Remy Stella BLog

This is so belated, it’s almost SHAMEFUL, but sheeee’sssss heeeeerrreeeeee! Miss Remy Stella Peters entered this world on April 30th at 4:34 AM at 6 lb 9 oz and 18.5 inches and the.boy and I love her so impossibly much, it hurts.

It’s taken me a while to gather up the energy to process the many many MANY hours that went into her birth partly because there were just an inordinately large number of them but also because new mama-ing is EXHAUSTING. Who knew? Um, probably all of you. (Was I the only one in denial on this?)

As anyone who has ever written a birth plan can tell you, putting pretty much anything down on paper is a surefire way of ensuring that exactly the opposite will happen. Labor and delivery is nothing if not an exercise in compromise, at least in my experience, which is why I think it’s all the more important that women share their birth stories. The more collective knowledge we all have about the mystery that is childbirth, the more we can all make informed decisions and also normalize our varied experiences. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to give birth, so long as the outcome is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

The.Boy and I actually spent a lot of time preparing for Remy’s birth. I was dead set on having an all natural labor and delivery with as few medical interventions as possible, so we went to an 8 week class to teach us how to have a natural birth in a hospital setting where pretty much all the odds (and OB/GYNs) are against you. The.Boy learned more than I’m sure he ever cared to know about childbirth, especially how to determine via outward cues when I was ready enough (i.e. dilated between 7-10 cm) to go to the hospital and how to help me cope with labor pain without an epidural. We also hired a doula who would be added support for him and me during the entire childbirth process. During our prenatal meetings, we all agreed that our plan would be to labor at home for as long as possible in the hopes of getting to the hospital just as I was ready to push; the less time we spent in the hospital before baby was born, the fewer interventions they could try to push on us.

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As Murphy’s Law would have it, absolutely none of that happened. On Thursday, April 28th, I went to an OB/GYN appointment where my blood pressure measured high. Really high. Like, 160s/100s. MAJOR cause for concern if I wasn’t pregnant but even more so because high blood pressures at the end of pregnancy could indicate the onset of pre-eclampsia, which is life threatening if untreated. My OB sent me straight to labor and delivery for further monitoring and to have bloodwork done to determine whether this was actually pre-eclampsia or just late term gestational hypertension. In labor and delivery triage, my blood pressures jumped around a bit, but were mostly in the high but not “severe” range. Thankfully, all of my bloodwork was negative for pre-eclampsia, which was a huge relief. Given that I was already full term (38 weeks, 5 days), the OB on call as well as my OB were both strongly recommending induction. They felt that even if this wasn’t pre-eclampsia now, it could be pre-eclampsia tomorrow and so why should we take that risk. The.Boy and I were initially very undecided about what to do but after a few hours of monitoring when it became clear that these high blood pressures were not just anxiety-induced, we decided to go the induction route.

At 3pm, cervidil, which is a cervical ripening agent, was placed. Typically, so long as the baby is doing well on the fetal heart rate monitor, it is left in for 12 hours. Rarely (mostly in 2nd time moms), it alone is enough to kickstart labor, so we were really hoping for that, as unlikely as it was. Our doula, Laura, came to check in around when the cervidil was inserted. We discussed our game plan going forward and decided that we would all try to get some rest and reconvene in the morning, so Laura went home to try to sleep while the.boy and I tried to get as comfortable as possible. Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to “get comfortable” in a hospital bed, but it is IMPOSSIBLE. Especially when you have a fetal heart rate monitor and a tocometer strapped around your belly, a pulse oximeter on your pointer finger, an IV in your left arm, and a blood pressure cuff that is set to go off every 30 minutes around your right arm. Sleep? Uh, yeah right. Oh, and of course, at this point my blood pressure had gone back down to normal. Low normal. Like, 100s over 60s/70s. So, basically, I tossed and turned for 12 hours and got almost no sleep at all whatsoever.

