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

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    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.



Cullen’s Birth Story: Part Three.

Continued from part two

It was around 1:30am when our team was finally all setup and ready to move to the final stage of the birth – pushing.  I was really nervous, so I asked Bonnie to guide me through the beginning while I got the hang of it.  I’ve heard some women say they literally pushed three times before their baby arrives, while others pushed for hours and hours.  Not knowing where I would fall on the spectrum, I was anxious thinking that our baby could be just minutes away.

Bonnie held my right leg, and Casey held my left, while Mia sat in front of me and talked me through the process.  Because of the epidural, I couldn’t feel much pain at this point, but I would feel intense pressure as each contraction began.  At the peak of each one, I would take a deep breath, and then push as hard as humanly possible for a count of ten seconds.  Immediately, I’d take another breath and repeat this three times in a row.  It felt awkward at first since I didn’t know what I was doing, but they assured me I was making progress with each one. 

Our hospital room had an entire wall of windows that showed nothing but the darkness of the middle of the night.  The lights in the room were dimmed other than a few spotlights, and there was an almost eerie quiet in between contractions as we waited for the next push.  I asked Casey to put on my favorite piano music – George Winston – and for the next hour, I pushed in intervals while we all listened to classical piano in the dark.

After about an hour or so, I could tell the epidural was wearing off.  I had much more mobility in my legs, and the pressure of each contraction was starting to be accompanied by increasing pain.  Mia assured me that I was doing everything correctly, but that there was still a long way to go.  It was really difficult for me psychologically to know that I had already labored for over 50 hours at this point, and despite the fact that I was pushing, until he passed a certain point there was still a chance that I would need a c-section.

Exhausted from pushing, I asked Mia for reassurance that this birth was really going to happen.  That I was going to be able to push him out.  That all my efforts were leading to something concrete.  She continued to tell me that his heart rate was fine and he was doing well, but that we weren’t out of the woods yet until he moved farther down.

Time ticked by so slowly, and with each push I felt more and more pressure and pain.  I started shaking and couldn’t get my temperature under control.  I asked for blankets because my shivering was so intense, and Bonnie checked my temperature – 102.  But Cullen’s heart rate never wavered, which is the main reason my labor was allowed to go on as long as it did.  If Cullen was going to stay strong, so was I.

Somewhere around the 2.5 hour mark, reaching hour 54 of labor, I started to feel like I was reaching my limit.  It felt like there was no end in sight, even though they kept telling me they could see him and he was getting closer.  I started to cry and doubted if I could get through much more.  Mia said she knew I could do it, but also said that if I wanted she could go get an OB who would use a vacuum to assist the end of the birth.  Something about that sounded so horrific to me, and I told her I would find it in me to push for 30 more minutes.  For some reason it helped me to have a deadline in my mind.

Then she asked if I wanted her to bring in a mirror so that I could see that he was really there and getting closer.  I said no.  Casey looked at me and said, “I think you really need to see this.  It’s incredible.”  I shook my head in agreement – I needed some sort of extra push.

Mia brought a big mirror in and set it up at the end of the bed.  I was scared to look, but when I did I felt a final burst of energy that I had been reserving deep within.  Seeing his head made me realize he was real, and it gave me the strength I needed to get through that final hour.

At this point the experience changed.  My pain level was through the roof, and the only way I could deal with it was to completely remove myself from the experience and find a place that was totally introspective and peaceful.  I closed my eyes for the final hour, and never opened them once.

This sounds so cheesy to write, but I truly went inside myself for that last hour.  I could hear Mia, Bonnie, and Casey talking but I felt like I was ten feet away.  I thought about my prenatal yoga classes, and everything I had read and learned about focusing energy and finding strength.

I thought about Cullen – who he would be, what his life would be like, and all of the things I hoped and wished for him as his mother.  I pictured him as a toddler, playing in the leaves in our yard.  I pictured him holding hands with Casey walking down the sidewalk.  I thought about him playing with our dogs in the backyard.  And with each image, I pushed and pushed and pushed. 

I could hear Mia telling me “you’re doing it, Emily, he’s almost here” but I just stayed focused and kept thinking about our life with our son.  I knew if I opened my eyes I would crack, and at one point I heard myself yelling “Come ON, Cullen.” 

After what felt like an eternity, suddenly the room came alive with energy.  I heard people and equipment rushing into the room, and I opened my eyes to see new faces all around the bed.  With one more big push, I felt intense pressure like nothing I’ve felt before.  Casey looked at me and said, “Emily he’s out, you did it.”  Mia told me to give it one more push – everything I had. 

And with that I felt the most incredible feeling my body has ever experienced.  I felt every inch of him pass from me to the outside world, and as I looked down I saw a tiny pink body being untangled and placed on top of my stomach.

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I looked at Casey who had a look in his eyes that I have never seen before.  Over and over I just kept saying, “Casey oh my god, he’s here, he’s real.”  The way that he was placed on my stomach, I could only really see the top of his head, and I remember saying several times, “I can’t see him!  What does he look like?” 

He was placed directly on my stomach out of the womb, and the nurses all gathered around and rubbed him down to get him breathing directly on my skin.  After what felt like a long 20 or so seconds, he let out the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard.

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Once he was pink and crying, the nurses stepped away and let just me and Casey have our moment with our baby who was just minutes old.  Through it all, I could feel the rest of my delivery coming to an end, and during the delivery of the placenta I had a minor hemorrhage that caused me to lose a significant amount of blood. 

I tried to keep my focus on the beautiful baby on my belly, all the while extra shots of pitocin were being given in my thighs, and Mia was quickly trying to stop what I could tell was a large amount of bleeding.  They let Cullen stay on my belly for about 30 glorious minutes before moving him to be weighed and evaluated by the nursing staff.

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Part of me felt like I was in a haze through it all because the experience was so incredibly overwhelming and emotional.  But I kept telling myself to remain present and not miss a single second, knowing I would never get these first moments back.

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Once he was ready, he was placed back into my arms – not even an hour old, and ready for his first feeding.

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Despite all the books and research, I had no idea what breastfeeding would really look or feel like, but I found that it came naturally and that he and I would work as a team to figure it out together.

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With a full belly, it was time for him to be properly cleaned.  I couldn’t leave my bed, but Casey joined him to capture all the moments so that I could see them afterwards.

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For a boy that fought 55 hours coming into the world, he was alert and peaceful once he made his grand arrival. 

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And while I thought that seeing my son would be the most emotional moment of my life, I was wrong.  It was seeing my son with his dad.  I truly felt like my heart was going to explode.

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It took 40.5 weeks to grow him and nourish him into our lives, and several long days of labor to help him transition into our world.  But it only took an instant for him to completely steal my heart forever. 

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And that is how our birth story ends…

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And the rest of the journey begins.

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408 Comments so far
Leave a comment

[New Balance] Nicole     at 5:14 pm

So exciting!! You are awesome girl, way to hang in there!! Cant wait to hear all about your journey :)

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Red Deception     at 5:15 pm

This is all so beautiful. I am beyond words.

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Ashley J     at 5:16 pm

EMILY! I freakin’ love this so much! You two are my beacon of hope in my personal struggle to get pregnant. The tears are flowing over here in Michigan! Congratulations, you are such an incredible woman, wife and mother!

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Brittany Reply:

I couldnt agree more! I am struggling to get pregnant too and just reading this story is amazing!!!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com Reply:

I had tears streaming nonstop.. Wow! What an amazing story of Cullen’s birth – he is so lucky to have you guys as his parents :)

I hope we have a baby in our future – still trying and hoping for the best..

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Melissa     at 5:17 pm

This seriously just made me cry. Congratulations!

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Catherine     at 5:17 pm

What can I even say to this beautiful, amazing story? Only that it has been a privilege to be let in to this most intimate, important part of your life, Emily, even if only briefly. I just want to thank you for sharing so much of what you went through. I have never teared up until I read your beautiful thoughts about your son’s future as he was born. I am so, so happy for you!

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Kris     at 5:17 pm

I’m amazed by your strength and love. So touching; it makes me teary. Wishing much joy to the newly expanded Malone family.

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Mai     at 5:17 pm

There are no words for how amazing this story is. He’s beautiful. I could go on, but no comment I make could possibly do justice to the incredible beautiful, and inspiring story you just shared.

You are beyond strong.

Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations.

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sarah     at 5:18 pm

beautiful! Welcome to mommyhood. enjoy every second!!!

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Lizzy     at 5:18 pm

In tears, you are such a powerful writer and a strong woman! I am so impressed Emily and so happy for you. I cannot wait to read/hear more!

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Fiona     at 5:18 pm

Usually newborns kind of look like aliens but Cullen is super-cute (and very human) even straight out of the womb! 55 hours of delivery sounds like a nightmare, great job hanging in there and I can’t wait to see more baby pictures!!

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jill     at 5:20 pm

What a beautiful series of posts, Emily. Thanks for sharing this with all us relative strangers. And I must say, Cullen is one adorable baby! Congratulations!

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Shayla @ The Good Life     at 5:21 pm

Such a beautiful, amazing story Emily. My heart is melting and tears are in my eyes…you are so very strong and Cullen is the most perfect, precious baby. Can’t wait to follow you on the rest of this journey :)

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Lauren     at 5:21 pm

MOST AMAZINGLY REAL STORY I HAVE EVER READ! congratulations on your beautiful family!

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Sheryl     at 5:24 pm

Absolutely beautiful! I’m due in two weeks and reading your story (from the raspberry stage!) has been so emotional and touching. Thank you for allowing us to share this with you, and for your honest and open account of your birth experience.
Congrats on your gorgeous healthy baby boy!

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erica     at 5:24 pm

i am in awe of you. i don’t think i could’ve done it. you are a strong woman!

cullen is SO adorable!

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Cristina     at 5:24 pm

What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing. Wishing the three of you all the happiness in the world.

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Rianne     at 5:25 pm

Such a wonderful, magical story!! It has been a pleasure to watch your pregnancy from the beginning and now to “meet” Cullen. Congratulations!!!

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Kenni     at 5:25 pm

I’m going to be honest. I personally have no interest in having a child, and never thought I would read a 3 part story of a child’s birth. This was just so moving. I definitely cried tears of joy for you and Casey and little Cullen. You are all very lucky to have each other. Bless you all.

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Melanie_F Reply:

Same thing here. We have no desire to have kids, but I followed your journey and just read the 3 part story of your little Cullen, and I am happy for you both. Congratulation on such on beautiful baby boy!

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Nina     at 5:26 pm

Emily you are incredible, inspirational woman. Your journey was long and hard, but you persevered.

