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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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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Katherine Elizabeth Diamond

On Tuesday, June 20th at 10:56 AM our lives changed forever in the most wonderful way. Our family of two grew to a family of three when Bo and I welcomed Katherine “Katie” Elizabeth Diamond into the world. Born 7 lbs 7 oz with a head of dark brown hair and beautiful blue eyes, she immediately filled our hearts and has already brought us so much joy and happiness in just five days of life.

Since her birth, my world has personally been a roller coaster of emotions, as many of you warned it would. The first month is supposed to be one of the most wonderful but also the most difficult as every day I am learning something new and at this point, she seems so fragile. We’ve had daily pediatrician appointments due to her rapid 13% weight loss following birth, breast milk production challenges and her higher than normal bilirubin levels. These health challenges, as well as my raging hormones, have kept everyone on their feet, including Bo and my poor parents. I am so thankful for their incredible support, doing everything from reminding me to shower or making me a cup of coffee.

There will be a full birth story recap coming, including the wonderful notes and pictures that Bo captured during the process, which was far faster and intense than expected surging from zero to baby in just 12 hours which caught everyone off guard, including this mom who never had a chance to receive her epidural.

Thank you for the notes, warm wishes, thoughts, and prayers during this time and hope you continue to enjoy the guest posts.

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