Riley’s Birth Story

It’s been exactly 1 month today since I gave birth to Riley (Happy 1 month birthday Riley!) and I feel like I’m already forgetting so many details of my birth story. So I knew I had to write it down before I forgot even more! I swear there’s something in our brains that makes women forget about their labor! Ha! Meaning that if women remembered all the pain they were in during labor, they would never do it again. I know I’ve already said that Kevin and I don’t want to have any more children, but after my recent labor experience, I am 1,000,000% certain that I never want to have any more children. Don’t get me wrong, carrying a baby through pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby is a privilege. But it’s also the absolute hardest thing and most painful thing I’ve ever done. And I’m grateful that I don’t ever have to do it again! With alll that said, was it worth it? Absolutely! I would go through all the pain 100 times over to be able to look at my little sweet Riley’s face. He is perfection in every way and I still can’t believe how quickly I fell for him, especially because I was so nervous about opening my heart to another child before I met him.

Photos by Ashley Burns Photography

Given how exhausted I am right now, I know it’s gonna be really hard for me to write this the way I want to tell it. I know I’m going to forget details that I wish I included later, but I’m going to give it my best shot. So here’s his birth story…

As many of you know, I was scheduled to be induced at 39-weeks pregnant. Looking back, I wish I never made the decision to be induced. I think I just got so worried about Riley’s size since every doctors appointment I went to, they said he was on track to be a 10lb plus baby. My doctor was concerned about his size, but we both knew that the weight scans during office visits can be off by an entire pound. And in Riley‘s case, it absolutely was off by even more than a pound. He ended up being born at 8 lbs 11 oz which in my opinion really isn’t that big. Needless to say, we went through the induction and I can’t go back now. But I feel in my heart that we rushed Riley out into the world. I just don’t think he was ready, and as a result I had a pretty terrible labor experience. So in the end I really only blame myself. Kevin keeps telling me that I can’t blame myself and that I was just going off of all of my health care provider’s recommendations. And I’m not saying I blame them because I don’t. They were just doing their job based on their experience and I’m grateful for that. But I think in my heart, I knew he wasn’t ready to come.

But we did go through with the induction and it was scheduled for May 23rd at 2 AM. What a crazy time right?! I guess most inductions are scheduled throughout the middle of the night. And we purposefully scheduled ours at 2 AM thinking we would have him early afternoon that day (the 23rd). Boy were we wrong!

Kevin’s mom and my mom blew both flew in the day before so they could be with Molly when we had to go to the hospital that night. We got in bed around 9:30PM and I think I ended up falling asleep around 11pm. Which means I got about an hour and a half of sleep because my alarm was set for 12:30 AM so we could get up and get ready to go to the hospital. I’m actually surprised I was able to fall asleep at all. But as many of you who have experienced pregnancy know, you’re just so exhausted at the end that you’ll take all the sleep you can get! That is, if you’re able to sleep at 39 weeks pregnant.

We got to the hospital around 1:30 AM. We were admitted to a room at 2 AM. And I was finally induced by being given Pitocin at 4 AM. For the first couple hours the contractions weren’t too bad and every 30 minutes they increased my level of Pitocin. My doctor came in to check on me around 7:30 AM and at that point I was fighting through the contraction pain. She asked if I wanted an epidural and at first I turned it down. I thought to myself that I could totally handle this labor and wanted to try to see if I could do it without an epidural. I don’t even know why I necessarily thought that. I’m totally in support of women getting them and I got one with Molly and ultimately with Riley too. But I guess I just kinda wanted to test myself to see if I could do it. Well within an hour or two after my doctor left, I was screaming for the epidural. But here’s the thing, I absolutely hate needles! Even the site of a needle will bring me to tears. And in some cases, I just flat out pass out at the sight of one. So as I got the epidural Kevin held my hands and I cried into his shoulder.

At first the epidural worked pretty well. I would say from about 9 AM-ish to maybe 5 PM-ish I had some pain relief. I wasn’t completely numb. I definitely still felt the contractions and they hurt. But nothing I couldn’t handle. Then after eight hours, the epidural just stopped working. I was in sooo much pain. What’s so crazy about this is that the exact same thing happened when I gave birth to Molly. The epidural worked for about eight hours and then stopped working.

