Kiara's Birth Story Part I

So, here's a first glimpse into how Kiara Harper came into our lives... The images are courtesy of David. You can check out more of his pictures on his photo blog

She waited like we asked. I’d been counting the days to spring break, checking items off my lengthy to-do list and on the last day of school before spring break, four days before my due date, I shed my mucus plug in a filthy faculty restroom. I looked in the bowl at the cloudy mess and thought, well, maybe she is on her way early. Good. We are ready. 

We thought we were ready. 

I thought I was ready. 

Apparently, when they say you’re never ready, they speak truth.

I didn’t know what contractions felt like. Sure, there was “tightening” around my abdomen, but I expected pain. I experienced a little cramping, but less painful than the first day of my period. I had contractions, but walked through them, breathed right through them. On Friday night, three days before my due date, something felt different. I stood and walked restlessly. The tightening started happening more frequently, and then there was a trickle. A dirty brown liquid trickle. It was no gush, but it was enough for us to call the hospital. It was enough for the nurse at labor and delivery to tell us to come in.

In the car we started timing the tightening sensations. They happened about every three minutes. That seemed too fast, but I was unconvinced this was labor. Where was the pain?

We parked the car and walked to labor and delivery. A nurse hooked me up to monitors and told me I'd just had a contraction. David watched the monitor and told me contractions were coming every two to three minutes. The nurse slid a bedpan under my hips so the doctor could see how far I’d dilated. A woman in another room screamed through a contraction.

“Only two centimeters,” the doctor said, “And a lot of bloody show so I can’t tell if the water’s broken.”

She took a look with the ultrasound. My fluid levels were low. She admitted me. This was game time. This was actually going to happen. 
It was a full house that Friday night at Kaiser’s Labor and Delivery. We settled into the last room. An IV was inserted, and I was still able to walk around and keep breathing through the pain. I knew if I kept moving it would help things along. David and I walked around the quiet halls. Time took on new meaning. It was about 2:00 am when we settled in to try to get some sleep.

It’s impossible to sleep through contractions coming every two to three minutes.

I kept breathing, focusing, checking the monitors to see how close together the contractions were coming. They started me on Pitocin to try to move things along. I should have known then, things were not likely to go the way I imagined.
Click here for Part II


  1. I did not have Pitocin but I have heard it does more harm than good. (PS Love the iPhone photo though)