What kind of reality am I living in right now? I’m reclined on our bed with a baby BOY snuggled at my feet, my husband working in our room so he can be near us, and our little girl
napping singing at the top of her lungs in her crib; this is us! We are a little foursome and I still can’t believe that just over 24 hours ago, there were only three of us until Jack Wilder shot into our lives and joined us earth-side.
I wanted to capture his birth story while it was fresh in my mind, and since napping doesn’t come easily to me, I thought I’d take this time to type out some of the details while relying on some fun pictures to tell the story!
We didn’t know if Jack was a boy or a girl during our pregnancy, but we did know that his arrival time was coming soon. I was measuring smaller the last few weeks of pregnancy, presumably because he had dropped. The midwives confirmed, “This baby is low!” I wondered how long I could walk around with a baby that low in my pelvis and started to anticipate an early arrival. Plus, I had about 3 days of off and on back pain and cramping in my lower abdomen, all signs (to me!) that my body was getting ready for birth. But 38, 39 weeks came and went, and so I started to think about the long-game. Maybe he or she would come at 41 weeks! “However long this baby needs to cook is fine by me!” I kept telling myself. I had prayed that our baby would come on my dad’s birthday, February 18th (happy birthday, Dad!), so when our due date (the 16th) came and went, I felt like that was probably going to happen. But on the night of the 16th, my body started giving me signs. I started getting some cramps in my abdomen and couldn’t get comfortable in my lower back, rocking side to side and doing inversions while we sat on the couch, and did a prenatal yoga flow. I took a bath, shaved, washed my hair, moisturized… Things I don’t do everyday, especially with a huge belly that makes doing all those things more difficult. The bath helped, calmed me down, and then we got to bed around 11 pm. But I couldn’t sleep. I used tape to put up my birth affirmations and Bible verses around the stairwell, feeling like I just might need them sooner than later.
It didn’t take me long to realize that our baby couldn’t wait until the 18th, and at 1:20 am I started having contractions. Much like with Abigail’s labor, it started in the early morning hours; I had a feeling it would happen similarly this time, too. I got up and walked around, too excited to sleep and feeling like I couldn’t quite ignore these enough to stay in bed and rest. Not being one for numbers, I didn’t want to know how far apart my contractions were or if they were only 20 seconds but felt like a minute, but I also knew this baby could come much faster than Abi. So out of curiosity I checked to see how long and how far apart my contractions were at the start: about 30 sec long and 5 min apart, consistently. Our info sheet had said that for second time babies to call the midwife with contractions lasting for 1 min and 7-10/5-7 -ish minutes apart. I wondered what that meant if I was 5 minutes apart already, but I could still breathe easily on my own through each contraction, so I didn’t think much of it. As that hour went on I had to bend over more and they had progressed to 3 minutes apart.
I woke Mikey up. “You don’t have to get up, but something is definitely happening!” I said, and we agreed that I’d call our doula and friend, Allison, to come over and Mikey immediately went into prep mode with our home birth kit. Allison arrived, Abigail woke up, and we had a party. Well, the three of them read books in our dimly lit living room while I sat on the toilet contracting, stood and swayed, or walked the stairs.
These contractions were coming heavier and harder, but I still felt like they didn’t last long, so I was anticipating that I had much longer to go to get to that 1 minute in duration marker when we could finally call the midwives and I’d know that our baby would soon be here.
Finally we decided to give the midwives a call, and Deb picked up. She could hear me breathing, asked if I felt the baby move, and I said I definitely had but recently was only thinking about my contractions. We got on the same page about baby movement and she said she was on her way, about 15 minutes out.
Things moved quickly after that.
Once I got back on those stairs I heard a POP and gush and my water broke! I was excited – this had never happened with Abigail! Then I felt extreme pressure after taking a step and knew I couldn’t walk any longer; all of a sudden, his head was out! Allison tossed Mikey a towel, Mikey tossed Abigail to Allison, and he flew down the stairs, just in time to see Jack’s head and slide the rest of him out!
There was no pushing required; Jack Wilder shot into our lives on the stairwell at what we estimate was 4:10 am based on our phone calls records! I couldn’t believe it, Mikey handled the situation like a pro, and we walked upstairs, laughing and smiling together, to the bed.
Deb could hear Jack crying beautifully over the phone, and we had several minutes just us before she arrived. Abi was so excited to meet her little brother and we are so grateful to Allison for pictures of this much faster-than-expected, beautiful event!
A quick recap of the timeline:
- 4:04 am: Mikey called, made contact!
- 4:08 am: Mikey called Deb back; “Bonnie’s water just broke!”
- 4:13 am: Mikey called again: “Deb, the baby came out! The baby came out!”
Deb arrived, having assumed correctly from our phone call that we were all doing well, and checked in on us. She got set up, made sure Jack and mama were fine, and we kept soaking the moments in! Helen arrived shortly thereafter and I am so grateful we got to have both midwives at home with us for both babies!
Jack, which means “God is gracious,” weighed in at 8 lbs, 11 ounces and 20 inches long. “Jack Wilder” was our name for Abi if she was a boy, and this whole pregnancy it didn’t feel right for this baby. But we kept calling him Jack when he was out and Wilder felt right for his entrance into our home and lives!
And we are so thankful for the support of Allison and her willingness to pick up our camera and snap in between the chaos!
I am grateful to God for such a beautiful, swift, empowering and physiological birth experience with Jack; God listened to my prayers FOR this baby and then for the birth of him down to the details of a healthy pregnancy and Abigail being present for the birth. What a gift! I also had no tearing, very minimal bleeding, and my prolapse was of no concern during labor. I felt my vulvar varicosity (varicose veins that go up high) pulsing when I sat on the toilet, so that wasn’t comfortable, but it kept my contractions coming and when I switched to the stairs wasn’t a concern. Praise God!
Abi, Mikey and I enjoyed a moment the next day with some celebratory Reese’s PB cups, just like we had when Abi was born!
Abigail is unbelievably sweet with Jack, he had a great first night, and we anticipate more ups and downs with the new changes as well as less sleep, starting tonight, as Jack tries to bring my milk in! But at my day 1 postpartum check in, Jack and I are both doing great and I am thankful for an amazing partner in Mikey who calmly and excitedly caught our son, who is taking good care of Abigail and I, and for God’s graciousness in our story.
God is good! For further proof of that, check out these posts:
Thanks for sharing in our joy! God sure is good, and we love little Jack Wilder so deeply.
Live well and be well!
Bonnie, Mike, Abi & Jack