Each of your birth story posts had me crying. You are a beautiful writer.

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Lisa Fine     at 5:28 pm

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Congratulations to you and Casey.

The pictures with Casey and Cullen are just precious.

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Laura     at 5:28 pm

Those last 3 pictures and your last couple of sentences were just incredible and probably make this the best birth story I’ve ever read. Just really really beautifully phrased. What a beautiful little boy. Congratulations momma!

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Katherine     at 5:28 pm

I think we are all in love! I can’t wait to see/read how you guys are going now!
Mr. Cullen is beautiful.

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Lianna     at 5:29 pm

Congratulations on such a beautiful, healthy looking baby! Thank you so much for sharing your entire pregnancy journey with all of us. It was incredibly touching and to me, so magical. I wish you and Casey all the best with your newborn!

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JenRD     at 5:29 pm

Wow, your story gave me the chills, and brought tears to my eyes as I relived the amazing emotions of the birth of my daughter 6.5 weeks ago. You are incredible for going through what you did, and it is all worth it now!

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Erin (Travel Eat Repeat)     at 5:29 pm

That last shot of just Cullen, staring straight into the camera, is gorgeous. What a beautiful little boy.

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Shari     at 5:29 pm

This made me tear up quite a few times. You have such a gift for writing, Emily, and for making the magic of this journey come alive. It’s obvious that Cullen left an immediate handprint on your heart. He is so lucky to have you and Casey, and you are both so lucky to have him.

Wishing you love, luck, and light as you continue this beautiful journey.

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Elena     at 5:30 pm

He looks so intelligent and thoughtful in any picture that has his eyes open! He is so incredibly precious.

Emily, many have said it already, but I must add once again: you are a total rockstar. Three consecutive nights of labor (tweeting throughout for all of us!), and then a beautiful, healthy baby boy.

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Tami@Carpentiere.net     at 5:30 pm

Thankmyoumfor sharing your story. I a, not good with words but I wish I could go back and write something like this for my two kids. You did a great job, you had a great team…welcome to the parenting club…it’s the best club to be in

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga     at 5:30 pm

What a beautiful, touching account, Emily. I am so happy for you that you did it, that Cullen is here, and that you are all happy, healthy, and yes, watching your husband with your baby is pretty much the best thing ever…talk about falling in love with your man all over again, right? :)

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Katherine     at 5:31 pm

Emily, this is absolutely beautifully written. I have tears streaming down my cheeks…thank you for sharing this intensely personal experience with your readers. You are truly amazing!! Congratulations to the new Malone family :)

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ste     at 5:31 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this story! I had two c-sections due to placenta previa the first time around and then a hospital that does not do VBACs and I never thought I was missing out on anything. Then I read your birth story and the part about going inside of yourself for the final hour blew me away. There is now a part of me that wishes I could have experienced a natural birth. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading more about your journey as a mother. (And we have the same diaper bag as you for the same reasons!)

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Bridget     at 5:31 pm

I’m constantly amazed at what our minds and bodies can withstand. Your story was perfect. You should be very proud of yourself for just living in the moment. The last photo of Cullen is beautiful!

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Kathi     at 5:32 pm

So beautiful! And that last photo! Isn’t it so amazing??

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 5:35 pm

That was by far the most beautiful post I have ever read in my life. Absolutely amazing, Emily. You have a beautiful family.

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Silvia @ skinny jeans food     at 5:36 pm

You are a a hero. But then, aren’t all mothers heroes? Beautiful story that made me cry. The miracle of life.

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Amy     at 5:36 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this precious story. I have been hitting refresh on my browser several times a day the last week, anxiously anticipating each chapter of the birth story. I am just a handful of weeks away from delivering my first baby (boy!) and it has been such a joy to follow your amazing journey through pregnancy :) I too have a preference for a natural unmedicated delivery but I find it interesting to read of birth stories that don’t go as planned and how the mothers work through the process. I know that the ultimate goal is to deliver a healthy baby so whatever story unfolds to make that happen will be fine with me. Thanks again for sharing – blessings to your beautiful family!

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Syndie     at 5:36 pm

Emily, what an adorable baby! I love how honest you were with us. Thank you for sharing ;)

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Socal Rachel     at 5:36 pm

Thank you for sharing, this is beautifully written and brought me to tears.

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Kate     at 5:36 pm

What a gorgeous birth story you’ve written, Emily. I’ve given birth to two babies and remember so clearly each emotion you’ve just tried to evoke with your writing. And? You’ve just made me want another baby. Like, right now. :) Congratulations to you both, and welcome to the world, Cullen!

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Abby     at 5:36 pm

This was truly one of the most beautiful and touching pieces I have ever read. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with so many of us who are complete strangers- it was a joy to read! I hope all 3 of you are doing well and adjusting to your happy new life together. Congratulations!

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Katie @ Serenity in the Storm     at 5:37 pm

Beautiful. What an amazing story, told beautifully. And what a spectacular gift that you get to go home with such a perfect baby at the end of all that hard work and care over the past 9 months. Congratulations!

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Gina (Yogattude)     at 5:37 pm

tears! Congratulations:)

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Priyanka     at 5:37 pm

I have renewed respect for you Emily!! The picture of Casey kissing Cullen is precious!!!!!

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leatitia     at 5:37 pm

God, what a beautiful baby. I’m crying. I’m so happy you have a happy ending and that everybody is healthy. Such a blessing.

You’re going to be an amazing mother.

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Jan     at 5:37 pm

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I’m betting Cullen has his Dad’s calm temperament and his Mom’s strength of perseverance. And he’s beautiful! Congratulations!!

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Ingunn     at 5:37 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Emily! What an adorably beautiful boy.

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Lauren     at 5:40 pm

Amazing!!!! Every single of word of this story is beyond moving and so inspiring. It’s amazing to think that our bodies are capable of such a miraculous thing. It must make all of those marathons seem like a walk in the park.

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Tricia     at 5:40 pm

Beautiful. Beautiful job, beautiful baby, beautiful mama, beautiful family. Way to go Em!

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Divya Vikram     at 5:40 pm

I bet each person who is reading this is in tears! I have been following all your weekly posts and I know you would make a great mom to Cullen. Hugs to Cullen!

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Tracy     at 5:40 pm

I just teared up reading this – you are such a great writer, he is a beautiful baby, congratulations!!!!!!

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Jen     at 5:41 pm

You found the most perfect words to describe this whole experience! <3 I am so happy for you, Casey, and Cullen!

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sarah     at 5:41 pm

Wowwww….so beautiful, Em. I can’t wait to meet him.

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Mandy     at 5:41 pm

Oh, Emily! Such a beautifully written piece. I am so happy for you and your husband having followed you pregnancy posts since the beginning.

Thank you so much for opening your life up and sharing such an intimate part of your life. As a pregnant woman, it has been both informative and enlightening.

I hope we continue to get posts on Cullen getting bigger along with the recipe and fitness posts. :)

Congrats, again! He is beautiful!

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Mara @ What's For Dinner?     at 5:42 pm

Just wonderful… congratulations to you and your beautiful family!

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CaitlinHTP     at 5:43 pm

BAWLING HYSTERICALLLLLLLLY. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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Brooke     at 5:43 pm

Emily!! WOW! Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your beautiful family! Although I don’t even know you and am a country away, it has been so exciting to read along with your progress over the past 9 months! Im sure I was just as anxious as all of your faithful readers to hear of his safe and healthy arrival (finally!). Its so amazing that something as a website can bring people together, that would otherwise never cross paths :) Much love and all the very best! xo

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Katheryn     at 5:44 pm

Beautifully written. I have two children and am pregnant with my third, and while my experience was different with my first two, it was still the same.

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jane richardson     at 5:44 pm

I think you should add Cullen’s birth stats into your Marathons column. It was surely your greatest Marathon, and your greatest finish ever!

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness & Family     at 5:45 pm

no words. beautifully perfect.

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Courtney Leigh     at 5:46 pm

Oh my god. So amazing! A truly beautiful story. Never would have thought that a story of a 55 hour labor would make me want to have a baby. Congrats, congrats, congrats.

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Kim     at 5:46 pm

I have been waiting patiently for this last installment. So amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us, it is absolutely incredible.

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Colleen     at 5:47 pm

This was definitely the best part of the story! I was moved to tears! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us- I’m so looking forward to the first pictures of our son and his dad next March.

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sallymae     at 5:47 pm

Goosebumps and tears.

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Rachel     at 5:48 pm

Emily – I’ve enjoyed your pregnancy journey so much and now Cullen’s birth story! Brought me to tears thanks to your thoughtful and genuine writing voice. I hope your family peacefully and joyfully adjusts in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to read about it.

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Christie F     at 5:48 pm

Wow, Emily. Just wow. I was sobbing like a pregnant woman (ha! because I am) while reading this. Your story is both amazing and well, to be honest, long. You had such a long long journey but you did it!

No wonder it took you almost 3 days of laboring- your boy was a big one hehe :) Hard to believe that he came out of your body… or maybe it’s not so hard considering you had to labor for over 55 hours!

congratulations again on your bundle of joy!

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Angela @ PattycakesnPancakes     at 5:48 pm

Extraordinarily written! Just amazing! Welcome to Motherhood!

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mary @ food and fun on the run     at 5:48 pm

Wow. I am beyond words. What an absolutely amazing story. Thank u so much for sharing this. The picture of your husband and son and how you described them… so beautiful. Congratulations!

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jennifer (take the day off)     at 5:49 pm

Wow! what an amazing story. I eagerly anticipated each chapter and I am so glad that Cullen is here. 55 hours of labor seems totally worth the amazing ending: meeting your son and seeing your husband become a father! Congratulations!!

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Alaina     at 5:50 pm

Love it, love it, love it! I seriously had tears when I saw the picture of Casey kissing Cullen’s head. That is just too cute. :-)

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Andi     at 5:50 pm

this was so beautifully written. i’m moved!!!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 5:50 pm

Oh wow this was so incredibly touching!! SUCH a beautiful, emotional, wonderful story!! Thank you so much for sharing it! Cullen is so very lucky to have the two of you as parents!

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Kate     at 5:51 pm

Oh, this is beautiful, just perfectly beautiful. We are in the thick of trying (and have been for what seems like forever, but I know really isn’t), and man. This brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons. I’m so happy for all three of you!

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun     at 5:51 pm

Oh, my goodness. I am crying! You are SO strong. He is SO perfect. Thank you for sharing this. Hope all is well during these first days/weeks.

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May     at 5:52 pm

Amazing, Emily! You are really incredible, and baby Cullen is sooo adorable. THANK YOU so much for sharing this,you just made me sob! You’re a great writer.

