Pregnant for the third time, second live birth, Brittney was determined to have an epidural free birth and wanted more support in labor. She thought a doula would have helped with her last birth, so she reached out to me.

Here is her birth story.

Woken by contractions that started at 5am on April 10, 2022, Brittney decided to try to get more sleep. By 7am, she couldn’t ignore them anymore and woke up. 

She woke up her husband, Josh, and her almost 2 year old daughter, Autumn. She fed Autumn, got her dressed and got her ready for church, and double checked her hospital bag.

Brittney texted me at 7:29 am to give me an update. I asked her some questions to assess how the contractions were. She said that they were getting stronger but could still talk through them. She decided to get up and walk around the house.

Around 8:50am, she said the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and getting stronger. I told her I could join her at her house to help her assess if it’s time to go to the hospital. She asked me to pick her up some breakfast from Biggby on the way. So I took her order, went to Biggby and texted her that I was on my way.

She texted back. “Woo! Josh just said that they must be getting more intense, you get quiet now.”

Well she’s definitely in active labor now! 

I walked into the house with food. She was on her hands and knees with a birth ball and breathing through the contractions. She and Josh ate some breakfast. 

In between contractions, I told her I thought it was time to go to the hospital. 

So they went to the car, with a couple pauses for contractions on the way. 

They went to the hospital, checked in and were admitted.

They did a cervical check at 11am. She was -2 Station, 95% effaced, and 6cm. Brittney was relieved; she wasn’t admitted in early labor. Hooray! She had wanted to labor as long as possible at home before going in. 

We walked around the hospital floor, and Brittney wanted to try the bath. 

Sometimes partners/spouses think a doula is there to replace them, but one of my favorite things to do is help give life partners tips and tricks to help support their loved one who’s working on bringing life into the world. In Brittney’s case, I asked the nurse for a cup, and Josh used it to pour cool water on her belly during contractions. She said it felt amazing. 

Brittney said she was craving Taco Bell. Her dad was happy to help so he picked some up for her. 

They walked around some more. Josh and I were giving her positive birth affirmation and encouragement. I cracked a joke and she laughed. Laughter is good for birth!

She tried different positions, standing and sitting with the birth ball. We did the abdominal lift and tuck to help the baby engage in the pelvis. 

The contractions were getting more and more intense, so she wanted to try the nitrous oxide. It really helped take the edge off the peak of the contractions.

Then she felt the urge to push. She pushed for 10-15 minutes. 

River Grace was born at 5:54pm (they were team green and found out the sex at birth). Brittney was so relieved. She said her first thought was “ Finally! And… never again I was super happy I didn’t need any stronger meds.”

Brittney and River enjoyed some skin to skin time.

Then the medical professionals noticed that River needed some help breathing, so they took her to the nursery to give her oxygen and more monitoring.

About an hour later, Brittney got into the wheelchair, we went to the nursery to visit River. They said that she just needed oxygen for 30 minutes, and then she was doing it on her own. They would still monitor her to make sure she’s okay.

River was 19 3/4 inches long and 7 pounds and 15 oz. Brittney and Josh were able to look at and hold their daughter. Brittney was able to successfully latch and breastfeed River there too. Yay!

I took a few more pictures, then told them to text me if they need anything.

Later that night she texted me “River just got all the clear from the respiratory therapist. She’s off the supplemental oxygen and all the monitors”

Great news! I thanked her for the update and wished them good sleep.. 

She texted back “Thank YOU! Couldn’t have done it without you.” I texted her “You’re welcome. It was my honor.”


Brittney was able to go home the next day and introduced River to her older daughter, Autumn. Brittney told me “Autumn was so excited to meet her little sister. She ran right past me (I was holding ice cream and French fries for her) to go see River.”

When I visited a few weeks later for a postpartum visit, Brittney told me “my friends are like ‘Should I get a doula?’ I say ‘YES. Worth it. Get a doula.’”

I also asked her what the contractions felt like to her. Were they easier or harder than she remembered? She said “So much easier than before – less emotional stress I think played into this I felt more prepared- having a doula definitely helped with that! I used a yoga ball at home and walked in the hospital. I also took a warm bath at the hospital which was amazing. Josh also poured water over my torso during contractions which helped.”


Feel free to book a consult with me to see if you would like me to support and empower you for your upcoming birth!

About the Author Kristen Schell

Kristen is a birth doula, photographer and childbirth educator. She wants to help families feel inspired by what birth can be. It can be beautiful, empowering, supported, and evidence based.

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