Dear Zaden : A Birth Story | Dearest Lou

Dear Zaden : A Birth Story

Zaden Eliot’s birth story is very long and I have spent the last couple of days getting it written out to my liking. Since I have been writing Zaden letters throughout my pregnancy I wanted to use the same letter format for his birth story.


November 28, 2012
Dear Zaden,

It’s been five days since you joined our family; your dad and I are completely in love with you. I wanted to write your birth story before mama forgets all of the details. I hadn’t really taken much thought into what birth method we wanted to do until the end of my second trimester. After lots of research and prayer your daddy and I decided we wanted to do a natural med-free birth.

This is our story.

On Thanksgiving night I had an unpleasantly restless night. I had a strong feeling that you would be born within the next 24 hours. I spent the next few hours going over my birth plan, reading other natural birth stories, and praying to my Heavenly Father for strength. After doing this I felt both mentally and spiritually prepared to bring you into this world and was able to fall asleep around 2AM.

At 4:32AM I awoke to a very strong Braxton hicks contraction, keep in mind that I had been having them for the last several days so I didn't think much of it until another one hit 15 minutes later. I remember thinking, “This is it, I better let Daryl sleep as long as I possibly can.” The contractions weren't unbearable and I was able to rest in between them. I was so anxious and excited to meet you and that thought alone made it hard for me to rest.

At 7:49AM the contractions became much more intense. I dashed up the stairs to let grandpa know that I was pretty sure I was having you today, he was excited to say the least. I also gave Kandice a call to let her know she might need to find a sitter for Natalie that day. I asked her how she felt right before she went into labor. She said that I would know I was going into labor because I wouldn't be able to talk during contractions.

She had been encouraging me for months to watch The Business of Being Born, so that’s what I did.

During the documentary I decided I would start timing my contractions since they were becoming uncomfortable. They were averaging at 2  ½ - 3 minutes apart for 30-40 seconds and the only way to manage my pain was by sitting on my birthing ball or rocking my hips back and forth on my hands and knees.

At 8:30AM daddy’s alarm went off for work. I told him that I had been having contractions all morning and thought I would be able to manage the pain on my own for the next few hours but was scared that I would need him and that he would be 45 minutes away. We then knelt down and prayed. Several minutes later we both decided that he needed to call in and have him help me manage the pain.

Your daddy was such an amazing support Zaden, he really took all of the methods we learned in our Lamaze class to heart. If something wasn't working he would immediately suggest trying something new, couldn't have done it without him.

I then paused the documentary and daddy and I decided to eat some breakfast. Food sounded repulsive, but I knew I would need strength so I ate 2 cups of apple sauce and drank lots of water. Daddy was so sweet and was getting everything ready while I ate, I then called Kandice and told her today is the day and that we would let her know when we headed to the hospital.

Part of my birth plan was to sit in the tub until my water broke, I figured it would help soothe the pain. I then went to your Aunt Ti’s room and woke her up and asked her to get the bath ready for me. She got the tub ready and took a few pictures of your daddy and I as he walked me through each contraction. We were all having a great time joking in between contractions.
After the bath your daddy and I finished the last half of the documentary. Watching the documentary really helped me mentally prepare for any situation that may arise in the hospital. After the documentary the contractions got MUCH more intense to the point where lying down sounded like the worst thing anyone could possibly suggest. Lying down or sitting during a contraction were out of the question! The only thing that seemed to work was leaning on daddy and slow dancing.

We listened to Lana Del Ray and slow danced for the next hour, it was now 12:00PM. My goal was to stay home as long as possible and even though I really wanted to go to the hospital at this point I powered through another hour slow dancing, rocking my hips back and forth, and listening to your sweet daddys voice.

At 1:00 PM we decided to get this show on the road. Daddy quickly finished getting our hospital bag and everything else in the vehicle and we were on our way. We parked the car and said a prayer that you would arrive safely. Right after that I hurried out of the car towards the hospital building. Since I wanted my labor to move along quickly I told daddy I wanted to take the stairs instead of the elevator, crazy right?

Once we arrived to labor and delivery we were lead to our delivery room. The receptionist lead me to a room down the hall and I met my first nurse. I don’t remember her name, but she was awesome and unfortunately got off work before you arrived. She told me that she needed to hook me up and I immediately told her that I wanted to not be hooked up as much as possible. She said she just needed to make sure our heart rates were okay and monitor us every hour for 15 minutes.

