Life Is Grand (Again) for Hal Heiner

First moments--Samuel meets his grandfather. Photo: Keyes family

Congratulations are in order for Hal and Sheila Heiner as their third grandchild, Samuel Louis Keyes, arrived March 20, 2011.

Weighing in at 7lb, 6oz and  20 inches long, Samuel was born under this year’s “Super Moon” at 3:24 a.m.–pretty much bringing the season of Spring with him– if not one of the most anticipated lunar tides in years.

Big brothers Daniel (turning four in May) and Noah (celebrating his second birthday on April 16), are thrilled with the new addition to the family. Even though the new bundle who’s got friends and family humming the “My Three Sons” theme around the house has got to be soaking up all the extra attention.

Not all blogged birth announcements include details on the delivery itself, but since I am a doula (labor coach). sharing positive information on normal birth with no unnecessary interventions is a blessing to my vocation.

When I met Julia, Darren and the boys, they were celebrating Highlands Fest last summer. Only a few weeks pregnant, Julia expressed her desires  go natural for baby  # 3,  just as she had with the first two.

Campaigning for her father with baby on board, Julia proved  to be a glowing presence at many a rally and parade. Daniel even had his own video blog, “Pops for Mayor” which stole hearts and boosted votes. As soon as little Noah learned to say his grandfather’s nickname, the cameras caught him stumping as well.

In order to complete work on his law practice, Darren Keyes took his family back to Ft. Worth, Texas in January.  Samuel Louis was born in a Ft. Worth hospital, delivered by a Certified Nurse Midwife.

Mama Julia Keyes was exhilarated with her childbirth experience.

“Another wonderful, med-free delivery.” she commented via email. “We checked in the hospital after midnight, and Samuel was born at 3am – gotta love those third babies!”

True! The robust newborn was wide-eyed and ready for his close-up only minutes after birth.

“It was my first with a midwife, vs. using an OB with the other two, and the best delivery by far – so peaceful and joyful! I will definitely go that route again with any future babies, as well as recommending it to friends.”

Needless to say, I hope to tag Julia as an advocate for educated childbirth as well as heralding the option for Certified Nurse Midwives to be licensed and working in our Metro hospitals.

Both Hal and Sheila have been out to visit and offer a helping hand. Raising four children themselves–Julia, Hal III, Jenna and teenager Mya (the only one left in the nest),  has added to the relief of the new family of five and all the more joy for Pops and Nana.

Hal’s new direction will be focusing on significant reform to education and he takes it personally. When it comes to young people staying in school, the passion runs high. A civil engineer and business developer whose dedicated political life as a well-respected Metro Councilman and a strong challenger in the 2010 mayoral election, puts him ahead of the curve when it comes to gathering support for such an endeavor.

Quoted in February of this year, Heiner stated:

“JCPS is leaving a high percentage of their students behind –29% dropout rate=12 students on average. leave every school day and never return to JCPS. Louisville’s future is tied to each of these children and I know we can provide a dramatically improved education regardless of the child’s socioeconomic circumstances.”

As the Heiner family continues to grow, Hal is acutely aware of how quickly time goes by. Given his natural ability to build things, plans to implement studies and the creation of programs to benefit every school-age child may already be underway. That demographic could include his own grandchildren one day–all the more reason to roll up his sleeves.

Welcome to the world, Samuel! You have a lot of help in making it a better place to live and learn.