EBB 305 – A High-Risk Pregnancy and Miraculous Birth with Krista and John DeYoung, EBB Childbirth Class Graduates

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:00:00:

Hi, everyone. On today’s podcast, we’re going to talk with John and Krista DeYoung, graduates of the Evidence Based Birth® class, about their high-risk pregnancy and labor induction birth story. Welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® Podcast. My name is Rebecca Dekker, and I’m a nurse with my PhD and the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. Join me each week as we work together to get evidence based information into the hands of families and professionals around the world. As a reminder, this information is not medical advice. See ebbirth.com/disclaimer for more details. Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s episode of the EBB Podcast. Today, I am excited to welcome two very special graduates of our EBB childbirth class. 

Before we get started, I wanna make you aware of a content notice. We’re gonna be discussing high-risk pregnancy, autoimmune conditions, the potential of losing a baby during pregnancy, medical interventions, and postpartum bleeding. If there are any other detailed content or trigger warnings, we always post them in the description or show notes that go along with the episode. 

And now I’d like to introduce my honored guests, my brother, John, and his wife, Krista. Krista DeYoung was born and raised in Colorado and has a passion for global travel and humanitarian work. She is a therapist, parenting coach, and speaker. For the past decade, Krista has been working with adolescents and parents to help bridge relationship gaps and address self-worth issues for teenagers. She recently graduated with her master’s in counseling, and she just started her private practice, Set Your Mind Counseling focused on serving teen girls, mothers, and women. 

My brother, John DeYoung, has a passion to change the world today with the purpose of building clean water filters for 1 billion people by 2035. His company, VivoBlu, has been able to deploy more than 36,000 filters in the last 24 months, serving more than 450,000 people in 40-plus countries, including Uganda, India, Peru, Rwanda, Cambodia, Philippines, and more, and 6,500 filters in Ukraine during the war.

John and Krista also run a non-profit in West Bengal, India, where they have a team of more than 30 Indians teaching, mentoring, and serving people in great need in the communities of Kolkata. They have more than 300 students in their schools there and more than 70 young girls in their girl-empowering programs in six local churches. John and Krista have a heart to have a real impact in poor communities around the world, John was adopted at six years old from Korea, and he wrote in the bio that he sent me that he is so proud of his sister Rebecca and her work with Evidence Based Birth®. Our family was so fortunate when Krista married John in 2018, and they had their first son, Elijah, in 2021. John and Krista live in Denver, Colorado. They are graduates of the EBB childbirth class with EBB instructor Chanté Perryman, and they are here to share their high-risk pregnancy and birth story. John and Krista, welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® Podcast.

John DeYoung – 00:03:15:

Thank you, Rebecca. I’m so glad to be here.

Krista DeYoung – 00:03:18:

Hi, thank you.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:03:19:

This is so fun. So can you talk first, Krista, by sharing some details about your pregnancy, like why it was high risk and just tell us about some of the challenges you faced.

Krista DeYoung – 00:03:34:

Yes. It was, I don’t know, it was kind of a mysterious journey the whole time, I would say. One of the challenges was that it was during COVID. So John couldn’t come to any of my initial appointments, which is an important factor that I’ll talk about later. But initially at, I think it was that 16-week appointment where you go in and do some of the genetic testing. They initially had some concerns about some genetic stuff. And then we went in and it ended up being kind of like a placenta mystery where they’re like, this thing is huge and it looks really abnormal and we’re not sure. What’s going on with that? And so that doctor said I wouldn’t be surprised, like don’t be surprised if you don’t have a heartbeat in the next few weeks. So that’s kind of how that whole part of it started off, which launched us right into the high risk pregnancy category. And then I wanted a second opinion, so I went into this other specialist doctor and he was like, this placenta is like 300% larger than it should be. And it has all these, like, markings that are weird. And then he said that Eli had a genetic marker on his abdomen. And John, what was the other one?

John DeYoung – 00:05:08:

Yeah, it was something on his heart.

Krista DeYoung – 00:05:11:

Okay. And John wasn’t in that meeting, which would have been really important.

John DeYoung – 00:05:17:

I was in the car. I was waiting outside in the parking lot.

Krista DeYoung – 00:05:22:

Yeah, just learning about it. So it was really scary having just the unknown of like, okay, is this gonna, you know, is this going to be a viable pregnancy? Is it not? It was essentially like, okay, once we make it to 21 weeks, then we can kind of reassess and kind of see as it goes. We had to wait from that second opinion meeting. And I was like, do all the genetic tests. Like, I want to find out everything I want to know. And I had to wait about a week to get the results back from that. And it turned out that there wasn’t actually a genetic problem with Eli. It was really just my, like my placenta and having a bunch of those blood clots in there was the issue. So that did give me a peace of mind.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:06:09:

And I just want to pause because you went through that really quick. So you were saying there was not any genetic issues. So even some of the test markers came back positive for genetic issues. They were false positives. They ended up, the definitive testing showed no issues.

Krista DeYoung – 00:06:24:

Right. And I’m glad you pointed that out because that was part of the crazy roller coaster of it, was the initial genetic test showed issues. And then when they did some of the scans, they could see there were issues that there were issues, but then the big deep dive genetic tests said that there weren’t issues.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:06:47:

So no issues. Correct.

