• http://awkwardlyawesome.tumblr.com Nickea

    Beautiful.

    I definitely teared up.

  • Beth

    Wow! That is incredible. What a beautiful baby! I have been waiting for part 2, and now I find out that there is going to be a part 3?!?! I can’t take the wait! I just found out I am pregnant with my second child and you have totally got me thinking about natural child birth. With my first kid I got to 6 when I felt like I needed the epidural. I actually kind of thought I could keep going, but the thought of hours more of labor was too scary. Please hurry with part 3! :)

  • Kelly

    Great post, and that picture of you and Marlo. Well Marlo, yeah yeah yeah. But, you, you have never looked more beautiful.

  • http://www.survivethemayhem.com SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem

    Wonderful story, Heather. You’ve inspired me to work on my own which I didn’t get to share when little guy was born since SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem
    was not yet in existence.

    ** Also; best line ever:

    “Polygamists not only do it willingly, THEY DO IT SOBER.”

  • Mariah

    Wow! That’s an amazing story, I can’t wait to read part three… I was rolling with laughter, I just love how you put your experiences to words.

  • Sue

    That was beautiful! Funny and beautiful!

  • Amanda Brumfield

    *Sob*

  • Kim

    I have a full time job, a daughter (born almost exactly a year after Leta), and a partner, and am doing my prerequisites to go to school to become a midwife. I am tired. And this post gave me exactly what I needed today to keep going. Thank you so much.

  • Rachel

    Good grief, this post made me cry. I was one of those ones that “attempted” to go natural with my first birth. I made it to a 7 (but I thought I was at a 3 and mentally I couldn’t fathom going any further- I am truly amazed by Katey!), but this story has strengthened my resolve to go natural the next time around! Thanks for the added inspiration!

  • http://ifevolutionworks.com Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com

    Beautiful story and I look forward to the next chapter!

  • Gennie

    Isn’t it amazing what being at a birth like that gives to an observer? It’s amazing every time.

  • http://www.ichbinseins.etsy.com Katie

    Is Chimmy by chance the father of that beautiful baby? And she is definitely beautiful.

    What a great story – made me smile, even though I just found my beta, Nigel, sideways at the bottom of the tank…

  • Tim

    I’m a single guy with no children, and….wow. Thank you for sharing that story – I got goose bumps. As much as I think I can imagine how amazing that experience would be, realistically there’s no way – they’re just words in my head.

    I’m glad you (and the others) were able to experience that – congratulations to Katey!

  • http://www.iambossy.com/ BOSSY

    Yay for Katy. She has awesome eyes.

  • Darcy

    Oh! Somehow this morning when I checked and there was nothing new, I was certain that later today there’d be another labor story installment! Go me! I’m totally psychic!

    Anyway, tears and joy and laughter all together. My favorite. I can’t wait for the rest!

    And, GO KATEY!

  • http://www.koofie.com/ Kelsi

    That was a wonderful story! I, like Katey, ended up on pitocin after I planned a natural childbirth, but unlike Katey I ended up with an epidural (which I think is the only reason I am sane today), so WAY TO GO KATEY!

    It so traumatized me that the birth of my second daughter was a UC, or unassisted childbirth, at home in a birth tub with my husband. It was the most wonderful birth! I couldn’t imagine anything more peaceful.

    I’m waiting on part three!

  • http://riogringa.com Rio Gringa

    That was great! I’m waiting for Part III to see if you can convince me that a natural birth is the way to go (after Part II, I’m still thinking along the lines of no way!)

    In regards to the issue of mixing work and blogging, I agree. But once you start, there’s no going back; there will always be at least one post on the record for all to see. And I think you did a great job with this, but reading about whatever fallout you had with your assistant just made me want to know what ACTUALLY happened, and now that’s all I care about after reading this post.

  • http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2007/12/few-random-things-about-me-11-thru-15.html Wendy

    Thanks so much, Heather, for sharing the beauty of a natural labor with so many people. I know the status quo is an overly medicalized labor and most people just don’t even know that there is an alternative.

    I’ve helped several of my friends during labor, all of them without an epidural (one of them had pitocin as well, which is so much more work, for both the mom and her helpers).

    The best part of my own labor and all of those that I attended was the cheering section, that steady chorus of people saying things like “You can do it. You’re beautiful. We’re so proud of you. You’re amazing.” And, yes, even “You’re a Total Fucking Champ!” and meaning every word of it Those are the words that live with us forever, reminding us, even in our worst mommy moments, that we have been through the worst and we can handle anything.

    If anyone’s interested my name links to a post with a picture of me helping one of my friends during her labor.