My contractions at this point weren’t completely horrible so I was able to sit in the bed and have her check how much I progressed. She said I dilated to a 3 and was 80% effaced. I was delighted to know we had made some progress since our last doctor’s appointment. She then unhooked me and asked if I wanted to get in the tub. As the water slowly filled up, my contractions got worse. I tried rocking my hips back and forth but it wasn’t working. Daddy then told me he was going to go get the rest of our stuff out of the car and contact your Aunt Ti to let her know we had been admitted. I then sat in the tub and thought that maybe turning on the jets would help... it didn’t. As soon as daddy came back I told him that the tub wasn’t working and that I needed to continue to move around and dance. He helped me dry off and danced with me through the next several contractions.

The nurse then returned an hour later to see how we were doing and told me she had to hook me up again. She then checked and said that I dilated to a 5 and that I was about 85% effaced. Aunt Ti arrived shortly after and brought me her radio so I could hook up my music. Daddy continued to slow dance with me and let me lean on him and helped me breath during each and every contraction. Kandice then arrived and both her and Aunt Ti were both a little afraid to talk to me. I don’t really blame them... I was acting like an animal walking around the room in circles, using the bar in the bathroom to rest my weight on, and breathing in different patterns to help soothe the pain.
The nurse came back a little after 3:15PM and checked me after a contraction. I told her I didn’t think I would be able to sit on the bed anymore so she let me lean on the side. I had dilated to an 8 and was 90% effaced. I felt so much joy when she told me that and started crying. I told Aunt Ti to call your grandparents and tell them to hurry to the hospital because I could be having you anytime in the next hour.

Grandma and Grandpa arrived shortly after. I started to feel a little claustrophobic so I asked if everyone could step out until I was ready to start pushing. At 4:15PM the nurse came in and checked me once again. I was almost dilated to a 9 and was still 90% effaced. About 15 minutes later, I asked if your grandpa and daddy could give me a blessing for strength. After the blessing the contractions weren't near as bad.  She told me that she was going to be getting off shift at 5PM and asked if I needed anything else. I told her no, and thanked her for everything, that’s when she introduced me to my new nurse MaryAnn.

MaryAnn appeared sweet at first but I swear she was secretly evil. Your dad to this day thinks I’m exaggerating but everyone else agrees. She suggested several times that I lie down and try and rest in between contractions, I would have rather yanked out all of my hair than lie down at this point.

She hooked me up and said that if I didn’t start to progress that Pitocin would help. I absolutely did not want to have Pitocin and I’m glad I did my research beforehand because I directly told her I was doing this naturally. Dr. Oneida then came in and suggested that she could break my water to help speed things along. I told her that I would power through another hour and if it hadn’t broken on its own by then that I would let her.

I felt so bad for your daddy at this point because I was extremely irritable and didn’t want to be touched. The only way I could make it through a contraction was by leaning over the bar in the bathroom and rocking my hips back and forth. At about 5:40PM I told your dad to get Dr. Oneida because I wanted her to break my water.

Right after an intense contraction, Dr. Oneida checked me and said I was dilated to a 9 and about 95% effaced, she then broke my water and I felt a ton of warm water gush out and felt so much lighter.

The contractions got much more powerful.

It was about 6:00PM and MaryAnn suggested lying down or trying another position, I felt really out of it and told her no that leaning on the edge of the bed was the only thing that was working. For the next hour I swear I left my body and was able to sit on the edge of the bed and rest. 

At 7:00PM MaryAnn came back and said she needed to hook me up, I told her I honestly didn’t think I could stay still long enough. She then attempted to hook me up but I immediately unhooked myself and felt the urge to go poop. I spent the next 45 minutes on and off the toilet with your dad by my side telling me he was so proud of me and that I could do this. MaryAnn kept reminding me not to push but my body felt like pushing so I was pushing while I was on the toilet. At 7:45PM I told her I really really wanted to push and that I wanted Dr. Oneida to check me.

Dr. Oneida then told me the best news I heard all day, “Your cervix is completely gone and I can feel Zaden’s head, it’s time to push!!”

I started to cry and hugged your dad ever so tightly.