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cookienurse     at 5:54 pm

What an incredible, amazing story you so generously shared with all of us; your words are so beautiful and capture the miracle of those first precious moments Cullen came into the world. I couldn’t stop crying! Your baby is gorgeous and so photogenic! Blessings and happiness to all of you!

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Sarah     at 5:55 pm

Beautiful :) You really did do it and I can now see why they were the best hours of your life.

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caitlin     at 5:56 pm

oh my goodness. cullen is freaking adorable and until your post i had always thought i would want to adopt- that i wouldn’t be able to give birth or even want to . But my god your story just made me so happy and realize that I want that some day now! Wow CONGRATS your family will be so happy :)

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Steph @ 321delish     at 5:57 pm

absolutely amazing. Congratulations Emily! Your family is beautiful!

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Debbi     at 5:59 pm

Thank you for sharing with all of us who read your blog. As I read I remembered the birth of my first baby, it is a breath taking experience that is hard to put into words.

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Kamaile     at 6:00 pm

He is perfect!

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Kristen @ The Concrete Runner     at 6:00 pm

Emily, that was absolutely beautiful. I am holding my little girl tight, sobbing, wishing my experience was half as amazing as yours was. After an unplanned C-section, I wish I could’ve been able to hold my baby right away and even watch her come out of me. However, I am so incredibly happy to have my baby in my arms now. I know your labor was long + hard, so I know that baby was your prize in the end. Congratulations again! He is absolutely beautiful…

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Alyson     at 6:00 pm

BLESS! I say it with each installment of the birth story: You are AMAZING. I gave birth vaginally seven times (two of those at home), and I know for a fact I could not have done what you did. It is inspiring. I hope you’re getting lots of sleep now still, to make up for those days of intense activity. And I hope you’re healing well, and that now you have very little pain.

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Brittany     at 6:01 pm

Oh Emily! I cannot even tell you how amazing you are! What a truly beautiful story. I’m so proud of you, you are one tough cookie! And through it all you fought for your family and your son. I’m inspired by the way you handled your laboring process and think it was an incredibly wise decision. I like your idea of not having a pre-made plan but going with what you and your body and Cullen needed at that moment in time. Congratulations, he’s beautiful! <3

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Erin     at 6:01 pm

So beautiful, Emily. I’m rather teary over here. Thanks for sharing.

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A Long Far View     at 6:02 pm

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

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colleen     at 6:02 pm

oh my gosh, i have no words! what a wonderful story. i’m crying tears of joy all the way over here in ohio! congratulations and i can’t wait to see more of your journey!

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Kamaile     at 6:02 pm

He is so alert and perfect! You all are blessed.

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Jessica     at 6:02 pm

Congratulations! He is BEAUTIFUL! I am so happy for you and your family and awesome job laboring and delivering like a rockstar! I am so happy you had a great team to support you and who didnt just wheel you into the operating room. Congrats again!!!

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Kellie     at 6:02 pm

I had 52 hours of labor with my first (followed by 3hrs of pushing). It is so intense. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy.

BTW-my next two deliveries were much shorter, so don’t fear any more pregnancies :)

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Lisa @ The Splattered Apron     at 6:03 pm

I’m sitting here crying as I finish reading this. Cullen is so lucky to have you guys as parents and you are so lucky to have that amazing baby boy. Our family can’t wait to meet him!!

I admire the fact that you used a mirror. Through 4 hours of pushing, I couldn’t bring myself to look. And I agree, the feeling of my baby coming out of my body was unlike any other and I’ll never forget it.

I’m so proud of you for staying strong through 55 hours. You’re amazing, Em!

[Reply]

Rachel G.     at 6:03 pm

Sometimes I think newborns take a little while to grow into their cuteness, but he is honestly one of the most beautiful newborns I’ve ever seen.. The last 3 pictures are PERFECT! :)

Thanks for sharing the birthday story–I’m so happy for your new family!

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Felicia (Natural + Balanced)     at 6:05 pm

i am over here in tears. this was so beautifully written emily. congrats again to you and your new family!i can’t wait to read about your new journey!

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Heidi     at 6:05 pm

Such a sweet conclusion to the story! Thanks for sharing and congratulations!!

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Jenny     at 6:05 pm

I have a lot of respect for you; giving birth is HARD work and you stayed strong for 55 hours. That’s amazing!!
No marathon will ever compare to 55 hours of labor. I commend you.
You have a beautiful baby. I hope your recovery is going well.

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Ann     at 6:05 pm

This may be somewhat related to my third trimester hormones, but I was in absolute sobbing tears reading your birth story. I hope I can muster the same energy and focus you did during my own labor, and remember to savor every one of those first few moments with my baby. Just beautiful.

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Andrea     at 6:05 pm

Beautiful story Emily. You are one tough cookie. Cullen is absolutely perfect!

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)     at 6:06 pm

ahhH! This brought me to tears! Such a sweet story and so sweet about Cullen and his daddy. :)

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Lisa     at 6:06 pm

Emily – this is so very very beautiful – and a testament to your courage and strength. I wish you, Casey and Cullen nothing but years filled with love and laughter :) xx

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Kate     at 6:06 pm

Oh Emily….tears running down my face as I say…Thank you for sharing Cullen’s birth with us. You are a family of love.

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Erin     at 6:07 pm

Wow. Wonderful story and beautifully written.

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Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart     at 6:07 pm

your writing is so beautiful. I am totally crying my eyes out. Congratulations on your sweet bundle of joy! :)

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Cate     at 6:07 pm

So amazing! You are incredibly strong, and a great writer too. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!!

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Laurie     at 6:09 pm

I was so touched reading your birth story. Thank you for sharing!!

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats     at 6:10 pm

This whole story completely horrified me about giving birth, but from the point you started talking about just going inside yourself to the end of this post, I couldn’t stop crying! I can even imagine the joy you must have felt once he came into the world, and all the amazing things you have to come. Congratulations!

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Heather @ Better With Veggies     at 6:13 pm

That was an amazing story, beautifully written, and spellbinding. I honestly can’t imagine the days of labor that you described, but you still gave me the feeling that is was worth all the pain. Thank you for sharing you story with the world – it really is incredible. Congratulations to both Mom and Dad! :)

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Megan     at 6:17 pm

I’m crying my eyes out over here!!! What a beautiful entry and a wonderful memory. Thank you for sharing every moment with us! Yelling congrats from the rooftops!!!

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Brittany     at 6:19 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your pregnancy journey and birth story!!!! Absolutley beautiful!

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Emily     at 6:19 pm

Wow, tears in my eyes. You captured this all so eloquently. Congratulations x 1,000 on your beautiful family.

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Amy     at 6:19 pm

Beautiful!

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Andrea     at 6:21 pm

Incredible story. I got tears in my eyes reading this, and I am not a very emotional person. You are an incredibly strong woman. Congratulations.

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Lisa     at 6:22 pm

So so so beautiful! This brought many tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your special moment. Congratulations to you and Casey!!!

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claire     at 6:23 pm

I literally cried the entire time I was reading that. All three parts were so beautifully written and truly moving. It was so exciting to read the entire story of Cullen’s life – from your post announcing your pregnancy to this one. Congratulations to you and Casey. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all three of you.

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Kaitlin     at 6:23 pm

Emily, I’m 22 and a grad student– no where near close to the special time in my life as you’ve described. I’ve so enjoyed seeing your pregnancy updates and the end of this story brought me to tears. CONGRATULATIONS, you are truly a champion and Cullen is so lucky to have you and Casey.

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Katy     at 6:23 pm

I’m only 21 years old, but this story made my heart explode with excitement. I look forward to the future so much. I want to have a sense of peace when thinking about the future, but the uncertainty is overwhelming sometimes. Thanks for a beautiful post about your life. I strive to find that peace that you seem to embody. Congratulations!

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RachelSD     at 6:25 pm

Crying over here, Emily. That whole story (all three parts) is really beautiful and so well written.

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}     at 6:26 pm

Wow! Your story is incredible and I thank you for sharing it. I hope all is going well now that you are home with your beautiful baby boy.

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 6:27 pm

Emily – what an amazing birth story. You are one brave and strong woman. Those last two pictures you posted are priceless. Your new journey has begun… so exciting.

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katie l.     at 6:28 pm

what an incredibly beautiful story. i cried during all three parts! i am so happy for you and wish your family all of God’s blessings! can’t wait to hear more.

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Lindsy     at 6:29 pm

Congrats!!

Your labor story sounds very similar to mine! I labored for 80 hours (without drugs) although I eventually did get a c-section. I think you made the RIGHT choice with the epidural. I think if I had gotten an epi that might have let me rest a bit to have the energy to keep going. Of course, my little man is in the world now, so I can’t complain. Cullen is absolutely adorable. Congrats!! Enjoy the rest of the journey. :-)

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mallory     at 6:29 pm

by far one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. I am very excited for your family and your new journey!!

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Cate     at 6:29 pm

Such an amazing story and so beautifully written! Congratulations once again to you and your family! I wish you nothing but the best :)

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Kate     at 6:32 pm

Emily, congratulations on your beautiful baby boy. So happy for you! Thank you also, for making a single girl realise that not settling and waiting for a guy who makes me feel the way Casey obviously makes you feel, isn’t a bad thing :)

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Laura     at 6:32 pm

Thank you for sharing:) During Parts I & II, I was really not excited to go into labor, but the end result is just so beautiful. I’m assuming the labor was worse than you had anticipated, but I’m curious to hear how the process compared to your expectations of having a baby. Congrats again!!!!

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Shannon Rose Bell     at 6:32 pm

Beautiful! you made me tear up at the pure joy and emotion you put into sharing this story (and obviously what you put into getting through it!) Every time I’ve seen a woman give birth, there is always a moment where the woman becomes something stronger than I’ve ever seen and pulls from somewhere deep–I love how you described this moment and that you were able to have a birth very close to how you envisioned it. Also, so glad you’re doing ok! Congrats to both of you!!

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Dee     at 6:32 pm

I’ve said it before but you are a champion girl. I am crying after reading the whole thing. What a wonderful story. You have such a beautiful family. Many blessing to you all. :)

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Christie     at 6:33 pm

I’ve been reading through the birth story, part by part as you post, but when I read, “I thought about Cullen – who he would be…” THAT GOT ME! I totally starting crying as I remember the day Riley (my little girl who is now almost one) came into the world. There is no better feeling in the world than that day.
I am so beyond happy for you guys. Welcome to parenthood!

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Gabi Reply:

Me too, I started bawling at that point!

