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!!!

a beautiful beginning: lily’s birth story.

My close friend, sarah, had quite the birth experience with her first born. lily was born in march ’10, and i was there with her through most of the crazy journey. as you’ll read, the L&D was smokin’ fast. after sarah’s frantic calls and text’s, “i think i’m bout to have this BABY!!!!” to “lily is here!!!”  in the middle of the night 🙂 , i made it to the hospital just after.  lily was so teeny and adorable. i pulled some of the images from my other blog to share with her story. Now sarah is half way through her next pregnancy and this baby BOY better stay snuggled inside to full term! she asked me to be at the delivery, so you’ll get to see his birth in a few mths! yay! can’t wait.


Lily’s birth story is nothing like I ever imagined. Don’t you hear a lot of mother’s say that? Its so true. And I wouldn’t change a bit of it. You’ll probably think I’m crazy once you hear it, but…..I love every detail of it.
I should probably start from when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. Jake and I had just joined our Bradley Method Natural Birth classes and we were SO excited. (Btw, our instructor, Tracy Kemper, is fabulous. You can find her info under the resources tab on this site). One of the first things we discussed is nutrition and the importance of protein in growing strong, fat and healthy babies. I don’t remember the exact stats, but pregnant women should be eating somewhere between 60-80 grams of protein daily.  Let me tell you, I jumped allll over this. Once I heard “fat and healthy babies,” I was on it. Because I had this tiny little instinct. This crazy, gut-deep instinct that my girl would not make it to full term. I never thought my mother’s instinct would kick in so soon, but it did. And for good reason. Of the five birth’s in my immediate family (my mom and sister), three of them were preterm, with the earliest being born at 26 weeks. All four doctors in my OB practice swore up and down –from my very first appointment– that preterm birth is not connected to genetics and I had nothing to worry about. I didn’t talk about it much and hardly told my friends what I was thinking, but……I knew. And prepared anyway. So, I started socking away 80 to 100 grams of protein a day –that’s a TON of milk and eggs my friends! If my baby was going to be early, I was going to do by best to make sure she was the biggest and healthiest she could be (but lets forget I would have gained like 85lbs and had to shoot out a 12lb baby if I went full term. yikes!)
Everything progressed perfectly and I felt great. I loved everything about being pregnant. The glow, the roundness, the tiny kicks and flutters. Everything. I had zero indication that I would be delivering early. But at 32 weeks, my water broke.
I didn’t really notice anything until mid-afternoon, when what I thought was normal pregnancy leakage and discharge, started soaking through a pad an hour and eventually soaked through my pants. I tried telling myself that one of the kids I was babysitting had peed on my lap (never mind the fact that the wetness was on the BACK of my pants). On the drive home from work, I started having mild contractions every 7 minutes or so. I tried telling myself this wasn’t happening, that my instincts weren’t right, and crazily searched through all my pregnancy books for proof that my symptoms were not preterm labor. Except everything pointed to labor. I tried calling my doctor and Tracy, but had to leave messages for both, which added to my panic. Eventually, I managed to get a message from my doc that abruptly said “Get to the hospital. Get checked.” Exactly those words. Great bedside manner to a freaking out hormonal mother, right?  In disbelief, we threw some random things in a bag and left.
On the way to Good Sam, Tracy was able to call back and I cried on the phone as she told me she also thought I was in preterm labor. She was so encouraging and helpful, though, that we gained a little confidence and arrived at the hospital calm and ready to hear what the docs had to say. We finally were checked in and sent through to OB. The triage nurses didn’t believe for a minute that I was in labor and treated my symptoms as first time mom paranoia. When hooked up to the monitors, one nurse even exclaimed, “oh my, you actually are having contractions!” Really? I had been telling her that for 30 minutes! After the first cervical check and one test that came back negative — but I had done my research and knew this test had a high rate of false negatives– another, more advanced test was given. There was no doubt this one was positive. My bag of waters had broken and though I wasn’t dilating, I was in early stages of labor. The doc took one look at me and said I wasn’t leaving until I delivered a baby. I burst into tears and cried so hard, the poor man had to leave the room. I had an ultrasound next and I cried through the entire thing. Seeing her tiny little self in black and white, wiggling and kicking, just floored me. But, she was perfectly content and happy, as healthy as can be. The docs couldn’t believe how healthy she was, actually. A 32 weeker is supposed to weigh somewhere between 2-3 lbs. But not Lily. She measured in at FIVE pounds!!! Holy smokes, all that milk and cheese did it’s job 🙂

