about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

On “Natural” Childbirth.

Our bodies are amazing machines.  Thirty five weeks of pregnancy has definitely taught me that time and time again.  With almost nine months under my belt, I have had plenty of time to think about how my body is actually going to birth this giant kicking baby that entertains me all day long.


I have watched movies and read many books, hoping to best prepare myself for the adventure that is childbirth.  I have had many long discussions with Casey about factors that are important to both of us, how we plan to support each other, and what we hope our delivery day will be.

In my childbirth classes, we have talked about birth plans.  It’s important to have an idea of what type of interventions you may want, and knowledge about what your options are as different scenarios arise.  As far as my personal birth plans go, there are only two bullets on my list…

  1. To listen to my body.
  2. To listen to my medical team.

I know so many moms that have poured through book after book, listened to meditation CD’s, and role-played through coping techniques in preparation for what they are determined to be an all-natural childbirth.  Some of them got the birth that they wanted.  Most of them didn’t.  Most of them ended up being induced, hooked up to monitors, and sometimes even with cesarean sections.  But “natural” or not, they all ended up with gorgeous healthy babies.

The only physical challenge I can (personally) relate pregnancy to is running.  I have done a good number of races – some of which have been great, and others that have been a disaster.  One thing I have learned from training for distance running is that no matter how hard you train, how well you fuel, and how rested you feel – you cannot always control what happens when you get to the starting line. 

2007-05-27 13.1 with Donna - Jacksonville, FL 005

I’ve run races where I felt like I was in great shape and there was no reason why I shouldn’t run a personal best.  And then I’ve ended up walking through the finish line, feeling angry with myself and confused by my body’s inability to do what I felt it should.

On the day my son is born, there is no place for those types of feelings.  I have eaten well, stayed as active as has been comfortable, and I’ve taken good care of myself for the duration of my pregnancy.  If I end up with a c-section, does that mean that all of those efforts were a failure?  Of course not.  There are no failures in childbirth.  Only babies, and families, and birthdays. 

So after all my careful reading, documentary watching, and question asking, my birth plan is to not have a plan.  Will my childbirth be “natural?”  To me, natural means knowing my body and my limits, and letting go enough to trust the process and the support people I have chosen.

I know that my labor and delivery is to many extents beyond my control.  I won’t be setting myself up for feelings of inadequacy or failure or making any big proclamations about what I will expect that day.

I don’t have birth plans.  I have birth hopes.  And I hope that on my son’s birthday, our story ends (and begins!) with a happy and healthy beautiful baby. 

No matter how he gets here, he was created with love and grew through the power and miracle of the human body.  If there is one word to describe all of that, it is most definitely natural

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181 Comments so far
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Roxie     at 8:17 pm



Katie     at 3:13 am

You look fabulous Emily, have loved coming along for the ride in this journey of yours! Beautiful, beautiful post!


Sarah     at 5:47 am

I really like your relaxed, yet educated approach to birth. I plan to go into labor and birth with a similar mentality:-).


Brittany (A Healthy Slice of life)     at 7:20 am

Wow, what a beautiful post Emily! Sounds like your are set up mentally (and physically) for a successful and beautiful birth! I’m working on typing my birth story up, but let’s just say there were some twists and turns and I ended up listening to the professionals I chose, and they did an amazing job of bringing my baby girl into the world safely… Even if everything did go according to my plan.


Andrea     at 7:37 am

Oh, I love this post! Yes, I totally agree with you. THe same goes for breastfeeding. I cried and cried when I had to stop with my first son…I felt formula was so “unnatural”, but I didn’ twork for me. I gave it a chance and got through 8 weeks breastfeeding a beautiful baby boy who was 9lbs at birth. It’s all pretty amazing. You think your body is amazing now girlfriend…just wait, it only gets better!!! :)


Lauren     at 8:37 am

Beautiful post Emily! I feel like there is so much pressure for natural births and really it is so far beyond our control. But I love your attitude that no matter how he gets here, the fact that he is here is really all that matters at the end of the day. I’m sure it will be a miraculous experience no matter what :)


amy     at 8:49 am

you have such a great attitude! you’re so right: whatever you do, if the outcome is a beautiful baby..you did it right! :)


Cyndi     at 9:57 am

Great post, to you and Casey and a beautiful, miraculous, birth.


Pam     at 10:55 am

Well said!! Such great perspective :)


Renee B     at 12:24 am

Lovely post!


Katie     at 12:35 pm

I seriously had to say ‘amen’ when I read this post. Being 27 weeks pregnant myself (and a follower of your blog for months!) I have already begun to feel the pressures of the ‘natural’ childbirth discussion with so many around me. I am a yoga teacher and it seems that by default many of these women opt for a completely natural or at home birth. I have strived to place myself somewhere in between and realize that I need to trust myself and my tolerance as well as the professionals that will be helping me bring this bundle of joy into the world!
You should be so proud of yourself Emily, on not only the stance you have taken but also the expectations that you have let go of! Best of luck to you in the coming weeks as you prepare for your ‘birth hopes!’ :-)


Emily Malone Reply:

Congrats on your pregnancy as well!


Verna     at 7:01 am

I totally agree! I’m expecting my 2nd child, a baby girl, in about 3 weeks. I was very happy with how my first birth experience went and am actually looking forward to experiencing birth again. It’s such an amazing process with such an amazing reward. I don’t have a birth plan either. I’d like to avoid a c-section unless it’s absolutely neccessary. My OB is very supportive of this and has the lowest c-section rate of any OB in my area. That’s really my only “plan”.


Bree     at 6:59 pm

Love this post, I am quickly catching up as I just had my son on Friday and had my own experiences that didn’t go according to how I’d hoped, but in the end I am out of the hospital and home recovering with my healthy son, that is the most important thing! Good luck with your upcoming delivery, you have an amazing attitude heading into it!


Postpartum Plans. | Daily Garnish     at 3:03 pm

[…] about my plans for getting back into shape afterwards.  This is mostly because, similar to my no-plan birth plan, I didn’t really have a […]

Making My Postpartum Plans | Babys First Year Blog     at 10:41 pm

[…] about my plans for getting back into shape afterwards.  This is mostly because, similar to my no-plan birth plan, I didn’t really have a […]

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