baby Marianne

"There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don't ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it."
Sheryl Feldman


On May 13th, we were blessed with the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Marianne. Giving birth is such a magical event. It doesn't matter how many times you experience it, the feelings of wonder and amazement don't diminish, they only seem to grow stronger. The power that we as women have is unbelievable. If we can give birth to new life, I'm convinced there is nothing that we can't do! I wish every woman could experience a natural birth, pain and all. There's something about the whole event that, it seems to me, if you remove a component from it (like pain and discomfort) you're taking away an important piece to the puzzle.

Without feeling everything that was happening during my first two births, I did not get the sense of empowerment that I felt after a natural birth. I feel I can express this opinion because I have had two hospital pain free births and two natural home births. Both ways end with the same result, your baby being born, which really is the most important thing. But, I just wish I had known home birth was option 12 years ago when I had Max. I remember I had originally wanted a natural birth, but once I set foot in the hospital all sorts of things started happening that I didn't want. I was put on pitocin, stuck in a bed, not allowed to eat and constantly tempted with an epidural. Basically, all the things I didn't want. I just want encourage all women, who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, to look into home births/birth center births and midwives, even if you think it's not for you.

*Please know that I'm not looking down on other people's choices at all. If someone doesn't want feel any pain at all, more power to them. I'm just expressing my own experiences and their effects on me. No matter how the baby gets here, a birth is extraordinarily special.

Anyway, I didn't plan on breaching that topic. I could go on and on, but I won't. Maybe, if anyone is interested, we could all discuss it in a post of it's own. I'd love to hear your birth stories and views about birth. So, on to Marianne's abridged birth story...


On Thursday, around 7 pm, my midwife Janna came over to break my water. I was looking forward to giving birth in few hours... boy was I wrong! Assuming that your fourth baby is going to come really quick is a big mistake. My contractions very slowly began to get regular and with each hour increased with pain. By midnight/one o'clock it was intense. I kept telling myself that it was not pain that i was feeling, just a different sensation unique to labor (Ina Mae says something along those lines in Spiritual Midwifery). I found that telling myself this helped and kept me on a more positive train of thought because at times it can feel like the labor is never going end. Janna checked me and I was at 9cm. As the hours went on I began to feel the exhaustion. I actually started to doze off for seconds between contractions. Around 5am Janna had to go and Lisa came to take over. Lisa checked me again and I was still not fully dilated. Hearing that news after that many hours was very, very difficult. I was beginning to feel unsure about how much longer I could endure the pain. Then the doubts started to flood my mind. I only allowed them to remain briefly, that's not a path you want to go down during labor. Instead I thought of all the women past and present that had given birth naturally. I told myself that it was a gift to be able to do this, a gift unique to us as women. All those others had made it through and even I had with the birth of Shane, surly I could make it again. Lisa thought I should try to use the restroom and stand for a bit. After doing that and returning to the bed, the urge to push was upon me at last! A few hard pushes and out she came at 7:48 am. The feelings of joy and immense relief were overwhelming. She was as beautiful and healthy as I had prayed she'd be. The smallest of all my children, she weighed in at 7lbs. and 9oz. and was 21 inches long.


The instant love you feel upon seeing your baby is insane. I always wonder before they're here if I could have room to love another as much as i love my other children. Of course I know the answer, yes I do, but it still amazes me every time. It makes me realize how much the Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and how he has endless room in His heart for us.


janna,ruben and shane, myself and marianne and lisa

I'm so grateful to everyone at South Coast Midwifery for helping me have another wonderful birth. I couldn't have asked for more from Lisa, Janna and Megan( she assisted both midwives), my amazing husband for being beside me and holding my hand through the whole thing, my Mom who has been a constant support through out my whole pregnancy(and life) and has been coming over and cooking delicious dinners for us, my step mom Cathy for taking the kids, helping me out with laundry and being the wonderful friend that she is to me, my Nana for going with me to appointments and watching Shane and taking all 3 kids the night before I had the baby and last but not least, all our friends and family that have sent well wishes and been there for us in many different ways. You all are the best!!!

♥ anne


  1. Aww! She's a cutie, just like her brothers and sister! Congrats and happy Baby-moon, Anne. :D

  2. Marianne is a radiant blessing! I'm so honored that you chose to share some of your birth story with us. If you want I can e-mail you the one's that I've written for my two babes :) Sometimes I really miss pregnancy and labor. I hope to be able to take that journey at least one more time in my life. It is such a beautiful, intense, life changing experience. I loved the visceral reality of the physical sensations of labor. My God, how they hurt, and are so different from injury pain. I could go on and on. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter. She's lucky to have such a loving Mother who is so full of love and light.

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

  3. She is absolutely beautiful! And such a lovely name. Congratulations!

  4. Oh! I forgot to say that I absolutely adore the name Marianne. It's perfect.

  5. What a gorgeous baby, Anne! And such a beautiful name! Oh, I'm so happy it went well! Hooray!

  6. Yes, yes and yes. I know. The empowerment is all encompassing. My second baby was delivered the old fashioned way and to me, it was as if she had come home, that she belonged with me. My first birth was an emergency C - and the bonding was entirely different and less instant. Marianne is a BEAUTIFUL name, well done, amazing mama. And thanks for the comment over on my blog! look forward to reading more about you and your family.

