Wolfgang’s Birth Story: December 5, 2014

I woke up on the morning of December 4th around 10am and noticed my Braxton Hicks were no longer just Braxton Hicks.  Knowing it could be awhile before things got serious I went back to bed to sleep some more and told my husband that he should go to class assuring him that I would let him know if I needed him home.  My day was pretty relaxed with my contractions being very mild so when Stephen got home at 5pm I told him that it would probably be awhile before we’d have to let anyone know.

Famous last words!  By 6pm I decided things were getting serious and decided to let our birth support, my mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, know that I was in labour.  While on the phone with my mom I was hit by a couple contractions that I was unable to speak through so my mom decided to come over right away as the women in my family are known for incredibly fast labours.  Things started to move fast from there, everyone arrived at 7pm and helped Stephen time my contractions and by 8:30pm we decided we should probably call the midwives. Our student midwife asked to speak to me and I ended up not being able to talk and was sobbing into the phone while in a crouched position on my kitchen floor!  I was later told that everyone thought I was going to have my baby right then and there!

Our midwives were just finishing up with a birth at the Rocky View and told me that they would meet us at the Birth Centre around 10pm, but to call them should we need them before then. I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to make it until 10pm!  My contractions were so intense and I was feeling very overwhelmed!

Thanks to my amazing support system and my incredible husband however, I did manage to calm down enough to breath and sway or squat through my contractions.  While I hung onto Stephen, everyone  else helped gather the last minute things and made sure we had our birth bag before they helped me to my mom’s car.  Even though we were only a 5 minute drive to the Birth Centre it was the hardest 5 minutes of my life having to sit through my contractions!

We arrived right after our midwives and I went down to be examined.  I was declared 5cm which meant that we could set ourselves up in the room of our choice as we were the only ones there.  I was planning on a water birth but waiting for the tub to fill was near torture as my contractions were almost bringing me to my knees and I had to hold onto Stephen for support.  Once I was able to get into the tub I felt a lot of relief and proceeded to spend the majority of my labour there.  I got to labour however I wanted, in silence and with very dim lights.  I would not have been able to do it if I had to be on my back, as it was I spent the entire time on all 4’s!

I only had to get out a few times in order to be checked and to get a couple of catheters as I had been unable to empty my bladder since the morning.  Our midwives were worried about my bladder during crowning and tried to empty it but were unsuccessful during both attempts.  I also refused to have my water broken as I knew it could make labour more intense even if there was a chance that it would allow me to finally pee; labour was intense enough already!

By 3am I was told I was 7cm, which at the time I remember being discouraged by because things had moved so fast in the beginning and I really didn’t want to be in labour for another 5 or more hours!  Feeling determined to not be in labour for another day I got back into the tub and this time I really concentrated on relaxing.  I almost stopped making any noise and our other midwife came in to see if labour had stalled, which it hadn’t, I had just relaxed enough to find my groove.  I was so relaxed in fact that I began to fall asleep in the tub!

Shortly after 5am after my face hit the water for the 5th time I got annoyed and told everyone I was getting out of the tub!  I got onto the bed and within minutes started to feel “pushy”.  I was encouraged to gently push if I had the urge but they noticed I was actively pushing and decided to check to make sure I was actually fully dilated. I still had a small cervical lip left and was asked to get back onto all 4’s to put pressure on it and to NOT push for the next couple contractions.  I successfully breathed through one contraction but then yelled “I’m pushing!” during the second as it was such an uncontrollable urge.  My midwife said that the pushing stage could last awhile so to not tire myself out.  Things moved very fast however and I was told to try to not push when I felt the “ring of fire” but I never experienced it, just some mild discomfort when I felt my sons head slip past my insanely full bladder!  Then less than 19 minutes after declaring I was pushing, at 5:34am on December 5th our son entered the world!  He was so close to being born “en caul” but it broke before his legs came out.  I have to say that pushing was so exhilarating for me, there was no pain and I just felt so powerful!

I remember looking down at him and just observing him.  I felt intense relief and then finally went to pick him up and declared “Oh it’s a little boy!”.  We hadn’t found out before hand so everyone was very excited to finally find out.  When asked if our little boy had a name I said without hesitation “Yes, it’s Wolfgang!  Wolfgang Marcus!”.  I realized afterwards that I hadn’t actually confirmed with Stephen if that was the name he was OK with, but he assured me that it was fine.

All in all I am so incredibly thankful to Briar Hill Midwives for allowing me to birth how I wanted, and for the incredible support from my birth team, especially my husband who remained a calm supportive coach through it all.  A huge thanks has to go to Rhonda with Healthy Birth Choices as well, it is because of her that Stephen felt confident in his role as my main support and why we had the knowledge to let birth happen, without fear and without undue pressure.  We had a wonderful, empowered birthing experience and I am so thankful to everyone who was there during our journey to parenthood!


xoxo Shelby, Stephen and Wolfgang

Welcome Wolfgang – Birth Center Baby
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