woodrow shia frame

| WOODROW SHIA FRAME | 2.28.2020 | 7 POUNDS 6 OUNCES | 5:44 PM |

Long time Small Fry readers already know the drill with my births and how I end up being induced at 37 weeks.

Be Strep B positive.✔✔✔ ✔

Dilate pretty aggressively without going into labor. ✔✔✔✔

Dilate a few more in between 36 + 37 weeks ✔✔✔✔

Then they make the executive decision that the antiobiotic is most important and bring me in to start the process. Then they just don’t send me home basically. I don’t make the rules but I am certainly grateful to tap out at 37 weeks.Woody's Birth Story | Small Fry

So even with these consistent circumstances I was feeling certain that I’d be stuck being pregnant until 40 weeks or my water would break and I’d have the baby in the car. You see, my life experience shows that I am not in control. I have gotten expert level at rolling with Plan B-Z, it’s a bet I must’ve lost with God before this life. 😉 So I braced myself for some wrench would be chucked in, some caveat, nuance, protocol change. I had to really fight my inner urgings to not jinx myself when I pre-scheduled my mom to make her 2 hour drive to sleep at our house, when I packed the hospital bag and the car seat for our 37 week appointment. To try and play it ultra cool with my midwife so she wouldn’t think I was trying to hoodwink her into delivering me 3 weeks early.

But she checked my cervix for dilation, and laughed bewilderingly as they all do. “You’re a 7.” The only real difference between this baby and my others is that his water bag is not bulging. And I know it.  For the week or so before I deliver my whole nether region sags. (TMI! YUM!) well passed any structure of bones and that’s always how I know I am close. This time, not there yet. But, nevertheless she made the call to the approving OBGYN and I got the go ahead to get myself to the hospital to have a baby.  Russ and I grabbed an acai bowl knowing I wouldn’t be eating much for the next while and headed on in. Don’t I look pretty pleased with myself??

Woody's Birth Story | Small FryThey set me up with the antibiotic and I had two rounds, meaning one bag marinates for 4 hours and then the other bag drains in, and they break my water right after that. Then the show was on the road. It’s a very weird feeling to sit there doing absolutely nothing, knowing full well in a few hours you will be doing the most insane something of all. And it’s going to hurt.Woody's Birth Story | Small FryThe second bag drips in and they come into break my water. With my last two pregnancies I have the baby within about 10-15 minutes. So they hover around and watch me but nothing is quite hitting yet. I know baby hasn’t descended far enough. I’m on the birthing ball, squatting, swaying my hips and waiting for the pain. Woody's Birth Story | Small Fry

And then it comes.

Woody's Birth Story | Small Fry

I get back in to the hospital bed because I know I need to push. Nurses gather round and Russ grabs a knee and we wait for the next wave. And I am so afraid. Because I know what I have to do now, and I’m not sure I can. With a sea of faces staring at me I shut my eyes tight I hold my breath and push and start to slip. The pain is taking over. I hold my breath so tight and I plead for my midwife to get him out. But they can’t do that. Only I can. I spiral and my head spins and I surely look like a wild, trapped animal.  Then through the darkness I hear Russ and he means business — “Em. BREATHE.” And I open my eyes and lock on his and I know what I have to do. There is only one way out and that is through. My yells sounds like ripping and I dig my hands into Russ’ shoulder and what I thought was my sister’s hand but was really and random nurse, but I find my center and he bursts through. Woody's Birth Story | Small FryAnd the relief washes over me and I sob. And sob and sob. I don’t know any of this but learned after that his hand was at his mouth when he was born. And the cord was around his neck. And the speed at which he came and the force in which I pushed bruised his entire face. They coded him because they thought he wasn’t breathing, but the inside of his mouth was perfectly pink. His poor face was just purple from force and bruising. The pictures of him shatter my heart because of all the things I could shelter him from this pregnancy, this was not one of them. Woody's Birth Story | Small FrySo I cry and cry some more, and hold him with every inch of me. So much gratitude and awe that this can be done, babies can be born, he is safe, I am safe. Even my 4th time baffles me. This picture doesn’t show it but I have tears streaming down my face. I had to capture that feeling. RELIEF.Woody's Birth Story | Small FryThe code is lifted and all the extra people scatter and I get attended to while Russ does his thing. His thing, if you don’t know, is basically ripping his shirt off the moment he gets the go ahead to do skin-to-skin. I have a picture like this with all 4 boys. THIS is Russ’ moment. Woody's Birth Story | Small FryHe is the most beautiful thing and he looks just like his dad. His sweetness makes my heart ache. We don’t have a name for him until the very last minute before we leave the hospital. So he is just “my baby” for the next two days. My last. Woody's Birth Story | Small FryA crappy screen grab of the sweetest video. Russ FaceTimed the boys and they were all screaming and squealing. Then they made their way down with Gigi.

