Morgan’s birth story • Bozeman Birth Photographer

Every birth is beautiful;  medicated, un-medicated, hospital or home.  They each are wonderful miracles that I am so thankful to be a part of.  The birth of Morgan was one of many firsts for me.  It was my first home, and un-medicated birth and it exceeded my expectations.  And another first for me I’ll let Jenna tell her birth story, however I have edited it for length.

BIRTH SLIDESHOW: the birth of Morgan

011bblog“I woke up at 1:14 a.m. to a sharp, painful contraction.  I went into the bathroom, not wanting to wake up Ben, and came back to bed a couple of minutes later.  I tried to go to sleep but was awakened by another contraction at 1:27 a.m.  Again, I headed to the bathroom, but at this point I was a little bit scared and shaken up, so when I came to bed, I woke up Ben.  I told Ben that I had had 2 contractions and I wanted him to sit with me through the next one, and we could start to time them.  I told Ben that I thought they felt much different than anything else I had felt before.  I was a little shaky and feeling really scared, honestly.  I think that I knew it was the real thing happening, but I didn’t want to say it out loud.

After about 5 more contractions that came at most 5 minutes apart, we called the midwives (Rebecca Egbert and Erin Ellis of the Green Midwife Community Birth Services in Bozeman).  Rebecca advised that we try to relax and sleep through them (yeah, right!), and that maybe we get into the water, and to call her back in an hour.  We filled the tub and I sat in it for a few contractions, but I found that I wanted to move, and the tub wasn’t big enough for me to move in.  I really liked the hands and knees position, or the knees-to-chest position.

Around 3:30 a.m. I decided that I should call my Mom to have her make the drive from Missoula.  I hadn’t wanted to call before 4 a.m., but at this point, I wasn’t sure I she was going to make it if I called any later.  We didn’t tell her how close the contractions were (3 minutes from start to start!) because we were worried about her making the drive as it were, being so early in the morning.

Around 4 a.m., we called Rebecca again.  I was feeling a little “pushy” but knew that I should be trying to resist the urge, because I didn’t want to push before I was fully dilated.  But, realizing that things were progressing quickly, we called Rebecca and told her we wanted her to come over.  She told Ben that “She’s probably only 2 or 3 cm right now, and she’d come over, but it still might be a while”.  Ben hung up the phone, relayed the message.  In the next contraction my water broke (4:14 a.m.) and I told Ben that “if I’m only 2 or 3 cm dilated, I don’t think I can do this!”.  It was intense, and because I had no previous experience to compare it to, I was worried that perhaps I was only 2 or 3 cm dilated and not just not nearly as “tough” as I thought I would be! [Ben called me a few minutes later.]

Rebecca made her way over, showed up at around 4:45.  I was very vocal during the contractions, and I was surprised at how natural it felt to vocalize, and how I didn’t feel self-conscious about it at all, even though I thought I would be.  Rebecca took one look at me and said “Okay, I’ll get set up”, realizing I think that we didn’t have as long as she thought we would with most first time mamas.

About an hour later I finally told Rebecca that I just couldn’t resist the urge to push anymore – it was taking all of my willpower and concentration, and I found myself pushing during contractions, like I couldn’t help it.  She did a quick check, determined I was fully dilated, and gave me the go-ahead to push!

We ended up pushing for about 30-35 minutes, primarily in the squat position, with me resting between contractions hanging on Ben’s legs (he was seated behind me in a chair).  We ended up giving the final push in the hands-to-knees position, which proved the absolute most effective at that point.


When he was born, Ben immediately said “It’s a boy!” and I exclaimed “Oh!  He’s so cute!”  I was expecting the typical Winston-Churchill look-alike newborn, but to me, MY baby was cute 🙂  I guess that’s the maternal love hormone cocktail working it’s magic.


Morgan Perry Dodge, born at 7:23 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2010.  He weighed 7 lbs 12 oz, is 19″ long, with a 15″ head circumference.

[Little tidbits I’d like to add:  During our pre-birth chat Jenna, requested that she really wanted to see Ben’s reaction as the baby was born.  I’m so glad she did, those are a few of my favorite images.  Jenna’s mom missed the birth by 30 minutes, but I love her reaction when she walked in the room.  Jenna was in labor for just over 6 hours, crazy fast for a first time mom!]

You can read Jenna’s birth story in its entirety on her blog.

Thank you Jenna and Ben for having me photograph Morgan’s birth, it was an amazing experience.

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thank you Kelly for these beautiful photos. You were a beautiful presence at birth!

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