Monthly Archives: April 2018

Tiger Baby’s Birth Story

Blessedly boring, perfectly timed.

I had about eight isolated contractions that woke me up throughout the night on Thursday night, January 25th. I breathed through them and fell back to sleep.

On Friday morning, I was crampy but nothing regular was happening. I decided I might as well go to work, especially since I was covering for a therapist who was out, and there was no one planned as back up to cover me.

I thought I was having a contraction about every hour or so, until one of our patients asked me how far apart they were. Then I realized that some of them were more like ten minutes apart, and an average of thirty minutes. But not consistent, so I kept working. I found I couldn’t really sit or squat, though. The pressure of my thighs against my belly stimulated contractions. So I did a lot of standing and tall kneeling next to my patients.

At lunch, I grabbed an apple and just focused on documenting my morning treatments. I had two people left to see, for over an hour each. I knew Colin had a 1pm meeting, and my midwife responded to my texts that she had three afternoon appointments. So I had a little chat with the baby and communicated that he could start contributing to the family now by waiting a few more hours. By 3:30pm, I was documenting the afternoon treatment sessions, but intermittently standing up, leaning over the keyboard.

I texted Estefany, our amazing au pair, who came with the kids and picked me up. Thank God for her. I could not imagine having to ride the bus home. Contractions were getting much stronger. Estefany had already been working on making sushi for dinner, and when we got home, she took my lunch bag from me and sent me upstairs. By 4:30pm, I was up in my bedroom, changing out of my work clothes between contractions, leaning over the physioball during them, and trying to catch up on drinking water.

Dadoo arrived home around 5:30pm, at which point I asked him whether Tiern was going to baseball practice–I could hear that everyone was still downstairs. He sent Estefany to take Tiern, and I then I could hear Dadoo setting up the birthing tub.

My 2yo, Cian, came to lead me downstairs and show me the tub.
My midwife, Rebecca, arrived sometime around 6pm. She checked baby’s heartrate, then brought in all of her supplies.

We had a bit of a hiccup when the water filling the birthing tub was tepid, then cold. Finally, Dadoo figured out that Estefany had started the dishwasher. He turned it off, but by then we had to wait until the hot water heater refilled. Dadoo kept the hotpot on constant duty, pouring hot water in as it was ready. He also spent a lot of time in the basement, trying to figure out whether the hot water heater might be broken.

There was plenty of time between contractions for chatting, so Rebecca and I discussed breaking my water. All of my Utah-born babies have had thick membranes, so I had pretty much planned on having her break my water. But I didn’t want Tiern, now at baseball practice, to miss the birth. Also, there was constant pressure, like a continuous mild contraction, that made me want to stay where I was on the floor, supported in kneeling over my physioball. I couldn’t bring myself to even sit on the couch, nevermind lie down. I went to the bathroom a few times, in the hope that the pressure was my bladder. Finally, after making one more attempt to lie down, I decided to get into the tub. It wasn’t as full of water as I would have liked, but it still felt good.

Rebecca suggested I try to break my water myself, manually. I tried, but short healthcare worker fingernails combined with a very slippery surface made it impossible. Meanwhile, contractions were coming regularly. Little Miss was so sweet, stroking my arm while I breathed and moaned.


Estefany took the little boys to pick up Tiern at 7pm, and then everyone was home around 7:20pm. Rebecca got her little crochet hook instrument and while I reclined in the tub, and broke my water around 7:25pm.


I think the next two contractions were transition. I asked Colin, “Why do we keep doing this??!!” My vocalizations were loud and long. I reconsidered whether the kids should really be there, seeing me like this. Meanwhile, they were in the next room, eating sushi!


Next thing I knew, the baby was crowning. Rebecca has coached me through three other crownings. I feel like I finally learned! I was able to tilt and move in order to evenly distribute the pressure of his head, all without swearing this time! I also didn’t panic while waiting for the final contraction after his head was out–although I was trying to reach in and help a bit.

We called the kids away from their dinner to watch the actual birth of their brother. Estefany took this video of the final push and actual birth:

This was my smoothest birth–relatively quick, but not overwhelmingly so. I’m so happy with the timing; the kids were present as much as they wanted to be, and it wasn’t the middle of the night.


After about two days, we gave the baby a name:

Tadhg Maximilian.

The first name is pronounced like the first syllable of “tiger,” without the “er.”

It’s an Irish form of Timothy, on whose feast day he was born. Timothy is also Dadoo’s middle name.

Maximilian is for St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, the Polish priest who volunteered die in the place of another prisoner at Auschwitz. My mother’s side is Polish, and so we were happy to use this amazing saint to include some of our children’s Polish heritage.

Recovery was really smooth, too.
I was so blessed during recovery to have Estefany here to take care of the kids during the day, and Tiern was also a great help.

Tadhg is a beautiful baby, and although he lost too much weight initially, he started nursing really well once my milk came in. His first appointment with our Family Medicine doctor confirmed that he’s healthy, and we even had him evaluated by a pediatric dentist to ensure that no lip or tongue ties are hindering him. All is well!

Welcome to the Doozies, Tadhg Maximilian!