Blake’s Birth Story by Annemarie

Posted in: Us- Feb 06, 2013 11 Comments

I never thought I’d be telling this kind of birth story…never. But here goes.

So, for the last few weeks, I’ve been preparing myself for a labor just like my last. Gradual, lengthy, 18 hours or so. I’ve heard, and know of plenty, that second time labors are most of the time faster, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, and then be disappointed, so I just prepared myself for another long haul. I also prepared in my head that if things did go faster for us to know that we’d not have as much time to get things ready once it started, etc.

I did have a few ideas for our “birth plan” this go round. I REALLY wanted to try to stay on my feet more than I did last time, in order to try to have the baby drop evenly and quicker, and I wanted to listen to music. Specifically, Maroon 5. I don’t particularly like their lyrics, but I can’t stay still when I listen to the songs…so I thought that listening to it would keep me moving. I planned on dancing all through the contractions.

For the last few days, I had been continuing to plan things like nothing was happening, in order to keep myself busy, occupied, and not focused on what would be coming. I truly wasn’t in any hurry to have this baby since I knew what kind of pain I was setting myself up for. The ONLY reason I was ready was to meet him, but not for any of the others. If I was going to be two weeks overdue, I was completely OK with that. I kept saying that I’d be ready when he was ready.

I went to my Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Tuesday night as planned on my calendar every month. When Brett asked where we were meeting this month, and I told him in Carp, he asked, “Really?”, since it is a 15 minute drive away. I told him that I wasn’t that concerned, and just really wanted to go, so I went, enjoyed my time, and got home a little after 9pm. When I got home, the kitchen was still a mess from making dinner, there were still dishes on the kitchen table, but I told myself that is what I would do in the morning before my noon chiropractic appointment the next day. Mind you, I rarely EVER go to bed without cleaning up the kitchen, living room, and dinner….but just really wasn’t in the mood to do it, and was ready to call it a night. Brett had pulled an all nighter (for work) the evening before, so he was ready to catch up on sleep. I was surprised when he agreed that we should go ahead and get to bed at 10pm. I crashed out, while he stayed up for a while reading an article on WIRED and fell asleep himself not too long after I did.

At around 230 in the morning, I woke up feeling a little crampy, but stayed in bed. In hindsight, I think I semi-knowingly had been feeling a little bit of that in my sleep but wasn’t fully awake yet. I finally got up to go to the bathroom and looked at the clock. 243am. It was a lot earlier than I thought it was, as I felt that I’d already been sleeping for a lot longer than 4 or so hours. I went to the bathroom, then sat back in bed and didn’t feel too great. I couldn’t fall back asleep so I checked my email, sent a response to one, and then realized that I was ready to go back to the bathroom again. When I came back to get in bed, I realized that once again, I was feeling a little “something different” with the braxton hicks contraction. I’d been having BH contractions for months what seemed like all the time, but never with any feeling. So, I was expecting the “something different” at some point. Well, for some reason, I decided to open up a Note, and jot down the timing of these three. 243am. 249am. 254am.

After there were about almost 15 minutes of pattern, with each one becoming a little stronger than the last, I whispered….”Brett. I think you should wake up. I think that this might be it.”

“Brett. I think you should wake up. I think that this might be it.”

He said something like, “Really? Are you sure?”. I explained that it was definitely “something different” and I didn’t think it was going away. I think we were both in a little bit of shock, especially since I’d not only convinced myself that he wouldn’t be early, Brett was hoping it’d be a few more days at least too.

I am pretty sure at this point, Brett thought we’d be having the same experience as last time too, and said something like, “Well, this might sound crazy, but I think I’m going to try to get some more sleep”. I can’t recall my response, but that didn’t happen. He then said he had to go to the bathroom, and I made him go downstairs since with each contraction, it took me back to the toilet.

