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Paul Richard's Birth Story |

Paul, you were born on a cold and windy night…

(those were the words jokingly spoken by Michael, as he quickly rounded the corner, driving us to the hospital)

The story of how Paul came into the world:

2:00 pm: My due date was the 10th, and I had a routine 40 week doctors appointment schedule for the afternoon of the 12th. Since I was 2 days post due date, we had an ultrasound to check my fluid levels, and take some quick measurements of the baby, just to make sure his little living space was still a comfortable and habitable place to be. The ultrasound went fine, and they estimated the baby to be around 8 pounds.

3:00 pm: I met with my doctor. We decided that we wouldn’t schedule an induction, but would wait it out another week, hoping that I would go into labor on my own. She checked my cervix, which was disappointingly only dilated to 1.

3:30 pm: After meeting with the doctor, since I was mildly contracting on my own, she ordered a non-stress test, just to make sure that the baby wasn’t in any distress as my body contracted. I completed the test, waited to be unhooked from the machine, and expected to be sent on my way.

That’s not what happened.

Instead of the NST technician coming back into the room to unhook me, it was my doctor. She said I had a “suspicious” contraction that sent my sons heart rate dipping dangerously. She wanted to make sure everything was “ok” so she was sending us up to Labor & Delivery for a more extensive test. She also told Michael and I (thank God Michael was there with me this whole time), that if the test proved that the baby was in distress, I would be induce immediately.


4:00 pm: When we got to Labor & Delivery, they administered the non-stress test with a little more gusto than they did in the doctors office. I was shocked when they told me they would be hooking me up to a very low dose of pitocin, to trick my body into thinking it was in labor. They needed to do this so I would have a few “good” contractions so they could accurately watch how the baby was reacting. In the back of my mind, even though I didn’t verbally express myself, I knew this was the beginning of the end.

The contractions started coming hard and fast, and oh boy, they were good. On my pain scale, I would rate them at around a “5”, meaning I could not talk through them, and would have to carefully concentrate. At one point, I realized I was glazed over and staring at The Simpsons on TV. That’s how I knew I had entered my own world of preparing for labor. I hate that show.

6:30 pm: The baby and I  “pass” the NST, and we are told we can head on home. Since I was contracting pretty hard through the whole test, and I’ve been known to have pretty fast labors, I asked the doctor if she could check me before I left. I didn’t want to leave the hospital if I had made a significant cervical change in a short amount of time. Getting home only to have the baby on the kitchen floor wasn’t something I was interested in experiencing.

Disappointingly, after all that hard contracting, I was only dilated now to a 2. The nurse said that pitocin has a pretty short half life, and the medication should easily be out of my system within the hour, meaning, contractions would stop completely.

7:00 pm: We get home, and the contractions are nowhere near stopping. In fact, they’re getting harder and faster by the minute. I decided I need to eat something, get my mind of the pain, and relax. I take a bath and eat some pizza rolls. I know, nice dinner choice.

8:30 pm:  Contractions are painful and coming every 3.5 minutes. We call a OB doctor friend of ours and ask him for a bit of advice. He says that the pitocin should definitely be out of my system by now, and that if I’m still contracting, it’s likely the “real deal”.

We both get really nervous, and decide that we should get stuff together and head to the hospital. My very dear friend Katie comes over to sleep on our sofa, as we have already tucked the kids in bed for the night.

I call my trusty doula, Charity.

I call Casey my photographer and friend extraordinaire.

We load up and head to the hospital.











9:30 pm: We make it to the hospital and am ushered back into the same room I emerged from only 2 hours prior. I’m given another cervical check, and yes, within the past two hours, I’ve dilated from a 2 to a 5 -1/2. I’m encouraged by the quick progress, as a long unmediated birth is what my literal nightmares are made out of.

We’re taken down the hall to and admitted into Room 4208, the same room as where I birthed Nola. (we think)




















10 pm: The contractions are pretty intense, and I’m exclusively managing them by standing up and leaning against the wall for support. I take deep breaths, hum (or more like moan) through the pain until it releases it’s grip. The main thing I concentrate on during contractions is staying relaxed, primarily in the hips legs, and ladyparts area, as I know that “clenching up” will only slow the process and make dilation take even longer.