I told MaryAnn to go get your grandma, Aunt Ti, and Kandice (unfortunately Kandice went missing and missed your birth). Dr. Oneida started getting everything ready and taught me the correct way to push. I was prepared to spend the next few hours pushing.
Everyone was so encouraging and said I was doing a great job. Dr. Oneida meanwhile was massaging the birth canal with a warm rag to help reduce the chances of tearing. After about 18 minutes of pushing she helped stretch me so I could see your little head, that really motivated me. Two good pushes later I saw your little head and I knew that I could give birth to you with one really good push! I then felt “the ring of fire” and to be honest it’s not as horrible as I thought it would be, I had so much adrenalin rushing and just wanted to meet you. After your head I felt your shoulders and then the rest of  your tiny body just slid out.

I started crying, I have never felt so much joy.
I finally had you in my arms. 
Everyone was so excited and tears filled the room. 
Your daddy even cried, he never cries. 

You were the most perfect little baby we had ever seen and to think you were all ours, for eternity.

Love, Mama


  1. so beautiful.
    love these photos.
    love this.
    just love it.
    you are the cutest.
    congrats pretty lady.


  2. This is such a beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing. Congratulations new mama :)

  3. this is beautiful. thank you so much for sharing and letting all of us into your sweet and amazing life.


  4. hey, thanks for the "went missing and missed your birth" shoutout.

    dear zaden, your mama kicked me out of the room so i took a walk and called sean while feeling bad for myself. i deeply regret missing your arrival, i wish i would have known. love you, aunt dish.

    include that bit of truth in this letter
    he. deserves. to. know. the. truth. cecilia.

    all jokes aside, i'm glad i was apart of your b-story.

    anyone reading this right now should know that this particular mama is built for natural childbirth. never, in my life, have i seen such a strong little woman do the things she did with such grace. i'm wowed, amazed, so proud.

    love you, shep

  5. Wow. Amazing birth story, I can't believe you did all that naturally. So sweet about slow dancing with your husband through contractions. Congratulations again to your and your family and all the best to little Zaden :)

  6. I cried. So beautiful! Congrats again! xo

  7. What an amazing birth story! You must have some awesome will power and determination! Also, you are a lucky girl to have all these beautiful pictures. Did you have any training other than than a Lamaze class and watching The Business of Being Born? An unmediated birth has always been appealing to me, but I am a little terrified. It sounds like having that experience was worth it to you!

  8. I feel so blessed to have read this. Congratulations to your and your hubby on such a wonderful bundle of joy! :)

  9. I started crying at the end of this!! Your photos and story are SO PRECIOUS!! We are determined to have a natural birth next time around and maybe will do it at home. I loved the Business of Being Born and regret I had to have a C section, although it was due to some complications and a car attack a few days before Kaya was due. I feel lucky everything went OK but swear I am never having one again!!

    You are such a lucky boy Zaden, you have such fantastic, humble and gorgeous parents!!!

  10. OMG, this kind of got me teary eyed. I'm so happy for you guys. :) I still have the chills. I am kind of scared and excited to have a baby of my own in a few years. You are a very strong woman. :)


  11. Awe, that was beautiful! I'm so happy you had the birth you wanted and things went smoothly for you. You're a superstar going all natural! And of course, Zaden is gorgeous:)

  12. What an amazing story. That is so cool you were able to do it all naturally. Truly beautiful. Congratulations.

  13. this made me cry because i know exactly what you mean and you captured the emotions beautifully.

    birth was intense but amazing :)

  14. ah. best thing ever. such an indescribable amount of love and emotion and awe. xoxo

  15. Oh my godness. This is the one of the most well written birth stories ever. Thanks for sharing everything. You sound truly amazing. I am so happy for your little family!! Congratulations!

  16. Oh man I tore up at that last photo because I know that feeling so well.. it's so amazing!!! What beautiful photos. YOu did really well - it's a freaky but amazing ride. And so amazing when suddenly there's another little person right there in the room!

  17. Congrats Cecilia! You amazing woman!

    He is beautiful and so was your story!

  18. This is so beautiful, I am all teary-eyed after reading it. You are amazing!

  19. I am totally blaming this on hormones, but your birth story totally made me tear up. I can't wait to have that perfect moment with my little one!!

  20. What a lovely birth story, Cecilia. I'm glad to hear that you were able to have the beautiful natural birth experience you desired. Congratulations, and welcome little Zaden!

