about me

    Emily Malone

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

    Contact Emily

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

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Cullen’s Birth Story: Part Two.

Continuing from part one

After being admitted, the first thing they did was get me started on monitoring my contractions and Cullen’s heartbeat.  I met my nurse, Heather, and saw my midwife, Mia, when she came on duty – our whole team was excited for the day ahead.  People came and go and checked on me as needed, but for the most part Casey and I were left alone to just be together and work through each contraction. 

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I imagine most new moms feel this way after delivery, but I can’t say enough good things about Casey.  He was attentive, supportive, so loving, and managed to make me laugh in the few minutes I had between each new round of pain.  I didn’t know it would be possible for us to get closer, but this experience made me see him in entirely new and wonderful ways. 

The two of us rocked, swayed, walked, and did whatever we could to just keep going one by one.  Casey set up my Alison Krauss playlist, and for long stretches of time our room was silent other than the music.  He could sense when the contractions were coming without me saying a word. 

Around 10am, I had been laboring for two hours and was really starting to feel drained.  I was starting to shake badly during each contraction, and I knew I needed to try something else.  I asked our nurse if I could move to the jacuzzi tub in hopes that it would help ease the pain.  When I had been laboring at home, I had taken several warm baths which helped, but my tub at home was so small it was hard to get comfortable.  The tub had to be cleaned and prepped since someone else had used it that morning (they just have one in the birthing center).

We waited a long two hours for the tub to be prepped, while I continued to try to deal with what was becoming intolerable pain.  Because of the strength of my contractions, I was bending over and bearing down hard on my arms to get through each one.  Somehow in my coping efforts, I managed to strain a back muscle that only added to my difficulty.  Now with the new muscular pain, I felt no relief between contractions.

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Right around noon, Mia came in to check me one more time before I headed to the tub.  I was right at 5cm, and progressing – but very, very slowly.  She walked over to the wipe off board and said, “you are having a baby today!  We’re going to get through this.”

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As we waited and labored, Casey kept me constantly hydrated and helped me with fuel.  I snacked on dried apricots, raisins, and graham crackers – the only things that seemed palatable at the time. 

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I finally got into the jacuzzi tub around noon, so excited to feel relief and a change of environment.  It’s amazing the difference in how I thought things would be ahead of time, and how I actually felt once in the situation.  I found myself standing naked in a bathtub in a room full of people, without a care in the world who was there or what I looked like.  All I could think about was bringing this little boy into the world safely. 

I climbed into the tub and immediately things went south.  The water felt soothing, but suddenly my pain escalated to a level I could barely breathe through.  The pain in my back was unbearable, my body started violently shaking, and finally for the first time in 40 hours…I started to cry.  Big fat tears poured down as I begged for relief and started apologizing – I just simply could not do it anymore.  Casey rubbed my back and assured me that any decision I made was the right one.

I cried and cried and finally told the nurse I couldn’t stand the pain anymore.  She went and got Mia who came in, squeezed my shoulder, and told me that she thought getting an epidural was the right decision.  The policy of the midwives is to let mothers labor naturally as long as needed if that is their wish, and not to push medication unless it is asked for.  My nurse had already suggested it several times, and when I finally shook my head and said I was giving in, they all sighed with relief and said it was absolutely the right decision to make.

In my head I kept wondering if it was ridiculous to give in to interventions after I had made it through 40 long un-medicated hours, but I had promised myself before that I would not hold myself to any sort of promise or plan.  I felt completely reassured that Mia and Heather said that this was the right decision for both my baby and my body.

The anesthesiologist came and I headed back to my room.  After what I had been through already, getting the epidural was a breeze.  Casey stood in front of me and touched his forehead to mine while I squeezed his hands through contractions.  After about ten long minutes of trying to stay motionless through the pain, I felt it start to subside as the epidural started working.

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Once the medicine was in, I was confined to my bed from there on out.  My legs felt heavy and awkward, but I could still move them and feel them as much as needed.  At 1pm, Casey and I settled in for some much needed rest.  We had both been awake for almost 30 hours at that point, and we were feeling it. 

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Casey slept across the room from me on a sofa bed.  It felt so strange to be so far apart, and I wished he could climb into the hospital bed with me.  We turned down the lights and both slept for two hours.

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At this point I only had the epidural, and the hope was that my body would continue to make progress on its own, while I was relieved from most of the pain of contractions.  After two hours of resting, Mia checked me again – still 5cm.  Since Cullen’s heartbeat had never even wavered and we knew he was fine, she said there was no reason we had to rush the process with any additional interventions at that point.  She gave me another two hour window, and Casey pulled a chair over to my bedside so we could just sit and talk. 

At some point in that two hours, I rolled over to adjust myself and Casey noticed that my epidural had become disconnected.  They hooked me back up and we continued to wait for the next check.  At 5pm, four hours after getting the epidural, Mia checked me again – still 5cm.  My body was doing absolutely nothing.

At this point she said we would need to start pitocin.  My ultimate goal through all of this was to deliver a healthy baby, and my hope was to avoid a c-section if at all possible.  Pitocin sounded like the next logical step towards getting this baby out sooner than later, as risks were going up with each passing hour.  At 5pm they started the pitocin drip, and shortly after I started feeling intense, paralyzing pain.  The nurses rushed back in to discover that my epidural was once again disconnected. 