Krista DeYoung – 00:06:49:

So then my mind, I’m like, okay, that gives me a peace of mind. Are there, aren’t there, who knows? And from that point, it was like, let’s just watch and wait and see. There was concern though, about me and my placenta. And the, the original thought was that there was this condition. This is before it all got ruled out. There was this condition called triploidy, which is essentially where two sperm fertilize an egg. That’s what that specialist thought that it could be. And in that case, it’s just, I mean, he was like, you know. You can either terminate or you can wait and carry this pregnancy until whatever point. And then basically, essentially, once you deliver, then we bring in like hospice care and you just wait. So that was what I was carrying emotionally between that doctor’s appointment and finding out that there was not that condition and that there were no genetic conditions. So that was really, really tough. That’s when John and I were struggling with like, what is this? What is happening?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:07:58:

And that can be really scary to have, you know, basically a fatal diagnosis given to you for your child. And this is, you know, very much a scary situation. And I know our sister is a doctor and you had sent us the pictures of the ultrasound. And it did look, the placenta, like with this otherworldly mass inside of you. It was very bizarre and nobody really knew what to tell you what it was. And it’s a mystery that we will reveal towards the end after your birth story because you didn’t know until later what was the cause of this. Do you have any other health concerns that, you know, also made you worried with this pregnancy?

Krista DeYoung – 00:08:42:

Yes. So it didn’t, I got diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2014. So it never was really shared as like that would be something that would make me high risk. It was something that you have to consider along with like I was on immunosuppressant drugs. It was during COVID. So it was a lot of unknown of like, how is my body going to react to pregnancy? And then how is my baby going to react to my immunosuppressant drugs? And then, you know, how is my mind going to handle all of the things?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:09:20:

All of the stress on top of the global pandemic and everything being shut down and nothing being normal.

Krista DeYoung – 00:09:28:

That’s right. It was wild. It really was.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:09:30:

Yeah. And John, what were your thoughts as Krista was going through this with you?

John DeYoung – 00:09:37:

You know what, as a first parent, you know, first pregnancy. It was very confusing. Like, you know, you hear about people having difficulties in pregnancy or you hear different conditions and you hear miracle stories and you hear also sad stories. You hear all of these things. But what was really unique I discovered through this is I was like, stressed out. Like, I mean, we were really stressed out with that, of course, Krista has a really great community of women. Those stories came out to support her. It was really interesting, you know, you hear, you realize that these things can happen a little bit more often than not, right? And so that was really interesting for me to learn, like, wait a minute, this happens way more, or there’s complications that can happen along the way, and every baby is a miracle, right? It really does put that into perspective. And it was… It was really difficult because you don’t understand, like… the actual complication because, even though it’s scientifically Triploidy or you know I call it “Chipotle” but you know whatever it is.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:10:55:

Triploidy, triploidy, yeah.

John DeYoung – 00:10:58:

Triploidy all that, yeah you’re like so but what is that like how did that happen you know and all of those things and so you want the science behind it and you also want the evidence behind it and you want to learn about it along the way so we did a lot of research you know we did dive in deep but I think it was just emotionally it was it was not even a rollercoaster it was like a cedar point like rollercoaster for us in that in that period I mean even though it came back negative. There was still this lingering, like, well, her placenta.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:11:36:

Dread or anxiety.

John DeYoung – 00:11:37:

Yeah, there’s a threat. There’s always a threat knocking on the door the whole time. It’s just like hanging out and you’re like. You know, so that was, yeah, it continued for a little bit. We’re glad that it wasn’t the condition they initially diagnosed it with. But you have this, like, I like how you said it, otherworldly placenta just sitting there like, you know, an alien ship. And you’re like, what is this?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:12:01:

Yeah, the pictures were bizarre. Yeah, definitely.

Krista DeYoung – 00:12:05:

Yeah, so from that point, they were really concerned about growth restriction. Growth restriction, yes. And then when your blood pressure spikes. 

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:12:15

Oh, preeclampsia. I think you had some blood markers that also suggested you might be at high risk for preeclampsia as well. 

Krista DeYoung – 00:12:25

So, they were worried about growth restriction and the combo of preeclampsia so we had to go in from that point like we know it wasn’t a genetic thing at that problem we just didn’t know if he would ride tolerate the yeah the situation right or if my placenta would be able to provide him with what he needed so it was essentially like the from appointment to appointment it was like okay, is he growing is he still doing okay are we gonna have to do early delivery what is it gonna look like, but one thing that I think is really unique and I would have not thought of this ever unless it happened to us but in that appointment where they saw those genetic markers the one on the heart and the one on the abdomen I had shared that John wasn’t there with me and he was in the car and so, when we went back to our normal doctor and John was actually there and she looked at those markers, she was like, oh, is one of you Asian? And John’s like, yes, me. I am Asian. And then she’s like, well. Then these aren’t a big deal. Like if you, because they’re very, very common in Asians. And so something that went from really scary and concerning. 

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:14:00

With the markers on like the abdomen and stuff. Okay. 

Krista DeYoung – 00:14:03

That became kind of less concerning because they had this kind of like, cultural genetic explanation. That they just didn’t know when John wasn’t there.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:14:08:

So they made an assumption.

Krista DeYoung – 00:14:10:

Yeah, it was really unique.

John DeYoung – 00:14:12:

Well, I think the doctors did exactly what they did with the information they had. If they would have seen me, I’m not sure if every doctor would have known the cultural difference in that sense, but they did what they knew. They had with the information, you know, I said they had that moment and stuff. So they did whatever they had to do. And they said what they had to say. And, yeah, but me being in the room did make a difference. We were like, what?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:14:39:

And it also brings up, you know, there’s disparities in research where a lot of research is only done on, you know, white babies or white parents. And so then you’re compared there may be differences in ancestry that may come into play and your baby is perfectly normal, you know. Anatomically or I should say typically, you know, anatomically. So it doesn’t seem like there was anything wrong. It was just, you know, or maybe sometimes those ultrasounds. They’re so tiny when they do them as well. You can also get false positives from just tininess of the baby. Yeah. 