  21. Thank you soooo much for sharing this amazing experience, your birth story is absolutely beautiful!! I was hanging on your every word and by the end I was a total blubbering mess! Your photos are just amazing and capture so much raw emotion. I'm pretty sure I will be reading this a few more times before I give birth! Zaden is just so perfect.

  22. This made me cry, congratulations on your little one :)

  23. What a beautiful birth story! You are amazing!!! I am so glad that things went as planned! And you are amazing for not letting that nurse hook you up and put you on Pitocin! I'm so happy for you and your new family!

  24. so incredibly beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us all. congrats! xoxo

  25. What a beautiful birthing story!! Congratulations!!! I gave birth 12 months ago to my daughter, but I remember every moment so clearly. It truly was one of the best days of my life. Enjoy your beautiful baby!!


  26. congratulations! what a cutie!

  27. So beautiful Cecilia!

    I'm completely in love & I'm so glad you shared this moment with all of us.


  28. what a beautiful story..sounds like you handled everything like a champ. and what a handsome baby boy! :)

  29. Aww, this is so, so sweet. Thanks for sharing your precious story. What a beautiful little boy. Congratulations!!!

  30. What a beautiful story and what a beautiful baby! Many congrats! :)

    xo Saretta
    The Lion in Jewels

  31. This is such a sweet birth story. He'll be so blessed by reading it someday. :) I haven't ever read one that was written actually to the baby ... such a neat idea.

  32. Oh my gosh, make me cry, why don't you?? Haha. Beautiful.
    Oh, and the part about the "secretly evil nurse" made me laugh.

  33. I am so happy for you. This was an absolutely beautiful story! And you are AMAZING for doing it all natural!! How wonderful! And your little boy is absolutely precious!

  34. I cried after reading this entry :') You wrote it beautifully, perfectly. I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes. I also love the accompanying photos. Your birth story is so inspiring. I'll be facing this in less than 8 weeks too and I'll take this story with me when I go to the hospital. Thanks so much for being such an inspiration, Lou.

    Congratulations on the natural safe and heartwarming delivery. So happy for you and your family!

  35. And I have to add, your husband is one heck of a guy! HANDS DOWN husband of the year!

  36. Wow, you were amazing! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and powerful birth story!!

    Your little man is so handsome!



  37. this almost had me crying.
    so beautiful. and you make a beyond gorgeous momma.
    zaden is in for the biggest treat!!

  38. Congrats! This is so touching and sweet--I'm glad this precious child joined your family safely!

  39. I'm a labor and delivery nurse and I love reading stories about women who are intent on natural labor and stick with their guns! congrats!! he's adorable and you look gorgeous!

  40. Firstly, thank you so much for your comment!

    Secondly, wow! Thank you for sharing your experience. As someone who knows little about giving birth, I found it eye-opening and interesting. You guys make such a cute couple! And your new baby looks perfect indeed. Now the real journey begins :) xx

    P.S. All this time, I thought that "ring of fire" was just an awful drinking game... But I just googled it the giving birth version sounds much, much worse! Well done for having the strength to have a natural birth!

  41. This is so beautiful!! He is so precious and you sound like you did an amazing job! It makes me excited to have my own one day!

  42. Congratulations! Nothing is better than holding your new baby for the first time! I can tell that you are such an amazing mom. And so neat that you have all those letters for him!

  43. I've never wanted children or anything but this is such a beautiful story and a lovely idea xXx

  44. Wow mama you are amazing! I was at a 5 before i got the epidural and thought i was going to die! I can only imagine doing it without! & taking the stairs? You are crazy! What a wonderful blessing zaden is to your family and beautiful too! & I totally understand you about the evil nurse, but luckily mine was only with me for about two hours at the beginning and then got called away to either assignment! Loving all the new photos of zaden on Instsgram, keep them coming!

  45. beautiful. He will be pleased to see all of the journaling that you have for him. Congrats again..

  46. This is so amazing! You are the prettiest "in labor" girl I've ever seen. You would not even want to see the pics of me while I was in labor haha!

  47. YAYAY! I'm so happy for you both! Zaden is truly a gift!

  48. I love Zaden Eliot’s birth story! Zaden is a lucky baby! He has amazing parents. God bless your family.

  49. Absolutely beautiful. What a lucky boy to have so many wonderful accounts of his easrly life to look back on and read and know how very very loved he is. xxx