Birth Story Diaries: Meet Poppy Grey

I love birth stories.

When I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough of them. They were hugely encouraging to me as I prepared myself for a natural birth and I feel like they played a big role in my success. Reading about a variety of births – some short and some lasting days, some with complications and some that couldn’t have gone more smoothly – helped to give me a realistic view of birth and just how different every birth can be. It lowered my expectations, while also raising them. I learned that birth is hard work and things sometimes go wrong, but more often than not birth can be beautiful and it doesn’t have to be the scary and excruciatingly painful experience that is portrayed to be in our media.

My birth story is the most highly trafficked post on this blog. It’s how many readers have found me – likely while they were searching for encouraging birth stories themselves. As such, I’ve wanted to start a birth stories series on this blog for awhile and now that I’m pregnant and will be looking for posts of birth encouragement again myself, I thought it would be the perfect time to start this up.

I’m kicking off this series with one of my closest friends Echo. She is a birth doula and a person who played a big role in my choice to have a natural birth. In fact, if I had stayed at the hospital instead of at the birthing center, I would’ve hired her as my doula. She always encouraged me when the naysayers were abundant and I am so thankful for her and the way that she trusts birth and conveyed that to me.

Echo has two daughter, an older daughter named Alomae who is four and a younger daughter named Poppy who is two. This is the birth story of her youngest daughter Poppy Grey.


The Birth Story of: Poppy Grey // The Little Things We Do
Poppy is just over 48 hours old now and I am sitting on my couch while she lays asleep on my shoulder and Alomae is upstairs asleep. It is incredibly quiet in my house and the perfect time to write down Poppy’s birth story…

it’s a quick one…
Wednesday October 12th was just another day of being pregnant! I feel like the only change that day was the Peace I felt from fully surrendering my pregnancy as written abouthere. It’s funny how once we surrender (and I mean really surrender) God sometimes just lets us have what we need!
I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions (just tightening, no pattern or pain) but nothing note worthy off and on for days. At around 6pm Andy left for SEVEN which is 7 weeks of prayer and fasting for the city of Portland that our church puts on every year. I joked as he walked out the door “Pray a new baby is born in portland tonight!” He looked at me like I was a little nuts and continued on his way!
I settled in on the couch with Alomae and decided to do the new iphone update. I plugged my phone in and let it do it’s thing for the next hour or so… with 10 minutes left until I could use my phone, at 7:30pm my water broke! I could not help but laugh as I stood in my living room doing a little dance as I figured out where to go or what to do since my phone could not call out! Alomae just looked at me and smiled, not having a clue what was going on!
at 7:40pm I was able to unplug my phone and I ran upstairs to the bathroom where I made my calls.
call 1: to my sister who lives 3 hours away and would need to make the drive down!
call 2: to Andy
call 3: to Adele my midwife
My sister hit the road, Andy headed home, and Adele told me to call her when I wanted her to come!
At 8:15pm (ish) Andy arrived home and at about the same time my first contractions began. Nothing major and I could still talk through them as I walked around upstairs and made sure everything was ready and that Alomae would be okay (when I was in labor with Alomae my contractions were so intense that I could not focus or think for about 3.5 hours so I wanted to know everyone was good if/when I got to that place.)
At 8:20pm Adele and I were texting to try and coordinate when she should come. I told her that my contractions had begun but that I could still focus through them, that they were every few minutes and that I was fine! Her text back was “I am just going to come to you!” She headed to the birth center to pick up a better working doppler and arrived just as the clock turned 9:00pm.
during this time I just sat in my little bathtub (I thought it was way too soon to fill up the birth tub!) listening to my playlist of Patty griffin, Eastmountainsouth, & Rosie Thomas (“wedding day” was playing when Poppy was born!) and organized the folders on my iphone that the update had messed up (I did this until about 15 min before Poppy was born- I really did not believe I was in very active labor!) I would have a contraction, blow through it and then pick up my phone and be on my way until the next one came! Silly, i know!
While this was going on, (around 9:10pm now) Andy was trying to put Alomae to sleep but she knew something was up and was too excited to lay down! So out she came and hung out by the tub by me. Adele and Andy decided to hook up the hose and fill up my tub! But that was not going to work! We live in an old downtown NW apt and the sink was too old and could not handle the pressure so it instantly began to leak from the bottom! So the tiny bathtub it was…
Little did we know I would not be spending much more time in my tub! About 5 min later I began to feel pressure and told them I think she is coming! One uncontrollable push later Poppy’s head was out and a minute after that our sweet baby was born at 9:18pm (1 hour after the first contraction began!)

The Birth Story of: Poppy Grey // The Little Things We Do

It was crazy and I was laughing! I could not believe Poppy was already here and that my birth really happened like that!

The Birth Story of: Poppy Grey // The Little Things We Do

Andy called my sister who was driving from Seattle to say “we have a baby!” I don’t think she quite believed it until Poppy gave out her first cry for her to hear!
That very cry was the only part that scared Alomae, and she too began to cry! I asked her if she wanted to get into the tub with Poppy and I and she lit up and was happy as can be after that! (before you think gross, the water was still very clean because I did not birth my placenta for another hour, in which Alomae was not in the tub!) My second midwife Jennifer arrived about 20 minutes after the birth and both her and Adele were gone by 11:00pm!
it was fast, it was crazy, it was amazing! truly truly amazing!

The Birth Story of: Poppy Grey // The Little Things We Do

I spent hours in the middle of the night unable to sleep from the adrenaline and pure awe of replaying the birth over and over in my head!
I trusted my body and it came through for me! It worked above and beyond what I knew it was capable of and I am so thankful to have such a beautiful experience and memory!
Poppy Grey
8 lbs 2 oz
18.5 inches long
born on 10.12.11
at home in the water at 9:18pm after 1 hour of labor

The Birth Story of: Poppy Grey // The Little Things We Do

Thank you so much for letting me share your story Echo! Birth is just so different for each woman. It can go fast or it can go slow, but I love the joyous story of Miss Poppy’s birth. It’s a good one.
If you want to check out the video of Poppy’s birth (I promise it’s a quick one!) you can see it over at Echo’s blog here.
Also, if any of you have birth stories to share, I’d love to share them here. Shoot me an e-mail! I have a few lined up so far, but I’m definitely looking for more.


  1. What a beautiful story!! The pictures are so great-showing your surprise and awe! I will never cease to be amazed at how God created our bodies to do this!!!

  2. I’m really going to enjoy this series! We’re trying for our first (it feels weird to say that) and I’m fascinated by different birth stories.
    And what a wonderful story to start with! Alomae looks like she is trying to charm a snake in the second picture!

  3. This is my first birth story, I had a c-section b/c she was frank breech. I am due in a couple of days with #2 and I love reading other people’s stories! Thanks!

  4. I just love this. I only ever hear as not hospital births and this is why I’m so excited to hear about yours!


  5. What a great birth story!!! I love BIRTH so much!

    I had a vbac with my last (planned hbac that transferred non-emergent to our vbac ban hospital). It was amazing!

    Congrats to Echo & Poppy!

  6. Beautiful story! Water birth is absolutely the best!

    I wanted to name my daughter Poppy after my late grandfather, but my husband wasn’t a fan if the name.

  7. For some reason the rest of my comment didn’t post. I love the video from her blog. Watching the family bond with the baby for the first time is soo special and sweet. Love it!

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