At 3AM, they came to remove the cervidil and see how dilated (if at all) I was. At that point I was 50% effaced and 1.5 – 2 centimeters. I was then given an hour to eat and shower since you’re not supposed to really get up that much or eat at all while on the cervidil. You know, in case you need an emergency C section…not that eating has ever prevented anyone from having an emergency C section before. (Sigh.)

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After the hour, I was hooked back up to all the monitors and we were told that a doctor would be in to start pitocin ASAP, which sent us into an immediate panic for a few reasons. (A) I had barely slept in the past 24 hours. Dealing with another possible 24 hours of pitocin labor without an epidural and without sleep seemed impossible. (B) I really REALLY REALLY didn’t want pitocin and was still kind of hoping that my labor would magically kickstart on it’s own.

At this point we called our doula and discussed our options. She recommended we asked to have a Foley balloon before the pitocin, which basically acts to manually stretch your cervix to a max of about 4 cm dilation. This would not only buy us time (and more sleep opportunities!), but would also put us in a better position when we eventually did start the pitocin.

For the next hour or so, nurses kept trying to come in to start the bag of pitocin and we kept telling them that we wanted to speak to a doctor before we decided to move forward with anything. Eventually, the doctor on call did come in and we asked if we could have a Foley balloon placed before they started the pitocin. Well, she did not like that idea and was extremely rude to us without actually explaining to us what her problem with the Foley balloon was. After about 10 minutes of trying to get her to explain her reasoning, the.boy pretty much kicked her out of the room because it was obvious that any kind of rational communication with her was not in the realm of possibility.

The fact of the matter was, Foley balloon or not, we knew that we needed more sleep before the induction really got going. We also knew that my OB, who is an extremely reasonable and kind person, was coming on call in the morning and we felt strongly that whatever her recommendation was for moving forward would be the best call (and that she would explain why she thought so, especially knowing that I do have a fair amount of medical knowledge). So the next time the nurse came in, we pretty much told her to tell the current OB on call that we needed time to sleep before the pitocin and that we would start the induction again in the morning. That OB obviously wanted nothing more to do with us, so she agreed.

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The next morning, my OB came in and was pretty much like, “So…what are we doing?”. We asked again about the Foley balloon and she explained why she felt it wasn’t particularly useful – that even if it dilated me to a 4, it wasn’t a “real” 4 cm and for all intents and purposes I would still be dilated to a 2 even if the Foley technically could stretch me to a 4. She strongly thought that we should start the pitocin. So we did.

I don’t know if you guys know how pitocin works, but basically it’s an artificial version of the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for causing contractions. You start it at a very low dose and keep raising it by 2 units every hour until the person in labor is contracting once every 2 minutes. Initially, the contractions weren’t two bad. They were still fairly far apart and I had to breathe through them, but it was nothing that I couldn’t handle. However, we still called our doula and asked her to come ASAP because, though we didn’t know when things would get intense, we knew that with pitocin on board it could happen suddenly and without warning. Laura got there within about an hour and she had me walking around, bouncing on my birth ball, sitting on the toilet – all sorts of things to try to get the baby to descend and get into position. The contractions still weren’t too bad, though, and in-between them we were all laughing and joking around.

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At around 2:30, my OB came in to see how I was doing and check me again. Still 2 cm. She recommended that we break my water to really get things going. Now, here is the only thing I regret about my labor – I knew that I shouldn’t have my water broken until I was at least 5-6 cm, especially because I was group B strep positive, meaning that once my water was broken – whether anyone would admit it or not – there was now a time limit on how long they would let my labor go before C-sectioning me because of the increased risk of infection to the baby. We had also learned in our birth class that breaking your water just isn’t as effective at helping labor progress until you’ve already dilated some. Yet, I let her do it, all the while knowing that it wasn’t the best decision.

And, my friends, the second she did…shit. got. real. The contractions increased in intensity by about 100-fold. They still weren’t really regular or super close together, but instead I would have three in a row practically on top of each other, and then a 5 minute break. For hours, I tried to breathe through them.

