The Newest Farmgirl in Town

Hello Farmgirls near and far!  Sorry I missed you for my previous post, but I was busy meeting the newest love of my life: Ava Maureen Wilder.  She is the best thing!  She was born eleven days past her due date on January 28 at 1:03 p.m. weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces and measuring a whopping 19 inches long.  We are pretty sure she’s a genius already, scoring 9 out of 10 on her Apgar right out of the womb.  Labor was long and laborious, but one of the first thoughts that came to my mind when it was over that I could do it 5 or 6 more times (that thought has since calmed down a bit)! The little munchkin is happily cooing and staring at her Grandma Gail right now, so come and meet her while I have a chance to write before getting drawn into staring at her beautiful babiness!

ava and mama eyes

Proud mama cuddle time.

My labor and delivery weren’t what I had hoped for and expected…but then whose are?  My water broke at about 1:00 a.m. the morning of Monday January 27.  Unfortunately, labor didn’t progress very quickly from there (I was in early labor and having contractions about every 15 to 20 minutes) so I ended up at the midwifery at 2 p.m. to try to get things moving along.  I drank some tasty castor oil tea and went home to wait for it to do its thing.  By 5:00 p.m. on the 27th, contractions were coming quickly and furiously, so we headed into the midwifery to finally welcome our baby into the world!  I was only dilated 2 cm and still not fully effaced.  In the following hours I labored in the giant warm tub, on the bed, on an exercise ball, walking stairs, in the shower, sitting in a birthing chair and leaning against Evan.  Alas, by midnight-ish I had only progressed to 4 cm, and my tired body was ready for a rest.  My contractions had slowed down a bit, so we made a last ditch effort by using a breast pump to get them started again.  By 2 a.m. I was still at 4 cm.

mama in tub

Pre-baby in the big amazing tub at the midwifery!


In Alaska, state midwifery regulations (or something like that) state that a woman has to be in active labor within 24 hours of the water breaking to give birth outside of a hospital.  Because we had surpassed that time, we had to move to the hospital.  I was slightly upset to leave the comfort and serenity of the birthing center (The birthing rooms are gorgeous with candles everywhere, the great big in-room tub and double headed shower in the connected bathroom…).  However, I knew that this is what would have to happen in this situation and I had gone into the process just wanting a healthy mom and a healthy baby in the end.  So, we switched midwives (our first midwife had been on the clock for a long time!) and headed to the hospital.

The hospital was fine, but it took a long time to get settled in.  I was finally checked in and ready to rest in a bed by 6 a.m. They started me on some Pitocin to reinitiate strong contractions and I asked for a dose of Stadol to allow me to rest for an hour.  The thing I am most upset about is the Pitocin–I had wanted a totally natural birth, and now I was hooked up to IVs and a fetal heart monitor.  But at the time I was pretty laid back about everything…I am just upset in retrospect.  I am proud of myself for insisting that they stop upping (and even lower a notch) the Pitocin once I felt like contractions were strong enough.  I also didn’t have any other pain meds after the hour of Stadol for rest. I ended up spending much of the morning in the small tub in the bathroom attached to the room, with our awesome midwife and Evan showering me with the handheld shower head.  Finally I couldn’t resist the urge to push and was moved back to the bed.  After two hours of pushing Ava was born! She was a she!  Almost everyone had expected us to have a boy, but we were all wrong!  I am so excited to have a little girl to share this crazy and awesome world with.

There were some weird things that happened during labor–for example at one point I heard men’s voices in my room (I was in the bathtub at this point).  I asked what it was, and was informed that men were replacing the computer in the room.  Really?! This was when I was about 30 minutes from pushing and there were random men in the room.  All I can say is that I’m happy I am me and not a woman who would have been easily set back in labor progression by that…

ava 1 hr!

Ava Maureen, one hour old with her daddy

It turns out that Ava’s head was a little cocked to one side, so she wasn’t able to move down the birth canal very easily.  She also had the cord wrapped around her ankle and there was a slight cord prolapse that caused her heart rate to dip during the later stages of labor.  There were definitely parts of this birthing experience that I am bummed about, but overall, I am just ecstatic that we have this beautiful, happy, healthy little baby girl to share the world with.

