a beautiful beginning: nico gregory’s birth story.

I knew labor was imminent when I kept getting texts from Mel on Monday night detailing all the symptoms she was having. She had been having signs of early labor for the past 2 weeks, but nothing had developed until now. I told her she better try to get some sleep that night, but of course that didn’t happen because her water broke around 2am. She texted me at 4:30am and we were all to the hospital by 6:30am. She checked in a 4cm and her contractions were still pretty manageable at that point. A couple hours later she was at 6cm and that’s when things really started getting intense, and other than an hour long lull/rest she had right before pushing, they remained that way until baby Nico finally decided he was ready to come out at 2:51pm 🙂 Unfortunately Nico was posterior so that made for a longer, harder labor for sure. Through all of her [unmedicated!!] pain, she never once complained or gave up. Frustrated but never defeated is how I describe it 🙂

She had a wonderful support team with Adam, Brittany, and her mom by her side and it was beautiful to witness. Adam was all smiles as he “caught” his son and  handed him up to his mama. The little man turned out to be not quite so little at a whopping 8.9 lbs, 22″!! Over 2.5 lbs heavier than his older sister Nori! It was a very emotion-filled room as all the family came rushing in to meet the newest addition to the family. Nico is lucky #13 on Mel’s side of the family…the first boy born after 12 girls!! Mel’s mom is one of 4 girls, she had 3 girls herself who combined have had 5 girls! One of the most special moments of the whole day was when Adam handed Nico over to Ben and announced that he was Nico’s godfather. After all that Mel’s family has been through this year (and especially the last few weeks), Nico’s birthday was so bittersweet.

Mel ~ It was such an honor to be there to support you and I’m so proud that you had the natural vbac you wanted!! I can’t wait til you post Nico’s birth story from your perspective 🙂

Love, Kelly

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[…] magically, a whole year of my life has passed. One year ago, I delivered this fiesty little heartbreaker. HBD […]

Vicki Wesley - August 18, 2012 - 1:59 pm

I love the photo…brought tears to my eyes!!! Just beautiful!!!

[…] photo via beautiful beginnings blog. Tweet This entry was written by Lindsay, posted on July 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm, filed under Baby, Parents. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « HAPPY 4TH (a few days late!) […]

Steph Woody Goetz - January 20, 2012 - 4:40 pm

Hey ladies:

I just want to say that I adore your site. A-DORE it. I think the work you do is incredible. Every morning the first thing I do when I get to work is check to see if there have been any updates because I love reading birth stories and love seeing your photos that capture the beauty, pain, bittersweetness of labor and delivery. I can’t imagine a better way to start my day! It always gets me thinking about the day my two bambinos (Joseph, 2, and Pilar, 5 months) were born, and what a miracle making new life is and giving birth to that life. Reading your site puts a smile on my face and fuels me through the day. It’s always extra fun to check out your site because, being a native Cincinnatian (I moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 2004 and have been here ever since), I end up knowing ¾ of the people who you photograph. Nothing like keeping up on old friends via their kiddos’ birth stories!

I also wanted to tell you how cool it is to read so many women’s stories of giving natural births. Every birth is special and every birth is a miracle, but I am always always in awe of the women who go ‘au natural.’ I did not have natural births with either of my kiddos—I only wish I had the strength and guts to do it—but every one of my friends who decides to have a natural birth, I always forward your blog entries of women who have done so and they find great comfort in reading the words of other women. In particular, I always forward Mel’s story of Nico’s birth and Jenny’s story of Kynlee. I just recently forwarded those on to a friend of mine in NY who is contemplating a natural birth—she’s done a ton of reading, but she’s afraid she won’t be able to do it—she’s anxious and scared of the pain. After she read those entries, she said they affirmed her decision to have a natural birth and gave her strength knowing that, yup, it’s gonna be tough, but that she can soldier through it. Ya’lls photography is an inspiration!

When we get crazy enough to contemplate a third (and God willing, of course), I’m going to have to find a photographer in Bloomington who will take pictures of our child’s birth. I have so many mental pictures of Joe and Pili’s births that I’ll never forget—and my hubby took some pretty decent shots post-delivery, but as you both know I needed him through the labor process and might have smacked him if he were trying to take photos instead of support me—but I’d love to get someone to document those hours. Maybe when that moment comes, I’ll ask you guys if you have any contacts in B-town or Indy, or know of others in the birth photography business that might be closer to us geographically.

As a side note, if you ever need guest posts, I’d love to write up my kiddos’ stories. I know ya’ll don’t know me from Eve (though Mel and I ran around in some of the same circles, even though we’ve never met), so if that’s weird I totally get it. I could also see that opening up a can of worms—if you let me write a guest post, then you can let any old Joe Bob write a guest post! But if all that’s required to post is an admiration and love of your work, then you can feel free to call on me, I’d love to share my stories which are both typical yet atypical. You probably know what I mean.

Thanks for empowering women with your photos.

Peace and all good things,

Steph Woody Goetz

Alyson Gawrych - December 23, 2011 - 2:38 am

Beautiful Job Kelly! What a beautiful family!

[…] see the slideshow done by kelly, scroll below or click HERE to see it. The images below adam and i took the next […]

Terri Mertz - December 8, 2011 - 12:14 pm

Absolutely beautiful baby, beautiful video that brought tears to my eyes! Mel, you and Adam are soul mates that just work beautifully together! Great job! Ali was watching over you guys! Nico looks a lot like him but will have you energy his he grows up! God bless your family! – Terri & Bill Mertz

Teri - December 7, 2011 - 2:11 am

Wow!!! This is amazing! What a beautiful way to show your family. I was in tears as soon as it started. You are so right…. I believe that your sister was supporting you in heaven just by looking at the photos. You are very blessed to have such a beautiful family. God truly opened his window for you on that very special day. Enjoy your new beautiful baby:)

Angie McIntosh - December 4, 2011 - 2:28 pm

A wonderful pictorial of such a beautiful page in the story of this heartbroken family…how a new life can bring new meaning to the love the connects them all…

Congratulations to Adam, Melanie, Nori and the entire family!

