Willow Ann Culy was born at 1:45am on February 16th.
This is her birth story.
The day Willow was born came as a complete surprise – all the way to the moment we put our heads down on our pillows and almost…fell…asleep.
It was a normal Thursday.
A work day for me – full of meetings, juggling client requests, and making progress on the two projects I was currently working on. I wrapped up work early because we had our prenatal checkup at 4 that day – a weekly checkup since Rachel was at about 38 weeks. The checkup went fine and nothing seemed out of the ordinary – though Rachel had dilated one more centimeter and was at 3cm now. Charlotte, our wonderful midwife, mentioned that she thought the baby would come soon.
Well she sure did.
We headed to the library to pick up a book Rachel had reserved and then grabbed a quick bite to eat on our way to our Bible study group that meets every Thursday evening at 7pm. We have loved our small group ever since we met them and are currently studying a book on biblically raising children called Shepherding a Child’s Heart – which has been wonderful and challenging for us all.
After study we headed home and got into bed. I had just about fallen asleep when the screaming started. Well no, there was no screaming – but Rachel was starting to feel some stronger contractions and we began timing them. This was at 10:45pm.
By 11:45 they had been consistent for an hour.
And though they weren’t quite a minute long, we called our midwife, Charlotte, who runs her own practice The Special Delivery Company, and had to make a last minute change. We had always hoped with this baby to have her naturally through a midwife, and then later decided we wanted to do a home birth. Unfortunately this evening there was another lady also giving birth at the midwife’s center, and so we needed to head in.
Due to our change of location, it wasn’t going to work for Wayland to sleep through the labor (which he would have), so we called and arranged for our friend from bible study to meet us at the midwives’ center.
I began packing madly.
Thankfully we had everything organized on our dresser and around the room, so a few quick trips to the car and it was all in. Between strong contractions I helped, Rachel slowly down the stairs and into the car and then ran back in quickly to grab Wayland – who had been sound asleep since his 8pm bedtime. Finally, we were all in the car and on our way there.
We arrived around 12:30 and they assisted Rachel up onto the bed. After a few minutes our friend arrived and took Wayland out into the waiting area where he could play with toys and wait. Just minutes later, they checked and Rachel was fully dilated.
It was time to push.
It’s worth noting that Rachel had tested positive for GBS and we had planned to have her take the antibiotics during labor, however because it progressed so quickly – we didn’t have the time for the IV. In this, we saw more of God’s kindness to us as her water broke early during the pushing and the baby was exposed for only a very brief time before she was born.
Rachel was amazing.
She stayed so focused, and was so brave through the entire labor, and as she held Willow for the first time she was as radiant and beautiful as ever. And so after just 3 hours of labor, Willow Ann Culy was born at 1:45am on February 16th. She weighed 6lbs 5oz, with a head full of long dark hair, and she took to nursing right away.
Throughout all this time Wayland also did wonderfully. He played quietly, he munched on snacks, and he kept repeating “Baby Willow, baby Willow”. We are so thankful for our little boy and the blessing he has been to us even in the days following Willow’s birth. We’re also thankful that we took the time to teach Wayland about Willow and involve him in all of the preparations we made for her arrival.
After about 3 hours of waiting and resting we did some final tests and then were able to head home to get some rest. Thankful and tired we climbed into bed just before 6am that morning, now a family of four.
What a good God we serve!
In all of this, we have continued to praise God for his goodness to us. From safety in driving to the midwives’ center in the middle of the night, to a wonderful experience with our midwife, to Rachel’s water breaking right before Willow arrived, to Wayland staying up till 6am and behaving beautifully the entire time (what a trooper!), to Willow taking to nursing right away, to Willow and Rachel both being healthy with no complications – we can only thank God who, though we had no control over these things, holds complete control of our lives and takes such good care of His children.
Thank you for joining us on this journey and we hope you too can give God all the credit through the ups and the downs that we face as we trust Him daily. We hope you will continue to follow us on our journey! If you would like to keep up to date, feel free to sign up to get updates below.
update: 3 days later
Here are some photos of Willow that I took of her on her third day of life. Enjoy!