I was there for so long that I went through several shifts of nurses.  My new nurse, Bonnie, would come in from time to time and report different levels on the contraction monitor, letting me know if it seemed like my body was starting to respond to the medicine.  She was looking for numbers in the range of 100, and kept giving me results more like 35.  I felt so frustrated, and helpless laying there in my bed, unable to even get up to go to the bathroom.

At 7pm Mia came back in to check me and said I was making barely any progress, even with the pitocin drip.  She told me she had talked to the OB on staff, and was letting them know about my situation in case a c-section became my only option.  At this point she said that she was down to the last tools in her bag – we needed to break my water, increase pitocin, and basically say a prayer.  I started mentally preparing myself for the fact that despite my 45 hours of labor, there was a serious possibility I’d need a c-section. 

Two more hours passed that felt like an eternity, and when she came back into check me, our whole room lit up when she announced I was 7cm.  Finally we were getting somewhere!  Mia gave me a glimmer of hope and said that she still thought I could do this.  Bonnie continued to increase and monitor pitocin, and Casey and I watched the world get dark again as we entered into our third night of hospitals and waiting. 

Around 11:45, while still waiting for another check, Casey walked over to the wipe off board without saying a word, and corrected Mia’s early morning proclamation.

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At midnight I was checked again and my heart jumped – 9.5cm.  This was going to happen.  Our labor had been so long and so dragged out that what seemed so close at the very beginning, had retreated back to feeling far away and endless over the 48 hours of waiting.  Casey and I anxiously waited one more hour, letting my body make the final adjustments to prepare for the delivery.  I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember feeling like we had never been so close.

At 1am, Mia and Bonnie came back into the room and told us it was time.  Casey had a look on his face that I couldn’t really read, and I kept asking him what was wrong.  He shrugged me off a few times, but I could sense there was something more to it.  Finally he squeezed my hand and said, “I’m just nervous.  We’re about to meet someone really important.”

At the risk of writing a novel, I think three days of labor probably warrants three posts.  The wonderful conclusion – in part three!

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161 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of life)     at 2:21 pm

Oh Emily, our stories are almost identical! I totally understand what you mean about the tub. I got in and felt great until a contraction hit- then it was so much more intense! I remember watching contractions hoping for numbers in the 100s, but mine were only getting to 75ish so we had to use pitocin too.
And even though I didn’t want one either, didn’t that epidural feel great? I was shaking and crying too and the epidural finally allowed me to breathe and relax.
You’re a rockstar mama!


Haley @ Health Freak College Girl     at 2:21 pm

i love these posts! you’re so strong and i’m so happy cullen is healthy and strong :)


amy     at 2:22 pm

Nooooo, I’ve been waiting all day for the last half! Oh the anticipation!! =P


Jen Reply:

Me too!!


JessE @ LoveLifeFromScratch Reply:

Me Three! :)


Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous     at 2:23 pm

Yay! These posts are so incredible, Emily. Can’t wait for part 3.


Lauren @ Reject the Premise     at 2:24 pm

Haha I have checked for the next part of this story about a dozen times today! I love that you’re writing this, Emily. And you’re pretty much a rockstar mommy. :)


Marci     at 2:25 pm

Yippee! Exciting to read! What long days and you kept track of the hours and details!


Chelsea     at 2:25 pm

CHILLS at Casey’s words in that last paragraph. I’m on the edge of my seat!


Ali Reply:

Agreed! Brought tears to my eyes :)


Jacquelyn Reply:

Ditto!!! I was doing fine until I read that and then the flood gates opened.


Lauren M.     at 2:25 pm

So beautiful! Made me tear up at the end!


Hayley @ Oat Couture Reply:

Same here! :) Can’t wait for part 3!


Haley S     at 2:25 pm

You are so strong. Casey sounds like an amazing support system and his quote about being nervous is so cute!


Maddie     at 2:26 pm

Ooh, you’re making me cry…


Katherine     at 2:26 pm

I am so glad you did what was best for you and didn’t keep your body in the pain any longer! I know this was a really hard labor for you, and I can’t even imagine how close this brought you and your husband! Can’t wait to read conclusion!


Bethany @ More Fruit Please     at 2:27 pm

Casey’s words, “we’re about to meet someone really important”, just brought tears to my eyes! I already know that this story ends in a beautiful, healthy, little boy, but I’m still dying to hear the rest of it!


Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 2:28 pm

After having an unplanned Cesarean 3 months ago, and still dealing with the emotional and physical aftermath of that, I admit to reading your Twitter feed with increasing concern. I was so relieved to finally see the birth announcement :)

Although it’s a bit hard for me still, reading this and wishing my birth story were more similar (well, o.k., maybe not the 3 day part!), I’m so happy for you, Casey, and Cullen.


Heather @ Dietitian on the Run     at 2:29 pm

Let it be a novel! 50+ hours of labor is nothing short of a miraculous.

I am not a crier, and I actually teared up at the last part. You two are quite the couple – something special. :)

Can’t wait for part 3!