The.Boy and Laura were so supportive. Basically when each one started, I would lean on the.boy who would say encouraging things to me while Laura would be behind me, massaging me and supporting my back. We did this on the birth ball, on the toilet, and while walking around the room. In-between contractions, one of them would try to shove coconut water or miso soup in my mouth. After a while it got to the point where I was just crying through all of them. The pain was so terrible that I felt like I was just a shell of a person. I couldn’t think except to live in fear of the next contraction starting because I couldn’t imagine how I could make it through, especially when they just kept raising the pitocin dose, making things more and more intense. I kept telling them that I didn’t think I could do it anymore and the.boy kept telling me that I was doing it and that I could do it.

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Eventually, at around 6:30, I started begging them for an epidural. In our birth class we had learned that when a person reaches this point of self doubt, they are usually in transition and almost fully dilated. Knowing this, the.boy tried to bargain with me because he really thought I must be at least 7-8 cm and he didn’t want me to do anything that I would regret later. We agreed that I would have the doctor check me first before I made my decision.

She came in and checked me. Still 2 cm.

This was the breaking point for me. I knew that I could not go through another 8 cm of labor like this. It could take hours. So, against all odds and everything I had spelled out in my birth plan – I got the epidural. And, surprisingly, I don’t regret it. The reality is that if I were having a natural labor, the contractions would only be this bad if I was more dilated. But to have transition-level contractions at only 2 cm just wouldn’t happen in a natural labor. At 2 cm I should still have been in early labor baking brownies in my apartment! We should have been drinking wine and watching bad reality television! Not hunched over a birth ball, unable to move, in intractable pain. Laura later told me that there is a difference between pain and suffering in labor, and I was suffering. She also told me that she had never seen anyone go as long on pitocin without an epidural as I did, so there’s that.

The anesthesiologists were in the room placing the epidural within what felt like hours, but was actually minutes. Like, less than 10. And oh my god. So much relief. I guess because of the way my body was tilted on the bed, half of my body was more numb than the other so I could still feel some of the contraction pain but it was so minor compared to what it had been. Also, I could still move my legs, which was pretty awesome. They really dosed it exactly perfectly.

Even though I was totally at peace with my decision to get an epidural, the.boy was initially really heartbroken over it. He took a lot of responsibility for everything that had “gone wrong” with our labor and felt that as my labor coach he should have worked harder to get me everything I wanted. He felt like he had failed as my partner, which was totally the opposite of how I felt about him. I knew I couldn’t have gotten through any of this without him and Laura and that it was only because of them that things hadn’t gone even more awry. The.boy did a great job of continuously fighting with the doctors for me, challenging them on why they were recommending certain things over others, and asking them to let us have more time to think through our decisions. Sure, the entire first half of my birth plan was thrown out the window. But that’s the nature of labor. It happens.

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Once the epidural was placed, we called our parents and let them know what was going on. All this time, they had no idea that we were even in the hospital! We made the decision early on to keep them in the dark for a while both so that they wouldn’t worry and so that they wouldn’t try to sit in the waiting room for what could be days. No laboring person needs that kind of pressure! I’m sure they were a little mad at us, but whatever. We did what we had to do.

And then…we slept. (Or tried to.)

At around 10PM, the OB on call (not my OB anymore) came in to try to convince us to let her check how dilated I was. I felt strongly that it was too soon, especially since the pitocin dose had been lowered while the epidural was placed and had only been increased back to its previous strength for 2 hours, so I asked her to let us wait at least another two hours. She was really not happy with this, informed us that we were “going against medical advice” and kept saying that it was really important that they knew how dilated I was “in case the baby’s heart rate dropped”. This made absolutely no sense to me because I knew that if, in fact, the baby’s heart rate did drop it would not matter how dilated I was, they would rush me to an emergency C-section. So the.boy and I stood our ground and she eventually agreed to come back in 2 hours.

