My Childbirth Story

Back when I first started blogging, I can’t say that I ever imagined writing a post about giving birth. But hearing and reading the very open stories from others about infertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum helped me feel more informed and comfortable about my own experience, and simultaneously showed me just how different every woman’s experience can be. I know that hearing details on these topics isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so feel free to skip over these posts if that’s the case!

6 AM – FIVE days before my due date

I woke up with sharp tightening pains in my lower belly. I’d been having a lot of gas cramps and Braxton Hicks contractions (aka “practice contractions”) throughout my pregnancy, so assumed it was just that and tried to fall back asleep! But after the pains kept coming, Nick tracked them on an app and saw they were happening regularly at ~7 minutes apart. My heart started racing as I realized these might be REAL contractions, and I was hit with a rush of emotions. I was excited to meet our baby, but I also loved growing and carrying her in my belly more than I’d like to admit, and felt bittersweet that chapter was coming to an end.

Noon

After frantically putting the last of my hospital bag together, my contractions actually started to slow down to nearly 1 hour apart (they usually grow closer in frequency as labor progresses). Our doctor had advised us to use the “5-1-1” guideline, which says no need to go to the hospital until your contractions are as frequent as 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each time and going on for 1 hour. If you show up too early, they may send you home because you’re in pre-labor and not yet active labor.

I called my OB and she said the heat and humidity might be causing early contractions. She went on to tell me about the doctor who’d be on-call at the hospital over the next TWO DAYS. I was shocked to hear “two days” since I didn’t realize pre-labor could go on for that long! I started to mentally prepare myself for what could be an uncomfortable 48 hours.

4 PM

I decided to try and nap, but was awoken by a warm trickle of liquid between my legs. “Grab the pee pads!” I yelled to Nick (my Grampy had given me some of his elderly incontinence pads for this specific purpose ; ) Not much liquid actually came out and the whole water breaking seemed anticlimactic. And then a contraction hit me – the strongest one yet. It had me on all fours on the floor barking at Nick to back away and stop touching me (poor guy was just trying to be supportive rubbing my back). Luckily we had laid the pee pads down because next thing I know I hear a “POP” like a balloon bursting, and then another, larger spurt of fluid come out – my actual water breaking.

I then called the doctor on-call with these symptoms, and she told me to take my time, eat some food, have a warm shower and make my way to the hospital in about an hour or two.

4:45 PM

Thinking I had plenty of time, I randomly remembered that I wanted to recreate a cute vintage pregnancy photo of Nick’s mom right before she gave birth to him. I leisurely picked out an outfit for it, when my contractions suddenly grew stronger and had me doubling over and hollering. All of a sudden, they were coming in at just 4 minutes apart (the photo effort was quickly forgotten), and Nick was tripping over his own feet trying to escort me down four flights of stairs and shove all our bags into the car. On the ride to the hospital, I was literally cradling my belly tightly around every pothole and turn (our car has very stiff, “sporty” suspension according to Nick). The cars next to us could definitely hear me cursing loudly, as I thought that baby was going to get bounced right out on Commonwealth Avenue!

extra petite birth story contractions
preparing car for labor delivery water breaking
Nearly amputating Nick’s fingers during contractions // Incontinence or puppy pee pads to protect the car

5:30 PM

By the time I checked into the hospital I was pretty much a walking contraction begging for an epidural – apologies to the folks who had to ride the elevator with us! I don’t remember this, but Nick says as they tried to move me to the delivery room in a wheelchair, I kept insisting I could walk. But as I stood up, I was shaking uncontrollably and told the nurse an odd sensation had overcome my lower half. “Does it feel like you have to take an urgent poop?” she asked. Umm yes… she looked at the contractions monitor and said I was likely entering the “transition” stage of active labor. Needless to say I ended up taking the wheelchair.

6:00 PM

Prior to placing an epidural, they need to put in an IV to give you fluids. I was a bit dehydrated, and heard the nurse and anesthesiologist discussing how thin and dried up my veins had become. After 7 attempts poking veins on both of my arms and hands, the IV was finally inserted. Needles are my nightmare (the fear did not get better after IVF) but I was more than preoccupied this time by the contractions!