So tried my hardest to deal with the contraction pain from about 5 PM until 10 PM, and after another five hours of extremely painful contractions with no pain relief, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was shaking and convulsing and sobbing to my husband. By 10 PM I had been in labor for 18/19 hours and I felt completely defeated. I kept saying to Kevin, through my tears, that we had made a mistake by being induced. He kept telling me not to do that to myself and that we did what we thought was right. But at that point, I just felt like I was being punished.

Over the course of the day/night, a few different anesthesiologists had been to our room to figure out why I wasn’t getting any pain relief. They were also giving me boosters of pain medication that would work for about 30 minutes here and there and then stop working again.

At around 9:30/10, the head of anesthesiology at Cedars Sinai was called to our room. The head honcho! This guy knew what he was talking about. So we were so grateful for getting a chance to chat with him about what was going on with me. We asked him what the chances were of me getting two epidurals during two different labors and then both failing after eight hours. He basically said the odds were astronomical. One in a bazillion. Is that even a number? He told us that my only option for pain relief would be to take out the current epidural and re-insert a new one. Needless to say, I was terrified! I think at that point was when I cried the hardest! I was so exhausted physically and emotionally and the thought of going through that process again was so scary to me. So after some back-and-forth with Kevin, he finally convinced me that I needed help with the pain and he would be there holding my hand every step of the way.

Oh wait, let me backtrack for a minute. There are so many details of the story that it’s hard to get them all in. Even after writing this novel I know I’m leaving out a bunch of stuff! But before meeting with the anesthesiologist, about six hours before, my doctor broke my water to help accelerate the labor process. But the weird thing was that when she broke my water, not that much amniotic fluid came out. And as you guys might remember, I was diagnosed with Polyhydramnios which is a condition that means I have excess amniotic fluid. So basically Niagara Falls should’ve been coming out of me. Ha! When I asked my doctor why it didn’t seem like that much fluid, she said that the babies head basically acted like a cork and kept all of it from coming out. And that it would slowly come out as my labor progressed.

The reason I’m telling that story is because when I went ahead and decided to get the second epidural, I had to sit up in the bed, hunched over so my spine was arched like a cat. When I did this something about the position of my body released Niagara Falls! All of my amniotic fluid gushed out. I think this is what jump-started my labor. Because from when I was induced at 4 AM up until that point at 10 PM I had only dilated 5 cm. But from 10 PM to 12:57 AM I dilated from 5 cm to 10 cm! So really, deciding to get that second epidural and going into that position was the best decision I could’ve made! And, I’m happy to say that the epidural totally worked and those 2 hours were the only pain free part of my entire labor. And hey I’ll take it! I actually slept a little after the epidural!

The nurse told me to call her when I started feeling intense pressure on my pelvis and I remember waking up around midnight feeling that pressure. I didn’t want to call the nurse in to get checked because I felt like I had called her into the room to be checked so many times throughout the day that I didn’t want to “cry wolf” again. So I waited until about 12:20 because the pressure was getting more intense, and sure enough when they checked me I was not only 10 cm dilated but the baby was basically about to fall out!

So at that point my doctor was called back to the hospital and we called our good friend and photographer Ashley to rush over to take birth photos for us. Both the doctor and Ashley arrived just in time and after only two contractions and a few pushes, baby Riley was born! So the actual birth/pushing was actually the very best part of the entire labor process! It was so easy compared to Molly, where I pushed for 2 1/2 hours before she was born.

And speaking of Ashley, I really want to give her a huge shout out and thank her for being there for us. Since I got induced at 2 AM, we kept telling her that we would most likely need her at the hospital that afternoon. So she was basically on call for us all day long. And when we called her at midnight and woke her up, she rushed right over to the hospital to capture this incredible moment for us!

As you can see from these photos, when I first saw a Riley I broke down in tears (again! I cried a lot in that hospital room). I think it was for a plethora of reasons. I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I was just happy it was over. But I also couldn’t believe how much I loved him the second I saw him. In fact, I’m crying right now even writing this. It was just such an intense and magical moment that I never want to forget. And having these photos to remember it is truly special.

I won’t get too much into the details, but the afterbirth experience was almost as bad as the labor itself. Because I was hemorrhaging blood, they gave me even more Pitocin for 10 hours after the birth and I was in excruciating pain for much of that time. But I don’t wanna focus on that right now. I want to focus on the little miracle that came into the world that day.