Laura     at 2:31 pm

This is an amazing story! You look like the happiest mom in the world! This is my first time commenting but your relationship with Casey is such an inspiration for me to find someone who will treat me well and not settle for anything less than that. Congratulations!


Lisa     at 2:33 pm

I have a friend who is a midwife. I’ve always planned on having her as my midwife someday when I get pregnant. I want to do natural with water birth and my midwife friend. I hope it all works that way! Sometimes babies and bodies have other ideas…


Celia     at 2:35 pm

I can’t believe you are putting me in suspense again!! Lovely posts!!


Aubre Rice     at 2:35 pm

This story is giving me chills! I can’t wait for the final part of the story! So exciting. WOW, what a trooper you were to endure that much pain for so long! I got to 4cm on my own and nearly jumped into the arms of the doc who gave me the epidural….and ended up with a C-section. I believe anyway a woman has a baby is a success….medication, no medication, home, hospital. We are all part of a marvelous experience!


Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life     at 2:36 pm

I can’t wait for part three now! I seriously have tears in my eyes about what Casey said right before the baby was born! That is just so sweet! :)


Shari     at 2:36 pm

Oh, that part at the end with what Casey said … beautiful, just beautiful. What a magical experience it must be to meet your child for the first time.

I agree with everyone else – you are indeed a rockstar!


Jen     at 2:40 pm

First I was crying because I felt so bad you were in so much pain. Then I cried because what Casey said at the end was so sweet. <3 Cannot wait for the happy ending in the next post!


Socal Rachel     at 2:40 pm

Lovely written story, I’m holding back the tears. I can’t believe we have to wait for part 3. Congrats on the beautiful family!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga     at 2:42 pm

Wow, Emily, the detailed account is amazing…so glad you documented this. You will thank yourself later.

And glad that your birth worked out the way that it was supposed to; and that you didn’t hold yourself to any one specific plan. I am so happy for you that you made it through your looooong labor!


Natalie     at 2:44 pm

Ohmygoodness, I’m sitting in my office at work crying. You tell the story so beautifully! Although my husband and I plan to wait another 3 years or so to start trying for kids, the way you talk about you and Casey during the process makes me that much more excited!!


Lisa     at 2:44 pm

Noooo!!! I’ve been waiting for this all day! I would love to read a novel about this!!!!


Sara S.     at 2:45 pm

This is the first birth story I’ve read during my pregnancy (15 weeks on Saturday!). I am really loving how detailed you are! It is making me both nervous and strangely calm, all at the same time! Looking forward to part 3!


Sonja Tilley     at 2:47 pm

Well Emily, I was fine throughout the entire post until I read the very end. “I’m just nervous, we’re about to meet someone really important” is probably one of the most touching things I’ve ever heard a new daddy say. I’ve been a nurse for a LONG time, helped deliver quite a few little ones, and still got teared up over his very humble statement. Bless your heart for being such a trooper through an excessively long labor!


Brittany Reply:



Jessica     at 2:49 pm

I’m tearing up reading your story, especially the part when Casey said “We’re about to meet someone really important.” I’m pregnant with twins and am inspired by your labor story. Congratulations on your baby!


Sara@BakingandWine     at 2:52 pm

Oh my goodness Emily! After 40 hours I don’t think anybody can blame you for getting an epi! I caved after 8 hours! Ha! Can’t wait to read the final installment.


Alyson     at 2:53 pm

I know my opinion doesn’t matter in the least, but I absolutely agree that the epidural was the right option for you guys. *hugs* You really are such an incredible trooper.


Heather     at 2:55 pm

I can’t even imagine the pain, so scary, you are so strong to go through all of that girl! Can’t wait to hear tthe rest!


Christin@purplebirdblog     at 2:55 pm

Oh my goodness… I’m waiting with bated breath on the next post!!


Michaela     at 2:59 pm

wow, what a story!
looking forward to hear the rest of it.
btw, you know they say it takes bigger babies longer to get out? ;)


Brooke @ Veggie Table     at 3:01 pm

Oh my goodness Emily – you are such a trooper! I can’t wait to read part 3!!


Maria     at 3:02 pm

Wow! You are a superwoman! As I’m sitting here reading this, I’m dealing with horrible waves of cramps I can’t even imagine :-/ Can’t wait to read the rest of your story!!


Kamaile     at 3:02 pm

AWWW we’re about to meet someone REALLY important. That is so sweet.


Diana McAdams     at 3:02 pm

Found your blog just a few weeks ago and have loved keeping up with your last few weeks. So happy for you and excited that your precious son had a healthy arrival..even if it did take a while.
I am a mom of 3 grown kids and a grandmother of 4. All my deliveries were hard ( easy peasy pregnancies…I always think one or the other will be hard…better a couple days than 9 months :-)
All my babies were turned posterior.. face up, not face down..so the labor is pretty ineffective.
And no epidurals because they were not very popular or as safe 30-40 years ago. So much better now…and I should know. My son in law is an anesthetist and gives them routinely to laboring moms.
I’ve always said that if my daughter ( 39 hour labor ) had been my first, she’d have been my last :-) But what a blessing each child has been in our lives…worth every painful minute. And you are now about to find that out first hand !!
And for future reference, my daughter’s first labor was not as long as yours but it was difficult and she finally gave in to the epi…though she was SO opposed to it. It was not a failure..it was the smart thing to do. But she was able to deliver her other 3 without an epidural. So if it is important to you, just know that they’ll all not be so tough :-)
Congratulations again !!


sallymae     at 3:07 pm

I love it! You rock my world!!!