11 pm: This is where my recollection starts to get fuzzy, as the pain really becomes intense. I continue in a pattern of extremely painful contractions, coming around every 5-6 minutes. When I’m not contracting, I’m perfectly fine, almost forgetting I’m even in labor.











Having been in labor since around 4pm, I had a ridiculous mental goal of having the baby before midnight. Because really, who wants to have a baby on Friday the 13th? Not this girl.

But of course, the baby and my body had their own agenda.
















12 midnight: I’m checked by a nurse and I’m dilated to 7-1/2, which is not very encouraging, having only dilated 2 centimeter over the course of almost 3 hard hours. With this news, my doula and I hit the halls for a leisurely midnight stroll. We circle the floor a few times, even detouring to the nursery for a few minutes to look at all the new babies for a bit of inspiration.
















1:00 am: The contractions become increasingly unbearable, yet ironically slow down to 6-8 minutes apart. Between the contractions, all I feel like doing is giving up, crawling into the bed and falling fast asleep. I’m tired, and I can tell everyone in the room is getting fatigued as well.


























I try contracting on a birthing ball, which I completely hate. Sitting down, even on a ball, feels insanely restrictive and horrible.


























I get on my knees and lean on the back of the bed. I love this position, as I can collapse onto the mattress and rest between contractions. The contractions are intense, and I’m starting to feel defeated as I know delivery is still quite a ways off.











2:00 am: The nurse comes in to check me again. I’m still at a 7.5 centimeter, even after intense laboring over the course of the last 2 hours. It’s a crushing blow, as I feel like all that work was for nothing. The doctor decides that now would be a good time to break my water. I’m scared, but I agree.

I’m scared because in the back of my mind, I know that once my water breaks, there is a real chance that I’ll want to start pushing immediately.
















My intuition was spot on.

The doctor breaks my water, I stand up to work through another contraction, and instantly know this baby is coming. Like coming NOW.

In a “bossygirl” voice I forgot I even had, I let everyone in the room know about the developing situation. I’m typically a pretty polite gal, but at that point in my game, all pleasantries had left the building.

I manage to get myself back in bed. (because that’s the way they like you to deliver the baby at my hospital, which I think is kinda dumb)
















The room is busy getting everything ready for delivery.

I tell them primal scream at everyone that I’m pushing. Because really, whether or not I wanted to, my body was pushing.











I remember the feeling of being completely out of control, looking at my doula, and telling her “I can’t do this”.

I remember a nurse saying in all the commotion and excitement “his head is out, look down at your baby!”

2:38 am: One in one more mini-push, Paul was born.
















Michael cut the cord. And cried. (he always cries)
















I held him for a few minutes until the nurses took him to the warmer to get a better look at him.
















Paul had come through the birth canal so fast that he had a fair amount of fluid in his lungs, so I wasn’t able to nurse him right away.











But within just a short few moments, we were back together.
















This is the story on how Paul was born.


*All these amazing birth photos were taken by Casey, who stayed by my side through the whole night. Seriously, she has magic talent to make anyone look pretty darn great, even while giving birth in the middle of the night. Crazy eyes and primal screams to boot. I owe her a lifetime of favors.




  1. Awww what a amazing story, congrats again!!!! Love all the pictures 🙂
    Renee recently posted..Encouraging creativity


  2. What a beautiful story! Congratulations on the new member of your lovely family.


  3. What a beautiful, incredible story!! (And yes, beautiful photos, omg.) You are such an amazing mother!


  4. What a beautiful birth story, you are awesome!
    Jen recently posted..Things I’m Enjoying


  5. I’m so glad you gave us the long version! Congrats on another great birth and a gorgeous new baby!


  6. Emily,

    You are amazing.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Rachel – A Southern Fairytale recently posted..An Interview with ZipList


  7. Such an adventure! Congrats again, mama & family!


  8. *ehem*

    Gage was born in 4208.