At around midnight, I started to feel like the baby was definitely lower and when Laura looked she noticed that there was a lot of bloody show happening (TMI, but this is the reality of childbirth – it’s messy and full of weird fluids). This made us all really excited and much more confident that some progress was happening. The doctor came back, as she had threatened promised, checked me, and told us that I was now 7 CENTIMETERS, 100% effaced, and that the baby was at -1 station. THINGS WERE HAPPENING. And we were now pretty sure that we would have a baby by the next morning (or at least the next afternoon). All of a sudden sleep became CRUCIAL, so we all really really tried to go to bed.

At 3AM, I woke up from some pretty terrible, not restful, on and off sleep and felt some definite pressure and a strong sensation like I had to poop (also TMI, but I’m just keeping it real). The doctor had said she was going to come back at 3:30, so I decided to just wait until she did. At 3:30, she still hadn’t come and I felt like I was spontaneously pushing with a ton of pressure, so we asked our nurse to go find her. She came in to check me and I was now 10 CM and the baby was at +2 station, so pretty much most of the way down the birth canal.

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Talk about GO TIME. Laura woke up the.boy, who immediately started cleaning and tidying up the room. Out of nowhere, my nurse rolled out a table topped with all sorts of sterile instruments, the OB got scrubbed up, the vagina light came out (huge bright light in the ceiling so the OB can see what’s going on down there), and stirrups were attached to the bed. By 4AM, I was pushing.

And to be totally honest…I really loved pushing. I felt like it was the only part of my labor that I had control over – that I could ensure would go the way I wanted it to. And it totally did. I pushed our little lovebug out in less than 30 minutes and with only one small first degree tear. During the pushing, The.Boy and Laura just kept saying “I see hair! SO. MUCH. HAIR.”

Miss Remy Stella came out SCREAMING with 9/9 Apgars, and she was allowed to be placed on my chest immediately. Well, on my belly button really because she had such a short umbilical cord! The.Boy got to cut the cord, and then she was placed on my chest. She was so incredibly tiny, yet so incredibly perfect. Hearing her scream and seeing her look at me and holding her little squirmy body was so worth all 41 totally imperfect hours of my labor.

Within an hour of her birth, I had gotten her to breastfeed, which was another thing that was really important to me. And the rest is history.

Now she is 3 weeks and a few days old. We are still exclusively breastfeeding. She is still impossibly tiny (but probably about 8 lb!…so the weight of an average newborn). And looking into her eyes still moves me to my core.

Things are probably going to be (egregiously) slow around here as we get used to being a family of 3 and as Remy gets used to being an “outside baby”. It’s a work in progress, so bear with me!

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55 Responses to Remy Stella’s Birth Story

  1. Katrina says:

    This has got to be the most interesting thing I’ve read in AGES! I love the detail you went into! I know literally nothing about child birth, but it’s one of those things that I’m beginning to think about and I can’t believe how much you went through to give birth to this baby!! Joanne, your girl is gorgeous. I am glad to hear that you’re doing well now!!

  2. Erika says:

    This was very touching and I definitely agree that more birth stories should be told. I’m 24 and planning to wait until I’m 30 to start a family and as much as I want children, I’m terrified about how to get the children outside of my body. Much of that is because the few birth stories I know are only emergency C sections and NO ONE talks about other options. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on a beautiful baby and the health of the both of you. I enjoyed your story and am definitely happy with my choice to wait until I’m 30… I’ll be a big girl by then and hopefully won’t cause a scene at the hospital.

  3. So happy for you! And advice from my mother, who raised ten kids. When the baby sleeps, YOU sleep too!

  4. Congratulations, and welcome to Miss Remy. Your story had me hooked! Best wishes x

  5. Maria says:

    Congrats!!!! She’s beautiful!

  6. Courtney says:

    Oh, Joanne! I’m so happy you shared this, and I agree that more people should talk about childbirth. You are such a strong mama, and Remy is just adorable. Sending many good thoughts your way as you all adjust to being a family of three. Go easy on yourself, lady! You are all learning together.

  7. Congratulations, Joanne. Being in the hospital as someone in the medical community but not your field often presents with challenges. When I had appendicitis, I demanded to see my surgeon! Glad to hear everything worked out well in the end. 🙂

  8. Betty says:

    Congratulations- She is precious! 🙂

  9. Congratulations joanne, she’s gorgeous. Thanks for telling Your story, it’s interesting to see that medical personnel have problems (sometimes) negotiating with colleagues as i always think they listen to others who are doctors! Glad to hear you are enjoying this special time of getting to know each other.