Krista DeYoung – 00:15:20

It was wild, like kind of how John mentioned my community of women, but it was crazy how many, how many women came out and said, yes, I, you know, I thought that my baby had XYZ diagnosis. And then it turned out that it wasn’t like you really learn how many people struggle with, with their pregnancy. And also how many times there’s these things that they think was a thing. 

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:15:47

And then it turns out to be nothing. And I think, yeah, there was a whole, we can link to it in the show notes, a New York Times expose of the prenatal testing industry and how many false positives. And that’s not to say like, there are people who get a diagnosis of triploidy and it’s real and it, you know, the pregnancy is not viable, but there are other situations where they’re false positives. And, and sometimes I know people are just kind of like reaching for any information because they get this scary diagnosis. And I think what you did is really important, getting a second opinion, you know, basically demanding additional definitive testing instead of just going with what the original doctor said. So, because then you had more information and then you move forward in your pregnancy. And then you got to, even though with this anxiety kind of hanging over you, you went through the rest of pregnancy, you took a Childbirth class. Tell us about your experience with Chanté.

John DeYoung – 00:16:42:

Well, I love Chanté. She’s awesome, by the way. And what was really my main takeaway from the classes was, one, I recommend everyone I run into who’s pregnant to take your classes. Because what we learned was pivotal in our birthing process. You know, it was so… I learned not it’s not just about learning and educating. I realized the rights that I had as a parent. I recognized we had more freedom in our choices to make. Recognize that there’s a lot of people out there who are having their first baby, second babies are still learning along the way, the processes. And it was, it was very empowering. I guess it was educational and empowering to go, oh, this is actually this, is how birthing can happen. Right. These are your options and these are your rights. And this is, you know, what to know and what not to know and all that. And so when we were learning just in the classes, I was like discovering Chanté was giving us information. And she even brought her husband in near the end. And I was like, this is cool. And this is good for every, for me, every husband to know. It is critical that every husband learns these things because, you know, I had a couple of friends, a lot of my friends have had kids and… and I’m like, you know, and they’re like, and their advice to me was very bad, very bad.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:18:19:

There’s a lot of bad advice out there. That is true.

John DeYoung – 00:18:22:

Yeah, it was bad advice. It was like, hey, John, you know, when it comes to time and you’re in a hospital, you only have one job. And the job is to feed her ice cubes. And I said, and what else? That’s it. And I’m like. Don’t get involved. Don’t do this. Just feed her ice cubes. That’s how you really deal with things. And I’m like, are you? I do. Did. Did you make any choices? Well, I guess-

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:18:46:

If all you did was serve ice cubes, that’s your-

John DeYoung – 00:18:50:

Yeah. Like, you know, and so.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:18:52:

That’s kind of disempowering to be told that, too.

John DeYoung – 00:18:55:

Exactly. So I’m like, wait a minute. And I think a lot of well, I do… A lot of men are not highly involved, whether they want to or not. I think you just have to. I think you have to because it’s your family. It’s your family. You know, and to be educated, to know, to get involved, to be empowered and feel actually freedom to, it was, it made it so much easier, right? It just made it so much easier when it came time. But yeah, a lot of bad advice is out there.

Krista DeYoung – 00:19:33:

To be fair, it’s got to be hard when you’re not the one giving birth, right? Because it feels like you have no control or no role or it’s like, what do I even do here? But that’s what was cool about the class. It helped give a very clear and strategic role. For the people in the room, right?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:19:57:

Right. Everybody has a role.

Krista DeYoung – 00:19:59:

Yes. For the husband, for the partner of like, here’s how you can actually help in meaningful ways. And you do have a role, not only as like an ice chip bringer, but as a cheerleader at it. All these different things. So it was pretty cool. Yeah.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:20:17:

So take us to the end of your pregnancy. What kind of birth were you planning and what was your mindset like?

Krista DeYoung – 00:20:25:

Oh, man. I even remember texting you and Shannon like, up until the end with decisions like to induce or not to induce. They were still pretty concerned about preeclampsia. And so the doctors recommended induction just so that we could monitor me for that time and kind of reduce the risk there. I remember the conversation that we were having was like, well, you’ll spend more time in the hospital. Here’s kind of the pros and cons of all of this. And just because I have Crohn’s and this high-risk pregnancy, I didn’t want to risk it really. So we ended up opting for the induction. So I think that it was 39 weeks. So we had made it full term, which was just an amazing miracle. I feel like I held my breath up until that entire, you know, up until the entire time, up until that day of like, okay, happening. I actually don’t know that it fully like, sank in and resonated with me. Like we are going to have a baby because I had to prep the whole time for like potential loss or complication, chaos, worst case scenario. So I think that my mind was there. My mind was preparing for that. So when it came time for induction, I was like, okay, yeah, allegedly we’re having a baby.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:21:47:


Krista DeYoung – 00:21:51:

And so we went in on a Saturday evening. For that induction.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:21:59:

Yeah. And you took, but you didn’t go unprepared because you had taken the childbirth class and you got, we sent you the EBB pocket guide. So you had the induction pocket guide.

Krista DeYoung – 00:22:10:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:22:10:

And you knew it would be a long process. Like your eyes were very open. You knew that it could take a while to have your cervix ripened. And so I felt like you had a really good education going into it.

Krista DeYoung – 00:22:23:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:22:24:

But I’m sure you were still surprised by the process. So tell us what it was like.

Krista DeYoung – 00:22:29:

Yes. I was surprised by, I like knew, right? I knew I’m having a baby. I knew this could take a while. I didn’t know that it could take as long as it took. I think my body, oddly enough, like wasn’t totally ready for it, which again is part of the miracle. Like that, even though with my crazy placenta, it still kind of was hanging in there. So we went in on Saturday and then I ended up delivering on Tuesday. So it was quite the… Quite the time. But that induction pocket guide, this is just kind of a funny side story. I think it made us famous in the hospital because we just had it. I don’t know. And the nurses were like, wait, I know Evidence Based Birth®. Like, this is so cool. And then John became an instant celebrity. That’s my sister. And they’re like, really? Like, what? He was like, yeah. He’s like, what? But it was so cute. So that pocket guide, we ended up giving it to the hospital, telling them to just keep it because the nurses are kind of cycling through the room like, let me see it. What is this? What about your sister? So that was kind of fun. That whole thing there like, to see the fact that your work here at Evidence Based Birth® is like actually making its way into real hospitals with real people and doctors and nurses who are being educated by the work that you’re doing. So that is just like a-

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:24:10:

That’s the fun side story. Yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:24:13:

Yes, we were like, hey, we know her. She’s our baby’s aunt.

John DeYoung – 00:24:19:


Krista DeYoung – 00:24:21:

You better take good care of it. I would say that that probably added a little bit of pressure. Where they’re like, don’t. Where they were like, okay, we’re not gonna. Yeah, we got to be careful about what we recommend.

John DeYoung – 00:24:35:

Exactly. And at the same time, I think we got extra care. I think they really, there was one nurse that said, I actually changed my schedule so I could be your nurse.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:24:44:

Well, you two are really wonderful people too. So I don’t blame them for wanting to work with you. So tell us about how the induction started and then Krista walk us through it.

Krista DeYoung – 00:24:55:

It started. I can’t remember all of this. And I wish I would have wrote it all down and I guess maybe that’s a suggestion to some people or that’s something a doula can do if you have a doula too they often take notes for you yeah take notes write it down so that you can remember, so I don’t remember all of the details I just remember getting there and then getting hooked up to that, like the monitor thing on your belly where they can monitor Eli’s heartbeat and they monitor me. And then we got John all set up. He had so many snacks. That was glorious. And then they did those cervix checks. That’s kind of what they were doing. And that I felt was the most challenging part of all of it. And that’s because my cervix apparently is like, tilted to the left. So it was every time they did those cervix checks, it was like. It was painful.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:25:57:


Krista DeYoung – 00:25:58:

It was not fun. So by the time. I can’t even remember when I took the epidural. I think it was at like six centimeters dilated. And by that time, I hadn’t slept in like two days.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:26:13:

Yeah, I was going to say, so the cervical ripening took several days for you, correct? With the medications and did they do the Foley bulb as well?

Krista DeYoung – 00:26:22:

Yes. They did. Yeah.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:26:26:

And I think what our sister Shannon told you, she’s like, Krista, it’s going to take a long time to ripen your cervix. But once you reach six centimeters, you should progress just like a normal labor.

Krista DeYoung – 00:26:38:

Yeah. Well, and I was so tired too, by that. So I got that Foley bulb and this is where I’m glad John had the class because he knew to step in. Like when I was, I was like, I gotta go sit in the bathtub. So I’m laying in the bathtub, but I was asleep, like asleep in the bathtub. And so he’s just holding, holding me up, making sure I don’t sink. Right. You’re that tired? I was exhausted.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:27:08:

Was this like two days and two nights into the process?

Krista DeYoung – 00:27:12:

Mm-hmm. So then I opted for the epidural and slept for 13 hours, which I really, really needed. I was out.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:27:20:

Okay, John, I remember you texting me at this point and you said something like. They want to come in and do another check, but Krista just fell asleep. And I told you, you can tell them not to check her. Do you remember that? So what ended up happening in that situation? Did you, were you able to give her extra hours of sleep at any point?

John DeYoung – 00:27:41:

Yeah, I think what, you know, your class obviously taught me was, again, you can participate in this whole process beginning to end, you know, and you can end that. So you’re telling me, you know, yeah, just let her sleep. I’m like, okay. So when they came in, I think I met them at the door and said, just let her sleep. And the nurses were, they’re kind people. They’re great people. They’re like, okay, well, just let us know. And it was just, it was good because they had the monitors on her.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:28:11:


John DeYoung – 00:28:11:

And all that. So it was, it was, it was a lot more, even though it was long, it was very bearable, even though it was long. I mean, obviously, I’m not giving birth, but in my, in my, you know, my participation was I was engaged. I was there the whole time. I’m giving snacks. I’m massaging her feet. Whatever I’m doing, you just always keep her, you know, in the state of as comfortable as possible, floating in the water, whatever needed to be done. And then actually participate in the birth. That was amazing. You know, actually standing right there, holding her head and all that. So it was really, really, it was great. It was really, really good. And again, the education that I got in the class just really did empower me. That’s a great word of saying it gave me the opportunity to play a strong role in the birth of my child.

Krista DeYoung – 00:29:03:

There was a point during one of the nights, I think it was the second night, and that’s where things were really starting to escalate. And I was just uncomfortable. Right. It was before the epidural. I’m uncomfortable, but it’s the middle of the night. So I can’t sleep. John’s asleep on the couch snoring.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:29:18:

He can sleep anywhere. We all know.

Krista DeYoung – 00:29:21:

Out and one of the nurses came in and was like you have to distract yourself like you have to do something um so she encouraged me to get up and like try to walk around or um sit on the the ball and so I listened to music sat on the ball I probably should have woken John up because it would have helped actually distract or provide support but I was like he’s sleeping. So we rode it out. But yeah, it was important to like, get up and do something. But I was in a lot of pain and probably should have woken him up so that he could have like-

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:30:08:

Yeah, it was starting to get harder. And then what was the epidural experience like?

Krista DeYoung – 00:30:14:

That was great. It was wonderful. They bring you a bunch of paperwork beforehand that can be intimidating or sound intimidating just with all the like.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:30:25:

Medical risks and stuff.

Krista DeYoung – 00:30:27:

Yeah, medical risks. And I was texting my friends at this point. And one of them was like, you haven’t gotten your epidural yet. Like, I get that right when I walk in. And the other one was like, yeah, you can do it. Go for it. Like, don’t feel like you have to wait.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:30:46:

I mean, it’s already been like two days of this experience.

Krista DeYoung – 00:30:50:

Like, you don’t have to be miserable. And so after talking to them, I was like, let’s do it. And then that epidural experience was great. It was smooth and fine.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:31:05:

And so what you slept for 13 hours.

Krista DeYoung – 00:31:08:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:31:09:

And then what happened?

Krista DeYoung – 00:31:11:

Then they came in and they did do a final check and they’re like, okay, you’re ready to go. Like it’s go time.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:31:20:

I love stories like that when you’re like so exhausted, you get the epidural, you sleep, you wake up and they’re like, let’s have a baby. It’s what your body needed.

Krista DeYoung – 00:31:29:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:31:30:

And rest.

Krista DeYoung – 00:31:31:

Yeah. Uh-huh. Um. So it was, yeah, middle of the night at this point. And… we woke John up and… things progressed very smoothly from there.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:31:46:

Yeah, so how long did you push for?

Krista DeYoung – 00:31:49:

John, do you remember? I feel like it was maybe. It was short. Was it 30 minutes?

John DeYoung – 00:31:56:

It might have been 30 minutes, 30. I wouldn’t say it’s any more than 45 max. I mean, that would be the longest that I would ever. But it was faster than I thought it would be because you’re pushing out a whole human. And I just think to myself, wow. And Krista did such a good job of pushing. And the doctors and nurses were really good at that point in encouraging her and cheering her on. It felt like you had the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders on the side doing a dance for you as you’re doing this. And that was just really cool and encouraging. We’ve been there already for so many days. And we’re ready to have a kid. And it was cool. I got to touch Elijah’s head as it crested out a little bit and crowned out. And I’m like, oh. And that was really neat. You know what I’m saying?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:32:42:

I was so proud of you, John. You were like right in there. Like, let’s get this baby.

Krista DeYoung – 00:32:46:

Right in there.

John DeYoung – 00:32:47:

Right in there. Yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:32:49:


John DeYoung – 00:32:50:

Pulling the feet and the head. And cheering her on. It was really, really cool.

Krista DeYoung – 00:32:56:

At that point, it was just, it was like fun. We were laughing. I wasn’t in pain, it was fine. We had cycled through a few doctors at that point. So this doctor that – who ended up doing the delivery, I don’t think we had met her yet. So maybe we had. If we did, I don’t remember because I was. Yeah, so it was fine. They did bring in that mirror. You know the mirror where you can watch? And that was there for like five minutes. And I was like, nope.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:33:30:

It’s not for everyone. That’s for sure.

Krista DeYoung – 00:33:33:

Yeah. Well, I found it distracting. It was cool because you can see.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:33:37:

The progress. Yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:33:39:

That’s right. But also, yeah, I found it distracting. So.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:33:44:

Yeah. So what happened when Elijah was born? Did he come straight to you?

Krista DeYoung – 00:33:50:

Yeah, he came straight to me and he was six pounds, almost six pounds. Exactly. It was maybe like six pounds, one ounce or something. He came right to me. I did request that they do the delayed cord cutting. I don’t actually know if they did that. They did.

John DeYoung – 00:34:08:

They did.

Krista DeYoung – 00:34:09:

I don’t know if we did it as long as we wanted, but I also get it because I had the shady placenta.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:34:15:

That still had to come out and everybody’s like, what’s going to happen with the alien placenta?

John DeYoung – 00:34:21:

Yeah. It was the mother ship, but they did, Krista, they, they, you’re right. They did it as long as, you know, it’s, you know, if you were to do that, but they did it enough and it felt good. It felt, you know, and they, and the, yeah, they did do the delayed cutting of the cord.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:34:40:

And how did it feel to have Eli on your chest then and to be holding him?

Krista DeYoung – 00:34:45:

Honestly, it was because, like I said, I had not, I had not like come to terms with the fact that this was going to be a successful like, pregnancy and delivery.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:34:58:

To deliver a baby.

Krista DeYoung – 00:34:58:

Yes. So I, I don’t even know how to answer that I feel like I was not connected to-

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:35:09:

A little dissociated?

Krista DeYoung – 00:35:10:

Yes. I’m like, this is so cool. I had my baby. There was definitely that part, but there was absolutely the other part that was like. You know, when’s the other shoe going to drop? Like, because I had just ingrained that so much, that fear. So I’m like, okay, now allegedly I have this baby. It was still, there was some doubt, I don’t know, but it was really, really cool. I would say it took me, honestly, like a few months, to come to, honestly, like. Come to terms with the fact that like, I have a baby and this is okay. And it worked out. Like it took…a long time for me to get out of the mindset of, okay, this isn’t going to happen.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:35:58:

I remember they teach us in nursing school, like the different kind of developmental phases that you go through as you’re pregnant. And the third trimester is usually when you come to terms with the fact that you’re going to have a baby. And so for you, it’s almost like you had to do that after Eli was born.

Krista DeYoung – 00:36:16:

Totally. Like we did all the things, you know, we set up a tree, we had a baby shower. So we went through the motions. But yeah, for sure. I myself did not. Do the, yeah, the like reality check of I’m about to be a mom. So it was kind of surreal.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:36:37:

What about you? What about you, John?

