I'm Tonie - my hearts desire is to work with brides who are not afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone for a dance in the rain, a romp under a waterfall or a blustery day that might put wind in her hair!


Not just any birth story… MY Birth Story // The-Not-So-Mommy-Blogs // Tonie Christine Photography

Jan 5, 2016

This isn’t just any birth story…. it’s MY birth story…. until I grew a baby, pushed said baby out and looked deep into her eyes… I would have simply thought “oh just another birth story” if I saw a blog post like this one… but whoa how things have changed. If you are terrified weary of pregnancy and child birth like I am was, (still trying to convince myself I am not anymore) then this blog post might not be for you… you will see it all in my face…. the moment the “real” contractions started… when I start pushing…. and the moment I see my little girl. So, this is the birth story of Hastings Rae Lu. (from my camera shots taken mostly by my amazing sister and husband, as well as some iPhone shots from me along the way). The video my dad created is at the end and he really did an amazing job capturing it all for us and we are forever thankful for these memories.

So here goes:

I was due on September 6 and it was currently August 20th. My husband and I were sitting at the counter prepping some images to post for my new website launch that was going to take place starting that night. I went down to the bedroom to change for bed as he finished up the last three images that would be a 3-2-1 countdown for my site launch. As I walked back upstairs only wearing a sports bra and his boxer briefs (as that was currently the only article of semi comfortable clothing that fit and I could sleep in…) I thought I felt something on my leg and thought out loud to him “Hm, I know the movies make your water breaking seem like it’s a big gush and everything but a teeny drip of water just went down my leg…” We laughed together at the thought of my water breaking and we posted the “3” on my Instagram as my excitement for my new website built up! My sister had just left my house about 30 minutes prior to head home on the hour and a half journey (and ferry ride) and I was ready to settle in for the night. I waddled over to the couch and “plopped” myself down only to literally bounce right back up and squeal “ok! THAT was my water breaking!!!” E looked at me and started laughing as I waddled as quickly as I could back to the bathroom yelling directions at him to go find me pads in the the other bathroom. I wasn’t sure to laugh, cry or freak out! Sitting on the toilet and water quite literally running consistently out of me was enough to make us both laugh. (hopefully you didn’t just throw up.. but this was literally the most hilarious part of the story and I didn’t want to forget it).

So, I called my sister (who had JUST gotten off the ferry on HER side of the water) and felt SO bad that she had to run to my parents house, grab my mom and turn around and come back because we were indeed headed to the hospital!

Here are two iPhone shots right before we left the house with EVERYTHING in the car except the dog and the kitchen sink….



Now, I wasn’t really feeling much of anything at this point, but since my water broke and my mid wife knew from past visits that Hastings was VERY low (and most importantly that I wanted an epidural as fast as possible) she advised us to head to the hospital and not wait around at home. So, off we went! My heart was pounding SO hard and I was seriously terrified. I made all the calls I knew I needed to and as soon as we got to the hospital we quickly realized we had forgotten two important things. 1.) to take the hospital tour BEFORE you go into labor so that you know where to go when you do and 2.) all the PRE-FILLED OUT forms that you should really do before you go into labor…. so we found ourselves in the wrong parking lot and E rushing up ahead of me to try to figure out where to go…. que the first contractions. I felt like they came on FAST… like in 20 min. When we FINALLY got checked in, things picked up quickly as every single one of our family members began to arrive!


It was now 11:45pm and my nurse was very surprised with how quickly I progressed from 0-5cm.  Around 5 cm I began crying and honestly and truthfully I let my fear and anxiety get the better of me at this point. I WAS TERRIFIED of even the next contraction. You can click here to Read Full Article of how to control your anxiety.


I was quickly given some IV drugs to tide me over until my angel epidural guy arrived. Those helped take the edge off and I was at least able to breath through the next few contractions. Once I finally had the epidural I still progressed very quickly to 8cm. Then….everything slowed….. I was told to “get some rest”… ha! YEA RIGHT.


