The story of little Wilder Deery

Wilder has been outside my body for four weeks, which simultaneously feels so much longer and so much shorter than that. And in that sliver of time – because despite all the marathon nursing sessions and the billion diaper changes, four weeks really is nothing – this amazing baby boy has already changed so much. I joked on Instagram that it’s onesies today, college applications tomorrow, but there’s real truth to it. All the hormones surging through my postpartum body are making me tear up as I write this, because it’s perfectly reasonable to cry about your 4-week-old baby growing up too fast and someday flying the coop … right?

So because time goes so quickly and my hormones are still raging, I figure it’s the perfect time to share Wilder’s birth story. Not only is it fresh in my mind (some things you just can’t forget), but I will likely cry all over my computer as I relive the experience. So LET’S DO IT.

fancykins wilder 1My new (old) favorite bracelet, which I got 100 years ago as a Black Friday door buster. Being a pack rat totally pays off.

About a month before Wilder was born, I woke James up in the middle of the night screaming “OH MY GOD, MY WATER BROKE.” Spoiler alert, it hadn’t – double spoiler alert, it never even happened during labor – but from that point on, I was terrified of spontaneous childbirth. I felt a twinge and wondered if it was a contraction. I felt something wet (TMI, it was usually just pee) and wondered if amniotic fluid was slowly leaking out of me. To shut me up, my doctor promised that when I actually had a real contraction, I would know.

Here’s another spoiler: She was so damn right.

Contractions – real ones this time – woke me up at 4 a.m. on January 16, but they were all over the place when we tried to time them. Instead of trying to sleep through them or between them, I hung out in bed all day and played Candy Crush. Had I known that I wouldn’t get sleep for the next 43 hours (and that I would not sleep for longer than three hours at a time from that point forward, thanks to Wilder’s nursing schedule*), I would have taken a nap. I would have napped all freaking day long. But nope, I chose Candy Crush.

At midnight on January 17, after a full day of contractions that gradually went from “Labor is so easy, maybe I won’t even get an epidural,” to “I think something is going to come crashing out of my vagina in two seconds,” we finally hit the 5-1-1 mark: Intense contractions that lasted for one minute, five minutes apart, for one hour. Everything that followed was a blur, and the next thing I knew, we were throwing random shit into a duffel bag and speeding through town toward the hospital.

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I was in such pain at that point, I figured the baby would fall out of me at any moment. But upon further (and very painful) examination, we learned I was only one measly centimeter along, which is basically nothing. Under normal circumstances, the hospital would have sent me back home to wait it out, but despite my totally average and relatively boring 41-week pregnancy, these were not normal circumstances. Wilder’s heart rate dipped and my blood pressure skyrocketed, giving us a pass for admittance and further monitoring – totally OK because we somehow remembered to leave extra food out for the cat in our haste to leave the house.

It was at this point – between two-minute contractions that made me feel like I was going to (TMI again) poop out a baby – that I got an epidural. And it was also at this point, while the anesthesiologist’s needle was chilling somewhere in my spinal cord, that all hell broke loose.

My blood pressure, which had been so stupidly high, suddenly tanked. The baby’s heart rate went from the 150s way down to the 70s, then continued to drop every time I had a contraction (which, thanks to the epidural, felt nothing like the “My insides are turning into lava,” shit I had just experienced).

Doctors came in and looked at monitors. Machines beeped and IVs dripped. I was re-positioned a billion times. And then, within a matter of minutes, I was prepped for the operating room and wheeled across the hall for an unplanned C-section.

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This is, of course, not at all what I wanted (or expected) for our birth experience, but when it came down to it, sticking to some well-thought-out birth plan didn’t matter. I mean, I didn’t even care when I was hoisted up on the operating table, totally numb from the boobs down, hospital gown hiked up to my neck, and my nude, immobile body completely exposed to a room full of strangers (shudder), because I knew no Hypnobabies routine or dimly lit birthing room could have safely brought Wilder into the world. And, at that point, what could have possibly been more important?

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In that sterile room just minutes later – with James sitting on a stool next to my head, bright operating room lights in our faces, and a flimsy curtain separating us from whatever surgical madness was happening in my abdomen – we heard Wilder’s first cry, and it was so, so beautiful. And then we heard that the cord was wrapped around his neck twice, and that he had been swimming around in meconium-filled amniotic fluid, which was way more action than we bargained for so early in the morning. Despite how opposed I’d been to a surgical birth, the C-section was a blessing and I’m ridiculously thankful for the doctors who moved lightning-fast to get me in and out safely with a totally healthy, perfect, red-headed baby to show for it.

Wilder continued to cry the entire time they cleaned him off – as a matter of fact, he still hates bath time four weeks later – and when his tests were finished and they passed him into James’s waiting arms, he immediately stopped wailing and listened to his dad tell him how happy he was to finally meet him. It was, without a doubt, the most special moment of my life. I melted. James melted. Little Wilder Deery – a few minutes old, weighing a teensy 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and named Deery in honor of James’s mom – was finally here, and he was the most incredible thing I had ever seen.

