Felicity’s Birth Story by Annemarie

Posted in: Us- Jun 28, 2017 6 Comments

It’s hard to know where to begin with a birth story when there is so much to want to capture for memory’s sake. I didn’t really get to document or write anything during this pregnancy so maybe I’ll just start with that.

We found out we were pregnant back in October. I was a few days late but wasn’t expecting to be pregnant as I’d already taken an early test and it was negative. I was anxious and wanting to be pregnant though.  We’d been cleared to start trying again the month earlier after the miscarriage and all it’s lingering affects were complete.  So, due to this anxiousness, it was the first time I’d ever taken a test before I was supposed to start, and when it came up negative, I figured we’d just be trying again in a few weeks time.   That Sunday night, after I’d finished editing a bunch of mini-sessions I’d done that afternoon, Brett was making himself a Vanilla Old Fashioned.  We’d recently discovered this delicious cocktail and had been enjoying one every once in a while in the evenings after bedtime, and I asked him to make me one too. He questioned if I should be having a drink as there was a chance I was pregnant. I assured him that I wasn’t since I’d already taken a test, but he wasn’t so sure. I was getting irritated with him and said, “Fine, I’ll go take the other test” and went to do so. I let it sit and just walked out of the bathroom, annoyed as I just wanted to sit down, relax and enjoy my tasty beverage. I didn’t even want to go back into the bathroom, so I told him it was in there and he could go look. He came around the corner in the living room with it in his hands and a big smile on his face. Turned out that I was indeed expecting, and so Brett ended up having to drink both of them that night.

We decided to have an early ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and that everything looked good this time.  After we saw that the baby was there, and heard the heartbeat, I sent a text to Anna to let her know. We started our visits and really loved being back with our favorite midwives. We shared the news with family and friends and thus started the journey of this sweet baby!

I was so tired, which was encouraging, and started to show pretty early. The bump popped out and I was proud to have it as always. The maternity jeans were a lifesaver this time and I just loved having my belly grow. I don’t recall when I first felt the baby move, maybe about 18 weeks or so, but once I felt those movements, they never quit. This baby was moving and grooving constantly and it’s my favorite.

We went in for a 20 week ultrasound appointment at the beginning of February and had Dr. Soffici take a good detailed look at the baby and discover the gender. We had him put it in an envelope and brought it home. We decided late that afternoon that it would be a fun thing to let Burke read the letter to all of us and tell us the gender of the baby. We got all the kids on our bed and handed him the envelope. What an unforgettable moment when he read it to us saying “IT’S A GIRL!”. We were all shocked and amazed….well, that is, except Blake, who was dead set on it being a boy. He recovered quickly and Mommy and Daddy were ecstatic.

The next months of the pregnancy went along as normal. Not too much has the priveledge of changing when you have 3 little ones to keep up with constantly. Baby girl moved and kicked and gave me some grief but nothing that much to complain about really. I had some lost sleep, back pains and some slowing down, but overall, this was a delightful pregnancy.

I wanted to have some family pictures taken before she came, documenting this last pregnancy and baby bump. A new photographer friend, Daniel, was willing to do that for us. I loved the images we ended up getting and will treasure them forever.  These were taken at a day shy of 38 weeks.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.  🙂

School ended and I was 38 weeks along. We then had a week of VBS, and one more week of waiting, before I would reach 40 weeks. Our friend Remi was getting back into town on the 20th, and staying with us until baby came, so although everyone ELSE was hoping she would come early, I knew that she had to at least wait until the 20th. Remi arrived and the countdown was on.