In order to try to start my laboring process, I asked him, “Are your headphones charged?”. He asked me why, and I reminded him that I’d like to listen to music. Well, they weren’t charged, and Burke was still asleep, so I never got my music. Oh well. 🙂

Brett says:

Just a few days before we had had a discussion with the midwives about false labors being common in the second pregnancy and Annemarie had already thought she had been in labor the week before. I was also pretty sure at the end of each day, that if we made it to bed without labor we’d make it through the night. So my first response was a little skeptical at this hour in the morning.

I went back to the bathroom with each contraction, so I really kept hoping that it might just end up being something I ate, or gas pains. I even sat there praying, “Lord, let it be gas pains, I’m not ready”.



Brett came back upstairs and I said, “Yeah, I think this is definitely happening”, and then Brett was in “go mode”. He pulled out the birth kit, cleaned off the dressers, cleaned off the bed, was stuffing things in the closet, etc.


In my head, I’m thinking…..”Of course this happens tonight. I didn’t get to shower today, the kitchen is a mess, there’s no time to shave my legs now. Ha!”



Yeah, they weren’t gas pains. Each one was getting more intense, and between them, my body did, however, (thankfully too), clean itself out of anything left in my tummy during these contractions.

At 334am I sent a quick text to my 4 mommy friends.

“Girls…I’m pretty sure this is happening. Already not feeling good through contractions that are about 5 mins apart. Please pray for me.”

That was the last thing I did with my phone. I couldn’t make it through tracking anything else or letting anyone else know what was happening. I was already starting to have to make noise with the contractions. Last time, I groaned like a mamma bear, or cow, the whole time. This time, I ended up making more of a vroom sound through breathing, and thought I was going to wake up Burke and have him think that Brett was playing Forza.

At this point, Brett was fully awake, throwing everything from the floor of our bedroom into his closet, and getting things ready. I told him that he probably needed to go ahead and call Nikole, the midwife that was responsible for the nighttime calls. He couldn’t find her in his phone and started to ask me if I had deleted it, or something like that. I huffed at him in between trying to breathe, “I don’t know, just grab my phone and call.” He found her number, and called her at 339am, and she didn’t answer. She called right back and let him know she was out of town, and to call Laurel. 341am. Brett called Laurel, talked to her for 48 seconds, and while he was on that call, my water broke.

I was standing up right over the toilet, mid vrooming, and it broke just like it does in Hollywood movies. There was a POP, and then a huge gush and splash. Thank goodness I was in the bathroom so it all landed on the linoleum floor (and not the carpet!). There was some relief, a lot of shock on my part, and then Brett saying, “Oh, her water just broke!”. That was all Laurel needed to hear, and said she was on her way.

By this time, I think I’d also already huffed, “You need to get Burke out of here so you can setup the tub”, and so his next call, at 342am was to Dave to wake them up for Burke’s transfer. No answer. 345am call again. No answer. 346am call to Dayna. No answer. 347am call to Dave. Again, no answer.

Brett says:

I tried calling Dave once with no luck… but kept moving toward their house with the pack-n-play. The rest of the calls were all from their front door… as I was alternating between ringing the doorbell and knocking. Eventually I got to the point of ringing the doorbell repetitively like an alarm going off. And that seemed to do the trick… Dayna answered the door and I simply left the pack-n-play on the door step, asked her to get it set up and then ran back to our house to get Burke. I checked on Annemarie really quickly, then grabbed Burke and quick stepped it back to Dave and Dayna’s place. Burke transferred like a champ and was back asleep as soon as I laid him down. As I ran back down the stairs and towards home, I told Dayna that Annemarie already felt like pushing. From the time I last called with no answer to when I got back to Annemarie from dropping Burke off was just 4 minutes.

As Brett is running around, I was in shock because my body was starting to push. I remembered this feeling from last time and just couldn’t believe that was already happening, and was nervous that I wasn’t dilated enough yet. No one was there to tell me it was okay, or let me know where I was in the dilation process, so I was unsure if I should be giving into the feeling.

