about me

    Emily Malone

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

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Cullen’s Birth Story: Part One.

Of all the stories and posts I’ve written, I find this one to somehow be the hardest.  I know that no words can possibly capture the experience of this past week, but I will do my best to do it justice.  It will be long and it will be detailed.  I personally found that when I was pregnant, reading birth stories was one of my favorite ways to prepare for my own delivery day.  It was intense, it was a struggle, and yet it was somehow the best 55 hours of my entire life.  I hope that by journaling it here, I’ll be able to relive it over and over again, as it’s an experience I will cherish forever. 

I already told you how birth story began, with contractions starting around Tuesday night at 10pm at home.  At the point where I left off, we were back at home Wednesday afternoon with intense contractions still happening, but spaced a bit further apart.  Determined to get my body moving in the right direction, Casey and I went for a walk on the trail in our neighborhood.  It was very surreal to be out walking knowing that it would be my last time there pregnant, and our next walk would be as a group of three.  We walked for short bursts, and then stopped and fought through each minute-long contraction as they came – I can’t imagine what the other walkers and bikers must have thought.

By early evening on Wednesday, my contractions had continued with no relief other than during my brief period of sleep on Tuesday night (aided by the sleeping medicine).  Casey and I camped out in our bedroom while my mom took care of the dogs downstairs (who were really anxious because they could tell I was in pain).  I asked Casey to take some pictures, because I knew that as much pain as I was feeling, this was something special that I would want to remember.

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I tried all the different techniques for pain management and fighting through contractions that I learned about in classes and read in books.  Casey grabbed The Birth Partner book and a tennis ball and did anything he could to help me get through each one.  I bounced around on my exercise ball and worked through each one with eyes closed and focused breath.

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For hours and hours and hours we did nothing but live in 4 and 5 minute intervals.  I would feel each contraction coming on and tell Casey, who would immediately hit start on my phone’s contraction timer app.  Funny how technology has truly become part of every process now, but it was a huge help to us to not have to time things and write them down. 

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Finally at midnight, the contractions were once again to an unbearable pain level, and getting closer to 3 minutes apart.  All along I had been told to head to the hospital when the pain was too much to talk through, and I was most definitely to that point.  We arrived there around 12:30am Thursday morning, and I was checked by another midwife, Maggie, only to find that despite almost a full day of pain and laboring at home, I had only dilated from 1 to 2 cm.

To say that I was frustrated is a gross understatement.  I felt so defeated and wondered if I was actually just a huge wimp, and that this early labor was something most people tolerate with no problem.  The midwives and nurses assessed me and told me I was going through something that happens to some women but is not common – my uterus was contracting at a pain level of someone dilated around 6cm, but my body was not moving past 2cm.  Even though it wasn’t good news, it made me feel better to know that I wasn’t imagining how intense each contraction felt.

The midwife told me that I couldn’t officially be admitted until I reached 4cm, but that based on the strength of my contractions, they would let me stay for a few hours to see if I made any progress.  In the middle of the night in a dark empty hospital room, Casey and I paced the room together working in 4 minute intervals, praying that each one would bring us closer to an ending.  Next door, we heard a woman screaming followed by the cry of a newborn, and I burst into tears – a mixture of both jealousy and of disbelief of the magic of the birth experience. 

A few hours later Maggie came back to re-check me, only to tell me that I had made zero progress despite an increase in pain and frequency of contractions.  She suggested the exact same route we had taken the night before – sleeping meds to help me rest through contractions and hopefully relax my body enough to progress.  I was devastated.  I felt so psychologically defeated to feel that close to the end, and yet to be sent home again because my body wasn’t doing it’s job.  I reluctantly followed their advice, and expected to have the same experience as the night before.

We went home and I laid down, hoping to be groggy enough to fall asleep and get some much needed rest.  But unlike Tuesday night, this time there was no sleep and no relief.  My experience just continued to intensify and after 3 hours I found myself calling the hospital again in tears.  I was told that a different midwife, Mia, would be coming on duty at 8am.  This was exactly what I needed to hear.

