Wallace's Birth Story | part one

Alternative titles:
The Time I Pushed My Face Off
What A Time To Skip The Epidural
My Labor in Transition, Stuck for Hours in... Transition
Fourth Babies Don't Always Just Fall Out

My final birth story is going to be pretty wordy, dear readers. It's taken me five days to even begin this re-telling and I have no idea how long it will take me to complete. The reason I think it's going to be a doozie is because I'm still wrapping my head around the birth of baby Wallace. It was a wild ride, I'm totally beat up as I type this, and the emotions I feel about bringing him to into this world, through my body, are quite difficult to explain. 

But still. It's a story worth sharing, worth re-living, and it was 100% worth it.

Part One: Pre-Labor

Because I never updated you here after my OB appointment at 39w6d, I will begin with Friday, July 7th. This seems to be an appropriate place to start, especially for those of you reading birth stories and trying to predict how your own will go down. I know I couldn't get enough of birth stories and any 'signs' that my own labor and delivery was going to happen. Because, hey---if a stranger on the internet went into labor after an internal, and then she took a walk, and bounced on a ball then SURELY those things would also work for me. ;)

Friday was my last day at work, no matter what, a decision I made earlier in the week. I had a really good day and after weeks of wondering if I'd be back the next day, it felt awesome to officially tie up every loose end and say goodbye to my job for 12 weeks. Surreal, a little bittersweet, but it was time.

I went from work to my last scheduled OB appointment at 2pm. My doc was running behind because she had just done a delivery and I felt jealous of that woman, which is totally ridiculous because I had not hit The Wall with pregnancy yet. I was focusing on being very relaxed, patient, and had been listening to my Hypnobabies tracks to prepare for a peaceful, calm birth. I did want my OB to strip my membranes, however, because I knew if my body was ready it would jump start things. Nate was scheduled to be off work all week beginning Monday, my mom was flying in on the next day (my due date) and I really wanted to avoid an induction if at all possible. Time was ticking despite my very laid-back attitude about birth.

My doc came in and said, 'Still pregnant? I'm waiting for you to go into labor!' I said I'd been having a lot more zingers in the cervix and sharp jabs of nerve pain into my legs in the past few days. I'd been walking a lot more and feeling contractions every night, but none were painful and none worth timing. I measured right at 40cm, baby's heart rate was in the 130s, and I had gained a few more pounds to bring the grand total up to 34lbs. If nothing else, I didn't want to have another OB appointment just to avoid the freaking scale. ;)

So then she checked me and said she would be rough, but it wasn't painful at all. I did notice that Wallace was moving quite a bit during the internal, like trying to get away from her fingers. It just felt different than it did the week before, when she said I was a 'one plus' dilated and 75% effaced. 

"Well, you are a three---is that what I told you last time?"

"Um, NO, I was just a little over a one. A THREE? I've never been a three before labor before, even being a one is pushing it for me."

She reiterated that I was 3cm dilated and still 75% effaced. I immediately told her I was going to have this baby over the weekend, and she agreed that would be awesome! We discussed her schedule and she said there was a 90% chance she'd be available to deliver me, because she really WANTED to be there to see me in all of my glory. This is when I gush about my doctor a little bit. She said that her job is just to be there to provide support at the end during pushing, and to be there in case I needed her. Truly, my OB is not your stereotypical surgeon that gets portrayed in so many natural birth sites. She is the best, has four kids of her own, and went without epidurals for the last three because they came so quickly. So if any OB would be a cheerleader for natural birth it would be mine! And oh, she delivered both of my boys before this but not Cecelia, so I was hoping she could be present for this final hoorah. 

Next we decided to create a plan in case I was wrong about going into labor over the weekend. She said she'd like to schedule an induction before 41 weeks and was fine waiting as long as possible. I requested it NOT to be on 7/11 to avoid Porter's birthday, and although Nate would have liked me to pick 7/10 I felt like it was just too soon. So she called the hospital and the best available day was Thursday, 7/13, when I would have been 40w5d. I also had to schedule a non-stress test for Monday 7/10 since I would be overdue, but when I walked out of her office I felt a strong sense of contentment like I would not be back on Monday. 

