We welcomed our baby girl into the world on Leap Day! Her name is Juniper Carol Wilkinson and we call her Junebug as a nickname. She weighs 6 lbs 8 oz and everyone is healthy and recovering well.

My labor went as smoothly as we planned. I woke up at about 1:30 am with contractions I couldn’t sleep through. As things progressed, I slept or rested in between them as best I could. Our midwife team at Alma were fantastic – checking in by phone periodically and coming to the house to check on me. Jay alternated supporting me with my mom, which was nice since it gave them each a chance to feed themselves/pee without leaving me alone.

I mostly labored at home, which felt the most comfortable to me. My body and Junebug worked in synch, never giving me more than I could handle. We went to the birth center around that evening and around 8 pm I got in the huge, glorious birthing tub (pictured above). I stayed in there, through transition and into pushing,moaning and grunting like a wild animal until our daughter was born three hours later.

Juniper was caught by one of our great midwives and Jay, who let her float up into my arms. It was wild, powerful, beautiful – all part of an incredible natural labor. We are so, so grateful to have that gift, since not everyone gets the birth they want – these things can just be out of our control.

We rested for two glorious nights at the Alma birth center. Doulas work on rotation there, so we were never without help. They brought us meals, snacks, drinks, kept me clean and comfortable, helped with breastfeeding, and made a great start to our “baby-moon”. Our experience with Alma has been consistently amazing, in case you are in Portland looking for recommendations. Picture above is the dessert they got us to celebrate her birthday.

We are home now resting and will be for a while. There will be a post later this week about a final room facelift we did before labor – all part of that great nesting phase. Hopefully more posts will follow next week without too much delay. We have so many wonderful adventures ahead as our homestead expands!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson