The stunning Shawnelle Newkirk with her boys Miken (6), Jakoby (4) and daughter Tallulah (22 months). Shawnelle also had a miscarriage between Jakoby and Tallulah. She tried for 15 months to conceive her first and was quite shocked when it finally happened. She had a straightforward pregnancy but lived on tiny island in Alaska and had to fly out at 36 weeks to deliver her son. She ended up carrying post dates and was eventually induced with Pitocin. And epidural followed, then a threatened cesarean and she ultimately pushed him out with vacuum assistance. Her second delivery was a partial induction after they broke her water so they could put a lead on Jakoby's head to find his heart rate. Labor kicked into high gear and she didn't need any further interventions however and he was born just a couple hours later. Shawnelle miscarried between her second and fourth which was very difficult. While the family currently lives in Boise, her husband works in Alaska 4 weeks at a time and he was gone when she miscarried. She says that when you have a partner that is gone for part of the year you think often about the happy moments and milestones they may miss with out really noting the difficult times they are absent for until they happen. Tallulah's home water birth was vastly different from her others. Shawnelle credits her new home, education and previous experience for pushing her towards this new option. She had the freedom of time being settled in a place that was flexible and supportive and she labored out and about with her family for hours before heading home where things sped up fairly quickly. Her midwives arrived just in time for her to push her daughter out in the bath.
Shawnelle chose to participate to capture this very moment with herself and her children. Her son Miken is currently in love with physical imperfections. He once asked Shawnelle where her stretchmarks came from. When she told him they come from growing him in her belly he said, "Wow. These are like sparkles!" If everyone just thought of them as sparkles, how beautiful that would be.