As many of you know, our last little president decided to join us this week and *SHE* came in with quite the bang and a whole lot of stories to share. I’ll do my best to record all the happenings in the coming days and weeks, but for now, as I do, I simply must share with you the very beginning of her story – that of her birth….
Tuesday night, before going to bed, Harrison declared at dinner that the baby was definitely coming tonight. He just knew it.
Now, we may have had very similar statements made on many other nights, but who’s counting or controlling when it comes to kid guesses, right? They have all been so anxiously awaiting Baby’s arrival, as were Ben and I, so why couldn’t any night be the night?!
Turns out, Tuesday was it, with time-able contractions beginning in the 7:00p hour. Except I was up on my feet, cleaning and doing the dishes, and when I finally sat down a little after 8, they went from every 15 minutes to over 30 before another came, so I figured, Meh. More Braxton Hicks.
But then a real one came while I was still seated and yet another one after that, but they were still super far apart, so no hopes were exactly raising, even though my texts with my in-town back-up for the kids started reading a lot more like, “Are you suuuuuure you aren’t in labor???”
Truthfully? No, I wasn’t sure. It took until almost 10:00 before I was like, “OK….maybe we should notify the grandparents so they can make their way here,” but even then I was not convinced I was going to have the baby that night because contractions (some of them hurt enough at that point that I could tell something was happening) would not drop under 10 minutes apart at all.
By a little after 11:00 we started talking about maybe having our back up come over to the house but then I started playing the head game of knowing that the baby wasn’t going to come before midnight and I really didn’t want to get counted for a “day” at the hospital when technically we could wait until midnight and go from there. Because apparently these are the things you think about during labor with Baby No.5?!
Even though the waves got more intense, we still managed to make it until just after midnight for arrival at MLH and got up to our L&D room around 12:15a. I told the nurses checking me in that it would be super if they could check me and then potentially call my doc, because if you’ve been reading those birth posts I recently shared, you know that once my body goes, it goes quickly, and I really didn’t want a repeat of RL and the puffer fish.
So they had me get on the bed and the nurse who checked me started laughing and said, “Girrrrrlllll, what are you doing to us?!” because apparently I was 8, almost 9 centimeters dilated already and nearly totally effaced as well. WHOOPS. I guess I really did – again – almost have a baby in the kitchen without even realizing it! (Don’t get me wrong – I swear that I could feel myself dilating on a couple of the at-home ones because they were STRONG, but I never would have guessed that much!)
Needless to say they called my doctor right away and after she got there I went through a couple more contractions and then it was like, “Ready for go time?” “Ready” and she broke my water. We had to let one more contraction pass to thin out the rest of the cervix, but then it was labor bar and push, and with maybe two or three cues to “deep breath/push” the head was crowning and the baby was on its way out.
And you know what? It HURT. I don’t say that to scare anyone, but let’s be real. I may do natural births and people may be very kind when they say I stay super calm during them but that doesn’t mean that the experience is a walk in the park. And this sweet babe’s final passage out of me was WHOA. I didn’t tear at all but geez, it felt like a lot of work to get this one out.
Turns out there may have been a reason for that because when we finally got around to weighing the baby, the grand total was 8 lbs., 11 oz. which is 3/4 of a lb. bigger than ANY of my others, so I really did in fact birth a lot more baby this time around! But as you may well know by now, we weren’t exactly concerned with weight at first because it was very clear right at delivery that something was amiss.
Instead of just the umbilical cord attaching me and babe, there was a large (to me) mass in the cord that the on-call pediatrician later identified as an omphalocele which is to say that the baby’s intestines did not pass back into nor get closed inside of the abdominal wall, but rather got stuck in the umbilical cord.
You’ll notice that I keep referring to the baby as “the baby” here and that’s intentional because everyone else around me was caught off guard by the abnormality (we had no prior indication of it from any of the ultrasounds) and no one had told me the sex of the baby yet, so I had to ask, “Is it a boy or a girl?” to find out that yes, the kids were right, we did indeed get another girl in our family!
And while the shock of that revelation would have been enough to confound me for the rest of the night, it was the other revelation that really set off the series of events that lead us to be where are now, at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. I promise I’ll continue working through the story, but for now I want to touch on the baby and her name: Wilson Ann.
Wilson has been our girl’s name with this pregnancy from the very beginning. In fact, for a while, it would have been a boy or a girl (for you curious minds, Jefferson would have been the boy final choice). And Ann is special because both our moms (and a few other amazing women in our lives) share that as a middle name. I also liked this because it gave me a chance to use another name I love, Willa, as a nickname while still sticking to our theme. Because you guys know that my kids are going to try to call her Willie, right? But Mama’s not going for it, so we’re going to try to train them to use Willa instead. Just FYI and thank you for your help in doing this. 😉
So Wilson Ann joined us and while circumstances have been challenging in the days since, we are so in love with her and are in awe of her strength and fortitude. And in fact, she even has her own rally cry (and hashtag) that came about from a conversation in Hastings, before we left to follow her flight to Omaha, in which I was telling someone about the name choice and how my only hesitation had been giving her a W-W name. But then Ben chimed in and said, “Nah – W-W is just like Wonder Woman.” and it just clicked: Wonder Wilson. Because she is a wonder and she is a fighter and she is full of and surrounded by so much good. She is our Wonder Woman for sure.
As I said, more of the story to come. Now that the crazy is settling, we’re going to have a lot of time to sit in the NICU in the coming weeks, so I’ll be able to get it all down in writing. But for now I’m off to pump and Dear God, please, hopefully sleep!