These precious baby boys were born yesterday in the wee hours of the morning….

more coming soon 🙂

luci - May 11, 2011 - 5:12 pm

The first two pictures bring back many beautiful memories!!! =*)

PS… I can’t wait to have another baby, just for the the reason that i can’t wait to have you their for NEWBORN pics! lol.

Sarah A - April 29, 2011 - 5:40 pm

oooo, excited to see the rest! and way to go mama for a natural birth! 🙂

brenda - April 29, 2011 - 5:25 pm

can’t wait to see more 🙂

guest post: veronica rose’s birth story.

this story comes all the way from atlanta, ga. i absoutely LOVE that you were brave enough to complete a natural birth, having never even considered it as an option. heck yes anna! you did it! i’m also thrilled your sister was there to photograph the experience, because it was so important for Gabe to be focused on you instead of taking pics.  anna is the creative mind behind InHonorOfDesign, a blog and etsy shop. i can’t imagine how dolled up this little girl is going to be on a daily basis. 🙂 congrats, she is beautiful!


I am writing this birth story in hopes that I will be able re-read it several times and remember the moments the day my daughter Veronica Rose was born. Sometimes you are given the grace to take a step back and fully realize the value of that present moment, and how blessed you are to be living it. I have had moments like this on days such as my wedding day, the day my son was born, and days in between in every day life where you feel like you would do anything to just freeze the moment forever! It was the same the day Veronica was born. I haven’t been able to comprehend this little miracle of life yet, and maybe I never fully will, but I sure am grateful to God for allowing her to be a part of our family. I am have been eating up these first few precious days of life with her!

Well, as some of you know, this baby had me convinced she was coming early! I was having pre-labor signs three weeks before my due date and was 2cm dilated at my check-up. My guess was that she would be here about a week early. However, little miss was comfortable and content to keep us waiting until the very last minute, and arrived, just like her brother, on her due date! And not without a little prodding. The night before I consulted some friends and family, and tried all the tricks! Pineapple, long walk, hot baths, etc. etc…..well one of them or all of them worked!
That night around 2:15 am, I felt the first hint of a contraction. I wasn’t convinced yet, because my son’s started so strong. They were really mild and sporadic so I tried to continue to sleep. When I felt they were strong enough to pay attention to, I started timing them….still sporadic- about every 5 min, 10 min, 15min. I realize now though that I was having very light mini ones in between that I should have been counting…oops! I decided to wake hubby up to tell him I thought these were labor contractions, and he was up and ready for game time. He had left for school to get last minute things ready for the sub around 5:15 am. During this time (which was only about 15 minutes) I was running around the house in between contractions getting my son’s bag together to be dropped off with my sister and brother-in-law, and trying to remember if I had my toothbrush packed in my hospital bag:) I soon realized, my water was breaking, and this really was it (I know funny it took me a while to be convinced)! Right after that I noticed a big difference in the length and consistency of my contractions. They were coming every few minutes apart! I called my doctor, and told her I was pretty sure I was in full on labor and she directed me to go straight to the hospital. This is where it gets a little crazy!…
My sisters house and the hospital are within a mile of our house. We dropped my son off (who was more than happy to be going to his cousin’s house) and I cried as I kissed him goodbye. I knew it was the last kiss I would give him as my baby and before his little world would change. We drove into the ER side of the hospital and at this point the contractions were so strong and close together I had to huff and puff through one before I could walk through the parking lot and hurry into a wheel chair in the ER. They wheeled me right away into a room a little after 6am, put me in one of those hideous gowns, and hooked me up to all those fun wires;) After being checked, I was told I was already 5 cm dilated. They knew I was hoping for the epidural. The IV was hooked up and the epidural was called for……
During the waiting time, minutes seem to be very long periods of time. As I focused in to breathe through each contraction, I asked God for the strength to keep going through the pain. We had rallied prayers from our family and friends on our way to the hospital, and from this point through the end of the delivery, I could really feel them come through for me. Prayer is powerful! My husband (who was my complete hero this day), held my hand and coached me through the contractions as he knew my midwife had done with my first son. He even did the breathing with me, which totally relaxed me. (I asked him later how he knew to do this, and he said he saw a Cosby episode about it!… I about died! So cute!) He was my rock, and once more I was reminded why God made him for me…
My doctor was on her way, and I heard discussions among the nurses that I may be too late for the epidural already. You can imagine how I tried to register these words between contractions!! I didn’t have any energy to be angry or emotional, so I just continued to focus and get through the moment. After checking me again, the nurse said I was an 8-9 and 100% effaced…. this girl was coming fast! This was when I had my husband call my sister Maria to hurry on over. We had agreed to call her when I was close so she could take the delivery room photos for me (She is an amazing sister and mama of soon to be 3!).  My wonderful doctor arrived and explained the options to me. She was very encouraging that everything was progressing beautifully and if I chose to continue without trying for an epidural, it should go rather quickly. I was worried that trying to inject a spinal pain med at this point might be more trouble than it was worth since my contractions were so close together. I also was so exhausted at this point, that I just wanted it to be over with, and have my little girl in my arms. I knew I had the strength to go through with the birth without the epidural (again only with the grace of prayers) and I looked at my husband and told him, “I think I can do this.” I was given some minor meds to take the edge off of the pain of the contractions and proceeded forth. Yes the pain was unlike anything I had experienced, but it was not quite as horrific as the movies make it seem;) The thing is, you have an adrenaline like no other to get to the end of the battle! I knew I was about to meet my child! So, about 30 minutes later and 10 minutes of pushing, little Veronica Rose entered the world at 8:16 AM.
Things had not gone according to plan, but I was so thankful for the way it turned out. It was quite an experience. This was the best victory I had every experienced in my life! It was like going through the anguish of a long uphill run and feeling the rush of crossing the finish line, except the joy floods your entire being. You have just been an instrument in bringing a new soul into the world, that God had created. The birth of my son and my daughter, and our children to come will be very different birth stories, but both very important moments in my life, where I feel like I am given a taste of heaven, and seen the face of God.


