Baby Girl’s birth story

Thank you everyone for your blessings, well-wishes, enthusiasm and congratulations!  I have enjoyed and deeply appreciated each and every comment and am very thankful for all of your prayers.

Now that the children are all asleep and the house is quiet, I’ll try to put together a few thoughts and details on the baby’s birth while it’s fresh in my mind.  Don’t expect a cohesive, well-written birth story; after all, I was up all night. Nonetheless, here is my account.

Picking up where my own posts left off:

I waited a few minutes for the pool to fill and when I saw that it was half full, I checked the temp and hopped carefully climbed in.  The water heater had given out at this point and the flow from the hose was cold so I tossed it on the deck and called to hubby to turn it off.  He continued to heat pots of water on the stove while we waited for the water heater to wake up and get back to work.

Once I got into the pool, my contractions continued at a good rate; they seemed to slow just a bit and the warm water took the edge off of the pain but labor didn’t threaten to stall the way it can when I get in too soon.  I was definitely ready!

It was still dark outside, and it was an uncommonly cool and breezy morning: about 70 degrees with a steady wind from the east.  I was cold at first, but it turned out to be ideal weather once we had the pool filled enough with nice hot water.  The hot water soothed my pains while the cool breeze kept me from overheating, and the cloud cover kept the weather from heating too rapidly even after sunrise.  In the midst of a drought, the cool breezy weather and cloud cover were a welcome and unexpected blessing.

Labor seemed to progress steadily; hubby ran tirelessly back and forth heating water, turning the hose on and off, bringing me ice and water and offering support and company.  As usual, he had an uncanny sense for when I needed his presence and when I felt better alone.  Like a good waiter, he was always available, anticipating my wants and needs but ever unobtrusive.  😀

The children slept on, oblivious to lights, noise, and the constant traffic – except Kaitlyn, who knew exactly what was going on but wisely pretended to sleep for as long as she could stand it.

We waited and waited for Ann, our midwife.  It seemed like hours, though she was only 70 miles away.  Maybe it was hours; I wasn’t exactly watching the clock on her account.  I was more focused on the minutes than the hours.  On a crazy impulse, I had hubby call Ann and leave a message on her cellphone asking her to stop at the last gas station for a 57-cent cup of crushed ice, my current obsession.

I felt things were going well; contractions were painful but manageable.  I was confident that labor was progressing, and though I always dread the first internal check I was also looking forward to finding out just how close we were to the end.

Ann finally got close enough that I could hear her car down the road, but she wasn’t sure of the last turn or two and called for directions.  The acoustics in the hills out here are amazing, and I could hear her driving back and forth while hubby talked her through landmarks: “Did you get to ___ Road yet? If you do, just turn around.  Wait, did the road make a hard left? No, you don’t have to make a left turn, just follow the road as it wraps to the left.  If you go straight, you’ll head into somebody’s driveway…”

I listened through 3 contractions, fantasizing about a 42 oz. styrofoam cup of crushed ice.  Finally, Ann pulled into our driveway.  No ice.  I crunched a piece of common ice and contracted on while she and hubby carried birthing supplies up the steps.

By now I think it was about 6 AM.  I had been in active labor – the stuff that hurts – for about 5 hours, with the last 2 hours or so being relatively intense.  Ann performed the much awaited and dreaded internal check.  Would it be a disappointing 5 cm?  7?  10, and you can start pushing any time?

I was at 8 cm, she said, with a big bulgy bag of water.  This was good enough for me.  Not at the finish line yet, but an end was in sight.  I could do this.

I labored on, mostly in silence, moaning a little with each contraction.  They grew more intense.  Half an hour, an hour passed.  I grew impatient and a little discouraged.  I had hoped to be done now, and the pains were still increasing.  Worse yet, the pain didn’t really let up between contractions.  I was in constant pain.  Not terrible, but constant, and I could feel myself beginning to fear the end.  I tried to push just a little with each contraction, knowing that I must be ready by now, but it just hurt too much.

Ann and hubby murmured encouraging things like “You’re doing great!  You’re almost done!” but my fearful and cynical ears heard something more like: “You’re almost at the worst part!  Ready or not, here it comes!”  The smart aleck in me wanted to say so and crack jokes about it, but my sense of humor was curled up in a fetal position somewhere far back in my head.  It didn’t come when I called it so I kept moaning instead through endless contractions.

I wanted to be funny and tell hubby that I was taking a vow of celibacy after this, but was pretty sure it wouldn’t sound funny just then.  Still, I considered it.  What was I thinking getting pregnant again?  How could I forget how much labor hurt?  This wasn’t fun, and I wanted out.  I didn’t want to finish the job; I just wanted out.

