Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome, Baby!

He's here! The newest addition to our little family has arrived.

As with everything else on this pregnancy journey, his birth wasn't exactly what I had planned, but in the end everything turned out great and went well. We are so glad to have him here at last, safe and healthy. Following is what I am sure will be a very long version of his birth story. Special thanks to my awesome friend Torrey for taking the time to come document the birth while we were in the hospital!

Because of the cholestasis, I had to be induced by week 37, so at 37 weeks one day, we headed to the hospital to start the process. I had been induced once before, with Squirrel, because she was two weeks overdue. It was a long, yucky experience, but having had Little Bird in a VERY quick, completely natural childbirth, I felt confident this one would go much better. We arrived at the hospital around 7:30 AM and started the longest part of the process--answering approximately 97 million questions at least three times each. Once that was done, they started me on the anti-biotic for the Group B Strep and the Pitocin. My midwife, Helene, wanted to get the Pitocin going first to further dilate me and give me the necessary four hours of antibiotics before breaking my water.

{Feeling Good!} 

The next few hours were pretty boring. I was having contractions every 3-4 minutes, but having been through a natural childbirth (and empowered by my Hypnobabies training), I was doing quite well, and the nurses kept coming in to feel my belly to see if I was really contacting as hard as the monitors suggested. In fact, I was feeling so fine, that I sent Rob to his bowling class for an hour, since he was worried about his “team’s” score for the week. Their Aunt Kimber (who came to help this week, and has been SUCH a blessing) brought the kids up to visit for a bit and then have lunch in the cafeteria with Rob.

{Squirrel was pretty disappointed...she walked in, looked around, and then asked where her new baby brother was. She was less than pleased with the fact that he was still in Mommy's tummy.}

{After their initial interest in the whole process of having a baby, 
the kids quickly discovered their favorite part of the hospital--
a television complete with the Disney Channel. Such a novelty!} 

After Rob got back from lunch with the kids, Helene returned too and decided to break my water. I was just getting to the point that I needed a little more focus to breathe through the contractions, since they had been steadily increasing the Pitocin level. As with my last experience on Pitocin, my blood pressure started climbing as well. After they broke my water, the contractions continued to intensify and became more difficult to get through. I was getting pretty restless, needing to get up and down, sit on the birthing ball, and was losing some of my focus. While Little Bird’s birth has moved very quickly and been intense, thanks to my old friend Pit, there was a different intensity with this one that was difficult to focus through.

About this point, I started to get pretty snippy. I didn’t have enough time between contractions to center and completely relax, plus I felt like people were constantly coming in to poke and prod and ask me more annoying questions, like “How are you doing?” “Are you still doing okay?” and “Do you need anything?” I told Rob that I needed him to tell the nurses to shut their mouths, that I didn’t need anyone asking me if I was doing okay or if I needed anything after every contraction. I just wanted everyone to zip it; if I needed something, I would ask for it. In totally sincere, concerned response, he said, “Okay. I can tell them. Is there anything I can do for you?” While I thought about ripping his throat out with my bare hands for that reply, I decided that listening to my Hypnobabies prompts, rather than just do them on my own, might help me to recenter.

Let me interject here that I fully believe in the Hypnobabies method. It got me through Little Bird’s birth so well that I and Rob had a great deal of difficulty even getting anyone to believe that I was in labor. In fact, because I did so well through the entire labor, we ended up sitting in the ER for half an hour, and then couldn’t even get a nurse to check my progress until I was already basically through transition, dilated to a nine, and nearly ready to push. This led to an urgent rush to find a doctor to catch the baby (our own doc arrived about 10 minutes after the main event) and I was really able to talk and joke with the staff about this right through the whole birth. Hypnobabies is an EXCELLENT resource for women who wish to have a natural childbirth, and I fully credit it with my ability to do so with Little Bird.

That said, it was no match for the Pitocin.

As I sat on the birthing ball, listening to the usually calming, lovely voice on the tracks, I found that I was not going “deeper and deeper” into hypnosis, and that I certainly was NOT feeling “more and more relaxed with every pressure wave” (contraction). In fact, I knew I was in trouble when, rather than relaxing, I began to curse this woman, and thought things like, “Shut…up. You are a LIAR, and I am NOT feeling more and more freaking relaxed!” I became so irritated with her that I had to take my headphones back out and resist the urge to smash my ipod to tiny pieces.

And then I started to think really hard about that epidural.

After only a couple more contractions, I started to feel pressure as well. I made a deal with myself that if I was dilated to an eight, I would forget the epidural, but if I was any less, I’d call for the anesthesiologist. Upon exam, I was between a six and seven, so I asked them to call.

