All photos by Hayley Kaze.

Here is the story of how Raleigh Rex Frame finally joined our family on June 10, 2016 at 12:54 pm. He weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. Raleigh Rex  | Birth Story Besides some jaundice, gratefully he is healthy as can be even though he was technically 1 day premature. So, onto the delivery! Is there an echo in here? Now that I am on the other side  I can say, yes, yes there is. After a few weeks of basically the same events, false alarms, contraction history, things were looking like they might be a verbatim copy of my other deliveries. Strep B positive – check! Dilated to a 6 at 36 weeks – check!Raleigh Rex  | Birth StoryNo one can really tell me why, but my body dilates (with Callum I was dialed to an 8 at 37 weeks and not in active labor) quickly and not necessarily in tandem with any contractions.  So the fear of delivering at home or in the car is overwhelming for both Russ and I, and as much as I love him that’s one adventure I don’t need to experience. Luckily the team of doctors and midwives discussed my situation and just one day before I would hit 37 weeks they finally sent me to the hospital. With lots of pre-labor contractions that week, I was so grateful to finally get admitted! Raleigh Rex  | Birth StorySo! As what has now become a routine in my deliveries, they admitted me, started a round of antibiotics for the Strep B (healthy but dangerous bacteria that a baby can pick-up in the birth canal that I apparently carry all the time and really, in combination with dilating, the only case they can make for inducing someone at 36/37 weeks.)Raleigh Rex  | Birth Story Then similarly my midwife told me once the antibiotics were administered she’d break my water and we’d get the show on the road. Something must’ve changed since my last delivery 5 years ago, because what was a 4-hour round with both Hayes and Cal’s delivery was only 1 hour with Raleigh’s. I had told everyone that the baby would likely be coming at 4-ish – my sister watching my kids, our birth photographer, my family, etc. etc. We had decided that since it might be our last baby we’d do the delivery just us two. No one else in the room, but Hayley who would be taking pictures. We thought we had time and honestly hadn’t even texted everyone we should have (whoops, Russ’ mom!) Then, at 12:30pm my midwife comes in and says “Okay, ready to do this?”

Exsqueeze me?Raleigh Rex  | Birth StoryI immediately got butterflies and luckily we had warned Hayley so she was already on her way. They broke my water and then literally everyone just stared at me. Waiting for something to happen. A contraction? For that dumb smile to be wiped off my face? I was still feeling great so my midwife went to get a soda or something, presumably. I rolled to my side since Raleigh was posterior and was told that might help with his descent, and then WA-BAM. Hey actual labor contractions, nice to see you again.Raleigh Rex  | Birth Story Russ coached me through two sets while I breathed like my life depended on it and asked him for an update on our girl Hayley. On that third set I looked at my nurse and said sort of incredulously “I think I need to push.” She ran out to the hall and I heard her yelling at my midwife, “Get in here now or you’re gonna miss this.”Raleigh Rex | Birth StoryMy midwife checked me and she said “Okay, if you’re ready, push on your next contraction!” I felt like I was on a runaway train watching nurses all run around setting everything up. I looked at Russ and said “Where’s Hayley now?” then we looked out the window and saw her full-on sprinting with her camera bag into the hospital. It was hilarious. So I opted to wait out one more contraction and the second I saw her face through the door, put my feet up in the stirrups and got to town. This is the actual first picture she took of the event (so intense, I wouldn’t normally post such a thing but it illustrates the speed perfectly!)Raleigh Rex  | Birth StoryNow for all of you who say (and I agree) my deliveries are too easy and it’s just not fair… I do not get out of any pain when it comes to pushing. As soon as I started I was not a happy camper and really just half-heartedly into it. Can I back out now? They kept telling me to pull my legs up closer to my chest, but I just didn’t wanna. Don’t make me do it! Raleigh Rex | Birth StoryLuckily it only took 5 (3 rounds of total wuss-fest pushing and a couple of actual okay, you’re not going to get a baby here by being a baby, Emily) rounds of pushing to get him here and that sweet relief washed over me. I couldn’t stop crying, and I have that same feeling wash over me often ever since. Just absolute gratitude. I am so grateful he’s here. Raleigh Rex | Birth StoryThe long wait, a miscarriage, the 36 weeks of nausea, throwing up, hip pains, what-have-you. So grateful to hold his tiny face in my hands. Raleigh Rex | Birth StoryThe anxiety and anticipation, the wondering and hoping, the praying. He is a miracle to me and he is absolutely everything to me and to my boys and to Russ. We have stars in our eyes for our Raleigh Rex.Raleigh Rex | Birth Story From every face he pulls to burp he rips it is cheered on by a family who loves him. (This was taken right before Hayes and Cal walked in to meet him!)Raleigh Rex  | Birth StorySometimes when I am in a big crowd of people I think to myself – Every. single. person. here had someone carry them for 9+ months. Every single person here had a mother who shared their body, felt the pain and worry, and I’d say (and hope) the majority of which did it with love in their hearts, honored at the chance. It blows my mind! Raleigh was born the same day as the shooting in Orlando, and I thought about how scary of world I was bringing him into. Panicked for a moment. And then I thought about that crowd of people – each one with a mother who lovingly carried them, delivered them, cared for them. There will never be as much hate or fear as there is love in this world. It is just statistically impossible. Mothers alone ensure that the scales will never be tipped.Raleigh Rex | Birth Story