When I got home around 3:30, I went to the bathroom and saw blood, which was both exciting and a little surreal. This is exactly what happened with Cecelia's birth: a rough internal, bleeding, and then a baby two days later. Yes! Things were actually happening! The kids all informed me that they wanted to do a sleepover at Papa and Yaya's this night, and Tony said it was fine by him. Nate and I were planning to just go to dinner, dropping the kids off for the meal but then picking them back up to take them home for bedtime. Instead, the children negotiated a full on sleepover;) I did tell Tony that IF I went into labor at night, at least the kids would already be with them and he wouldn't have to drive to our house in the middle of the night. Really crazy to think about this idea, and I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up because we all knew I could very well be overdue and induced. 

I started timing a few contractions before Nate got home. They were maybe 7-10 minutes apart and not painful, but felt different than the Braxton Hicks from weeks past. Again, this premonition that I might be having our baby tonight hit me and I tried to fight it off. Nate arrived home to find me on our exercise ball, bouncing away, while the kids were on their screens. I had packed up their bag for an overnight trip to the grandparents and Nate drove them over around 5pm. I decided to keep my appointment for a brow wax at 5:30 and opted to walk there when the crew left, plugging in my headphones and listening to a birth podcast during my 15 min walk. It was sort of comical because I saw no less than four of our neighbors along the way, all asking if I was 1. Still pregnant, and 2. Having the baby soon. I basically just said, 'Still pregnant! Hanging in there! Going for daily walks!' and left it at that. 

When my appointment was over, I walked back home to meet Nate before dinner. He picked me up along the way and we headed to Juniper 61. This is an extremely important and hilarious part of my birth story, guys. Why, you ask? Because the night before Cecelia was born, we went to dinner for our anniversary at Juniper 61. The night before Porter was born (we knew I'd be induced the next day anyway), we ate at Juniper 61. So I had joked to Lois all along about making it three for three, going to dinner at Juniper 61 and then expecting to go into labor immediately after. She had always said we should go and then on Thursday, she basically asked, 'So are we watching the kids while you guys eat at Juniper?' Can't turn that down, right?

Dinner was delicious, we got there around 6:30 after stopping by the in-laws to say goodbye to the kids. I tried not to be too weird and like, 'the next time you see us might be in the hospital,' but Truman literally said those exact words before I could even voice them. He had been saying things like this for a solid week, though, but was just so stinking excited to meet his newest baby brother. 

At dinner, Nate and I talked a lot about what was ahead of us as a couple. I had given Nate the Hypnobabies for Birth Partner's guide several weeks before and he read it during this day. He was completely supportive of my desire to remain in control, calm, and without drugs if at all possible. Nate is always amazing during labor and delivery and this time would be no different, but he whole-heartedly believes that the mental battle of labor is every bit as important as the physical side. He's seen me struggle to avoid a total freak out in labor three times already and realizes that it's crazy intense and painful. So Hypnobabies for him made sense and he was ready to support me again!

We ate outside and it started to rain, but we somehow had the biggest umbrella over our table so it was actually quite beautiful to eat in the rain. I was having noticeable contractions but they didn't seem painful at all, just pressure, and they didn't seem to be coming that often. I'm now making a note to myself to tell Juniper 61 about our experience with their food and me going into labor, because seriously---it's pretty phenomenal. 

We stopped at the grocery store and bought our favorite ice cream for dessert, and then headed home around 7:45pm. I bounced on the ball and we watched Shark Tank, America's Got Talent, and the dreaded local news. Ice cream was had and I noticed the contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart. I told Nate to go to bed at 9:30 when he was falling asleep on the couch, and he told me to rest....OR to try nipple stimulation because he read both of those things could help begin labor. I have no idea if Hypnobabies told him about resting and twisting nipples but his demonstration on himself is a visual I will not soon forget. Think Meet The Parents and milking cats as your visual here.

