January 2016


I can extrapolate, I have an engineering degree after all.  Labor with Miles was 28 hours, 14 hours with Hazel, number three should arrive at the tick of 7 hours (this being exponential decay).  Miles was 4 days early, Hazel 3 days late, I could expect somewhere in the ballpark of one week overdue (linear extrapolation).  Plus, I’d been training at pregnancy and was better at it with more endurance.  I fully anticipated a PR in the L&D department too.

Clyde’s arrival didn’t disappoint.  Entering my forty-second week of gestation, I had had a particularly productive day.  It was warm and sunny, and I cleaned the windows.  Scrubbed the floors, finished up laundry and got the house in order.  We went for a hike and picnic lunch at the top of goat trail and back home to head out for the afternoon.  We caught the start of the Broncos playoff game, Tim took Hazel to Chinese while I took Miles to a birthday party, then we watched Denver make it to the Superbowl.  Already in the area, Tim dropped me off at Costco to stock up a bit and get pizza for dinner (no way I was going to cook after a day like that!).  I settled in bed with Downton Abbey for an hour when I started noticing something going on.

By 9pm, I was pretty sure labor had started for real.  We waited an hour, timing contractions 7 minutes apart, then called the midwife at the Birthing Center and Grandma Linda to come over for safety sake.  I was nervous about being too early or too late to the birthing center, but midwife Angela said she would go and sleep there and to come in when I needed to.  I laid down at 11pm and slept fitfully for a few blessed hours until 1am, when things started to ramp up a bit.  By 3am I was still at 7 minutes apart, but having much stronger contractions so we called up Angela, got our bags and headed off.

A Birthing Center just 2 miles away is a blessing, and I had just one contraction on the way in.  We were greeted at the door by nurse Chandra, then headed into our birthing suite.  I should have a picture of this place.  Like a little Bohemian boutique hotel, with recycled sari linens over a modern, clean design.  But that was the least of my concerns over the next few hours.

I checked in at 4cm dilated, 90% effaced and Angela said she would come back in an hour to see how things were going.  They had the perfect amount of interaction – available when we needed it, but hanging in the background most of the time.  Baby continued to do well, things continued to go on, and I got in the tub for some relief around 5am. (Note: I had been expecting to deliver at 4am.  Margins of error..)  Another hour, and transition came on strong, with all my typical labor symptoms – contractions exactly 10 breaths long that I could only manage to stand for, Exorcist style vomiting –  but no swear words at all (I kept saying, “I am not comfortable” and “This hurts”) and all by the light of a full moon we saw setting out the window.

6:45 and another check.  I was 9.5cm dilated, baby was low, and my waters had not broken yet.  I tried a few positions in the bath but had a fear of pushing for a fear of tearing.  Angela suggested I try getting out so she could support me and get the baby’s head in a good position to avoid trauma.  It took me a bit to get over to the bed, but as soon as I was there it was on – Four pushes over four minutes and he was out! 7:20am, sunrise.

The next 20 minutes or so were a bit nerve-wracking as our baby boy (Tim confirmed this after a long 30 seconds) was a bit blue with the cord around his neck.  Also, coming through the birthing canal so fast meant he missed out on the squeeze that would have pushed all the fluid from his body so he was a bit raspy in his breath.  Angela and Chandra were so professional and calm, suggested he start nursing to clear up his lungs and got him super pinked up in minutes.  We also started breathing again.  I was in good shape as Angela had prevented any tearing, even with that super fast birth.

The rest of our stay followed the B&B style.  They brought us rice porridge breakfast (something consistent with Malaysia!) and drew me an herbal epsom salts bath.  We got Clyde’s name sorted out (more on that later) and got all his vitals.  We were tucked in bed, wrapped in fluffy robes and towels, when they came with our leaving papers at 11 am.  By noon we were home.

Seriously a wonderful experience, with the best possible outcome.



Clyde Zephyr Stelzer
born January 25, 2016 7:20am
8lbs 10oz, 22″ long
Feet too big for the ink pad

Much anticipated, and already SO Loved.


Christmas started a love for Hazel of reindeer.  Maybe even more than bearlies.  She learned all the words to “Rudolf” and finds herself almost in tears when the other reindeer exclude him from games.


We have lots of deer that roam through our neighborhood, and anyone with antlers is “Prancer” (no red nose you see) and the others are mommas and baby girl reindeer.


We visited the carousel up near the ski mountain, and waited an extra turn to make sure she could ride on the deer.