  • hoskas

    Wonderful story! Congratulations to Katey and the beautiful Lily Blanche. Katey you are BADASS – well done lady!

  • JenElls

    Beautiful girls! I’m glad you introduced Katey after the airing of the Fox 13 Utah story. I watched the full interview via website and thought the shameless “personal assistant” plug by the reporter/interviewer was T-A-C-K-Y!

  • http://www.orangerhymes.com Nikki

    I’m going natural all the way, have been interviewing Doulas and I have to say – this is my first baby and I haven’t felt the slightest bit scared of all that pain stuff. I know the pain will suck, but totally worth it. And dare I say, I’m looking forward to it?

    I wanted to also add, though – PITOCIN. EVIL You mentioned The Business of Giving Birth – there’s an entire explanation in there of how pitocin actually makes birth a million times more painful. So if she was put on pit AND still managed to make it through with no epidural… WOW. Inspiring.

  • http://www.sandyraymond.com Sandy

    As usual, beautifully written, both funny and touching. I say to the haters and wanna be mommy bloggers: there is a REASON dooce is famous and you are not.

    Of course, this was also painful to read because I’m still so bitter about my c-section. But I’m happy for you, because you write well enough to make me experience real emotion.

  • http://thedailybebe.blogspot.com liza

    AHHHHH! The suspense is killing me!

    That’s an amazing story and I’m so glad you are writing in such a real way about the power of natural childbirth. My daughter’s (med-free) birth was the most amazing experience of my life, the second she came out I thought “I want to do that again,” and I tell that to every pregnant woman I know to try to combat in some small way the constant societal message that childbirth is nothing but terrible pain to be feared and managed medically.

    Your audience is a bit larger than mine, though, which is why I’m so glad you’re sharing your story too :)

  • Fruitfly

    Wow, Katey, you are a badass. I buckled after about an hour of the pitocin; my hat is off to you. Thank you so much for letting Heather share your story. She has your permission, right? ;)

  • http://zakaryw.blogspot.com ZDub

    Congrats to Katey for being so brave and such a birthing ninja.

    And her baby is ADORBS.

  • http://pattymartyn.blogspot.com/ Patty

    The enlightenment I received when I expereinced natural child birth with my to youngest children at home is what inspired me to get involved in the natural child birth community (and I’m a left-brained CPA). It can’t be explained, it has to be experienced. And a shout out to Boise, Idaho, my adopted home town!

  • http://www.aservingoflife.com Mandy

    And then I cried.

    Well written.

    XO to both new babies.

  • Laura H.

    K. sounds tough. After twenty-four hours on Pitocin after premature membranes rupture, and then a cumulative dilation of only 3 centimeters, I went straight for the epidural, and then an emergency c-section. We all emerged healthy and happy.

    (But, really, the main thing I envy about K.’s birth is all the people cheering her on and loving her up during labor. I wish I’d had more of a support team around me, but it’s just me and my husband here on the West Coast, and most friends and family back East.)

    I do hope your stories don’t make women who have hospital births, choose pain control, or end up in heavily managed births feel like they’re “missing” something, though, or that they should feel guilty or require pity. Any kind of birth can be wonderful and spiritual as long as it ends in healthy baby/healthy mama. And I worry about the progressive mystification of the birth experience.

    But I’ll shut up now. Both your babies are gorgeous, however they arrived.

  • http://beyondthewindow.wordpress.com beyond

    heather, you are such a great storyteller. all the best to katey and the wee blue-eyed one.

  • http://erynchandler.wordpress.com Eryn Chandler

    wow katey has really white teeth :-) and she sounds wonderful and completely awesome.

    i cry even when i watch “a baby story,” i can’t imagine how i’ll be when it actually happens in real life.

  • http://www.kareneolson.com Karen Olson

    Wow. I held my breath the whole time while reading that.

    But it still doesn’t make me less happy that instead of experiencing childbirth I traveled to China and was handed a beautiful little 1-year-old who was sobbing uncontrollably while clutching rice crackers.

    Congratulations to Katey and Lily and the rest of her family!

  • Rebecca

    I feel compelled to write by this post – I’ve been reading your blog for years but don’t think I’ve ever commented. I’m 29, no babies, no pregnancies, but certainly starting to feel a little clucky. I’m desperate to hear the other part(s?) to this post. I’ve not put a huge amount of time into thinking of what my preferred birthing plan would be (funnily enough!) but this has inspired me to start thinking about it. I think the point is that we are conditioned to think that having a baby takes place in a hospital, with drugs, gas and air and most probably an epidural. I think it’s great that you are opening up the possibilities of a natural birth to people, that like you, may not have considered it previously.

