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Owen’s Birth Story


It has been two weeks now and I really need to write this down before my inherited bad memory looses the details. We are slowly finding a new rhythm in our home and I’m taking small steps to go out and conquer trips to the g-store, park, library, ect. I have been lucky to have a lot of help from Bada, Danielle, and my Mom these last two weeks. They have helped ease the transition. Gary has been awesome as well paying special attention to his little girl and waking up to burp or change Owen after a middle of the night feeding frenzy. And my little Owen, oh my little Owen he is such a good baby, he is content and peaceful. He doesn’t like the car seat too much perhaps he is just protesting the shopping like all the other men in my life.  He is trying to find a rhythm. Our nights have been a little inconsistent but he has given us some 4 hour rest every now and then. He is a chow hound and grows every day. He may even earn his Dad’s nick name “Beach” as in beach ball here pretty soon.

So, on to the birth story. On Monday the 22nd of March I had my weekly appointment with our midwife Danielle. We learned that my body was getting ready I was 70% effaced and dilated to a 3. So we went home knowing that he was getting ready to come out. I was feeling good and wanting to get things done before the big arrival. Bada and Danielle flew in on Wednesday after a 6 hour delay in the Detroit airport due to bad weather. We got home and settled in for the night and slept well.

Around 5:30 am Thursday morning I rolled over and told Gary I thought I was feeling contractions. We laid there for a while waiting for Ellie to wake up and trying to time my contractions. I finally got out of bed to start my day and the contractions weren’t going away. I called our MW Danielle and she said to wait until they were about 7 min apart. So, I continued waiting it out and trying to do normal things while Gary and Bada kept a close eye on me and Aunt Danielle played with Ellie. Finally the contractions got stronger and closer and we called the midwife who said to come in. Gary took Adah for a quick walk that didn’t feel so quick to me. Then we got in the car and drove with a quick pace to the hospital.

Danielle checked me as soon as I got there I was dilated to a 7 and totally effaced so we walked down to the maternity ward and checked in. It was about 10 am by that time. Once we were settled in the contractions became stronger and closer. I was having some back labor so I sat on a big exercise ball, which helped a lot. Ladies if you have back labor use this! It opened up my hips and relieved some of the pressure on my lower back. My dear sweet husband also helped by massaging my back and applying counter pressure. At this point I was starting to feel a little weak and tired and whoosy. I was getting what I call tunnel vision. I think my body was telling me to start to focus.

Around 11 am Danielle recommended that we break my water to help things move along. When she broke my water she saw there was Meconium (Owen had had a bowel movement). So she called in a respiratory specialist to be there when I delivered. As soon as she broke my water my contractions became exponentially more intense. They were very powerful and overwhelming. I was having a hard time wanting to move. I laid on my side for a little while and remember gripping the bed very tightly. Danielle was right there with a very soothing tone talking me through it and telling me how good we were doing. She was very comforting.

After a few of these crazy strong contractions, Danielle began to tell me to bare down and not fight against them. She encouraged me to work with my body, so I turned on to my back and began to push. Gary was by my side encouraging me as well. He didn’t have to say anything he just had to be there and hold my hand. Which I couldn’t let go of. I remember at one point Danielle asked him if he wanted to change positions a little bit and he tried but I had such a grip on his hand and I couldn’t let go. At this point I was aware of everything going on and everyone in the room but I could not respond to anything. My body was in control. It was the closest I will ever be to an out of body experience. It didn’t take long at 12:18 Owen was born. He cried immediately which was a good sign the Meconium wasn’t inhaled. The umbilical cord was “loosely” around his neck and one of his arms was in an awkward position when he was exiting that all made it a little tricky, but he came out fine and was immediately put on my chest for skin to skin contact while Gary helped cut the cord. He was checked over by the respiratory specialist and cleaned up a bit soon after.

In all I was in labor a total of 6ish hours. I had no medicated pain relief and Owen came into our world with out incident. It was a beautiful empowering experience to have a natural birth. We were very fortunate that the “planets lined up” that day and no obstacles were put in our way. Owen nursed right away and was alert and so healthy. My recovery was relatively quick as well. I felt fine and had energy and a veracious appetite. Most likely some endorphins left over. We stayed one night in the hospital and came home the next afternoon after passing all our tests and receiving important visits from Ellie, Bada, Aunt Danielle, and Grandma and Grandpa McKenney.


  1. Danielle

    I am so glad we were there with you! I feel so lucky and the timing was perfect! And Ellie and I had blast too! Love you!!!

  2. Grandma Marcoccia (Bada)

    Danette, Owen and I thank you for such a beautiful story! Tears filled my eyes as I read it. We were all so proud of you. Obviously, you were being stronger then we realized. Thank you for being such a wonderful mother to my grandchildren and a wonderful wife to my son. Gary, thank you for being such a wonderful husband and father, you make me so proud. Ellie, you did such a great job being the best big sister ever! Keep us all in perspective with concerns, laughs and what is important. Danielle thank you for coming with your old mom and seeing things through. Don’t know what I would have done without you. Sherry and Paul, I could not ask for better. Thanks for being you 🙂

  3. Kim

    Danette…what a story… I had Kayden oh natural and my labor was less than 2 hours….. I can’t imagine longer… but it was an experience to remember. I admire your strength. He is a beautiful baby boy! I can’t wait to meet him.

  4. angie

    What a great story to get in the history. It was so good to get to come and see you. Owen is such a cute little boy. Ellie is beautiful as well. What a great little family!

    The tulip festival is April 16 – May 1.

  5. Bridge

    Look at how cute you all are! Thank you for sharing. Let me know when you will be up in Logan.

  6. grandma mckenney

    We are all so thrilled that Owen is here and that your birth experience was so awesome. I am very proud of your strength and courage, and so very relieved that all is well.
    It is so fun to see Ellens love of her baby brother in these pictures and the way she is so tender w/ him at home. She is such a sweetie! Thanks to Linda and Danielle for such good timing, and just being here to help out , I am so happy you were able to experience it .
    Danette & Gary you have such a beautiful family, Adah ,chicks and all!!

  7. Sara

    Danette, you are amazing and your family is beautiful!

  8. Roxanne Brown

    Thanks for sharing your birth story…I was hoping you would. Charie told me she had a fun visit with you and that the birth went well. Good Job Danette! Natural childbirth is no easy feat and it sounds like you totally embraced it. I can’t wait to see you and the kids in person.

  9. Leslie

    All I can say is, how are we related? Sheesh, I need medication for a hangnail. I’m super impressed, you are the strong silent type. I can’t wait to get my arms around every last one of you!! Getting close!

  10. denise petersen jorgensen

    Congrats Danette-what a wonderful experience for you guys. Owen is just beautiful. Enjoy the small moments. Also, thanks for letting me peek in on your life. Your family is just darling.

    Denise Petersen Jorgensen



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