Zephyra’s Birth Video

A non-graphic video of my second home VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) to a baby girl, born June 2nd 2011 at 7lbs 14oz and 21″ long. πŸ™‚ Contains a bit of nudity, but nothing graphic and no crowning shots. A bum crack and some boob but that’s about it!

So I’ve been stuck in bed ALL FREAKING DAY for the last two days with :
1. A migraine
2. A baby who will. not. stop. nursing. I mean that’s good, but also bad. Like this evening my sister is visiting and instead of watching a movie with them I spent two hours trying to get her to fall asleep when she was fussy and unreasonable, and she spent that entire two hours drinking, not letting me unlatch her for even two minutes, before finally letting go at 11:45 only because she was WAKING UP AFTER HER LOVELY NAP.

She also got the hang of the Haberman in the last week and has suddenly started taking 2-3 ounces out of it 1-2 times a day. Do you realize what this means? NO TUBES! I’m so relieved, you have no idea. She’s clearly fucking starving in the evenings, because the night it finally clicked for her she took down four ounces inside ten minutes and then slept until one in the afternoon the next day.

I’ve had very little to do other than knit and be on my laptop, so I figured I’d finally do something with my birth photos and video and turn it into one of those YouTube slideshows. I’m … actually feeling rather weird about sharing it, despite the fact that the photos have all been seen before. It’s not so much the images my of breasts or my bum or whatever being on the internet as it is having my ridiculous attempt at trying to make something in iMovie (which sucks as a program, by the way, I’m just putting that out there) made public. I’m not entirely sure why that’s somehow worse than the things I put here on a daily basis, but it is.


It’s pregnancy and birth, ’cause I wanted to be creative and put the belly photos in, too.

And because people always ask if they can share the things I put on my blog: yes you can. I am always cool with my blog entries, pictures and videos being shared. If it’s public, that means it’s okay, and honestly nothing that’s friends-only is really that private either…

(Oh yeah, and the music I used was Frou Frou and Simon & Garfunkel. Alright I’m done, I promise).

ETA: I LIED. I’m going to put in a description for people who were given the link by friends and have no idea who I am or what this is.

WARNING: NUDITY. Mild, no full on crowning shots.

This is the slideshow of the pregnancy and birth of my 2nd daughter and 4th child Zephyra Adia. She was born at 4:24am on June 2nd, 2011 at home in the water after two hours of hard, fast labour that began at 7cm – the entire labour was transition! This was my 2nd VBAC following an unnecessary cesarean and the death of my first son in 2005 (this is why you hear me ask, “Is she alive?”; in my daze from the intensity of that first moment I momentarily believed her to be my son). This is also my first birth since being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis – a painful spinal disorder that causes fusions in my spine and pelvis – and I just gotta say that waterbirth fucking rules for disabled mamas, both for ease of mobility and pain management.
This birth was by far my most difficult (emotionally and physically), but also the most rewarding. I felt like a badass! The full birth story, along with the birth stories of my previous children (1: natural birth center, 2: cesarean, 3: unassisted VBAC waterbirth, and this one, 4: midwife-attended VBAC home waterbirth), can be read at my blog, here: http://babyslime.livejournal.com/643259.html

I was attended by my two midwives Jill and Julia, my doula Mary-Jo, my husband and my two elder children Tempest (7) and Xan (4) who both requested to be present for the birth, even if it meant being pulled out of their beds if she arrived in the middle of the night. πŸ™‚

Pregnancy photos by Heather Armstrong Photography (me) – http://www.heatherphoto.ca
Birth photos by Shealyn Jackson Photography – http://www.shealynphoto.com

Zephyra Adia
7lbs 14oz
21″ long

Simon & Garfunkel – Feelin’ Groovy (Ha ha, get it? ‘Cause I wasn’t).
Frou Frou – Let Go
Tattle Tale – Glass Vase Cello Case
Frou Frou – Breathe In

PS. Here’s an [ alternative link ] for those who can’t view it on YouTube (like Germany, for some reason).




  • Oh, little funny for you Heather: This morning my 65-yr-old Dad (who’s trying to learn computers, but…) goes on his computer. Now I’ve used it to look at your journal, and as he goes to type in a URL, starting with the letter ‘b’, he sees the drop down list and says “Um, what’s Baby Smile Life Journal?” That’s you. πŸ˜‰ Made me smile.