  • Charity
    June 20, 2016 at 8:15 am

    So so beautiful Em! The power of mother love is incredible. So glad to not be the only one with nutso fast deliveries. Love you and cannot wait to meet that boy!

  • Sarah
    June 20, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Wow. What a beautiful sentiment. I love the thought that everyone was loved by a mother and I’m going to remember that when the world seems scary. Congrats on your third beautiful boy!

  • Michelle Botkin
    June 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    So beautiful! Thanks for sharing it.
    The photos are breathtaking and I loooove reading a birth story that’s natural in the hospital . You go mama! He’s beautiful

  • Kristin Ito
    June 20, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Beautiful capture of the birth experience!! My love to your family and to Raleigh Rex!

  • Kristin
    June 21, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    “There will never be as much hate or fear as there is love in this world. It is just statistically impossible. Mothers alone ensure that the scales will never be tipped.”
    So beautiful!! Thank you for these words. As a mother of of two young one I worry about this world too but this is the absolute truth! Thank you!! And most importantly congratulations to you and your beautiful family!

  • Whitney
    June 24, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I also am super dilated at 36 weeks with each of my babes, have super fast deliveries, and I UNDERSTAND the pain you experience when you actually know you need to push your baby out. Apparently I don’t transition like people say you should and when that baby decides to come out it is the most painful thing and I have actually pleaded with the doctor to not make me do it and telling them i can’t do it. The only thing that gets me through it is bringing your mind back to the ground and saying the only way this pain ends is by getting this baby out. So, know that while you have different labors then a lot of people, I know just how crazy and painful it still is. 6 weeks to our 3rd baby and you can bet I hope to just make it to the hospital. Congratulations on your beautiful boy!

  • alli
    June 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    what a great story! thanks for sharing. i love how everyone’s deliveries are so unique and special. and beautiful pictures! i had my third baby two months ago so reading this gave my butterflies….when i was in labor with him i was thinking NEVER AGAIN THIS HURTS SO *($%# BAD, but of course now i want to experience it all over again.

  • A look back at New Year, New Baby | Small Fry
    January 16, 2017 at 6:02 am

    […] STORIES! Jenna’s crazy birth story, Emily’s crazy birth story and Callum’s birth […]

  • announcing… – Small Fry
    August 27, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    […] Thoughts on labor? You guys know I would LOVE to have an epidural. Fingers crossed I can get one this time! I am with my same midwife group since the beginning and they know the drill. Awhile back I had polled 100+ women who had experienced both medicated and unmedicated births and shared the results in this post it’s changed my outlook on it for sure. If you’re new: 3 times in a row I have had Strep B, dilated really aggressively (between a 6-8 at 36 weeks) without actually being in active labor. So they bring me in for antibiotics and then they keep me and end up breaking my water. So all 3 were born by 37 weeks and 2 days or earlier. My bag of water is made of steel I am pretty sure because once it breaks it gets crazy, fast. Cal’s birth video // Raleigh’s birth story […]


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