  10. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your birth plan Joanne! It really honestly helps when I think about me someday having a baby 🙂 And you have the sweetest most adorable-est baby out of the whole thing! Remy is 100% perfect. <3

  11. Amy says:

    Had to come check out your birth story! CONGRATS, Joanne, she is so so precious!!! it’s hard to find time to do anything but take care of a baby and sleep, isn’t it? Man, what is it with rude people in the hospital during labor? I had rude nurses when they were trying to transfer me from the gurney to my bed DURING a contraction- they got mad when i was like, please just let me get thru this first! Also, do NOT feel bad about the epidural (tho it sounds like you’ve made peace with your decision). I had a similar story where they contractions started out more intense than most womens’ (according to my doula). You want to be able to ENJOY the birth, not suffer thru the whole thing. As long as a healthy baby comes out in the end, who cares how you got to that point?! I loved the pushing too! Congrats again on your beautiful little girl 🙂

  12. Heather says:

    Congratulations to you all! I wish I had read/heard more birth stories before my first and that we had done a lot more prep work like you had so we could have been more informed. Glad everything ended up working out just fine and welcome to motherhood! 🙂

  13. Congratulations to you both! What a beautiful name for her – and she is so beautiful !! Enjoy every moment!! We are so overjoyed for you!!
    Xoxo Anna and Liz

  14. Kiersten says:

    She is such a cutie. 🙂 I was also sure I was going to do everything naturally, but after about 15 hours of excruciating back labor, I caved and got an epidural and I don’t regret it one bit. I’m so happy for you!

  15. Great recounting of your birth experience. Bottom line is, I don’t think anyone needs to suffer with childbirth. I wanted an epidural and like you, the pain reduced to a degree where I could sleep and move my legs and I never ever regretted it. There truly is a difference between pain and suffering.

    As a matter of fact, thanks to the epidural, I was awake and able to see my son born via C-section (I stopped dilating) and again, I never regretted. You have a beautiful daughter and I know you will create many wonderful memories with her. Congratulations!

  16. SallyBR says:

    Wonderful to read the full story, and wow… hard to find what to say!

    Congratulations, enjoy this amazing new phase in your life!

    she is simply ADORABLE!

  17. Karen says:

    She is absolutely gorgeous, Joanne… congratulations to you and your family <3

  18. Tara P. says:

    You are SUPERWOMAN. Congratulations!!!

  19. congratulations! not that i would know anything about the whole process, it is really interested how things don’t go as planned but im glad that you and Remy are both doing well and getting used to the new routine. take care dear.

  20. JoBay says:

    I am so glad for you the breastfeeding is going well. I had such terrible problems. And I adore the name Remy Stella! Best of luck! (My baby girl turns 16 today.)

  21. Marcia says:

    Aw. A fantastic story. I love sharing birth stories, because they are all so different.

    With my first, my water broke at work, 2 weeks early. I worked another 3.5 hours and went to the hospital. It was an hour before they admitted my water had broken. They hooked me up to pitocin BEFORE checking my dilation, and I was at 4 cm. That was around 12:30 pm. At 3:45 I begged for the epidural (was at 8 cm). Pushed from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. Yay, baby!

    With my second, I woke up at 3 am feeling weird (on his due date). By 4:30 I was pretty sure I was in labor. By 6 am my husband woke up, and my contractions were about 10 min apart. I told him to eat and shower. By 7 he and the big boy were still kind of wandering around, not dressed. And I said “no really, get dressed”, as I was hunched over on the couch. I went from 10 min to 3 min apart very quickly.