Mia was the midwife that led all of my childbirth classes, and I already felt so close and connected to her – almost like friends.  It was 5:30am at this point, and I made it my goal to tough it at at home for a few more hours.  At 7:45am, we packed up our bags for the third time, and headed out the door hoping this was finally it.  Going through contractions seated in the car was literally unbearable by this point, and I told Casey that if I wasn’t admitted we were going to walk the parking garage until something happened. 

I got to the hospital for the first time during daylight, and said hello to the familiar faces who had watched me come and go for the past 30 hours.  I nervously got prepped to be checked once again, and the whole room let out smiles and cheers when Maggie announced that I had made it to 4cm on my own, and was finally ready to check in and made the process official.  She smiled and said, “Congratulations mom, you’re going to have a baby today!”

Famous words…to be continued in part two!

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150 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun     at 10:53 am

GAH! Can’t wait to hear the rest. 55 hours…you are a hero. And I can’t believe having 6cm contraction pain at only 1-2 dilated. Yep. You’re strong!

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Christie F     at 10:53 am

So intense!! I was following you on twitter the whole time! Can’t wait for part 2!

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Kaci     at 10:55 am

Oh I love reading birth stories!! The last line is perfect! Awhhh tears in my eyes, damn these pregnancy hormones! Can’t wait to read the rest.

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Lindsay     at 10:55 am

I want to read Part 2 now!!!

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed     at 10:56 am

I can’t wait to hear part 2!!!!

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Mandy     at 10:56 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Can’t wait to read part two, but I know enjoying Cullen is priority one, as it should be. Hugs to you!

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marci     at 10:56 am

I’m going to love this series! So interesting and fascinating to me. How did you stay sane for 55 hours? TV, just pacing, scrabble?

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lauri (RedHeadRecipes.com)     at 10:57 am

Oh, my. I am in tears reading your birth story! We are only 15weeks along, so I haven’t even started to plan or think about the birthing process, but I can’t wait to finish reading the rest of yours!!!!

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Hannah (Hannah Lives)     at 10:58 am

This is so exciting! I am dying! I need to read the rest STAT!! I am going to have to make sure that I write down every single detail of my birthing story! I can just imagine how this will feel to read on Cullen’s birthday every year. ANd then finally to him when he is old enough to understand! I have been following your pregnancy all along, but I believe this is the first time I am commenting! I only hope my mother was as thankful about her birthing story with me. 55 hours is rough, but I can’t imagine the 72 that I put my other through!

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Brittany (Healthy slice of life)     at 10:58 am

You are amazing- 55 hours?! I did 8 hours of natural labor before completely losing it. I admire you!!

I”ll be checking back frequently in hopes that you’ll be posting the next segment soon!

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Amy     at 10:58 am

You are awesome :)Birth stories are one of my favorite things to read (not even pregnant yet, heh!), and you are a wonderful writer. I can’t wait to read the rest of the journey that ended in the birth of your son!

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Michaela     at 10:59 am

excited for part 2!
those pictures of you are precious. absolutely precious.

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Chase - the CHASE project     at 11:00 am

Can’t wait to keep reading!

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 11:03 am

So exciting! Your whole experience is really amazing and inspiring. So glad he’s finally here.

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Nikki T     at 11:07 am

So happy you are writing your story,can’t wait to read the rest!

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Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN.     at 11:07 am

I am so glad you are being open to your readers about this – it is SO beautiful to read. What a miracle the pregnancy/birth process is. Congrats again!

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Katie @ Serenity in the Storm     at 11:07 am

What an exciting story!! I’m on the edge of the seat with tears in my eyes and then the ‘to be continued’… Ah! It’s like an intense part 1 of Grey’s Anatomy!!! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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Ginna     at 11:07 am

Ahh! You are amazing! I still cannot believe what you went through. I am loving reading all about your labor, etc. I am jealous too that Cullen is here! I cannot wait to meet our little one, yet it seems to far away! You look so happy and I am so happy for you all! Can’t wait for part 2!!!

