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parents reacting to the birth of their son in a Las Vegas birth center

The Birth of Malakhai

A Birth Story of Strength and Determination

I am excited to finally share the birth of Malakhai! There is no reason I haven’t shared it yet other than being behind on blog posts. The good side about sharing this powerful birth story, full of strength and determination a year later, is that often, the beauty present in each birth story becomes even more evident over time as families process and revisit not only the joyous moments but the struggles and obstacles they experienced in these transformative moments.

I was so happy when this family found me and asked if we could arrange a face-to-face meeting to see if we were a good match. (I highly recommend this when hiring anyone for your birth, whether it be your OB, midwife, doula, or photographer). From the moment they sat down, their excitement was so evident, and their connection with each other was so beautiful. We had a great conversation and were so excited when they shared they were ready to move forward.

They planned on delivering at Serenity Birth Center here in Las Vegas. It is a beautiful option for families and the only free-standing birth center in Las Vegas.

As her due date came and went, this mom stayed patient and committed to letting their sweet boy arrive in his own time. Finally, just a day shy of 42 weeks, her labor started. They labored at home with their doula in the early phase of labor, and at 0230 in the morning, I got a text from Dad saying they were heading to the birth center. I made my way there as soon as she was admitted and settled. She was in the active stage of labor and approaching transition (7-10 cms). From the beginning, their birth space was quiet and peaceful.

Serenity Birth Center Las Vegas

I was excited to finally work alongside their doula, Ednalyna of The Birth Tribe. I had heard such great things about her, and it was evident in watching her hold and support this family why she is so loved.

Midwifery care at Serenity Birth Center
birth team with doula and husband at birth center in Las Vegas
midwife checking fetal heart tones in the water
Las Vegas doula Edna supporting her client
Birth tubs at Serenity Birth Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Doula holding her client as she breathes through a contraction in the birthing tub

First babies are often longer labors, and although she had made so much progress before being admitted, the last phases of labor proved to be long for this mama. She moved from the water to bed to standing positions. She stayed committed to whatever positions would help bring her baby down.

laboring in the bed at Serenity Birth Center in Las Vegas
husband holding his wife's hand during labor in Las Vegas
being a good support person during labor
hands and knees position for laboring
husband applying lower back pressure in the standing position during labor

It can be challenging for husbands and partners to see the struggle because it can feel helpless and hard to stay patient. The energy of every person in your birth space can feed into your experience, and an anxious person can feed into your energy. This dad stayed so calm, supportive, and encouraging.

doula and husband both supporting mother as she labors in the standing position
mother smiling as she labors standing using Spinning Babies movements
mother hugging her husband while she labors in the standing position
laboring with support of doula in Las Vegas
husband giving his wife encouragement as she labors in a Las Vegas birth center
husband holding his wife in the birth tub at Serenity Birth Center in Las Vegas

The challenging part of this labor was that even though she was finally 10 cms and had the urge to push, her baby stayed high for quite some time. It was hard for mom to rest between the pressure and urge to push.

side-lying position in labor for fetal rotation
nitrous oxide during labor at Las Vegas birth center
the importance of including partner in labor support alongside your doula
using the peanut ball during pushing
staying hydrated and fueled during labor with honey sticks and peanut butter
pushing on the toilet to aid in fetal descent in Las Vegas birth center.
laboring on the toilet for fetal rotation

Between pushing, they tried just about every position imaginable. One of the most useful positions for bringing baby down as they make their final rotations is the toilet; in fact, in the birth community, it is often called ‘the dilation station’.

using a pull sheet to aid in pushing during birth

Finally, almost 18 hours after being admitted, her sweet boy was in her arms. I am still in awe of them both for staying committed and focused and determined to bring their sweet boy earthside in the setting they wanted.

side-lying position for pushing in labor
parents reacting to the birth of their son in a Las Vegas birth center
mother holding her new baby right after birth in a Las Vegas birth center
father holding his son skin-to-skin after delivery at Serenity Birth Center in Las Vegas

This birth story will always stay with me and will forever inspire me because of their strength and determination. I am honored to have had the opportunity to share their story.


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