This birth was such a blessing to me. I loved being Leah and J's doula but I found so much that I was able to step back quite a bit and watch J support Leah so tenderly. Leah is an incredible athlete and is always running or biking. Labor was quite a challenge because the first 9 cm went really fast, but the last bit of labor was much longer and she had SO much back labor. As mentally strong as she has to be to be such an athlete, labor took every ounce of that and truly sometimes it wasn't enough. It was like watching a dance, every time she lost belief in herself, J stepped right in with words and physical support. And so contraction by contraction she made it through.
It was brutal to watch her do everything right but to still be stuck at 9. We kept telling her it was almost over and that didn't turn out to be true. I think it would be like moving the finish line several times at the end of a marathon.
After a while her awesome nurse gently coached her to start pushing gently even though she wasn't complete yet and baby boy was born not much after.
The gender was a surprise and it was so special to watch baby Roan Oliver be born and for his parents to meet him.
Thank you J and Leah for letting me be part of this sweet experience and for letting me share your beautiful photographs.