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Kerry     at 11:08 am

You are so amazing getting through that long labour so well! I can’t wait to read part 2 :-)

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Amanda     at 11:08 am

You are so strong! I can’t even fathom 55 hours of labor.

I really enjoyed reading your recap and all of the details you’ve included. I’m anxiously awaiting part 2!

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Courtney Leigh     at 11:10 am

Ahhh! The suspense! Loved the pictures of you and Cullen on HTP yesterday. Glad you and the fam are doing so well. Can’t wait for part 2.

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Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life     at 11:12 am

I’m so excited to read part two! I love reading birth stories and can’t seem to read enough of them lately. I think they help ease my anxiety about giving birth. Also, they make me stronger knowing if someone else was able to do it, I know I can too!

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Lu     at 11:12 am

I love reading birth stories, too. I’m anxiously awaiting Part 2. My contractions were the same as yours. Intense, but no progress. You are such a strong woman! Cullen is gorgeous.

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Jen     at 11:12 am

It’s so powerful to read your birth story. Thank you for sharing your entire pregnancy and birth experience with us – and for sharing Cullen with us also!

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Marie     at 11:12 am

As someone who is due in FIVE (!) weeks — I appreciate this birth story more than you know. You’re right, it does help reading other experiences. You’re amazing and you give me hope. I remember reading your first post — announcing you and Casey were expecting — and I was happy for you and hopeful it would happen soon for me. Those same feelings have returned. Can’t wait to finish the rest of your story!

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Tash     at 11:13 am

Loved reading this. Can’t wait to read part 2.

Don’t forget to update your “about” section to include little Cullen. :-)

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Reading (and chickens)     at 11:13 am

Ooh, I want to know how it ended up! (My 2nd kid was a similar very long battle, too. I sympathize.)

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Erin     at 11:13 am

I’m so glad you are posting this! I can’t wait to hear part two. Congratulations again!!

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Jenny     at 11:16 am

Wow! You are amazing to get through all of that pain and hours of labor. I can’t wait to hear the next part of the story!! And Cullen is adorable!!!

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Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life     at 11:17 am

Oh I am soooo glad that you are posting this! It is unbelievable to read birth stories and yours is just as amazing and awe-inspiring so far as all the others I have ever read. You are such a strong woman!

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Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock     at 11:17 am

Oh you made me cry and not for the first time. I can’t imagine what a birth feels like and I guess nothing prepares you until you give birth yourself but thank you for sharing your story. Your writing is beautiful as always!!!

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jane     at 11:20 am

i need part 2 now!!! also, (as ive mentioned before) my sister had a baby boy 7 weeks ago and one of the only things that will get him to sleep and to stop crying is to bounce him (holding him tightly across you of course-belly against your belly/chest) on one of those exercise balls!

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Jenn B     at 11:21 am

You are a champion. So impressed and proud (of someone I’ve never met)… Look forward to Part II!

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kathleen @ the daily crumb     at 11:22 am

wow! what an experience… and we’re not even to the good part yet!! can’t wait for part 2 :)

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Tiffani     at 11:22 am

You are truly amazing!!! The writing of this post…beautiful. The 55 hours of labor….amazing! You are soooo awesome!!

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Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny     at 11:23 am

I cant wait to hear the rest!! Reading your birth story is so exciting after following your progress throughout your pregancy! Thank you for sharing such special moments!

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Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl     at 11:24 am

Thank you so much for sharing this… I feel so moved by your story-telling. Congrats again on your beautiful new addition!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)     at 11:25 am

I hear ya, being in labor with my first son for 46 hours was some of the most beautiful excruciating pain I’ve ever been in. Funny how the line between horrible and beautiful is blurred in an experience like this. Cullen is beautiful. I hope the three of you are doing well Emily!

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Dee     at 11:26 am

Oh my gosh Emily, you are a champion. Can’t wait to read part 2.

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Alyson     at 11:26 am

You are an inspiration. Your first labor up to the point of getting admitted was more hours than all seven of my labors combined—I take off my hat to you. They say labor is like running a marathon. Yours was like an ultramarathon, or even two. I know I wouldn’t have been strong enough to do it.

Can’t wait to read the rest.

