Dax Ocean: A Birth Story

May 3, 2018

Dax Ocean Baer was born eight days early on April 30th, 2018 at three in the afternoon. It was a beautiful, sun filled day. The beginning of one of the first warm weeks of Spring.

My water broke in the middle of the night. I was sleeping when all of a sudden I felt a gush of liquid. My first thought was, I am peeing. My second thought was, nope nope nope I’m not. When I looked at the clock it said 3:45am. I woke Austin at 4, and together we made a plan for childcare while I called the hospital and had a very predictable conversation that went something like this:

Me: My water broke!
Nurse: You need to come in right away.
Me: Can I take a shower?
Nurse: No.
Me: Straighten my hair?
Nurse: No.
Me: Pack my bag?
Nurse: No.
Me: What about waiting for the babysitter?
Nurse: You need to come in right away.
Me: I’m not having any contractions.
Nurse: This is your fourth baby, please make your way to the car.
Me: I have really long labors…
Nurse: Your risk of having a baby in the car increases every minute we are on the phone.
Me: What about a light breakfast?

After I hung up, we packed our things and waited for my dad who drove from the Philly suburbs in the dark to be with the other kids while my mom went to school to make lesson plans so she could join the circus later (bless their grandparent hearts). It was nearly 6am when we entered the hospital, and unlike my other trips in–I was given a labor room immediately because of fourth baby “urgency” and because I was leaking amniotic fluid all over the waiting room floor.

Once we were settled in, I answered all the major questions including:

Yes, I’m starting to have a few contractions.
Yes, I’m healthy and feeling fine.

You may remember from Novi, that things did not go as planned last time. The epidural failed, and after 21 hours of labor, it was a real screamfest. Of course after the fact, it was all fine and didn’t matter, but I wanted to skip that part this time and go back to the peaceful births of yore (Waylon and Eva).

I let everyone know.

Anesthesia was called a few hours later, and by 9:30 I had an epidural, a very slow drip of pitocin, and a nice big dose of Zofran to keep me from losing that light breakfast. Life was good! I chewed on ice chips. Austin put on Identity Thief. We facetimed my mom. Morale was high.

Then, just like last time, the anesthesia wore off and by 5 centimeters dilated, I felt it all.

For the next 45 minutes, my body did its thing and got to 10 centimeters while my brain did the other thing and tried to get me out of a very painful situation. At one point Austin thought I might rip his shirt in half. I have never screamed, moaned, and cried so loudly in my life. As you do when a human is exiting your special place.

Things moved quickly, though at the time it felt very slow. The worst part was the 20 minutes he was positioned in the birth canal and I felt the ring of fire non stop. If you’ve ever had a severe UTI, it felt like the peak of burning pain you get after you pee, but without any reprieve. I said a lot of things, including: MY BLADDER IS ON FIRE and CAN SOMEONE DUMP ICE WATER ON IT.

Finally he crowned, which is when everyone got serious and told me I had to push him out right away. And after a few minutes of pushing (Lord have mercy), he was born.

They said he was completely purple when he came out. The cord was knotted and around his neck twice. He didn’t make a single sound. I wouldn’t know though, my eyes were still shut tight as I was coming off the pain in a strange delirium.

Once they confirmed he was okay, they put him on my chest–and the relief was immediate.


8 lbs, 4 ounces. 21.5 inches long. The hardest and most intense delivery to date, but in the end a healthy, sweet, and perfect baby boy.

We are so lucky to bring the last of our family home.

Welcome to the world little baby Dax.

baby dax video

baer home movies

7 thoughts on “Dax Ocean: A Birth Story

  1. Beth Mitchell

    You are my heroine (while I also think you are slightly crazy). You did it. Congratulations. All boots on the ground. xx

  2. Kate Hager

    Congratulations! Tearing up at that beautiful video. I have read your blog for years, and am so happy for your family!

  3. Elizabeth

    Your sentence about bringing your last member of your family home made me cry. The video had tears streaming down my face. I’ve followed your blog for years and I am so happy for you.


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