After giving birth to her first child, all Kim Guiley wanted was to provide her child with a sibling. Little did she know this was going to be a life threatening, unstable journey – but one that would lead to the most incredible revelation of all.
She Didn’t See It Coming
The Californian 28-year-old has seen her fair share of births. As a doula, Kim always had a yearning to have her own children, something she didn’t anticipate would be so difficult.
Had Her Mind Set
Kim could recite childbirth techniques in her sleep. Having aided so many different women with their own deliveries and providing them support once their babies were born, it was only natural Kim would want to push forward with bringing into the world kids of her own as well. Always a supporter of the spiritual world, Kim knew that when her time came, she would be fully committed to having a home birth. Unfortunately, she did not expect her pregnancy to be a difficult one.
And so, after three years of marriage, Kim and her husband Travis decided it was time to expand their family. Their profound, honest and loving relationship practically screamed for a baby, who would benefit greatly from having parents that long for nothing more than having offsprings. Then came baby Hazel into the mix, with her perfect ten fingers, ten toes and sparkling blue eyes. At least for a while, it seemed as though life could not get any more perfect than this.
Nothing Was More Important
Family is an important value for kind Kim – she didn’t select her field of occupation through a random coin toss. Kim grew up with a brother who she considered to be her best friend. He always stuck by her and knew he would be there for the good times and bad, so once having baby Hazel, Kim determined it was only a matter of time until she would attempt to give Hazel a sibling. Travis was excited about this notion too, but he didn’t know the risks involved.
It Broke Her Heart
The two loving parents had no idea granting Hazel with a similar sibling experience as Kim’s would mean heading towards a worrisome, strenuous journey. The first hurdle in their path was fast approaching. What should have been an incredible year turned out to be an unfortunate one – Kim found out she was carrying a child, but sadly went through an unexpected miscarriage due to health complications. The tragic miscarriage was enough to make Kim less confident about trying again.
Moving Past The Tragedy
A lot of couples have a hard time bouncing back from a miscarriage. The pain is known to either pull the two together or it may push them apart since the loss is too heartbreaking to bear. For Kim and Travis, there was no question regarding whether or not they were going to stay together. Their love was so strong, they both knew how invested they were in making it work despite the challenges that lay ahead.
Making The Call
When it felt like they were both physically and emotionally able to try again, Kim and Travis decided to give it another go despite the doubts that kept rising to the surface. They were not sure they would be able to handle another loss if it came to that. The death of their previous child was still evident, its pain like a pink scar that has yet to heal fully. But their deep desire for a fully functioning, lively family was greater than their fear of the unknown.
But then something unpredictable happened. Only a few months after her miscarriage, Kim found out she was pregnant again. The shock could not have been bigger, seeing as how it usually takes more time for the female body to bounce back from the trauma of losing a child. Overwhelmed with emotions, Kim told Travis the news, who was also over the moon with joy. However, it was much too early for celebrations. Before they knew it, Travis and Kim were waiting at the doctor’s office again.
Had To Let It Out
The doctor did not bear good news. Tragically, the new baby slowly growing in Kim’s uterus had many health problems. This was not going to be an easy pregnancy, as the doctor clearly pointed out. In order to handle the rollercoaster of emotions Kim felt, she found a healthy way of expressing her feelings – she started writing a blog. Writing her thoughts down felt good, and so did sharing her experiences with a non-judgmental crowd. Online, Kim felt like she could confess her deepest fears.
Scare After Scare
“As the pregnancy progressed, we suffered through scare after scare – worries about my gallbladder, concerning images on the anatomy scan, small fundal measurements, too much amniotic fluid and a transverse baby at 36 weeks,” Kim wrote on her blog, describing how horrible the entire pregnancy has been. The moment one issue was solved, two more were knocking on Kim and Travis’s door. For a moment, it seemed as though fate never intended for the two to have a healthy baby – but giving up was not an option.
Boy Or Girl?
There was one thing Travis and Kim did not want to know – and that is the gender of their baby. In spite of becoming very aware of the baby’s problems and difficulties and having gone through numerous check-ups and examinations, the two refused to know what was waiting for them regarding the baby’s gender. Be it a boy or a girl, the fact is it simply didn’t matter, as long as a healthy baby was growing in Kim’s steadily expanding belly.
Apparently, remaining clueless about the gender of their baby was not a mutual decision. It was Kim who thought it would be best to leave some things unknown so that they would have a surprise after the baby’s birth. “After the miscarriage, I was just really attached to having a healthy baby, regardless of gender,” wrote Kim in her blog. “My husband wanted to find out, and I said, ‘No, let’s have fun with it,’” and so, it was decided – the gender would not be revealed.
A Mother’s Instinct
In defiance of their call to drop the gender issue, Kim still had a hunch about her fetus. Since she was a doula by occupation, something told her the baby growing inside her was a female. She had ancient tales to back up her opinion rather than actual fact, but for Kim, that was enough. For example, according to urban myth, female babies usually mean challenging pregnancies. Additionally, little Hazel was highly opinionated about her mother’s pregnancy, claiming she felt she was about to have a sister.
Nothing To Back Her Up
Kim explained why she felt so confident about having a girl: “I was really sick with this pregnancy, and there’s a correlation between sickness and having girls, and my two-year-old daughter thought it was a girl. I had all these silly reasons.” Although she had no way of being sure, deep in her heart Kim felt that she was having a girl, meaning that pretty soon, little Hazel would have a little sister to look after.