My boys reunited. No viruses will be spread on Grandma’s watch, so in they come masks and all! 😉 Woody's Birth Story | Small FryWe had to bring the big boys down during Raleigh’s nap the next day because he will NOT let anyone else hold Woody. I had to buy him a baby doll to take care of and hopefully give the others a fighting chance! Ha.Woody's Birth Story | Small FryNAMING HIM! For months we were at a stalemate because I loved the idea of calling him Woody.  I liked Woodrow as a longer option but the whole thing was getting some pretty negative reviews from most, and most importantly, Russ wasn’t having it. His pick was Shia (Shy-Ah) yes like Shia Labeouf (it means praise God) but I wasn’t having that in return. We were both okay with Taft and that was going to be his name if we couldn’t agree. We both just kept pulling for our own choices up until the nurse said last call on the birth certificate papers. Ultimately I convinced Russ that Woodrow Shia Frame was simply a better option on paper and could carry him well as an adult and that he would have so many different names and nicknames to choose from his head would spin. Russ could call him Shia, I could call him Woody. Hayes said he’d call him Row, etc. For the record Russ named ALL THREE of the others. I got final say on Raleigh’s spelling (Russ wanted Rollie) and I elongated his pick Cal to Callum, but otherwise his choices so don’t feel too bad for him!

Both Russ and I are so sad that this is our last. Creating a family together has been a highlight of both our lives and closing that chapter is so hard for either of us to admit. The last 10 years of navigating parenting and the highs and lows is truly the time of my life and it has raced before my eyes. I know I will look back on it with such reverie — even the hardest times, because I already do. Hayes and Cal were SO little when I started Small Fry and you’ve all been there through nearly all of it with us. Thank you, truly. If you need me I will be in the baby bubble until he’s at least 18.



  • Athena Lloyd
    March 5, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Em!!! What a beautiful story—I love it! Proud of you momma! You’rea rockstar! 🤩 Thanks For sharing..I age Manning baby boys is SO difficult! I still want to change Tanner’s… that’s another story! I love his names! “Row” is cool! Best of luck with your new little dude! He is a lucky guy to be joining you, Russ and your boy crew! ⭕️❌😘

  • Athena
    March 5, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Naming * (autocorrect on my new phone is awful 😡)

  • Emily
    March 5, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Oh I’m crying of course. What is it about birth stories that make me just so dang sentimental! I’m done as well with four boys here and one in heaven, and even though I’m firm on that decision, seeing your story made me sort of sad I’ll never go through it again! He’s beautiful though, and I LOVE the name!

  • Colleen
    March 5, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    I love birth stories SO MUCH and this is no exception. Beautifully written! Congratulations on your beautiful new baby boy!

  • Lindsay
    March 5, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Such a beautiful and well written story, Em. Congratulations ❤️

  • Sarah
    March 5, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    You’re really such a good writer. I felt it all! Thank you for sharing!


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