This is my side of the most incredible story that I’ve been able to be a part of in a long time. Not just any baby was born; He’s very special. He’s my best friend’s baby, my brother’s son, my parents’ grand-baby and my little nephew. I felt every emotion known to man in 24 hours. This was miraculous, exciting, terrifying, fearful, painful, traumatic, heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, incredible, fantastic, happy, selfless, sad…name it. I felt it. At times I felt like a fly on the wall waiting for a window to open so I could fly out.

I’ve been skeptical of pregnancy for quite some time, but after this, I may go up to pregnant ladies in Wal-Mart and start shaking their hands. I’m such a changed person. My heart is so tender and happy. I never want to see my best friend walk through this again. I’m scarred for life.  Jessica is my absolute hero and such an incredible woman to know. I’m so blessed and honored that we both found one another. I hope you enjoy her story.

Side note: Keep track of the times and dates that I post. Káel was born on August 29th at 3:33AM. You’ll be able to count the hours till he’s born.

Disclaimer: Jessica has seen and approved all the images in the next two blogs. ;)


I received this text Friday afternoon while I was at work. My little heart leaped, and I was so excited about the next few days.  I got off work and ran a few errands. Jess told me that the contractions had been consistent since the night before, and she and Sam were watching the movie “Up” for her to try to get her mind off of the pain.

As soon as I got back from my errands, I drove the few blocks over to Jess’ house to see how she was. Jess’ mom and midwife, Damaris, were there.  Jess came out of her room and said, “Looks like we’ll have a baby in the middle of the night or tomorrow morning!”  We decided to go get some spicy Mexican food and make it the last dinner date before little man arrived. Jess began putting on her first batch of makeup saying, “I will be beautiful while I’m in labor!”


We put on Imogen Heap’s “Bad Body Double” song and danced around the living room. Every now and then, Jess would double over and breathe deeply as a contraction would come on and leave quickly.


After a fantastic time of eating Mexican food with Jessica, her mom and my husband, we drove back over to Jess’ house and watched the first half of the old-time “Parent Trap” movie. We were remembering being little girls and reciting the lines we had memorized from the movie. I got too tired and decided to leave around 12:30AM to go to bed. I hugged Sam and Jess goodnight and said, “CALL ME if anything happens.” Jess smiled and said, “Oh, girl, we totally will!”

I got home and went to bed.

Around 3:30AM, my phone starts singing to me. It’s Samuel on the other line: “Jess has been in intense labor since you left. We called the midwives and the doula. We’re filling up the birthing tub now. I’ll call you when we get it filled up.” I hanged up and thought, “There is no way I’m going to be able to get back to sleep!”

I got up, got dressed, and made some coffee. I knocked on the door where my parents were staying and asked my mom if she wanted to come with me. We both drove over to their place. Jessica was in such pain, and the tub was slowly being filled up with water.  It was exciting thinking about what was going to be happening soon. (It was almost like Christmas.)




They filled the birthing tub up with a hose that ran from the sink to the baby room.


Jessica was having contractions every five minutes. She would double over and swing her body side to side.  Samuel, my mom and I all cuddled on the couch, cheering Jess on and trying to keep her mind off of it all.

early contractions

Sam and Jess’ fridge… waiting on the little man.





Jess’ finally got into the tub and began to labor and sleep in between contractions.


I fell asleep with my mom and brother on the couch. We woke up around 8AM. I ran home, took a shower and came back as fast as I could.


Samuel just woke up, and Jessica was putting round two of makeup on and making herself feel good!


Every five minutes or less… doubling over, groaning and breathing heavy.


We were all excited!


Around 10AM, one of Jess’ midwives, Jordan arrived. She felt like Jessica should go on a walk for a while.


I said to Jess, “After what I’ve seen so far, I may not have kids for about five years.” She smiled big and said, “Me neither!”



Jess’ dad, Ruben, arrives.





This is Jess’ mom, Rebecca.




We watched the “Galápagos” island documentary about eight times.


I was there…


Grandmas’ waiting…

time 11:41

I came in to see Samuel singing to Jess as she labored intensely. So incredible.



To the tub again…


So Jess’ dad, my dad and my husband all hanged out in the living room. They were the relief from the intensity of everything going on.

Grandpa's and B

Round three of makeup!


We’re all ready for the little man!


My mom is to the right, and below her is Jordan, one of the midwives.