  • I started watching this program and immediately thought of you. (I know you don’t know me, I only comment every now and again. But you are the reason that if I were to ever have another baby, unlikely as that is since I’m in early menopause, I would deliver at home. While my birth experiences were not what I consider traumatizing, I never even the considered the option of home birth seriously until I started reading your journal. And now I know that because I chose to labor at home and “waited until the last possible second” to go to the hospital and deliver is probably the reason why my experience wasn’t as bad as they could have been. Although after my second child I immediately wanted to go home, only to be told that while I could be discharged, my son could not. Having my second child in the hospital turned out to be one of the most frustrating experiences in my life. The night nurse was rude to me and continually sabotaged my efforts at breastfeeding by telling me I was doing it wrong, even though it was my second child and I had already successfully breastfed my first. She yelled at me and then ridiculed me for letting my son sleep with me in the hospital bed, going so far as calling the pediatrician and removing him from my room. Wow, I guess I am a little bitter…)

    Here is the link to the show:


    I haven’t finished watching it yet, but from what I have seen it seems to be giving voice to pregnant women. And that is never a bad thing. They were interviewing a woman who was describing her birth experiences and she said, “I touched the eternal.” It made me tear up.

    I’m not sure if you get this channel where you are, but maybe it is up on youtube or available for download somewhere on the net.

    Thank you for your voice. I enjoy reading about your life and experiences. You never fail to inspire me.


  • Anonymous says:

    As always, another amazing creative post. Thanks for sharing, my hubby and I were tearing up thinking about our upcoming birth too.

  • Your labor pictures took my breath away. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Anonymous says:

    hello! I am speechless and inspired by this video, truly! Thank you so very much for sharing it with the internetz!! <3

  • ruethee says:

    The video is AWESOME! A friend posted it on fb today and I clicked it before I realized it was you (only took me a second once it started though, haha.) Anyway, it’s an amazing and beautiful video and I love how you put it together. Made me cry all over again.

  • eiretamicha says:

    Hey, it turned out really great, truly! Love the music choice, too. πŸ™‚

    And so, so glad Zephyra took to the Haberman!! That’s wonderful!! ♥

  • Beautiful as always. Made me cry… as always. πŸ™‚

  • I am not even going to pretend like I haven’t been DYING for you to post this. So perfect and worth the wait. πŸ˜‰

  • So freaking beautiful. Don’t you ever worry about sharing any of this. πŸ™‚

  • bluealoe says:

    I hope the migraine goes away! And I’ve been meaning to ask how your sister’s doing; is she still living with her boyfriend?

    I love love LOVE what you did with the still shots, zooming in and creating different angles. I once made a two minute movie with still images, and it took me a month to get all the zooming bits right. SO I”m very impressed.

    The video footage was integrated perfectly, and it was so touching. My favorite bit was Tempest’s grin after you say “It’s a baby!” πŸ™‚

    *hugs tight*

  • Anonymous says:

    Was your mom in the room with you while you gave birth? If not, why? This is totally non-confrontational, I’m just genuinely curious.

    • admin says:

      No offense taken!

      No, she wasn’t. Just before labour began I started having a very bad panic attack. I mentioned this briefly in the birth story, but didn’t go into detail. I just felt… very afraid. I felt very attached (in a negative way) to Jericho’s birth, afraid to let her go, and completely terrified of the pain. I was having a lot of difficulty focusing, and spent most of the first two hours of that evening in tears, trying to hold it back.
      At first mom was there, but I asked if she’d give me some space because I really needed to focus on my labour partners. I love my mom, but she’s not the most solid labour person when it comes to being an unmovable emotional support… and this time I really couldn’t handle her there while I was feeling that intensely vulnerable. I told her that I’d call her back for the end, and I meant that, but the last part came SO FAST that the kids barely made it… and my mom missed it completely!

      She asked about it later and totally respected and understood my reasoning, ftr, which was a relief. I’d talked with her about it before just in case that might happen. I wanted to ensure that if I said, “Everyone out” or, “almost everyone out” that people would do that, no questions asked. And she totally did, so I’m very grateful for that respect to my boundaries even if she felt left out. πŸ™‚

  • gen_here says:

    That was beautiful, Heather!