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sarah (sarah learns)     at 11:31 am

thank you so much for sharing cullen’s birth story! i can’t wait for part 2! :)

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Caitlin     at 11:31 am

My vagina hurts just reading this. :)

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Sally Reply:

I totally just snorted soda through my nose reading this.

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Colleen     at 11:32 am

I am crying here. Reading part one brings back so many memories of my three births. I can’t imagine having 6cm contractions at 1-2cm – you are an iron woman. Can’t wait for part two.

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Sarah @ See Sarah Eat     at 11:32 am

Oh I loved this! I know it was painful but I love that you call it the best 55 hours of your life :) I hope I have that same attitude when I have a baby. Can’t wait to read part 2.

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Ericka @ The Sweet Life     at 11:33 am

I read every word. I can’t imagine! Wow…eagerly awaiting the next segment. Props to you for getting this out so fast :)

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Krystina (Organically Me)     at 11:34 am

I’m so glad and excited that I can read about all of this. You’re so strong and such a beautiful new mama!

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Dorsa     at 11:36 am

Your story gave me goosebumps :) amazing Emily.. simply amazing :)

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Heather @ girlyeverafter     at 11:36 am

WOW 55 hrs! I can only imagine how frustrated you were to come and go so often and in so much pain. I love these stories and can’t wait to hear more!

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Ella, RD     at 11:37 am

OMG I can’t WAIT for part 2! I start my 3rd trimester on Saturday and am hanging on your every word :)

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Elisabeth     at 11:37 am

So glad you’re sharing your story with us! I can’t believe what you had to go through to have Cullen (55 hours!), but what a miracle at the end :) My mom labored with me for around 72 hours & I ended up being a 10lb baby! (They had to break a collarbone to get me out – I’m sure if this hadn’t been 1982, they would have done a cesarean…)

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Emilia     at 11:38 am

I can’t wait to read the Second Part!!!!
I am super impressed with you, I would have had an emotional breakdown the second time in the hospital. You are extremelly strong :)

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Holly     at 11:39 am

Wow! So glad you had Casey there with you. I cannot imagine going through all of this without my spouse.

Looking forward to reading more!

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Liz F     at 11:42 am

So well written! I got chills. Can’t wait until part 2 of this amazing story.

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Brittany     at 11:42 am

Ahh you are so strong!!! Can’t wait for part 2!!

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Amber from Girl with the Red Hair     at 11:42 am

Loved reading this. I can’t wait for part II!

My SIL had a similar experience to you. She was having intense contractions but was only dilated 2 or 3 cm. It was so so hard on her. She ended up having a C-section because her contractions got too close together and she never ended up dilating past 4 or 5 cm.

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Rachel     at 11:44 am

Thank you so much for sharing your pregnancy story online! It has been amazing to be able to see the progress and hear your take on the events. I think I’ll be slightly more prepared for my own journey someday.

By the way, Cullen is truly one of the cutest babies! Hope your family is doing well! How are the dogs taking it?

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Gina (Yogattude)     at 11:45 am

I’m loving your story so far! I can’t wait to hear the rest:) My pregnant sister was in town last weekend and I kept showing her your updates, it was so exciting!

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ashley     at 11:47 am

Ahhh, I need part 2!!! :) You’re a trooper girl. So happy for you guys….still!

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Jessica     at 11:51 am

WOW, 55 hours, I can’t imagine! we just had baby #10 a month ago and fortunately my longest labor was just 10 hours, the rest have been 4 or less, and I’ve had anesthesia with every single one! yeah, so I’m a wimp… LOL. congratulations!

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lauren     at 11:56 am

i have been reading you for a long time and i just found out last night that i’m pregnant; it makes reading you that much more special. thank you for you seriously devoted posts. xoxo

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Stacey     at 11:57 am

Ah! On the edge of my seat! You are such a strong woman, the human body is just amazing..can’t wait to hear the rest <3

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 12:00 pm

Oh my gosh I am totally bawling reading this! I can’t wait to hear the next part!

