Nugget is a….


Nugget finally made his appearance on April 7, 2016 at 11:34am, weighing 7 lbs and 10 oz. He was a decent size for being 10 days early! We named this gorgeous boy Kepler Jude Forester (read on to find out why). He was delivered via scheduled cesarean at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. We knew all our kids would have to be delivered via c-section after my previous surgery two years ago. Long story short, the delivery went well, Kep is healthy, and Momma is recovering steadily 🙂

Leading Up to the Delivery 

As the day of the operation grew closer, I became more nervous. My nervousness for the surgery (and the IV) sometimes outweighed my excitement. I stopped working just shy of 37 weeks. Here in New Zealand, many women choose to start their maternity leave early, thus sparing themselves the discomfort of working during the latter half of their third trimester. This is a luxury kiwis can afford when receiving a year of maternity leave! Most women begin their leave much sooner than I did, and many of my coworkers thought I was crazy to continue pressing on, but realistically, I knew that if I sat at home pregnant, I would either a) eat; b) spend money; or c) worry about the baby. It was better for me to remain distracted by 24 crazy children in the classroom.

On Monday before the delivery, we went to the hospital to meet with the anesthetist and go over last-minute details. I walked away from the the meeting disappointed and even more anxious about the birth! Firstly, the hospital made a ‘clerical error’ and had NOT booked me a place in the operating theatre to deliver that week…WHAT?! I received a confirmation for this procedure back in JANUARY. So, they were going to have to change the date of my caesar, moving it a day forward. Most people would be thrilled to meet their baby a day earlier. I was heartbroken though, since my mom was flying out for the birth and moving it a day forward would cause her to miss it. I wouldn’t get to pick her up from the airport; she wouldn’t get to see me pregnant; she wouldn’t get to feel Nugget kick.  Needless to say, I did well to hold back my hormone-induced breakdown until we got to the car.

All these things casted a bit of a gloomy shadow on the week preceding Kep’s birth, but…

The Delivery

…it’s hard to not have a smile on your face when meeting your first-born for the first time! The IV wasn’t as bad as the many others I have had in the past (it only took two attempts this time!). The spinal block went well and worked very effectively.

Evan had to wait outside the operating theatre while I received anesthetic, which he later admitted wasn’t filled with much ‘waiting’ as much as it was filled with ‘pacing’. He was allowed to come in after I was already on the table, laying down, hooked up to a plethora of cords and machines, and ready to go!

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We were so surprised that it only took 5 minutes for our surgeon, Dr Conaghan, to lift Kepler above the curtain, and Evan called out “It’s a boy!” A noteworthy, and humorous, point to add is that Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel was playing on the radio in the theatre, at the time of birth.

I watched Evan walk over to the weighing station, cut the cord, and take in the sight of his son. The nurses then brought him back to me for some cuddles. Many happy tears and special memories were made during these moments!

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Who do YOU think Kepler resembles more?

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Morgan (left) or Evan (right)?

In Recovery

My Mom arrived at the hospital after we had been in recovery for 3 hours. The nurses kindly let her come see us, despite the “no visitors in recovery” rule. This was the first time I had seen my mom in two years! However, I think someone else stole her attention!




At the Hospital

I spent 4 nights/5 days at the hospital. After two nights at Christchurch Women’s Hospital, I transferred to St Georges. We had so many lovely visitors at both places, and St Georges served amazing food and delicious cold milos (like chocolate milk).

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So What is the Story Behind His Name?

The name Kepler is fairly unique, a requirement for me as a school teacher. I didn’t want any names that came with previous associations! We are also tickled at the fact that he is a dual citizen of both New Zealand and America. We wanted to name him something that reminds him of the country of his birth. His name actually comes from the Kepler Track, a 4-day, 60 km (37 mi) hike over and through some of Southern New Zealand’s most gorgeous Fiordland mountains!  It was the first Great Walk we did after moving to New Zealand, and one of the most epic adventures of our time here. Raising our son, Kepler, is sure to be an even more epic adventure!

Also worth mentioning, Kepler is the name of a famous scientist, Johannes Kepler, who was a strong Christian and discovered the laws of planetary motion. When he discovered these scientific laws, he said this, “I give myself over to my rapture.  The die is cast.  Nothing I have ever felt before is like this.  I tremble, my blood leaps.  God has waited six thousand years for a looker-on to his work.  His wisdom is infinite, that of which we are ignorant is contained in him, as well as the little that we know

Kepler’s middle name comes from the book of Jude. Growing up, Evan heard the same benediction at church every week. Interestingly, we have also heard the same benediction every week at our church here in New Zealand.

It comes from Jude 24-25:
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

And so we pray that Kepler will live a life of adventure and discovery. Furthermore, we pray that he will live a life in which he is kept from stumbling, filled with great joy, and knows the presence of God’s glory.

We’re quite happy with most nicknames: Kep, Keppy, etc… We’ll see what he likes to be called when he gets older.

Coming Home
We came home from the hospital on the fifth day of Kepler’s life. He was over-achieving already! He gave us us smiles on Day 6 and had already started to hold his head up within the first two weeks of life.
Bringing Kep ‘over the threshold’ into his first home!
Smiles on Day 6!
Highlights Since Birth
Having our sweet boy around has been such a cool thing to experience as first-time parents. Not only have we enjoyed seeing a ‘new’ side of each other’s personality, but we also fall more in love with our son each day. He is a pretty cruise-y baby (we are so thankful he’s adopted his father’s chill personality). He is also growing incredibly fast! By 5 weeks old, he was already up to 11 pounds (5 kg)- an almost 50% increase of his original birth weight! Thank you Lord for this healthy, beautiful gift!
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Before (Last Photo Before Leaving for the Hospital) & After (10 Days Old)
Kepler’s First Road Trip at 2 weeks old: Kaikoura (2.5 hours North of Christchurch) 
One of my favorite faces: The Fish Face
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Photos From our Newborn Photo Shoot (10 Days Old)
Photos by Karen McCormack (
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As always, we’re just a phone or Skype call away! Give us a ring and we’ll be #KeepingUpWithKepler!
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