From House to Hospital


After I gave birth I just wanted to go to sleep! Seriously. That was hard work (I know. Right?) and I hadn't slept in over 24 hours. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Maelyn tore me up beyond what my midwife was comfortable suturing back together. It was finally time to visit the hospital. I'd say we did pretty good. Made it through 9 months plus the birth and the only intervention needed came after it was all done.

My Jetta had been at the auto shop for a couple of months getting a new engine and was still there. That may seem ridiculous but we've got a great mechanic at the local technical college where I teach anatomy and physiology part time. He uses the car repairs as hands on training for his students. But it comes at a cost. You know how it costs you hundreds to thousands of dollars to get your car fixed? And you get it back the next day? When it's free you get it back the next month. Because of that, we were left with just our two-seater truck. So at 6 a.m. Matt picked up our home teacher's van and took me to get stitched.

The hospital was...well...not home. The staff couldn't believe we had planned to give birth at home. That's an understatement. We prefer to discuss our home birth the way Jim Gaffigan puts it:

"My wife had the baby at home. We had all our babies at home, just to make you feel uncomfortable. People don't want to hear about home birth. 'Oh, you had your baby at home? Yeah, we were gonna do that, but we wanted our baby to live.'"

Sewing up my lady parts was rough. Yeah, after watching her get stitched up I'll stick with chiropractic. And the doctor couldn't help herself reminding me continuously that had I given birth at the hospital I would have been sewn up right after birth. At least I got to go home with some hospital swag :) In the end I got fixed up and finally got to go home and sleep!

And Then There Were 5...


It all began at 2 am Thursday morning, November 20, 2014. I woke up to labor pains. Fun. I wasn't sure if this was real labor as I never experienced Braxton Hicks contractions, so I figured I would get some work done and see if they went away. I kept my eye on the clock as the pains just kept coming about every 5 minutes. I didn't bother waking Matt, though he did open an eye long enough for me to inform him. Besides, one of us should at least get some sleep (and I couldn't have done anything rub her shoulders or feet). My midwife told me to text her when my contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting a minute for an hour. I reached this point by 8 am and texted her "today might be the day." By this point I believe I was just waking up to all the excitement.

My midwife, Tanya, arrived a few hours later to check me out. I was dilated to a 4, but my contractions were only lasting about 30 seconds. She left us with instructions to get our birth pool ready and to call her back when they were consistently lasting over a minute. She said it would be a good idea to get some sleep and suggested I drink some red wine. Since that wasn't an option, the next best thing was a sleeping pill. This ended up being the worst decision ever (this comes as no surprise to her chiropractic husband) as it made me so groggy, and I was unable to fall asleep due to the pain.

Meet Tanya. No, that is not her holding my baby.  Unfortunately I never got a picture of her so I stole borrowed this one from her website :)

We cancelled the patients on the schedule and Matt set out picking up the list of birth supplies we had been procrastinating on getting. Once home, I think he had a lot of fun preparing for the birth. Inflating a birthing tub without a working pump actually gave me quite the workout. Thinking back I actually had abdominal pains similar to Merrit's. Let's see, I was breathing heavy a minute at a time, 4 minutes apart, for at least an hour.

I was actually trying to do the 70s swimming dance move while taking a selfie.

Tanya came back with a second midwife around 5 pm and said I had progressed to a 9. When she told me that I just started crying thinking how close I must be! Labor was turning out to be much more painful than the Hypnobirthing book had me believe. Thank goodness Matt was there holding me, breathing with me, telling me how strong and wonderful I would be as a mother. I added that last part. All of my contractions were in my back and the only thing that felt good was when Matt applied counter pressure during each contraction. I'm sure he enjoyed being summoned for each contraction!

It felt so good to get into the water and I was so sure that I would be pushing soon. Boy was I wrong! Tanya ended up breaking my waters about an hour after I got in the water as I wasn't progressing at all. There ended up being meconium in my waters that they fished out with a mesh strainer.  

I ended up getting out of the water and started walking the hallway back and forth to try and get things moving along. Turns out after Tanya broke my waters, I went back to a 4 since my baby's head wasn't in place to keep my cervix open. Over the next several hours my midwives had me push in several different positions but it just felt like I wasn't making any progress.

