Wilde's Birth Story | Part Two
We left off the story as a build up to the actual day of the birth. The backstory, I believe is also super telling of how it all comes together so beautifully. You can read Part One of the birth story here.
The whole week before my due date (June 16) I had a lot of inconsistent waves (usually referred to as contractions). Things that would start up... and then die off. I knew this was my body's way of preparing and getting ready, so I welcomed all the pre-labor work, hoping that it would make labor not so long.
I went to bed Sunday, June 17th having lots of on and off mild waves, but nothing building or intense yet. I texted my midwife and birth team that night that I was going to bed with some and wanted to give a heads up. I sent the text and then went to sleep and eventually they disappeared.
I woke up the next morning, Monday, June 18th feeling like this could be the day.
I really didn’t wanna psych myself out. It could STILL be a week or so before the baby came and I didn’t wanna get my hopes up.
But there was something in me that felt like it could be today. ;)
I left that morning to drop Derek off at work and Journey off at a friend's house while I went to my chiropractor appointment followed by my acupuncture appointment. We were wanting to do acupuncture points to help encourage baby to get with the program, so the midwife wanted to check to see what my cervix was doing to know what points to do.
At 11:45 AM she checked me and I asked her what my dilation was (normally I don't wanna know as it can mess with your head in labor, but since I wasn't in labor, I wanted to know what our baseline was). She said I was at 3cm. I thought, "That’s awesome. Let’s get this party started!"
During my appointment, I could already start to feel the waves slowly appearing again. They were super faint and light and nothing to get excited about (I told myself). I totally thought they were just those braxton hicks. I was also having TERRIBLE heartburn and didn’t have any almonds with me to eat (which has been my saving grace for heartburn in pregnancy) so I suffered through that. It was awful. The midwife said when I was done that if this was going to work, labor would start in the next 12 hours.
Afterwards, I drove to pick up Journey. During that time my mom called and said she wanted to come over and help put up the new blackout curtains she got us for Journey’s room. I thought, sure that could be a good idea if I go into labor then you can take Journey. (STILL THINKING at this point, that it could happen but it could also not happen)
When I got to my friend's house to pick up Journey, the waves started feeling a bit more rhythmic but still very faint. I called Derek and said,
“Hey babe, I think I might be going into labor. Can I pick you up so you can help me get the house ready?”
He agreed that was a good plan and I picked him up around 1:30 PM and headed home. At this point, I started to time the waves in the car. They were happening every 10-15 minutes.
My mom arrived to pick Journey up at 2:30 PM. I told my mom to go home (45 minute drive out of town) and expect to get a call later to come back so they could be at the birth.
Around 3:15 PM I texted my birth team to give them a heads up that labor had started and this was it.
It was around this time that Derek and I were in the living room. He was creating a grocery list and I was bouncing on the birth ball and texting the team while sending out a few emails. Our fridge was bare so Derek left at 3:30 PM to get a few things at the store.
He said to call him if I needed him and he’d come straight home. I thought to myself “Ok, yea no worries... things are still a ways out.” Boy, was I wrong...
It was 15 minutes later that I felt things pick up. My contractions were now 3-5 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. I texted Derek to just get the essentials because I needed him home.
5 minutes later, at 3:50 PM I went to the bathroom and had blood when I wiped. They call this, bloody show. Basically this means, baby is on it's way.
This was the moment that I knew it was happening for realz.
At 4:11 PM Derek started assembling the birth pool. We both still thought we had plenty of time to get that filled up...
It was at 4:22 PM that I started to feel like I could really use help and decided to call my doulas and have them make their way over. Both coming from across town and it’s about to be rush hour traffic...
It was at this point that Derek had stopped working on the tub to help assist me during contractions by pushing on my lower back. And then, in between them, going back to work on the tub.
At 4:45 PM I knew things had progressed faster than I thought so I told the midwife that I was ready for them.
My friend Hannah arrived at 5 PM and started helping me through the waves. And that gave Derek the time to finish getting the tub set up and then start filling it with water. Shortly after that my other doula, Jaime, arrived and was helping Derek with the tub. At this point, I knew that the tub wasn't going to get filled in time. But I needed to hold onto hope. I needed to pretend that in a little bit I could get into the water.
The next 25 minutes was a blur and happened so fast.
Hannah was helping me as the waves were gaining momentum. And I wasn’t really getting breaks in between them. They came crashing one on top of the other.
I tried changing positions to sitting on a birth ball, but didn’t like that at all, so I went back to standing at the dresser. I kept seeing the motion behind me and felt like the birth pool wasn’t going to happen in time. The baby was coming fast.
I started to get afraid.
I didn’t feel "in my body" like I did in my other births. This was so fast and I didn’t have time to get inside to ride those waves as they were happening fast and strong.
At 5:17 pm the midwives all arrived. They all came up and started checking my vitals and listening to baby's heart tones. All looked well.
I think at 5:20 PM it was obvious that the birth tub needed to be abandoned and I needed Derek by my side. (He was still trying to get that thing filled up)
I was about to lose my mind and then Derek finally came to me and helped me through those waves. I desperately needed him to cling to.
My midwife came to my side and gave me what I would call a “pep-talk.” This is where every woman hits a wall, and I hit mine hard and felt like I fell flat on my face... I wanted to give up.
I knew what was coming and I just couldn’t get in my body enough to do what needed to be done. The baby was here. I just needed to push.
"I didn't think I could do it. But I had no where else to go, but through. And I'm so glad I did."
At 5:24 PM, I had a strong wave and decided to give a big push.... and S P L A S H, the floor was hit by my bag of waters breaking.
I gave it another push a minute later and the baby's head came out... it was this moment that my waves lightened up.
I had a break for the first time in what felt like ages.
I sat in that moment with huge relief.
I then came to and heard the midwives behind me saying, “head’s been out for a minute” and I knew that we weren’t done yet.
I felt the next wave building and I pushed again...
At 5:26 PM all the pain of loss, grief, and the actual labor involved to bring life, faded as we welcomed our third daughter into the world.
Life was born out of the ashes of our hearts. In an instant, I was healed and made new. She changed me, changed our family forever, and has given us a new hope.
Born at 5:26 PM on 6/18/18. Weighing 8 pounds and 4 ounces. Measuring 19.5 inches long. And full of vigor and grace.
It's a girl! Wilde Hope Harvey.
She was born into a room filled with love and support.
Her name comes with deep meaning and purpose. We’ve prayed and hoped for this baby for a long time.
A brief meaning behind her name. When we were praying over our baby and trying to decide on a name, I pictured a black horse running free in a beautiful green pasture with a creek running though it. This horse was untamed and free. Free from the world's darkness and only filled with light and hope.
These images below follow her arrival. I still cannot look at them without smiling and reliving these moments that have truly changed me.
I wanted to say thank you to my amazing birth team. I'm blown away and so grateful for this experience and for your help to bring our little girl into this world.