Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birth from the "other side"

Yesterday was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to witness my first birth from the "other side"...meaning it was my first birth that I wasn't the one birthing.

The were to induce my sister around 8 pm on Tuesday night, but when they went to put the cervical pill in, she was having too many mild contractions to do it. Katie Beth had been having those exact type of contractions every night for a month. So they decided to just put her on a pitocin drip. All night long...nothing. All through the early morning...nothing. No dilation, no painful contractions. Nothing. We all started to worry that she would end up with a C-Section and I know that would have broken my sister's heart. Especially since this very well could be her one and only baby.
I got to the hospital around 9 and Katie Beth was laughing and talking away, she was 0 nothing. 10 am hit and all of a sudden she started having horrible contractions. By 1:56 Rainy Shiloh Lewis was born. It was an intense and VERY fast labor and Katie Beth did it all without any drugs or epidural! She was so strong and brave. I will admit that pangs of jealously for her beautiful, fast, natural birth came to me throughout the day. I mean, what is wrong with me that my labors last FOREVER?!

I felt so blessed to be able to be there and help her through it. Still fresh in my mind from 6 weeks earlier, I was able to remember clearly what helped and what didn't. I also felt so blessed because Katie Beth has been there for me through so much. All my preterm labor, during my labor. Always quietly helping me, and it was wonderful to be able to return the favor.
It was so strange to see Katie Beth in that much pain. She has incredible pain tolerance and in her whole life I have never heard her scream out in pain.
During the whole thing I just kept thinking, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
The actual delivery was pretty crazy. I cannot believe what the body can do! I must admit, I nearly passed out several times. The whole time I kept thinking, "I literally cannot believe I've done this before...twice!"
Katie Beth's husband stepped up at the very last possible second and was there for the whole thing. I must admit, it was really hard for me to see him there acting like the past 10 months had never happened, but I know deep down that it meant the world to Katie Beth to have him there. Something this intimate changes people.

Right around 10 when labor finally started.

Yes. She does look that angelic in the middle of horrible back labor.

I love this photo because Katie Beth got that tattoo for the baby she miscarried. It's a bible verse in Greek. James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Still so beautiful. Even though I hated to see her in pain, because I had just experienced it, I wasn't sad for her...because I knew that it would be over soon and that it was necessary to bring such a wonderful gift of life into the world.

I was bawling like a baby. This was the first time in nearly a year that I had seen true joy in my sister.

Isn't Rainy just precious?!


  1. i love this story and the pictures make it feel ur in the room..

  2. What an amazing experience. The photos are breathtaking, they capture the labor and delivery process so beautifully, I've never seen anything like it. Your sister and niece are so beautiful. I know it's been said a thousand times but I think it needs to be said again :) Congrats to the whole family and welcome to the world, sweet Rainy. The joy you see in your sister is just the beginning.

  3. Helen Joy, you did an amazing job with the photography, and what a unique and wonderful experience!

  4. Great Job KB!! And thanks to you for capturing the pictures so we could expirence it as well. I know how the no epi feels, done it twice by choice :), its not fun but an experience. So cool that Rainy and Sullivan will be close in age and have someone to grow up with.

  5. I find that your photography is incredible. However, I think you 100% overstep your boundaries. I hope Katie Beth is OKAY with everyone seeing these intimate pictures and is OKAY with everyone knowing intimate details of her divorce/relationship hard times. While it is one thing for you to share the details of your life, I wish you had the respect for your sister to let her share the details that she wants to.

  6. Katie beth is 100% ok with all I've shared.

  7. This is so beautiful!!!!

  8. I was there and I agree that it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced! She was beautiful and strong and brave. Having brought her into the world with a hard and fast labor it was surreal being there watching her. And knowing that this little girl, if God so blesses, will experience the same thing. What will she be like? What trials will God take her through to refine her like beautiful gold in the furnace? Will I still be there to watch and marvel? This amazing and terrifying thing called life rolls on like a raging river. To God be the glory. I love you Katie Beth and precious Rainy! Thank you Helen Joy for being the rock for your sister through all of this.

  9. I'm so glad Katie Beth was happy with you sharing all this. I got a little upset with the anonymous commenter, who clearly doesn't know you. If she did, she would know that as open as you are about your own life, you completely understand that not everyone is. And the last thing you would ever do is hurt one of your sisters. This might be one of your best posts ever. The photography is beautiful, the writing is honest, and I wanted babies when I got to the end. And Katie Beth does look gorgeous even in so much pain!

  10. I'm starting to follow your blog today. I'm a pediatric intensive care doctor in Brazil, I'm pregnant for the first time (10 weeks) and I must confess I'm dazzled by your photos and your writing! I'm very used to see women in labor, it's not a new thing to me, actually. But getting to know you and your sister and see those beautiful pictures, it was really wonderful! I need some tips from you both... i know itś silly to hear a doctor saying this, but Iḿ really scared of labor. I have been thinking about having a C-section. When I saw Katie, I felt that it's something so special, and I would lose it for fear... Please help me!
    Wish you my best feelings!

  11. WOW!!!! I am crying at the images you were able to capture during labor/delivery! I LOVE the one of her back with her scripture!!


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