    At 7:30 we checked in, they said “yep, you should have a baby by noon!” and I was 4, maybe 5 cm. My husband left to drop our 6 year old off at a friend’s. But he forgot to have the parking ticket validated, and didn’t even have $1.50. So he had to back out, park the car again and get it validated. He got back at 8:10 and baby was born at 8:35. I asked for the epidural and told the (very new) nurse that I was strep B positive. So she put in the IV (which fell out), couldn’t find the cart at first. Then checked me and I’d gone from 4 to 10 cm in about 10 minutes.

    They brought in a second nurse to help me breathe, because I wasn’t going to get that epidural, and who the hell knows how to breathe, or remembers, after 6 freaking years? I was miserable and begging for any kind of pain killer. But as painful as it was, at least it was fast!! Husband and doc almost missed the birth.

  22. Congratulations Joanne!! I haven’t been commenting as much lately but have still been reading along and thinking of your due date approaching. I’m so glad you shared your story as you’re right – the more women share their experiences the more prepared everyone can be, and the less emphasis placed on a ‘perfect’ birth plan or birth. No one knows how they’re labor will progress until they’re in it. It sounds like you had some very harrowing moments but I’m glad Remy arrived safely and is doing well now!

  23. Loved every single word of this…it took me back 23.5 years to my own 21 hour labor (I feel like a slacker next to you!) which also involved a patchy epidural, and at the end of it the daughter that if the greatest gift of my life. Much love to you and your beautiful, beautiful Remy Stella! <3

  24. Kate says:

    I had SUCH a similar experience with my first.
    http://fraglette.blogspot.com/2011/10/39-weeks.html

    *Baby born 2 days after induction started? check
    * Early induction due to fear of Pre-E? check
    * BP went down once admitted to the hospital? check
    *Little progress with ripening agent ? check
    * Started pitocin anyway? check
    *No progress on pitocin? check
    * Manual water breaking while not dilated? check

    – but that’s where the stories differ, because for me, the water breaking did the trick and I was holding a baby less than 7 hours later. I also asked for an epidural immediately upon learning they were going to use pitocin, which the doctor advised against, so I also waited until after they broke my water, but I knew I was okay with an epidural as soon as I knew I was going to be induced.

  25. debbie says:

    Congratulations Joanne and thanks for sharing your story! I really enjoyed reading this and your little girl is just adorable!

  26. Annie says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! It sounds like y’all stayed really level headed during all the madness. Happy belated birthday to little Remy.

  27. Pam says:

    What a story! I am so thankful The.boy and your doula were so supportive and amazing… The.boy should be proud of himself not disappointed!!! I had to emergency c-sections that were very scary, my husband was the rock I needed.

    Your little Remy Stella is beautiful! Congratulations. I am so happy for you. Welcome to the mommy club… it’s the best!

  28. Kim says:

    Oh my goodness! This made me laugh & cry! I love reading others birth stories & since I’m a former labor & delivery nurse & have 3 children, I see both sides. I immediately laughed when you mentioned birth plan. (No offense!) Any medical professional I ever had as a patient (including my own childbirth experiences) NEVER went smoothly or according to plan! And I truly feel for you having to go through induction…I had some pit. with my 1st, but no cervidil. But congrats on your healthy precious baby girl! And congrats on no bad tears or episiotomy…I pushed for 2 hours, had a 3rd degree…oh the stories I could share abt my first delivery! Take care of yourself!

  29. Zainab says:

    Oh Joanne she is so beautiful!! And Congratulations!! And now I wish I did write my birth story up because you won’t believe me when I tell you now that we had almost the exact same experience….like 94% the same. The only difference was that my water broke in the morning and that is what brought me in. But my body did not start going. So we did Cervidil for the first 12 hours and nothing, meanwhile trying to sleep and not telling our parents coz no one wants that pressure in the waiting room. Then second dose of Cervidil and then pitocin and then the worst contractions and finally caving to the epidural i so did not want but welcomed so much with the relief. 48 hours later there was a baby lol! Isn’t it amazing that the birth plan is just not a thing? And as long as women focus on the healthy baby at the end, I think we will have a much better appreciation for it all. And do tell Michael, he was a rock star!!! He was your partner all through it all 🙂

  30. cheri says:

    She is beautiful Joanne, really beautiful!