John DeYoung – 00:36:41:

For me, it really helped that I was active in the birth. Right. I think it would. Because you’re, again, participating in the birth of your child. I don’t know. It made sense to me. Right. If that makes sense. It made sense that we were going to have a baby. I think it took me a little while, probably a little quick, a lot quicker than Krista, because I didn’t have the-  I’m not carrying the baby, you know, to term and I’m not. My body isn’t the one that’s doing weird things that could be really whatever so it was easier for me as a father sort of just stepped in and be like you know how can I how can i just be part of the process from birth all the way to you know whatever you know in that sense and so um I think that I probably discovered I had a baby fairly quickly. It was probably maybe in the NICU as I’m doing the little tweezer food thing and all of that. It was just fun. It immediately became something that was like, this is, again, this is my child, my first blood relative. This is like, this is cool. Yeah, so probably by the time we left the hospital, maybe a week or two, it was like. A family. You know? So that was really, really neat. Really neat. Yeah.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:38:14:

Yeah, you mentioned, you know, that Eli is your first blood relative. Can you share what, you know, what this was like for you? What processes did you have to work through relating to your? Your feelings or your own potential trauma related to adoption in the context of now becoming a father to your, the first biological relative you’ve ever known.

John DeYoung – 00:38:35:

Yeah, yeah. So… Krista, because she’s wiser than I, is the one that actually brought it up. It’s like, you understand this is like your first blood relative. And I’m like, oh, my gosh, right? Because I consider us all family. So I’m like, oh, they’re like, that piece triggered. I’m like, well, that’s interesting. But I’m a huge advocate for adoption, right? And I’ve talked to a lot of adoptees saying, you know, in this process, because I’ve taken that knowledge and that cool nugget to a lot of adoptees saying, listen, if you ever have a kid, check this out, right? You get a chance to create this beautiful bloodline, right? It’s like awesome. It’s like it’s really, really awesome to be able to do this. That’s connected to your adopted bloodline. So like it really is a sort of really neat.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:39:24:

Like a merging of worlds.

John DeYoung – 00:39:27:

Yeah, it really is. It’s super cool. And because I had initially a tough attachment troubles with with mom and dad at the beginning and family members it, I don’t know. It’s like this. The baby becomes this bridge. Right? The baby becomes a bridge that’s super, I don’t know, it’s pretty cool. So it helps complete some nuggets that are goofy in the background of my mind or whatever, because of some things that happened through adoption. It’s a huge healing process. I think it’s… I don’t know. Elijah, to me, is a DeYoung. I mean, we talk about it. I’m like, you know, he’s a DeYoung. Sure, he looks a little different than the other DeYoungs. But what’s cool is I married a Dutch woman, right? So DeYoung, now he truly is an Asian guy, right? It’s super cool. But all that to be said, I think that he is such a reflection of like, the past, the future, it’s all coming together and it just comes nicely. So yeah, there’s a lot more, there’s just a lot more power in that than I initially expected versus, oh, I’m having a kid. It’s like, oh, it’s cool. Cool bridging and healing and gapping and all that stuff in it um in that I know parenting will be difficult along the way but right now he’s just a super cute toddler so it’s fun.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:41:05:

You’re right. It is so powerful. And it’s so amazing to see like the healing it’s brought you and you mentioned, you know, your attachment issues as a child and that you’re able to like work through healing that and have this amazing relationship with your, your son is super cool to watch as your sister. And we always said, we know, you know, I mentioned earlier, we were really fortunate that Krista married John because, you know, we never knew if John was going to have kids. And so, but we all wanted to see a little mini John running around someday. And that is essentially Eli. So we love them.

Krista DeYoung – 00:41:44:

They were both seeing me the other day in the living room. And I’m like, wow, it’s just a big one and a little one. They’re twins.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:41:51:

A mini me. Yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:41:53:

Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:41:54:

Yeah. So I know we have not resolved the mystery. So let’s resolve the mystery of the mothership placenta. What happened after Eli came out and what did you discover?

Krista DeYoung – 00:42:08:

So after Eli came out, they spent some time removing the placenta and they were really trying to be intentional about making sure they got it all out.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:42:20:

Because it was so big.

Krista DeYoung – 00:42:21:

Yeah. So big. And they were prepared for the potential of me having like, lots of extra bleeding or having something go wrong. So initially we had like a notified team to be there. There were extra people in the room. They had blood if we needed to do some sort of, you know.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:42:42:

Transfusions. Yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:42:43:

Yes. So, but none of that happened. Amazingly, they took it out and then they were going to send it off to..run some lab tests.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:42:54:

Pathology tests, yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:42:56:

Exactly. Find out what is with this thing. And, so we had to wait for that, to happen. For those results to come back. And so in that moment, I guess when we were in the hospital, all of it was like really, really built up. And then it ended up kind of just working out smoothly, so to say. Eli spent two days, two or three days in the NICU for some like blood sugar stuff. But it all went fine. So we were in the hospital for a week total.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:43:27:


Krista DeYoung – 00:43:29:

But then… After they ran those pathology results, it came back with, and this is still confusing to me. I wish I could tell you for certain that I have like, clarity, but I don’t really. Because when I talked to my maternal fetal medicine doctor, she gave me the diagnosis of what was happening with my placenta, which you know, because it’s a big long name.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:43:56:

Antiphospholipid syndrome.

Krista DeYoung – 00:43:58:

Okay. And it was full of blood clots, too. Is that what the syndrome is?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:44:07:

Yeah. So it’s too much blood clotting.

