Kieran, Part Two

The first part of Kieran's birth story is here. The rules of blogging dictate that you must read that part first. Otherwise, the Internet will explode. Or something like that.

Here’s the back story: Corey had a feeling all week that something was going to happen at my doctor’s appointment on Friday. What exactly, he couldn’t say. He just had a gut instinct I wasn’t going to make it to my scheduled induction next Wednesday.

I, however, did not share his opinion. My OB was already aware I was dilating. She had scheduled the induction for 39 weeks to stay ahead of that curve. What could possibly happen on Friday that would make her want to move up my induction by just five days? It would have to be something pretty dramatic, I said. And I doubted anything dramatic was forthcoming.

So when my OB threw out the stripping-of-the-membranes suggestion, I was at a literal loss for words. (As you might imagine, that doesn’t happen very often.)

“Umm…. Why? I mean. Ummmm…. Why would you want to do that?” I stammered.

She smiled.

“Because I’m on call tonight.”


In the words of Monica Geller, it just got interesting.

I continued to stammer and stall. The last time a doctor stripped my membranes, I did indeed go into labor. I wasn’t convinced it would happen again. But it’s not exactly a comfortable procedure.

My doctor, sensing I was caught off guard, changed tactics.
“Tell you what. Let’s not do anything drastic yet. Instead, let’s just hook you up to the monitor and see what your contractions are doing. How does that sound?”

Seeing as a belly monitor doesn’t result in blood-stained gloves, I was all for it.

Teyla and I made one more trip to the restroom, then settled down next to an ancient contraction monitor to peek in at the party in my uterus. To my surprise, the contractions – which were nothing more than cramping and tightening on my end – were coming every five minutes. And they weren’t bumps on the scale either. They were mid-range contractions drawing healthy mountain ranges on the graph paper.

I sent Corey a text: “I think you better get over here. I’m having contractions every 5 minutes. We might have decisions to make.”

Fifteen minutes later, he walked in the door of the clinic. He was trying not to gloat and not succeeding.

Shortly thereafter, my OB joined us and said, “I think today’s baby day,” which flustered me and made Corey insufferable.

Since we didn’t need to rush to Labor and Delivery, my OB gave us the OK to run home before heading to the hospital, so we could finish packing my hospital bag, make the phone calls necessary for Childcare: Plan B and get Corey some lunch. (I might have grabbed a bowl of granola for myself too. But don’t tell anyone.)

Ninety minutes later, Corey and I were headed back to the hospital. The rain was still falling steadily. And to my surprise, the contractions were picking up in intensity. All of a sudden, I was terribly glad my OB had made the call in spite of my skepticism.

We got quite a few knowing smiles during our walk through the hospital. Is there anymore more cliché than a hugely pregnant woman walking slowly beside her suitcase-carrying husband?

Upon arrival at L&D, we were ushered into a room, and I was given all sorts of glamorous clothes and hooked up to an IV. The plan was to get my epidural in place before my OB came to break my bag of water. While we waited for the anesthesiologist, I educated my husband on the wonders of Twitter (which I regretted later when he started to type for me using "4" for for and "thx" for thanks – GAH! Lesson learned: Live Tweeting a birth is a great distraction, and husbands shouldn’t have access to Tweetdeck.)

The anesthesiologist arrived around 3:30 and got the epidural started. For whatever reason, he had a hard time getting the needle into the right part of my spine. It’s never a good thing to hear an anesthesiologist mutter, “I’m just going to start over,” when he’s already been numbing and pushing and saying “a little pressure here” for 15 minutes.

But we got through it. As with Teyla, my blood pressure dropped almost immediately after the epidural fluid started to flow. I got clammy and light-headed and a little nauseous. But it was quickly remedied with a shot of ephedrine.

Within minutes, my legs were tingling and the contractions, which were about a 5 on the pain scale, were nothing but a tightening sensation. My doctor came about 4:30, found I was dilated to 5cm, broke my water and predicted the baby would be born around dinner time.

The next few hours passed slowly. I couldn’t feel or control most of my lower half, yet there was one spot on the front of my tummy where I could sense the contractions. Because the contractions didn’t pick up much after the membrane rupture, my OB ordered a Pitocin drip. I lay in bed, watching the charts, trying to ignore the fact that my legs were dead to me.

