Katie’s Birth Story– The Brief Version


These past 21 days have been absolutely incredible. A roller coaster of hormone-induced emotions, but overall, these three weeks have been the most amazing of my entire life. Nothing could have prepared us for the love we would feel for our daughter. It has been a steep learning curve, filled with laughs, tears and sleep deprivation; but every time I look at her, my heart skips a beat. I still can’t believe that she has arrived and is ours. Today I’m thrilled to share with you Katie’s birth story, which was when we quickly realized that she is the guiding light in our lives and doesn’t always follow the plan. She surprised us by coming so quickly that I ended up giving birth without an epidural.

Katie 3 weeks old

My plan is to share Katie’s birth story in two parts – one that highlights the birth in a very top line manner and another which will include all the details so I will have it for future reference and be able to answer many of the questions I’ve received from readers and friends. So, typed over the course of three naps and while wearing a milk-stained nursing tank, here is the first, very top line birth story.

On June 19th, after another borderline blood pressure reading at my 40-week checkup, my OB-GYN recommended induction since our daughter was full-term and induction would avoid any further risks to mom or baby due to blood pressure.  The plan was to be induced at 10:30 pm, twelve hours later, at NYU.  I spent the next twelve hours, running around like a crazy person. I made a to-do list during the cab ride home that included crazy things like deep clean the house, cook dinner, call to have the oven fixed, draft a blog post, send a few work emails and then double check our hospital bags. Yes, if you can tell, I was clearly a bundle of nerves but had no interest in focusing on the induction. Instead, I distracted myself with my to-do list.


Things didn’t start to feel real for either of us until we sat down in the cab, surrounded by our hospital bags. At that moment, we held hands and spent the twenty-minute ride reflecting on everything that had transpired over the past nine months. Once we arrived at the hospital we spent 10:30-3:30 in the labor and delivery triage area since there were no labor rooms available. 


At 11 PM a Foley Bulb was inserted to induce labor. It was less painful and awkward than I expected. In fact, the IV they administered was far more painful. For the next four hours, I started to feel pressure and mild contractions.


While Bo slept in the chair next to me, I passed the time reading a book. At 3:30 they were able to move us into a birthing room, where I proceeded to vomit two times as soon as we arrived. At 3:45 I started to have lower back pain and found it difficult to get comfortable. Around 4 the Foley was removed as I had reached 4 centimeters.


The doctor said that nurses would check on me every 15-30 minutes to see my progress.  At 5:30, when turning over to greet a nurse, my water broke. It felt exactly as people described – warm gushing, clear fluid that covered the bed sheets.   At 6 AM I was still only 5 centimeters dilated, and chose to continue going through labor without the epdiural or other medication when asked whether I wanted the epidural at this point. I declined, saying I’d wait a bit longer since I wanted to feel as much of the process as possible. I didn’t feel that I’d been feeling true labor yet since I hadn’t been “that uncomfortable.” 


At 8 AM I truly started to go through the motions of labor. The contractions started to grow more intense, leading me to tears, but they were still not regular enough or long enough.


The nurses helped me try different positions, sitting on a chair, sitting on the birthing ball, walking around the room, squatting. Nothing helped except lying on my left side. Bo was a huge help, putting a heating pad on my back to relieve some pain and then simultaneously putting ice and washcloths on my forehead to cool me. I was having horrible sweats which were followed moments later by chills.

 IMG_1082 At 9:30 I finally reached the point of pain which caused me to ask the nurse to get my doctor and request an epidural. Based on the last check I was still only 5.5 centimeters dilated, progressing slowly and couldn’t handle hours of this pain. The nurse informed me that unfortunately, the anesthesia team had two other epidurals to administer in front of me which meant it’d be an hour until they could get to my room. The nurses turned the Pitocin down to calm my contractions and provide me with a brief relief while we waited for the epidural. At 9:56 I began screaming to the nurses, that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. I’d read enough birthing blogs, books and articles to know that this is a key sign that the baby is progressing. Within seconds my OB was in the room with a team of nurses. After quickly checking my dilation and effacement levels, she informed me and Bo that I’d progressed quicker than anyone expected and was now less than 30 minutes from child birth if I chose to progress without medication or an epidural.