  31. Congrats again, mama!! You did a great job, and she’s beautiful! Let us know if you need anything at all! xoxo

  32. Ah I can not wait to meet that sweet baby girl!

    I can’t believe all that you went through to have Remy, but it sounds like you did a pretty amazing job through all of it. And now you have a healthy baby girl, so really what else matters?!

  33. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m exhausted! I’m so sorry your plans didn’t work out for you but there’s always next time! I was pressured into doing things I didn’t want to do the first time around and really regretted it. I was 10 days overdue and we were in a shocking heatwave and I was fed up and teary with still being pregnant. The doctor suggested an induction and I went along with it. Prostin gel on the cervix that night, no sleep in the hospital bed that night, more prostin gel in the morning and by 2pm that afternoon I hadn’t gone into labour. So then out came the crochet hook to break the membranes and immediately, I experienced those shocking contractions you mentioned. Where was the gentle warm up? For a few hours I tried to manage the contractions along with vomiting and screaming and rolling around the room. I then demanded an epidural only to be told it was too late – I was 8cm and they wouldn’t do one after that point. I cried. Two more hours of pain I thought was going to kill me. I’m so pleased that in the end, after your 41 hour ordeal, you have such a beautiful baby girl. I love her name and how she has such beautiful eyes and so much hair. I know how exhausting it all is and I do hope you’re able to get enough rest. All the best for the next few weeks as you and Remy try to find some sort of a rhythm and routine xx

  34. Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing! My birth plan didn’t go as expected either, and even though I wanted a natural birth the pitocin brought pain that was too much. Good for you for arguing with the doctors though. I think our husbands felt the same way, because we spent all of this time discussing how the birth would be and then it happened nothing like the plan. Anyway really cool of you to make this public. Love your blog even more now 😀

  35. Oh wow Joanne. Congratulations. I have been so busy I didnt have time to visit you and now you have the most beautiful daughter. These are the most incredible and intense times for you now. You strong and wonderful woman, you.Birth is behind and you cute little munchkin is here. Isn’t she adorable?

  36. She is so beautiful but I don’t have to tell you that. Congratulations!

  37. Laura says:

    As an 18 year certified nurse midwife, I am impressed by your flexibility, open mind and the way you stood up for yourself! (I am also impressed by your beautiful newborn girl, btw!) Your instincts were excellent in compromising and holding firm at each point. I really enjoyed this post and I agree, it really helps other women when we are open about our own experiences. Congratulations and all the best!

  38. Victoria G says:

    Your story made me tear up! Truly! I am so proud of you and MP… you both sound like you did an amazing job in there, and I have the utmost respect for you guys. I respected you guys before, of course, but talk about seeing your familiar old friends in a totally new light… She is so beautiful. Congrats to all three of you. <3

  39. Foodiewife says:

    No need to apologize if you don’t blog as often as you once did. You have a new priority, now. I was feeling you, literally, all the way up to the epidural. My labor was long and painful, and I ever dilated past 2. I ended up with pitocin, then an epidural and it was instant relief. I had a C-section, because my boy was almost 10 pounds at birth! How wonderful that you got to “push”. Congratulations, and I look forward to watching your daughter grow up on your blog.

  40. Here’s the thing, hospital or in-home. Epidural or natural. Breast feeding or bottle feeding. NONE of it matters once parenting starts. Welcome to the club and congratulations, my friend. You guys are going to be great!

  41. I’ve been looking forward to reading this and when I finally had a little slice of time I knew exactly where I would use it! It’s been 2 weeks shy of 21 years since my last baby was born, so everything you’ve shared here feels a very distant memory… Your story is both amazing and beautiful. Just like your little lovebug. Just like your sweet little family. Congratulations, Joanne! Keep those pictures coming!

  42. Elly says:

    Congrats again, Joanne! Remy is adorable. So great of you to share your birth story. I think it’s so important to read them! My L&D actually did go according to plan but breastfeeding for me was HARD. Really, really hard. I felt like “why does no one ever tell you this?!” so many times. It’s always awesome to read others’ experiences.