Ann asked if she could get me anything.  My traumatized sense of humor looked up.  “Not unless you have an epidural in that black bag?” I joked weakly.  Well, I was only joking if she didn’t have one in there.  She didn’t, so I was joking.

I felt a little woozy with pain and even saw stars on occasion.  I threw up once.

Finally, the continual pain and lack of progress frustrated me enough that I got up and shifted to a new position in the pool.  I tried 2 or 3 different positions and at long last, pushing past the pain and fear, I felt that welcome pop as my water broke.

After that, it all happened very quickly: with the very same contraction that broke my water, I pushed out the baby’s head.  I screamed, yelled and somehow the next moment I was turned around, sitting down, and the baby was out on my belly wrapped in a towel.  It all happened in one quick contraction. It was 8:07 AM.  One or two scared pairs of eyes peeked out the front door and were quickly reassured.

Remember what I said about the acoustics out here in the hills? I just hope the neighbors were at work, because earlier this morning I realized I could clearly hear the new neighbors out feeding their dogs, 10  or 15 acres away.  We have many other neighbors within a similar range.

The cord had been around the baby’s neck twice, loosely, but she was fine.  She came out quiet and content, alert but a little dusky.  She took a few minutes to pink up to Ann’s satisfaction, mostly because she had no inclination to cry – she only wanted to look around.  I don’t blame her; it was a beautiful morning and we have a spectacular view out on the deck.  It must have been a nice way to start life on the outside.

The children had woken up one by one over the last hour or two and were watching a movie in our bedroom.  We called them out to meet their new sister and snapped the first of many photos.


  • date: June 27th
  • time: 8:07 AM
  • weight: 7 lbs 10 oz
  • length: 20.5″ long
  • name: to be determined


  1. Just had to giggle to hear about your husband boiling hot water on the stove to warm up the water. I was trying to have a water birth with one of my labors…..the water wasn’t warm enough so the midwife had turned on all the burners on the stove to heat up pots of water. Of all the things I didn’t clean when I was nesting was of course the burner pans. They were smoking and all of the smoke detectors in the house were going off. A very memorable moment : )

  2. Aww… Summer Dawn, that is a very sweet name.


  3. She was born on my birthday!!


    Kim, you have no idea how proud of you I am, and how I want to do a water birth! It sounded like the most beautiful morning, and such privacy and serenity with the view and the hills and the Lord. The water sounds like it makes labor a little more do-able, though isn’t that last few minutes intense and so painful??

    Ah, congratulations, me girl!

    I’m so intensely happy for you, and I truly wish it was me in your shoes.

    I’ll be tuning in to hear her name, if you ever choose to tell us.

    Rest well, friend.

    You’ve earned it!

    Leanne in Longview

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. WOW- I wish my pushing stage went that fast! I can’t remember where you are in TX, but is your midwife Ann from Gentle Beginnings? Here is the website:

    I ask b/c our good friends are planning their birth there! (And Dawn, if you are reading this- surprise!) Funny if it was the same Ann.

    Oh, and I can’t believe you don’t have a name yet! LOL

  5. Congratulations, Kim and family!!! She’s beautiful and I *loved* your birth story!!! It was wonderful! God bless you guys!!! 🙂

  6. Congratulations!!!! Wow, eight girls and one boy!

    Our hot water heater maxed out when I was in transition in the shower with #2, and I was devastated since the hot water was the only thing getting me through it. We out in a new hot water heater when I was pregnant with #3 so as not to face the same problem again. 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for sharing. I have 11 weeks and I am beginning to get nervous about the end. I get that same feeling when the baby is about ready to come and I always tell my hubby that I can’t do it. I feel very encouraged by this post and know that I can do it. Thank you for sharing it helps all of us.
    God bless

  8. YAY! Another GIRL!! I’m just so pleased for you.

  9. Congratulations! We always have a difficult time choosing girl names; I’ll be curious to see what you decide on. Thank-you for sharing your story. I also was wondering, during my last labour, why I keep doing this. Then the baby came out and I remembered! 🙂 He was my third, and I was lying there thinking “Most people stop at three.” Even the idea of not ever having another baby, with my three-minute-old child lying there beside me, made me so sad! Of course I also have days when I can’t imagine how I will manage to go on with the three I have, let alone with even more. My oldest will be 4 in October. Anyway, enough about my difficulties, I really just wanted to congratulate you. She’s beautiful!

