- Watch Brandi’s Birth video
- Read her story below that!
- Watch some of her birth photos
A Wolf is Born
I’m still on that birth high. My affirmations are still strung across the room. The Christmas lights and balloons are still hung on the walls. My sweet smelling babe is already eight days old. I contemplated writing my birth story. There are simply no words to describe how unbelievably beautiful the whole experience was.
It started on Wednesday. We went walking Tuesday night and the next day I woke up with a lot of pressure on my pubic bone. I was so excited to tell my midwife, Marve, at my appointment on Thursday. The whole day was uneventful. Bubba and I went to the park to walk later in the evening in hopes I’d have my birth show soon. The pressure on my pubic bone increased but other than that there was no change. I put Bubba to bed around 8:45 but couldn’t get comfortable. I finally went in the living around 10. I was upset because I had missed the new SVU. Chicago PD sufficed. After the show I decided to read some of my Hypnobirthing book. I looked my ultrasound pictures. I cried as I told my baby how much they were loved. I cried as truth poured out. I had accepted the fact that life after this wouldn’t be the same. I would have to share my love and attention. For the first time, I realized that that was okay. I hugged my stomach. I told my cabbage patch that I was ready. I was ready to love. I was ready for my heart to grow. I was ready to see Bubba become a big brother. I was ready to love you unconditionally.
I finally decided to go to bed at 12:30. I was still uncomfortable, but after weeks of barely any sleep, I was exhausted. I drifted off to dream land in no time. I awoke to my husband, Jordan’s alarm at 1:30. I was having what I thought were pre labor warmups. I figured it was just because I had to pee. At 2:00 I got up with him and finally went to the bathroom. I was still having pre labor warmups. I decided to start timing them: 3 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. I went to use the restroom again hoping they would stop so I could get some sleep. I had diarrhea. Still having warmups, I decided to tell Jordan. I still wasn’t sure if it was labor or not I went yet again. This time I lost a small amount of my mucus plug. After telling Jordan multiple times to go to work (he was annoying me), he decided to stay home.
At 3:30 we called Marve and told her I was having surges. I really didn’t want her to drive all the way out if it was false labor. WE decided to wait 30 minutes to see if there were any changes. They were still coming about 2 to 4 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. I had Jordan call our amazing doula, Cherish, as I got in the shower to freshen up. I had him go to the store to get last minute things like fruits and veggies. Cherish got there around 5:30 as I was cleaning the house. I had made a mental “to do” list for when I lost my birth show (mucus plug), expecting I’d have a couple days before labor started like with my first. At that time I couldn’t think of a single thing other than to clean.
Marve, her assistant, Judith, and student midwife, Erica had arrived around 6:30. At 7:30 everyone laid down to get some rest. The energy from the full moon a few nights prior had led me to the decision to bring my cabbage patch into the world outside in our backyard. While everyone rested Jordan picked up his friend, Neiman. They got to work creating a beautiful spot outside for me. They also strung Christmas lights and set the birthing tub up in the living room.
Bubba and I woke up around 8:30. Cherish and I started making caramel apples for everyone while Bubs was hamming it up. He was loving all of the attention! At 11:34 my sister, Miranda, who lives in California, texted me to let us know she was on her way. We all just hung out as my labor progressed. My brothers showed up around noon to watch Bubba for us so Jordan and Cherish could help me when I needed them. Marve was so awesome and actually did my dishes! I was a tad embarrassed but beyond grateful. We decided to start filling the tub at this point.
A little later Marve urged us to take maternity pictures. I feel so awkward in front of the camera but reluctantly agreed. I put my mom’s earrings in, a little mascara on, and wore a lace maternity gown that I had made. It was a little big so Cherish sewn it by hand to make it fit! She helped me in it and rubbed coconut oil on my stomach and legs, which was super calming. My surges were becoming a little difficult to talk through so I really enjoyed it. We took pictures in front of a window then went outside. The wind was a little chilly so it made it difficult to relax during a surge. We had a lot of fun taking them so it kept my mind off of the pain for the most part.
After the pictures we went inside and started making birth affirmations. Marve, Erica, Judith, and Cherish created the most beautiful and motivating messages. I was so convinced that I was having a girl that we put girl pronouns on the cards. Shortly after starting, my surges were becoming so intense that I could no longer talk through them. I didn’t even want to try. I just wanted Jordan with me. I was sitting on the birthing ball with him in front of me doing light touch massage. Cherish sat behind me squeezing my hips and massaging my back, shoulders, and neck. The counter pressure felt amazing. I can remember the smell of Jordan’s skin and shirt making me nauseous so I would smell some peppermint essential oil. In between surges I would go back to stringing affirmations on a ribbon and Cherish would play with my hair. She did the most perfect French braid. She put some flowers (that Jordan had brought me that morning) in it. Bubba got so excited so we put some in his hair, too.
I tried as hard as I could to finish stringing the birth affirmations but my surges were becoming too long and too close together for me. I told Jordan I was pretty sure I was at an 8. About five minutes later I asked Marve to check me. I really didn’t want to get in the tub until I was at least 8 centimeters. I had planned to labor in there until I felt the need to push. Then we would go to our special spot outside.
Marve and I went into my room for her to check me. Judith had made my bed and set up all the supplies. I was completely shocked when she told me I was at a 9 with an anterior lip; 10 once the lip was gone. Erica told me I could push with Marve holding the lip out of the way if I wanted. That sounded like torture though. Instead, Judith made a little bed out of pillows and blankets with a hole in the middle for my belly. If I could lay face down through four or five surges the lip would be gone and I’d be able to push. I asked Jordan to come in the room with me. He held my hand as Judith squeezed my hips through the first couple of surges. The counter pressure was starting to make them feel worse, however. It was no longer wrapping around to my back; only in the front. I was able to make it through two more surges in this position before I decided it was time.