Jennie     at 3:08 pm

Casey’s comment at the end of this part of the story brought tears to my eyes, so beautiful! You are an incredibly strong woman, very inspirational!


Amanda @ JustAmandaJ     at 3:12 pm

I initially didn’t want an epidural either and felt really really defeated when I broke down and got one, but in hindsight and how things went after that I am SO glad I got it.
Having a 7 month old now my birth is still fresh in my mind, and my preggo emotions are running high right now so this part in your story totally made me cry happy excited tears :)


Ella, RD     at 3:12 pm

oh my goodness the SUSPENSE!!! don’t wait too long to post part 3!!


Brittany     at 3:13 pm

Casey’s quote at the end was so profound!!!!! :)


ashley     at 3:14 pm

This is SO intense!! I felt like my heart was racing just reading it!! :)


AnneHD     at 3:15 pm

Congratulations to you and Casey!
Thank you so much for generously sharing your birth story with us. I started reading your blog a few months ago, when a friend recommended it to me, knowing that I love both cooking and running. But I have to say that since I myself became pregnant for the first time 3 months ago, I have also really enjoyed reading your pregnancy posts and now your birth posts. When reading the first part yesterday, in a café, I almost starting crying (hum… thank you, hormones… ). Your posts are really helping me figuring out all these wonderfully exotic experiences; thx again and best wishes.


Kristin     at 3:17 pm

oh my goodness! i cant believe how much u went thru! I almost cried like 3 times, especially at the bath tub part when u waited so long for it to be ready for you but then u just became in even more pain :( Poor thing!!! u were in so much pain and it saddened u so much to get an epi :( but U are seriously such a strong person though Emily and an inspiration!!! I cant wait to read part 3 :)


Meredith     at 3:18 pm

Ooh, I made it all the way to the end and when Dad said “We’re about to meet someone really important” I start crying! So sweet and true.

What an amazing journey you’ve all been through! Congrats!


Lu     at 3:20 pm

The anticipation is almost too much! I can’t wait to read part 3.


Bethany @ One Girl's Taste On Life     at 3:25 pm

“I’m just nervous. We’re about to meet someone really important.” That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard! I can’t quit tearing up!

I’m with everyone else…looking forward to part 3!


maria @ a life to bragg about     at 3:27 pm

I just posted about your birth story on my blog because it moved me so much…and it’s only the second half haha. WHY must you drag it out?! I’m dying here and can’t wait to read the rest. You’re such a wonderful writer!


Ms. Adams     at 3:29 pm

Caseys comment totally brought a tear to my eyes. You picked a good one. And you are a rockstar for hanging in there so long! I can’t begin to imagine how exhausted you were after 50 plus hours of labor.


Sarah G     at 3:32 pm

Yay!! Part two so quickly. Thank you. I’m loving your birth story, mostly because I am 36 weeks — right behind you. Thank you for being so open and sharing the details. My eyes stay filled with tears the entire time I read your posts about Baby C. :)


Laura     at 3:33 pm

This is better than a novel!!! I can’t believe everything you went through!!!


Erica     at 3:35 pm

Thank you for sharing this story with your readers. I love the last paragraph – it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for being so open – I’m 18 weeks and have’t really started preparing myself for this yet so it’s great to read your perspective!


Renee     at 3:38 pm

Emily! I’m absolutely bawling reading these updates!

I’m 6 weeks pregnant and love love your blog! I’ve been following you for months now. Thank you so much for being inspiring and wonderful!


Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 3:39 pm

Seriously, your birth story is making me sob! My labor was nothing compared to yours…only 19 hours, but I can so relate to so many of your emotions.

I’m pregnant now and excited for meeting my next child. You’re amazing.


Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen     at 3:40 pm

I really need to stop reading your posts at work – I always end up in tears! I can’t wait to read part three. Thank you for sharing this whole experience. You did good, Mama Garnish! Your family is beautiful :-)


Madeline @ Food, Fitness & Family     at 3:46 pm

You are such an incredible writer. I have loved reading Parts 1 and 2 and can’t wait for part 3!


Lucia     at 3:51 pm

I could have written this post. Just remember what you said before: be flexible and know when your body cannot go on. Proud of you Emily.


brandy     at 3:54 pm

Thank you for sharing your story! It’s wonderful to see how hard everyone worked for you without jumping to the c-section. And Casey is incredible! :) Can’t wait to read part 3!!


