions while rubbing my shoulder and petting my face. He also gave me water and sweet tea in between contractions. The birth pool was in the dining room and the chickens kept hopping in the window to watch me labor. lol At 11 am contractions were very strong and I threw up again, but this time made it into a trash can.

Christopher was right there with me, every step of the way

Don’t know the exact time I started pushing, but it wasn’t very long. My water broke not long before she crowned, and I reached down to guide Hazel’s head out and was able to prevent myself from tearing. I felt Hazel wiggling inside my belly as she was being born. Christopher helped support Hazel as she swam out. She literally did the breast stroke on her way into the world! I picked her up, held her on my chest and she cried like she was incredibly mad to just be born. Ten minutes later the placenta was born. We stayed in the water about ten minutes longer before Christopher picked up Hazel, Jackie picked up the placenta, and we went to bed to breastfeed and get checked out.

That moment when you finally get to hold your baby ❤

Baby and mom both were both doing great! Around 15 minutes later, Christopher tied on Hazel’s pink crocheted umbilical cord tie and cut Hazel’s cord.

Amber Neal Birth Story 3

Hazel was weighed in one of my ring slings on a fish scale. She clocked in at 8 pounds 12 ounces and 21.5 inches; the time of her birth was 11:47 am on New Years Eve.

She’s a keeper!

Hazel’s birth was the best birth ever! Way better than Ruby’s 32 hour labor and delivery, which included a bad tear and stitches. That’s a story I’ll type out eventually. Hazel definitely made up for being eleven days late by having a great labor.

Goodbye 2015, hello precious Hazel!


Amber is a wife and the mom of two precious girls: Ruby, who nursed until the age of 16 months when Amber was 20 weeks pregnant, and Hazel, who is currently breastfeeding. When not chasing after toddlers or chickens, Amber sews and sells handcrafted baby items, especially ring slings, on her page Wearing Ruby.


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