I was immediately admitted to Special Care Obstetrics and hooked up to IVs of magnesium (to stop labor), saline and antibiotics. I was given a continual drip of all three for the first 72 hours and given shots of steroids, in hopes that Lily’s lungs would develop rapidly from then until delivery. I couldn’t even tell you all the pills and drugs I had to take. Informed consent was pretty much thrown out the window and in our panic, we said yes to whatever they told us to do, no question. This was huge for me, as I am 100% for natural pregnancy and birth and struggled with even taking half a dose of Tylenol.
I was admitted to the hospital late Friday night, and Jake and I spent the weekend in a daze, staring at each other in confusion, wondering how we got here. It was surreal, discussing a high risk delivery and the emergency that would be surrounding Lily’s birth. So many doctors, nurses,  and (wonderful) friends and family in and out every few hours. We couldn’t keep information and stories straight. We also were never talking to the same doctor twice in a row, and all the conflicting messages and information were really getting to us. By Monday, we had made the decision that Jake would return to work. My contractions had eased and all but stopped and with limited vacation days, it was more important for Jake to be home with the baby, instead of sitting around in depression with me at the hospital. That first day alone was just the worst. Every time a nurse would leave the room, I would burst into tears. Fortunately, a very dear friend (Tracey Beckman we love you) rescued me that day and came bringing gifts….and a blessed laptop. I can’t even explain what it felt like to be connected to the world again with that laptop. It sounds so silly, but reading blogs and posting on facebook were a lifeline. I finally had something else to do, besides read my depressing books (all my literature seems to travel down dark and depressing back alleys– but that’s nothing new. My current book involved babies and small children being ripped out of their mother’s arms and sent to gas chambers. helllllllooooo, so dumb, I know) and stare at the walls and cry. The comments, prayers and encouragement we received online were such an incredible blessing and we are still so very thankful. Tracey is also an amazing seamstress and had made Lily her very first pink quilt and the most adorable pink elephant snuggy (yes, handmade too!). I latched onto that pink elephant and slept with it and cried into it at night– just so Lily would have something that smelled like me when she had to eventually sleep alone in the NICU. And the thought of her alone in the NICU still sends me to tears. But the three weeks she did spend in the NICU and all that we went through is a story for another day. I still don’t think I have quite finished processing that part of our beginning as a family. Ugh.

But anyways, after Tracey’s visit (and the something like 12th visit from Melanie. She’s such an amazing friend) I was ready to get out of my panic and depression and get to waiting this baby out in the healthiest way possible. So, despite strict instructions to stay in my bed, I lugged my belly up and out as soon as a nurse left the room. I sat next to the window and read Psalms and poured my heart out to God. I did my pelvic floor stretches and squats and some light yoga stretches.  If I was going to have the natural birth I was so craving, I couldn’t be mentally and physically strong enough for it just by sitting around all day. And the day I felt the strongest and most at peace, was the day I went into labor.
Before I get to that, I can’t miss Jake’s role in all this. I can’t even tell you how wonderful he was. Taking care of EVERYTHING. With all our belief that Lily would be premature, we didn’t prepare very well (I’m perfect for last-minute scatterbrained planning). Not a single clean onesie, diaper, or crib sheet to be found in our house– we didn’t even have a car seat! Jake ran around the city collecting these little necessities, all while taking care of me, our house, our finances, his work, the constant visitors and emails. So many trips to the house to get me a book, a clean pair of socks, my pearl earrings (seriously, I made him do that!). Sleeping in the horrible hospital chair all night, through nurse and doctor interruptions and getting up early to go to work. Praying with me every morning before he left. Talking to neonatologists and OB’s when I just couldn’t handle it. I have no words for how much I love this man.
Six days in, my contractions started around midnight, waking me up every fifteen minutes or so. I didn’t catch on to the rhythm until about 1am, and even then I didn’t wake anyone up. I laid in bed and collected myself, listened to my ipod and prayed. Finally, I woke Jake up around 1:30 and we called a nurse.  When she came less than 5 minutes later, I was already up out of bed and having such strong contractions, I had to stop talking and brace myself against the footrest. She didn’t even wait to hear what I had to say and called in the doctors. The doc had to use some special contraption to check my cervix and dilation because of the high risk of infection I was under. She took one quick breath and said “Well, I don’t need this– I see hair.” WHAT????? Exactly. It was a heart stopping moment. After only about 2 hours of contractions, I was 8 cm.  EIGHT. Things just went into overdrive. I don’t know how it happened, but nurses started coming out of the walls. Three were working on me alone. Two to strip off my clothes and the other to give me a new IV. In less than 3 minutes I was out of the that room and literally being raced down the hall to delivery. Nurses were yelling at people in the hall to get out of the way and we were running.
The next 2 hours were a blur. Somewhere in the hallway I had passed through transition and gone off into that secret place of intense focus. All I wanted to do was see my baby and make sure she was safe. After a point, it was just the two of us laboring together–our first experience of being mother and daughter. Amidst the pain, that was the sweetness that held me together. And the pain was definitely there. In a natural birth there is no running away from it! But it was beautiful. Seriously beautiful– a sort of reach up from the ground and rip your guts out kind of beautiful (!). But once you’re in it, the pain becomes a sort of side note to the progress you’re making and you’re that much closer to seeing your sweet baby. That’s when its beautiful.
I can’t say the actual birth was everything I wanted, because it wasn’t. We had so many plans for a smooth, calm natural birth. It was everything but. In all the emergency we lost our voices and did as we were told. Now I realize it could have been how we wanted (to a point. Nothing is ever exactly how you plan it, right?) That’s when a doula would have been perfect, to stand up for us when the fear paralyzed. But, despite it all, Lillian Violet arrived at 4:50am, 5lbs 10z, 19inches. Less than 20 minutes of pushing! She was perfect. The first thing I saw  was her tiny, impossibly skinny little knobby knees and legs. She was whisked away by the NICU nurses before I could really see her face. Amazingly, again, she was as healthy as could be. Apgar of 9 and 9, just like a full term baby! Not once did she need oxygen or help regulating her temperature. I was able to hold her for 1-2 minutes before she was taken away to the NICU– a moment I could not even possibly explain. I was desperate to follow her, but the after birth process had to be taken care of first. I was wheeled into the NICU– again, another indescribable moment. Tiny babies and their desperate and aching parents beside them– I knew my child instantly out of them all. Even though I was again not allowed to hold her, her sweet little face turned to my voice as soon as I leaned in and snuggled her in the isolette. She smelled like vanilla. My perfect, sweet girl…..who is now 13 months and the chubbiest, wiggliest, most kissable girl in the world 🙂