    Paul in 4210.

    I have the photos to prove it.

    You done well girl. YOU DONE WELL. Thanks for letting me be there. xo
    moosh in indy. recently posted..disney on lice *or* lice is a special occasion.


  9. new babies always make me cry.
    beautiful story.
    beautiful baby.
    beautiful mama.
    Bridget recently posted..I know what you’re trying to do.


  10. love finally hearing his/your story. so many similarities to my labor with lucas. can’t wait to meet him. 🙂
    Katie recently posted..The birds and the bees.


  11. So beautiful. Almost makes me want to have another baby (almost). And I do have the long, unmedicated kind of labors (which of course you could totally do if you had to). Thanks for sharing. You’re a rockstar!


  12. Beautiful! Congratulations!


  13. So wonderful! You are truly a rockstar. COngrats again!
    Jen L. recently posted..Nature’s A Little Gross


  14. Thank you for going epic over short and sweet! Congrats to you all, can’t wait to meet him!
    Angie @ Just Like the Number recently posted..Beauty Resolutions: Revamping the (Makeup) Kit and the Caboodles


  15. Seriously amazingly spectacularly beautiful.


  16. I love epic! Beautiful birth story.

    And I teared up reading this. So happy for you! Thanks for sharing.


  17. zoesmumlizs says:

    oh my god this is such a beautiful story, i already liked the pictures but the story is even better, i had to have a scheduled c-section but i am hoping to have a great birthexperience like this some day
    again you look so relaxed and refreshed in those pictures it hard to believe you just had a baby, awesome:-)


  18. Awwww! You are giving me hope… 🙂
    And my first was born at 2:38am too although on a Wednesday and with a significantly longer labor. 🙂


  19. Yay! I love starting my Friday morning with a beautiful birth story! Great job, Emily! You are my hero!! I know I will never go through what you did, so it amazes me to read these stories.

    I sort of hate that from now on my stories will be “checked into hospital” “got sliced open” “baby born”.

    but at the same time, I know it’s what is best for us.

    Congrats on completing your family! He is perfect!
    Katie recently posted..they might have had disco, but they didn’t have you, internet.


    Katie Reply:

    oh, and Charlie will be born on Tuesday, the 13th, so eventually he will have a Friday the 13th birthday too. We like to think it’s lucky 🙂
    Katie recently posted..they might have had disco, but they didn’t have you, internet.


  20. What a wonderful birth story! So glad everything went well and he is just precious!!


  21. Awe! Reading this through tears–you are making my uterus hurt! 🙂 Love, love, love babies! You are amazing!


  22. Emily, you are truly amazing. VERY well written post, and such a beautiful story. You’re a super hero of a momma, in my eyes – in a lot of ways! Congrats on a beautiful baby boy!


  23. *wipes tears away*

    Beautiful story, Emily! Congratulations to the whole lot of you 🙂


  24. Congrats again Emily! The picture of his squishy baby face resting on you…love it! That is so awesome that Casey was able to document the experience for you through photos!


  25. Congratulations! A beautiful birth story indeed! Every time I read one I want to do it all over again 😉
    molly recently posted..When I think my morning is hard


  26. You’re amazing. And those pictures are breathtaking. Each and every one of them. So much so that I’m sitting here crying in my living room.
    Nichole recently posted..And also some things I didn’t wear because I don’t own them


  27. Awww, what a beautiful birth story. What an amazing gift to have those photos to look back and remind you of the night your little man came into the world. Congrats and welcome to the world little Paul.
    Lisa recently posted..Talking to Children About the Death of a Pet


  28. Congrats to you and your family! What an amazing story and you go girl for working through all the pain. My boys were born on the 13th and I have a HUGE phobia of 13. I now say they reversed the curse. It is now my lucky number.
    Lucy Jane recently posted..DIY Headboard Ideas


  29. Michelle Lubbers says:

    Beautiful birth story! When you got to the part when you didn’t think you could do it anymore, all the memories of my first delivery came back to me. I too had a natural birth, no drugs. The nurse was so happy with me when the contractions were so strong I told her I felt like I was going to die and I could not do this anymore. She said, well, that means we are close. The baby will be here soon. I could have kissed her, she was right and it was a piece of cake after that.