6:30 PM

When the epidural was finally placed (which went smoothly compared to the IVs), I was about 7cm dilated. It was like day and night pre and post epidural … going from a raging, mind-numbing pain to tranquility. An epidural typically slows down the labor process, so the nurses encouraged me to take a nap and build up energy for pushing later. I was way too anxious to fall asleep, but did conveniently use some of this downtime to slap on mascara for pictures later!

beth israel hospital boston childbirth

The waiting game – feeling anxious, excited, nervous.

9:30 PM

The nurse came in every so often asking if I felt the urge to poop again, which apparently signals that your baby is ready to be pushed out. (Side note: I know a lot of ladies are worried about having a bowel movement on the delivery table, but every doctor and nurse I talked to says they don’t bat an eye and it’s truly nothing to be embarrassed about). I didn’t feel the sensation again, but she checked my cervix and exclaimed that I was fully dilated. So how soon is the baby coming, I asked? And this was my face when she responded, “probably in 10 minutes!” :

extra petite labor birth story

“What do you mean the baby’s gonna be here in 10 minutes?”

9:35 PM

Before I started pushing, the nurse told me she was going to empty my bladder with a catheter, since you can’t feel your bladder muscles with an epidural. I was expecting a little puddle (I always thought I had small bladder issues), but moments later I see her wheeling away a half-gallon tub of liquid, which Nick told me with an evil chuckle that it was all my pee…

Next, the doctor came in and gave me a crash course on how to push – deep breath in, push, breathe out. Repeat three times during each contraction. So when the next contraction came, I pushed with all my might and was so surprised to hear “we can see the top of her head!” and see a VERY wide-eyed and frozen Nick.

The nurse offered me a mirror, which I initially declined … but when curiosity got the best of me and I changed my mind, the mirror (a hot commodity apparently) was occupied by another laboring patient. With the second set of pushes, I heard “Oh she has a lot of hair on her head! About an inch long.” And after another few pushes, the doctor said her head was out and advised me to push more gently to minimize tearing when her torso comes out. After a final little push, there was a feeling like something very large coming out on a Slip N Slide followed by a gush of liquid, and Nick jumping back (to avoid being splashed, he claims). And then there was a quick silence. And then a loud, loud baby “waaahhhh!”

9:58 PM

I was always certain that I’d cry when meeting my baby. But to be honest, I was just so astonished that she was actually here. We shed many emotional tears over the next few days, but in that moment, I think our feelings could best be described as shock and awe when they laid this little one on my chest.

boston birth story photography beth israel hospital

“What do we do now?!”

beth israel hospital extra petite baby birth story
extra petite birth story boston beth israel
dad and baby newborn skin to skin

Dad’s first “skin to skin”

nora birth story extra petite blog

beth israel boston birth story labor rooms

Nick enamored by his baby girl

The next hour or so involved cutting the cord (which I didn’t even realize Nick did until later), delivering the placenta, getting stitches, doing “skin-to-skin” time, and learning how to breastfeed – but it was all a blur. At the end of the day, I had a fast and straightforward labor (according to the doctors) which I’m extremely thankful for. But it was such a special yet hectic experience for us, and I am grateful to have a few photographs to help fill in some of the mental blanks and remember it by.

PS – By chance, the resident doctor who delivered our baby in Boston was Nick’s high school classmate in San Diego. He realized it partway through, but decided the midst of childbirth wasn’t quite the right time to reminisce about track team ; )

To the mamas out there – how was your delivery and labor experience? How did it compare to your expectations?

extra petite blog boston birth photographer story

Leave a Comment

103 Comments

  1. Christina wrote:

    Congratulations, Jean and Nick! I must admit that I teared up while reading about your experience because I’m a longtime reader and am so happy for you both, especially given everything you both did to have Nori. Enjoy parenthood.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  2. Brandi wrote:

    Congratulations to your family! Nora is one blessed baby girl! Huge thanks to you for being so open and honest on this blog about your experiences. I dont have children (yet) but I am so appreciative of other women who talk about their experience, it really helps ease nerves or fears, and gives a boost of confidence to myself and others. Women helping women 😉
    Im glad everything went fairly quick for you. Have a great weekend! 😁❤