thanks for sharing mama! great story. lily will LOVE to read this one day. peace, melanie and kelly.

Renae - April 14, 2011 - 10:53 pm

wow! Brought tears to my eyes. What a comfort to be able to turn to God in tough times! Beautiful pictures!

Denise Tracy - April 10, 2011 - 7:05 am

Even though we were informed by Melanie what Sarah and Jake were going through, this post shares the actual story and really pulls you into Lily’s birth. Wow…exciting, scary, beautiful and inspiring to say the least. Way to go Sarah for using that built in Mommy Sense…never leaves you…always go with it. Pictures are so beautiful and my favorite one is the in front of the window of mom and dad. Picture of ‘faith’. Lily is a beauty and well worth all the stress and confusion of her birth! Congrats!

guest post: wyatt’s birth story.

lauren shares her story of the birth of her son wyatt who was born last august.  thank you for sharing lauren, it’s very encouraging that you were able to push through and have the unmedicated birth you’d hoped for!  i pray next time you find a doula that is more fitting and supportive to you guys. for those of you who have know idea what a “doula” is, we will have a guest post about that later. 🙂 for now, just know that a doula is supposed to be the supportive, positive voice for the mother and father during L&D.


So, I woke up on Monday morning [8.9] around 1:30 am with contractions. Jim started timing them around 2:30 am and continued to time them throughout the day on Monday. They continued, but kind of spaced out in the late morning. At one point, I didn’t have a contraction for 24 minutes. Jim and I didn’t go into work and I honestly expected that we would be at the hospital by dinner time, but that didn’t happen. Around 1:00 pm my contractions started hurting in my back…which sucked because I thought Wyatt would be sunny-side up. So the contractions up until this point weren’t bad, relatively easy to breathe through, and they were lasting for 30 seconds or less. As the day progressed, they hurt worse and lasted longer. Our doula came over around 9:00 pm. At that point, I was ready for a change. I had already thrown up, had diarrhea, and I’m pretty sure that Jim was traumatized by reaction to the change in pain levels. I wanted to go to the hospital, but she encouraged us to stay home, take a walk, take a bath, etc. I took a shower around midnight [I think] and it helped to be in a different environment with the contractions. After I got out of the shower, I said we’re going and to be honest with you, I wanted to go so I could get an epidural. I was exhausted. I was ready to be finished or at least know that I was making progress.

