Friday, December 6, 2013

The Wild Arrival of Wilder Dean

Our little turkey at 3 days old!

Well, our baby is FINALLY here! After what seemed like forever! Following is Wilder Dean’s birth story—he’ll never live it down. :-)

Thursday, 11/21, evening
I started having contractions immediately after a cold front blew in. I was already 41 weeks 1 day (8 days overdue) so anything was exciting. I went to bed thinking they’d go away--they weren't timeable so I wouldn't consider this actual early labor.

Friday, 11/22 morning
I and woke up at 2:30 am Friday with regular contractions (I'd consider this early labor). After talking to our doula Ashleigh, we postponed my midwife checkup already scheduled that morning till after my prenatal chiro in the afternoon and tried to rest up as well as you can with contractions every 6 min.

Alfred was a great doula. He was by my side the whole time I was at home!

Friday 11/22 afternoon
My midwife Allison checked me and I was at 1 cm and 60% effaced, which was a lot more than the previous week, but we decided to go home and wait for more active labor. She also stripped my membranes, which brought on stronger and quicker contractions for a while, but they slowed down a little. Side note, we had Panera for dinner and while my salad and soup were light, rushing a meal with contractions in a restaurant was a bad idea. I don’t think I’ll be eating Panera anytime soon—I felt so sick for hours. Labored all night – it was harder to rest this time, waking up to more pain every 6 minutes.

Zach made a fire

Ellie was also by my side the whole time

Doula Alfred
Saturday, 11/23, early morning
It was a blessing to be home with Zach and pets while doing the things we learned about natural childbirth--yoga, different positions, tub, etc. Two days is a long time to be in early labor, but it was good to be at home in my comfort zone during that time. Saturday morning things got a little hard, but we switched from “relaxation” music to really great worship music and had a mini worship session. Zach prayed over me and we really gave things to God once again. This song – Oceans – will always remind me of my labor, because it was so instrumental in getting me through labor.

early morning worship/prayer session 
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand 

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and you won't start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Saturday, 11/23, afternoon
Zach, Ashleigh and I went for me to get checked by Lindsay at the midwife center for progress and we had progressed to 3 cm, 80% effaced. We decided to go home for a few hours and come back to the hospital that evening to beat the huge winter storm (for TX) coming the next morning.

Saturday, 11/23, evening
We arrived at the hospital with Ashleigh at around 10 pm. Got checked in and settled. The midwife rooms at Harris are awesome, as are the staff. We started with all the labor positions and positions in the tub that made my contractions the most frequent and intense. My back started spasming, something I've never had problems with, but it got progressively worse from then on.

Sunday, 11/24, early morning
Candis the midwife checked me at 1:15 am and I was only at 3 cm, 90% effaced. I also got some fluids via IV for a short while. My back pain was really messing with settling into contractions mentally. We walked the halls, ventured to the cafeteria (SO hard!) tried biofreeze on my back, I rode the yoga ball (nicknamed Yoshi) and tried all kinds of yoga poses—you name it--and kept laboring. Ashleigh was a big help, giving suggestions of things to try, putting essential oil-soaked washcloths on my forehead, hot packs on my back, making me eat, etc.

Sunday 11/24, midmorning
After Candis checked me at 10 am where I was 4 cm—100% effaced and stretching to 6 cm, we talked with Candis and decided to break my water to hopefully get things kicked up. I got some more fluids as well. I rested a little bit. All of that helped and I had new energy for a little while, tried new positions and did the most painful/productive ones from earlier on, but my contractions started petering out--extremely frustrating. And the ones I had, I could not handle anymore combined with constant back pain and having had them for 3 days straight.

Sunday 11/24, afternoon
After only dilating to 5 cm by 3:30 pm, having tried a breast pump, and several other methods, and being exhausted mentally and physically, we talked about the need for pitocin to make my contractions return.

Sunday 11/24, evening
Since I’d reached my pain threshold, I decided to also get an epidural at around 7 pm before they started pitocin. I was able to rest for 3 hours. By 11:15 I was 8 cm and 0 station.

long long few days. About to be go time!

Monday, 11/25, early morning
By 2:15 am I was 9.5 cm. I was finally ready to push around 3:45. The epidural had worn off enough to where I could be on multiple positions—another thing I had hoped for out of the whole birth experience. I pushed from 3:45 to 6 am-- in part because my baby had his hand stuck by his head! Zach held my hand and encouraged me the whole time, and Ashleigh made me drink water and gave me chapstick between contractions (SO important). Pushing is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Wilder Dean made his debut at 6:08 am and laid him right on my chest. In that moment, the whole 75-hour ordeal was worth it!

Wilder weighed 7 lb. 15 oz and was 20 inches long.

I know many of you were aware that I wanted a natural birth—and a water birth if possible. Once pitocin and the epidural were on the table, I knew that was no longer an option, but I wasn't devastated or anything. What I had wanted was to feel (with Zach) like I was an active participant of decisions for the birth, and every step of the way we made our own choices after weighing options. “Natural” and waterbirth were secondary. I did every natural thing I wanted to do and spent a LOT of time in tubs. :-) So I don’t feel disappointed at all. I'm grateful that Wilder and I stayed healthy throughout the whole extended pregnancy and extended labor. With the next baby(yes I said it!) I honestly don't think I would do it any differently.

Looking back, I’m really happy with the whole experience. Zach, our doula, midwives and nurses were AMAZING.

Here are some photos--I was pretty beat up post partum for a few days, so I'm not posting any photos of me from those first two days. Sorry--you're not missing anything!

Love that daddy Zach got skin to skin right after birth too!

Super Dad

First diaper change!

Little pumpkin his first night in the world

Loves his daddy

Welcome home party!

lights are fascinating

Fine looking Boatwright men

Hanging out


  1. Congratulations to you and Zach! So happy for you guys!

  2. You are beautiful and such a strong mama to little Wilder! One day he will read this and be so inspired by you and how hard you worked to bring him into this world. You are amazing and I am so proud!

  3. Beautiful story. Appreciate your honesty! Candis attended to Ailee Grace's birth for 20+ hours, but her shift ended an hour or two before AG was born! Although I had a very different birth story, I also ended up with pitocin and an epidural. But you have exactly the right attitude! What a blessing that you were able to, with God's guidance, make wise decisions about your child's birth at every step of the way. Everyone says that as long as the baby is healthy that's all that matters, but I believe the journey of birth holds significance as well, and glorifying God and drawing closer to Him through the birth – however it occurs – is what's most important about that process. Of course, the end result of a healthy baby delivered to mama's tender chest is the greatest blessing we can experience. I'm so happy for y'all!