I had a few Evan’s foot massages and a nice pedicure, thinking that those things might get things going. Friends all around were having their babies. My due date came, and although I was anxious to meet this girl, I also was completely OK with being pregnant another day as long as I knew I had something to wear that made me feel cute. So, I kept the best maternity clothing options clean and went along as usual. I met some friends at the beach with all 3 kids by myself on Monday, and getting them back in the van afterwards almost put me into labor.  I had a big cramp that stopped me in my tracks, luckily after the boys were already in the van, and it was just me and Mal, so I was able to keep her still enough to where I could take a minute and breath.  Phew!  I wasn’t ready yet.  🙂

On Tuesday night, the 27th, Remi and I decided to watch the latest episode of The Bachelorette, and ended up staying up until 1am to do so. I’d been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for months and so that wasn’t any different, however, at some points during the night, there was definite cramping happening alongside as well. I didn’t really give it much thought, but right before bed, I did think enough about it to mention to Brett.  I told him that I really thought tonight might be the night. He wasn’t jazzed about that since he was working on a deadline and knew he was going to be up late. He finally came to bed at 4am. I had been feeling discomfort during the few hours of my sleep, but when I woke up at 639 and realized it was late morning and I hadn’t had her yet, I thought it wouldn’t happen. I said to Brett “I’m surprised it didn’t happen because I definitely am feeling contractions” and then 1 minute later, at 640am, my water broke.

I called Alissa right away and let her know. She was surprised it was me calling, and not Brett, but he was already on the phone with the Midwife Hotline. I called Remi’s phone but it rang without answer. Turns out she was already up and in the bathroom so she popped her head in and we let her know it was go time. She and Brett started to get the bed and room ready, and I retreated myself to the labor room, aka the bathroom, put on my comfy Dwell & Slumber caftan, and got myself situated for labor to begin by sitting on the toilet.

Alissa and Laurel arrived about 15 minutes later, got started on getting the room setup with everything they needed for the birth.  I said hi and that’s about it as I was already heavy breathing and zooming through some contractions.

She was moving around and pushing on me hard during them, and I was putting pressure back and doing my thing.  I was concerned about Mallory waking up at any minute as it was already past 7am, and so I managed to mumble out that someone should get Paw Patrol ready on the big TV for her. Brett had tried to ask me something at one point and I just shooed him away and said I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted to sit there and do what I knew how to do. Alissa checked me and said there was hardly any cervix left and I could listen to my body when it was ready. The contractions were building in intensity with each one and I was starting to worry that it could be a much longer labor than the last two.

At about 720, I made my way to the bed and was assisted in getting on the edge. At that point, the contractions were so intense that I was having a hard time to get to the position I really wanted to be, which was laying back. Although I apparently was also having a hard time explaining that to anyone because everyone was just letting me do my thing and no one was helping me. I managed to get out that I needed help and for someone to hold and push my belly and me over, and remembered seeing the time on someone’s phone on the nightstand and that it was already 722am.

Once I got situated, I was just laying there by myself. Going through the contractions on my own, waiting for the big urge to push. No one was helping me or doing anything, which I remember thinking was odd. They were just getting things ready or doing paperwork or something, quietly, and it was just me, breathing and moaning through the contractions. I asked them if I could push and they said yes, do what your body says. She was coming down and I was helping her get there, but it seemed slower than in the past, and harder.  She was all wonky in my belly while I was contracting and I could feel it.

I think I got confirmation a few times that I had the OK to push, since it felt different this time.  With Blake and Mal it was obvious to me that my body was wanting me to push, but this time, it felt different.  I knew that I was going to have to work hard to get her out.  When I did start to push, it was so much harder than the last two labors. It was tough, and I was having to push so incredibly hard, and it was brutal. She was on my tailbone, and the midwives thought she was also possibly turning around/over at the last minute as well. My whole body was working and Alissa and Laurel were just watching me do it. At one point I asked if they could just get her out, but they assured me that I was doing great, and that I was the one who had to do the work.

Felicity Louise Bollman was born at 746am and was placed on my chest immediately. I couldn’t really move or look at her for quite some time as I was still in some great pain.

She just laid on my chest for a good 20 minutes before I was able to move and get a good look at her.

