I love working with repeat clients! Repeats don’t happy too often here since many of our clients are military and Fayetteville/Fort Bragg is a very transient community. I worked with this family when they were pregnant with their first baby and they shared that birth story as well. You can read it here. Birth workers always say no two births are the same and I’m sure if you ask Shella about her experiences, she’d agree. Peter, her husband, brought a duffle bag to birth #1. That duffle was packed in preparation for an induction (that didn’t end up happening) but he still brought it to the birth, and in that duffle was everything needed to make us comfortable during what we thought would be a long birth process. And by everything I mean a coffee machine and all the fixings, haha! Definitely one of my favorite details from all the births I’ve attended.

Birth number two was so different! I asked Shella after #2 which she preferred; the slower pace of birth #1, or the faster experience of #2….. anyone want to guess what her answer was?

Below is the birth story, enjoy!

February 4, 2020. 40 weeks and 1 day, 4cm dilated… Still pregnant. 

5:50am. We wake up to a huge decision this morning. To induce or to not induce, that is the question.  It had been weighing on my heart since yesterday when we found out they wanted to induce today.  After lots of discussion I decided to sleep on it and make up my mind in the morning. As soon as I wake up I know the answer, we will wait until Baby K is ready to come on his own and let my body do what it was made to do.

8:00am. I go to work as usual knowing that I will probably not make it through the whole day from pure exhaustion.  Work was crazy from trying to do all the things before my maternity leave and moving into the new house was draining.  Around lunchtime I started having discomfort that was different from what I had been experiencing and call it a day and head home.

2:00pm. At home I time four contractions in a row at 13 minutes apart.  The HVAC guys arrive to work on the house while I labor on the couch and freak everyone out. Ha! My husband Peter and I dash across the house hanging pictures last minute in an attempt to do whatever we can before the baby arrives. My contractions become sporadic again so we carry on with the afternoon and get our almost 2 year old daughter Addison from daycare.  I remember eating dinner at Panera Bread trying to savor every moment with them as it was going to be one of our last times just the three of us.  

“I labor mostly on the birthing ball while our Doula Melissa puts pressure on my back. God bless her soul, she knows exactly how to help me.”

7:00pm. We put Addison to bed and decide it’s best to try and get some sleep ourselves. I have three contractions in a row 7 minutes apart, but then they become sporadic again and we get a little rest.

11:52pm. I’ve been awake off and on for a few hours now and in a lot of pain. Peter takes over timing while we both try and sleep in between contractions.

1:00am. Contractions are 4 minutes apart and Peter and I decide it is go time. I shower while he gets everything in the car and Addison up. I yell down from the top of the stairs “Contraction!” as I hurriedly try to get ready.  He responds firmly, “I’m not timing them anymore let’s go!” 

2:05am. We drop Addison off at our friend’s house and I kiss her goodbye.  She doesn’t cry at all as she goes into her arms and I know Addison is in good hands. It hits me what is happening and I am overcome with emotions.  This will be my first night away from her and I cry knowing this is the last time I will see her as my only child.  Her world is about to change forever.  Will my heart be able to love them both? Will Addison still feel like my little baby too?  The emotions rush over me. We get back in the car and Peter looks at me and says, “Okay, now I’m going to go a little faster” as he guns it down Bragg Blvd. We go through All American gate, my window down with my arm out holding onto the car while contracting. The gate guard sees us and with a look of panic in his eyes, “Congratulations, good luck, I see what’s going on here” as he rushes us through the gate.  Peter laughs. I have another contraction. 

2:30am. We arrive at Womack Army Medical Center. My contractions are about 3 minutes apart now and very intense.  Peter drops me off at the front door while he parks the car.  I labor bent over a concrete bolster while I wait for him. I decide I want to try and walk in myself, no deal, we get a wheelchair. This baby is coming fast.

2:35am. Check into L&D.  They immediately take me back to triage and check my cervix. I’m 5cm dilated.  Awesome!  They move me to a room and epidural labs are ordered.  

3:00am. Our Photographer and Doula arrive. The contractions are unbearable. I labor mostly on the birthing ball while our Doula Melissa puts pressure on my back. God bless her soul, she knows exactly how to help me. There is a delay with the labs and we wait almost an hour for the epidural.  

3:55am. Labs return and the anesthesiologist comes to give me the epidural. “Not to be rude, but I see your badge says student. How many of these have you done?” Everyone laughs. I can still feel contractions on my left side after the epidural so I am given another dose when able. 

4:55am. I am now 7cm dilated and the doctor breaks my water. Peter turns on the music and I try and get some rest while he goes to the car for my heartburn medicine.

5:23am. Exactly 7 minutes after Peter leaves to go to the car the monitor is showing distress from me laying on my side.  The nurse comes in to check me, I’m 10cm dilated! This baby is ready to meet Mommy and Daddy!  Melissa texts, “She’s a 10, hurry”. Peter literally runs back to L&D.

5:30am. Start to push.  I tell the Doctor, “I didn’t tear last time so let’s do that again please”. She responds, “No pressure”. Everyone laughs.

5:37am. After only 7 minutes of pushing HE IS HERE. The cord was wrapped around his legs several times and he is making a weird noise when he breathes so they check him. Everything is okay and I have him latched within 30 minutes of birth. The labor was so fast I’m almost in a daze with the transition.  Addison’s labor was 25 hours long, what different experience this time around.

We are so in love, our hearts explode for the second time.  8lbs 8ounces and 22 ¼” long, he’s a big boy. Everett James Petersson Korch. Petersson, a Swedish tradition meaning “Peter’s son”.  Welcome to the world little buddy.  I cannot wait to introduce you to Addison and Lucy.  We built a house just for you and have your room all ready.  

You may not have given me the name Mama,

But know you are part of that definition. 

Our family needed you in it,

You are the perfect addition.

Shella Korch, “Mommy”

(Photos by Jamie Pope Photography)

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Melissa.
    Thank you for being at the birth of both of our most important people. I couldn’t imagine going through it without you. You were made to be a Doula.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *