Lyla’s Birth Story

Before I started exclusively blogging here, Alex and I hosted a little website/blog that we mostly used to keep up with family living outside of Hawaii. Eventually, the lines between what I shared here and what we shared on the other blog started to blur and this site became home to all of our online updates.

We are getting ready to take our other site down, so Alex suggested I visit the site and save any posts that I don’t want to see deleted and boy am I glad I listened. 

For obvious reasons, the post that stuck out to me the most was Lyla’s birth story. When I was pregnant with her, I loved reading birth stories. I wanted to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. Reading all of the different stories helped me feel more at ease about doing it myself. 

As I get ready to deliver our second baby, I have been experiencing all sorts of anxiety. Funnily enough, reading my own birth story from just a year and a half ago has helped me relax about going through the process again. It reminded me of how amazing it is when you finally meet the little person that you have been bonding with for the last 9 months. How the pain and the discomfort just melts away as soon as that little baby is put in your arms. How beautiful the whole process is. 

Since I enjoyed re-reading her birth story so much, I’ve decided to share it here. 

I’ll warn you: it’s long. 

So, if reading birth stories is your jam – you’re welcome. If not, I’ll see you next post! 

In the middle of the night (3:38AM to be exact) I woke up thinking to myself “I think my water is going to break” so I jumpedhobbled out of bed and ran into the bathroom and sure enough, after I used the toilet I stood up and there it went. Keeping in mind the words of the nurse from earlier that day, I decided not to wake anyone up just yet. I thought to myself that even if this was the start of my labor, we had plenty of time until I had to be at the hospital.

Knowing that I wanted to be fresh when we did finally decide to go in, I decided to jump in the shower. I started to have semi-painful contractions while showering and the hot water felt so good on my back that I ended up staying in there for about an hour. When I got out of the shower, Alex was awake and I let him know that my water had officially broken. I also woke up my mom and decided to call the hospital to see when we should come in (their answer: right away!)

The drive was pretty uneventful, my contractions were getting stronger and more painful but I had nice breaks in between each one. The closer we got to the hospital, the more excited I started to become – we were going to meet our baby (hopefully) TODAY!

We finally got to the hospital around 7AM. Unfortunately, it was shift-change time so we had to wait around for a while before they put me into a triage room.

Once we were in the triage room, it was like a switch was flipped in my body and I was in full-on “this is not a joke” labor. At least, I thought so. A nurse came in to check my progress (4cm) and to make sure that it was actually my water that broke (it was).


Throughout my pregnancy, I knew I wanted as natural as a labor as I could handle. The nurse that was helping us in the beginning saw I was in a lot of pain and started to push the epidural, but I declined. (not having an epidural was my only “hard rule” that I set for myself) I was open to other drugs for pain management though, and found myself asking for Tylenol to “take the edge off” (HA).

No drugs could be administered though, until we moved to the delivery room. The nurse informed us that there weren’t any rooms ready at that time and that as soon as one was available, they would move me to it.


I remember being really upset by that news. I needed to move to a room, and I needed to move soon. My contractions were right on top of each other and I was literally writhing in pain. I’m sure the nurses thought I was being dramatic — just another first-time mom in the beginning stages of labor who has NO idea how bad it’s going to get. (HA again)


After what seemed like an eternity, they came to get me and wheeled me to the labor and delivery room. They transfered me to the new bed and our nurse told me she was going to check my progress.

“You’ve got to be kidding me” were here words.

My heart sank. I was convinced that I had somehow gone backwards in my progress and if that was the case, I surely would die.

But thankfully, I didn’t move backwards (really don’t think that it possible) but instead I had progressed from 4cm- 10cm (in less than two hours) and it was time to have baby!

Everyone in the room was shocked. I felt a little bit of relief knowing that I was near the end, and that the reason I was in SO much pain so early on was because I was going through the hardest part of labor, and I was doing it FAST.


The room was ready for delivery, my body was ready to push & I could see the end in sight and then I hear the nurses tell me not to push.

Again, WHAT?!

My doctor wasn’t there yet, and they wanted me to wait for him. At this point, I don’t even remeber having a reaction to this. I knew he would get there when he got there and I just focused on trying not to push (which is almost impossible) Luckily, there was a really great nurse by my side who encouraged me and let me know to do small pushes during the contractions to help with some of the pressure.

Not long after, Dr. Oh arrived and quickly put a gown on. FINALLY it was show time. We wasted no time and I started to push. Apparently, my pushes were effective (and girl was more than ready to make her appearance) because 11 short minutes later, she was out!

Well, halfway.

Lyla came out with her cord wrapped around her neck twice. It was so tight that the doctor wasn’t able to unwind it so they had to cut it there before she was able to come all the way out. I was always told that the head and shoulders were the hardest part to deliver, and after that the baby would just “fall” out so I was not a happy camper when I didn’t feel that relief that I was expecting (it was at this point where I let a few expletives fly — whoops!)

Once they got the cords cut, she was out and they took her to the warming table and Alex was able to do a ceremonial cord cutting.

I did it. 

I was over the moon. Baby girl was here.

I knew I still had to deliver the placenta, and that the doctors would have to stitch me up so I wasn’t concerned that they were working on me. I had a sweet baby to meet.

They gave Lyla to me and just like that, my world was changed. I’m not even going to try to describe it. You can listen to a million people try to explain that feeling, read a billion birth stories like this, and picture it in your head a trillion times but nothing will ever fully prepare you for the moment that you meet your child.

It’s magical.

While we were off in baby la-la land, the mood in the room quickly changed. The team of doctors and nurses suddenly got serious and we realized that they still weren’t done working on me.

I remember thinking, “this definitely isn’t normal”. (I was right)

Without getting too graphic, I was hemorraghing & the doctors were having a really hard time getting it to stop. The small team of nurses that were in the room for delivery quickly multiplied and I was all of a sudden surrounded by people giving me shots, applying pressure and attempting to give me IV medications (my veins were flattening out because I was losing so much blood, so getting an IV in place was a challenge)

Luckily, the team was able to get the bleeding under control before I needed a blood transfusion (the team was in-room ready to go). Slowly, the room started emptying out and I was able to relax.

While all of that “excitement” was going on, the nurses had taken Lyla out to the nursery. But once my doctor gave them the ok, they brought her back in the room and we were able to soak her in.

She’s perfect.

She is everything I imagined her to be, and nothing like I imagined all at the same time.


The experience as a whole was nothing like I expected. There was no laboring on a birthing ball or time for family face-time calls. It was fast and it was furious. It was the hard and it was scary. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat (cliche, I know)

When I think back on that day, I am so beyond thankful for Alex & my mom. Together, they were an incredible support team and I think I would have lost my mind without them there.


We spent two nights in the hospital before coming home. The nurses took amazing care of us and I was almost sad when it was time to leave!



Told you it was long! Fellow mom bloggers: did you share your birth story? I would love to read it! 

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christmas recap

I know, I know. Christmas is so over. But I’m doing one more Christmas post because I know you are dying to see photos from our first Christmas as a family of three, right?


I knew it.

We skipped a fancy Christmas Eve dinner and did appetizers before church instead. My mama used to do this when I was growing up and I always loved it. I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures of everything but I did get some of the punch, onion-bacon marmalade , and the classic thumbprint cookies.

christmas punch

onion bacon marmalade


After we ate, we got all dressed up in our Christmas-best and went to church.

I didn’t get Not even on my phone. Bad mommy.

After a few days of rain, it was so awesome to wake up to bright, beautiful sunshine on Christmas day. We spent the morning at the beach.



While everyone else went surfing, Lyla and I ate fistfulls of played in the sand.


During Lyla’s morning nap, Alex and I went next door. Of course, I had to grab a picture of Alex modeling his new hat, watches and jammies from Santa 😉

daddy and daughter

Could those two be any cuter?! I mean, really. It hurts.

The rest of the day we just relaxed, ate delicious food and hung out with friends (aka TSB). We missed our family and friends on the mainland but are thankful that we got to spend Lyla’s first Christmas together as a family.

Only 352 days until next Christmas!

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clutter free homes for you and for me

“No more shit”

It’s a running joke in our household. When I was pregnant with Lyla, and in full nesting mode, our house suddenly seemed like it was filled with shit stuff. I was constantly organizing, re-organizing and then re-re-organizing our belongings. I must have made seventeen billion trips to Goodwill before I felt like I even made a dent.

“No more shit” had become my motto. And it was working for awhile.

When we moved to our new place, we downsized a lot and it felt oh so good. Pretty much everything had a place, we were organized and mama was happy. Nothing feels better than a clean, organized living space – amirightpeople?!


william morris quote

{via – side note, how awesome is that Tumblr?!}

As it always seems to do, life kept happening. And when life happens, clutter happens.