Once I got to see her little face, we all commented on how she looked just like a Bollman kid…and a lot like Blake and Mallory at birth.  She had a full head of dark hair and was looking quite bruised from her swift entrance.

The placenta was delivered shortly after and that was a little bit of relief to have it off my tailbone.

The after pains and contractions were brutal to say the least, but didn’t overshadow the ultimate joy of finally having our little daughter here, and with us.

It was so special to have Alissa be the one who was our lead midwife for this birth, and who delivered our last baby.  She was our birth assistant at Burke’s birth, by my request.  I just had a feeling that she was the one who should be with us, and she was happy to come.  Then we became friends through our mutual love for all things fabric and quilting as part of the SB Modern Quilt Guild.  She was one of the first ones to meet Blake, and made it for Mallory’s birth too.  She’s been studying as a student midwife for the last year or so and I’ve loved watching and hearing about her journey.  When we were about 10 weeks along with this pregnancy, I texted her to say “When can you start catching babies?  This one is due June 25.”.  She responded immediately and it was all set!  She was at most of our appointments and with us the whole way through this pregnancy.  It’s been so wonderful having such an amazing group of women be part of all of our pregnancies and births.  Alissa took great care of us and worked hard to get us all setup to be comfy with our new sweet little one.

At about 840am, baby girl was all set to be disconnected from me.  Alissa got her cord all tied off, and Daddy cut it.

You may have wondered where the other kids were during all of this.  Well, at around 730am, Mallory woke up, so Remi snuck in there with the iPad and woke up the boys so they could all watch a show.  A little bit later, when Remi heard our voices chatting, she figured that baby was born, so the kids were then moved to eat some breakfast and then to the living room to watch something in there.  They pretty much thought it was the best morning ever as they got to watch shows.  After we were a little bit settled, Brett went to grab the kids and at 849am, they met their littlest sister.

Felicity latched well and ate for her first time around 9am.

She was weighed and measured and was 20 inches long and 8 pounds 4 ounces.  Pretty much the same size as all of her siblings before her.

Aww, Daddy love.

So thankful for these women.  Laurel has been at all 4 of our home births.  We are the only family who she can say that about…what a treat!

Mallory is already enamored by her baby sister and I think she will fall into her new role as big sister quite well.  She kept coming in all day to check on us and say “Aww, cute baby!  Little feet!”.

Remi was an amazing helper today, being all hands on deck for whatever was needed.  She made it possible for us to be able to be in the room and rest all day with Felicity by taking care of the big kids and anything else really.  We are so incredible grateful that she is a part of our family. <3

I did get to rest and lay in bed all day with my sweet girl, and for that, I am so grateful.  This was at the end of the day, around 7pm, as the rest of the kids were winding down and getting ready for bedtime.  We are so happy that she’s here and our family of 6 is complete.

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6 Responses to “Felicity’s Birth Story”

  1. Bee Saunders says:

    A fantastic story, and another wonderful addition to your family. Can’t wait to meet her, bring you guys dinner and congratulate you in person!

  2. Irelle says:

    Beautiful story, Annemarie. I love hearing the details. You are amazing! God bless your beautiful family!

  3. Laura says:

    What an amazing story and such a beautiful family!! So happy for all of you!!! She is just beautiful!!! Love to your family of 6 from ours! 🙂

  4. Carolyn Lawrence says:

    Annemarie, that was amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Mom says:

    Another beautiful birthing story. So glad Felicity made her entrance to this world expeditiously. May God continue to watch over this amazing Bollman family of six.

  6. Grandma Betty says:

    As before, your telling this story and the pictures tell a beautiful story. It is amazing that all four of your kids were born in your own home and you handled labor as if it were a relatively easy event. Those of us who have gone through it know that it is NOT!! We are thrilled to see the joy you and your family have for this sweet new baby sister!! We already love her and can’t wait to share the years ahead with this precious new little Bollman. We are thankful all four of your little ones are blessed to have you as parents!💗