  10. Kim, What a beautiful story! I think all of us get the thought of “I don’t want to do this, I want out” LOL. Yeah, there is no turning back *smile*.

    We truly serve an awesome and mighty God! I am praising Him for the safe delivery of your newest blessing!

    Of course, like everyone else, I can’t wait to know her name (I bet you feel that way too – LOL!). It took us 12 hours after our last birth to name our daughter (Noah Elethia… – the girl Noah is in Numbers 26 & 27 for anyone wondering). I am sure our the next (Lord willing) will take days to name *smile*.

    Blessings to you! You really inspire me and encourage me!

  11. Kim, What a beautiful story! I think all of us get the thought of “I don’t want to do this, I want out” LOL. Yeah, there is no turning back *smile*.

    We truly serve an awesome and mighty God! I am praising Him for the safe delivery of your newest blessing!

    Of course, like everyone else, I can’t wait to know her name (I bet you feel that way too – LOL!). It took us 12 hours after our last birth to name our daughter (Noah Elethia… – the girl Noah is in Numbers 26 & 27 for anyone wondering). I am sure our the next (Lord willing) will take days to name *smile*.

    Blessings to you! You really inspire me and encourage me!

  12. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it….I’m shocked you remembered so much :).

    She’s an adorable baby…and I think Tara is a perfect name 😉

  13. I love it, thank you for sharing!!! So glad she is here and the dreaded pain of labor is OVER! At least for another 18-24 months 😉 (teehee)

    I loved reading about your birth, as I am anticipating my own (hopefully) homebirth. We are in an apartment and don’t have a deck with a beautiful view, but I can live vicariously through what you got to experience. Can’t wait to hear the name you choose!! Congratulations again!!!!!

  14. I think I’ll hire you to come have this next one for me.
    This is the 3rd water birth in the last month that has just gone sooooo wonderfully. Thanks for having such a beautiful birth and inspiring me instead of scaring me!

  15. Stephanie says:

    What a great story, thanks for sharing it with all of us. You have such a lovely family. Even after you sharing how long you were in pain (and constant at that) I can’t wait till it is my turn, but all in God’s time.

  16. shelley P says:

    That was beautiful, and if the neighbours heard what a wonderful sound new life…..Your husband is wonderful ….

    Shelley P
    from over the pond

  17. Congratulations Kim and Perry! Let me suggest a few names for Baby Girl Coghlan:

    Mary Elizabeth
    Mary Augustine
    Mary Agnes
    Mary Rose
    Maria Therese
    Maria Bernadette
    Marie Grace
    Anne Marie
    Catherine Marie
    Helen Marie
    Lucy Marie
    Philomena Marie
    Sofia Marie
    Teresa Marie
    Veronica Marie

  18. Awww, she’s adorable. I’m so happy for you! I told my husband “Yea, Kim had her baby!” and he said “Kim?” It’s funny how we make friends out of people who we’ve never met and certainly don’t know us. 🙂 But I have the joy of being encouraged/challenged/or made to laugh by your blog all the time. (Hi, I’m Miranda from EveryChapter). You newest girl is gorgeous like all the others. I’m so glad Perry (Jr) likes her. My son is a few months older than yours and he adores his baby sister (three months). You make me want to have more. I’ve been checking back every few hours to see if she’s been named yet- I can’t wait to find out. Do the children have any say in her naming? Just curious. Get some rest, I am praying for you.

  19. She is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute!
    You have been blessed again. God is SO good.

    Have you named her yet? You know, Lydia’s choice is becoming quite apropos. ;o)

  20. Christine W says:

    Wow! Kim, my girls and I have been praying for you and keeping up with your postings. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are so excited for you and your family. Can’t wait to see her!

  21. Jennifer H. says:

    I love birth stories. Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

  22. Oh, I’m crying happy tears! I wish you didn’t live so blasted far. I’d have been over already.

  23. Lois Groat says:

    My 20 year daughter thought it was great that your birth story included a husband boiling water, since all the old stories have that aspect. (“Only this time”, she said, “there was actually a reason.”) She thinks your daughter’s name should be Aurora, since she was born outside, at dawn, on a beautiful morning.
    Congratulations to you all!! Good job, kids, “staying asleep” – you are all very discerning and considerate.

