Wilder Ray | birth story
I can already tell this is going to be hard for me to write, but I feel I need to put it all out there because, in my opinion, no matter how you bring your baby into this world it's a story worth telling.
Wilder's birth story was the craziest ride I've ever been on.
it's so true what they say about not having a plan and keeping an open mind when it comes to birth because this story is anything but how I had hoped to tell it. in all honesty, it hurts to remember, but it's what gave me my beautiful (and HEALTHY!) baby boy and that's all that matters.
it's also anything but short, so I'm going to apologize in advance for the novel.
I had decided early on in my pregnancy that I would give birth at the hospital. I actually LOVE the idea of a home birth, but since it was my first time, I wanted to feel as safe as possible if any complications were to come up (thankful for this decision every day). after doing lots of research, I knew I wanted to give birth naturally. my hospital is "baby-friendly" meaning they encourage natural birth, so I knew I was in good hands.
my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I am extremely blessed because I felt pretty good the entire time. I got hit with the typical symptoms: morning sickness in the first trimester, felt great and energized in the second, and then started to feel huge and uncomfortable in the third. but regardless, the babe and I were both healthy. he was head down around 25 weeks and stayed that way throughout the remainder of the time. I stayed active and ate healthy (most of the time) and it really did fly by.
the birth story...
Memorial Day Weekend 2017 had come and gone. I was 38 weeks and some odd days. I'll always remember it being the last best weekend of just myself, Joey and our pups. taking long walks, eating popsicles, enjoying the 80+ weather, bbqing, Joey brewing, being outside and just lounging around our beautiful home. at the same time, I knew our babe was coming soon and I was so ready. I was swollen and uncomfortable and craving my sweet boy in my arms.
monday night, I started having some lower abdominal cramps, but thought it was nothing so I went to asleep. I woke up around 12:45 to what felt like I had peed myself. what started out as a trickle, turned into a gush running down my leg when I stood up. yup, my water had broken. I woke a very sleepy Joey and we headed to the hospital.
when we got checked in and to the room, I was only dilated to 2cm. my contractions were still very far apart and mild, so I knew we had a long way to go. around 4 that morning, my contractions had not picked up, so they started me on a Pitocin drip (I did not want to be induced, but since my water had broke hours before, I had no choice. we had to get this show on the road). I labored without any sleep throughout the next morning and day. Tuesday is a complete blur. I can't remember when my contractions started getting more intense, but I do know I was only dilating a few centimeters every four hours or so. it was taking SO long.
tuesday night was pure HELL. at this point, I was dilated to maybe a 6 and my contractions were SO intense! I had decided early on I did not want an epidural and was sticking to that. around midnight, I was around 9cm, and continued to labor naturally for what seemed like daaaays. this part was the most intense, excruciatingly painful experience of my life (not exaggerating). I was stuck here for about five hours with contractions coming every two minutes or so and barely any relief in between. my hips and lower back had already taken such a beating that I was in pain even in between the rushes.
sometime early Wednesday morning, I literally thought I was going to die. I really tried to maintain strength and keep the thought of "this is helping my baby come out, just breathe" at the forefront of my mind, but the pain was so intense and my energy was running so thin. I was losing sight of it all. Joey, as amazing as he is, was starting to seem so weary as well. he was cheering me on and kept telling me how amazing I was doing. he was there to massage my hips and back for every contraction. he never left my side. but it was just so much and so enduring, we both were losing hope.
(meanwhile, the baby was doing great, thank goodness. he was just being stubborn and was too comfy to come out!)
around 4am, the doctor came in to check me and I was still only at 9cm. he could tell I was completely and utterly drained and suggested I get an epidural to give me some relief in hopes it would help to fully open me up. I was shocked because I definitely thought it was too late to get an epidural, but I was BEYOND relieved to hear him say this. at this point, I didn't feel like this was giving up, I felt like it was what I needed to do to get my baby out!
after an hour with the epidural, I was fully dilated and ready to push!
but this is when the second setback came into play...
I pushed (as the doctor said "like a champ") for 3 hours, but the baby kept sliding back up the birth canal. poor guy was trying so hard, as was I, to get him out, but he just couldn't fit through my pelvis.
*insert all the tears here*
that's when the doctor had the c section talk with Joey and I. she said she doesn't like to have women push for more than three hours, but we can keep going for one more hour and see if anything changes. she then told us the risks of continuing to push: even if we have success with the baby's head coming through, we risk the baby's shoulders getting stuck, postpartum hemorrhoids, and a number of other things.
they let me rest for an hour and told us to think about it. ugh.
this is when I broke down. I didn't know what to do. I was beyond exhausted and my faith was dwindling. I knew that God had a plan for our Wilder, but I just couldn't see how this could possibly be it. SURGERY?! I didn't understand why the natural way of bringing my baby into the world wasn't working... but at the same time, I had a gut feeling that it was the right thing to do.
we decided to go forward with the c section.
at 11:16am on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, our Wilder Ray was born.
Joey still got to "cut" the cord and our sweet nurse, Mary, laid Wilder on my chest right away and I got to kiss his sweet lips over and over again.
after surgery, the three of us cuddled while Wilder nursed for the first time (he latched right away, like the champ he is). we were all in absolute heaven.
my baby was finally in my arms and from that moment on, nothing else mattered.
I don't feel like I failed (or that my body failed), but to tell you the truth, sometimes I still feel like my body wasn't good enough. my baby couldn't fit through me and that's a hard pill to swallow (especially because he was only 6 lbs!) but as all the sweet nurses, my mom, and the women that love me have reminded me so many times, my body was, and is, more than enough.
it created, carried and birthed a beautiful and healthy baby.
no, it may not have been in the way that I had hoped or dreamed, but it was still the most empowering thing I've ever done.
I'm so thankful I got to labor naturally and feel the urge to push (yes, I still felt everything even with the epidural, it just wasn't as painful).
the last stretch of the process may not have been ideal, but the end result was a million and 10 times worth it.