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  3. Brooke M. wrote:

    I love reading birth stories and find yours no different. I gave birth on August 12th through what I call a fast and furious labor. My water broke at home too, only I was alone and waiting on my husband to get home from work. My parents had to come get me, pack up my bags in the car, and had my husband meet us at the hospital 40 minutes away. When I got to the hospital and they did an initial check I wasn’t dilated at all. They then did the routine admission steps like you described like starting an IV and getting my epidural. Afterwards, which was about 30-40 minutes later they checked me again and we were shocked to find out I was dilated 9cm. 20 minutes later after laying with what they called a “peanut ball” which helps open your cervix and move baby down I was fully dilated and ready to push! Then pushing was a little difficult with the epidural so I didn’t quite feel like I was doing it correctly. After dealing with some swelling “down there” we were kinda scared I’d need a c-section, but thanks to my nurses and doctor we delivered after 2 hrs pushing, only 5hrs of labor at 1:34am. I was so overcome with emotions and uncontrollably crying when they put my baby on my chest.

    Mommyhood is so special. My delivery to me seems crazy. I didn’t quite know what to expect from it even though i had seen it multiple times up close and personal when I was in nursing school. However, I’m so happy it went as fast as it did, without complications, and I got my sweet baby boy.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  4. CK wrote:

    Jean congratulations again! I read this blog post and though I’m not pregnant I teared and laughed at the funny moments. I’m truly so happy for you and Nick. I remember reading your struggle on conceiving and then seeing the news that you finally got pregnant. So reading your childbirth story really made me feel a sense of joy. My husband and I have tried for 3 years without luck so we kind of gave up. It was an emotional time for me as I envisioned being a mom since I was 7. But I also didn’t want to pursue other methods of conception (I’m very Au- natural when it comes to most things). The last 3 years made me think that perhaps it’s not meant for me and perhaps I’m meant for a different path to pursue other dreams. So I really was able to relate to your post regarding infertility. But as I age I realize it’s ok to take my time to slow down and not worry about the future, and live presently in each passing day. I’m thankful for so many other things in my life. Thank you for sharing your journey and at least I can live motherhood through your eyes. Cant wait to witness the rest of your journey with Nori – she’s a beautiful girl. Lots of love to you and your new little family.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  5. Joanne wrote:

    Congratulations again on your little girl! She’s adorable and blessed to have you two as parents! My sons are 19 months apart, I just gave birth to my second son a couple weeks ago. My first birthing experiencing was nothing like I hoped for or imagined. The doctors were concerned about my son being small and not receiving enough nutrients so they wanted him out at 38 weeks. They stripped my membranes and my water broke the next day. After I was admitted, they began inducing me but it wasn’t long before my son went into fetal distress and I had an emergency c-section. My son went straight to the NICU and had a week long stay.

    For my second, I had planned for a VBAC and hoped to go into spontaneous labor. The doctors had been monitoring my fluid since about 35 weeks and at 39.5 weeks they found that my fluid was dangerously low so I was sent to the hospital to have the baby. Fluid was low due to my placenta aging and calcifying too early. The doctors and midwives tried everything they could to help me go into spontaneous labor before inducing me but I was eventually induced. I labored for about 26hrs including early labor. My babies respiratory status was slowly declining and I had to have another c-section . I was 8cm dilated and he was already so low but it was no longer safe for baby and I to keep waiting it out for that VBAC. So baby followed his big brothers footsteps with the c-section and a 4 day NICU stay. The doctors had SUCH a hard time getting baby out because of how low he was. They pushed so hard on my belly, I felt like the operating table was moving and afterwards my belly felt like I had been punched a million times.

    As unexpected as everything went for my sons births, everything eventually turned out fine. I don’t know if we’ll have more children. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a normal birth and delivery. It helped going into my second birth knowing anything can happen.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  6. Mandy wrote:

    Jean! Longtime reader here – you’ve helped me so much to adapt my style to be more professional and timeless while still keeping my own personality and flair on my outfits. Forever grateful!