I spent the rest of the evening reading birth stories (my own, other blogger friends, anything I could find), listening to Birthing Day Affirmations in our kitchen, and updating my blog with past pregnancy posts being linked to my home page. I didn't feel too terribly tired but by midnight I had convinced myself to just go to bed. Nothing had really changed since 3:30 when I started timing contractions and I wanted to sleep. If it was going to happen then it would. 

I had written out my favorite birth affirmations the night before this, and am glad I brought them with us to the hospital:

But before I went to bed, I typed this to Wallace in a drafted post. It's fitting to share here now;)

Goodbye to pregnancy:
I'm trying to freeze time for a moment. I want to remember exactly what it feels like to grow a baby inside of my body. I want to remember the intense swing of emotions. From fear to excitement, anticipation to dread, humility and pride....all of it. I've loved being pregnant and at the risk of being one of those women who other pregnant mamas love to hate, it really has been one of the most special times in my life. Every time, all four (five?) times.

It hasn't always been easy, not nearly perfect, but pregnancy has been a defining task in my life. Four children have lived inside of me. I've done my best to treasure the magic of this feat and let the miserable parts fade away.

Tomorrow is my due date with this fourth babe and my pregnancy days are certainly numbered. My brain is onto wondering how the birth will happen, visualizing meeting our boy, and beginning our life as a family of six. But part of me knows I will miss this stage of my life, during my child bearing years. I'll miss the kicks and the sweet feeling of protecting my baby from the outside world. I'll miss marveling at my growing belly, wondering how much bigger it can possibly get. I'll even miss the comments from people telling me I'm impossibly small, or so big, or really cute. I'll miss pregnancy because when else can you let it all hang out? No sucking it in, no pretending to be something you aren't. Just pregnant, embracing the pregnancy and the changes it makes in my body, focusing on this baby and his health and not so much my own vanity.

The end of pregnancy is historically very worrisome for me. There are just so many thoughts to be had about what could go wrong. This time I'm not allowing those thoughts to enter my head. I'm trying to relax and enjoy the last days of pregnancy, because they are the last time I'll feel my boy move from the inside. Things will be different and probably a little harder once he is out, as we adjust to our new sense of normal with a newborn again. I'm not in a rush to get him out of there but I'm eager to meet him, and feel like it's going to happen really soon.

I love you, Wallace. Thank you for staying put and getting stronger. We are ready whenever you are, buddy. I'm ready to move on from my pregnancy days with you as our baby on the outside. I'll be sad when this part of our lives together is over, but so incredibly happy to hold you in my arms.

39w6d pregnant:

And with that, I will end part one of this birth story novel. Up next: my water (potentially??) breaking at 4am!


  1. I can't wait to hear the rest! After having two rather crazy births, I am fascinated with birth stories. My 10 month old came in two hours, at home and ended in me having a blood transfusion. So crazy. I admire your positivity through four and will definitely remember all of this for the next time, including the Hypnobabies.

  2. So exciting!! I love reading birth stories. Can't wait to see how the rest of his birth unfolds. Congrats again!

  3. Ahhhhh, don't stop there!!!!! :)

  4. I love birth stories!!!! So did you both eat the same thing each time at Juniper?
    you're 3 cm sounds like when we got to the hospital after my water broke and they told me I was 4! I was like WHAT??!!!

  5. GAAAAAAAH! I love his story already. You have such a way with words and capturing all those wonderful feelings. Makes me ALMOST wish we weren't done because pregnancy really is magical. Can't wait to read more. :)

  6. I love reading this, my girls are 6 & 7 so it's been, so long since the last few days of being pregnant! Can't wait for part 2!!


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