  30. You are so strong and amazing. Thanks for sharing the long version with all of us!

    Congrats Emily! Can’t wait to meet Paul!
    punkinmama recently posted..Merry Christmas 2011


  31. I love birth stories and you told it so well. Beautiful! Congratulations! 🙂


  32. thank you for sharing your story! and a big thanks to your dear friend and photographer. her photos made me feel like i was there with all of you, riding the waves of excitement, anxiety and anticipation.

    so so happy for y’all!


  33. You’re amazing. He’s amazing. Congrats again!! xo


  34. You have some great shots there documenting your journy, all the best through 2012!
    Poppy recently posted..Provisional Insurance


  35. Awesome story Congrats on the birth of your newborn son


  36. How gorgeous. Congratulations! (And I don’t blame him for crying)
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  37. Ugh, your 1am reminds me of the last 20 minutes before my daughter was born. Congratulations!


  38. Geez Emily, you make birthing babies look easy! I’m fairly jealous that you were able to look so put together right after having Paul. I come out looking like a exhausted homeless person after birthing babies… 😉 Congrats again on your newest addition & thanks for sharing your story (complete with Casey’s awesome photos)!
    Carinn recently posted..Yee-Haw! {Project 365 :: Day 20}


  39. You ae a rock star! I had to laugh about your pizza roll dinner – I remember my last meal before I had my daughter was string cheese and pringles. Lovely. You did great, mama! He’s beautiful!


  40. What a beautiful birth story. Congratulations. I really enjoyed reading it.
    Jen recently posted..Tutorial: How to Use Toliet Paper


  41. what a great idea to have a phtographer, i probably would have ended up screaming at him or her, but your pictures are great! congratulations on your beautiful baby!


  42. This story is wonderful! Congratulations!


  43. Oh, I just love this, he’s so perfect and adorable!

    Congrats, momma!
    Zakary recently posted..That’s Mrs. Crocker To You


  44. Oh, damn, now I’m crying. Your words plus Casey’s pictures plus that sweet little boy? Puddle. Congrats.
    pgoodness recently from a walk


  45. Beautiful and amazing. Lots of tears over here. Congratulations, mama!
    Suzanne from pretty swell recently posted..The light


  46. What a wonderful story, and Casey’s photos are beautiful as always. Congratulations!
    Elizabeth@Table4Five recently posted..Happy Birthday To Me! Stop By For Some Cake.


  47. I am addicted to reading birth stories. These pictures were beautiful! The only times I have ever seen my husband cry (ever) were when our babies were born. It’s a pretty incredible moment watching a new life enter into the world. Your son is gorgeous by the way.


  48. Oh I love birth stories too. What a fast labor and only a couple pushes? Wow. I pushed for about 2 hrs w/my daughter. Hope that doesn’t happen again!

    Love the name Paul. 🙂

    I wrote my birth story as well (I gave birth in Sept). Here’s the link-


  49. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had
    issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives
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    7 months pregnant recently posted..7 months pregnant



  1. […] wrote in length about Paul’s birth story on my personal blog, DesignHER Momma last night, and I would be honored if you stopped by and checked it […]

  2. […] I love reading birth stories, I think in another life I’d like to be a doula, and I loved Emily’s birth story about her precious fourth baby, Paul Richard. […]

  3. […] gave birth to her fourth child, Paul Richard, on Friday and shared his birth story this week: Paul, you were born on a cold and windy night… Her strength and will completely amaze me. This post made me sad and totally glad at the same time […]

  4. […] read through his birth story, the time a little boy was born on a cold and windy night, and it doesn’t even feel like it’s our story. It’s a familiar tale, I know it […]

  5. […] is a crazy, unexpected way. Just like finding out I was pregnant with him. You won’t find any amazing labor pictures in this birth story. They would have included me passed out and face-down on the hospital bathroom […]

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