    Reading this had me tearing up. So excited for you and Nori is so lucky to have such excited and dedicated parents. Best of luck with everything!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  7. Allyson wrote:

    Girl, I’d say for a first-timer, your labor and delivery was perfect!!! Congrats on that sweet babe and soak this time up!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  8. Shannon R. wrote:

    Congratulations, what a sweet baby girl! Your post brought back a rush of emotions thinking back on my first baby delivery. I have always felt so bad because I didn’t cry or have much emotion when my little girl entered the world but have always assumed I must have been in shock. I’m glad I’m not the only mama out there that must have had that experience! Little girls are amazing, enjoy this new, wonderful journey!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  9. Caroline Choi wrote:

    Congrats! I have loved following your Journey with Nick from beginning to end. You both are going to make wonderful parents. I was a medical resident with my first child and wore heels and dressed how I did when I wasn’t pregnant. You are classy inside and out. Blessings to you all!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  10. Anna-Lisa wrote:

    Congratulations to you both!! I’m so glad you posted this – in due in January and petite like you! I’ve been following your blog for the past few years 🙂.
    Did you have a photographer in the room with you to capture some of the pics?

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  11. Gale wrote:

    Congratulations to you and Nick! Everything about my labor was unexpected. I devoloped preeclampsia during my last month of pregnancy, then 4 days after my expected due date and no dilation, I was induced. They had to give me pitocin and epidural, and inserted a whole bunch of devices to keep me dilated. Finally after 24 hours and a fever, she was ready to come out. I felt everything because I didn’t realize I could “replenish” the amount of epidural but thank god it only took 3 pushes! Unfortunately because I had a fever, they had to whisk my daughter to the NICU, where she ended up staying for a week due to a breathing problem.

    I never understood mothers gushing about babies until I had my own, and now she consumes most of my thoughts and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Congratulations and best wishes!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  12. This was such a wonderful post. Thank-you for sharing this Jean, it’s been wonderful to follow along with the pregnancy process through your blog and on Instagram! All the best wishes to your family.

    Happy Sunday!
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  13. E. wrote:

    It sounds so nice, for the most part! My labor was awful–30 hours long, 5 hours pushing or so, and the epidural didn’t work… Some idiot perinatologist told me I would not be able to have a vaginal birth being so petite, isn’t that ridiculous?! I am so glad you are all doing so well. xoxo

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    1) Amazed at the fact you guys set up a tripod (assuming it was a tripod and not some steady medical professional’s hands) to get as many pics as you did!
    2) Fashion blogger is as fashion blogger does! Put on the mascara and hope it doesn’t run or smear while pushing for a baby. Obviously. Haha
    3) Should be first on this list, but congrats!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  15. Annie wrote:

    Congratulation! Your baby is so ao lovely! Every mother is so brave!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  16. Archana wrote:

    Congratulations to both of you!!! Have been following your IVF journey and so very happy that everything worked out fine in the end. Thanks for sharing your birth story. Nori is adorable!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  17. Congratulations, Jean! I really enjoyed the story, even though I’m not a mama myself. Your family is so beautiful! 🙂 ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  18. Sophie Esther wrote:

    Many congratulations Jean! Thank you for sharing your birth story. I’m so happy it was straight foreard and positive for you, often the only birth stories you read about knline are ones where everythjng goes wrong, which made me really anxious when I was pregnant!

    I had my twins by emergency c section last year at 34 weeks. My blood pressure got too high, and ai was admitted early for monitoring. I remember the morning I woke up, they did some blood test and told me ‘we’ll come and do your section at 3pm, feel free to just hang out until then!’ It was such a surreal day, even more surreal to meet little ones you have been cooking over the past months!

    As exhausted, tired and hormonal as the first months are, really enjoy it. See what you discover about Nori each day. My twins have just turned 1 and are both yowling from their room for morning porridge! It seems like only yesterday we brought them home from hospital.

    Lots of love and fist pumps. You’ve got this!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  19. Amy wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your story! It helped give me strength to face mine labor story. I had my son in June and my delivery was definitely a roller coaster. I honestly don’t think I’ve come to terms with what happened. It wasn’t traumatic, but some things happened that were pretty much avoidable. I just have to much regrets and wish there was a way to do it all over again.