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Kate     at 12:02 pm

Long time reader, first time poster…hugest congratulations on your amazing birth and baby. I just had to chime in because I too, had the long, long labor with intense contractions and no dilation. 48 hours after my water broke, with my contractions strong but making no progress, my plans for a natural home birth turned into a long intervention filled hospital birth (my daughter was finally born after 58 hours of labor, but like you, no c-section). It is intense and frustrating and disheartening to feel so much and have no progress. You are strong! Can’t wait to read part 2!

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Nina     at 12:02 pm

Emily, you are AMAZING! The story thus far is so incredible and you are such a strong woman for going through all of this with such grace. I can’t wait for part II!!!

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Christina     at 12:05 pm

Can’t wait to hear the next part! I love reading birth stories in prep for my own adventure! :)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga     at 12:12 pm

Thanks for sharing the first part of the story and can’t wait for the rest!

You are so smart to have documented it all like you have right NOW while it’s still fresh in your mind before the details fade and haze a bit.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen     at 12:12 pm

Ahh, you’re leaving us hanging! Love it so far :)

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Stephanie @ LiveCookLove     at 12:14 pm

I can’t wait for part 2!!!! I seriously think you could post pictures of baby Cullen for every single post and they would never get old :) I can’t get over the kissy face picture in the previous post! Adorable! Despite the rough labor, you make me SO excited to be a mom one day!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 12:20 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! You are so incredibly strong! I can’t wait to read part two!

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Bailey     at 12:23 pm

Ahh what a cliffhanger! Can’t wait to haer the rest! I’m not even prego and that made me a little teary eyed :) So happy for you

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Marissa     at 12:29 pm

I realy need to stop reading your posts at work. My coworkers are going to start wondering why I always have tears in my eyes at lunch!

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Kamaile     at 12:44 pm

LOL I know you have a newborn but I need part two! I’m kidding, take care of yourself and that sweet boy. The pictures on Healthy Tipping Point are BEYOND cute, that is one handsome bebe. :-)

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Amy     at 12:47 pm

Ahhhhh, I want mooooorrrre! Dying to read the rest!

Also, I know you have lots of family in town now, but if you find yourself in need of anything a few days/weeks/months down the road, this Seattle-based reader would be more than willing to lend a hand. :)

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Lara     at 12:59 pm

I love reading birth stories! I was following all your tweets through this and sending good vibes your way. Can’t wait for Part 2.

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Giulia @ Tutupa's Lab     at 1:04 pm

That is so intense! I can’t wait to hear part two of the story, and congratulations for the beautiful baby :)

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Pauline     at 1:06 pm

Reading about your intense pain brought tears to my eyes. You are so strong.

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Priyanka     at 1:12 pm

I was so focused while reading and then came the famous to be continued :) I cannot wait to hear it!! You really are strong Emily. I have a very low tolerance to pain and thinking about labor just scares the living hell out of me.

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Ali     at 1:12 pm

I have been waiting for this and checking back often and now cannot wait for the final part :) as a fellow Seattle momma-to-be, I’ve loved following your pregnancy and am so glad to have stumbled upon it! congrats a million times over!

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Katy @ MonsterProof     at 1:13 pm

How did they tell your pain level? I had 24 hours of 4 minute apart contractions where I was stuck at 1cm, and I thought I was losing my mind they were so bad. I would’ve loved to hear that it wasn’t just me being a wuss! And if they didn’t let me in until 4 cm?!?!?! AHHHHH. I don’t know how you did it. (I was at 3 after 27 hrs, and delivered an hour and 1/2 later. Quick end.)

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KrugtheThinker     at 1:15 pm

I just found your blog a few weeks ago and have been so moved by your story, by all of your stories, actually! I am so inspired by you and so very happy for you and your family! Congratulations to you! I am so happy to see how you’re enjoying this beautiful new adventure :)

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Gina     at 1:29 pm

Love this beautiful post, Emily, and I’m so glad that you decided to share it with us! Looking forward to reading part 2!