Leah - December 3, 2011 - 5:26 pm

I followed the link from a facebook posting. This is absolutely stunning! As a former Bradley teacher and Bradley births of 4, I can only offer congratulations and job well done! And that especially includes the dad- he was doing everything right! Enjoy your beautiful baby(ies)!

MelissaFoscardo - December 3, 2011 - 4:04 pm

Beautiful. Tears falling for so many reasons after following your journey, esp. the last couple of months. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family.

Rachel - December 3, 2011 - 1:44 pm

So so beautiful, on so many accounts. Great job, Kelly! And way to go Melanie on all your hard work. So thankful it all worked out the way you’d hoped–you’re absolutely right that Ali had a hand in it all. I don’t think anyone can watch this without crying!!

Gail - December 3, 2011 - 12:52 pm

Oh this was so touching. Mel, you are my HERO for doing this naturally with such a big baby and posterior position (said by someone whose own mama talks about how hard I was to deliver in that SAME position). So happy for you and Adam and your family. Congrats!

Fran - December 3, 2011 - 10:46 am

Wow—this blew me away. So glad you got to have the delivery you wanted. Is there any better feeling on earth that exact moment of birth? Adam’s face says it all! Nico is beautiful! So happy for you all!

Aunt Net - December 3, 2011 - 10:45 am

These photos help the rest of us participate-thank you so much! It is amazing-the whole life cycle-bittersweet in this birth: wearing Ali’s shirts, the family sadness and joy. Mel, you can see the anguish in your face, which turns to pure elation to welcome your son. The love and support in the room, and the joy afterward spill out onto the pages of what now becomes Nico’s history, the story of his life. How awesome for Brittany to cut the cord, and for Ben to become the godfather. It’s hard to believe Ali is not here, but to see the look on Olivia’s face as she faced the camera tells us she was there. What a remarkable story you will have to tell Nico as he grows up. You have an incredible gift from God to enjoy-love on him and Nori every day! We’re so proud of you and Adam! Love, Uncle Roger & Aunt Net

Mama/Melanie - December 3, 2011 - 5:40 am

It’s interesting to me as I sit here having so many emotions each time I watch. Def in tears watching this over and over. But At times I feel deep sadness that my other sister had to support me from heaven instead of holding my hand on earth. Other times I watch it and think how blessed I am to have the birth I wanted since the first was such a disaster and the opposite of how it should be. Then I feel so strange since life must go on, such a bittersweet truth.
I’m so happy to have this part of my life captured in images without having Adam do it. There was no way he could have stopped supporting me at any moment to capture a single frame. I’m so thankful it worked out on so many levels, clearly Ali had her hand in the plan for me. Thanks so much Kelly, it’s perfect.
Somehow you even managed to keep me looking decent. That’s talent right there…:) and thanks for doing everything else between holding my leg to giving me drinks, to verbal support. U did it all (not that I was surprised by any of your actions) and I couldn’t be more grateful. Love you long time.
Much love.

Brittany Palm - December 3, 2011 - 5:13 am

I never make it through one of these with out shedding some tears, but this one I cried more than ever. I firmly believe Aunt Ali was right there with you and heled guide Nico into this beautiful world. I think of your family often. Congratulations to You,Adam and of course Ms.Nori. Love, Peace, and comfort to your new family!

Lisa - December 3, 2011 - 4:45 am

Oh my goodness, I cried through the entire slideshow…so bittersweet! Nico is absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations! Melanie, you look so beautiful! Really…a natural child birth with an 8.9 lb baby?! WOW! Way to go, Mama!

Tricia and Mark Hoar - December 3, 2011 - 4:43 am

Wow, Mel, what an amazing story! Nico and Nori are so lucky to have you and Adam. Your love is palpable. (On a slightly strange note, I enjoyed seeing pictures of Dr. Bowen too — I taught his son Andrew for two years, and Andrew and the boys have been friends since elementary school.)


jenny haas - December 3, 2011 - 2:16 am

These are so beautiful. What an amazing gift. Nico is perfect in every way, Congratulations Melanie and Adam!

tish - December 3, 2011 - 2:16 am

This was BEAUTIFUL! Beautiful family! I know Aunt Ali is so very proud! Congrats to Uncle Ben!

Jenn - December 3, 2011 - 1:36 am

Congratulations!!!! Awesome pictures as always! I cried the whole slide show!! He is beautiful!!!!

Luci - December 3, 2011 - 1:11 am

Cried reading and viewing the pics! Thanks for sharing!

sarah a - December 3, 2011 - 12:15 am

oh meli, this is wonderful….so so proud of you!! What a beautifully bittersweet journey for all of you. Cried through the entire slideshow. And I knew you would look so amazing through the whole birth 🙂 Congratulations. He’s the sweetest bit of chunky baby…Love you!

Laura - December 2, 2011 - 11:11 pm

Love. Just beautiful I had tears through the whole slideshow 🙂

Emilie - December 2, 2011 - 11:02 pm

Beautiful photos! Mel is so brave!!! The images are so moving.

Priscilla - December 2, 2011 - 10:31 pm

Oh Mel! Tears of joy and tears of sadness. What a beautiful birth captured by Kelly! Love you!

kelli penson - December 2, 2011 - 10:25 pm

What a lovely slideshow! Great work, Kelly! And great work to you too, mama! Congratulations again 🙂

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