Denise W.     at 3:55 pm

Wow! First, I have never been so anxious to hear of a baby being born….except when my twin sister had her first baby. It was a boy, and he was born October 20!! Ironic. Anyway, I think you’re amazing to have lasted as long as you did. I was thrilled to read you had Cullen, safe and sound, though arduous as it was. Please keep writing about being a new mom because I’m not one yet. I think sometimes new moms don’t have enough honest moms that are willing to talk about or admit how challenging things are. I love your honesty, as well as beauty in your writing. And I don’t think I’m the only one. :). Enjoy this time with Cullen because my nephew is 7 now. I miss the early years. :)


Kelly     at 4:04 pm

Congrats Mama!! You are amazing! It’s always good to know that epi + pitocin doesn’t always equal c section.


laura (starloz)     at 4:08 pm

wow emily, you are a beautiful writer!


Mandy     at 4:15 pm

I was so excited to see your post up after I put Ian down for his afternoon nap. What a wonderful way to enjoy my break (I really am obsessed with babies and birth, huh?). Casey’s words brought tears to my eyes. You are surrounded by two wonderful boys!


Kristen @ The Concrete Runner     at 4:48 pm

I can’t even possibly imagine what you were going through during those 40 hours! That’s a long time to labor, and I’m glad the outcome makes it so worth it! Can’t wait to read the final day! :)


Kelly B     at 4:48 pm

Your birth story brings up so many emotions, thank you for sharing it with us all. I’m almost into my 3rd trimester, and while I had this grand idea in my head of what I thought pregnancy would be, I was thrown a curve ball (albeit a small one) that’s carried through my pregnancy, but it’s helped me realize that things like pregnancy, birth and life don’t always go as planned, and I just need to go with the flow. I’ve had to come to realize that while my birth will most likely not be what I hoped for, it will be what it’s meant to be. I’m going to try my hardest to go natural, and have amazing midwives and a doula on my side, but if I can’t labor in a tub, or deliver at the birth center, it’s ok. It’s what is meat to be :)


Kelly B     at 4:50 pm

And you are an AMAZING woman for laboring for 40+ hours


Rachel Mount     at 4:51 pm

I just got chills, I think because this is such a LOVE story, not just a birth story (although isn’t that what all birth stories are, too?). Wow.


Heather (Maida Vale)     at 4:52 pm

Also in tears! You were such a trooper, and I admire that you never stopped listening to your own needs. Casey sounds like a wonderful man, too. You are both very lucky to have each other (and now Cullen, too!).


Elizabeth     at 4:55 pm

I’ve been reading these posts over and over. I have an 18-month-old son and I am due on November 16th with my second child, and I can’t get enough of your birthing experience. I was sitting this evening re-reading this post and holding my son and remembering his labor and delivery and looking forward to this next baby and crying :) It really is the most life-altering experience. I can’t wait to read the next post! Congratulations on your beautiful little boy, and your wonderful birthing experience!


Mari     at 5:04 pm

You are such a fantastic writer! I had tears in my eyes at the end of this, I can only imagine what part 3 will do to me!


Bonnie     at 5:06 pm

Lovely account of Cullen’s birth – arduous as it was. So happy for you. I’ve enjoyed all your posts. My 4 kids are 29-37; we now have eight grandchildren six and under. The fifth baby girl in less than 2 years is due any day. Birth stories never lose their wonder and joy.


Sheryl     at 5:09 pm

Tears in my eyes as I read this… can’t wait for the big finish! You are one strong lady, I’m so impressed that you survived a 50+ hour labor!


Tammy     at 5:14 pm

I am just sitting her bawling. Beautiful.


Brenda     at 5:18 pm

I cried at the part about the epidural. It sucks giving into intervention when you’ve prepped every way to get around it. When I checked inti the hospital at 3cm, with contractions 3min apart on Friday, 10/21, I knew I could get through labor without medicine. Then in labor and delivery, as my nurse was preparing all of the supplies for unmedicated labor, a doctor came in with an ultrasound machine and I was dealt a devastating blow- baby boy was transverse with a foot hanging down towards the birth canal. Since my water had already broken, it was too dangerous to try and turn him (for risk of damaging the placenta). C-section was the only option. Two hours later, my little guy was laying on my chest in the operating room. As much as I didn’t want a c-section, I am so thankful ti have had one, as my little guy may not have made it naturally. thanks for sharing your birth story, excited to read the end!


Tara     at 5:23 pm

Yep, that’s a tear jerker! And I see from other the comments that it’s not just because I’m pregnant (still! I was due on the 17th and still waiting….)
It’s quite an incredible story and I’m so impressed and amazed that you made it through that many hours. You’ve got super strength and a wonderful birth partner.
Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy. He is absolutely adorable. Your story is certainly going to help me when our baby boy finally decides to come. ;)


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts     at 5:52 pm

What a day. You are amazing! I am blown away that you got through those first 40 hours without an epidural, and seeing that you had to get through a number more after that – I think it’s safe to say I am very glad for your sake that you had it when you did.


Kim     at 5:58 pm

That moved me to tears…
Although you had a long and difficult time, it is so beautiful as well.
You are amazing Emily! Wow. Just wow.
I am 8 months pregnant, and reading your whole pregnancy journey, and now your labour journey, it fills me with joy, fear, and everything in between!
And don’t ever think you “gave in” with having an epidural. It was the absolute right decision for you!
Cant wait for Part 3 :D


Colleen     at 5:59 pm

I’ve said it before, but you are an amazing writer and rock star. Casey’s comment made me cry. So touching and true.