At many points I doubted the integrity of my body, and I was disappointed in it.  I’ve always had a lot of faith in my body, especially as a Farmgirl and educator who relies on my body for a large part of my livelihood!  One of the midwives mentioned to me that labor is often difficult for strong women–it tests the limits of our bodies’ and minds’ abilities.  I think this is something many Farmgirls can relate to both in farming and life.  There are very long days and very heavy loads to carry into and out of the fields, there are major decisions that have to be made very quickly, and there are outcomes that have to be gracefully dealt with no matter how disappointing they are.

Wilder family

Ava’s first restaurant outing with Grandma Gail to the big city of Anchorage!

Again, all in all I couldn’t be happier with our happy little family right now.  Evan was an amazing support person during labor and delivery (and all through pregnancy for that matter).  he was even better as my maid/cook/gopher for the 10 days postpartum when I was bed ridden.  I truly don’t know what I would have done without him!! We have spent days and days just staring at and loving this beautiful little bundle.  We have been in our own little world of loving and cuddling in the cozy yurt.  Our hearts runneth over!  I know it’s a common effect of all of these great hormones, but I have cried with love and pride countless times over the last two weeks.  Everyone says that the love one feels for their own children is amazingly powerful and pure, but it is so indescribable!  What a fantastic journey this life is.

I already have plans of strapping this baby to my chest or back to work in some farm fields this summer.  She comes from a long line of dairy farmers (from her daddy) and veggie growers (from her mama).  Watch out agriculture!  There’s a new female farmer in the making (or marine biologist?  or veterinarian?  or vagabond poet? or mountaineer? I guess she’ll decide when the time comes…).

What do babies dream about?

What do babies dream about?

Loving this adventure so far!  Thanks for all of your support and good thoughts over the last months!

Sending you peace and love,

Alex, The Rural Farmgirl


  1. Margo;) Jakoubek says:

    You are completely correct Proud Momma! She is absolutely adorably ‘GAWD-gous”…as on of my grandgems said when she about 5 years old. CONGRATULATIONS…Nothing as remarkable as parenthood. When they hand you that child…life changes. Now your education begins! Enjoy!
    Mother of a “merger” of 15
    Grandmother of 29

  2. maureen says:

    Congratulations to you both. What a beautiful edition to your life. Enjoy the journey, it’s so worth it. Awesome name, but I’m a little biased! Blessings!

  3. Was anxious to hear a throughout report. I endured a similar journey with my first birth. But like you said, it’s the end result that matters. Lovely photos. Thanks to Evan for all his hard work and support. Great big love and hugs to ALL!!!! (Don’t you LOVE the way Ava smells? Intoxicating to say the least.) Another farmgirl to the rescue!!!

  4. Laura R. says:

    Many warm and loving wishes to the new expanded family ! What a great journey for all of us readers to follow. I can relate to your ‘disappointments’ as I also had to use pitocin for my first born, however my 2nd boy popped right out with time only to get on a gown, break my water, and bam! So, every birth is different, and there is only the best memories ever of bringing our beloved children into the world ! Many farmgirl blessings to you all ! Great pix ! xo

  5. Janice K. says:

    I am thrilled by your little bundle of health! She truly is the most beautiful and perfect baby…You are blessed beyond words!

  6. CJ Armstrong says:

    Congratulations to you and your family! What a beauty!!!!
    Thanks for sharing your story! (makes me want to go take a nap!)

  7. Adrienne says:

    Congratulations to you both for creating a beautiful baby girl. Now continue to live a long and happy life together.

  8. Diana Henretty says:

    YAY!!! From the Ozarks!!
    She is gorgeous, a little piece of heaven on earth!!
    Your pictures tell the beautiful story, welcome, she is like looking at a tiny rose bud,
    ready to bloom in my winter!
    With love and prayers for your new little family, Diana, Noel, Missouri

  9. Joan says:

    Congratulations to you and Evan!! she is absolutely – absolutely beautiful and looks to be well loved and the love is what counts. Sorry the labor was a bit much and I pray all is getting back to normal with your body. Oh the stages of having a baby, being a Mother & grandmother – the sweetness of life. God Bless.