    And I’m glad Z is figuring out the Haberman. I keep forgetting that she’s *so* much younger than M (it seems like she’s been here a lot longer than 3.5 months… in a good way!). I know for us, feeding seemed to get a lot easier around 4-4.5 months. I’m not sure why, it just did. I haven’t tried supplementing with fresh pumped milk in a cup yet, but that’s on my list of things to try next week once this move is over. Here’s hoping!

    • admin says:

      Thanks. πŸ™‚

      I hope it gets easier! Though, holy crap I’m happy she’s finally getting it. She’s now taking between 3 and 4oz every night… she must be starving to take down that much! Damn. Her sleep is amazingly better, too.

  • This is a beautiful video, and the little video clips are perfect. Zephyra is just the cutest newborn.

    I’m due with my first in February, and considering whether we can afford to rent a birthing pool. Your birth photos in the pool are making me really want to make that happen.

  • i absolutely love the picture just after the birth where you and Curtis are staring at Z awestruck while Tempest is beaming behind you.

  • noelove says:

    that was pretty fucking awesome dude. <3

  • syrup_tea says:

    Aww, this was wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad to hear Zephyra is getting the hang of the Haberman bottles now too!

    I’m due in April next year with our first, and I’m hoping for a natural midwife-assisted waterbirth πŸ™‚ I cried so much watching this, funny how even though I’ve seen birth movies before, now that I’m pregnant they always bring on the happy tears! Hehe.

  • altarflame says:

    I feel like you tell us how crappy you are at movie making JUST so we’re even more blown away and unprepared for the awesomeness. And I waited to watch it because sometimes I hate birth videos in general. But wtf, that was a lot of awesomeness!

  • crustyshoes says:

    This video is so beautiful, and it made me cry, and it made me even more excited for my fertility specialist appointment tomorrow. Birth and babies are amazing!

    I’m glad Zephyra figured out the feeder. YAY no tubes!

  • just wanted to say AMAZING!

    …….that is all

  • smellykaka says:

    Tempest was the best part of that video. The big grins, the lying over Curtis to see, and the snuggles towards the end. πŸ™‚

  • waypastthat says:

    Why did I decide to watch that while…

    (A) five months pregnant and
    (B) putting on my makeup?

    Because I’m an idiot, apparently. That was beautiful, inspiring, all that good stuff. And Zephyra might be the prettiest newborn I’ve ever seen.

  • She is amazing, without a doubt. I was thinking about your family this weekend, so glad things are on a positive swing.

  • heroic_guava says:

    What a wonderful video! Your family is beautiful!

    I’m a long time reader, first time commenter. I’m planning my first home birth (hopefully in water!) this November! Just wanted to say how empowered and confident this video and your entires make me feel. πŸ™‚

  • frogmorest says:

    just gorgeous πŸ™‚ I love this and I LOVE that her and Phoenix share a birthdate!

  • emfish says:

    That was a beautiful video! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  • catling42 says:

    So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    So glad to hear Zephyra has figured out the Haberman, good work!

    Do you have a version of the birth video without music? I’m really not sure how these things work, but I’m not allowed to watch your video from here in Germany because of some music publishing rights thing. Maybe you know a way I can get around it? I’m not asking you to make one specially, just if you happen to have one posted somewhere, I’d love to see it.

  • veinsexplode says:

    That was really so incredibly beautiful. You ARE badass πŸ™‚ you give me confidence in my first birth taking place at home in water in January, so thanks.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • sylvanna says:

    That was wonderful, Heather!

  • lalicopa says:

    Thank you for posting this, it is amazing. I watched it with my 7 year old daughter Lily and she was riveted. πŸ™‚

  • jinxgoddess says:

    Wow! Pretty amazing video there, had me in tears a few times! You have such a beautiful family.

  • This is absolutely gorgeous, and I think one of the nicest I’ve seem. Great job. You always make me wish I had your talents and resources to photograph my own kids. It doesn’t help that if I take photos or videos of Ardis near DD1, she becomes a royal pain, agitating to steal the camera. So far 5 is not noticeable better than 4. Sigh.

    Glad to hear Zephyra is figuring out the haberman. You’ve been in my thoughts.

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