Congratulations Malone family, I am so happy and excited for you!

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M Reply:

Same!

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Bridgette     at 6:35 pm

I cannot say enough about how beautiful you have written your birth story. Your words and attitude move me. You are an amazing woman! Go Emily for 55 long hard hours! Cullen is so sweet!

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Tammy     at 6:35 pm

What an amazing story… thank you for sharing!

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 6:36 pm

I got goosebumps reading this! You were so strong–and the whole experience seems incredible, your writing is great. It really makes you feel like you were right there.

I still can’t believe I worked at a hospital just a summer ago and gave babies their first baths! Most parents didn’t actually come to watch, so that’s great Casey came and took pictures. At our hospital though, we just held them and used our hands to put water on them and did it quickly, because they get very cold, very quickly. It’s so adorable though–most cry but instantly quiet down once their swaddled afterwards. It’s so cute!

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Kelsey     at 6:37 pm

You are a ridiculously engaging writer. Congratulations on your new journey!!

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Deirdre     at 6:42 pm

What a beautiful, descriptive account of your birth story. I felt like I was in the room with you. Many congrats!

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Caroline @ Hidden Foodie     at 6:43 pm

Congratulations Emily and Casey! Welcome to the world little Cullen!

Emily, you are a very talented writer. I am touched that you have shared this birth story with us in such detail. You are a very strong woman, indeed! Thank you also for sharing these so quickly – I assumed you would take some time off from posting but it has been a pleasant surprise to get updates.

Congratulations again and take good care of yourself! Cullen is adorable!!

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Kath     at 6:43 pm

Sobbing!!!!! What a beautiful story!!! So glad it had a happy ending.

The most touching part for me was when you talked about breastfeeding for the first time. It must have been surreal! I think it’s one of the most intimate things we humans do. <3

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Katie @ Shared Bites     at 6:47 pm

What a great story. I felt emotional just reading it. Hope the Malone family is doing great!

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Maryz     at 6:49 pm

So very beautiful! I have tears running down my face just reading this! Congrats! Cullen is beautiful!

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.)     at 6:50 pm

all of those pictures are stunning but the last one really made me smile! I’m so very happy for you and your family!

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Bonnie     at 6:50 pm

Wow…I can’t even tell you how moved I was reading your story! And how neat to see your husband in such a different way. A huge congrats and thank you for chronicling this story – the adventure begins and you’ll all be able to look back on it captured so well! :D

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kellyo     at 6:50 pm

Absolutely beautiful!

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Rebecca     at 6:51 pm

Congratulations – he is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story.

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Lissa     at 6:52 pm

Absolutely beautiful story of an absolutely beautiful family. Congrats. I’m in awe of your experience!

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Jessica     at 6:52 pm

What a beautiful post and even more beautiful baby! He is so, so cute and you chose an adorable name. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I have been following your pregnancy journey since you first started posting and I can’t imagine how you (and Casey) feel now that he is finally here. You are so strong for all that you went through to get to this point, but I know that your little boy was worth it! Congratulations and best of luck with your new family!

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Heather @ Dietitian on the Run     at 6:52 pm

This is absolutely incredible. It’s the first “birth story” I have ever read, and I have never been more in awe of what the human body (and YOU, after 55 hours of labor ) is capable of.

What a miracle. So happy for you that your son is here and healthy! I can only imagine how happy you three must be now that you’re all together :)

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Judy     at 6:53 pm

Congratulations Emily! He is so precious.

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Sarah     at 6:58 pm

Flowing tears of happiness and joy for you and your beautiful new family of three! Cannot wait to read all about your new adventures :)

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Jen @ Living a Brighter Life     at 6:58 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! It is suck a beautiful birth story and I had tears in my eyes just reading. You are so strong! Can’t wait to follow the rest of your journey!

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Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 6:59 pm

I’m like balling over here. That last picture’s my favorite! Congratulations!!

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Jen G.     at 6:59 pm

I walked in to work today to my coworkers discussing their birth experiences (their kids are older). I told them about your 55 hours of labor and we all agreed that you are amazing. I’m so glad for you and Casey that Cullen is here and healthy. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives and for sharing the first days of your new family with us.

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Jocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner     at 7:00 pm

Amazing story! Brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations!!!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 7:00 pm

Tears, tears, happy tears! You’re amazing. I have so so so enjoyed your birth story.

Your introversion during pushing is exactly what I did through the most difficult part of my labor. I was doing it all natural (I didn’t go through anything as hard as you!) and when I’d have a really strong contraction I would think of my son and I working together to achieve the goal of me holding him my arms. During the contraction I would say “down and out, down and out” over and over again as the pressure increased. It was incredible.

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Katy     at 7:00 pm

Holy tears! Well done!

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Ashleigh     at 7:02 pm

That is so, so great. Made me teary! Happy for you all :)

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Amanda     at 7:02 pm

OMG. Incredible post! He’s so gorgeous : D I can’t believe you labored for 55 hours…. holy crow.

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katie     at 7:04 pm

Ok, that last pic killed me. So precious.

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Maria     at 7:06 pm

Amazing! I’ve stayed strong through out all your birth story posts, but lost it on this one! What a beautiful baby and you are one strong, amazing woman! I’m so happy for you and your little family :-) Congrats again!

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Sally     at 7:07 pm

Oh my God!Never know that giving birth can be that hard for some people, you are very brave!I believe your son would feel the love when he is old enough to read this. please keep a copy!
And I am really moved by the last picture!Rest more and live happily ever after :)

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Amanda     at 7:08 pm

Emily, thank you for sharing this incredible story! I cannot imagine the pain and then joy! Hope your first days as a family of 3 are going well!

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Savannah @ Sweet and Savvy     at 7:09 pm

Breathtaking, amazing, chilling. I am actually speechless. Amazingly wonderful and beautiful post.

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Joanna     at 7:11 pm

Your words to describe this beautiful moment are beautiful. It touched my heart, Emily. I love that you wrote this days after your beautiful son was born because these are your raw feelings that you can look back on. Thanks for sharing your beautiful journey. Looking forward to more baby posts.

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Nicole     at 7:11 pm

What a beautiful post, I have been reading for quite a while but I had to post on this. Congratulations on your family:)

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Jillian     at 7:12 pm

Just cried some happy tears reading your beautiful story! Congrats on your new addition. He is so handsome!

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Nina @ SLO Foodie     at 7:13 pm

Definitely teared up! This is so beautiful, you captured such an amazing part of your life so well. Here’s to the new joy in your life!

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Kara     at 7:14 pm

Breathtaking & absolutely beautiful words, Emily. Feel the need to comment but I’m at a loss for words! Can’t wait to see the family at home. =)

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Alix     at 7:18 pm

Wow, what a beautiful and powerful story–it moved me tears!

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Meghan     at 7:20 pm

You need to write a book. You are such a good writer. Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing!

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KellyB@Goodfoodtripslife     at 7:21 pm

Wow… I totally just cried. How incredible. He’s beautfiul. Enjoy. :)

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Emily     at 7:24 pm

Such an amazing story! You are so strong! I’m looking forward to learning about your journey. Best wishes.

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Brenda     at 7:24 pm

<3

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Sarah     at 7:25 pm

Oh my gosh, I’m bawling. What a beautiful story. You are such a strong, amazing woman! I hope I have half of your strength and focus when I have a baby.

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anh     at 7:27 pm

Oh my gosh you are such a trooper! I am amazed and inspired by your story. You never gave up and you gave birth to such a beautiful baby boy. He is so precious, and that made me tear up with what you said about seeing Casey with Cullen. Congratulations!!

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Raewyn     at 7:28 pm

Emily, that is such a beautiful, beautiful story. Perfectly written, lovingly crafted, and refreshingly honest, as always. Blessings to you, Casey, and Cullen in your new life together! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!! You look absolutely gorgeous btw!:)

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Lindsey     at 7:29 pm

What a amazing story, thank you for sharing it! You are going to cherish this story forever and be so happy you took all the time to write it out. Thanks again!

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Meck     at 7:29 pm

What a beautiful story, Emily. You are amazing.

And welcome to the world Cullen!!!

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Sarah G     at 7:30 pm

Just as everyone above has said… I am so touched and crying alligator tears after reading this. I’ve had one baby and another coming any day/week now, so it’s especially poignant to remember the first and look forward to the second. Your fears of c-section while pushing mirrored my own in my first delivery, and I have to say, it sounds like you handled that much better than I did. I hope I can take a few pointers from you with this next one. Thanks so much for sharing.

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Eden     at 7:30 pm

This was the most compelling story I’ve read in a long time! So inspiring and beautiful, very, very happy for you!!!

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Diana McAdams     at 7:31 pm

That last picture of him on his side looking at the camera ? Gorgeous…he is truly beautiful !

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Courtney     at 7:34 pm

That was beautiful!! It made me tear up. You are such a trooper to hang in there that long. Great job little mama :)

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jenny     at 7:40 pm

wow wow wow! great story with a beautiful ending. you guys rock! all 5 of you! ;)

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Kristina     at 7:42 pm

So beautiful! Thank you for sharing such a personal story – one of the many reasons I love your blog, you aren’t afraid to go deep. Congratulations!

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Ally     at 7:42 pm

crying, again. so beautiful. he looks JUST like you.

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Sarah S.     at 7:45 pm

Congratulations Malone family!! And Cullen is precious, what a cutie!

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nat     at 7:46 pm

I am bawling. What a beautiful story. It’s been amazing following you from the start of your pregnancy. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Mai     at 7:47 pm

Wow, what an incredible story. And Cullen is SO cute!

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Sara     at 7:48 pm

This brought me to tears. You are an amazing person to share something so special. Continue doing what you do – I found your blog about a year ago and reading about this journey has been wonderful. Congratulations again!

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Valerie     at 7:48 pm

Congrats he is absolutely adorable!!

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Tiffany Godinez     at 7:49 pm

What an amazing story Emily. Truly beautiful. I am so happy for you guys. Thanks for sharing your birth story with us!

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sarah     at 7:57 pm

Oh my goodness is he cute!!! ADORABLE! I think he already looks like Dad :) I am so glad you were able to make it through such a long labor. High fives!!! Rest and recover so you can enjoy the most wonderful times of your life!!!

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Z     at 8:00 pm

So beautiful! Every part made me tear up :) Congratulations.

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Brittany     at 8:03 pm

So beautiful.

I’m so excited for your journey ahead.

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Kinder     at 8:04 pm

Beautiful. Congrats to you all.

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Allegra     at 8:08 pm

Crying. That’s all, other than amazing, amazing congratulations for you for being so so strong. And for Cullen. And for your family.