An epidural-free birth is nothing that Bo nor I expected or even discussed when we thought about labor. Our only plan was for me to labor until I reached my pain threshold and then request an epidural. Hearing the words “medication free birth” scared me for a moment but then also provided me with a boost of energy that I needed. I trust my OB and knew that if she said 30 minutes she meant 30 minutes. We agreed to continue and 26 minutes later, Katherine Elizabeth Diamond was born.

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In fact, she came so quickly, that when my parents called at 10:59 to tell us they were their 11:10 AM rescheduled flight, which had been delayed and cancelled the previous day, was getting ready to take off,   I was able to tell them, with tears running down my face, that they were grandparents and I had their granddaughter on my chest.

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A Day In The Life–Newborn Edition


As of Wednesday, Bo and I were on our own with Katie, ready to embark on our life as a family of three. While we loved having so many friends and family members come visit the past two weeks, it has been nice to start finding our groove together. While everyday brings new adventures and a child means that nothing in life is predictable, we are loving every moment even on the most sleep deprived of days.


While I have a few longer posts drafted in my head, this afternoon I wanted to check in quickly for a Day in the Life post. Things are a lot different around here these days, so I thought it would be fun to share what a “typical” day looks like. I laughed as I typed the word “typical” as there is no such thing as typical with a newborn. Instead, let’s call this a glimpse at what my life looked like today.

Keep in mind, Bo and I have chosen to follow the Moms On Call schedule and method as of week 2 and therefore we have a schedule that we do our best to stick to each day, realizing that sometimes the baby or day’s activities will require some flexibility.

1:45 AM – My alarm goes off and I quickly head downstairs to warm a bottle of formula. The goal at this point is for each feeding session, especially the nighttime feeds, to take no more than 30 minutes. Based on my milk production, right now I am giving Katie 10 minutes on each breast before giving her 2.5-3 ounces of formula via bottle.

2:34 AM – She is milk drunk in no time and after changing diapers twice during the feeding session, she is sound asleep when I set her back in ther bassinet.

5:45 AM – My alarm goes off and this time Bo wakes up to head downstairs to get the bottle warmed and ready while I immediately start feeding Katie. Bo has been a champ these past two weeks, since going back to work, and wakes up so he can squeeze in time with Katie before going to work. After I feed her, Bo takes her and gives her the bottle and changes her diapers before doing 10-15 minutes of skin to skin time on his chest while I go back to sleep for a bit.

7:00 AM – When Bo heads to the shower he wakes me up so I can watch Katie and start my day. I swear that extra hour of sleep is sometimes the most quality sleep I have all day. While Bo is in the shower I take the monitor downstairs and make coffee, prepare his breakfast and snacks and make my own breakfast. I’ve been having oatmeal most mornings since oats are a lactation power food. This morning’s oats were paired with fresh berries, flax seed and a drizzle of almond butter.


7:15- 9 AM – Since Katie tends to nap like a champ in the morning, I front load my to-do list. This morning that included running a few loads of wash, emptying the dishwasher, making the bed, and writing thank you notes.

9 AM – I wake Katie for her mid-morning feed which also includes 15 minutes of playtime. Since she’s in a good mood, I decide to read to her while she relaxes in her Boppy lounger.  During each of the daytime feeding sessions, we spend 15-20 minutes playing together, enjoying skin to skin or rocking depending on what she seems to enjoy most at that point in the day.

9:45 – 10 AM – I hook myself up to the pump, which I have a love-hate relationship with thus far. I love it because it’s helping me with my milk production and can be used hands-free but for my sanity, I am only pumping 3-4 times per day.


10 AM – 12 PM – I spend time downstairs baking Gina’s Lactation Cookies before heading back upstairs to shower, change clothes and put on some makeup. So far, I have stuck with my goal of showering every single day and changing clothes each day. It’s amazing what these two simple acts, even when squeezed into a five minute period, can do for me mentally. I have a few spare minutes before my alarm goes off and indluge by curling up in my favorite chair to read for a few minutes.


12-1:15pm – This feeding doesn’t go quite as smoothly as Katie puts up a fight when I change her diaper and then proceeds to explode her way through three diapers during the change. She finally calms down enough to enjoy a quick Facetime session with my mom before a bit of tummy time.