Andrea     at 6:03 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your beautifully written story. You are are very talented writer. I have absolutely loved reading about your whole pregnancy-it was an added plus when I was searching for yummy vegetarian recipes. My husband and I are just starting down the road to babies so it’s been great to read your stuff. I wish you so much love and happiness and joy. Your new little one is absolutely precious and sweet. Many thoughts and prayers to you for your new adventure. :)


Kara     at 6:07 pm

You left me in tears!! So, so sweet of Casey.


Gina     at 6:30 pm

So much suspense, Emily, I can hardly stand it! Still, soooo happy you are documenting this in such a beautiful and detailed manner. Can’t wait for tomorrow!!!


Angela     at 6:36 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience with us! It helps those of us who have not had kids yet. I would love to hear a little bit about your husband’s experience and thoughts when you were going through labor!


Holly     at 6:37 pm

Wow! Hearing stories like yours makes me wonder how anyone could manage a birth with all this labor decades/hundreds of years ago, not having pain meds. It’s just crazy.

You sound like a serious trooper through all of this.


Ashley     at 6:37 pm

That was intense. I almost cried reading it.

Now I’m even more terrified of having children, though I’m positive I’ll take that plunge one day.


Erin @ Big Girl Feats     at 6:41 pm

You are incredibly strong and seriously amazing! I’m not pregnant (or married yet!) but when we do have babies, I will most likely have to have a c-section due to a heart condition. I haven’t really thought about what labor means to a woman and her baby, but these posts are really making me think about how amazing it all is – regardless of medicine, surgery or anything else!


anon     at 6:42 pm

Epidural = best.thing.ever! Such a sweet story, thanks for sharing.


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 6:52 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! I am so glad the epidural helped your pain. I do not think there should be any stigma attached to having an epidural, especially after 40 hours of pain! You are so strong, and I cant wait to read the next update!


Sarah     at 6:53 pm

Emily, you are one amazing mama already!


Emily     at 6:58 pm

Emily, you’re a trooper. I’m glad you did what was best for you and received an epidural! I can’t wait to read part 3!


Lauren     at 6:58 pm

Emily, I’ve read your blog for a while (and LOVE it), but haven’t commented before. Reading both parts of your story so far has given me chills – you’re an amazing writer and it is so inspiring to hear how tough you were!


Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats     at 7:14 pm

This is such beautiful writing. You have me in tears over here–especially with Casey saying “we’re about to meet someone really important”. :)


Anon     at 7:18 pm

Amazing story, I cannot wait for tomorrow’s post. You are a brilliant, lovely writer, Emily! Brought tears to my eyes. You are so blessed. I am 31 and hope I still have enough time to find a husband to make a beautiful family with like you! So wonderful, it warms my heart!!


Carla @ I Run, You Run     at 7:25 pm

A friend of mine blogged about her birth experience and wrote “from this moment on I will refer to the epidural as Nectar of the Gods”

I thought it was hilarious, and I wonder if you felt the same?

Stories like yours make me terrified of child birth. I’m such a wimp when it comes to pain…


Stacey     at 7:29 pm

“I’m just nervous. We’re about to meet someone really important.”

Gave me goosebumps!!! That is so cute!


christina cadden     at 7:39 pm

I love reading your story. I thought my 22.5 hours of labor was bad! Bless your heart! But you have a happy beautiful baby boy!!!


Kath     at 7:45 pm


Thanks so much for writing this out. I’m so glad to read the details!


Priyanka     at 7:49 pm

All I can say is you are a strong, strong mother and Casey is definitely a wonderful husband. Cannot wait to read the third part.

Hope Cullen is adjusting well!!!


May     at 8:10 pm

You really deserve my respect, Emily. You are so determined, and so strong! Very well written :)Looking forward to reading the wonderful conclusion!


Lisa     at 8:18 pm

Can’t wait for part 3! And what Casey said completely melts my heart. So sweet.


Michelle     at 8:42 pm

I love reading your birth story! I can’t wait for part three. I think you are incredible for going so long without pain relief. I was only in labor about 15 hours before I begged for that epidural. My husband thanked me for getting it, because it was so hard for him to see me in so much pain!


Lisa     at 8:46 pm

What a wonderful journey – and it is so very sweet of you to share it with us! I can only imagine what the birth of our baby gal will be like in 19 weeks time!!


Pam C     at 9:15 pm

awwww! What Casey said about meeting someone important is seriously the cutest most honest thing i’ve ever heard come from a new dad-to-be. I’m loving your birth story more than most because I’ve been lucky enough to be following the story since near the begining.

You write beautifully and are going to love having this to look back on anytime you’re feeling nostalgic.


Kayla (The Best Things..)     at 9:47 pm

I can’t wait for part 3! It was nice to hear Casey’s side too.. it’s easy to forget how intense it must have been for him watching you go through all that and feeling a bit helpless.


Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 11:37 pm

Again, Casey makes me cry.

This is a whole other sort of marathon you can add to your list of finishes! Good job, Mama.


Johanna     at 1:52 am

Wow, such an amazing story. Casey’s words brought tears to my eyes too… Can’t wait the happy ending!