Time went on and on. Things began picking up heavy. I watched Jessica torture and yell, cry, groan, and roar. I felt so helpless and so frustrated. My heart was grieving for her.

time 1:19



Her doula, Molly, was keeping track of the stages of her labor.




Yes, Jess is tweeting…


Meanwhile… my mom is cooking for everyone…


…while we’re sober and crying with Jess.


The lady to the right is Jess’ other midwife, Damaris.


So this is the point that I had to put my camera down and just cry. My brother was singing a song to Jess, and she would sing aloud between contractions. So powerful and extremely beautiful. I lay on the side of the tub and wept.


The beautiful thing about home births is you can go anywhere in your house and labor. Jess chose her back porch at one point, yelling loudly and pounding her hand on the railing, swaying her hips back and forth.



The sky at that moment…





To be continued…..

Want part 2? Click here

  • I love these pictures, so beautiful! If you’re still checking comments, would you be able to tell me what camera and lens you used? I’m going into birth photography and looking for ideas. Thank you.

  • Wow. This is taking me back to my sons’ births! What powerful words and photographs! It is amazing, I have had 3 natural births (one home birth) and it is so easy to forget the pain, the emotion, the intensity. But looking at these pictures, suddenly I remember it all! Thank you for that!

  • […] has chronicled her journey as a mommy. As if her wedding story wasn’t beautiful enough, her son’s birth was, too. Jess and her husband Samuel elected to have a home birth. Her sister-in-law provided a […]

  • I can see the pain registered in Jessica’s face. Who what a big sacrifice by all the mom’s. I’m happy for her and to her new baby. Nicely captured photos. :D

  • beautiful photos!

  • […] ömrü boyunca sadece 1 kez yaşayabileceği doğum olayı herhalde daha güzel anlatalımazdı. ( ♥ )Galeri 2 bölümden oluşuyor ve mutlu sondaki gitar muhteşem.. /**/ Paylaşmak güzeldir […]

  • This is incredible!

  • Wow! This is absolutely beautiful! What a gift!

  • Definitely one of the most extensive and detailed birth stories I have seen! Congratulations and great work :)

  • WOW these pictures and accompanying story are amazing! You’re really talented. I’m so excited for Jessica and the whole clan. Can’t wait to see post #2!

  • This was really awesome!! Im excited to see what comes next!

  • Stumbled upon this. Great writing, looking forward to the next part.

  • Morgan Mitchell

    Jess! I am a huge fan of this!! it was very moving to sit here and look at your pictures and read all of the captions with my wife.
    Once again i am reminded of how bleesed i am to have met you and get to know you as a sister. I hope to one day meet the rest of your family:)
    Be blessed and walk victorious sister:)

  • Oh my gosh, beautifully told. Gorgeous pictures. Jess is amazing. Congratulations on your new nephew!

  • The next to last picture is my absolute favorite! it actually brought tears to my eyes ~ it’s just beautiful! She will be so happy to have these photos you took! It’s a great gift for her! I can’t wait for the next post!

  • Can’t wait to see the nexxt part! Amazing.

  • That was so incredibly and emotionally beautiful! I can not wait to see the rest! :)

  • Melissa Rzeszutek

    Words cannot express what you have told in your pictures. A beautiful, incredible moment that many do not ever see. Thank you so much for being there with Jessica and Samuel and recording the most beautiful love story ever seen by human eyes. I am so impressed with your ability to tell this story and not be changed. I love you!

  • girl, my eyes are literally filled with tears! get on it! i can’t WAIT to see the second part…you are a wonderful storyteller, well heck, i already knew that!!! ;) xoxo-t

  • These are CAPTIVATING. I can’t wait to see the rest of the story.

  • Wow! Amazing. I can not wait for part two. All the pictures are filled with so much emotion.

  • Lisa DeBoer Hall

    Beautiful, beautiful story!
    So filled with emotion…and it filled my eyes with tears!
    The pictures are amazing also!
    Thank-you for sharing this Rivkah!

  • Oh my goodness! This is sooo beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing such a lovely moment in time!! Jess’s blog and twitter was a bit of a cliff hanger, lol (and understandably so ;) So this was such a treat!!! Blessings to you and the whole family!!! Cant wait for the next part!!

  • I looooove the ones of her holding onto Sam…so precious. Can’t wait for the next part!

  • I’m hooked – cant WAIT for the next part!!!

  • Great storytelling. I’m dying for the next installment!!