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Tricia     at 1:30 pm

Oh goodness – same thing happened to me with my firstborn! I labored at home FOREVER – doing the same things – walking, bouncing on the exercise ball and being VERY frustrated when we went to the hospital and each time we were told that I wasnt progressing past a 2. And when I finally WAS admitted – I have a feeling our story is still similar. Couldn’t get past a 4. But I know you finally didnt get the birth you wanted. I ended up with a c-section – turned out he was sunny side up and just not budging. Can’t wait for part 2!!!!

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Tricia Reply:

I mean you DID get the birth you want…..should have proofread before hitting enter! : )

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Emily     at 1:46 pm

I love reading birth stories! I couldn’t imagine the toll not progressing must have taken on your psychological health. I know Cullen was worth it though:)
Anticipating part 2!

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MaryBe@Accidentally-Vegan     at 1:56 pm

Isn’t it amazing how every single birth story is different? The pain is indescribable, and after my first I said no more. And yet, went on to have 3 more precious bundles

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count     at 2:03 pm

You are a very strong lady, Emily! Looking forward to part two!

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Maria     at 2:05 pm

Ahhh! The ending brought tears to my eyes!!! I can’t wait to read the rest! Reading this and seeing your cute little baby makes me want to throw my “lets wait a few years” right out the window.

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Brittany     at 2:07 pm

I feel like I am reading a novel and its only the first few pages but I am already hooked! :)

And this is a real life story, so beautifully written :)

I love your writing :) The way you express your real life through writing….whether it’s preparing to marry the love of your life, a simple cookie recipe, moving, or all the pregnancy updates…..I love reading about it :)

Its amazing that in this day in age, there are peoples personal blogs that read like journals and the world gets to peek in it. Its such a funny concept but it reminds us that we are not the only people in this world, that we share in lifes greatness and trials. We are not alone in life :) We can all lean on each other for support :)

I am already hanging on the edge of my seat and waiting to grab tissues in the next post :) I cant wait :)

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Marilyn     at 2:33 pm

My goodness! This is only part of your story, and I’ve already burst into happy tears. :-)

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Jesse     at 2:35 pm

quite the journey you were on, and continue to be on for that matter. looking forward to hearing the exciting conclusion and v. happy that you and cullen are doing so well at home:)

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats     at 2:38 pm

I cannot even imagine the pain you must have gone through! That had to be so frustrating. But at least you knew it would all be so very worth it!

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Shari     at 2:38 pm

You are a true rockstar for all you went through to bring your little guy into the world. Looking forward to reading part two! :)

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 2:46 pm

You rock! I can’t wait to read part two! Isn’t it crazy that one of the hardest things in life (childbirth) is also the most rewarding (being a momma)?

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Katie J     at 2:54 pm

Beautiful, I just shed a little tear on a very packed train! Can’t wait for part 2! x

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Marie@feedingfive     at 3:24 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, it is so touching. We’re all on pins and needles for the next part.

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Karolina     at 3:35 pm

Oh my- how frustrating that must have been for you! I can’t imagine going back and forth that way with no relief. You are one strong woman!

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Sheryl     at 3:42 pm

I L-O-V-E reading birth stories! Thank you so much for spending the time to write yours (especially with your brand new little man!) Can’t wait for Part II!

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Jennie     at 3:52 pm

It’s so awesome to read your story. I only recently started reading your blog and have enjoyed all your pregnancy updates. It must have been Wednesday morning, after reading that you’d started having contractions Tuesday night – I woke up and immediately opened my computer to see if Baby C had arrived. What a crazy intense journey your birth story became!! So glad you made it – and you were blessed with such a gorgeous baby boy!! :)

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Jen     at 3:53 pm

I cannot believe you were in that much pain for so long. Running marathons is going to be such a breeze now!

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Maggie     at 3:58 pm

You are amazing! I don’t know if I could have taken being sent home twice!!! can’t wait to read the rest!

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Katherine     at 4:06 pm

Can’t wait for part two!

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Lee     at 4:10 pm

Does it feel weird not to be pregnant anymore or even just to write, “when I was pregnant?”

Like everyone else, I’m eagerly awaiting part two.

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Emily Malone Reply:

YES! So strange!