The car ride to Good Sam [about 20 mins] had about 6 contractions in it. It was miserable. We got to the maternity unit, left the doula in the waiting room, and went to triage to get checked. At this point, our midwife walked in [really, the best one I could have asked for, she’s fantastic] and I said I want an epidural. She said let’s check and we’ll see what we can do. I was 6.5 cm dilated. She suggested “Nubain” to knock the edge off before I tried the epidural. I went to a labor and delivery room, she went to get our doula, who further conferred that in fact I did want an unmedicated birth and so they teamed up and decided that they would do whatever to keep me from having an epidural. I got the Nubain [in my heplock, I didn’t have an iv] and it did take the edge off. I still felt everything, but I was able to rest between contractions. I should tell you that my water has not broken at this point. The Nubain lasted about an hour. At that point, I took another shower and I feel like this point in our whole labor [hour 27 maybe?] was my breaking point when I was done done done. I thought I was going to be a modest laboring mother. Not at all. My throat STILL hurts from the stupid low guttural sounds that I had no idea I was capable of producing.

After shower number 55, the midwife checked me again and I was 9.5 cm. My water hadn’t broken. She wasn’t going to break it. She said it’s good luck. Which I told her was a lie and she had to say that. I asked for an epidural for the pushing and they said no. They said that it would take at least 20 minutes to get the fluids in me and then get the epidural. I was wishfully thinking that maybe I would have a baby before then so I stopped asking. I was at the point where I could push and I was leaning on the side of the bed. I pushed for a while from that position. My water broke. Then I got up in the bed on all fours and pushed that way. At this point, it was almost 7 am and my contractions slowed waaayyyyy down. I pushed for 2.5 hours and FINALLY had Wyatt at 8:20 am. He was face down like he was supposed to be. I had a 2 degree tear. I felt FANTASTIC when he was born. I had been so worried that there would be something wrong with him, but he was healthy and beautiful and finally here.

So, it wasn’t completely unmedicated. It was for the most part, I guess. I don’t know if I had a chance to do it all again, if I would. Jim thought our labor would last 3 hours. I thought it would last 15. We both weren’t expecting for things to last as long as they did. And, I honestly did not expect the pain to be what it was. I know that part of the relaxing/hypnotherapy approach talks about the fear and pain and I wasn’t scared of the pain. I was shocked at how long it would last and how exhausted I would be. I still have a lot of stuff to process, mainly our experience with our doula and if I found her to be more helpful than hurtful.

Now, seven months later, I feel so proud to have participated in the process of bringing Wyatt into this world.  People talk about how life-changing have a child is and I was determined to let this baby change me on my terms.  I honestly had no idea how fulfilling my family life would become.  I still tell people that I am not sure if I would do the natural thing again, but what I don’t say is there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to have Wyatt in my life.  End of story.  If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would have been more selective in choosing a doula.  Because Jim and I were new to the whole child birth experience, we didn’t really focus on how well we “fit” with our doula.  I think it’s really important to still look for what you want in a birthing experience and not to be intimidated by what you don’t know.

thanks for reading! peace, melanie and kelly.

guest post: joey’s birth story.

it truly is amazing to us how every birth story is so different. from dayton, Emily shares her story of welcoming her son, joey, into the world. i love your humor, em, you crack me up. though, this story might make a bunch of mom’s very jealous, except for the being “overdue” part. :-0


I am not a patient person; I don’t like waiting 10 minutes for my food to be ready, so asking me to wait 9 months for a baby is a pretty big stretch.  My due date was set for July 31st, but I bought into the false hopes of pregnancy – I listened when people said, “Oh, he’ll come early!” or “Look at that belly! He’s coming any day now.” I listened to these claims despite my doctors telling me that I was making no progress and, at the appointment a week before my due date, when they told me that the baby had in fact climbed back up into my ribs – the direction opposite of what I wanted – I chose not to listen to them.  Instead, I listened to the people who told me, “Oh, those things change in a matter of hours sometimes!”

Despite my false hopes, things didn’t change. My baby was in my ribs, hanging out, enjoying his fluid lifestyle.  July came and went without so much as a centimeter of dilation, although the Braxton-Hicks contractions had been hanging out for well over a month. My due date was a Saturday, so I wasn’t going in to my doctor for the due-date checkup.  I had to wait 2 long days, August 2nd, before I saw my doctor. At this point, baby wasn’t just past his due date; he was past his due month. Did I mention it was August now? It was hot, I was fat, and I was frustrated.

On the morning of August 2nd, I rushed into my appointment at 8:30 am with my husband by my side. When the doctor came into the office, I waited patiently to be checked. “No progress,” she said. None? I broke down in tears. “I can’t be pregnant anymore!” I sobbed.