“When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been a party to, has made, sustained and moved moment by moment within, all our earthly experiences of innocent love.” C.S. Lewis
as always, thanks for reading. those of you mamas out there who have kids, give your children the gift of writing their story down. it’s so important for your memories and theirs! peace, melanie and kelly.

guest post: fiona’s birth story.

Charity is one of my best friends…all the way back from high school 🙂 I really admire her courage & determination to have a vaginal (and natural) birth after 2 c-sections. She had a super tough labor & delivery with Fiona, but she says it was totally worth it – and still wants more kids! Thanks for sharing your story, Charity – you are such an inspiration!


Let’s see where do I begin this journey….  It started out with a lot of research, reading books, and searching the internet.  After weighing all the pros and cons, I finally decided that attempting a vbac – as opposed to a repeat cesarean – was much better and safer for me and the baby.

I had my first c-section because my daughter was frank breech; it was a scheduled c-section. Then 20 months later, I had a trial of labor which failed after 20 hours and only progressing to 6 centimeters. The doctors said we must have a c-section since my water had been broken for 16 hours already.  Not knowing much at the time, I agreed.

So 21 months later, this time around was going to be different!!!  Although the stakes seemed higher since I had been cut twice I still felt it was worth a shot and still safer than a third cut!!

I had a wonderful pregnancy with no complications.  I was due Tuesday, Sept 21st, 2010 with my third little girl!  I had hired a doula at 19 weeks gestation and was determined to avoid a c-section – if I could.  I loved meeting with my doula, April.  April gave me a lot of peace about the decision of going for a vbac and seemed completely confident that my body would know what to do and would carry me through.:)  I also decided that if drugs were known to lead from one intervention to the next, I was not going to go that route!  I wanted to have a vbac and I didn’t want to go the easy route(epidural) and then end up with a C because of it.  So I said from the get-go I wanted to go all natural!!

At week 38 and three days my mucous plug came out.  My parents live overseas and I was hoping for them to be here when the baby came so I was nervous she would be born too soon.  My parents still had six days before they got here.  So I had everyone praying hard that she would wait! Ha!  And WAIT she did! 39 weeks passed, 40 weeks passed, then one day, two days, three days…….

All the while, as things got closer, I was losing more and more of my mucous plug.  Friday the 24th I had a morning appointment and ultrasound.  The tech said she looked big, measuring 9lbs 11 oz on ultrasound.  Also, she said I had lots of fluid so that wasn’t a worry.   To my delight, the tech said she had chubby cheeks!:)  I love my babies with some meat on them!!!:)

I talked with the doctor and he said I had two choices to continue to wait till I go into labor on my own or they would have to do a c-section because as a vbac patient you can’t be induced, which I didn’t want anyway!  Too dangerous!