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Ellen     at 8:10 pm

I read your pregnancy posts from the very beginning. Now that I find myself 10 weeks pregnant, I keep coming back to see what it will be like.

Your story is beautiful. Many wishes to your little family.

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Gabrielle     at 8:14 pm

Wow, you did it! I love Cullen’s birth story, and hang on every word, every post, anxious for more. I can’t wait to see photos of him in the beautiful nursery you created for him, and at the farmers markets with you, and with the dogs, and etc., etc., etc. Love living vicariously through you!

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Rachelle     at 8:27 pm

Aaaaaa, so amazing. SO amazing.
You are one strong amazing woman (which we knew already).
Your post was amazing and I can only imagine that you cried all the way through writing it (I know I did).
He is a gorgeous gorgeous boy. Congrats on your beautiful family!!!

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shah'ada @ from 280 to 26.2     at 8:42 pm

emily, you are an absolutely amazing writer. i’m sitting her bawling as i read your birth story. thank you, really thank you, for sharing such an intimate experience. you are an insanely tough woman. cullen is beautiful. truly truly beautiful. congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

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M     at 8:45 pm

Emily,

I am so impressed that you are able to write so beautifully and with such perspective so soon after this momentous event; but I guess that’s just because you are a great writer! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the journey. I love your recipes, and I know you don’t want to turn this into a mommy blog, but you have a way with words that is shouldn’t be limited to food.

Secondly, I am still struggling with the idea of whether I want kids (not dating anyone now so its definitely long off, anyway) but seriously this post makes me reconsider that. Wow.

-Molly

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Carla Runs The World     at 8:46 pm

Oh, Emily, you made me cry! (And even more terrified of childbirth as I was before!)

Congratulations! I can’t even imagine the joy you’re feeling! (I have such a baby fever nowadays, but we have a planned diving trip for April, so I can’t even consider getting pregnant until then.)

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Jenn B     at 8:52 pm

Absolutely beautiful story Emily. So amazed and impressed. Good luck to your new family, soak each moment up :-) Looking forward to reading about your path!

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Susan     at 8:54 pm

In tears. Loved loved loved your birth story. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations!

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 8:58 pm

Yep, crying like a baby :) you’re amazing. what an incredible story to cherish forever. all the best, lovely. can’t wait to read more.
Heidi xo

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Michelle     at 9:12 pm

What a beautiful story. I have to agree there is something utterly amazing about seeing the man you love with your child. Congratulations on your beautiful family.

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jen     at 9:14 pm

This is a weird compliment, but, reading how strong and brave you are, and how beautiful the experience of birth was for you, well, it helps me understand more about myself. I just. DO NOT. ever. want to have a baby. Give birth. Raise a child. I can’t connect to any woman who explains these depth and complexity and spirituality of growing and birthing a human. It just isn’t me. And I guess it’s a good thing. I’m almost 30. If this feeling hasn’t hit, soon it’ll be too late, and then, well, I fail as a woman, but that’s ok.

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Melanie_F Reply:

I don’t think you fail as a woman, you know what you want and that’s saying much more than women who have kids and they didn’t really want them.

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Kate (What Kate is Cooking)     at 9:16 pm

Oh my gosh- I loved the part about you visualizing Cullen as a toddler right before he came! So, so, sweet. He’s adorable!!

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Nikki T     at 9:16 pm

Amazing, Emily!
I’m so very glad you wrote this story for us to read, I think one day when I have my own baby it will really help me and for that I thank you!
I’m just in awe of your relationship with Casey and now the 2 of you with your new son. You guys will be amazing parents, I know this even though I’ve never met you!

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Heather     at 9:17 pm

So beautiful, Emily, your baby, your story, your words, your experience. Congratulations again and Cullen and you and Casey are so so beautiful and blessed!

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Krista     at 9:18 pm

Wow Emily! Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story with all of us. You are truly an inspiration and you and Casey are going to do an amazing job raising Cullen.

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Amalia De La Rosa     at 9:30 pm

In tears!!

Thank you for sharing! :)

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Amanda     at 9:36 pm

Emily, you are such an inspiration! What an amazing story.

Cullen is one lucky boy! :)

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Rachel     at 9:49 pm

What a miraculous testimony, especially the part about the very last push…motherhood is way cool! This will stay in my heart forever.
Congratulations seems almost insignificant :) You are amazing!!
Oh, and that last picture totally melted my heart!

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Laurel     at 9:52 pm

What a beautiful story! What an amazing gift! You are a wonderful writer and really wrote from your heart. Congratulations! Cullen has wonderful parents!

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More     at 10:00 pm

Amazing. Beautiful. And even more congratulations on your new little family.

And I love his big eyes!! :)

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Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 10:06 pm

What a beautiful and incredible story! I can’t wait to see my husband with our child(ren) some day!

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Celia     at 10:08 pm

Absolutely beautiful story.

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Rachelle     at 10:36 pm

Wow! The picture of your husband kissing your son made me cry! Congratulations!!!

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Julia     at 10:54 pm

Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing experience! You can truly feel the emotion and love that went into writing it!

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Dana     at 11:00 pm

This made me cry! So beautiful, Emily. Congratulations on your precious little guy. Best to your entire family.

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lena     at 11:02 pm

So proud of you! What a beautiful story to share.

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Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife     at 11:04 pm

WOW Emily, thank you so much for sharing this story with us the way that you did. I don’t think there’s ever been a blog post that moved me quite like this one did. Enjoy your time with the little one! :)

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Krystina (Organically Me)     at 11:11 pm

I started crying as I read this. I’ve never read something or seen something so emotional and beautiful in regard to birth. It was truly special to read about it. I’m so proud of you and I know you’re enjoying your little one every moment now. :)

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen     at 11:22 pm

Emily, this is seriously the most moving birth story I’ve ever read. I teared up while reading it. I’m so happy for you and Casey. You’re going to be amazing parents to baby Cullen!

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emily     at 11:24 pm

so many congratulations ~ your son is gorgeous (as you know!) :)

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Sarah     at 11:52 pm

Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your incredible birth story. Each part bought tears to my eyes. Beautiful. Amazing. xx

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Marika     at 11:53 pm

You wrote your story so well. It was both amazing and scary– I don’t think everyone could cope with 55 hours of labor as well as you did! :)

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Jeni     at 1:10 am

I’m first time commenter, but love your blog and Cullen’s birth story is just beautiful! It’s funny, my mom said the exact same thing about having me, that you “go inside yourself” to find the strength. Your healthy pregnancy and labor is such an inspiration, even to someone who won’t be having kids for at least few years!

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Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock     at 1:10 am

“And while I thought that seeing my son would be the most emotional moment of my life, I was wrong. It was seeing my son with his dad.” I love this. This is the reason why I want to have children – so I can see them playing with my husband. Congratulations!

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Nellie     at 1:24 am

Beautiful birth story, beautiful son. I am so happy for you. I actually cried reading this. Thanks for sharing. I love your blog and can’t wait to see future posts about your wonderful family.

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Charlie- The Runner Beans     at 1:57 am

Emily your story is truly heartwarming. I have been on the edge of tears throughout your birth stories and this one really made me cry. You are so brave and did so well throughout your 54 hour epic labour. Congratulations. He is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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Freya     at 2:04 am

Oh Emily – I am not maternal in the least, but seeing that picture of Casey kissing Cullen..yep, there were tears! I am so thrilled for you, and I just know you and Casey are going to be fantastic parents.
I don’t even speak to my dad any more – he’s not a nice person, and is really quite poisonous – which is probably why your birth story is so powerful. Cullen is a lucky kid to have such wonderful parents!
I really hope you’re ok :-)

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Sarah     at 2:15 am

Oh, my goodness, all of this- you, your husband, your son, this story- it is all so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it; it feels like a privilege to be given a glimpse into something so amazing.

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Heather @ Bake, Run, Live     at 2:34 am

Thank you for your birth story Emily. What a moving, and loving recounting of Cullen’s birth.Beautiful and amazing. You truly are stronger than you thought.

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Céline     at 2:37 am

Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us… I got a little teary-eyed :)

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count     at 2:49 am

Emily, you have done an incredible job of telling your story and making us all feel that we were a part of it with you. It was written beautifully with just enough detail to make it real to anyone who reads this. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with all of us.

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sarah (the SHU box)     at 2:53 am

AND i just cried at 6 am. emily, that was just so beautiful! and so is he.

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Lena     at 2:56 am

wow, I’m really touched by this. i wish you and your new family ALL the best!!!

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Kaci     at 3:18 am

Beautiful story!! Amazing! XOXO

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Lea     at 3:22 am

What an amazing, amazing story! Reading it makes me think that you can do ANYTHING, now that you’ve done something like that.

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Tiffany     at 3:42 am

It was beautiful but sorry, it was also terrifying. I officially am too much of a wimp for childbirth. I had a friend recently tell me that if you can run a marathon, you can give natural birth. Would you agree now this is more painful than the marathon? (Though I know it’s probably more of a “sweet” pain.) He is a beautiful baby. Congratulations!

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Kathy     at 4:04 am

Such an incredible story. I think I felt all your pain and frustration for the entire labor. He is so precious and beautiful – but of course you know that. A new life begins now for the three of you that will be more exciting and you’ll see life in an entirely different way!! So many congratulations to the three of you.

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SmugMama     at 4:20 am

I know that part of it comes from being pregnant and emotional, but I couldn’t stop crying while reading your birth story. You did such an amazing job and found the stength you needed to bring your child into the world. Birth is such an amazing gift! Congratulations on your son!!

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Kaci     at 4:24 am

Your story is unbelievable. So many congrats to you & Casey. He is absolutely gorgeous!!

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Tricia     at 4:41 am

Wonderful post, Emily! Tears galore here in MN! Just beautifully told and what a great way to remember such an important day! Can’t wait to follow your journey into motherhood – you’re gonna be an awesome mama!!!

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ann     at 4:47 am

Thank you so much for sharing with us.

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Marcia Compton     at 5:01 am

Thank you for sharing the wonderful birth of Cullen, I have followed your blog from the early on. You will have the most unbelievable experience to come.

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Tanya @ Vegan Faith     at 5:10 am

Such an awful, yet sweet and amazing story, all at once! How are you feeling now?

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Holly     at 5:14 am

Oh my gosh Emily. What a great story. Again I have no kids but WOW.

You went through so much! I have never heard of a labor this long so it is amazing how you endured. Just amazing. And he is so big and healthy!

What a beautiful way to document your memories.