We all have the clutter. I bet even my girl Martha has a kitchen drawer that is in some serious need of organizing.

Clutter sucks, so let’s all start off the new year getting rid of it!

I’ve created a de-clutter calendar for myself (and you) to follow through the first month of 2015. Each day has a task that will help you get your house in tip-top shape for 2015. Most days, the tasks are simple and shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes.

download it here: De-clutter calendar

Since chores are always more fun with a friend, you can follow along and share your progress using #clutterisforthebyrds

Print out the calendar, hang it on your fridge, and get to cleaning, people!

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merry christmas, ya’ll

Merry [2 days after] Christmas, everyone!

o come


 I had big plans for us this year. We were going to host an ornament exchange, visit santa, and drive through the Honolulu City Lights. We were going to have cozy family time each night of Advent while we read the story of Christmas. We were going to try new recipes and bake tons of cookies. We were going to put Christmas sheets on all of our beds and use our special Christmas dish towels every time we did the dishes. We were going to color code our gifts under the tree and take tons of sweet pictures of Lyla on Christmas morning.

You get the picture.

I had put a ton of pressure on myself to make this, Lyla’s first Christmas, the “best ever” – and I was ready to document it here for family and friends who we weren’t able to physically be with this year.

And then my computer charger stopped working. Followed by my nice camera. We had a few rounds of guests and Alex had a busy couple of weeks at work. Life kept happening and time never slowed down to give me a chance to catch up (don’t you hate that?)

And in the midst of all the (semi-organized) chaos, I stumbled across the She Reads Truth advent study. It was perfect. I so looked forward to reading the entry each day. My parents and grandparents did a good job teaching me the story of Christmas when I was growing up, so I was definitely familiar with the readings, but this year it took on a whole new meaning. The enormity of His sacrifice is something I never could have fully understood until becoming a parent. And it continues to blow my mind.

What an awesome God we serve. Not only is he perfectly loving, accepting and forgiving but he is oh-so creative. Without my camera and computer, I spent more time with my family. More time absorbing Lyla and her sweet seven (almost eight!) month old self. More time focusing on the true reason of the season.

I wasn’t comparing our Christmas to anybody else’s.

I wasn’t focused anymore on making our Christmas the “best ever” because I was reminded that the first Christmas, over 2000 years ago, was actually the best ever. No perfectly Pinterest-able house or deliciously dressed up baby will beat that.

I was freed from the pressures of the season, and it was such a relief.

We had a great Christmas day, filled with good food and fun gifts. We missed family and friends who are on the mainland (and beyond) but enjoyed time with our Hawaii ohana. I didn’t get the photos that I wanted – and while that would usually bum me out – this year I allowed myself to take a step back and just soak it in.

It was a very Merry Christmas, indeed.

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maui no ka oi

On Sunday, Lyla and I took a day trip to Maui. My mom was there for the weekend visiting some friends and had wanted the Byrds Lyla to come too. We originally told her that we weren’t able to make it but decided to buy a ticket and surprise her.

Island Air plane

Lyla and I hopped on the first flight Sunday morning and were on Maui thirty-five minutes later. My mom called as I was getting the car seat settled in the rental car and our conversation went something like this:

Mom: “It’s such a nice day on Maui, I’m walking on the beach. Wish you guys were here!”

Me: “Yea, it is nice today. What are you gonna have for breakfast?”

Mom: “I dont know. This beach is so nice”

Me: “Yea, I love Lahaina. So what do you want for breakfast?”

Mom: “You are not here”

Me: “Yes we are! Surprise!”

(insert screaming and a few more “you are not”s here)


We drove to her girlfriend’s house in Lahaina, met up with everyone and then headed to Front Street for some breakfast. After that, we visited where Alex and I got married and spent some time at the beach.


I have never seen her make that face before and I think its hilarious. Sorry, girl.

maui no ka oi

I freaking love Maui. It’s perfect and special. My heart just feels happy there. I guess that’s why they say “Maui no ka oi” right?!

maui no ka oi

The trip was quick but full of love, sunshine and the ocean so I would say it was a success!


Lyla is such an awesome little traveler. Just like her daddy, she loves to fly. When we were flying back to Oahu she looked out the window the whole time and had a giant smile on her face. Such a sweet little bean.

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