1:30pm – Hear my stomach growl and quickly dash downstairs to grab lunch from the fridge. Today’s lunch is leftover Sweetgreen salad which my friend Colleen brought over when she came to visit last night. So thankful for an easy lunch as this tends to be the witching hour most days, so I have no idea how long Katie will nap.

1:45 – 2:55 My friend Elizabeth, who has an eight-week old, texts to see if I want to join her for a walk. I quickly move Katie downstairs, attaching her basinet to the stroller, and head out the door. We spend the next hour chatting and running a few errands around the neighborhood, including a stop at the library as well as mailing a pile of thank you notes. Katie sleeps peacefully during our entire walk, enjoying the bumps in the sidewalk and the fresh air.


3pm – 4pm Time for the late afternoon feeding. I go into this feeding each day mentally prepared for lots of fussiness as babies tend to get fussier in the afternoon. Katie feeds quickly and is clearly hungry but is still wide awake when we finish the entire routine. I try putting her down in the bassinet, hoping that she’ll go to sleep even though her eyes are open.  Since she starts crying when I put her down, I spend the next five minutes soothing her while she’s in the bassinet.  A little bit of rocking, rubbing the stomach and shhhing goes a long way and by the four minute mark she’s asleep. IMG_4281

4pm – I head downstairs to make a quick smoothie snack since my stomach is roaring. Our kitchen is quite bare since I haven’t been to the grocery store and therefore have to rely on what is in our cabinet and freezer. I put frozen raspberries, protein powder, flax seed, water, milk and one tablespoon of almond butter together and blend for a delicious and filling smoothie.

4:15 pm – I sit down to check email and write a post. I hope to have time this weekend, while Bo is home, to write the birth story post as well as my two week reflection post. For today, I decide that sharing a day in the life post is interesting and a lot quicker than either of those two options.

4:55 pm – Push publish on this post and then head downstairs to pour myself a glass of wine and read for a few minutes before heading back upstairs for the 6pm feeding.

It’s been a really good day overall, though I’m looking forward to having Bo around this weekend. At this point in maternity leave I definitely feel a bit isolated. It’s helpful to have friends nearby who are also on maternity leave and I’ve made it a goal to enjoy at least a few dates each week with them whether it’s breakfast, lunch, play date or a walk around the neighborhood. Thank you again to everyone who has sent text messages, Insta messages, comments and emails with tips and tricks for making it through this first month.

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Hospital Bag Essentials

Leading up to Katie’s birth on June 20th, Bo and I packed and repacked our hospital bag multiple times, trying to ensure it held everything the three of us would need for our stay in the hospital. While we hoped and expected that we’d be there no longer than two days since the plan was for a vaginal birth, we packed the bag as if we’d be there for four days in case I required a c-section.

During my third trimester, I put together a comprehensive list of hospital bag items which included suggestions from other bloggers, friends, family members, baby books and a Brooklyn Mom’s Facebook group I joined a few weeks before giving birth.  Now that I am a new mom, I wanted to share an edited list which includes only the items we used while in the hospital. 

Hospital Bag Essentials


  • Dry shampoo
  • Face wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Lip balm
  • Shower Favorites for first shower after delivery – body wash, face wash, shampoo & conditioner
  • Body Lotion
  • Hair ties, barrettes or headbands
  • Basic makeup essentials (mascara, blush, foundation, concealer, eye liner, and lip gloss)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth wash
  • Dad’s toiletry bag



  • Extra long phone iPhone charging cord with wall adapter
  • iPhones
  • iPad
  • Kindle or Book
  • Nice Camera with CHARGED battery

Nursing Stuff

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  • Kimono outfit for baby to go home in
  • Blanket, hat and outfit for baby’s first pictures
  • Button down shirt for easy access to husband’s chest for skin to skin time
  • Flip flops or slippers you can throw out
  • Cozy socks with grip
  • Pretty robe
  • Going home clothes for me – comfy pants, easy shirt

Other Stuff

  • Pillow from home for me and husband
  • Washcloths
  • Lavender oil to put on washcloths
  • Car Seat
  • Health insurance, driver’s license
  • Two full-size blankets for mom and dad’s beds
  • Fridababy Fridet (so much better than squeeze bottle hospital gives you)
  • Extra bag for stuff hospital gives us

Your turn – Any questions? What items am I missing?

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