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Kelly     at 5:22 am

This made me cry! It is a beautiful story, Emily. What a wonderful family you and Casey have created. All the best to the three of you!

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Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats     at 5:31 am

I’ve never read a birth story before and I totally wish I would have seen something like this before my externship this summer. It would have given me a much better understanding of what the family was actually experiencing on the inside. Your writing is so incredibly beautiful. Happy tears to start off this Friday morning!

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Christena     at 5:34 am

Congratulations! I enjoyed all three posts, but this was was the best, of course. Cullen is the cutest newborn I think I have ever seen, and I love the name. Congrats again to both of you!

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Karla     at 5:49 am

A CONGRATULATIONS is in order! =)

What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing! He is a beautiful boy & I love the name Cullen. Life is precious and this shows that exactly.

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Kathleen     at 5:58 am

Beautiful!

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Melanie     at 6:01 am

Emily your strength is amazing! I have just started the “trying to get pregnant” process and I truly hope I can have even an ounce of your strength if I am lucky enough to make it to the delivery room!

Cullen is so incredibly handsome and perfect! Congratulations to your entire family!

I am reading this in my cube at work and crying hoping no one can see :-) Powerful post!

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Evan     at 6:01 am

Oh my gosh, this post gave me chills. Congratulations, Emily!! Cullen is the most beautiful baby. I pray that the rest of your journey is full of nothing but happiness and love.

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tania     at 6:01 am

i believe this to be the most inspiring birth story i have yet to read. you are an amazing woman – your resilience and strength through this all keep me in awe. thank you for writing a beautiful birth story , one that is not filled with fear and trepidation, but with love and determination. i know that i will certainly read it again one day when i too, hopefully become pregnant. bless all three of you!

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Kath     at 6:06 am

Beautiful story, Emily!!! Thank you for sharing! Life is so precious!

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Ashley     at 6:09 am

I’m not a particularly emotional person when it comes to things like this just simply because I haven’t been through it yet, but I was in tears reading this. What an amazing way you told this story. It took my breath away and I couldn’t wait to get to end when he finally arrived. Prayers and thoughts to you and yours and a hefty congratulations! He’s absolutely precious!

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Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me     at 6:13 am

omg this really brought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful story and really tugged at the heart strings. I’m so happy for you and your beautiful family.

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Natasha     at 6:17 am

I’ve been following you since probably around week 28. I’m just 2 weeks behind you. As my due date approaches next week, your story was perfect. Thanks for posting so quickly. Congratulations!

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Jenny     at 6:24 am

Another beautiful part to the story! I’m so happy for you and Casey and I hope Cullen brings you all the happiness you two deserve!

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Charise     at 6:25 am

This last part made me tear up. It is so well-written and full of emotion. I am so happy everything turned out well and best wishes to your little family! :)

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Chichi {From Now Till I Do}     at 6:30 am

Such a beautiful birth story. Congratulations to you both.

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Lauren     at 6:30 am

And I’m crying…happy tears for the Malone family. He is beautiful Emily. Enjoy every minute of this new chapter in your life. (I know you will)

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Chichi {From Now Till I Do}     at 6:30 am

Such a beautiful birth story. Congratulations to you both and well done to you, for pushing through to the end.

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Paige     at 6:35 am

This is such a lovely story. Thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations to you both!

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Amy W     at 6:35 am

Love reading your story. I am a mom to 4 (9,8,5,2) but it never gets old reading about the birth of a new baby. It truly is such a miracle and Cullen is one lucky little baby:) You will be a great mom. Love your blog and thank you for sharing.

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Mikayla     at 6:35 am

Congratulations Emily & Casey! He is absolutely beautiful. Emily, I think he has your eyes!

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M     at 6:36 am

Hi Emily,

I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now (without commenting)- you write beautifully.

Congratulations on your handsome baby boy!

M

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Dorsa     at 6:37 am

This is an amazing story once again.. Can’t wait to see more of baby Cullen :)

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Jordan Wandfluh     at 6:43 am

You are such an inspiration Emily! Congratulations on your new little family!

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Steph     at 6:45 am

What a beautiful story – you totally have me in tears! I absolutely love the way you write. Congratulations Emily and Casey, and welcome to the world Cullen!

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Amy W.     at 6:46 am

Such a beautiful story… I was in tears! Congrats to the whole family! Brought back some emotions and memories from when I had my two boys! Thanks for sharing :)

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Jordan Wandfluh     at 6:46 am

You are such an inspiration Emily! Congratulations on your new little family!

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Jordan Wandfluh     at 6:47 am

You are such an inspiration Emily! Cullen is so lucky to have you and Casey as parents :)

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Leslie     at 6:54 am

Even I got weepy at the end of this. This final picture is awesome – father and son. This was beautifully written, and that is high praise coming from me. Every happiness to your family.

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Sally     at 7:01 am

The entire birth story is so lovely and touching – what more can I say that hasn’t already been written in the previous comments? I really love how much you have shared during your pregnancy journey, the honest, the poignancy, all of it. It’s beautiful and wonderful that you’ll have all this one day to share with Cullen.

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 7:04 am

You are so strong. It’s very inspiring to watch you set goals for yourself and push (literally and figuratively in this case) to achieve them. So glad Cullen has made it into this world a healthy and beautiful boy.

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day     at 7:05 am

Congratulations! I loved how you described going into yourself during that last bit of pushing… how powerful… your son is beautiful.

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Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life     at 7:06 am

Girl you have my balling at my desk at work, this was the most remarkable story I have ever read. Your journey to motherhood makes me look forward to the day I too will experience this.

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R @ Learning As I Chop     at 7:08 am

Wow. I usually don’t tear-up over these stories but this one got me. I can’t wait to meet our daughter!

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Lauren     at 7:12 am

Oh man, Emily. I am so glad I’m working from home today — I started crying not even halfway through! What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!!!
P.S. I looove that adorable picture of Cullen with one eye open looking at the camera. So cute.

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Sarah     at 7:14 am

Just incredible! Happy thoughts to you & Casey & Cullen. I don’t even know how to describe what I feel…pride? I’ve never met you but I just somehow feel proud of you and women worldwide for the strength they exude through pregnancy & labor. You are awesome.

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Leah     at 7:15 am

Thank goodness I have my own office. I’m sitting here catching up on your birth story…and grateful to be alone to take it all in. :)

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colleen     at 7:17 am

Your birthing story is such an amazing and beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal moment in yours and your family’s lives. It is amazing what the female body can do. As a mom of a soon to be an 8, 6 and 3 year old, enjoy every minute of your journey. It goes too fast. Like your labor and delivery, there will be ups and downs, but watching your child learn and see everything for the first time is simply amazing and makes me tear up all the time.

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Vanessa     at 7:26 am

Aww.. He’s so precious!!

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Michelle     at 7:27 am

This is such an incredible story! I’ve been reading through your pregnancy (and before!) and I’m so happy for you guys. You’re so strong and such an amazing writer–very inspiring! Congratulations :)

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Hannah     at 7:31 am

Sobbing over here. A man & his son. A woman and her son. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

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Katy @ MonsterProof     at 7:31 am

He’s so beautiful, and you both were so strong! Best wishes with the rest of the journey!

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mi-an d.     at 7:36 am

i am seriously in tears!!!! congrats again!!

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Amber     at 7:37 am

Emily, your birth story is beautiful! You write with such emotion. I tend to be fairly reserved in my emotions, but you certainly brought tears to my eyes. Your strength and devotion is admirable! Congratulations to you and Casey! Enjoy your new life with baby Cullen. I can’t wait to hear more about your new little bundle of joy. :)

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Nicole @ Yuppie Yogini     at 7:47 am

whew—-i’m a sobbing mess right now. Emily, I hope you feel so proud of yourself. I know women push out babies everyday, but that makes it no less amazing and incredible. Thanks for sharing this story. You and Casey made a beautiful baby!!

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Emily     at 7:48 am

So beautfiul, congratulations… Listen to Beautiful Boy by Ben Harper…. So amazing! Tears of joy for you :)

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Natalie     at 7:49 am

So excited for your sweet new family! Cullen is absolutely beautiful!

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Lauren     at 7:55 am

Congratulations! Aaand, now I need to go see about getting myself a baby! :)

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Celeste     at 7:56 am

This is one of the most beautiful and terrifying stories I have ever read in my life. The idea of actually carrying and birthing a child, and how I would give up running as much as I do now, has changed much over the past 6 months of following your story. The concept of best and better, taken on new meaning. Thank you for sharing your journey with us – many of whom are strangers you never have met, and probably never will. It has made such a difference to me to read your story-and may very much change how mine will be.

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lynn     at 7:57 am

Oh my gosh, those last two photos are so incredible to see after following your whole journey! Thank you so much for sharing the ENTIRE process, and a million congratulations!!

At 29, I’ve been on the fence for a few years about when to start trying to have kids, and everything you’ve written has been so special to read while also being really informative for someone like me. I know I’ll reference it all again and again once I’m finally at the point to start growing my little family.

Congrats again!

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April B @ Marathons N Martinis     at 8:01 am

Emily,
I have loved following your pregancy and now your delivery. Your family is so beautiful – congratulations on your new son. Enjoy your time as a new mom!!

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Marie     at 8:05 am

This has been such a beautiful story to read, Emily. Congratulations to you and your husband!

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Tameika     at 8:07 am

How beautiful! You did an amazing job Emily. Congratulations again to you and Casey!

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Ellen     at 8:13 am

WOW!!!! What a beautiful sacrifice you made for your child to come into this world!!! You have an amazing story, and I wish you and Casey the best in your new journey with Cullen! :)

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Jennifer     at 8:15 am

What a beautiful story, I have tears in my eyes. Congratulations to all of you!!

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Maura     at 8:17 am

I’m so moved and must say like many above me, I had tears welling up in my eyes the whole time I was reading that. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.

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Amber     at 8:19 am

What a beautiful story!! You and your family have captured my heart and I have tears streaming down my face reading your amazing journey! You are so beautiful and strong and your son is absolutely precious. Thank you for sharing such intimate details of his birth, I pray that one day I will be as blessed as you. Congratulations Emily! xoxo

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anne     at 8:22 am

wow. that was beautifully written. I even started to tear up imagining the pain and horrible long wait- but great job! hope you and Cullen have been able to enjoy bonding and hopefully getting some rest!

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Christina     at 8:24 am

It was a long road but you did an amazing job. I’m at a loss for words…

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Pauline     at 8:34 am

Thank you SO much for sharing. Incredible! I hope you and family are resting and doing well.