After what felt like forever, she came. At first we didn't know. Yeah, we were (are) those weird people who decided not to know our baby's gender. And though the 24 hours of labor felt like eternity, it was worse waiting to find out what our baby was. I just remember holding her on my chest with my hand cupped under her bum while my midwives busily suctioned her lungs. At exactly 2 am Friday November 21, 2014 Tanya delivered our sweet baby Maelyn into my arms. Instead of the birthing pool, I delivered on my bed with Matt behind me, supporting me as I dug my elbows deeply into his inner thighs. Here is the first picture he snapped.  So adorable!

Armor All


I love this seminary song! The Lord is sending powerful missionaries to earth. Just check out this future Missionary Warrior!

We live in tremendous times. Good is People of faith everywhere are putting on the armor of God and stepping up to the challenge. A pastor from Boise was recently arrested in Iran for Christian missionary work and sentenced to 8 years in prison there. Just think of the seeds he planted...I do not doubt that such men of courage are leading the way for doors to be thrust open to our growing missionary force.

Let's All put on our Armor and join the Gospel Army!

Here is a story of faith I find remarkable. This is shared by a pastor from another Christian church.
WARNING: This brought me to tears, humbled me, and left me to ponder my value of the scriptures.

A December to Remember


We're closing in on Christmas and with it the Wolfertz family is headed out West; first to Colorado, then on to Utah. How are we getting there? Driving...a small cab truck with our two dogs. Why? So the very talented Mrs. Merrit Wolfertz can have herself a long-cherished piano.

This will be a busy travel week for Matt. He leaves tomorrow night for New Hampshire. His newborn nephew Joseph is battling a serious case of the flu and our fearless doctor wants to be certain his immune system is in full force. He gets back in Wednesday night at midnight.

The next morning we are off to Nashville for a pre-Christmas family dinner and sleepover. Friday morning the long journey begins. Be on the lookout for photos of our adventure.

Speaking of photos, here are a few from this past week.

Buddy and Moe are anxiously awaiting the more than 20 hours of quality time in a confined truck cab.

Buddy has been getting himself in shape for the long journey with ladder climbing...

...or he really just wanted that empty bottle to chew on.

He has also been practicing his sitting pose to prepare himself mentally for the arduous 1,500 miles ahead. He has worked hard on his deep breathing and relaxation techniques (he calls Tai Chi-huahua).

In an effort to show her commitment to the long drive for the sake of a piano, Merrit has seized many opportunities to showcase her piano skills, including this picture from a baptism last night.

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days (original from 1998)


Some Noggin' for your Noggin


Around the Wolfertz house this time of year, all healthy activities succumb to the not-so-healthy influence of Eggnog (we call it Noggin').

This delectable drink coupled with Merrit's insatiable appetite for Pinterest produced a recipe that we simply could not refuse:

Chocolate Eggnog Swirl Pie
(click pic for recipe)

Whether you enjoy Noggin' or not you have to at least appreciate how delicious it looks. Matt repeatedly requested, begged, pleaded, and whimpered for us to make it.

Last night, Matt finally locked himself inside the kitchen and did not emerge until it was finished. Drum roll, please!

click for sound

Said Matt of his creation: "Though I have many talents and a profound appreciation for delicious food, I must concede that I lack the culinary art of swirling."

Often times we are presented with idealistic pictures of the gospel, or health, or marriage, or noggin' pie, etc.. In comparison our results tend to look like a less-than-appetizing mishmash. We rationalize with "if only's". Truth is the Savior can take our feeble attempts and, with a dash of mercy, a pinch of grace, and heaping amount of love and patience, help us create the most decadent delicacy.

Now that's Noggin' for your Noggin.

The Call of the Wild...and the Bishop


The call of the wild came early Sunday morning when Oscar (a large black lab puppy) (...and Buddy and Moe's best friend) came over, jumped up on our window sill, and let us know it was time to get up for church.

The call of the Bishop came at church when Matt was asked to be the 12-18 year old Sunday S-COOL teacher. Matt bore his testimony remarking that a calling received is a reflection of where you are in your spiritual maturity and this would be perfect for him. He also reflected that Merrit is a Relief Society teacher...hmm. And for those of you still teaching in Primary...there's hope.

After church, Buddy and Moe needed Sunday afternoon family the lake.

Back at the house Merrit pulled some greens from the garden and made us a batch of highly recommended and positively reviewed kale and mustard green chips...neither of which received favorable marks from either of us. Buddy decided he would rather eat wild pears from our tree prunings. Moe did what he does best...posed.