Baby Sullivan | A Birth Story

09 July 2017


My due date with Sullivan was Friday, June 30th. Just like last time with Marin, we blew right past that day and I knew that we would still be waiting for a bit of time before his big arrival. My maternity leave officially started July 1st and I was left to wait and wait and wait. Luckily, I didn't have to wait nearly as long as Marin (you can read her birth story here). With her, we were 10 days overdue and I thought I would be pregnant forever. I was ready for Sullivan's arrival whenever he was ready and willing to enter into this world. I had told Ryan that I thought we would have him Monday. 

And we did. 

Sunday, July 2nd was like most days aside from the fact that this was my first official day off from work. It felt pretty strange to not be getting up at 5am and heading into the walls of church to start the day. I won't walk those halls for a little while and that's still strange to me. It's odd to know that time moves on swiftly without you and you have to be alright with realization. 

Marin and I hung out for the day. Ryan went to work. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with Marin. She was eating her typical dinner that included dinosaur chicken nuggets, of course. She eats VERY SLOWLY most of the time so we were just chilling and talking about Baby Sully. I kept getting this feeling though, this evening it would happen, I would go into labor. My body was telling me to get ready. My mind was going through all of my lists and I couldn't help but wonder if I had packed everything that we would be needing once we got to the hospital. 

At 8:50pm that night my water broke in our kitchen. I had been having a good deal of more intense contractions by that point. Our amazing doula, Tamara, was notified and was sitting at my kitchen table when my water broke. My water breaking was so different than with Marin. It really was like in the movies where you are at the supermarket and the next thing you know you are wondering if you wet yourself as you stand in a puddle. This was only the beginning. 

We labored at home for many hours. I decided to watch the new episodes of the X-files to keep my brain occupied as I recorded contraction times on my phone. We made it four episodes in and then tried to lay down and sleep for a while. The contractions kept waking me up because their intensity was slowly increasing. We decided it was time to head to the hospital. 

We pulled into the hospital at 3am, July 3rd. Checked in, got hooked up to monitor the baby, and continued to labor. 


I soaked in the huge bath tub for a long time, smelling of essential oils, and taking each wave of contractions as they would come. 

Time passed and we found that my contractions were getting slower. They administered Pitocin in an IV to try and jump start the process. I had somehow forgotten the pain from Marin's birth. You go to this place, this deep, guttural place where you have to become a warrior and just face the pain. You must ride the wave of contractions. You must let your body do its thing. I am so incredibly thankful that we had our doula with us again. I truly don't think I would have made it through this point without her. She would help me get through the contractions by pushing on certain pressure points and was a support system that Ryan and I are very thankful for. 

Laboring on the birthing ball. 
I did that for what seemed like an eternity. Then is was time to push. I pushed for quite a while. A contraction would hit and then everyone would yell, "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!!!!!" I did. I gave it everything I had within me. 

By this point we were about 13 to 14 hours in. The pushing just wasn't working. 

This is very similar to what we went through with Marin but this birth story ends a bit differently than hers. 


At first it was hard for me to accept this because I like to be the strong woman, hear me roar. I birth babies with no meds! But, we decided the best route for Sully was a C-Section. This was not in my birth plan. I didn't want to have one going in to the birth but if it meant that I would be holding my baby boy in my arms and that he was healthy, I was fine with it. 

Laboring with Tamara by our side. 

While I was still in a wave of contractions, they rushed me to OR to administer a spinal. I have never experienced anything like that before. It's the strangest sensation to realize that you cannot feel half of your body, at least completely. My entire upper half was trembling the entire time, my teeth were chattering and I couldn't seem to calm down. Everyone there was so amazing and helpful though. Even though we were in a situation we didn't really want, I knew we would be fine.


They said that the cord had been wrapped around his neck and that I have an anterior lip that was keeping him from coming through the birth canal fully. This is similar to what we faced with Marin but Sully was such a big baby, a c-section was the route to take. 

My hubby would make a good looking doctor. 
I heard his cries for the first time and knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. He was here. 


Sullivan James Hollen. Born at 12:30pm on July 3rd. 9 lbs, 8 oz. 21 inches. 



He was a lot bigger than we were fully expecting. He didn't fit newborn diapers from the get go and was in size 1 the day he was born. I had one outfit in the hospital for him that I packed that luckily fit him. He's a tank and I love him. 

Slowly getting more confident. 


Marin is thrilled, excited, and a little sheepish around her little brother but is going to be a great big helper. 

Sully brought Marin a new movie as a Welcome to the World present. 

Our lives will never be the same. 

My heart is full. 

(All Photos By Ryan Hollen) 

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