Danielle     at 3:39 am

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. It is absolutely beautiful! Casey’s comment before Cullen was born seriously made me tear up. I can’t wait to read the rest :)


Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile     at 3:46 am

I just got the chills at the end!!! I cannot wait to hear part three. What a long journey but totally worth it in the end!!


Elizabeth     at 5:23 am

Glad I’m not the only one sobbing over Casey’s words…


Tricia     at 5:29 am

On the edge of my seat for part 3! : )


Katy     at 6:17 am

I’m loving your stories of Cullen’s arrival – I can’t stop tearing up! And Casey’s comment – OMG that’s beautiful!! I can’t wait for Part 3!! I’m on the edge of my seat…..



Kristen     at 6:38 am

Emily, you are such a strong woman! This story has been so fun to read…I can’t wait for part three!

My sister had a very similar situation with her first baby. She was in labor for 30 hours when the baby’s heart rate started to speed up so they ultimately had to do a c-section. She was sad that she couldn’t deliver the baby herself but she got a healthy, beautiful baby girl and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

I’m so glad you got your happy ending! Congrats on baby Cullen!! He is precious!


Sarah @ See Sarah Eat     at 6:46 am

Aww, man! What an amazing story. You are my hero! While I’m sure a quicker, less painful experience would be preferable, you hung in there and are quite the trooper! Can’t wait to read part 3 :)


Meg     at 6:48 am

Love this, Emily. I got goosebumps when I read the part about Casey saying, “I’m just nervous. We’re about to meet someone really important.” That is SOOOOO sweet!
Your labor sounds similar to mine, but fortunately, mine was only 13.5 hours. I can’t imagine 50+ hours of labor.
I was induced due to preeclampsia and the pitocin made my contractions hard. My blood pressure also was very, very high and the nurses kept a close watch on me. I had my epidural and it was instant relief. My doctor was afraid I wasn’t dilating quickly enough and that I may have needed a C-section. Fortunately, after he broke my water, I quickly dilated to 10 centimeters. I pushed for 20 minutes and Mary Estelle was born that night!


Carol @ Lucky Zucca     at 6:49 am

This is such an amazing story Emily! Thank you for sharing so much detail with us. I swear every time I read another update from you I cry! Like everyone else has said- I cannot wait for part three!


Shannan     at 7:00 am

I hardly ever cry and am almost in tears about this story! GAH! So excited for part three!


Angela (Oh She Glows)     at 7:02 am

Gosh I can’t believe how long you had to wait. I guess everyone thinks the actual labour is the hardest part, but it seems like the long waits and constant pain might be worse. You are a tough cookie!
Please do write a novel, I would read every word! Can’t wait for part 3. :)


Nikki T Reply:

I’m with Angela- can’t wait to part 3, and I hope it’s just as novelish as the first 2 parts!
Love reading about it!
Major baby fever…right here!! Just met my gf’s 1 week old little man last night- love new baby snuggles!


Patty     at 7:12 am

Crying at my desk again. That final line is beautiful and proves you have a winner of a man! Can’t wait for part 3.


Steph @321delish     at 7:18 am

I am loving your posts. I was not expecting to get choked up, but it definitely happened in Part 1 and part 2. I’m sure I’ll be bawling in Part 3.

You are a strong woman. I’m so impressed. :-)


Jesse     at 7:32 am

just teared up at your post, can’t wait till the conclusion!


Amy     at 7:39 am

Emily, I really admire you for going 40 hours without an epidural! That takes strength and stamina. You give me confidence for my own upcoming labor and delivery this spring!

Can’t wait to read the conclusion of Cullen’s birth story. I hope you are getting a least a little rest these days!


Kate @ NaturaStride     at 7:44 am

Oh man!!! These posts are so emotional!!! LOVE THEM! I totally teared up, too!! Cullen is so lucky to have such wonderful parents! I’m sure he’ll feel lucky to read these birth stories someday. Thank you for sharing.


Dorsa     at 7:50 am

Emily this is such a sweet story! You are a strong woman :) err.. Mamma :)

I hope you are recovering well!


Jillian @ Reshape Your Life     at 7:53 am

Oh Emily!! I can’t wait to read part three! My sister also had really long and slow labor with her first, but her next two were very quick and easy… Hope that gives you some hope for any future children!


Christina     at 8:06 am

Oh man that must have been deflating, taking so long. You did a great job, even with being frustrated! You and Casey are going to be amazing parents.


PressureCookerDiaries     at 8:11 am

Wow – I nearly cried with the Casey saying: “We’re about to meet someone really important.”

I can’t imagine labor taking that long, although one of my friends had a similar experience.

You are such a strong woman. Hugs.


Kat     at 8:31 am

This is such an incredible story, Emily. Thanks for letting us a glimpse of your birth story… I’m riveted!


Jenny     at 8:51 am

Again, so amazed at how you handled yourself through this long labor. This post made me tear up multiple times…especially the part about you and Casey being forehead to forehead during the epidural. I can’t wait for the rest of the story!


Kim     at 8:56 am

Oh what a struggle! You are such a strong, amazing person. Your story is inspiring. I can’t wait to read the third part–when you actually meet Cullen!