  24. Congrad’s Kim and family.
    Your birth story was wonderful and brought my own birth stories to mind.
    We had been praying for you during your labor. Our entire family is involved in reading your blog. Our boys were really hoping you’d have another boy for your little guy or boy 🙂
    When I told them you had a girl our girls all cheered and the boys sighed and the 7 year old said ” well next time she will have to have 2 boys”…to which hubby and I giggled.
    So we rejoice with you and your family on your newest blessing

  25. Lucky, lucky you! My husband is practically useless as a labor partner. He gives the worst backrubs in history! He’s a good dad, though, as soon as the baby pops out.

    I don’t know you guys at all, but I’ve been reading the blog for some time now. I’ve learned a lot from you guys. Keep up the good work! I’m so happy for you!

  26. Congratulations on another beautiful girl! I am the youngest in a family of 6 girls and my parents didn’t have name for me for several days because they were so sure I was going to be a Michael:) I’m sure you’ll think up a great name.

  27. What a wonderful story, Kim.
    We were in the hospital with a sick one and I thought of you a few times. Hoping you were going into labor soon as I prayed for your baby to be born before the due date.
    What a great story to read when I got home. And, your sweet one is born on my second oldest daughter’s 16th birthday!

    Congratulations “C” family!

  28. Congratulations on the birth of your new daughter!!!

  29. Congrats! She is beauitful! I can’t even image enduring “that” so many times. I get scared at the first positive pregnancy test;)

    I think we should start the Name the Baby Girl Game! (I’ll go first!)


    Enjoy her she’s so precious!

  30. We are so happy for you! And can’t wait to meet this little young princess : ) Will she be called THE Girl? : )

    Congratulations on making it through one more delivery – especially without crushed ice! That took some doing : )

    God gave you a wonderful delivery on a beautiful summer morning, at just the right time of the day, with God-provided cloud cover. See, you didn’t need the porch covering finished. God provided His own covering for y’all – in more ways than one.

    His mercies are new every morning! How about the name “Mercy?”

    The Seargeant Family
    Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

  31. You really are too funny! 😉 And I have to say, your husband is an aweome man to take sure good care of you! 😀 You are truly blessed!

    As for why we do it over and over again, I have no idea… maybe because babies brainwash us from the bad memories with all their cuteness? 😉

    Now, you make me want to have more and more babies! 😉 lol

    Congrats again!

  32. Congratulations on the new baby girl! She is beautiful.

  33. Congrats! Beautiful story! I hope I’m as strong as you are when my time comes in October!

    Beautiful baby girl!!!

  34. No. Hot. Water. Heater. Of all times for a hot water heater to go out. You KNOW your hubby loves you lots when he heats up pots of hot water for you! Then again, like my mother always said, he was there at the beginning, he’d BETTER be there at the conclusion of all that!

    Congratulations again! Enjoy her for me, I do miss that age. My latest is a giant 7m old now LOL.


  35. Lovely story! Labor is not any fun, but the end result is so priceless. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to hearing her name as well. Congratulations!

  36. Rebekah says:

    Congratulations! I am a faithful reader who has never commented but I had to say something today. So CONGRATULATIONS! And while reading your birth story I thought if you wanted to name her fitting to her entrance into this world, name her Summer Dawn.
    She is beautiful and you are just one amazing woman. Keep up the good work.

  37. Thank you so much for telling us the birth story and being honest ;)!


  38. Congratulations! She is so beautiful! I know y’all are proud of her!

    I loved your birth story. Thank you for sharing it!

  39. Congratulations, Kim! Your little one is precious.

  40. Thanks for sharing the story. It was beatiful. What a peaceful way to come into this world. You did a great job!!!

  41. Oh you now look what you did. I’m crying. It’s a beautiful story, but mostly it’s because I’m anticipating my own birth in a month.

    I’m planning a home birth, but don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to do it outside–though I’d like to welcome my baby in much the same manner.

    Congratulations again! Looking forward to knowing her name.

  42. Congrats & thanks for sharing. I so enjoy birth stories. I kept checking non stop for the past few days waiting for your bundle to arrive. She is so cute! I wonder, does anyone tell you that you should be used to the labor part after so many babies? I know each of my 4 were different so I would think yours are. Congrats again, she is a real treasure!

  43. I love your birth story. You told it so well. Knowing where you live and I can very clearly see everything as if I were watching a movie with your narriation over the top. I could actually hear you say your smart aleck remarks that you thought but didn’t say. I always enjoy reading your stories I so do miss home births

  44. Melanie says:

    Thank you for sharing your birth experience with us. After the birth of our youngest (now 2), I broke down crying and sobbed to my husband that I “never want to do that again, ya hear?!” Haha

    I’m so glad everything worked out and you were blessed with another precious daughter.


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