    Even though labor was a little challenging I’m having so much fun with my little guy. Best wishes to your little family!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  20. Megan wrote:

    Congratulation! A long time follower too and had to comment! I still remember vividly giving birth to my first baby over 12 years ago. It took 24 hours and then this precious boy was born. He looked like a little old man, but oh so small and cute.
    I have had five other adorable babies since then. From hospital births, accidental home birth, birth centers (one was a water birth), to a c-section with my 6th because he was breech.
    Every birth is unique, yet it
    bonds all us mamas. Congrats again and thank you for sharing such an intimate moment of your life.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  21. Stacey T. wrote:

    Congrats again! And LMAO! No. The way I gave birth was NOT the way I expected it to go down. I had a pretty mellow preganancy. Zero cravings and morning sickness. I was still running well into my third trimester. I was going to do a natural birth with Lamaze. But because of my “elderly mom” status (they really need to update medical terms), I had to do a non stress test (NST) weekly. I was only on my second NST when the nurse looked at my reading and told me that I wasn’t going to leave the hospital without my baby in my arms. I had just came from work. I frantically called my husband because I didn’t even finish packing my hospital bag. When I finally got a hold of him, I somehow calmly told him the news and gave him a list. Long story short – no epidural, took meds that brought on contractions. And boy. Contractions came. I made it to 5cm before the doctor suggested a c-section. And I was sooooo ready at that point. Wheeled me in, got my meds and waited for my husband to be escorted in. Except the doctor called for an emergency c. Baby’s blood pressure was dropping during contractions. But I was totally calm because I knew from the child ed classes that the emergency c happened pretty quickly and I had 100% confidence in the doctors and nurses surrounding me. Whew! Baby girl was announced (we didn’t want to know until birth the sex). But yeah. It definitely didn’t go as planned. But she is worth it! And you know already that Nori was worth every single shot and needle you had to endure. I now understand why they say bundle of joy! Congrats again!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  22. Megan wrote:

    Congratulations! A long time follower too and I had to comment! I remember my first baby so vividly and that was 12 years ago. It took 24 hours and then this beautiful boy emerged. He looked like a little old man staring at me. So cute and so little.
    I have had five more adorable babies since then.
    From hospital births, an accidental home birth, birthing centers (one was a water birth), and c-section with my 6th who was breech birth.
    I am actually a certified birth educator too.
    Your story and photos are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your birth story and such an intimate time. Every birth is unique, yet it binds all us mamas in a way that is amazing.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  23. Dianne wrote:

    Congratulations! You and Nick did great. She is absolutely adorable.

    My first baby came relatively quick (compared to my first time mom friends). About 12 hours from the first sign of labor. Epidural halfway through and about 2 hours of pushing. My second labor was a three hour marathon. Doctors marveled at how I was able to sit still for the epidural while fully dilated. It’s because I knew the magic of it 😆

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  24. Jenny Yang wrote:

    wow i am so happy that you had birth without any issues! I’ve been following along your guys’ journey for so long and can’t believe that it’s already been 9 months! I can’t wait to see your baby girl grow up and watch her don on some cute extra extra petite clothes!
    xx jen
    http://lilthoughtswithjen.com/

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  25. Marlana wrote:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m so happy you did because I love hearing childbirth stories and that’s always my first question to close friends when they’ve just delivered , after having my own. So much so that after my firstborn I actually asked my mom what my birth story was and all she remembered was that I took a while. I think that’s why I blogged about mines so I wouldn’t forget the details and I can look back at from time to time. If your ever bored I attached the link. I’m very excited to see how extra petite will grow especially with the new addition. Can’t wait to see if there will be mommy-daughter matching outfits. Enjoy the adventure 🙂

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  26. Julia Campbell wrote:

    Thank you for this post! I’m due with my first ( a boy!) in early February. I love hearing about different experiences and appreciate you sharing. Congratulations—she is gorgeous and looks like a little spitfire!