I cried happy tears about him all day, and I still do, four weeks later. I mean, Wilder and I had a showtunes sing-along last week, and I had to stop halfway through “Seasons of Love” because I was crying too hard looking at this fantastic, tiny human that WE MADE. This little baby who lived inside me for more than 41 weeks, kicking at my ribs and getting hiccups every night. Who secretly jumped around during quiet times at work; who danced around in my belly at the sound of familiar voices and music; who had been on my mind for so long that sometimes I still can’t believe he’s finally here.

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Little Wilder is such a joy, even when he’s hungry (which is all the time) and crying (which mostly at night) and clingy (which makes blogging a bit more challenging). These last four weeks have flown by, and we’re really excited to fill our house with a bunch more love and adventure – and a shit ton more baby gear – in the weeks, months and years ahead.

*WILDER SLEPT FOR 5 HOURS STRAIGHT LAST NIGHT. THIS IS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION … AND CAPS LOCK.

And then we scheduled the induction

Let me first say that we scheduled an induction not because we wanted to, but because we HAD to. Our hospital delivers an obscene number of babies, so they run a pretty tight ship and assign induction slots one week in advance. You know, sort of like having to get dinner reservations with the cast of “Frozen” one entire year before your trip to Disney World. And since we can’t go past 42 weeks, we had to schedule an induction YESTERDAY for next Thursday, just in case.

fancykins flowers 2Unrelated photo of flowers James got me, because what picture goes well with an induction post? A CERVIX? I can barely think about it, let alone Google image search it.

 

So what is going on in there, you ask? Well, the answer is … nothing. Literally nothing is going on. Despite being past the due date, my cervix isn’t dilated at all and even though baby boy is in the ready position, he’s not trying to get out of there anytime soon, which leaves us with a few options.

Option 1: Induce now, get it over with. We are obviously not doing this, but it was an option. The earliest we could get induced is January 18 – 9 days past the due date – but since we’d like to avoid induction if at all possible, we decided to give it a few more days.

Option 2: Induce later using a CRIB. When you’re not dilated and they induce labor, they use a cervical ripening balloon known as a CRIB (I may sound like I know what I’m talking about here, but I promise you I don’t). The CRIB tells your body to prepare for action – normally, they would use Pitocin for this, which I also want nothing to do with – and the process doesn’t always need a bunch of induction steps afterwards.

The downside to a CRIB is not that it’s painful – my doctor promised me that I can keep reading my Alexander Hamilton biography in peace while it’s working its magic – but that it takes a long time. Like, an extra 6 to 12 hours in the hospital, which would extend our stay by ONE ENTIRE DAY.

We don’t have much of a choice, really. And I know that at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that everyone is healthy and happy and not too traumatized from all that goes down in those delivery rooms, but I can’t help but worry that induction = Pitocin = epidural = slowed labor = c-section. And, so, I’ll keep walking and eating pineapple, and I’ll cross my fingers and toes that some progress has been made by my weekly doctor’s appointment on Monday.

Send cervical-ripening juju, please. Cookies and snacks don’t hurt, either.

Now, gimme some GOOD news. What kinds of amazing things are going on in your lives this week? Anybody?

So THIS is what 40+ weeks pregnant feels like

Here we are, four days past the due date. Am I surprised that our kiddo is choosing to stay cozied up in my uterus rather than make his big debut in single-digit weather? Heck no – if it were up to me, I’d find a way to avoid the cold, too.

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For the most part, we’re both pretty comfortable: Baby’s happily kicking away and dancing around when I play the “Hamilton” soundtrack into my belly, and I’m working my final days from home (so, in a way, also avoiding the weather) whilst wearing leggings and eating snacks on snacks on snacks.

So what else is going on besides an overdue baby and the unplowed streets outside? Welcome to our final pre-baby days:

We’re nesting. Spurred by a small drop of blood (nothing is TMI here, sorry) that I thought was telling me labor was imminent (spoiler: it was not), James and I finished the baby’s nursery, deep-cleaned light fixtures, scrubbed floors, did a billion loads of laundry, threw excess crap in storage and prepped 20 Aldi freezer meals. Nesting is a lot of work, you guys. I’m pretty much over it now, thank God.

Catching up on the DVR. Note to self: Only be pregnant during “The Bachelor” and “Teen Mom” seasons.

So much walking. I’ve eaten entire pineapples, devoured spicy hot wings, got a life-changing prenatal massage at Urban Oasis … and still no labor. Now we’re headed to the gym every night to walk this kid right out of my bod. Ouch.

Prepping myself for a possible induction. Let the record show that I DO NOT WANT TO BE INDUCED, but I also know I can’t stay pregnant forever. What a conundrum. I’ll write more about our situation – AKA the cervix that refuses to dilate and the baby who refuses to be born – in the coming days. Well, if all that walking and spicy food doesn’t do the trick, of course.

Going on a billion date nights. Last week, James and I ventured out to the ‘burbs to hit up the Land of Nod outlet and have a romantic feast at Olive Garden, thinking it would be our last post-baby date. And, really, what better way to celebrate major life events and the imminent end of a pregnancy than with endless salad and breadsticks? And, yet, the baby did not come, so the dates continue. There are worse things to complain about, really.

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