baby proof: an early arrival.

February 24, 2020

Last Saturday we welcomed a brand-new baby to our family. Calder Ruth Boyle was born, nearly four weeks early, just before seven o’clock on a sunny and cold February morning.

I’ve chosen to be relatively private about my experience these past few months, but since so many folks have inquired after my health, I thought I’d share a timely New York Times piece published last weekend about the liver condition that made my last trimester so difficult and required an early delivery.

Gratefully, induction and birth were straightforward (if exceedingly rapid) and the symptoms that plagued my pregnancy have largely subsided. I’m still being treated for postpartum pre-eclampsia that I developed after Calder’s birth and that required an extended hospital stay, but all signs point to a safe and speedy recovery for me and to a steadily growing and healthy baby.

Mostly, we’re eternally grateful to be snuggled together as a family of five. I’ll be taking things slowly in my return to this space and posting occasional updates here. Thanks, as ever, for reading.

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54 Comments

  • Reply Amanda Krieger February 24, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Many, many, many congrats to you and your family! So happy to read the news. I don’t know you personally but as a many-years reader I know that you have absolutely gorgeous children that you love well. Thinking of you as you heal and transition to life as a family of five. xo

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  • Reply Aileen Johnston February 24, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Welcome to the world Calder! I look forward to following along on your adventures 🙂 x

    1
  • Reply Lexie February 24, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I think it is such a fine line between protecting your own privacy and being a public figure with the opportunity to raise awareness about potential health conditions that might be missed. Thank you so much for being willing to share. Congratulations to your sweet family. <3

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    • Reply Sarah February 24, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      Congratulations! I also have 3 kids, on roughly the same timeline as you. I found this blog when I was pregnant with #1 and it was the quiet I needed to all the “baby essentials” noise that filled the internet. Given how close our kids are, your posts are always so timely for me. Your words give me the courage to live smaller when everyone around me seems to upgrade with each child. While I do not know you personally, this picture brings tears to my eyes. It’s filled with love and comfort. I’m so excited for you and your sweet family ❤️

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  • Reply julia February 24, 2020 at 11:29 am

    so glad you’re all healthy and receiving the care you need! welcome to the world, calder!

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    • Reply Erin February 24, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Congrats to everyone on Calder’s birth! So sorry you had such a challenging pregnancy & postpartum. Both conditions can be very scary!

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  • Reply Judith A Ross February 24, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thank YOU for the update! And for being so open about your experience — that information will likely help someone else. I had never heard of this particular ailment during pregnancy. Big sighs of relief that everyone is doing well.

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  • Reply Maryann February 24, 2020 at 11:31 am

    So very glad to read this! Congratulations to you all and welcome Calder! Thank you for sharing.

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  • Reply Helen February 24, 2020 at 11:32 am

    As a stranger watching from afar, I was so relieved to hear your news and so glad for your family. Parenting is equal parts joy and terror, and every birth story makes me feel that anew. Wishing you all a snuggled recovery—spring will be here soon!

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  • Reply Shannon February 24, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Oh, so pleased that you’ve safely welcomed your littlest to the world! The fortitude it takes to navigate and persevere and the wisdom it takes to (yes) surrender are gifts that i bet will enrich your kids. Your generosity with your story, your insight, enriches me, and through me, my kids. So thank you! Hoping you get to weave some bits of sleep together in the coming days and weeks and months. xo

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  • Reply Jennie February 24, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Beyond delighted for you & your whole family! <3 <3 And glad you both made it through safely!

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  • Reply Liesl Schick February 24, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    How absolutely wonderful for you and your family. Welcome to the world Calder!

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  • Reply Diana February 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Welcome home!! And thank you for sharing. I had post-partum preeclampsia too and found it quite hard – being a patient while also being a new mother (so already not getting nearly enough sleep) was challenging. I was on blood pressure medication for about six weeks. I wish you lots of rest and grace and snuggles!

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  • Reply Shimkiri February 24, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Congratulations! Welcome to the world Calder! So glad to hear that you both are in good health and wishing you a wholesome recovery. Thank you for posting and sharing, I so enjoy reading your blog and hearing about your family life.

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    • Reply Victoria February 24, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Congratulations on the little one! I, too, had postpartum PE. So frustrating when you just want to go home coupled with dealing with all the meds and testing once you do get there. Total bullshit! So sorry you’re going through all that.

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  • Reply Michela February 24, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Sending all my love. My first pregnancy was also complicated by OC and postpartum PET. Exactly the same…I had an induction and an early baby. Few weeks after you had Faye. It seems yesterday!

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  • Reply Norma H Aguilar February 24, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Congratulations♥

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  • Reply Kim B. February 24, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Erin, congratulations to you and James and Faye and Silas!I am so glad Calder is here and that both she and you are healthy. So grateful for whoever figured out you had cholestasis — that is absolutely wild that the NYT published that article literally days ago!!

    All best to all of you

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  • Reply Clara B February 24, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Wish you both and the rest of your beautiful family a full recovery and all the happiness!!! Your smile says everything!!!! love from the North

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  • Reply Anna F February 24, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    I am so sorry you had to go through that experience but I am so happy to hear that you guys are happy and healthy. Sending you and the family love <3

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  • Reply riye February 24, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Congratulations!! Best wishes to you, your family, and your beautiful new baby. 🙂

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  • Reply Danielle February 24, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    I wondered if cholestasis was the case! I had it with my first two, quite likely to develop it with this third one. I’m so sorry you had to go through that and I’m glad you’re doing much better! Congrats on your beautiful baby!

    • Reply Valeria March 15, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Hacia tiempo no tenia mi telefono, asi que no podia seguir el blog, que alegria saberl@s sanos y felices!
      Ser 5 es tan maravilloso que solo queda espacio para guardarlo en el corazon y disfrutar cada instante ♡

  • Reply Julie February 24, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    So glad to hear you are both well. Cholestasis really ought to get more coverage. This podcast has great coverage https://www.informedpregnancy.com/listen/episode/5fc1800d/intrahepatic-cholestasis-of-pregnancy-icp

  • Reply Whitney T. February 24, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Congrats to your little family on your new addition! I’m sorry your 3rd trimester/postpartum brought some challenges (to say the least – the article’s description of the itching associated sounded downright horrific), but I’m so happy you hear you’re both home and able to enjoy all those newborn snuggles.

  • Reply Katy February 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Calder, you could not have chosen a more loving and special family to live with. May the healing be quick and the may the growing be sweet. Bless you all.

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  • Reply Anne February 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations! So happy to hear everyone is ok. You’ve been in my thoughts, and I’m so glad to hear that all is well.

  • Reply Anna February 24, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Congratulations Erin! And welcome Calder Ruth – such happy news!
    I wish you a good recovery and a great start to your family of five surrounded by loved ones!

  • Reply Dawn February 24, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Wishing your sweet family all the best and very happy to hear all are now doing well. I enjoy reading your blog and find its simplicity and humbleness extremely inspiring and enlightening. Beautiful Mother Earth surely blesses you.

  • Reply Annie February 24, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Sounds terrifying and so relived to hear you are all on the other side! Calder looks so sweet in your arms. Sending healing vibes all the way from the west coast.

  • Reply Clare Chippendale February 25, 2020 at 1:36 am

    Congratulations to your little family. I’m glad you’ve made it through this stressful time. I had this same condition for two pregnancies and it wasn’t picked up untill my second. It certainly makes things much harder worrying until the moment they are born. All the best with your new love.

  • Reply Annelise February 25, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Congratulations and best wishes to your new family of 5!

  • Reply Clementine February 25, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Congratulations to all of you! Wishing you good health, much joy and a peaceful world to enjoy those in.

  • Reply Ellen February 25, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Congratulations on your beautiful new addition! Sending best wishes for continued, swift recovery. <3

  • Reply Meredith February 25, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I had cholestasis with my first (diagnosed at 35 weeks, induced at 37) and am trying to mentally prepare for it this go around (currently 33 but in the UK they can’t test for it until you show signs of it). Funnily enough, I actually had been circulating that NYT article to my mum groups when it was published last week. As with all healthy deliveries, it’s a gift to hold your child in your arms but a double blessing you could do it even a few weeks sooner than you were anticipating. Sending lots of love as you recover from PE and a big hug that those hands/feet shouldn’t be itching so badly anymore xx

  • Reply Emily February 25, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Congratulations & cheers cheers to this tender time. You & your family have been in my thoughts… how lovely that such marvelous energy & good tidings surrounds you. Thanks for updating your fortunate readership… 🙂

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  • Reply BRI February 26, 2020 at 3:05 am

    Congratulations! I look forward to seeing what inspires you from your family of five living in your little apartment with conscious contemplations to create and improve things that matter.

  • Reply Kristin February 26, 2020 at 6:53 am

    So happy for you and your family. Also, that your health is slowly returning to normal. I too struggled with postpartum pre-eclampsia (the magnesium drip was just awful) and hoping that it is all smooth sailing for you from here on out ♡

  • Reply geschichtenundmeer February 26, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Congratulations!