Judith and Jordan helped me off of the bed and into the living room. Unfortunately it was even nastier outside than before so we decided I’d get in the tub. Jordan put on 90’s country music. The immediate relief I got from the warmth of the water was so amazing. I wondered why it had taken me so long to get in. I checked myself. Our cabbage patch was about two inches from the outside world; just to my middle knuckle. Cherish and Jordan played with my hair, massaged my shoulders, neck, and ears. They poured warm water down my back. Through surges Jordan would wrap his arms around me and remind me to breath. He’d put peppermint oil on my wrist for my nausea. Cherish gave me water, honey, and laboraide to keep my energy up.
Bubba came in from playing outside. He didn’t get his nap so he was crabby. I thought it’d be a good idea for him to get in the tub with me. We stripped him down and let him climb in. He was so excited! He was trying to swim and was acting so silly. I played with my little man in between my surges. This didn’t last as long as I would have liked though. I couldn’t handle him climbing on me during them, Jordan would try to hold him to the side but he would just get mad.
Soon after he got out I felt the urge to bear down. Bearing down made the surges more manageable. I asked for a balloon to blow up. This directed me breath down automatically so I wouldn’t have to think about it. I would check where our cabbage patch was between surges. Knowing my baby was so close to being in my arms helped keep me going. I was getting hot so Cherish would put cold rags on my head and neck while blowing a handheld fan on me. Before I knew it my water broke! Bubba gave me the sweetest kiss and Jordan moved to the other side of the tub getting ready to catch our baby. And my sister had finally arrived!
During each surge I would push while on my knees. Between each one I would rest on the side of the tub while feeling my baby’s head. It was all wrinkly and I didn’t feel any hair. In no time at all the head a crowning! I made Jordan feel. I kept my hand down there until Erica offered to support my perineum. She and Marve did that while Jordan kept his hand on the baby’s head. I didn’t want to tear so I pushed slowly. Ten minutes after crowning the entire head was born! I decided to take a couple breaths. I guess the cord was wrapped around the neck so Erica just slipped it off. Right before I started to push again I felt the baby rotate. It was the weirdest, coolest feeling. I pushed and felt one shoulder and arm come out. After I felt the other shoulder and arm come out I stopped pushing because I thought my baby’s whole body was out. Marve had to tell me to keep pushing. I guess I still had the bottom half to go. I pushed one last time as Jordan lifted our baby out of the water. Finally earth side!
“It’s a boy!” Jordan said with the biggest smile on his face as I was turning around to see our cabbage patch. Marve took him from Jordan and gently rubbed his back to encourage breathing. Marve handed him to me after I turned all the way around. My baby boy was finally here! 4:09p.m. Two minutes after he was crowning and 12 minutes after I started pushing. His breathing was a little raspy but I wasn’t worried. He was a little purple due to the cord being compressed while I took my small break while pushing.
We put Bubba in the tub to meet his little brother. He had the biggest smile on his face and gently touched his head. He gave me a kiss. I fed my sweet boy while we sat in the tub. I held his little hand and counted his little toes. He had dark brown hair. No birthday frosting. He was perfect.
His cord pulsed for a whole 40 minutes. When it was done Jordan cut the cord that linked us together. I provided life through this for 39 weeks and 5 days. He carried the baby to the couch, doing skin to skin the whole time. I birthed the placenta. I was no longer pregnant. My womb was now empty. I helped Erica inspect it. She was showing me all the different parts. Judith helped me out of the pool and into the shower. It felt so nice to take a hot shower and get cleaned up. Cherish helped me out and get my robe on. She gave me a padcicle then helped me into bed. Erica and Marve checked for tears and felt my uterus. Erica made the comment that it looked perfect, which made the whole room laugh. I was shocked when they told me I had absolutely no tears!
Jordan brought me our baby boy and climbed in with us. I fed him one more time before we did the weight and length, which was also done in our bed. We asked everyone how much they thought he weighed. I guessed 8 pounds 15 ounces and 19 inches. Up until this point he hadn’t cried. Hearing it for the first time was bittersweet. Of course I didn’t want my baby crying but hearing his sweet cry was adorable. Marve positioned him in the scale and Jordan lifted it up. TEN POUNDS! I was way off. We were all shocked. Marve said he pooped as he was being born or else he would have weighed more! Next Jordan and Bubba helped straighten him out to measure his length. 21in.5 inches! My whole pregnancy I was certain I was having a small seven pound baby girl and I could not have been more wrong. Erica took the rest of his measurements with the same tape measure that had been used throughout my pregnancy to measure my belly. His head was 14 inches. They finished up his newborn exam and Jordan and Bubba put his diaper and jammies.
We took pictures with our birth team while Jordan and Neiman emptied the tub. After the pictures Marve checked his oxygen levels. They were at a percentage she was comfortable with and he was finally pinking up so they cleaned up and headed home. My little squish and I nestled in our bed. While I was feeding him Bubba asked for milk. This marked the beginning to our tandem feeding journey. Our journey as a family of four had started.
It took us five day to come up with a name. We wanted something strong and unique. Nothing seemed to fit. We finally decided on Wolf Cannyn and it fits him perfectly! His birth went even better than I had imagined. Jordan and I connected on a whole different level. Bubba became a big brother to the most perfect little squish. I feel a special bond and connection with each person on my birth team. I couldn’t imagine having anyone else with me through our journey bringing my Wolf earth side. We started the day as a family of three and went to bed as a family of four. My heart is full.