Krista DeYoung – 00:44:09:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:44:10:

It’s an autoimmune condition, which makes sense because you already have a history of autoimmune.

Krista DeYoung – 00:44:17:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:44:17:

And it’s actually like a miracle that Eli was born.

Krista DeYoung – 00:44:23:

Isn’t that crazy? So then when I went to my, my, just general OB doctor. We talked through it as well. And I got some mixed messages. Like originally they’re like, this thing is huge. And then later they’re like, it was super small.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:44:43:

The placenta?

Krista DeYoung – 00:44:44:

Yes. Is that strange? So somewhere some wires got crossed, but yeah, there was a lot of clotting.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:44:51:

There’s clotting all over the placenta.

Krista DeYoung – 00:44:54:

Yes. And so I was essentially operating on like a 20 to 30 percent placenta like.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:45:03:

So that’s why, even though the placenta was so large, Eli did have some trouble with growth. And it was because he wasn’t getting what he needed from the placenta because it wasn’t functioning correctly.

Krista DeYoung – 00:45:16:

Yeah. And so I had asked, you know, is this going to be a thing that is every pregnancy? Was it kind of a fluke? And she said, this doctor said, you’ll probably just be a high risk pregnancy no matter what. Like, we’ll want to make sure that we monitor. But she didn’t kind of give this definitive, like, this is going to happen every time.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:45:42:

And she didn’t really do a whole lot of education about.

Krista DeYoung – 00:45:46:

No, I mean, we did have a phone conversation about it, but it wasn’t. And you know what? I probably understood it a lot better at the time too. Eli’s almost three now. So. I would have to go back and really like have a conversation with her again and say, okay, re-educate me about what happened. But I was just glad to be done with all of it. And I was like, okay, it all turned out fine. Bye.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:46:16:

But it wasn’t because you ended up having complications, right?

Krista DeYoung – 00:46:20:

Yeah. It’s like the end result worked out. But yes, the road to get there was filled with complications. And it was, yeah, emotionally and physically trying, for sure.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:46:34:

Yeah, but didn’t you have bleeding after you went home?

Krista DeYoung – 00:46:38:

Thank you for bringing that up. So I had, they had to go back and do a D&C because I had what they thought was the placenta accreta. Is that how you say that?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:46:49:

Accreta. Mm-hmm.

Krista DeYoung – 00:46:51:

So I was having bleeding. They had to go back in and do that D&C. And then she was saying that when she got in there, the placenta wasn’t actually attached like they thought it was. It just kind of popped right off. So that was good news too.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:47:11:

So Accreta is when the placenta is kind of like digging into the uterine tissue. And so that was not the problem. Did you have some retained placenta pieces?

Krista DeYoung – 00:47:21:

Yeah, they thought that it was the accreta. And then when they got in there, they realized it was just-

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:47:26:

Some extra pieces. So the uterus can’t clamp down and finish the healing process because there’s these little pieces of the placenta left in there.

Krista DeYoung – 00:47:36:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:47:36:

So you’re having like essentially, you know, I think some people think postpartum hemorrhage is something you worry about immediately after the birth. But it’s you can have excess bleeding after you go home from the hospital.

Krista DeYoung – 00:47:49:


Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:47:49:

Which is what you were having.

Krista DeYoung – 00:47:50:

It was hard to discern, like, especially with the first baby, what’s normal, what’s not normal.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:47:55:


Krista DeYoung – 00:47:55:

Is this a problem? Is it not? So.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:47:58:

Yeah. Well, and there’s guidelines, you know, we teach in the childbirth class about like how to monitor your bleeding. Are you soaking more than one pad in an hour? You know, are you passing like really huge clots, all of that kind of thing. And from what you sent me and Shannon, it sounded like it was more than normal for sure.

Krista DeYoung – 00:48:18:

And I’m glad we went and got it checked out because otherwise, I mean, how would you know?

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:48:23:

Right. You would just think, well, they told me I would bleed, but. You know, I think that’s important for people to know the warning signs of postpartum complications because people tend to associate it’s just pregnancy and childbirth with things that can happen to you. But postpartum is actually when most complications occur in the weeks after you go home.

Krista DeYoung – 00:48:44:

That’s so interesting to know.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:48:46:

You know. Yeah. So do you have any final words you want to share? Any advice for people who are listening who are planning on entering birth or parenthood soon?

Krista DeYoung – 00:48:56:

I think my advice would be like utilize your community around you. People are actually really willing to support and help. I don’t know, uphold you if it’s going well or if it’s not going well. I mean, we couldn’t have done it without our community of people who were just supporting us. Just the fact that you don’t have to go with the flow, you know, like you’re allowed to make your own medical decisions. You’re allowed to ask doctors for clarity. You’re allowed to, like, I don’t know, really dive in and understand this whole process. And you’re not without options or rights- is a really big one. And then the final piece of advice would be to all the like husbands, partners to get involved and to be supportive. Um, yeah, you have a role and it’s really important in that moment that you aren’t just doing the ice chip thing.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:49:52:

Yeah. John, how about you?