Trouble Was Coming
In the face of her motherly gut instinct, Kim was wise enough to consider her inkling for what it was, rather than announce to the whole world she was carrying a girl: “Because I’m a doula and I work with babies and births, I know you can never have any expectations about anything.” In retrospect, Kim’s obsession with her baby’s gender might have been due to the troublesome pregnancy she had. But as she would soon find out, the baby’s gender did not matter at all.
Bad News Ahead
Upsetting news was making its way towards Kim, Travis and Hazel. Not only was this pregnancy hard to begin with, but it also turned out that the baby was posterior. This means that instead of being head-down and facing the spine, the baby was head-down and facing the abdomen. A significantly harder birth was ahead of Kim, which was particularly upsetting since Kim intended on having a home birth. With this new complication, Kim had a lot at stake.
Due Date Or Doom Date?
Although the phenomenon of a posterior baby is not that rare, when combined with the rest of the complications this pregnancy had, it is easy to understand why Kim was heavily alarmed by the news. Still, Kim was more convinced than ever that all the difficulties that arose were meant to test her commitment to having the baby. She tried to keep her cool as she was approaching the 9-month mark, but there was a lot was on Kim’s mind.
The fact that Kim’s pregnancy did not go exactly as planned or as smoothly as hoped was a given, but she hoped the latter would not directly affect how hard, or preferably how easy the labor would be. Instead of stressing out about the possible adverse outcomes of her due date, Kim attempted to keep her cool at all cost. She was so successful at it and dedicated to the cause, Kim had no idea when she was going into labor.
“You’re In Labor!”
A simple labor was too far fetched for this complex pregnancy. Kim had labor scares several times, thinking her baby was ready to pop out before its time, but all turned out to be false alarms. Two weeks before her arbitrary, planned due date, Kim’s contractions began pulsing through her body. Since she was convinced she was going into labor before, Kim thought those contractions were bogus too – that is, until Travis called her out and said, “you’re in labor!”
Nothing According To Plan
Thankfully, Kim knew about her baby’s odd positioning beforehand, so she managed to get everything in order before the birth. She contacted both a chiropractor and an acupuncturist to be there during the birth so that they would be able to turn the baby the right way. Kim, being the highly organized individual she is, made sure everything was ready for the birth of her second child – but in all likelihood, the baby had different ideas for its birth.
She Couldn’t Stop It
The infant was not turning as was intended. As if acting on a mind of its own, there was no repositioning the baby before the birth. With a heavy heart, Kim realized her planned home birth was no longer a possibility. As she prepared her things and started walking towards the car that would drive her towards the nearest hospital, Kim noticed her contractions cut in closer by the second. Soon she came to the understanding that it was too late – the baby was coming.
Shocked To The Core
On her blog, Kim recollected the exact moment she grasped she was giving birth: “I knew my baby was coming, I had survived the hardest few hours of my entire life and it was almost over.” Call it a mother’s sixth sense, Kim just knew it was time to give birth to her new baby, but the way she did it left everyone around her in complete awe. After multiple complications, health restrictions and several mishaps, Kim’s way of giving birth was anything but expected.
Before The Big Reveal
“All it took were a few contractions this time and my body did it all – I never consciously pushed, I just let my body do its thing,” Kim wrote on her blog. After all she’s been through, finally she was cut some slack by having a relatively easy and completely natural birth. It was 5 am on July 26th, and the fragile, petite baby finally had a birth date and time. Kim got her home birth and a healthy baby – what else could she ask for?
Couldn’t Believe It
“I couldn’t believe I had survived the past three hours and somehow still gotten the home birth that we wanted so badly,” wrote Kim. Thinking back on that fateful day that would change her and her family’s life forever, Kim recalled the moment she took her newborn baby into her arms and prepared herself for the piece of information she was purposefully withholding from herself, her husband and her daughter for so long. Did she have a boy or a girl?
That Wasn’t All
She was ready. Carefully embracing the baby that grew in her body for so long, Kim decided it was about time they all knew who was joining their family. “After a couple of minutes, I opened baby’s legs and discovered that we had a little boy!” One could read the excitement on her blog, and truly, Kim was ecstatic: “In that perfect moment, all of my dreams had come true. My family was complete.” But that was not all…
Perfect Moment Captured
The minute Kim found out her baby’s gender, photographer Susannah Gill of Photographic Storytelling was there to snap a picture and forever commemorate that remarkable moment that would soon spread like wildfire. Afterward, Kim posted that very same picture on her social media account on Instagram with the following caption: “After a lifetime of dreaming about one of each, but months of feeling so strongly that we were having another girl, this is the moment we discovered Theo’s sex!!”
The Face That Says It All
“I was just in hysterics,” the mom told Today in an interview later on. “We were cracking up. That face! I don’t even think I could replicate that face. I was truly shocked.” As it turned out, opting to keep the gender a surprise was a good call, as nothing would match the look on her and Travis’s face had they known the gender in advance. The little baby was named Theo, but picking out a name was only the beginning of the recovery ahead of Kim.
A Big, Happy Family
“The recovery hasn’t been the easiest, and transitioning to two kids has been more than a little overwhelming,” explained Kim. “But I am trying to use this time to soak up his newness. I still can’t believe I have a daughter AND a son… despite the long and difficult path of pregnancy, loss and birth, I feel like the luckiest mama ever.” This story goes to show that despite all odds, sometimes all that is left to do is be strong and believe everything will work out, as it evidently did.