After Kim Guiley and her husband welcomed their first child into the world in 2014, they knew that they wanted another to complete their family. Kim eventually fell pregnant in 2016 and despite a few complications along the way, she was ready to give birth to her second and final pregnancy. However, even though she’d been through labor before and knew how to handle it – she and her husband could never have expected something like this.
As a 28-year-old doula from Santa Cruz, California, Kim is used to providing non-medical support to families before, during and after pregnancy. So she knew exactly how to make everything run smoothly when she was expecting again, in spite of a few scares.
Indeed, three years after after getting married, Kim and Travis had already brought their first baby, Hazel, into the world. Since Kim grew really close with her own brother growing up, she also wanted a son so Hazel could have the same experience. The mom’s journey, however, would be fraught with hurdles and heartbreak.
In 2015, for one, Kim fell pregnant again – but, tragically, suffered a miscarriage. However, life has a funny way of working things out – Kim actually fell pregnant just a few months later but this time, she was pained with worry. What if the mom had another miscarriage? Would she and her husband be able to handle another heartbreak?
Although her pregnancy with Hazel ran smoothly, her third pregnancy was riddled with issues. “As the pregnancy progressed,” Kim further wrote on her blog, “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.”
Throughout the pregnancy, meanwhile, Kim and Travis didn’t know the baby’s gender. And despite Travis being keen to find out, during scans the couple turned their heads when the baby’s lower half came into view.
Kim spoke to Today about the reason behind the secrecy of the sex of the baby: “After the miscarriage, I was just really attached to having a healthy baby, regardless of sex. My husband wanted to find out, and I said, ‘No, let’s have fun with it.’” Even so, Kim already had a good idea of the baby’s gender.
Kim believed, however, that she was having a girl. Why? Because female babies, apparently, are synonymous with difficult pregnancies. Furthermore, little Hazel also thought that her mom would have a girl. Could this be a textbook example of female intuition?
“I was really sick with this pregnancy, and there’s a correlation between sickness and having girls,” Kim said to Today. “And my two-year-old daughter thought it was a girl. I had all these silly reasons.” Silly reasons, maybe, but when you know, you know, right?
Well, despite her prediction, Kim was by no means sure that a baby girl was on the way. “Because I’m a doula and I work with babies and births,” she added in her Today interview, “I know you can never have any expectations about anything.”
And with the due date approaching, Kim discovered that the baby was posterior, which meant that it was head-down and facing her abdomen. It’s fairly common at the start of labor, though it makes for a tricky delivery. On July 26, however, Kim was finally ready to give birth.
And given that Kim’s pregnancy was rough, would the labor also be difficult? Well, it was preceded by a fortnight of contractions, and more than once she thought that she was going into early labor. By the time it started, though, Kim was remarkably calm, to the point where Travis said, “Uhhh, you’re in labor.”
And while Kim saw an acupuncturist and a chiropractor to get the baby to turn, the infant had other ideas. So although the expectant mom wanted a home birth, as the complications continued preparations were made to transfer Kim to a local hospital. Unfortunately, though, it was too late – the baby was ready to come out.
“I knew my baby was coming,” Kim recalled on her blog. “I had survived the hardest few hours of my entire life and it was almost over. 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.”
At 5:00 a.m., then, Kim pulled her newborn baby to her chest. “I couldn’t believe I had survived the past three hours and somehow still gotten the home birth that we wanted so badly,” she explained. But the burning question remained: had she had a little girl or boy?
“After a couple of minutes,” Kim recalled, “I opened baby’s legs and discovered that we had a little boy!” And, despite having convinced herself that she was having another girl, she added, “In that perfect moment, all of my dreams had come true. My family was complete.”
“I was just in hysterics,” the mom told Today. “We were cracking up. That face! I don’t even think I could replicate that face. I was truly shocked.” As for the baby’s name? Well, the family settled on Theo.
“The recovery hasn’t been the easiest,” Kim later explained, “and transitioning to two kids has been more than a little overwhelming, 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.”