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  27. Renée wrote:

    I love this post. You’re my role model. I am scared to death about having kids some day, but reading your post makes it seem more human/reachable. Thank you so much for sharing. P.S. I love how you used Nick’s reactions to gauge the atmosphere and get a feel for what was going on! It really shows how much you love each other and support each other so well. Both of you are gonna be great parents and will also give Nori a good example of what to look for in her future relationships 🙂

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  28. Kristy wrote:

    Again, congratulations Jean!!!! I loved every bit of your story and it reminded me how much we are all alike when it comes to these things.
    Just like my two kids, they are night and day, even with their delivery was just like that as well.
    The first labor the nurse who’s been a nurse for over 20 yrs said she’s never seen anyone so aggressive until that day. That’s what happen when you opt out of the epidural vs the second one I was an angel and took a nap.
    Try being in the HOV lane while there’s traffic in there and yelling at your husband that it’s all his fault!! Lol
    I didn’t cry the first time but def did the second time around.
    Every birth was different and I’m glad I was able to experience them in their own ways. Enjoy all the lil moments with her. They really do grow up so fast. Their tiny hands suddenly gotten so big one day. That’s how I feel bout my mini me who’s now 12.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  29. My Huynh wrote:

    Very funny, exciting, and emotional birth story. Congratulations! Been following you for years.

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  30. Brittany wrote:

    WAH, JEAN. This post is precious!!! I’m so happy all went well for you. Nori is so adorable. Congratulations on the long journey to get here! I know it wasn’t easy. So happy for you three. You’re gonna make a great team 😉

    Love,
    Brittany
    (@xbrittanyee ;))

    Posted 9.2.18 Reply
  31. Mimi wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your labor and delivery story with us. I also remember the nurse used the catheter to remove my urine and it was a huge bucket lol. At first, I didn’t want any meds but I stopped dilated at 6 cm for 2 hours. The dr told me to get the pitocin to speed the process. After I got the pitocin, I still remember to this day my pain went from a 2 to a 10000000. I was shaking and crying because it was so painful. Even with the pitocin, I only dilated to 7 cm after an hour. I was so disappointed that after all the pain I endured, I didn’t dilate fully. I begged for an epidural after that. After the dr placed the epidural, I could still feel the pain but it wasn’t as bad. It took an hour for me to push my baby out. It was still painful because I could feel his head in my birth canal. Did you experience any pain during pushing at all? The nurse and dr told me that even with the epidural, we’re supposed to feel the contractions/pain so we can know when to push. Well, that’s my short little story 😊 Hope you guys enjoy this precious time with your little girl.

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  32. Rebecca wrote:

    It’s always such good energy to read a birth story. Women are amazing! Thanks for sharing, Jean.

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  33. Vivian wrote:

    Amazing story! Thank you for sharing your experience! I did my preceptorship in Labor & Delivery back in nursing school and got to witness so many childbirths. Your experience reminded me of my clinical rotations and all the wonderful patients I got to help. Congratulations to you and your family! Nori is such a cutie pie!❤

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  34. Caroline wrote:

    Congratulations! So many (mainly) happy memories from your experience! I have an 18mo daughter and a 3mo son. I did not (knowingly) labor at home with either child. My first child I found out I was in labor at the doctor’s office (irregular contractions) and the second I opted to be induced after our due date went by. I was definitely very shocked as well after giving birth to my daughter. I did not have that strong connection at first mainly because I couldn’t believe what just happened. My second delivery with my son was amazing because I knew what to expect. It went faster, my epidural actually worked, and the delivery felt a lot more intimate and special (maybe because I had the same doctor again??). Anyways my husband always remarks how completely infatuated I was w our son when he was born. Had nothing to do with his gender but I remembered my hospital experience w his sister and I knew how much I had grown to love his sister over the past year. Ah! I am so excited for you! It really keeps getting better as each month goes by and with each child. You’ll have so many 🤦🏼‍♀️🤯😫 moments but there’s 1,000x more joy! Oh and it’s true about the fourth trimester. A switch absolutely turns on once you hit 2.5/3mo where you figure things out and everything starts clicking 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻❤️

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  35. Caitlyn wrote:

