In case you haven’t heard the news, our little family is complete! Baby Wilder made his way into our lives only eleven short days ago, and he’s been the most amazing addition!
I really wanted to share this news earlier, along with the story of his birth. As I waited for him to arrive on the day of induction, I planned for the photos I wanted to take and the video I wanted to create like I did for Chester’s birth. But like so many other things in life, our birth experience was not at all what we expected, and the story will have to wait. I’m still dealing with trauma from what we experienced, and I’m still wrapping my head around the terrifying images of the limp, grey rag doll that came out covered in blood.
Instead, I decided to share some of my favorite photos taken of our boy and a little information about him.
First of all, I’d like to introduce you all to Wilder Aloysius Gulliver Reed. A big name for such a little dude. In fact, this was the name I wanted all along, ever since I was around three months pregnant. Don’t ask me where the name came from, but I was VERY adamant that it was HIS name. Mark didn’t quite agree, though. At least not with Aloysius Gulliver. He agreed on Wilder, though, so we batted middle names back and forth for months.
All of our boys have two middle names, thanks to a complicated situation when Dexter was born. And let me tell you, when you have FOUR boys with three names each, finding new names you love is HARD. Eventually, we settled on the very nature-themed Wilder Aspen Everest. Neither of us was super happy with it, but it was a compromise we could agree on.
When our little guy came out, though, after a team of people resuscitated him, I remained unconvinced about his name. After a night spent in pain and fear, with little sleep, Mark and I rose early the next morning in the hospital, and I set about filling out the forms for his birth certificate. As I went to fill in his name, Mark stopped me and asked me if I would write out both names so he could see them on paper.
I wrote in plain print and in a stylish script Wilder Aloysius Gulliver and Wilder Aspen Everest. To my shock, surprise and elation, Mark had a last minute change of heart and told me to put him down with the name I’d fallen in love with so many months ago.
When we were finally discharged from the hospital, we spent a fretful few days dealing with a baby who was not behaving the way we were used to. While he’d been okay in the hospital, at home, he failed to have wet or poopy diapers, and my inherent fear of not being able to breastfeed caused me to stress out. As a result, I ended up delaying milk production, which only made the situation worse. I spent SO much of my time holding him to my breasts, which were cracked and bloody and very painful for several days.
Luckily after five full days and a day of mainlining Gatorade, I finally felt that familiar let down that meant my milk had arrived. Baby Wilder fed all night long and I woke up to find he’d wet through his diaper and clothing. I’ve never been so happy to be peed on!
Luckily for us, my mom came out in late November to stay for a month, helping us through the earliest days of our baby’s life. She helped cook and clean for us, was with me through the traumatic birth and helped to take care of me and Wilder in these early days. I’ve loved seeing her with her new grandson – her tenth (and almost certainly last!) grandchild.
My mom even got to do the honors of giving Wilder his very first bath! It took a week for his umbilical cord to finally fall off, but once it did, she couldn’t help herself but to throw off his clothes and bathe him in our kitchen sink. I’ll tell you now… he wasn’t a big fan of it. He screamed the whole time, hating every second, but before and afterward, he was all love and smiles.
Wilder, Wiley for short, is absolutely adored by all who meet him. His brothers can’t get enough of him, petting him like a kitten and insisting on holding and loving on him. Chester, having finally earned the rank of “big brother,” is proving to be a very loving sibling, and we are all enjoying seeing him sing and tell stories to his “baby.”
Daniel is also infatuated with him. I have to keep reminding him to be careful, as he is a little overly enthusiastic about hugging. But gosh, how beautiful it is to see his smile.
Dexter, as the oldest brother, has a somewhat different reaction. He is almost TOO in awe of his baby brother. He is almost afraid of touching him, though he gets really close to him and tells me how beautiful and soft he is. It’s lovely to see him so enthralled.
As for me, I can’t get enough baby cuddles. I hold him most of every day, feeding on demand and sleeping with him in my arms, much to the frustration of our pediatrician. He just won’t sleep anywhere but curled up with me. Thankfully I am very careful to keep him on his back with no blankets with only his head on my arm. I get really terrible sleep, but we’re surviving.
I can’t remember when I last brushed my hair, and bathing is definitely not an every day thing anymore. I lost the baby weight and ten or so pounds on top of that, but my body is fat and flabby and still in pain. But I keep looking at my naked self in the mirror and admiring all the loose skin, knowing that it recently stretched to its fullest capacity and managed to be a home for the most beautiful creature on earth.
As with previous kids, I am doing a lot of baby wearing. I got sent this Hip Baby Wrap in Fern to try out, and I LOVE it. I have never used a ring sling before, and I was so pleasantly surprised by how cool it actually is! So easy to use, and Wilder fell straight to sleep as soon as I put him in it!
Daddy is obviously in his element. I mean, what guy wouldn’t be proud to have helped create FOUR strong and healthy boys? He was lucky enough to swing the last two weeks of the year off work, so he’s been home with us every day. He has changed tons of diapers, cuddled and cooed to his son, and he’s made extra effort to hang out with the older boys doing whatever they want him to do. It’s been lovely.
I can’t help but find it sexy that he’s so invested in this baby. He still does that annoying thing where he gives Wilder back to me as SOON as he starts to fuss, thinking he needs fed before thinking to check for a wet diaper. But he’s getting better.
It’s strange to think how far we’ve come as parents. Next month, we’ll have been together for eight years! It’s so funny to think that Dexter was born a mere 13 months to the day after we met. Seeing Mark get more confident in his parenting skills with each kid has been quite a thing to witness. I actually found an old photo from when Dexter was only a couple months old and compared it to now. Isn’t it interesting?
Anyway, Wilder is fitting in just fine in our family, and our new normal is a little overwhelming but totally rewarding.
And just to get all the information out there, here are the stats for his birth:
Wilder Aloysius Gulliver Reed
Born December 18th, 2017 at 5:39 PM
Weight: 6lbs 12.1oz
Length: 19.5 inches
He is adored and we can’t get enough of him.
I think it is safe to say that our family is finally complete.