  43. This is so sweet! I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t go as planned, but I’m glad it all worked out in the end!

    But sort of scary hearing about it, as I have never given birth. But I’m sure the pain is 100% worth it 🙂

  44. grace says:

    CONGRATS! i love the name and thank you for sharing her story! 🙂

  45. Victoria says:

    Congrats, Joanne. That was a very intense story, but you’re a mommy and you made it through! I look forward to reading so much more about Remy as she grows and experiences more of the world 🙂 xo

  46. AB says:

    Congratulations! So beautiful, bless her! Your story reminds me so much of my own first labour. You did good mama! Well done x

  47. Hannah says:

    Oh my goodness, CONGRATULATIONS! I’m sorry that my wishes come so belatedly but I assure you that they’re no less sincere. It takes incredible strength, bravery, and wisdom to survive such an ordeal, let alone share all the details, and I’m touched by your candid recollection. Sending so much love to you and your family!

  48. What a great ending to a tough labor! YOU DID IT. My first labor was very similar… we had done the Bradley course and everything. I definitely got that epidural 30 hours in and had mixed feelings about it. But you know what? I have a 3 year old now and *how* he came into the world barely ever crosses my mind (even all the nursing drama we had barely crosses my mind!). Parenting is long, much longer than labor (and much longer than those first weeks and years). So much is ahead of us, which is both terrifying and a huge relief to me. Hoping you and the.boy both feel at peace with everything behind you and are enjoying the (crazy, beautiful, tiring) world of parenting!

  49. mjskit says:

    Congratulations!!!! Remy is absolutely beautiful! What a joy! Sorry to reading about all of the problems and how Murphy had other plans, but despite it all, it looks like you have a healthy and gorgeous little girl who is going to give you a lot of joy!!!!

  50. Erica says:

    Good for you for fighting back, asking questions, and insisting on making your own decisions. Labour doesn’t always go the way we want it to, but you have a beautiful baby girl. Congrats.

  51. Johanna GGG says:

    Congratulations! And thank you for sharing the story – it is true that what we plan and what ends up happening can be worlds apart – but if you have a live baby at the end it does make life wonderful. She looks gorgeous in the photos and I am pleased at how happy you sound even though tired (which is quite normal) – my mum says she can see a dazed look in all new mothers. Best wishes to you and the boy for enjoying seeing Remy unfurl into a little person.

  52. carol burt says:

    Congratulations Joanne! I’m so happy for you & your husband. Enjoy these years, they will fly by.
    – Carol Burt (you were my daughter’s tutor way back when you were in college)

  53. Kim Tracy says:

    Congratulations!! I’m so very happy for you and your whole family. Like you said, I think that we should all share our stories because you never know when you’re able to help someone and/or save them from a bad experience.I’m glad that you held your own with the medical staff and I’m so happy you had a wonderful support team:) Makes all the difference!

    Piece of advice I always give anyone having a baby is to be assertive when it comes to what you want. With Jackson I they had told me I could have an epidural once I was dialated to 4 and that was a plan/pact I made for months leading up. When the time came I asked for my epidural several times and they kept telling me to wait. Wait, for what? When they decided it was finally time the anesthesiologist was busy doing a c-section (why was there only 1 anesthesiologist)?! Why hadn’t they shared that info with me earlier? Needless to say I experienced pain and suffering waiting for something I had asked for and didn’t get. I ended up going into shock from the pain. My bp and body temp was too low for hours after delivery and I had to be in a recovery room for hours. Didn’t get to see the baby until 5-6 hours later! Worse part is there was absolutely no reason for it! Could’ve all be prevented!

  54. Susan says:

    I’ve been kind of ‘off the grid’ lately but just saw a photo of your darling little girl on Instagram this morning and had to stop and say CONGRATULATIONS! As you mentioned, as long as a baby is delivered healthy, nothing else really matters in the end. What a sweetheart! It changes you life in so many good ways, especially after they start to sleep through the night 🙂

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