This is me putting up the “2” image for my website launch, in between contractions…. Bless my sister for spell checking everything 😉


I laid there awake through the night and into the next afternoon when FINALLY my midwife asked if I wanted to try to “push” and get myself to 10cm. I was ready….i think…… then, I began pushing and since my contractions were odd… meaning they were about 5-6 min apart and they lasted 2-3min each… I had a nice break in between to try to catch my breath. With each push I could totally see on the faces of my support team when I had done a good job and Hasty was moving… and also when I wasn’t pushing hard enough and no progress was being made… at one point I told them all “I can see it in your faces! You gotta just say ‘here she comes! here she comes!’ every time I push or else I am just gonna quit!” They all laughed and agreed and in about 4 more contractions… Hasty Rae made her debut… pretty quietly… They laid her on me, E cut her cord and then they quickly gave her a bit of extra help she needed before she finally cried out and they put her on my chest for a good couple hours…. I’ll let the rest of the images speak for themselves.



Now que the new mom with her iPhone 😉 hahah! I was left in my room at 10pm (not having slept in 48 hours) wondering “What do I do now? My husband is asleep, shivering mind you, I am awake and sweating buckets and SURE this room is over 100 degrees and there she is… just laying there… with her big eyes staring at me….do I pick her up? When do I feed her? Will she cry? Oh crap, what do I do if she cries? Can I get up…I don’t think the lower half my body works anymore… I don’t want to find out if it does or not…”

There were A LOT more crazy thoughts, but finally the nurse came in and asked if I wanted to get a couple hours of sleep and she would bring her back to me when she needed to eat… Now, if you are the “judgy” type… you might say “Oh my gosh, Tonie sent her newborn to the hospital nursery?! How could she?!” but this new momma would look at you with tears in her eyes and say “That nurse gave me permission to sleep, to love my daughter and to not feel guilty. It was the BEST decision I could have ever made for me.” So no judging allowed here.


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E and I woke up the next day refreshed  feeling like we were hit by a freight train, and had no idea how in LOVE we were with this teeny little being. It’s hard to describe it all, but being able to snap these couple photos of each other holding her was so healing to me and made me feel like I was on top of the world.



So, if you made it this far, I am SUPER impressed.. Thank you for reading and sharing in the scariest most insane and rewarding story I think I might ever write…. and if you like, you are welcome to enjoy the awesome birth video my dad made (don’t worry, he has stuff “blurred out” 😉 After all I am his little girl!)

Lastly, I feel like it’s hard to show how SMALL she really was, so here are a few photos that might give better perspective… just iPhone shots 😉




Hastings Rae Lu Birth Video from Michael Duchemin on Vimeo.



  1. Oh my gosh, I totally started crying during this post! So, so sweet!

  2. Justine says:

    Tonie, this is so great! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Congrats on the beautiful baby girl and good job mama.

  3. Brandy says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Tonie!! Congrats to you & your family. Thank you for sharing & the video your dad made brought tears down my cheeks. Yay for Hastings!!

  4. Brittany says:

    Oh my!! I feel you! I never ‘got’ the birth story thing until I had my first and it REALLY didn’t hit me until I had my third under really scary circumstances! Beautiful pictures!!

  5. Andreal says:

    Tonie!! I am seriously crying tears of joy right now. You are so brave and beautiful. It’s awesome to get a little glimpse of your journey into motherhood. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story and see you become a mama.

  6. Alexes Eide says:

    omg!!!! She is Beautiful!!!!!! I still have not posted my sons birth story, maybe on his first birthday?! hahaha



  7. Kirsten says:

    Loved reading this again! I too am terrified of birth…. and am not sure what the future holds for us as parents. I really appreciate the honest and brave portrayal of the process. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and making it ok to be human 🙂

    • OH girl! I am STILL scared hahah! I will say, my own anxiety about it was by FAR the worst part! Honestly… I still remember thinking that all the steps in the process I was scared of… none of them were actually as bad as I thought! Contractions came on FAST so that took me by surprise but the pain meds helped me be able to breath through it and then the epidural I didn’t even FEEL it going in so that was a huge WIN!

    • Donna says:

      It can be scary, yes. Another perspective: While my daughter was in labor with her first child she said, “This is fun!”

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