December 17, 2016 —
7:30 am on Saturday the 17th, I woke up to a call from Baylie. Contractions were consistent and getting more intense. I decided to get ready. It had been terribly cold the days leading up to this, and there was frost all over the ground and my car as I left Tacoma.
I arrived at the Carlson tiny home around 8:30 am as large beautiful snowflakes began to lightly dust the ground. Their tiny house is secluded deep in the Washington woods. I walked through the wintery wonderland and into the house to find Baylie quietly laboring with her husband Bjorn.
Things were still near the beginning as I got my stuff ready and began to set up. I started assisting as we were filling the outside birth tub with hot boiling pots of water. Due to being in a tiny house, their space was limited, so Baylie had decided to set up a birthing tub in their covered outdoor area. It was completed with some rugs, lights and a heater; was a serenely peaceful spot that remained untouched the entire birth.
About an hour after I arrived, Baylie’s midwife Katie arrived. She was a great friend of this family and had traveled from Alaska to attend the birth of this babe. As the sun started peaking into the tiny house, we all sat and waited quietly together as mama continued to labor and worked her baby out. Baylie would walk laps up and down the length of the kitchen and entry. She would stop for a contraction, lean on the countertops, hold onto the handles of the drawers under the stairs. Bjorn would wander with her, always ready to take her hand as she moaned and moved through each surge. Katie would stop Baylie every so often to listen to the babies heart and check vitals. I remained on my perch a majority of the time, sitting up on the stairs leading to the loft. I softly took photos and captured their energy together as they walked by me.
Around 10:45 am, walking and contracting, Baylie began to second guess her abilities to continue. Due to dehydration and exhaustion, she questioned if she should continue at home or transfer to a hospital. It was suggested that she try the shower for a bit, see if she could relax and possibly even rest. After laboring in the shower a while, Baylie meandered over to the “den” portion of their home to be checked and possibly start an IV fluid. It wasn’t long before Baylie was down on hands and knees in the tiny space, in the tiny house, next to the book shelf. It took only a moment to realize Baylie had transitioned and was beginning to push. Bjorn knelt down near Baylie’s face and whispered “I love you” over and over as she pushed. She was a strong force, moving and listening to her body as she knew exactly how to bring her baby out. And then, the head was out. I heard some sweet little sounds from this almost earth side human. And then another contraction, and she was here.
At 12:17 pm Ivy was born into her mother’s arms, right next to the bookshelf. She was plump and squishy and perfect. Baylie was moved up to a bed/couch in her den [kudos to my hot, hot husband for building it!] to rest and nurse her new daughter. Mom, dad and baby girl, spent the rest of the afternoon cuddling, nursing, smooching and cooing together. After two other birthing attempts, this mama finally had her home birth.
Charles V Carlson IV or “Ivy” — Welcome sweet one.