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Shannon Bell     at 4:18 pm

it’s such a joy to be a part of such a special time in your life! thanks for sharing your stories, you made it through!! and now you have a beautiful baby boy :-)

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather     at 4:27 pm

Cannot wait to hear part 2! You’re such a strong woman.

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Amy     at 4:45 pm

I got to the end of this post, and then I teared up. Hormones are kicking in big time! Can’t wait to hear those words myself. And taking pictures is a great idea! I hope I remember to do that. Can’t wait for part 2!

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Sara@BakingandWine     at 4:55 pm

I can’t wait to hear how the rest went! 55 hours! That’s insane! And boy do I feel you on the contractions in the car. We had to drive an hour to our hospital, it was awful!

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Helen     at 5:13 pm

You should write a novel Emily! I’m gripping onto my seat as I’m reading. Bring on part 2!

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sarah     at 5:13 pm

Love the picture of you and Indy. And the “Fight Me, I’m Irish” shirt – awesome. So do you think all the marathon training helped you through it? Just to know that you could get through something that hard? Except for it sounds way-the-f^&* harder than a marathon…

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Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 5:31 pm

This brings back so many memories for me! I can’t believe how similar our labors were. Looking forward to reading the rest of the story!

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Monica     at 5:34 pm

Oh, everything is so so so so helpful about you sharing this journey! I am so excited to continue learning about the process!

And by the way – the pictures of you and Cullen on Twitter – AMAZING! I am so antsy for my delivery and I still have 3 weeks to go. ;)

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Mai     at 5:48 pm

Loved the story, thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to read the rest. :)

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts     at 5:50 pm

Oh gosh, what an intense start – and I imagine just as challenging psychologically as physically (although clearly a major challenge on both counts). I can’t wait to hear part 2 :)

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Melanie     at 6:21 pm

I remember saying to myself “if you can just make it one more hour you will be fine”. Quite a story so far. Thanks for sharing!

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Renee     at 6:22 pm

I don’t have any children, and now I’m too old at 52. But when I was younger I was always afraid of the whole ‘birth’ process until my friend (who had a natural birth) put it in prospective by saying, “It’s only ONE day.” But, your labor was more than TWO days combined! I can’t wait to read part two.

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate     at 6:29 pm

SO excited to read part two!!!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 6:35 pm

You are a woman warrior!! I love the story and can’t wait to hear the rest!

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Kim     at 6:38 pm

Thank you for sharing Emily…
Cant wait to hear the rest!

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Haley S     at 7:26 pm

Can’t wait for part two. Your strength is inspiring!

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Abby     at 7:30 pm

Emily,
I have been following your blog silently for over a year now, and I just can’t keep my excitement in for any longer. I am sooo happy for you and the little family and life you have created. It is so wierd how reading someones daily blog makes you feel like you know a person, but you make it seem like we are all right there with you and I am hooked! Congratulations on a wonderful step in life and I wish you all the best!!!!!

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Kayla (The Best Things..)     at 9:11 pm

Another long time reader, seldom poster here..
I’m so excited to keep reading, I was checking your blog obsessively for updates on the big event! Congratulations on your beautiful baby. I love the name! You look so happy :)

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Marie     at 3:29 am

I’m already in tears… :)

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Nicole     at 5:02 am

Congrats Mommy and Daddy! What wonderful news! I can’t wait till it’s my turn (in only a few more weeks). Enjoy this time. He’s so beautiful!!

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Ms. Adams     at 6:09 am

Thank you for your willingness to share this story, even the difficult parts. While I won’t be giving birth for a few years, it’s good to know that all the pain, the tears and the frustration will be worth it. Cullen is living proof of that!

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Kristine     at 6:09 am

Hi! I just wanted to say that I had a similar experience, but not quite as bad. I woke up with extremely painful contractions on a Friday morning around 4 AM and didn’t have my son until Saturday night at 10 PM. It wasn’t until my third visit to the hospital that I had actually made enough progress to be admitted. It was a long, painful experience but so worth it in the end :)

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jane     at 6:32 am

now youre just being cruel ;-) i need the birth story! i want to hear how the cloth diapers are working and how the dogs are reacting!!! no i am not pregnant and dont expect to be for a few years, but i LOVE me a baby story!!!!