We started praying that she would come soon, REAL soon, since she already seemed pretty big.  Doctor Bowen said that could be anywhere from 1 lb off either way, so I tried not to stress about it.  Friday was a busy day we went to a funeral and were busy the rest of the day then I told my mom, “Let’s go to the mall and walk around, I want to get things going!”  I already had four different times where I thought I was in labor because of contractions but they would stop after about an hour or two or sometimes longer.  I was ready for the real deal and no more false alarms!!  At least I thought I was ready……………..

So we went to the mall and had lots of fun and laughs!  As I was having contractions my mom was having hot flashes so we were quite the pair that night!  Ha!  Ha!

I came home and was still feeling the contractions and they were intensifying more and more but after several hours and a hot bath I still didn’t want to tell anyone afraid of another false alarm.  Andy, my husband, was getting nervous because contractions were now 4 min a part.  I finally let him call my parents and doula and they said we should go to hospital so we did.   My contractions started at around 8pm and we finally got checked into our room at hospital at around 2am.  Contractions were hurting but they weren’t horrendous YET.  I had to be monitored intermittently,which was 20 min out of every hour, but felt like an eternity because I wasn’t allowed to do much during that time.  It made me all the more thankful that I could move around the rest of the time.  When I first got there I was 3 to 4 cenitmeters dilated so that was good to know; I had gotten somewhere from my last check which was an easy 2 not quite a 3 as Dr. Bowen said at 39 weeks.  I had moved a little which was good.  For the next several hours I tried to get comfortable from being massaged by my husband, mom, doula, etc to walking the halls some.  We walked for a  total of 2 hours and I believe that really helped.

Then they checked me again and I was in between 5 and 6.  That was exciting but I was hoping for more – but beggars can’t be choosers – I was just thankful for anything really!  So I went from the bath tub to the bed to the ball to walking to everything I could think of, even squatting.  My husband was so supportive and had my back most of the time, literally.  Then Dr. Bowen came in and checked me and said I was in between 6 and 7.  He left for awhile and came back and said he thought things were being slowed down by my bag of water that was bulging at my cervix so he asked if he could break it.

This worried me because with my last labor they did a c-section because my water was broken for too long and I hadn’t progressed fast enough but I was reassured by Dr Bowen and staff that I was far enough along that that wouldn’t be a problem.  Also I was fearing that the pain would increase even more but I had to get her out, no going back now!  So I said yes to breaking my water.  After breaking my water they saw that there was meconium in it, which Dr. said it seemed like baby might be in distress, so they just watched her heart rate the whole time during contractions and after.  During contractions her heart rate was plummeting so they gave me an oxygen mask and told me I needed to breath better.  That helped with her heart rate!  Plus the oxygen helped me too!

He broke my water at around 11am and I was starting to push by noon.  Oh this was not fun.  The contractions hurt bad enough and came so close together but now I have to push with this!  She was pretty high up and I had to push for what seemed like an eternity and come to find out was just over 4 hours!!!  So it was a long time!  I literally thought as I was getting close to the end that I was going to die from exhaustion!

I had never felt so helpless, exhausted and in such excruciating pain as in those moments that seemed to go on forever.  And the nurses, Dr. Bowen, mom, and Andy all were saying, “We see her head keep pushing!” but everytime I looked all I saw was my bloody bottom and just barely something inside the slit.  I thought, “Man I haven’t even gotten her head out of there!!  It’s never going to happen!!!!”  I wanted to give up but there was no turning back I had to get her out.

Finally it came to the breaking point where I had pushed and pushed till I had nothing left.  There was a point I almost passed out.  My eyes started to roll back into my head and that’s when everyone got frantic in the room!   I mustered up all the strength I had in me and gave three more pushes!  I pushed through the burning, ripping, and tearing and just held out that last push with every last bit of strength I had left and then……I heard it, “Her head is almost all the way out!!!!”

At this point I was still feeling an intense burning but had to wait for next contraction, which seemed like forever, to push the rest of her out.  Just when you think you have felt the worst of it, there’s more!  Ha!  Ha!  So now I had to get her head and body all the way out!  I gave two more huge pushes and out she came!!!

