You are reading an archived post from the first version of my blog. I've started fresh, and the new design and content is now at

Two Years Ago, Today

June 3, 2006

June 3, 2004

calling midwife; strong contractions, stronger than before…
midwife here (again); stronger contractions, every 3 minutes;
getting the pool ready; strong strong contractions
starting to push; this shouldn’t take long…
it’s a boy!!!

The Back Story

We had our son at home in the comfort of our master bedroom. Truth be told, by the time Kampbell was coming along, anything but a home birth was out of the question. Our daughters (Kaitlyn and Kyla) were both born at home with the help of our midwifery team. Three home births, with no doctors, no sterile hospital, and no epidural. My wife Kathryn was strong, loving and magical as we welcomed our new son, Kampbell, into this world.

He was born in a wading pool filled with warm water – a warm watery transition of environments. Soft music playing – not loud, quiet… like what he was used to. Only a few candles burning with the blinds partially open – a dark environment, like what he was used to. We wanted the transition of birth to be as smooth and comforting as possible.

I remember it all so clearly, so vividly – the experience is freshly etched in my mind. When I close my eyes, I relive it.

I see myself helping Kathryn move from the bed to the calm water in the pool. I see myself reaching to pull him from under the water and place him directly on Kathryn’s chest. I feel the single tear run down my right cheek as we discover that our new baby is a boy. I see the look of serenity on Kathryn’s face. I feel the resistance as I cut the cord. I think “I need to update the blog!” and then “No, wait, do that later.”

In reality, I had been sneaking away for a minute every once in a while to live blog my son’s birth. But once he was born I couldn’t tear myself away. I needed to be with my family.

Until 12:37pm, 25 minutes after he was born. There was a lull, when Kathryn was spending some time alone with Kampbell. That’s when I snuck downstairs and updated the blog post with the time of birth and posted a note to some of my friends. When all was said and done, I live-blogged my son’s birth.

And that was that start of this blog. Live-blogging Kampbell’s birth was the first ever post on this blog. I did go back and add a few posts that pre-dated the June 3, 2004 post, but that was purely an exercise in optics.

This blog, like my son, is two years old today.

Happy birthday, box of chocolates. You’ve been more to me than you know.
Happy birthday, Kampbell. I love you.

15 Responses

Comment by Jesse — Jun 03 2006 @ 10:31 am

I wonder if posts like this will the bathtub pics of this new generation?


Comment by Joe Clark — Jun 03 2006 @ 4:11 pm

On the whole I am glad I am exempt from the biological process you describe. And the music, candles, etc.

Comment by Carolyn — Jun 03 2006 @ 4:54 pm

What a beautifully written description of a sacred moment in the life of your family. May the depth of joy, love, and awe you experienced that night remain strong in all your hearts.
I can’t think of a better reason to start a blog. Happy Birthday!

Comment by Andrew — Jun 03 2006 @ 5:06 pm

Derek, thanks for sharing your own awe-inspiring experience. We had the blessing of having one of our 8 children at home, Karl, who is now 10. Every birth is a miracle, and uniquely memorable.

Comment by Maxine Sherrin — Jun 04 2006 @ 4:44 pm

Hey Derek, thx for sharing, that was really really lovely: you made me cry!
Having said that, thx to Joe as well, you made me cry with laughter…..
Thx to everyone who has shared on this fine morning :-)

Comment by Jeff Davies — Jun 05 2006 @ 7:13 am

Congratulations to Kampbell, box of chocolates and the creator of both. My boy Riley turns 2 on 9 June and this blog has prompted me to reflect on my emotions and desire to tell the world of his birth at the time.
On a side note though, there were news stories today on how some expecting mothers were having caesarean sections over the weekend so their child is not born on the 6/6/06 (devils number – 666). I have to say, I find denying yourself the opportunity for a natural birth due to a date to be strange.

Comment by Rob Weychert — Jun 05 2006 @ 8:49 am

Happy Birthday, Kampbell and Box of Chocolates! You are in good company. :)

Comment by Faruk Ateş¸ — Jun 05 2006 @ 11:27 am

Happy birthday Kampbell & Congrats Derek! :-)

Comment by gavin jacobi — Jun 05 2006 @ 11:54 pm

Happy (belated) birthday to boxofchocolates!
Isn’t this a wonderful age where people from around the world can wish your children a happy birthday.
Happy (belated) birthday Kampbell!
And what an honor to get a patented grumpy Joe Clark comment — at your age! :-)

Comment by Eric Shepherd — Jun 06 2006 @ 9:56 pm

Thanks for that. We’re expecting our second child in August, and he or she will be born at home (barring any terrible complications). We had our daughter Naia at home 17 months ago, and we wouldn’t do it any other way.

It’s tough here in New York; most people look at us like we are insane and/or regressing to the stone age, but I can’t imagine a more perfect experience.

Hospitals are for sick people. Birth is a natural, amazing experience that I can’t imagine marring with hospital gowns, electronic monitors, nurses snatching away the baby, and IVs.

Comment by DD — Jul 09 2006 @ 12:29 pm

In my next life I want to be born at home. I feel soo jeliuos of those who were born at home, and I wish I was. Is there somewhere to sign up for a birth at home?

Comment by kartooner — Jul 14 2006 @ 10:05 pm

Oh the joys of childbirth. Really, I’m glad I didn’t have to actual go through the process, other than providing support and yeah, keeping my cool as my wife strongarmed me.

Twice I’ve had to go through this and I’d do it over and over again. :)

However, this happened in a hospital and not in a bedroom, farmhouse, pool, etc.

Oh and Happy B-day to your son and this site, Derek. (and many more)

Comment by Mike Cherim — Aug 09 2006 @ 8:14 am

Happy birthday is in order I suppose. Very interesting; the whole pool thing. I have to wonder if this will positively affect his teenage years. We shall know in some years perhaps, huh?

My two kids, who are teens, were hospital deleivered but the description of your experience sort of makes me want to go back for a “do-over.”

Wait, what am I saying?! Nevermind. ;-)

Comment by Zach Blume — Aug 21 2006 @ 4:33 pm

Haha, I can just imagine that going on in your head:

“I need to update the blog!” he says out loud.
“Just push, I’ll be right back”


PS: No archives? What’s up with that, man? I need an archives link :(

Comment by Mal — Oct 03 2006 @ 2:53 am

Kathryn, Kampbell, Kaitlun and Kyla – I see a pattern ;)

You seem the odd one out, Derek, unless you include the ‘K’ at the end of your name ;-)