    Roll on part 3…I, like others, am on the edge of my seat waiting to hear your experience.

    you’re fab x

  • http://labradoris.weebly.com/ Labradoris

    GAH! I love it.
    I swear I read your posts faster than I read anything in my professional or personal life, and when I reach the end, I’m like, shall I read it again? LET’S.

  • Ginessa

    Beautiful!!!!

  • http://www.durvy.com Devon

    Wow. Hearing your story has both inspired and terrified me!

    Thank you for having the courage to share. :)

  • http://upallnightstamper.com Brenda

    Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the saints in a ring OF FIRE! You sure know how to tell a story…and for someone for whom religion is not a BFD, you sure do bring some kickass spirit into your tales.

    So tell us, does EVERYONE who makes it into the Armstrong Inner Sanctum ROCK? Or is it the other way ’round? Whatever the answer, you are blessed and you earned it. The right way.

    Now the big question is when do Leta (poor kid waiting all this tme) and Marlo get their OWN agents? Besides their natural beauty – which is astonishing at times – and their familial propensity toward greatness, those girls will have STORIES TO TELL!

  • http://girlbert.com Girlbert

    My heart, and my uterus, are both thumping with joy…

    Thank you and Katey for sharing this magical story. You are two VERY lucky women. So happy for you both – two beautiful healthy babies, not to mention you seem destined to help each other through your equally amazing lives.

    CAN’T WAIT for part three!

  • Denise

    Wow!!! Let’s hear it for natural childbirth. After reading this, I can’t tell you how happy I am that I went the medicated childbirth route! Seriously, drugs were (and still are) my friends.

  • Jeen-Marie

    Okay, I cried at this.
    What another wonderful post!
    Heather, you convinced me I could be a parent.
    Thank you as I nurse my 8 month old son.

  • Jody

    That was absolutely beautiful!

  • http://www.ramblingbrooke.com Brooke

    I’m anxiously awaiting part 3! My friend is due tomorrow. After reading this, I think I shall call her up and say, “Please change all of your plans. I would really like to witness a completely natural child birth. Can you accomodate that? Okay, thanks.”

    I really enjoyed this post, and Lily is beautiful.

  • http://www.creepymommy.blogspot.com Creepy Mommy

    Please tell Katey for me, that she fucking rocks! What an amazing birth story and her daughter is gorgeous!

  • Tiffany

    HOORAY! Im dying to know what one of my sister doulas was in the room for her delivery and yours Heather… so you should likely spill the beans since she can’t due to privacy blah blah blah… Im proud of the both of you!! Strong women unite! (hopefully you feel your doulas rocked) Awesome story can’t wait for round 3. Loving that I have been a reader for 3 years now and enjoy reading your blog aloud to my hubby who laughs and rolls his eyes at me. Keep writin!!!

  • http://www.girlintheroom.blogspot.com amie

    This almost makes me want to have another—without an epidural. Wow, did I just write that?

  • http://www.chaos4jp.blogspot.com Mrs Chaos

    WOW. And also lots of chills and wonder.

    (Also…that baby is adorable in big ways.)

  • http://www.parsingnonsense.com Parsing Nonsense

    If I weren’t at work I’d be a sobbing, red-hot mess right now. Beautifully told, you just described exactly the labor I’m hoping to have in February (except without the 3 centimeters for hours and Pitocin part).

    Can’t wait to read part three!

  • J. Bo

    OH… MY… GOD.

    I am in such abject awe, I can barely type.

  • http://www.someblogiread.com A

    Wow. I’m in tears…that is amazing. I’m making my husband read this, so he doesn’t screw it up for my next birth. :D Oh, I kid…

  • http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com mother earth aka karen hanrahan

    when my second child was one I too took out an ad for a babysitter – 43 people responded, 18 interviewed and none of them were going to babysit my babies. Nope. I couldn’t do it. One had no teeth, one smelled so much of rosewater I couldn’t breath, one kept petting my son like he was a dog and one brought a huge album of all the kids she had babysat and would not leave.

    one week later I got a call from a teenage girl who I knew even on the phone she was a fit for us

    Fast forward 15 years later, she married and my kids were in her wedding – my daughter sang. It was the most amazing thing

    She’s now expecting her second child and I feel she’s given me besides being an integral part of my family and a great friend, a wonderful glimpse at being a grandmother

    Your version while more amusing really encapsulated my similar experience…who says family has to be related

  • http://bethmann15.blogspot.com Beth

    After reading this, you MIGHT have a natural birth convert. MIGHT. I’m thinking you need to stretch these stories out and VOILA! It Sucked and Then I Cried, The Sequel! You have time, right? ;)