    Gosh I love hearing birth stories so thanks for sharing yours! My body totally skipped the “early” phase of labor/pre-labor, so I just woke up one morning with 3 super strong and painful contractions that were 3 minutes apart! We went straight to the hospital and they told me I was in active labor and almost fully dilated. I got the epidural right away (thank God!) and I pushed for 2-2.5 hrs. I just remember not being able to feel much because of the epidural so it was weird to push since I could barely feel myself doing it and I’d be like “am I doing this right? Is anything happening?”. I did feel the “ring of fire” though when she crowned! So from the moment I felt my first contraction at home to the time my baby was born, it was a total of 8 hrs (which includes driving and waiting to get into a room) which is super fast I guess. Maybe it’s because I ate 6 dates a day every day starting when I was 36 weeks pregnant! Studies have shown it helps you have a quicker and easier labor!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  36. Carol wrote:

    Hi Jean! Congratulations!!!

    I’ve been following your blog for ages now but have never really posted anything until I saw this post!

    My first was with an epidural and I didn’t really like it as it caused us to have a few issues (I had an episiotomy and she reacted to the epidural – her heart rate slowed) so she needed to come out ASAP. The whole labour lasted 12 hours!

    My second was all naturale without meds, as there wasn’t any time. The whole process was only 44 minutes!!! I didn’t need stitches the second time and it was an amazing birth compared to the first!

    Good on you and congratulations again!!!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Nisha wrote:

      Hi Carol,

      What do you think you did differently for the second labor to be so much shorter? After a 35 hour labor, I’m desperate for a better round 2.

      Posted 9.2.18 Reply
      • Carol wrote:

        Hi Nisha!

        So sorry to tell you this, but I didn’t really do anything! I was so scared though, and a little scarred by how quickly it went. If we had waited, I would’ve gave birth at home lol. I must say that giving birth without an epidural helped me to push which meant I had more control and therefore didn’t tear? (I am extremely lucky I know!)

        Just know that, sometimes we have no control and just run with it 🙂 xx

        Posted 9.3.18 Reply
  37. Aimee wrote:

    Thanks for sharing, Jean. I’m a longtime reader and just had my first baby in March. I was rooting for you and Nick throughout your posts about your IVF journey, and I’m so happy for you too. Congrats and enjoy these first moments.

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  38. Jules wrote:

    No one told me I would be shivering uncontrollably while having contractions prior to getting my epidural.. I couldn’t even talk without my teeth chattering.. once the epidural kicked in, I couldn’t feel a thing.. in a way it was good but at the same time they had to tell me when I was having a contraction to prepare to push.. and because I couldn’t feel a thing, I ended up pushing so hard that I blew almost every blood vessel on my face. My entire face was covered with red spots for daysss.. after a few pushes the doc told me that she was stuck and suggested I use a vacuum to avoid having her go into distress but I was so scared I kept saying I would push harder.. Maybe that’s why I blew every blood vessel on my face! (Luckily no vacuum was needed).. I forgot to mention, when my water broke it was tinted brown (meconium) which meant the baby possibly ingested her bowel movements in the womb. as soon as I pushed her out a group of what seemed like 8-10 ppl came in and surrounded me, took her away to be tested/weighed, etc.. I didn’t even have the chance to get the first skin to skin until after her tests were done.. they cut the cord but left it long enough for my husband to experience “cutting the cord”… in the end she was healthy and that’s all that mattered!

    It’s amazing what our bodies are capable of! Congratulations to you and Nick.

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  39. Maria wrote:

    My now 7month old baby boy was induced due to medical reasons at 37 weeks so I basically started the whole shebang at the hospital zero centimeter dialated. My labor took 36hours. Got my epidural at 6cm but the pump was defect and the only anesthesiologist in house was in the OR. So I labored bed boud for 3 full hours unmedicated. Even after the anesthesiologist had come back and changed the pump, the epidural didn’t cut the shooting sciatic nerve pain down my leg till I was allowed to push. Needless to say I’m pretty traumatized to this day! However I couldn’t imagine m life without him and it was all worth it! Im so glad you had a smooth dlievery. Enjoy every moment with your little one and don’t forget to get some rest when you can and ask for help! You guys will be great parents! Congratulations!!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  40. Roses for Fridays | by mia wrote:

    A BIG congratulations to you both as brand new parents to a lovely Angel that had just arrived into your lives. So many more precious memories to be cherished for days to come! 🌷👍🏻🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  41. Kate wrote:

    Jean, you are an amazing mama and blogger. I cracked up when reading the part of you wearinf mascara. I love the photos, they are so precious.

