Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wolfe Wallace : A birth story

Wolfe Wallace Olsen
Born January 4, 2017 at 4:06am
8lbs, 9oz and 21.5 inches 

Thursday, December 22,  we carted the entire family over for my regular 39 week appointment. 
We were all so excited at the potential of having our sweet boy with us before Christmas! 
Based on my other three deliveries, Wolfe would be showing up at ANY time. 
At the appointment I was measuring 3 cm and 60% effaced.
I gave my midwife Yvonne permission for a membrane sweep and she went to town. 
Out of all 4 babies, It was the first time that the sweeping really HURT! 
(I think it had to do with her small hands so she had to get way up in there, ha!)
Yvonne was on call for the entire Christmas weekend. 
I had had most of my appointments with her, so I was excited that she could be the one who would potentially be delivering. 
I made my 40 week appointment for the next week, confident that I wouldn't even be showing up to it because i'd have him before then. (HA) 
I went home and spent most the day bouncing on my yoga ball.

That weekend I lost all of my mucus plug and had continuous contractions 8-10 minutes apart for HOURS but they failed to get close together. 
Christmas came and went and contractions continued off and on for the next week. 

Friday December 30th I went in for my 40 week appointment. 
I was in absolute SHOCK that he hadn't come yet. 
I had NEVER made it to my due date. 
I met with Janelle, another midwife at the practice who checked me again. 
I was still at a 3 and 60% and he was still floating high up at -3 station. 
I was a little discouraged that I had endured an entire week of contractions and my cervix hadn't changed at all. 
Janelle assured me that he would in fact come, eventually. 
She told me to go home and do the miles circuit and walk some stairs. 
Before I left I scheduled my 41 week appointment. 
I started to think that I might actually still be pregnant by then. 

New Years came and went and all my other due date buddies welcomed their sweet babies. 
I was SO jealous. 
The next 5 days I literally tried EVERYTHING to get things moving along. 
I guess my mucus plugged had regenerated because over the next few days I lost it again, haha. 
Contractions were here and there, mostly starting up in the evening hours. 
There were are few nights I was certain it was the real deal, yet they never got closer together. 
My house was immaculate that entire week because I spent all my free time getting it ready for Wolfe's arrival. 
At that point I was so tired and so emotional, I just wanted him here!
I got calls, texts and messages every day asking if the baby was there yet. 

Tuesday, January 3rd I hadn't had a single contraction all day.  
I tried to keep my mind off the impending labor/delivery and spent the day once again, scrubbing the entire house. 
That night I showered, took a unisom to try and help me sleep and conked out for the night by 10pm convinced that I'd be pregnant forever. 
Before bed, I sent a txt on my family group txt, reminding everyone to keep their phones up loud in case it was "the night" 

And then it began. 
A few hours later I shot right up, wide awake to a sharp cramp. 
Then another and another. 
They were 2-3 minutes apart and STRONG. 
I knew instantly...
I actually laughed and then cheered that this was FINALLY the real deal! 
I woke up David told him to pack the car and then texted my family hoping that someone would be awake. 
My sister Sophia responded immediately that she was on her way!
I also texted our photographer and told her that we'd be heading over to the hospital soon.

It was about a 20 minute drive for my sister to come over so we had some time to double check and get all of our stuff together. 

Contractions continued 2-3 minutes apart. 
I couldn't talk through them. 
Instead I chanted "OPEN" during the duration of each one. 
I remember reading in one of my natural birthing groups that saying "open" and visualizing your cervix physically opening during your contraction wave supposedly helped with the pain.  

I wasn't planning on doing it but it felt right, so I just went with it. 
I felt SO calm and relaxed and just overall relieved that things were finally happening. 

(Funny side note, David had no idea what I was saying during contractions and after the delivery was like "ok, so what the hell was that?!" haha.) 

My sister arrived and we made the 20 minute drive over to the hospital. 
I got in the back of the van,  kneeled down on the floor and leaned against the kids carseats in the back row. 
Definitely not the safest solution, but there was no way in hell I was going to sit, strapped into the front seat. 
I swayed my hips back and forth, chanting "open" and doing my visualizations while David hit every single green light!
On the way there, he called the night nurse at our practice and they paged Dr. Newman who was on call for the evening. 

Not going to lie, I was a little bummed at first that I wouldn't be delivering with any of the midwives. I hadn't even met Dr. Newman yet but everyone said he was just as amazing so I didn't spend any more time worrying about it. 
David parked and we walked (I waddled) into the Emergency Room. 
David took care of the paperwork at the front desk while I continued to breath and chant through contractions. 
We were led to a tiny ER triage area where they got my blood pressure and my heart rate. 
I had 4 contractions back to back to back to back. 
I started feeling super hot and began sweating like crazy. 
They were worried that my pulse was so high so the tiny male nurse (he was like 5 foot 5...maybe) got me a wheel chair and told me to sit down. 
I looked down at him and was like "uh no, that's not happening."
I told them I was fine and would rather walk up to the delivery floor, but he was not having it. 
Reluctantly I sat down and he zoomed me up to the Labor and Delivery triage. 
David was cracking up because he was actually having a hard time keeping up with him haha! 
Thankfully, those little legs got me up there quick because I could not take another second in that wheel chair. 
I got changed into my tank dress and got a text from Jamie, our photographer that she was there. 
The nurses sent her to my birthing suite so she could set up while I finished up in the triage area. 
I stood next to the bed while still humming through contractions and answered the routine check-in questions in between. 
My energy was high!