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Katie of Cabbage Ranch     at 8:34 am

Thank you for sharing your story! My labor was 23 hours(limited to 24 because my water broke first) with pitocin, an evolving birth plan, etc etc. I thought that was long enough, but you definitely proved your mettle with this looooong labor. What a warrior you are! Congratulations, he’s beautiful!

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hannah alehandra     at 8:36 am

OH my god i’m crying! What a beautiful story. You and Casey make beautiful parents, congratulations to you both!!!!!http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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Maggie     at 8:37 am

this is so beautiful Emily. My pregnancy hormones are making me cry my eyes out right now! congratulations on an incredible birth!

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Christin@purplebirdblog     at 8:41 am

Sweet tears of joy for you and your lovely family!

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Rachel C     at 8:43 am

Thanks for sharing your experience. It has been an incredible journey that you have brought to your readers. Cullen is a gorgeous boy. Can’t wait to see more pics of him. Congrats to all of you.

Also, please let us know how the dogs are taking to their new brother. Thanks. ;)

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Cyndi     at 8:47 am

Beautiful capture of Cullen’s arrival! Congratulations and enjoy, he is beautiful!

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Faith     at 8:50 am

THANK YOU for the most touching, personal, and real birth story ever! He’s gorgeous and I’m thrilled for your family.

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Carly     at 9:05 am

I’m new to your blog, and tears are flowing right now. I am so unbelievably happy for you and your family. You are an incredible writer and captured this story so beautifully. All the best for a wonderful future as a family!

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Megan B     at 9:08 am

Beautiful story that made me cry. Thank you for sharing this beautiful birth story with all of us.

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Sara     at 9:09 am

Absolutely incredible. You are so strong. Congratulations!

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Maryann     at 9:10 am

Emily and Casey,
I was crying and I’m at work when I read this. What an emotional experience such highs and lows the end result was so beautiful. I used to work in OB but it’s been over 5 years. It is such a miracle life. Now your new journey begins and will never be the same. You will always be a Mom. Congratulations to the whole Malone family!
Now rest and enjoy your baby they grow so quickly.
Blessings,
Lancaster CO PA Gal

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Tanya @ theskyandback     at 9:15 am

Congrats! He’s beautiful.

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Laura-Ashley     at 9:15 am

I have never read a more beautiful birth story! I anxiously awaited each part and have cried at work while reading them. Congratulations! Now I have to wipe up my tears… I’m getting weird looks.

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Kate @ NaturaStride     at 9:17 am

Amazing. Thank you!

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Malia     at 9:18 am

Emily, that was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Your story has brought me to tears as I sit here at my desk, at work. Your strength and courage has brought an amazingly beautiful boy into this world. My co-worker and I are truly happy for you. It seems so silly, because we do not know you at all. Welcome to motherhood, the most wonderful thing ever. Congrats to you and yours.

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Becky @ TasteChaser     at 9:21 am

Oh man, I was able to get through parts one and two without tears but there was just no hope for me with part three! Crying at work with the rest of em :)Congrats!

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Jess     at 9:23 am

Wow. This is an amazing story. It brought tears to my eyes! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now and am truly moved by your experience…as a runner, a vegetarian and Seattleite, it’s been incredible to read your journey. Many congrats on your new addition to your family!

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Emilia     at 9:25 am

I had to stop reading mid-sentence couple of times to hold my tears back. The story and the images are just incredible. I am sending a lot of positive energy your way. Can’t wait to read more about his first week at home!

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Sarah     at 9:44 am

Truly amazing! I marvel at your inner strength. That’s one lucky (gorgeous by the way) little boy to have such awesome parents!

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Stacy @ Stacy Eats     at 9:44 am

Amazing! You always bring me to tears. :) So so so happy for you guys!

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Theresa     at 9:51 am

This is an incredible story, so beautiful. You are a great writer and this will be so special to have years later and be able to read it to Cullen someday. Congratulations to you and Casey.

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Leslie     at 10:05 am

Congratulations! I’ve been following you on Babble for a while now and have loved all your posts. I was due on Oct. 21st and delivered a beautiful baby girl at 11:42pm Oct. 21st! Our babies share a birthday. I look forward to your posts on parenting, it’s a wonderful, hard, and wild ride so far. Congrats again on Cullen, he is beautiful.

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Ashley Austrew     at 10:15 am

Oh my goodness, I am in tears. It’s the most amazing experience in the world, isn’t it? There’s just nothing else like it. Congratulations to you guys!

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Marie@feedingfive     at 10:30 am

The picture of Casey kissing Cullen is heartbreaking, and I’ve never even met you all! Your words are so wonderful. Cullen is perfect in every way, nice and plump and as sweet as can be. You did great! I have no doubt you will be a fantastic mother to your son.

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Katryn     at 10:31 am

What an incredibly beautiful journey! Your story gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. Cullen is the CUTEST!
Congratulations!

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Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run     at 10:34 am

This might be the most beautiful birth story I’ve ever heard. I am in tears right now because you described exactly what I felt when each of my kids were born. God Bless! You will love this journey! Welcome to the club!

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Elisabeth     at 10:43 am

What a beautiful story, Emily! I truly loved reading all three parts (and all of the pre-delivery moments these last several months) and can really see how happy the three of you are. I particularly love that last picture of Cullen & the first one of you & him together. I hope the three of you are having a wonderful first week together :)

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Amber K     at 10:49 am

This is absolutely beautiful. I had no idea it was possible to want a baby more. But reading all three parts has me in absolute hope and prayer that one day it will happen for me too.

Tears streaming-tears of joy for you and your family :)

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Kaley     at 10:58 am

I am sitting my my office on a Friday afternoon balling! Thank you so much for sharing this journey. I wish you and your perfect family all the best! Sending love from Florida!

Kaley

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Emily     at 10:58 am

This is possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

You have a serious talent for putting emotions into words.

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Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] Reply:

It really is. Emily, you’re one talented lady.

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Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]     at 11:00 am

These stories are the opposite of any sort of birth control, lol. I want to have a baby after reading them :)

Thanks for sharing such a personal/emotional part of your life with us. Cullen is SO lucky to have you as his mama :)

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Sara     at 11:06 am

Oh, Emily. I am 36 weeks right now, and reading this has made me SO EXCITED to meet my little guy.

You *killed* me with the line about “seeing my son with his dad.” Totally crying at my desk. I can’t wait to see that. :)

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Kathleen Ojo @ Onward; Inward     at 11:11 am

Crying. REALLY should not have read this at work. I’ve read a lot of birth stories lately and this was by far the most beautiful, raw and moving description I’ve come across. I don’t know you, but I am so overjoyed for you and your family.

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Kessia Reyne Bennett     at 11:14 am

ah, sheesh. I’m in tears over here.

beautiful.

congratulations!

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Jessica     at 11:23 am

Incredible. As the mommy of an 8 month old baby boy, I can totally relate to the emotional aspect. Enjoy every minute with your new little guy!

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Jesse (Out To Lunch Creations)     at 11:26 am

Incredible story, thank you so much for sharing it. It brought tears to my eyes along with a flood of emotions. I don’t know you but I’m so proud of you. Congratulations!

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Brooke @ bittersweetBrooke     at 11:32 am

Wow, what a birth story! I’ve loved reading all your pregnancy posts and birth posts. Now onto the life ahead of him! He is just beautiful. Congrats!

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Kim     at 11:38 am

What a beautiful story. You are making me cry at work! =) I am so happy for you both.

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Kelly     at 11:49 am

This is absolutely beautiful. I remember pushing my twins out, going through many of the same emotions you did, and you will never forget any of it. Being a mom is the most incredible and special title in the world. I have come to realize that it is truly a privilege getting to spend your time and devote yourself to this incredible person/people that have grown inside of you! Congratulations!

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Katie     at 12:42 pm

Part III moved me to tears. The peace you describe of the quiet labor room and dark night outside. That moment when you felt him come into this world. The joy of seeing your husband with your son. All so touching. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

I’m so glad you were able to get the v-birth that you wanted and what amazing sense of accomplishment you must feel to have warrior-ed through 54 hours of it! The power contained inside of our bodies and our spirits is so humbling.

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Andrea     at 12:46 pm

OH Emily…that is an amazing story. So, eerily similar to mine with my oldest. I pushed for almost 3 hours as well and labored for over 30. And I had a big boy…9lbs 0oz. Good news…#2 will be a breeze. SEriously, I gave 3 pushes with my second son. I could hardly believe the difference. It’s like your body remembers and knows EXACTLY what to do. Wow..Cullen really looks like Casey in one of those pictures. Amazing!

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Chris Howard     at 12:59 pm

You make a beautiful family! Your story was so moving, it took me back 32 years to the birth of my own first child, Jamie. Best wishes to all of you!

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Michaela     at 1:25 pm

wow, that is some kind of a story.
I really hope things will go faster (and without the bleeding!!!) with your second child.
Cullen is super cute! Like, just soooooo sweet and you can def tell Casey is his dad :D

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Megan     at 1:32 pm

You are a wonderful writer! As a Hospice nurse, there are few things that bring me to tears and I was sobbing by the end of this. You should really consider writing a book. congrats on your journey!

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Brittany @Little b's healthy habits     at 2:35 pm

Oh my goodness this brought a tear to my eye! Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing this!

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Katie     at 2:35 pm

I just sat here at my kitchen table and cried my eyes out reading this. I am so happy for you, and so excited to bring babies of my own into the world someday!

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Kara     at 2:40 pm

What a touching post, Emily. You certainly have a way of genuinely letting your readers into your life and experiences — and this story is no exception. Wow. I teared up, for sure! Congratulations to you for your amazing strength and tenacity in bringing beautiful Cullen into this world — seriously inspring, lady! Most importantly, it’s wonderful to read that everyone is safe and healthy. I so look forward to reading about the adventures of the Malone family!

p.s. Seeing the photos reminded me of my niece’s birth at that same hospital just two short years ago!!! I slept on those couch/bed things!! Fun memories.

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Katie     at 3:04 pm

Cullen is beautiful! You are amazing! That story was great im glad you made it even though it was not what you had planned.

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Allison     at 3:16 pm

Beautiful story, thank you for sharing!

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 3:32 pm

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh cannot even handle it. So so so so so much love. Congrats, Emily! I’m SO happy for you :)

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Dad     at 3:38 pm

I am beyond words, and streaming tears…billions of mothers (and fathers, too) have experienced some version of the emotions which you did…but I don’t think anyone has ever written more eloquently about the miracle which is the birth of a child. You are an amazing writer, Emily, and I have no doubt at all that you will be an amazing mother as well. I, and all of your (other) Cincinnati fmily are full of joy for you, Casey and Cullen. Much, much love…..