  • Reply Jaspreet February 26, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Congratulations! I am so glad for all of you. Thankful to you for being so open and sending continued healing thoughts and goodness during this transition.

  • Reply Kaitlyn February 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Congratulations on this sweet transition. I am glad that you could access quality care and that your healing is in motion! Sending positive vibes for this tender time.

  • Reply Mary Grimm February 26, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Congratulations on your little one! So glad you are doing well ❤️.

  • Reply Kellianne Ritter February 26, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    The look of joy on your face is a gift to see. Thank you for sharing your happiness with all of us, and congratulations!

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  • Reply Marie February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Congratulations to all of you, and so grateful you’re both doing well! Welcome to the world, Calder!

  • Reply sam-c February 27, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    A wonderful update to hear. hope you are all doing well. Congratulations !!

  • Reply Maya February 27, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Congratulations!!! So happy you are back at home with baby and family! Two thumbs up for taking it slow.
    I have been poking around here since 2014 and it has been so lovely to see your family grow. Much love to you and your family!

  • Reply Milo February 27, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Congratulations!!!

    I’m so sorry to hear about the health issues and glad you are healing now. Thank you for choosing to share the article and raise awareness.

  • Reply Danielle February 29, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Congratulations! I hope this is a memorable and peaceful time for you and your family. I found your blog around the time my first child turned 2 years old, after recently moving to Manhattan. Thank you for being here, for being someone who leads by example (including trial and error) without judgement for the rest of us. My own upbringing left me with little to no guidance on how to be a strong woman, a mother, and certainly as even someone who cares about our world (people, animals, and general environment). Thank you for filling that void- a void I didn’t realized existed till I became a very young mother. I’m still in Manhattan and my second child is almost two. I don’t plan on having a third (and presumably will not have one), but at least after reading your recent posts I feel I understand the importance of doing what feels right for oneself, as well as holding fast in what might be a downpour of doubt and criticism from others. You make me feel like, as a woman, any surprises in life (child-related or not) are surprises I can weather and thrive around. Thank you for that. I also wanted to thank you for introducing me and my family to the following: wool (yes, ALL wool…i had no idea before encountering your blog what a wondrous fiber wool is), East Fork Pottery (how is it so durable????!!!??), the ability to celebrate found, revisited, or made objects minus fast consumerism (some of us were raised to always feel like we had to ‘buy’ joy), sourdough everything/Sugarhouse workshop, wine crates-turned storage (free? thanks, because the rent is too damn high), and the ability to live proudly as 4 in a one bedroom apartment (although recently we now have two bedrooms and that’s fine too, but not necessary). I just wanted to say thank you for so many years of thought-provoking essays and posts- it changed how I see myself as a woman, wife, and parent for the better. But also, don’t worry that I keep you on a pedestal. Feel free to be human, as always. And again, congratulations on your newest love.

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    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you so much for this kindness. I’m so glad to know you’re out there reading!

  • Reply Rosie March 4, 2020 at 11:17 am

    What a sweet tiny baby and beautiful momma.
    Congratulations to you and your husband!

  • Reply Sue March 7, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your beautiful baby. It must have been a worrying time for all of you, but hopefully you can start to relax now.

  • Reply Tracy March 11, 2020 at 3:55 am

    Hello Erin! I had Cholestasis on my last pregnancy too and it was the weirdest, most challenging pregnancy complication I have ever experienced, and I’ve had hyperemisis gravidarium and gestational diabetes on my first pregnancy. When I first sought help from my OB Gyne, he didn’t really take my complaints seriously until I did more research online. I was desperate for relief! Anyway, thank you for shining a light on Cholestasis and I hope more pregnant women (and doctors and health care workers!) are made more aware of this. Congratulations on your little one!

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  • Reply Pippa April 3, 2020 at 4:34 am

    Welcome to Calder Ruth! A few days after your birth I had an emergency c-section for my daughter, a Tilia Ruth Nancy Storm. It is strange times to be welcoming a tiny human to the world, but maybe the best time to be nestled at home.

  • Reply A. D. August 13, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    After training for an intervention-free childbirth for my first, full-term birth, I just learned that I’ll need to be induced next week. I was upset and blaming myself for unavoidable issues. I have read all of your wisdom over the years about birth and baby-raising, so I just wanted to thank you about being public about your own induction. I feel much less alone and more accepting of myself and my body. Thank you for your empowering words and reminding me that all that matters is a healthy birth.

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