Riley, you are more perfect than we could have hoped for…

118 Thoughts

118 thoughts on “Riley’s Birth Story

  1. Ali, that was an amazing experience to document and will give you so much to share in the future with your little guy. I too experienced terrible labor due to having a big baby. 9lbs 21in and lastly 13in head. That was a lot to push out, so I get it all to well. Thankfully we are blessed with forgetfulness or there would be only 1 child in every family. I had similar experience with birthing the placenta, one that I still remember. You have so much wonderful memories in all your documentation and pictures. I only wish we had that type of opportunity when my son (now 42) was born. Ali and Kevin you have such a wonderful family and such wonderful memories to savor and share as you feel the time is right with your children. God Bless you and your family.

  2. Ali- I loved reading your birth story! I just had my first 12 weeks ago. If you ever find yourself pregnant again… I took Bradley Method birthing classes and enlisted the help of an experienced duola. In labor for 23 hours (6 with intense back labor contractions) and no medication. With no medical intervention, things are so much easier, but absolutely couldn’t have done it without the classes and the doula.

    Congrats!! Your babies are beautiful!

    1. Bella, quick question… where did you give birth? Hospital, birthing center with midwife, at home?? Just curious if you used the Bradley Method and a doula in the hospital.

      1. I gave birth at a hospital that isn’t know for it’s natural births. There were 25 women in labor and it was just me and one other woman roaming the halls working through contractions. But I had a very supportive midwife; she had taken Bradley, herself.

        1. I did the Bradley Method too! My husband was an awesome coach! I had a doula schedule to meet us at the hospital but we stayed home for as long as possible and by the time I was admitted to hospital it was time to push! I could not have endured the pain without the classes and my husband! Everyone should try it!

    2. OMG Ali I had nearly the same horrible experience being induced , my labor didn’t last that long but I hemmoraged BAD after giving birth. I had slight labor pains during the night , went in to the Dr for the rountine weekly check up. I also had to inform them that morning at that appointment that we had just laid my mother to rest two days prior. Based off just that information they decided to send my to the hospital to be induced, I know now that was NOT a good choice and the baby wasn’t ready. Had a very hard, horrible , unnatural labor! My baby would not latch on a nurse, had problem gaining weight, cried 24/7. These are all things in my instincts I know contributed. I had 4 babies before her, and never had any of the bad things I experienced with my last birth. I feel you momma! Don’t blame yourself or stay stuck in guilt !! P.S. I had epidurals with my first two! – Mary Lou

  3. I loved this story! thank you for sharing and the photos are amazing! Congratulations to you and your family again!

  4. Thank you for sharing your magical birthing novel!
    You deserve to cry all you want!
    Happy 1st month Birthday, Riley! 🙂
    Congratulations to You, Kevin, Molly, Owen & all your Family.
    You are a strong lady, Ali….and a great Mama! (Kevin’s a gem of a Hubby/Daddy)
    The photo’s are priceless!
    xo
    p.s. i dislike needles as much as you. 😉

  5. Such a beautiful and emotional story thank you for sharing. Brings me back to when my sons were born. So much happens in that moment…good bad ugly that it’s hard to relish the little miracle that just entered the world! I’m sure you’ve heard it before but enjoy all the firsts, everything with the second seems to go by so much faster. And when you think you can’t do it or take anymore, you will surprise yourself and push through the difficult times. You got this girl!

  6. I understand your feeling conflicted about inducing the labor, when I had my daughter Mattie I continued to tell them how big she felt…my son was 8lb 10 oz and I said she feels bigger than him… he was 11 years old so they acted like I couldn’t remember… they had me deliver naturally and Mattie ended up with a birth injury called Erbs Palasy… she was 10lbs 4 oz… she couldn’t move her arm for over three months … by a miracle on Easter Sunday (thank you for intercesions St. Padre Pio ) she started moving her arm without a very intensive operation…she has about 85% use of her arm, she’s almost 16 now…the reason I’m telling you this don’t second guess your decision… you put your baby first… something you will spend the rest of your life doing. God Bless

  7. Wow, says this mama of two adopted sons! I never had the experience of being pregnant or delivering babies and I’m forever in awe of birth stories! What an exhausting, painful, long journey you had before holding precious Riley! I loved all of your pictures! The love you and Kevin share is very special. Your children are lucky to have you two for parents.❤️

  8. I was induced at 41 weeks (probably honestly should’ve been earlier bc my son was 9lbs 5 oz when born!). The petocin was a horrible experience for me as well but the nurse did give me a peanut ball to help dilate me more since the petocin wasn’t getting the job done. It was only creating contractions closer together than they should’ve been (i wasn’t even getting 30 seconds of break in between). The peanut ball saved me though! It gave me about 5 cm! Due to that, my labor lasted for only 12 hours. I am happy everything worked out in the end for you and that you have a beautiful son from it all. Labor & delivery is no joke!