How are you doing now?


anh     at 9:22 am

Oh my goodness I am in tears, and you aren’t even done telling your story! Wow, you are such a strong woman! You went through so much but it seemed you didn’t let anything get in your way. And Casey is so sweet to just be there for you and reassure your decisions. So happy for you two!


Charlie     at 9:23 am

Emily, this is a great story. Literally tears in my eyes after reading Casey’s comment. Cullen is so lucky to have you as parents, and thrilled for you both!


Sarah     at 9:57 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one who got teary eyed! What a beautiful story of the strength of the three of you! I’m excited to read the 3rd installment! Thank you so much for sharing! So many exclamation points!


Ashley Austrew     at 10:02 am

I’m LOVING these posts. I just had my baby three weeks ago, so I’m kind of reliving my labor experience while reading yours. I didn’t want the epidural either, but isn’t it kind of awesome? Definitely allows for some much needed rest. Oh, and can I just say what a rockstar Casey is? Reminds me a lot of how my hubby was during labor. Thank God for great husbands, right?


carey     at 10:16 am



Anne Weber-Falk     at 10:42 am

Reading this brought back all the memories of my first birth. Scary, tense, exciting, beautiful. Reading the last paragraph brought tears. I am so very happy for all of you.


Amber K     at 10:54 am

Practically in tears reading these posts Emily! That’s a great man you have there. And now a new little man to add to the joy. :)


Janelle     at 10:59 am

I’m new to your blog, and I’m loving it! I’ve gone back through some old posts, and I just want to say how much I appreciate your openness and honesty in sharing about your life, your pregnancy, your struggle with anxiety, etc. Thank you!!!


Elisabeth     at 11:01 am

I’m loving reading these posts! It’s amazing to hear how strong you were & to know that after all of that, you & Casey got your beautiful son, completely healthy! I love what Casey said – “I’m just nervous. We’re about to meet someone really important.” I’m about to tear up here in Barnes & Noble ;)

I hope that the your new family of 3 is doing wonderful :)


bitt     at 11:09 am

Oh my gosh, 40 hours. I don’t think many people would be that patient. What a rough experience. I think it’s good yo were flexible because I know some people had similar experiences but beat themselves up about it because they didn’t stick to a certain plan.


Lindsay     at 11:16 am

Finally he squeezed my hand and said, “I’m just nervous. We’re about to meet someone really important.” – TEARS!


Tameika     at 12:32 pm

Emily, I adore your writing and eagerly await part 3. What an incredible journey. You are one brave woman.


Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 12:34 pm

Oh my gosh! This was more captivating than anything I’ve read! I loved hearing all the details and can’t wait for the third part!


Resha     at 12:41 pm

First time poster but mom of 8….I have tears in my eyes and we are not even to the end of the story!! I laughed at the picture of you standing in the bathtub not caring…been there! :o) Got tears talking about how close you felt to your husband…been there too! So glad he is here safely and can’t wait to read the rest of the story…..Blessings to you all….


Sarah@The Flying ONION     at 12:44 pm

This is so intense!! You write so well…thanks for sharing this important time of your life with all of us!!

Can’t wait for part 3! :D


jane     at 12:54 pm

i wonder why women feel like such a failure when they have to have an epidural? I dont mean this critically in the least. my sister ended up having one with her recent birth (which ended up with a c-section that she was SO OPPOSED to)and i know that she was very upset with herself. i have never been pregnant and therefore obviously never given birth :-) but i just wonder where women feel so much pressure to give birth naturally. it seems to me that the process is insanely intense enough without women putting more pressure on themselves. just a thought i had. either way cannot wait to hear the rest of the story and even if you did end up with a c-section, who cares now-you have a most gorgeous baby boy! just had to mention-those lips of his are to die for!


Katy     at 12:57 pm

I’m another one who teared up from Casey’s comment at the end of that post!


Michelle     at 1:01 pm

Casey’s comment about meeting someone very important made me cry.
Best wishes to the three of you!


Chelsea @ Go Chelsea Go!     at 1:02 pm

I love this story because I know there is a happy ending :) I’m eagerly awaiting part 3 (and more Cullen pictures!)!


Kerry     at 1:48 pm

I was so like OH MY GOD whats going to happen?! reading this post even though I know everythings fine and Cullen is here now!


alissa     at 2:05 pm

The miracle of life! You go girl!


Beth     at 3:59 pm

Thank you for so generously sharing your story!


Shayla @ The Good Life     at 5:10 pm

Wow Emily such a beautiful and powerful post…moments while reading this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story and I cannot wait to read part 3! :)


Jenny     at 10:37 am

This is the first comment I’ve ever left since I started following your pregnancy blog when I was about 20 weeks pregnant, and now with less than four to go, I feel it’s time to finally say how much I’ve enjoyed reading about your experience:) Your birth story is beautiful, I was moved to tears. Sending you and your family lots of good wishes and energy as you embark on this new and exciting journey!!


Nicole     at 9:52 am

I was being very strong and didn’t let the tears fall until you wrote Casey’s words:
“I’m just nervous. We’re about to meet someone really important.”

Oy…so many tears now. :)


Kat @ living like the kings     at 5:35 am

oh my gosh that is SO LONG! I can’t believe how amazing you did!


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