  7. What a great story, and quote. Sorry to hear labor was so rough. I suppose we all assume that with each baby it gets easier. Not always. However, obviously worth the feat - a beautiful girl with the sweetest eyes. She reminds me a lot of Shane as a newborn. I can hardly wait to hold her and introduce my family to little Marianne. Hope the family is well and we will see you guys soon.
    p.s: on a selfish note: really happy to have you back as my beer buddy!

  8. Awww, huge congrats to you and your family Anne! Marianne is a beauty just like her mama :)

    Your story definitely takes me back to my own natural birth center birth, the exhaustion, the feeling that it was never going to end, way to keep yourself present and positive. I like the idea of accepting the intense and challenging sensations without labeling them as pain, I can see how that would be extremely helpful.

    Enjoy these first weeks of falling in love with that sweet new life, and maybe even getting a little sleep now and then too ;)

  9. Welcome to Marianne! What a blessed little girl she is to join your wonderful family. I'm so happy you were able to have the birth of your choice and that in spite the hard parts everyone is well and happy and oh so so beautiful. Thank you for sharing these pictures and the abbreviated story of her birth. I'd love to read the full version some day. Birth stories always make me all teary-eyed with joy.

    Lots of love and merry nesting time to all of you. Oh and I'm happy for Jessica too ;D

  10. oh my goodness ANNE! you've brought tears to my eyes with your radiant love and beautiful approach to childbirth and family. little marianne is so lucky to be blessed with such a sweet and gracious and natural mama. even though your story sounds incredibly difficult, the way you write about it and also the intense rewards casts the entire journey in glowing light.

    and what an utterly precious bundle! i cannot wait to see more photos of her as she grows. those first few months go so quickly huh?! i bet the other children are just enraptured :)

    i am sorry i came upon this so late. i have been thinking of you often and waiting to hear about the new arrival. somehow your post didn't show up on my sidebar and i am sorry i didn't get over here sooner. my heart swelled with excitement and pure bliss when i found this entry.

    blessings blessings blessings! love love love! the world seems pure and peaceful tonight.

  11. Anne, you are a gift to us all. I love and adore you and your little family. Thank you for sharing the story, bringing us all closer, and for the lovely images of our new family member. Can't wait to meet her!

  12. I'm so glad you posted... I was getting antsy wanting to share the good news with our little circle here... but knew to wait. I have a couple of really cute pictures of Elsa and Olivia holding Marianne :D

    I really admire you for sticking with your decision for natural childbirth, despite its difficulties and pain. You bravely look at the bigger picture which is your sweet reward for hard work and the blessing of knowing your body and it's abilities. She is absolutely gorgeous (with the cutest lil nose!) and I'm happy I finally got to meet her! Many blessings and love to your new peanut and your whole family :D

  13. I really enjoyed reading this esp since I have a bun in the oven myself, for the very first time. needless to say im very excited and anxious. congratulations on becoming a mom again!

    p.s. don't miss out on this fabulous Love of Dresses giveaway http://onestylemile.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-love-of-dresses.html

  14. I speak on the subject of childbirth and postpartum often, since I am going into the nursing field. I am currently in my OB class and finished up my clinical on our local OB unit, and I can relate to what you are saying. We had the lactation consultant from our local hospital teach our class the other day, and she made me realize that nurses and doctors need to work towards supporting the mother and her decisions a little more. This class has really opened my eye to see how quick doctors and nurses are to determine C-section status, to say "oh there is always an epidural" and also to say comments that may be construed as negative to a new mom, especially a first timer such as "your nipples are flat; the babys latch isnt very good" Many of these problems can be worked through with a little more time from the nurses and education to parents. I think in the end a lot of health care providers are more worried about covering for themselves, especially on paper, versus putting all of their energy into the family. I know not all nurses and doctors are this way, this is just my own experience, and because I am interested in this field, those actions I have witnessed have stuck with me.

    I have no children of my own, but I look forward to this event more as the years go by and learn the amazing information behind childbirth. Congratulations on your baby girl, she is so sweet. I wrote a post on my first experience being present at a birth (this woman did it completely without medication and she was so proud of herself, it was a wonderful experience just being present.)

  15. oh, how did i miss this post?! i have been thinking of you and yours regularly and hoping the best for the arrival of your fourth...

    she is gorgeous with a perfect little name!

    i totally relate to the feeling of accomplishment following an unmedicated birth(after being labeled "high risk" i was booted from the midwife to the perinatologists, so both mine were in a hospital but remained natural...i feel very lucky that my labors progressed in a way that allowed me to stay on my course without any intervention and that our hospital staff was on board with my wishes). following my second delivery, i felt such a high that i understood why someone might run a marathon or otherwise challenge themselves physically. gosh, i could go on and on about birthing stuff...but this moment is about you and Marianne!

    thank you for sharing your family with us. congrats, blessings, hugs!

  16. Yayyy Anne! So, so sweet. Can't wait to see more about how Marianne grows! And so glad to hear that the birth went well. Women's bodies sure are amazing. I am proud of you :-)

  17. Congratulations on the birth of Marianne! She looks so peaceful in those photos.

  18. Anne, I *think* I finally got my blogger errors sorted out by installing Firefox and accessing Blogger that way. So far so good. Know I sent an email but just wanted to add an 'official' little congrats here. I so love your growing family and this post made me teary too when I first read it. Baby Marianne is the most beautiful package ever! Look forward to lots more tales and photos.


  19. Aw what an adorable baby. If I ever have a girl I'm definitely naming her Marianne. It is such a beautiful name. Congrats!


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