I told David a few days prior to make sure a get some video throughout labor and delivery. 
Things always got crazy very quickly every other time and I regretted not having little moments captured on film.
This time around he was on top of it and I actually got annoyed a few times that the phone was in my face while he asked me for updates haha. 
The triage area was one of those times. 
I was feeling super hot and sweaty and anxious to get into my room so I could focus and continue to get things moving. 

They monitored the baby for a few minutes and then checked my cervix. 
I was 6cm and 80% effaced!
I was so happy!
Already over half way done and it didn't even feel like hard work yet. 
After we finished things up in triage and I was officially admitted, we walked down the hall to the famous natural birthing suite! 
These suites were the whole reason I switched my care to Premier and the midwives at 37 weeks. 
The other hospitals I had toured literally had closet sized delivery rooms and no tubs. 
Laboring in the tub helped SO much with Frances' birth, I was determined to have access to one this time around. 
We met our delivery nurse Kim and I was asked if I wanted an IV or a hep lock. 
I declined both. 
I was excited to not have to be poked or prodded.
The birthing suite was HUGE!
I knew I wanted to get into the water as soon as possible. 
I saw the giant inflatable tub and asked about it. 
I guess you had to pre-buy a liner in order to use it but I didn't care because all I could think about was the jacuzzi JETS!
2:45 AM
I ask David to start filling the tub while I walked around the room and our AMAZING nurse Kim helped through contractions. 
Kim was so chipper and easy going and totally helped keep the energy in the room light. 
(another super random but funny side note- Kim told us that she actually used to live in our current rental home a few years ago. We thought that was kind of cool.) 
As soon as the tub was filled, I stripped down and positioned my belly and back between the strong jet streams. 
It was HEAVEN! 
I felt totally at peace. 
Contractions almost seemed to totally dissipate. 
(they didn't, but the pressure of the jets made them almost unnoticeable)
I remember feeling like I had a solid amount of rest time between each contraction. 
I was totally in the zone.
David took some video and poured water on my back.
I continued to chant "open" during each wave. 
It wasn't much longer before I knew I was hitting transition and I could no longer get comfortable in the water. 
I got out and labored on the toilet for a bit while I dried off. 
My body was flushing itself out and I knew we'd be meeting our baby soon!
3:18 AM 
I changed back into my tank dress and continued powering through contractions. 
I hummed and chanted "OOOOOOOOPENNNNNN" while David and Kim alternated doing counter pressure on my hips.
(this is always my go to! It helped SO much)

I continued to visualize my cervix opening and the baby moving into the birth canal. 
I didn't fight against the contractions instead rode them out.
It was a crazy sensation.
I felt like I was working with my body and not against it.
Each contraction I consciously tried to relax my face, arms and legs.
I was happily surprised that I wasn't feeling a lot of pain.
I remember thinking, OMG this is amazing, I am such a freaking rockstar.
3:30 AM 
I started to feel more pressure as he was starting to move down. 
I decided to continue laboring on the bed.
It was SO big and so stinking comfortable. 
I didn't want to move. 
Once again, I felt totally in the zone. 
Then I started barfing. 
(I hate, hate, HATE throwing up)
There is nothing you can do to stop it so I just let my body do it's thing. 
I didn't have anything in my stomach so after the first initial vomit, I was just dry heaving (which is just as bad in my opinion).
At that point I knew I was getting pretty close. 
3:45 AM 
Dr. Newman strolled in and checked me.
10 cm and totally complete!
What the what!?
I couldn't believe I was already at a 10. 
My waters were still in tact so he asked me if I wanted him to rupture them. 
I agreed. 
I remember thinking, "let's get this show on the road!"
I glanced at the clock told everyone that I was going to push him out before 4am. 
Dr. Newman broke my water. 
The warm gush felt so weird. 
The amniotic fluid was clear, it was GO TIME! 
He told me I could start pushing when I wanted and then he left the room. 

I remember looking up at Kim like, uh...where is he going? 
This baby is literally going to be here any minute. 
She laughed and said something like "don't worry, I know how to deliver babies too" 
3:50 AM 
I started feeling more pressure. 
The next contraction started and I turned over and got into a deep squat and leaned up against the back of the bed. 
Without the cushion of the water, I could feel his head further down in the birth canal. 
I was excited to start pushing. 
(Pushing has always been my favorite part) 
My tune changed and my "OPEN" chanting turned into low growls, grunts and moans.