John DeYoung – 00:49:56:

I think that if I had a piece of advice, it would be, again, for me, I have a lot of men in my community who are now having babies or ex-students that are now having babies. And I really encourage every single one of those men specifically to get involved, get educated. Take an EBB class. Do what you need to do to not be a sideline coach who has no idea what’s actually going on in the game. You know, because you have to play the game to know the game a little bit. Then to get involved, with your partner, is huge. I really do think that because Krista’s a great researcher. And so I learned a lot from Krista. She was telling me more about, like these things that are sort of happening and then we come back to you and Shannon. And then, you know, we were always, you know, communicating quite often about like, this is what’s going on now. And you guys were so good about saying, hey, what’s the update? You know, all of that. So I just encourage the men in these relationships or in these birthing situations is. Get involved early so that you’re not surprised when your wife is bleeding in postpartum. Get involved early so you’re not surprised when you get in the hospital and they send 50 forms to you. Get involved early so when something could go good or bad or whatever in the hospital, you have knowledge, you’re educated. You know how to step in. You know when to step out as well as when to step in and when to step out. Don’t get in the way of the doctor. Don’t shove her over saying, come on, baby. I mean, literally, know your place. Know your role. And that really, that’s the best way to support your wife, I think, in this situation versus, like I said, I got the advice, just be the ice chip guy. I’m like. What? There’s got to be more than that, right? I mean, But that’s a huge encouragement for the men and partners of the people who are having babies.

Krista DeYoung – 00:52:10:

And some are involved after, too, and remain.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:52:14:

I was just going to say that, Krista, because I think that empowerment you feel as a partner and a parent, as the person who’s not pregnant, carries over into your parenting. Because everything you were engaged and involved in pregnancy and birth and postpartum, you were right there. Burping Eli and walking with him and, you know, all of the things. You were just as involved as Krista. It’s really cool for me and for my siblings to see you grow into a father. And we’re just so proud of you both. And we love you both.

John DeYoung – 00:52:50:

Yeah. I have one other piece of advice for men. Just for a little bit, because I love men who are good leaders, good fathers. Not to say I don’t love the other guys, too. But I just desire men to be good fathers and good leaders in their home. It takes a while for a woman’s body to heal. And it’s not they take the three-month maternity leave and then they’re back to 100%. It takes a while. And so one of the things that I committed to, and I still do, I take every morning, with Elijah. So him and I are, you know, father and son for the first two hours of every morning. And it allows Krista to sleep-

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:53:30:

And allow Krista to sleep in a little bit.

John DeYoung – 00:53:32:

Krista can sleep then.

Krista DeYoung – 00:53:33:

You know what’s crazy? And I don’t know how we did this, John. It’s just like the system we set up between like pumping and nursing and all of it. I never got less than eight hours of sleep after Eli was born because John like tag teamed it so well.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:53:51:

Which is incredible knowing how much sleep John usually needs.

Krista DeYoung – 00:53:54:

You know, well, I need tons of sleep. So I was terrified like I’m never going to sleep again. But John was like, you will sleep. And he made it happen. And so he’s definitely, yeah, he takes the morning. He took night shifts right after Eli was born. Like he’s very much inserted himself in. Like I could leave for a month and John would know.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:54:17:

Exactly what to do. Yeah.

Krista DeYoung – 00:54:19:

Exactly what to do. Which is amazing. Good job, babe.

John DeYoung – 00:54:23:

And nerve wracking because I’d also have the kid right now swinging from monkey trees. But other than that, I know how to do everything, take care of the kids from the very beginning to now. But it was important that Krista got sleep. And so I… We really did roll our schedule so that… She got, and I guess research shows that it takes, you know, it can take up to a couple of years for a woman to fully heal from her practices.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:54:48:

Yeah, I read the research on that. It’s called postpartum depletion, how it can take three to five years.

John DeYoung – 00:54:53:

Yeah, and I’m like, get in there. Get in there, dads. Get in there. Do the morning. Let your wife sleep because she’s one happy wife, happy life. And so it just really keeps her. It keeps her, you know, if she’s sleep deprived, it just makes life, you know.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:55:10:


John DeYoung – 00:55:11:

Yeah, tough.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:55:11:

Sad, yeah.

John DeYoung – 00:55:13:

Yeah, and so giving her the sleep is that.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:55:17:

It’s something tangible you can do, you know.

John DeYoung – 00:55:20:

Yeah, simple.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:55:22:

Your body’s not providing milk, but you can take those mornings, like you said.

John DeYoung – 00:55:27:

Yeah, and the bond that you’ll have with your child just, it blows up. The fruit of that will come as he grows to a toddler that, you know, I come home from work and he goes, Daddy, and he runs to me, right? Every morning I’m sitting there now as a toddler and we spend 10, 15 minutes where he just lays on my, because he’s a slow waker upper. He just lays on my chest for 10 minutes quietly. You know? Okay, it’s good. It’s really, really good. So.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:55:57:

Yeah, you’ve got a really lovely family, the two of you. And I know family for you is an inclusive term and across cultures and, you know, ancestry. And so it’s just been really fun watching you grow. And thank you so much for sharing your story. And I know it’s going to be helpful for people out there, especially those facing, you know, scary diagnoses or high risk medical conditions. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.

Krista DeYoung – 00:56:24:

Thank you.

John DeYoung – 00:56:25:

Thank you. Thank you, Rebecca. Thank you so much for the work that you do. It helps so many people and that’s awesome that you do this. So I’m very, I’m not cheating when I say I’m very, very proud of you. So what you do.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:56:38:

Love you, John.

John DeYoung – 00:56:39:

Love you.

Dr. Rebecca Dekker – 00:56:41:

Love you. This podcast episode was brought to you by the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class. This is Rebecca speaking. When I walked into the hospital to have my first baby, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Since then, I’ve met countless parents who felt that they too were unprepared for the birth process and navigating the healthcare system. The next time I had a baby, I learned that in order to have the most empowering birth possible, I needed to learn the evidence on childbirth practices. We are now offering the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class totally online. In your class, you will work with an instructor who will skillfully mentor you and your partner in evidence based care, comfort measures, and advocacy so that you can both embrace your birth and parenting experiences with courage and confidence. Get empowered with an interactive online childbirth class you and your partner will love. Visit evidencebasedbirth.com/childbirth class to find your class now.


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