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Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee     at 3:42 pm

Awwww!! So sweet! :) I can imagine little Cullen, a year or two from now, dressing up as a pumpkin or something else adorable and toddling around the neighborhood for Halloween. Good job!! I don’t know if I would have been able to handle that!

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TeenyLittleSuperChef     at 4:52 pm

Oh dang, those pictures of Casey with his new baby son is so precious. They look completely in love with each other. Have fun with your baby boy and enjoy every moment you have with him. Way to be mama!

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STUFT Mama     at 5:05 pm

Chills Emily. Chills. You are amazing. Cullen is beautiful. God bless you on the start to your new journe. :)

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Brittany     at 6:15 pm

I am crying . BEAUTIFUL baby!!! Amazing story congrats again :)

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Pure2raw twins     at 6:17 pm

Emily wow!!! loved reading about your story. you are such a strong and beautiful person!! we admire even more now! And congrats to Casey was well! We are so happy for the both of you and Cullen! He has two very incredible parents!!

HUGS

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Jesse     at 6:59 pm

thanks for sharing your birth story with us emily. it was amazing to read all the details and everything you went through. as my pregnancy progresses, i feel very inspired and excited for the next steps.

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Courtney     at 7:37 pm

This was so incredibly well written. Cullen is so lucky. The very best part for me was reading your story that brought back so much of my own with my first (who is now almost 5). I am literally sitting here feeling so incredibly grateful for that! Thank you, Emily:)

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Teri Walker     at 8:04 pm

Oh, Emily, that is so beautifully told. I am so happy for you and your brand new little family. You’re so wise to capture these memories fresh, so you never lose them. He is such a beautiful, serene little guy. Congratulations to you all!

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Bebe     at 8:15 pm

Strength, courage, magical, beautiful, wonderful…all the words going through my mind as I read your posts…all with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat…my babies are all in their twenties now, but it feels like yesterday that I was bringing each one home from the hospital…enjoy every single minute, babies truly are the loves of your life.

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Autumn Tao     at 3:17 am

Bless you Emily, for having the strength for fight for the birth you wanted and for taking the time to share all the details with us. You have left me crying in my coffee this morning, both with joy and with awe. You are magnanimous lady. Cheers to the Malones! Namaste.

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Kate     at 4:27 am

oh my word, it’s saturday morning at 6:30 and i am weeping! congratulations, mama!

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Nicole     at 9:58 am

Absolutely heart wrenching story. So beautiful.
You are an incredibly strong lady! I can’t wait to follow the lives of you guys moving into parenthood.

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ayako     at 11:55 am

I’ve never commented before, but I couldn’t help it today – thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful story. I was balling by the end. He is so beautiful. Thank you!

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Lauren @ Vaguely Vegan     at 2:58 pm

Congratulations! This was so beautifully written, I am in some serious tears right now. Thank you for sharing your experience – it’s so nice to read something so real, and not all rainbows and sunshine.

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Susan Mc     at 4:09 pm

Lovely story Emily…I found you via Kath…have loved reading and haven’t commented yet, but had to say thank you for sharing your amazing story. You touched this mommy’s heart and tearfully brought me back to the pure bliss I felt as my two sons were born. Your writing is beautiful.
Much love and congrats to you and your family. Cullen is as blessed by you and your hubs as you are by him…which is exactly how it outta be.
Mazel tov!

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Rachel     at 4:27 pm

Emily..

Thank you so much for writing this beautiful story! I can’t tell you enough how I admire your desire to have a natural birth, yet you were able to realize when you needed some extra help from the meds. I know a few women who have had natural births, and they were so judgmental of me having an epidural. It is honestly one of the most frustrating things ever…to made to feel “less than” because I didn’t birth just as they did. I so appreciate your approach to birthing all throughout your pregnancy, especially your “birth plan” post. Cullen is absolutely adorable, and I am so excited for you and Casey!!

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Heba @ midEATS     at 11:23 pm

Emily … this was SO touching! I’m proud of you for pushing through … sounds like it was so painful (can’t even imagine)! But the end result is so worth it – Cullen is so beautiful and precious! Hoping your journey as a mom is blessed and he continues giving you & Casey enormous joy. All the best to you. xo Heba

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Katie     at 3:30 am

WOW!! beautiful, have loved being able to share in this journey. Congratulations, he is so beautiful!

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Amy     at 6:31 am

So beautiful, Emily. I echo many other readers when I say that this finale to the birth story brought tears to my eyes. Hearing from a mother about what her birth experience is like is so moving. … Sending lots of love and good thoughts to your new family! Enjoy these precious first few weeks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows)     at 7:22 am

one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read!

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Kelly     at 8:48 am

WOW Emily. You are a beautiful writer. This story had me full of happy tears. Congratulations on your adorable baby.

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Haley S     at 12:54 pm

Beautiful story! So happy for you…what champions you and Casey were.

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Amy     at 2:09 pm

Gosh, Emily – I’m in tears here! Congrats!

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Erica     at 8:22 pm

Emily, This is honestly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. I’ve been terrified of the idea of ever being pregnant or giving birth, but you make it sound so amazing that I can’t imagine missing out. It’s still going to be a few years before my fiance and I are ready, but I officially have baby fever now. Cullen is beautiful. Congrats and best wishes on your new journey. I look forward to reading it.

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Robin     at 4:17 am

You wrote a beautiful birth story. I had a very similar experience with my first daughter and you brought me back to one of the best days of my life. Congratulations to your beautiful family.

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Theodora     at 10:00 am

Yup, tearing up just like everyone else. Especially at that last photo of him and Casey!

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Julie S.     at 2:12 pm

Wow Emily! What an amazing story! (Made me cry.) The pics are awesome, too. Cullen is absolutely GORGEOUS! Congrats!!

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Caroline @ chocolate and carrots     at 11:44 am

That was just so beautiful. I just cried my little heart out. I’m newly pregnant (for the first time) and I’m a nervous wreck. You made it all see worth it. He is just beautiful.

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Kat @ living like the kings     at 5:39 am

First of all, it is truly unbelievable what women can go through and what we can handle. I, for one, think that women are incredible. I actually had a lot of the same experiences as you – uncontrollable shivering (so bad that I thought I would chip my teeth that were shuttering loudly) and I totally blocked everything out except for the baby’s heartbeat (which kept being uneven during the last hour and half of pushing). It is all I could do to concentrate on making sure that she was safe and to push her out.

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Margie     at 6:59 am

Wow, your birth story has enlightened and inspired me so much! This week I found out that I will be induced a week from today which has made what has been an abstraction in my mind something more concrete. Although I am nervous about giving birth and hearing people around me say, “You’ll do great!” I know that I will have to find that strength that you captured in words so beautifully, deep within and it may not happen easily. You are an inspiration to me and I thank you for sharing your experience!! Love your blog…from fruit to nuts!!

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Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance     at 6:28 pm

I should be cooking dinner right now, but I saw that all 3 parts were up and had to read them all in a row. You are so inspiring, I am so SO happy for you and your family. Congratulations proud mama. Now I need a tissue! :)

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Erin     at 5:14 pm

That was one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read! I love the last 2 pictures! Congratulations!

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Sunny     at 7:14 pm

Congrats. That is one pretty boy you got there. Enjoy! Just when you thought you could love him no more he will smile, laugh and talk.

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Lauren @ LaDolcePita     at 7:55 am

So emotional and beautiful. I’m crying. WOW – best of luck and CONGRATULATIONS!

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Kara K     at 3:34 pm

I had been following your pregnancy updates, but hadn’t had a chance to catch up until now. I read your beautiful birth story and it brought tears to my eyes. I went through 4 hours of pushing and at the end I had some very similiar emotions to you. I didn’t think that I had it in me to push my darling baby boy out, but I welled up everything I had left and did it. Congratulations again!

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Ilane     at 10:55 am

OMG, I just discovered your blog and read Cullen’s birth story, and it is incredible, very touching and emotional. Congratulations on being so brave. You certainly are and will continue to be a wonderful mother. And your husband was so supportive and wonderful, and I am sure he is/will be a fantastic dad too. You wrote these stories beautifully, so thank you for sharing. Congrats again and your baby boy is beautiful.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you so much!

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Steph     at 11:38 am

Wow. So intense and emotional! Tears are being shed. Congratulations on your new family!

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Lara     at 9:34 am

I decided to re-read this this morning and I can’t stop crying now! I’d read it before, but now that I actually KNOW Mia and Maggie, I just keep thinking, “This could be OUR birth story!” Is there anything you would recommend bringing with you that they didn’t provide specifically there? I’m working on our hospital bag list and it am just wondering if you found yourself thinking, “I wish I had….” at some point.

Such a beautiful story, Emily. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Ahhhh yes!! So have you met Mia now? I love her so much (probably too much). It totally can be your birth story! For your sake, I hope it’s a bit shorter though. :) I really found they had pretty much everything we needed. Take your own shampoo, face wash, etc. – I was glad to have mine!

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Lara Reply:

Mia lead our last centering class in tandem with Maggie! Unfortunately that is the only time I have met her now. It seems that we’re having a different midwife lead each class? I’m not sure, but I’d really like to get more time with them individually. Thanks for the tips!

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Maria     at 12:49 pm

I’ve read this before, but I’m reading it now, 8 months pregnant and it brought tears to my eyes. Reading birth stories on the web is definitely helping me mentally prepare for this. You are so strong to have gone through all of that :-)

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Divya Vikram     at 2:22 pm

I am 35 weeks pregnant and I just re-read all parts of Cullen’s birth story and I am in tears for a while!! Beautifully written. Hope I get through labor with courage !

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shani     at 8:54 am

you are a talented cook/chef but also have a gift with words, no doubt! how beautiful, I loved reading this and it made me tear up a little! I’m 23 and can’t wait to have children of my own in a few years! wishing you and your family all the best xoxo

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Shani!

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Melissa T     at 6:22 am

I wonder, was Cullen born face up instead of face down? My son was born that way and I suspect it prolonged my labor.

When I got pregnant a second time, I made sure to ask which way my daughter was facing. Sure enough she was the same way. I did a “hula hoop” motion while sitting on a birthing ball during contractions. She turned around and was born with a beautiful round head after only 3 1/2 hours of labor! (A lot of thanks goes to HypnoBabies for helping me stay calm during labor.)

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Graham’s Birth Story.     at 1:50 pm

[...] labor hoping and wishing for an unmedicated delivery, but ultimately knowing that I had choices (choices that I had exercised the first time!).  It was another thing to have it sink in that my only choice was to now push out a baby [...]

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