Kailee Riches

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Nashville Birth Photography | Addison

I documented Addison's big brother Noah's birth in 2015. It was amazing to see the similarities between the two birth stories... I got called to meet the family in the late afternoon for both babies. Mary Anne Richardson of Tender Beginnings was an incredible doula and presence through both births, and both babes were born with the Vanderbilt Midwives. There is nothing like seeing families grow and change year to year, I'm blessed by this awesome work. You can see big brother Noah's Birth Story here.

From Mary Ellen:

On February 2nd, 2017 I had my 41 week appointment with the midwives. With our first child, Noah, I went into labor four days before his due date and he was then born two days early. With this history I thought for sure I would be early again, but God had a different plan. Oh how many times that happens in life! I was SO ready to have our baby girl and hoped that they might be able to move things along. As I was being monitored I started having mild contractions, and thought that they were for sure the real thing, now all I had to do was hope they continued. The midwife checked my dilation which was only at 1 cm, which I of course thought would be greater. After they finished the monitoring she swept my membranes, which was quite unpleasant I must say. As I drove home the mild contractions continued.

Noah’s labor was 29 hours long, so I thought that Addison’s labor would surely be much shorter. Throughout that whole night I had contractions anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes apart, never getting consistently closer. The intensity of them continued to get stronger and continued into Friday morning. I had back labor again, so my relief came when Drew, my husband, put as much pressure as he could on my lower back throughout my contractions. Thankfully I was still able to eat, shower, and spend time with Noah (our 19 month old) throughout the morning. By lunchtime we decided it was best for my Mom to come and get Noah, as we thought we would be heading to the hospital soon. That moment when he left with her was very emotional for all of us, we all started crying. I think we realized that this was the last time we were going to be just a family of three and I was sad that I had to leave Noah’s side. It was bittersweet - sad to see him go but joyful to know that the next time we would see him he would be meeting his little sister!

Our incredible and irreplaceable doula, Mary Anne, came over at about 1:30 p.m. I was so relieved when she got here because she exudes a peace and confidence that I needed at that time. She helped me through several contractions and checked my dilation, which had progressed to about 5 cm. She reassured me that we would be meeting our baby girl that evening. The contractions were still not consistently 4-5 minutes apart, so she ran into Nolensville to get lunch. While she was gone, my contractions quickly got closer together and I knew we needed to head to the hospital. Drew frantically ran around the house getting the last things we needed and as soon as Mary Anne pulled in the driveway we were off! Unfortunately, it took us 45 minutes to get to Vanderbilt due to Friday 4 p.m. rush hour traffic. (If you live here you know how horrible it is!)

We arrived at the hospital at 4:45 p.m.and met our wonderful photographer Kailee in triage. After about 20 minutes we made it into a room with a tub, praise the Lord! I had wonderful nurses and midwives taking care of me, and they all helped make my experience exactly how I had hoped it would be. I spent the remainder of my labor in the tub, which provided great relief during my contractions. My water broke in the tub and then I headed to the bed to push. This time I tried several positions before feeling the best on my side. I pushed for thirty minutes and then witnessed Drew and my midwife Peg catch Addison and brought her to my chest. She was born at 6:45 p.m. just two hours after arriving at the hospital.

Once again. I was in awe of God’s great design of childbirth and the woman’s body. I could not have brought Addison into the world naturally without the strength that the Lord had given me and the people I had surrounding me. Throughout my labor I experienced so many different feelings - fear, pain, relief, doubt, hope, and joy. In conclusion, they all brought me to a place of complete surrender to my body and how it would deliver the reward into my arms. It was such a surreal and holy experience that I will never forget.