I was still in the bathroom. I couldn’t get too far away because it didn’t feel good to sit (on the toilet) during the contractions, and it didn’t feel good to be standing, so I did what felt best at that time. I had my hands on the seat, my back arched and stomach in the air. Each contraction was intensifying quickly, and even though I felt that he was already ready to come out, just like with my Braxton Hicks contractions, my uterus was pushing out so hard way up high. I’m not sure if it was his bottom, or his legs, or what, but it was still happening so high and so hard.

After Brett got back from dropping off Burke, it was now 351am. I asked him to come in and see if he could see a head. I really thought that he would say yes, but he said no. So, I insisted that he get the tub setup. Since he didn’t see a head, and things were going so fast, I thought that the tub would provide me some relief, like it did last time. So, he kept at it.

A few minutes later, I made him come check again. “There’s a head!”.

“There’s a head!”.

So, Brett texted Laurel at 401am to let her know, and immediately switched gears and started to prep our room/bed. There didn’t seem like there would be any time to have the bed changed, setup with the drop cloth, and remade in enough time, so he started to get towels and the floor below our bed ready.

Brett says:

At this point I was getting myself mentally prepared to deliver the baby. I could see a head and it was still just Annemarie and myself. Oh man!

Jenna was the first midwife to show up. She’s the newest team member to join the SB Midwives, and we met her on Friday for our 39 week appointment. It was a good thing too, since that visit was at our house, she had been here, knew the lay of our place. She came right up, into the bathroom where I was….and JUST in time. As soon as she got there, I was mid push, and the head came out. She walked in the bathroom, knelt down in front of the toilet, and caught the head. She told me to keep at it with short pushes. It’s a good thing she was there to tell me that or Brett would have been doing the catching and I would have pushed him out so fast. About a minute later, Laurel got there, and was trying to get in the door right next to us. I saw her leg, and said “You gotta go around to the other door”, and she was there with Jenna in a few seconds. They were both there when, on the next big push, he came out, and immediately, he was on my stomach, with Burke’s (dirty) green raccoon bath towel on top of him. I guess it was the closest thing that they could grab since we had nothing else ready for the situation. Brett walked in a few seconds after he was born. Poor guy was trying to get things ready through most of the labor and delivery. He was on such an adrenaline rush.

The baby looked a little purple, was completely covered with blood, and within a few seconds, he cried out. Oh, such a sweet, sweet sound. OH.MY.GOD. We have a baby. He’s here, and he’s out. My first question was, “What time is it?”.


You have GOT to be kidding me. I was totally in shock. It had only been an hour and 25 minutes since I got out of bed. CRAZY!!! I sat down there on the toilet for a minute or two, and then they helped move me to our bed…which also wasn’t ready for us either. They put down some chuck pads and towels, and I laid down with our baby on my chest. He was attached still to his cord, and it was a long one. I don’t think I really even had gotten a good look at him at this point yet because I seriously couldn’t believe what had happened.

Brett says:

Things seemed to speed up exponentially, so that the last 30 minutes or so of the labor seemed to happen in fast forward. Is it really possible that it could go that fast? There were some things that we had planned on getting done that I simply couldn’t seem to get done any faster than I did. And with the exception of a few short check-ins from me, Annemarie went through most of the labor on her own.

{Brett’s right in that he wasn’t physically present for most of the labor and delivery, but there is no way I could have gone through I what did if he wasn’t “there”. He was definitely there for me, and I couldn’t have done it alone at all. He was doing his part in the process just as I was doing mine. I’m so thankful for Brett and what he did for both of us during this delivery.}

We shared the name with our midwives, and introduced them to:

Blake Adams Bollman.

5 minutes after he was born, we remembered to get the camera. This time, we (obviously) didn’t have any time to get any pictures during the labor and delivery process, so we had to play catch up and get some documenting done. I’m pretty sure I was in that after-birth euphoric state still with Blake, at 5 minutes old.

He got a little banged up during the quick delivery, and ended up with a little bit of a broken blood vessel in his eye, and was a little swollen too.