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Laura     at 6:44 am

Hi Emily,

I don’t know if you’ve answered this already but why “Cullen”. Aren’t you going to spend the next decade saying “No, not THAT ‘Cullen’”. Unless, it IS that ‘Cullen’ which is a bit odd, no?!

Just curious!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Laura. We picked Cullen because it’s an Irish/Gaelic name that we love. I assume by “THAT Cullen” you mean the Twilight thing. Honestly, neither one of us has seen the movie or read the books, so I don’t really even know about that character. But isn’t it his last name anyways? Like I said, we don’t care, and I don’t think that kids in ten years will care about it either. I think he will really like his name. :)

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Orla     at 7:15 am

Goodness – I couldn’t manage 5 hours of pain never mind 55 hours!!! I suppose when the end result is such an amazing thing as another person (who is just adorable BTW) you will bear anything.
Huge congratulations to you & Casey again on your stunning son Cullen. He really is a peach. :)

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Teri [a foodie stays fit]     at 7:35 am

I have loved reading about all this! So beautiful! But dang, I can’t imagine the kind of pain you went through!

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Christina     at 8:38 am

You know you can go through anything! 55 hours of frustration but a necessary challenge I guess. You did great! Maybe Cullen was waiting to hear Mia’s voice since you are so familiar with her :)

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Christin@purplebirdblog     at 8:52 am

You should write thriller novels, because that cliffhanger has me breathless! You are AMAZING for all your labor and everything else involved in bringing little Cullen into the world!!

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 8:58 am

55 hours?! You are amazing!

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Amanda @ JustAmandaJ     at 9:01 am

Oh man! I feel for you, I didn’t feel my contractions at all until I was around 5cm and then after my water broke it got bad. Can’t wait to hear the rest!!!

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Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous     at 9:13 am

Yay! Excited for part 2 :)

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JessE @ LoveLifeFromScratch     at 9:14 am

Great story so far, I’m hooked. Can’t wait for part 2! Congrats again on the new addition.

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Becky @ fit chick on the fly     at 10:48 am

Part 2 ! Part 2 ! I can’t wait… so much anticipation!

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Erin @ Big Girl Feats     at 11:34 am

I can’t wait to read part 2!! I can’t even imagine all of the emotions you go through during an intense period like that. Congrats to you again! So exciting and impressive :)

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Jamie     at 1:39 pm

This might sounds strange, but I’m curious how you pronounce Cullens name?

Collen – as in Coal

or

Cuhllen – as in cup

I’m sure this would seem an obvious name, but I just am wondering to make sure I don’t continue reading with the wrong pronunciation :p

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Emily Malone Reply:

Cuhlen as in CUP! :)

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Jamie Reply:

Thank you!

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Jen @ The Well Read Fish     at 1:43 pm

Girl – you need to update your brief bio “culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. hot yoga fanatic. mom.”

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Cullen’s Birth Story: Part Two. | Daily Garnish     at 2:08 pm

[...] Continuing from part one… [...]

Stacy @ Stacy Eats     at 9:39 am

Wow, you are so strong! And you’ve brought me to tears. Can’t wait for part 3. Congratulations again to you and Casey!!

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Kat @ living like the kings     at 5:23 am

Even after my little Peanut was born, reading birth stories is one of my favorite things :) Thank you for sharing!

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my pregnancy: week 15 | Get Healthy with Heather     at 8:26 am

[...] Number of birth stories I’ve read: 3 (Jens, Ashleys and Emilys) [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » One.     at 10:08 pm

[...] five hours of labor.  Fifteen stitches.  Three bouts of mastitis.  All forgotten with just one of your [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Graham’s Birth Story.     at 9:17 pm

[...] me.  With Cullen, I had regular and painful contractions for what was literally DAYS, and was still sent home from the hospital twice for lack of progress.  It was demoralizing and I felt so defeated.  I was [...]

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