By 7:30, I was getting crabby. I was hungry. I couldn’t breath. I was tired of laying in bed. That one spot on my tummy was bugging the heck out of me during contractions. Looking back, I should have figured out that I was in transition.

Because, sure enough, by 8:00, when my nurse checked me, she smiled a big smile and said, “You’re complete! I’m going to page Dr. Dean.”

Then she said, over her shoulder, “By the way, how long did you push with your last baby?”

“Not long,” I said. “I think I pushed twice, and she was born.”

The nurses eyes got big. “I will page Dr. Dean RIGHT NOW.”

It was a wise premonition. Just a few minutes later, as she and Corey maneuvered my dead weight legs to an upright position, I heard my nurse say, “Oh my goodness! I can see his head! Are you sure you’re not pushing?”

I wasn’t.

And this is the beauty of a fourth baby: Kieran Brooks was born just a few minutes after my OB got to the room without me pushing even once.

He arrived at 8:30 with lots of dark hair and a pitiful little cry. My first thought, after he was placed squirming and slimy on my chest, was, “He’s so little!” His tiny little bum fit perfectly in my hand.

“Hey little man,” I cooed. “Hi buddy. You’re OK. You’re OK.”

And he stopped crying and opened his eyes and laid content and peaceful against my chest.

And just like that, we were a family of six.

Welcome to our world, Kieran. You are so loved.


  1. Holy cats! You are just made for birthin' babies! I'd wish for the same, but I'm deathly frightened of epidurals. I hate needles (says the girl with three tattoos).

    Side note: I can't even hear the words "this just got interesting" without thinking of Monica!

  2. So wonderful! What a great birth story. It's amazing how your body takes over after you've had a few kiddos, almost like on autopilot.

    I love the photo, too. So much beauty and emotion captured in that one amazing moment.

  3. You are a woman after my own heart. I always eat as we're leaving for the hospital (but don't tell anybody).

  4. What a wonderful story - thanks for sharing all the details with the bloggy world :-)

  5. Aww...what a lovely happy birth story! :)

    And I didn't have to push with Ilsa either. Of course she was the second part of a two-installment birth plan, which might have had something to do with it.

  6. "And he stopped crying and opened his eyes and laid content and peaceful against my chest.

    And just like that, we were a family of six."

    Aaaaand...cue the tears.
    I'm just so happy for you, friend.

  7. I loved this! Thanks for sharing! It reminded me so much of Annabeth's birth story. I had the same experience with the epidural-blood pressure drop phenomenon. Freaky!

  8. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Man, now I want another one. I'm so glad it went smoothly and that he's out and perfect and a month old already! What a great ending to a truly perfect birth story.

  9. I hate people like you who make having a baby look so easy!

    But I loved the story, especially the end and the picture.

  10. I love the entire story! I know you'll always love telling it.

  11. Ahhh, birth stories always make me cry. The sheer magic of it all. So glad everyone is doing so well, and I can't believe it either - 1 month old!!! Wow how time flies! Thanks so much for sharing.

  12. Aw, I just got teary!!!

    Welcome to the Sixers Club!!

    I was like this with Shep - in labor and didn't know it. So weird. But quite lovely.

    I love my little birthday buddy :-)

  13. I simply cannot read a birth story without crying. MIRACULOUS. You are amazing, mama. Thx (hee hee) for taking the time to write it up for us.

  14. Awe yeah! I love the part where he lays on you and stops crying. Yeah! :)

  15. You captured this moment so beautifully... :) Now I need a tissue... hehe

  16. Oh, wow, loved this birth story! Thanks for sharing! I only pushed twice with my 2nd, so we'll see how the next one goes - that's awesome that you didn't push at all! :) I can't believe you didn't feel transition - I was in so much pain even with an epidural I thought I would die at 8 cm!!!

  17. My hospital has never really cared that I eat. They let me eat when I'm there, even. Hm.

    Anyway, Kieran is beautifl, and I loved reading his birth story!

  18. man I want another baby. Is 42 too old??? love your pictures...enjoy that baby!