(my photographer was able to record the audio of the birth and those sounds just before baby is born are SO primal! I LOVE IT!) 

I focused all my energy into my bottom as I pushed. 
3:55 AM 
I was feeling SO much pressure around my bum.
Lots of grunting and baring down. 
I could feel him right there. 
While pushing I could feel the nurse wiping crap away (literally) which was hurting my already sore bum a lot. 
I asked her to stop but she couldn't (for obvious reasons hahaha)  

4:00 AM
Between contractions I heard Kim call to the nurses desk to get Dr. Newman and the nursery nurse to come in.   
She asked me how I wanted to deliver. 
I told her I wanted to stay how I was and that I wasn't moving. 
She told me, "just so you know, he may want you to turn around and get on your back or your side." 
I remember being like NOPE, that's not happening! He can get up in there but i'm not doing that. 

Kim told me to tell her when I felt him coming. 
The way I was positioned on the bed pretty much made it impossible for her to see anything. 

I had two contractions back to back and then I got a rest for a second before I felt his head crowning!
I let out a roar and then I felt his head, shoulders, body all out at once. 

Wolfe Wallace born at 4:06 am, caught by Kim and David!

It all happened so fast1
He really shot right out. 
I remember taking a giant breath of air (it felt so good to be able to take a full breath again) and then I heard his sweet cries!
"Hold on, don't go anywhere!" I heard Kim say. 
His cord was so short It took awhile for me to maneuver around and see him. 
Straining to see him!
Dr. Newman came back into the room, just a few minutes too late haha. 

It felt like eternity but he was finally in my arms!!!
My sweet baby boy, at last. 

I remember looking around at everyone and saying, "And that is how it's done! I am a freaking birthing goddess!"

(I promise I'm not that full of myself all of the time. I did feel pretty badass though.) 
First impressions-

It was the first time where I didn't really recognize my child right away. 
(if that make any sense)
He looked SO different than the other three. 
I was like, "Hi there, who are you??" 
It took me a second to really take him all in.
He went straight to my chest while we waited for his cord to stop pulsating. 
They had to keep reminding me not to hold him up too high (because of his short cord) so I wouldn't tug on my still attached placenta. 

David cut his cord and I got him to latch right right away. 
He was born HUNGRY!
(Four weeks later and he's still attached to the boob at all times) 
After the cord cutting, Dr. Newman assessed the damage. 
He congratulated me on only needing two stitches!
Kim was certain I had torn a lot more. 
I couldn't believe how good I felt. 
I was totally riding the post delivery oxytocin high!!!
After the quick stitch job, everyone left the room and we were able to rest and relax for a few hours. 
I jumped back into the tub and washed off and David and I were able to cuddle together with Wolfe in the giant comfy bed. 
The nursery nurse came back awhile later and did the newborn assessment. 
We took guesses on his weight and she didn't think he'd be over 8lbs. 
(He did look SO little especially for being post dates)  
At 8lbs 9oz he was right in the same size range as the other kids. 
I was actually surprised he wasn't bigger, given the fact he had TWO extra weeks to grow.
He did measure the tallest out of the four. 
I guess he really did come when he was ready ;)
We moved up to the recovery unit around 8am. 
I wish we could've moved that bed up with us because the bed in the recovery room was ROUUUUUGH. 
(I actually didn't sleep the entire night we stayed over because of it)

David went home to relieve Sophia and then brought the kids up a couple hours later. 
(more pics from that here)
My mom came up a few hours later and stayed the rest of the afternoon. 
My Dad, sister and brother in law came later that evening.  
Everyone was dying at how cute he was!

Dave came back later that evening and spent the night. 
We busted outta there as soon as we were cleared the next morning. 
I was so anxious to get back home to my bed!

So there it is-
His delivery was seriously MAGICAL!
I mean really...TWO hours and FOURTY-SIX minutes from start to finish and almost zero pain!
Fourth time around I feel like I totally have this natural med-free birth thing down. 

I LOVED having the birth center experience in a hospital setting.
I loved that I got to do pretty much whatever I wanted. 
And even though Dr. Newman didn't end up delivering, I'm SO glad I trusted my gut and switched my provider/care to a place that would support my desires for a intervention free birth. 
This delivery actually had me thinking about possibly trying for a home birth next time.....maybe....

Recovery, has been stupid easy. 
like seriously so so quick. 
(I have an entire other post dedicated to all of that)

I can't believe little Wolfie has been with us for FOUR weeks already.
For as long as I had to wait for him to come, he sure made his debut in the best way possible. 

and a GIANT thank you to Jamie Costlow at Cherished Photos for being there to capture it all!!!
I truly will cherish these images forever <3 nbsp="" p="">

(Family Photo by Ashley Haxby Photography)
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