The relief and joy is inexplainable!  Words cannot express how wonderful it felt when they put my beautiful Fiona on my belly and I wrapped her in my arms!!  I was laughing and crying tears of joy as Dr. Bowen sewed up my THIRD degree tear!  I was just so happy it was over and I finally was given my prize for all my hard work, my precious little butter ball Fiona.:)

I didn’t learn until later, but at one point, Dr. Bowen and the nurse were talking about the fear that she was stuck and they weren’t going to be able to get her out!  Thank the Lord people were praying for me!!!  Because God brought her out eventually!!!:)  They said Fiona was such a trooper everytime I would push she would be doing her part trying to turn her head this way and that to get through and they also saw her kicking her feet in my belly trying to move down!!!  So precious!!  They said we were a great team!!!:)

There is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, like giving birth naturally!  It is the most painful thing you will ever experience but also the most liberating and joyous thing too.  After making it through that I feel like I can conquer the world thru Him who gives me the strength!!!

I feel like God gave women this ability to show them their strength, the depth of their love, and what sacrifice truly means!

It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  And I still want more babies!!!  Ha!  Ha!  Call me crazy, I know I know!:)

Fiona Joy was born four days overdue at 9 lbs 9.7 ounces and 22 inches long!  Right when she was born she was wide awake and nursed right off the bat like a pro!  I was able to bond with her immediately; much different than my other two born via C-section.  She’s my VBA2C:)

Thanks for reading! peace, kelly and melanie.

Erin Hull - April 21, 2011 - 2:25 am

What an amazing and wonderful story!! It is so incredible what a mama can do just when she thinks she has nothing left! Good for her for trusting her body, making courageous choices and pressing through! I know how it feels to push those big ol’ babies out naturally, SUCH hard work. Congratulations Charity!! *sigh* I just love birth. 🙂

a beautiful beginning: ryder james’s birth story.

on 4.7.11 at 8:49pm, i witnessed a miracle. ryder james was born and it was beautiful. i invite you to watch the slideshow as it tells the story of his birth while trisha and kevin welcome their 3rd baby boy into the world. 7.13lbs, 19.5″ of perfection. thank you so much for allowing me to be there to witness such amazingness. you did great and made it look so easy! you were the same amount of calmness from when you checked in at 5cm through pushing him out. that’s crazy! congratulations! as always, mommy approved all the images. enjoy.

peace, melanie

the carles. » loft3 photography - November 22, 2012 - 2:03 pm

[…] the addition of Ryder, who is more crazy than either of his brothers, it took some effort to keep them happy and […]

[…] Happy 1st birthday to our first BB baby, Ryder! In case you missed his birth last year, click the image to see the slideshow. […]

Becca - April 17, 2011 - 8:13 pm

WOW. This leaves me speechless. You beautifully captured the miracle of birth!

Luci - April 11, 2011 - 1:30 pm

Mel… This is beautiful! his face is so adorable!!! As always you are the best. love ya!

Lisa - April 11, 2011 - 2:48 am

Wow! Amazing photos, Melanie! What a gorgeous, precious little guy! Congratulations to the mommy and daddy! The slideshow made me cry, and I’m not even prego!

brenda - April 11, 2011 - 1:27 am

perfect captures. adorable little man. can’t wait for more 2011 births for you and kelly to shoot!!

Aunt Brittany - April 10, 2011 - 10:07 pm

This was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I cried the whole way through! Thank you Kevin & Trisha for making me the proud Aunt of another little blessing! And thank you Melanie for capturing it on film. (Can’t wait to have my next one!) 🙂

sarah korn - April 10, 2011 - 5:16 pm


trisha carle - April 10, 2011 - 12:58 pm

This is the most amazing thing that happens and u captured everthing. Thanka for being there and making this an even more memorable moment. Love ya

Denise Tracy - April 10, 2011 - 6:40 am

Wow…pictures are amazing. Feel like I just went thru the whole delivery with them…just no pain! HA! Congrats on the beautiful baby boy and love the name. Wish there had been someone to photograph all my deliveries…all I have are memories…but good ones!

Kevin Carle - April 10, 2011 - 2:29 am

I seriously have tears rolling down my cheeks! I am so thankful that you came in to share this with us. You have captured everything and anything that we would want or should remember. Thank you soooo much for your love and support!

Sarah A - April 10, 2011 - 2:25 am

yippee, first birth of the year! cried. and loved them all 🙂

Aunt E - April 10, 2011 - 1:45 am

Sooo beautiful. I love my new nephew Ryder James 🙂 I can’t even put into words how awesome the slideshow was. It truly helps to capture how magical that day was. Thank you for being there Melanie…we’re so lucky to have you in our family!!!