One Wilde Night – Atticus’ Birth Story
“Well, I’d say a baby in the pants is the worst night.” – slowest ER worker ever
“There’s a good chance that tonight’s gonna be bad then!” – me
Before I can tell you the story of Friday, November 25th… I need to back up a few weeks.
Back to a normal Tuesday a few weeks ago when I had a check-up with my OB. I was at 35 weeks and he proceeded to tell me that I was already dilated to a 3! I was so pumped. I had been having a ton of pelvic pain from SPD for a few weeks, and since Atticus was measuring 2 weeks ahead and would be safe if born that early… I was excited! As we were leaving the office, I started having some light contractions and back pain. We got really excited and started making arrangements to move to Little Rock to live with my mom, closer to the hospital (an otherwise 2 hour drive from Batesville), to wait for Atticus to arrive.
That was WEEKS ago.
Safe to say, no baby came that day.. or in the many days after that. Every week I’d get checked, every week I’d have a few Braxton Hicks and “false alarms” and yet, no baby.
From there, fast forward to Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving.
We had a pretty chill day. Mom and I decided to do a little shopping in the afternoon after all the crazy Black Friday shoppers had gone home. We had a great afternoon and I was feeling pretty good – pretty much the same as I had been for weeks.
We got home and I was having back pain, but no contractions or anything alarming. I mean come on… back pain is nothing out of the ordinary when you are 9 months pregnant. I helped mom cook for a couple of hours, preparing for a family Thanksgiving meal the next day.
Since my back was hurting, I decided to go and lay down for a bit.. just to take a break before finishing the deviled eggs. 😉
I was laying on the bed, perusing Instagram and watching makeup videos on YouTube, when OUT OF THE BLUE, what felt like a tiny-baby chain-saw started wreaking havoc inside my stomach.
It was the most intense contraction I had ever felt.
Now, for reference… when Edison was born, I was dilated to a 7/8 with good, hard contractions coming every few minutes before I opted for an epidural. This was nothing like those contractions. With those, I could breathe through them and control my physical response (laying on my back, relaxing my face and thinking positive, keeping my emotions stable, not moving or speaking, focusing on breathing through the pain).
NOPE. NOT THIS TIME.
That first “baby zombie attack in my uterus” happened at 9:41 pm. – you’re gonna want to remember that time.
Then it happened again at 9:45 pm.
Then again at 9:49 pm.
As I started thinking through my doctor’s instructions of “Once you’ve had 5 contractions per hour for 2 hours, come on into the hospital.” I asked Eric, “I’m supposed to do this for 2 hours? I don’t think that’s possible.”
And after around 8-10 contractions later, I felt like they weren’t stopping… like there were no breaks between them at all. And so at 10:00 pm, I looked at my contraction log on my phone and noticed something…
9:52 – contraction
9:54 – contraction
9:56 – looong contraction
9:57 – yep, that baby zombie is now wielding that tiny-baby chainsaw, going to town on my insides
9:58 – potentially he’s a vampire at this point and his goal is to suck the life straight out of me?
9:59 – or maybe it’s Miley Cyrus on her wrecking ball, singing her heart away.
10:00 – yeah, things are changing in there… something isn’t right… I’m starting to feel pressure and the contractions aren’t slowing down.
It was then that my mom began getting us on the move and telling us to get in the car.
By 10:05, I’m getting really worried. Things are moving so quickly – I rush out to the car and then I have to WAIT through 3-4 contractions while standing next to the car because Eric is no where to be found!
Where was he you ask? Calmly changing clothes and packing up his computer and phone chargers. (COME ON SON!) I cannot be held accountable for the thoughts that were going through my mind at that point. 😀
In his defense, he wasn’t quite aware of the seriousness of the situation at this point. Edison took 17 hours to show up, and I hadn’t really made it clear/nor had the reality quite sunk in for me as well, that we were down to minutes before the baby was gonna be there.
We jump in the car. He looks at me and just knows. As we are backing out of the driveway, it’s about 10:10 and that’s when I feel it – everything has shifted.
And I tell Eric, “This baby is coming – like, right now.”
Side note: I know you’ve all seen in the movies.. the woman’s water breaks or she has one contraction and the next scene is pure chaos: the dad is driving 100 mph, and the mom is banshee screaming in the car as they race to the hospital in the middle of a tornado or blizzard. Well, take out the tornado or blizzard and it’s like you are in the car with us!
Around 2 minutes later, I felt him in the birth canal. We were still about 4 minutes from the hospital, (next to Chipotle on University if you know your Little Rock geography). And I began screaming at Eric, “HE IS COMING RIGHT NOW. What do we do?”
I knew if I tried to reach down to take off my pants, I would 100% give birth in the car with a few pushes, and considering Eric was speeding through traffic, I didn’t see that as the safest option.
So, turns out the only other option is to just channel your inner warrior goddess and you warrior cry at the top of your lungs to keep yourself from pushing.
Eric was going about 80 mph on University–if you’ve been on that road, it’s anything but flat and smooth. I didn’t have on a seatbelt (dumb) and I maaay have hit the ceiling in the car a few times. But finally, we both were on the same page that “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” (something I may or may not have yelled) 😀
We briefly considered stopping at a closer hospital, but Eric made the decision for me that we were going to try and make it to Baptist. So he takes the on-ramp and makes our little Altima fly like I’ve never seen in my life.
After about four more khaleesi-mother-of-dragons yells and Eric praying out loud at the top of his lungs for safety and for me to keep Atticus inside, and bam – we were at the hospital! We actually made it!
Eric tells me that we arrived at the hospital at 10:25 and Atticus was born at 10:30 – so you do the math.
Go on… I’ll wait.