The doctor told me that she would be fine inducing me because, at this rate, she could induce me now or induce me in 10 days, and she didn’t have hope that things would progress on their own within that time. I had known all along that being induced was a real possibility because my mom had been induced with ¾ of her children. I knew the risks of induction, but I also knew the risks of waiting too long. Luckily, I had no real “plan” for my birth. I knew I wasn’t going to go natural because I have a very low threshold for pain. Further, I’d been around enough babies and heard enough birth stories to know that despite the plans we make, babies have their own plans. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t plan for my birth, though. I took the approach of learning about everything. I knew what the procedure was for an emergency c-section, and I knew what it would be like if Joey came too quickly for me to get the drugs. I knew everything so that I could be prepared for anything.

It didn’t take long for me to decide that I wanted to be induced that night. I had approached birth and impending motherhood with the mindset that I needed to be happy in order to make my baby happy, and I would do whatever was best and safe for both of us. At this point, I knew I would resent pregnancy if it went on any longer, and I certainly didn’t want to feel that way. We made a plan for me to show up at the hospital that night at 6:00 to get things started. Since I had made no progress, the doctor warned me that it could be 24 hours before the baby was actually born. They were going to start with progesterone gel to try to get things going; this is safer than going straight to  Pitocin, especially since Joey wasn’t making his own plans to come out. Gels could be given every 4 hours, so she suggested doing four of these before trying Pitocin, and I agreed.

Steve and I got to the hospital at 6:00, but the first gel wasn’t administered until 8:00.  We wasted time by text messaging friends, watching the Reds game, and making plans with family for when they should visit. My mom lives an hour away, so she planned to come up around 6:00 the next morning, which we assumed would be plenty of time since we were expecting a 24-hour experience. At 8:00, the first gel was administered. I had to stay lying on my back for an hour to make sure the gel worked, and I was told I might experience some light cramping. Within minutes, I was in pain. I’ve had cramping, and this wasn’t cramping. I cried, held Steve’s hand, and wished I could just lie on my side or sit up. After 45 minutes, the nurse came in to check on me. “Oh, you’re having contractions!” She said it was pretty clear that the gels were working, so I could move around. Still having contractions every few minutes, though, the movement did nothing to relieve the pain. Did I mention that I have a low threshold for pain?

When the nurse came back in, she suggested trying to give me fluids to slow down the contractions. When that didn’t work, she gave me some pain medicine through an IV. This is where things get a little hazy for me. At one point, my sister texted Steve to say she was thinking of us. I made him text her back that I was thinking about dolphins. I then serenaded him with a few hit Usher singles before the nurse came back in and gave me an Ambien so that I would sleep (if you’ve ever heard me sing, you would have knocked me out too). While most people associate Ambien with Tiger Woods’ sexcapades, it is safe during labor, so I allowed myself to drift off to sleep. I think some people would be uncomfortable with this state of drug-induced haze, but I was pretty happy. I was still “with it” enough to ask questions about the drugs being given to me, but I was also able to rest.  At this point, we still thought things were almost a day away from happening, and I did not want to spend that day in pain. I wanted to enjoy welcoming Joey into the world.

Around midnight, the pain medication wore off, and the nurses decided to give me my epidural. I was concerned that it would wear off before the baby came, and this is when they told me that the first gel had worked so well that they were not going to use any more. They would let things progress for a while before using Pitocin. I asked that they let me know if they thought things would happen sooner than they thought so that I could let my mom know, and they promised to keep an eye on things.

After going back to sleep, I woke up around 3:00 feeling nauseous. I woke Steve, and he brought me a trash can just in time, and then called the nurse in. The nurse checked me and told me I should probably call my mom because things were going to start soon. A flurry of nurses rushed into the room, moving Steve’s bed out of the way and bringing in their equipment. I had to wait for the doctor on call to come in from the parking lot, but by 3:45 the nurse said I should start pushing. I gave a big push, and the nurse told me to stop because the baby was coming out on the next push. The doctor came in just in time, and I pushed again.  Joey entered the world, quietly but healthy, at 4:16 am on August 3rd. Within seconds, a sweet, pink bundle was laid on my chest, kicking those little legs that just 24 hours earlier had been kicking my ribs from the other side.

Despite always wanting control, I think it really worked best for me to not have a plan for my labor and delivery. I was happily surprised that the process only took 8 hours from induction to birth instead of 24 hours, and I was comfortable and happy the whole time. I am happy that I never had to get Pitocin, although I was prepared to do whatever the doctor deemed would be best. Joey is a happy, thriving baby, and I look forward to whatever process my next baby decides to go through (unless that baby also plans on being late. That won’t work at all).

thanks for reading! peace, kelly and melanie.