Welcome Sutton Olivia!! Sutton was born early Saturday morning, June 8th at 1:47 AM after a VERY fast and smooth labor! We saw the midwife on Thursday and discussed some options to help Sutton arrive by Tuesday so I didn’t have to be officially induced at the 42 week mark. After another ultrasound on Friday showed the baby to and healthy to be healthy and enough fluid, we had another discussion with the midwife about what was next. With the 42 week mark approaching and our sweet Hannah Gray’s birthday that same day, we decided we wanted to do what we could to welcome baby in as much time ahead of Hannah Gray’s bday as possible. So we decided that after the girls went to bed Friday, that I would try the midwife’s labor inducing “juice” to see if baby would be ready to born. If the baby was not ready, then drinking the juice would not have caused anything to happen.
Friday, we put the girls to bed, made arrangements with two friends for the girls, got their things ready for the next day, checked our bags to make sure they were ready and then I drank the juice… 1 C of apricot juice blended with 2 T of castor oil, 5 ml of lemon verbena oil (the key ingredient), and 2 T of almond butter. It was like a thin smoothie that I just drank quickly (maybe a little too quickly) and got a little anxious about what button I just pushed. I kept waiting for pangs, contractions or even hard contractions as it could have started very quickly, but I mostly just felt too full from drinking a lot of something that felt like it completely filled my stomach. Then two hours later, I had to do the exact same thing. Ethan and I watched a movie and right before it was over, I did round 2 and then it started.
Our midwife that was on call for that night told me to call her when contractions were either 10 min apart or if I had a contraction that just absolutely rocked me. We had started to time the contractions by the time I was laid up on the couch and they were about 3 minutes apart. I called one of my friends on call for the girls and said “heads up I think it’s coming” and we decided that she ought to just come on over. Good thing we did. Ethan talked to Tonya, our midwife and she agreed, come in now. We pulled into the birth just over an hour after those first phone calls were made, about 12:15 and made ourselves comfortable. We were greeted by Tonya, our midwife, Jen, a student midwife we had also gotten to know during our visits and another midwife, Kyla, that is transitioning to the practice. Everything was ready for us and after they took vitals of me and baby they basically told us to make ourselves comfy, that they would kind of disappear to give us privacy and come to check on me every 20-30 minutes or to go get them if we needed anything at all. We did and it seemed like after 1 or 2 checks by Jen, it was time to try and get some relief in the tub. That thing was magic. The hot water on my back did amazing things to help ease the pain and I was able to stay there as the contractions got to be the ones you remember. Jen’s visits in became a bit more frequent. The amazing thing was, I was never checked for dilation, effacement, etc. It was like they didn’t need to know, knowing that my body didn’t need to know anything more, it already knew exactly what to do. Jen heard me working through a couple contractions, came in to check and said, “that sounded like a pushing contraction” and gave some advice, tips, the other midwives came in and we got ready. 3 pushes later, we had little Sutton Olivia with us!!
We got to hold her as she warmed up and took her first breaths, Ethan cut the (very short) cord, and then I transitioned to bed for recovery. They helped make sure I was drinking water, even during hard contractions and especially during my recovery and it averted any problems whatsoever. When Hannah Gray was born, I passed out in the bathroom with a bp of 40/60 , delaying my move to the recovery room by almost 3 hrs. It was because I had had nothing to drink since I had been in the hospital. No measurements, cleaning, testing, etc was done for a long time. We all sat on the bed and cuddled Sutton and talked about names as I think we ended up being unexpectedly surprised that she was a girl. Neither of us knew (obviously) or had hunches, but somehow I think we were taken aback a bit. We had a couple girl names but none we were completely set on. Then they came in to check on me and the baby again and took measurements of her, weighed her (7 lbs, 0.5 oz and about 21 inches long), and checked on how she was nursing. As Sutton was getting her hair rinsed (she had a crazy amount of vernix on her, like crazy amount), we got to see the placenta and how Sutton had been living for the last 9 months. It was small, but “extremely healthy”. Clearly no issues at all with the placenta which had been a huge answer to prayers since I had been measuring so small especially at the end of the pregnancy. They explained that the vernix didn’t have to be bathed off, that it’s actually good for her skin and it’s crazy hard to get off, so it’s easier to just let it rub in and off.
At about 4, we began to get ready to leave for home! We had substantial down time as a family, long enough that all three of us drifted off to sleep and the midwives worked quickly so that we could all get home for some real sleep. The funny part is when we left, we ended up in the parking lot of Home Depot so we could discuss names more and give Renee and the girls more time to sleep at home! We were ready to call family, but didn’t have a name to tell them! We parked for about 45 min, using our phones and ipad to research more names. We had 3 first names we liked, but not a specific middle name, so we played around with combining those and none of them seemed to work. Actually, Sutton was not on the list for a girl because it’s been our boy name for so long (Sutton James), but this being our last biological child (most likely), we decided to use it because it’s special to us (that’s another story for another time). Sutton being a stronger name, we wanted something softer and feminine for her middle, thus the Olivia.
So about the tub… that has been one thing I have wanted to try and this was the first time I not only got to labor in it, but also got to have the baby in the tub. Was it worth it. Yes, it’s weight in gold. I still felt everything, it still hurt like mad, but it took a certain edge off. My hips and back were hurting in addition to the actual contractions inside of me. The water took the pain caused by gravity and made it less distracting so I was really working with the contractions and movements of what was going on inside. And as crazy as it seems, it’s like I could feel Sutton moving down inside of me, over my tailbone, etc. And because I wasn’t as distracted by hip, back, etc pain, I could really feel when it was time to push and felt like I had my head about me so I could actually stop pushing and wait for the next contraction to work with.
This experience was absolutely amazing and it was a gift to work with my midwives at Puget Sound Birth Center. They have 3 midwives and it would have been a pleasure to work with any of them. It was relaxing, anxiety calming and they were so confident in what they do and in me that it was just a dramatically different experience than a hospital or even in a hospital delivering with a midwife like I did with Tenley. I feel totally blessed that with our move and how far along I was, that there was space in the practice for them to take me as a new patient and that I had adequate time to develop repertoire with each midwife. What an incredible gift and blessing, yet another way God provided for us during this transition.
Getting checked out
Daddy dressing her (the girls picked out two outfits for the baby, one boy and one girl) and getting her hair rinsed out. Sutton never made a noise about the water, she loved it!
Sutton and Mommy before we headed home
Daddy and his baby girl plus the team of midwives with us
Heading home and meeting Miss Nae while girls were still asleep!
The girls were actually awake at 6, I swear they have this 6th sense… but they were THRILLED to meet their sister!!!!! Apparently, they woke up during the night and took a team potty break where Renee could overhear their conversation. She met them downstairs and explained that we were gone, but when HG saw Renee, I think she put two and two together as to why she was there. Her face LIT up realizing the baby was coming and that she in fact, would not share a bday… (she had been totally deadset on wanting to share her bday with the baby. We explained that next year she might not like that and that mommy and daddy were doing what we could to keep her special day about Hannah Gray. She is so generous with herself and time, that we want to be able to celebrate HER and she gives so freely all the time. What a sweet girl she is!). We think she was secretly relieved as she was saying, “it’s okay if you have the baby on my birthday" and trying to share, but truly, deep inside wanted it herself (which is totally okay too!).
First family photo!
And the drink that started it all. What button was I about to push??