Yes.. I had to hold him in for 5 more minutes, through at least five or six more contractions, before making it to labor and delivery.
Why you ask?
Because of “the wheelchair guy.” (I refuse to call him by any other name – partly because I don’t remember his name, and partly because I need to forget about him for the sake of my sanity..) This guy at the ER doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that my baby is in the birth canal, and I’ve been holding off pushing for around 7 minutes at that point.
He’s pushing me through the ER in a wheelchair.. next thing I know, we stop…. to fill out paperwork. Yes, we indeed stopped to ensure we had my NAME correct on the sheet.
Now, you guys know Eric and I don’t like to make waves, but I was so annoyed and in so much pain, I just remember asking him, “is this really necessary? I’m needing to push.”
And he says to me “Alright, well I’m going to need you not to.”
After some quick paperwork, we slowly pass the ER.. full of beds and gloves and plenty of medical professionals who could have delivered the baby.
Buut nope, we aren’t stopping there…. because well.. no one knows why. So I’m telling myself that surely he’s seen his fair share of women who overreact or think they are needing to push when in reality, they have hours of labor left. So I guess I can’t be too mad at him, he’s just doing his job.
And then he’s asking me questions–I’m sure trying to keep me calm–but I’m just using all of the energy in my being to NOT push this baby out into my pants or in this wheelchair. And I keep thinking, why didn’t I tell him more forcefully that the baby was coming? But I was using every ounce of focus I had to just NOT PUSH. In fact, that’s all I remember saying on the trek to Mordor… aka the L&D floor “just don’t push, just don’t push, you can do it, just don’t push”.
Then the most absurd moment of my life happened as he turns the corner to get on an elevator. Yes. An elevator.
I asked him, “Is this a joke? oh my goodness, I don’t think I can make it through an elevator ride. Sir? Are you prepared to deliver this baby in this elevator? Have you ever done that before?”
He thinks I’m joking… his reply: “Oh yes, we have actually.. but a baby in the pants makes for the worst night.”
If my child hadn’t taken that moment to decide to begin crowning, I am afraid I would have said some things I would come to regret later.
But alas, he did. I simply couldn’t hold him in and fight my body any longer and I only managed to stave off half of the contraction and my body got in just a small push, just enough that he crowned and my water broke as we were exiting the elevator. I remember just trying to tell him that my water broke, but the urge to push was too much. And I could see the team of nurses waiting on us at the end of the hall, so with the end in sight, I just focused on making it.
“He’s crowning, he’s crowning, don’t push, don’t push!” was my new mantra.
Then finally, I could see the bed and the ladies helped me tear off my pants and as I laid down, I notice once again that Eric isn’t in the room – WHY you ask?
Because they asked him to fill out more paperwork.
Like, seriously? Yes. Seriously!
At this point, one of the nurses yells,
“Where is dad? If he wants to see his baby be born, he better come right now!”
I thought to myself.. I didn’t make it this far for Eric to not get to see him be born, so I waited what was probably only mere seconds, but felt like an eternity for him to get in the room. And without me even pushing, Atticus’ head was out as Eric grabbed my hand.
And the nurse said, “You are safe to push now, it’s okay.”
So I took a deep breath and relaxed in the safety of the nurses and pushed our Wilde little miracle into the world.
Time of birth, 10:30 pm.
Weight, 9 lbs 2.4 oz
Length, 19.75 inches
Length of labor, 49 minutes
Length labor should have been, ~35 minutes
As they placed him on my chest, the feeling in the room was incredible. Absolute joy, pulsing adrenaline and laughter filled the room. After a minute, our OB walked into the room and we all had a great laugh at him being “late for work.”
And I looked at our precious boy on my chest and my heart was a million shades of love.
I’ll never forget staring into Eric’s eyes in those moments as we prayed over him and gave thanks to God for our precious addition to our family and yet, we were both in such shock, we just stared at one another, dumbfounded at what had just happened. I’d give anything for a picture of our faces 😀
Atticus was in perfect health and was able to spend the next 20 minutes allowing the cord to finish pumping and the placenta to deliver… the delivery crew couldn’t believe the cord was still pumping that long. Edison’s cord only pumped for about 2-3 minutes when he was born.
During that time, Tasha, the nurse who delivered Atticus, started debriefing our OB and proceeded to tell him that we had a big, healthy baby girl on our hands – her joke about made me have a heart attack, since you may remember that we thought Atticus was a girl for a few weeks and it became the running joke of my pregnancy that I would end up with a girl, not a boy. Everyone in the room got a great laugh out of my reaction to that joke! You can only imagine how huge my eyes were. 😀
For the next two hours, Atticus was able to lay on my chest and nurse for the first time. And around 1:00 in the morning, Edison was able to come in with my mom and meet his new baby brother for the first time. He was so tired, but it was still so wonderful to see our little family there together. Such a beautiful moment, one of the firsts of a lifetime of memories together.
I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I stayed awake just watching Eric and Atticus breathe, praying and debriefing over the events of the night. It was an awesome few hours of silence and prayer, talking with God about what the future would look like for our family. I’ll treasure those moments of intimacy with the Father forever.
And while it may not have been what we were expecting as far as a birth story, we are thankful and grateful that everything was good in the end and now we get to watch this little blessing grow up in our family.
Atticus Wilde, you are a gift, a true treasure and your dad and I love you with all the capacity we have within us on this Earth. What you may not know is you have a host of people all over the world who are thanking God for your existence and are already opening their hearts to make room for the little dash of love you’ve brought into their lives on the day you were born. There are people who are praying for your soul right now, for your heart to be pulled on by Christ, even now. You are lucky, kid, for you are so so loved.
So here’s to the future and all the chaos it will continue to bring us! We can’t wait to adventure through it all with you!