My sweet little baby. Favorite moments right after birth just having his lie on my chest and Mommy gets to soak it all in.

Proud Daddy. He didn’t even have time to ever get properly dressed, so he’s still in his jammies. 🙂

Let me take a minute to brag on how awesome our midwives are….not only do they do the cleanup (so Brett didn’t have to), Laurel made me a delicious plate of snacks to appease my growing appetite. Aww, breakfast in bed.

After about 20 minutes or so, when I was ready, we delivered the placenta and it sat on the bed next to us for a while until we were ready to go ahead and cut the cord. I got to do that this time while Brett held Blake, which was pretty neat. It felt really squishy!

The sun was up and so there was nice light to get a quick bundled up picture of Blake.

Some skin to skin time with Daddy.

The after birth time was so relaxed. Anna showed up a little after Blake was born, and so there were three lovely women there to go through this with us. There was no one else having a baby right then (like last time), so we all hung out and went through all of the things that needed to happen. Anna was working on paperwork while being nagged by Molly. I had to get a few stitches, so Laurel took care of that. Anna and Brett got Blake ready to be weighed and measured.

8 pounds 1 ounce. 20 inches. He has a pretty good head of medium brown hair and dark eyes. He looks an awful lot like his older brother.

As crazy as this process was this time, we are so grateful that everything happened the way it did, and with the midwives as part of the story. They’ve been part of our lives now for the last 2 and a half years. Love these women. (Great self portrait shot by Brett here).

We already have our hearts full of love for this little one. It’s going to be a wild ride as we adjust to our family of four, but with the support of our families, our friends and everyone’s prayers, we know that we were chosen for this by God and can’t wait to see what He has in store for all of us.

11 Responses to “Blake’s Birth Story”

  1. Autie says:

    Love that you shared this on Valentine’s Day! What a love story for Blake from both his parents.
    Wonderful pictures to cherish. Love the one of Blake holding Brett’s finger and the ones of him on your chest. Such precious moments.

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow. I LOVE that you share ALL the details. Beautiful story.

  3. Krista Knoles says:

    I will never forget getting that text at 3:35am! Even more the text from Brett just a few minutes later! Such a great birth story! ❤❤❤

  4. Rachel Hayman says:

    What a beautiful story…I’m actually crying!! Thanks for sharing and much health and happiness to your beautiful family.

  5. Mickey Coombs says:

    AB: You are the BOMB DOT COM! 8 lbs? And you did it at home?! Again?! So, so, impressed. And so glad to know someone else loves the skin on skin time as much as I do. Kai and I were just last night looking at pics of he and I when we did this 9 years ago. Enjoy every second of this time in your life! Love you!

  6. Raven says:

    So so so great!, love you Annemarie! Such an amazing birth story! Xoxo

  7. Lyndsey Gallagher says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. I cried through the whole thing and so appreciate your mama’s heart through this journey. Much love and blessings to you and your handsome little men. xoxo

  8. Mom Bollman says:

    Here it is nine days later and I am still amazed Blake is here, that it all happened so quickly and yet perfectly! Your story is beautiful! I chuckle as I can picture Brett running around frantically trying to prepare everything and then realizing that it was happening all too fast! Makes me laugh as I picture it….and amazed when I think you went through labor pretty much “on your own.” Blake is so very precious and it has been a JOY this past week to be your “helper”, caring for all four of you. Your friends are beyond amazing as they brought in food, and were so anxious to see Blake and both of you! Dad and I are so blessed to have such wonderful kids – Annemarie and Brett AND two such adorable grandsons – Burke and now BLAKE! Thank you! We love you SO much!

  9. marisa says:

    Wow that is crazy!! What a great story…seriously can’t believe it happened that fast. I will admit to giggling a bit at Brett’s frantic running around and transporting burke

  10. Roz Simpson says:

    Congratulations to all! He sure looks like his brother. Boys are great!
    Roz Simpson