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  42. April wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your birth story! And your daughter is beautiful. Having had four myself, I think you could not have asked for a better experience!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  43. Karen wrote:

    Congratulations! So happy for your little family. I had an emergency c-section because my lo was facing the wrong way (head up) and the doctors couldn’t turn him.
    You look amazing after giving birth. I was a swollen bloated hot mess.
    Congratulations! My advice is rest when you can. I followed the Chinese sit in month as best I could because of csection recovery. Except the not going outside part, my mom made me wear a hat and sweater . If you are struggling with breastfeeding seek help from a lacation consultant right away. Enjoy!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  44. Heather wrote:

    I’m just dying reading this story. I can’t believe you remembered so many details. My favorite part, though, is the look on your face when you found out you’ll see your baby in 10 minutes. I’m pretty such that was my face when I had my last ultrasound and the doctor came in telling me he’d like to deliver the baby within two days (two and half weeks ahead of my due date!) I had a c-section with both my girls so it’s fun hearing how your story is so different from mine. Congrats!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Oh wow, quite the surprise indeed! ; )

      My initial draft was about two paragraphs long when Nick reminded me of pretty much everything I had forgotten in between. It’s amazing how quickly the details and pain fade!

      Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  45. Mary Buchanan Moore wrote:

    Oh boy, did this bring back some memories! Contractions all over the place, water breaking and getting everyone’s shoes wet and being so astonished at finding out that my bladder could actually hold that much liquid. There was nothing “textbook” about giving birth to my two children. It’s a wild ride to be sure! Congratulations!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I’m glad to hear the tub o’ pee is common, hah!

      Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  46. Mani wrote:

    Congratulations Jean!! It’s been so inspiring reading about your journey, from getting pregnant to childbirth. Wishing you and your family all the best!! 🙂

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  47. Patti wrote:

    Jean, thanks so much for sharing and congrats again on baby Nori! My due date is next week and hearing your story was both comforting and sweet. Excited to see your parenting stories continue!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      How exciting, Patti! Wishing you all the best.

      Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  48. Heather wrote:

    Longtime reader but first-time commenter here! Thank you so much for sharing! You’ll be so grateful you took the time to write your story because in six months the memory won’t be so fresh. I’ve had two boys (ages 4 and 2) and my first birthing experience was very similar to yours. I likened the epidural to that scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy gets to Oz and the movie switched from black and white (TORNADO) to Technicolor. 🙂 No regrets, that’s for sure. Congratulations to you both!!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Lol! Perfect analogy

      Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  49. xtal808 wrote:

    Congratulations!!! Thank you for sharing your journey from getting pregnant to childbirth! Wishing you and your new family all the happiness your hearts can hold!

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
  50. Petiteish wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this, Jean, and congratulations to you two again! Little Nori is adorable and so lucky to have you two as parents. It’s always fascinating to hear how different everyone’s experience is as you say. I was induced a week post-dates and labored for about 21 hours, with 3.5 hours of pushing (!) I had initially declined an epidural but after about 5 hours of pitocin and having contractions ~1 min apart, I was ready to put it in myself haha. For pregnancy, they have to put in an extra large gauge needle – that’s probably why they had so much trouble when your veins were flat. I only got one stick, but still ended up with a bruise and there’s still a little scar there even 2 months later.

    Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Oh wow! Congrats again to your little family and so glad to hear you guys have been settling in nicely.

      Posted 9.1.18 Reply
    • Laub wrote:

      Thank you SO much for sharing! This was so helpful to read and the first time I ever I read a story about childbirth. We are currently TTC.

      Congrats on your baby girl!

      Posted 9.2.18 Reply

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