He took a few minutes to get there, and had his own list of questions I had already answered 67 times each, but eventually got the job done. At this point, I was feeling a great deal of pressure, and when they checked, I had dilated to a nine and they were calling the midwife to come down. My blood pressure had still been going up, so they decided I needed oxygen. Helene arrived a few minutes later to find that I was basically fully dilated, and that I’d be able to push whenever I felt the urge. It was at this point that the epidural was just barely beginning to kick in, and I was starting to curse myself for being such a pansy rather than holding out another ten or fifteen minutes. However, in retrospect, I am very grateful I got it when I did.

As they were checking me, Rob decided he wanted to find out what was happening down there too (pretty funny, considering the doctor had to literally force him to look at anything with our first baby)! I guess now that he is a pre-med student, he’s a bit more open-minded. So, he also got his first intro to obstetrics, something that would NOT have happened without the epidural.

{This picture cracks me up...obviously an enlightening experience...totally at my expense.}

A few minutes later, I was feeling a little “pushy” and so we started the long process of moving baby down. This is where the difference between medical doctor care and midwifery became evident. What had gone pretty quickly with my first two definitely did not go very quickly with this one, and with a doctor, I know the slippery slope of interventions would have continued. Instead, even with the epidural, we pushed in just about every position imaginable, including (weirdly) basically being upside-down. 

Lucky for me, I had what must have been a “light” epidural and was still able to move around, stand, get on hands and knees, etc. Finally, after nearly two hours of pushing, our little man decided he was ready to join us.

Unlike Little Bird, who was out in practically a single contraction, this little fellow took a bit longer, and even with the epidural, the pain and pressure was more intense with this one. However, one of the neatest parts about this experience, both because he was a slower arrival and because of the midwife approach, was my ability to deliver him into my own hands, at my own pace. As baby crowned, I caught him in my hand and pushed at the rate that was comfortable for me. It was so miraculous to feel him come into the world into my hand, to hear everyone present ooh and ah as they saw him, and to hear Rob announce that he looked like his big brother. Another push and I felt a shoulder come loose; once more and both were free. Finally, his whole tiny body emerged and with the burst of activity among everyone waiting when baby arrives, I had my sweet, squirmy little man in my arms.

As I held him and marveled over him, the neonatologist gave him a once over amid exclamations from the midwives and nurses about how pink he was, and how well he was doing. He was able to start nursing immediately and did better than either of my other two did right away. It was as if he was out to prove to all of us what a tough little guy he was.

With Squirrel and Little Bird’s deliveries, the most immediate emotion that I felt was joy and pride. With this guy, though the joy was immense, it was relief that overcame me. The relief had nothing to do with the pain or fatigue of his delivery (which were both worse than Little Bird’s birth, and far easier than Squirrel’s), but with all the emotional turmoil I had been experiencing the last several weeks—the fear of complications that could cause stillbirth, the worry that he’d have problems breathing (or worse) from being induced early, the constant back-and-forth in my mind between thinking of the “what ifs” in preparation and trying to stay optimistic and faithful. For me, I was simply so grateful to finally see him in my arms. I kept whispering, “I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you’re here.” Along with all the ailments, he wins another first—he’s the first birth at which I cried, thanks to that sweet, immense relief that he was here and he was well.

In the end, I have been blessed far more than I deserve. Our family has grown, and with it, love expanded. I am so amazed at how well Little Bird and Squirrel have taken to him, how they want to see him and love him, how they know to be gentle and marvel at all his tiny parts, sing him songs, hurry to help, and shower him with affection. 

As always, I am grateful to have my husband as such a powerful support and priesthood leader, and to see his heart just swell with love at these tiny little beings. We are home now, trying to settle in to what will be the new routine of our lives as a family of five, and already it just feels “right.”

This life is a good life.  




  1. I am so glad he is here so well and safely too! You are such an amazing mom, Kierra! I too did Hypnobabies with Katryn, and has such a fast, easy, wonderful birth too! So amazing how each baby comes in their own way. You are such a beautiful family!

  2. Now you have me in tears too. :) beautiful.

  3. :) I lol at the part when Rob asked you what you needed, and getting pissed at the Hypnobabies lady. Beautiful story. I can only imagine the amount of relief and joy after he was born.

  4. Those are the most amazing pictures ever and you will cherish them FOREVER. I know that of "i'm so glad you are here." That's how I felt with Bristol. I'm so happy for you and your family. Congratulations again. I hope I will get to meet him someday :)


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