Category Archives: Baers

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

Novi Turns One

June 12, 2017

A year ago today I participated in a glorious unmedicated birth,surrounded by my loving husband, of course I was afraid of doctors negligence but thankfully I had a team of competent doctors and medical residents!!

Just kidding, the epidural failed and at one point I started yelling JUST PULL IT OUT because after 21 hours of labor, I was pretty tired. Luckily my wish came true when his shoulders got stuck (shoulder dystocia), and a resident had to press down as hard as he could on my abdomen to help push him out. Austin said he pressed so hard that you could hear an audible crunch. Luckily I couldn’t hear it over my very audible scream.

Of course it all feels a lot less horrifying and a lot more magical a year later. As crazy as it is, I would do it all over again if I could. There is nothing like the first time you meet your baby. The beginning of a love story.

Happy first birthday to the baby of the family. My little fox cub. You are the worst houseguest but we love you all the same.

Birthday Video on Youtube


birth story

Three Years Of Eva December

December 13, 2016

Three years ago, my wild girl was born. Her dad delivered her. There was snow on the ground. Those are the things I’ll never forget.

I’ll also never forget how much she surprised me. When the boys were born, I knew them right away. Maybe it was their constant and intense need for me every second of every day (eye roll emoji), I don’t know. Eva has always been a stranger. At first it was startling, how different she was from the rest of us, but then it was the very best surprise. I’m so lucky to know her.

Happy birthday to my strong, happy girl. You make us all so much better.


More home movies.


I don’t have any sentences left, but here are 47 pictures of my infant (Novi’s First Month)

July 14, 2016

Novi is a month old this week, which is just old enough for people to start asking how I’m going to go back to writing my book while having two young kids and a newborn at home. That’s a great question, but right now I am just looking at these incredible play houses for your little ones, they are adorable! No, but seriously let me know when you find out.

So far we are okay. The transition going from two to three has been harder than going from one to two, but we persevere. If you ask me why it’s so much harder, my finger would point straight to the older two, but we don’t need to talk about that. Only 57 more days until school starts! The good news is the baby is healthy and the other two are still alive, so I count that as a win. Their toddler screams and battle cries only serve as the baby’s white noise, and from what I can tell–he will probably not be as fussy as the first one. Another solid victory.

Austin and I always joke that because we don’t go to church, we don’t have that built in system for meals when something really good or really bad happens (babies, earthquakes, etc). Which is why we are always surprised by the women who show up at our door, dropping off pans of lasagnas, enchiladas, and fresh garden vegetables. Women sending us our favorite take-out or thoughtful gifts or words of encouragement from far away. Women helping women because they know how hard this is and how these small efforts makes a big impact. People are good, church or no church. Very thankful for that.

It’s been a hard month, but a good one too.

Oh Novi, we love you so.


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