  10. Debby Carrico says:

    Wow, you definitely a strong woman and Mother for demanding the care you wanted for yourself and your daughter. Congratulations! May you commitment be part of your daughter’s character. Many blessings and peace~Debby

  11. katherine says:

    Lovely…thanks for the heart felt post. Blessings for a wonderful motherhood adventure.

  12. Carmen says:

    Welcome to the world Ava!! Blessings to all of you.

  13. Nancy says:

    I have enjoyed your blog so much as I have always wanted to live in Alaska. I was so glad to see your blog pop up on my e-mail and to know that you and your precious daughter are doing so well. She is so beautiful and I know that you and Evan are loving every minute of being with her. Enjoy all the new experiences and joy that you will have with her. Many blessing to the three of you.

  14. Judy says:

    Congratulations! Your little one is beautiful!

  15. Deedee McDonald says:

    Congratulations!! I’ve given birth 6 times and it’s is the most beautiful thing ever!! I’m so happy for you!! You think you know what love is….. Then you have your children. There is nothing like it.❤️

  16. Pam deMarrais says:

    What can I say? She is perfect! I am so delighted for you and your little family. I remember that welling up of emotions when I had my children. There is nothing like it. She is blessed to have such wonderful parents. I know that you will enjoy every moment with her….even when she is awake in the wee hours of the morning. BTW, first babies can be a lot of work…they don’t call it labor for nothing! Your next may come so quickly you can be caught off guard [mine did].

  17. Kim Reeves says:

    Such a bundle of joy! Your family is beautiful. Blessings to you all!

  18. Debbie says:

    Congratulations on the arrival of the newest little farmgirl in town! She is precious! Nothing in life will ever compare to all the feelings new parents experience. It’s pure joy ( even with the midnight feedings and diaper changes) 🙂 You handled the birth beautifully Alex. Don’t let it get to you too much that things didn’t go according to planned…That’s lesson 1 in parenthood. It won’t be the first time that happens and it’s not always something you can control…Parenting is all about finding that sweet spot between letting go and hanging on all at the same time. You and Evan are in for the ride of a lifetime! Many blessings from your Beach Sister on the shorelines! Deb

  19. Cindy says:

    Congratulations – motherhood is the absolute – the proudest moment of my life, certainly……your daughter is beautiful and your family photos are ones of true happiness and joy…..thank you for this heart warming post…..brought back memories of the happiest days of my life…..wishing you many days of this continued joy….blessings to you all….

  20. Rowena says:

    Congratulations! Remember: It is the journey that matters as much as the end result. Your body did NOT fail you. The state of Alaska failed you. Your body was doing fine. I would have refused the transfer to a hospital & the Pitocin. That was the medical establishment trying to put your body on their schedule for reasons that have NOTHING – zip, nada, nothing at all – to do with your health & welfare or that of your baby.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks for your input. Just as you would have chosen to do differently than I did, the steps I took and decisions were made by my partner and myself. I was not forced into anything. I understand that many women feel that natural out of hospital birth is the only way to go, but I believe well-informed women can make any birth decisions they want. If you want an epidural and know what the ramifications are, go for it. If you want an elective C-section to save your lady bits, then go ahead. I do not feel like I was a pawn, I had done my research before hand and was having enough anxiety of my own to go ahead with a more invasive birth process. I feel great about the whole thing, in hindsight (outside of some of the hospital’s ineptness)

      • Rowena says:

        I am glad you feel better. I was responding to what you said about feeling like your body failed you & I wanted to emphasize that just because one’s body does not follow the timetable set by the medical establishment, it does not mean that it has failed. That timetable is not linked to any meaningful measurements of what your body “should” be doing during labour so you shouldn’t judge your body’s performance against it. Sounds like you are not doing that anymore. Congratulations again.

  21. Mary Fenske says:

    Dear Alex, Evan and Ava,
    Thank you for sharing the pictures and words. Little Ava is beautiful and I wish you nothing but joy and peace as you start this journey.

  22. Denise Ross says:

    Congratulations :). How exciting! Best wishes on your new adventure as a family. I love being a mum and the time flies. Enjoy

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