  9. Great job, Ali! We are finished after baby #2, as well! I got to experience passing multiple kidney stones and labor at the *same* time! Our baby (Ryan) ended up coming out easily, but one of those stones got stuck & I ended up with sepsis, an emergency surgery, and almost died. Followed all of that up with postpartum preeclampsia, which I didn’t even know was a thing. I was hospitalized the first 10 days of Ryan’s life, and it was awful. We are most certainly done having kids now! Congratulations to you, Kevin, and Molly on the birth of your new baby!

  10. My little guy is 4 months but I was also induced and ultimately had a csection after he wouldn’t come down after pushing for over 2 hours 😩 and I had a really scary c-section, I had a hemorrhage and was put under and had 2 transfusions.. then my milk didn’t come in and he was loosing weight 😭 then his bilirubin was low so he was under the lights.. so scary but not even the scariest part! At 13 days old he developed a high fever in the middle of the night and got diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.. 😭 So happy to say that he is a healthy, strong, beautiful boy now! We got so lucky and I’m forever grateful. I loved reading your story, thanks for sharing! Beautiful photos to! ❤️

  11. First of all….Congratulations!! I am a labor and delivery nurse. You would think that pictures and birth stories would not bring me to tears after 25 years on the job! Wrong! I’m sorry you had such a long, grueling labor. The end result was worth it all! What a beautiful family you have! God bless and enjoy every second….it is fleeting💕

    1. Hi Rhonda (or anyone with experience in L&D), I’m curious to know some reasons why doctors or nurses might decide to delay the breaking of water so long after intro of pitocin? I was induced and they broke my water for me only a few hours after beginning pitocin. Maybe they saw I wasn’t going to progress much or at all without breaking my water? I had a wonderful L&D experience and would potentially induce again if given the opportunity but don’t think I would have responded well without the added assistance of breaking water with my first.

      1. I was induced due to extremely high blood pressure. All they did was break my water. No pitocin. Daughter was born 7 1/2 hrs later. I’m wondering why they don’t just start with just breaking the water? That might be all that was needed. My labor was great. Got a little meds to stop my legs from shaking. My 3rd child I had to be induced due to the same reason. Got Pitocin that time due to my water breaking the morning of induction but no labor starting. That labor was intense and quick once they cranked it up.

  12. Ali….YOU are also a miracle. I have NEVER heard of such a painful labor, delivery, and complications like yours! I have birthed 3 daughters and watched 4 grand babies at birth…. so sorry you had to endure that… HUGS to you and only better days ahead! I think you need a family member to stay with you for a few weeks.

  13. Thank you for sharing your story-I am choked up reading this and seeing the emotion in these pictures! I was not induced so cannot speak to what that is like, but my labor was not at all what I learned in birth class. My contractions were right on top of each other from the beginning-I lasted about 13 hours before screaming for an epidural. I was hoping for a natural birth and felt like such a failure for getting an epidural. Looking back and reading your story reminds me how much pressure we put on ourselves. You took the advice of medical professionals and could not have predicted what was going to happen. You are a strong woman who put her baby first! Congrats to you on your beautiful baby and please do not beat yourself up!

  14. Congratulations!! Your babies are beautiful and really look like twins!! I had a similar experience with my first baby and was also induced. I had no choice though as I was at 41 weeks and very low fluid. But he wasn’t ready to come out, and after 27 hours of labor and only getting to 4cm, I ended up with a c section. Our second baby came at 31 weeks after horrible pre term labor, so yeah, we are also 1,000,000% done! Haha.
    Congrats again!!

  15. I was induced at 38+5 around 2pm and didn’t have my baby til 7pm the next day. I had to get two epidurals because the resident missed the first time and it wasnt even in my back, which they assured me it was. The epidural that worked only lasted me about six hours til they had to give me extra doses of meds for it to work. I also think they pushed me into induction because they thought I had preeclampsia, which my numbers weren’t high enough to diagnose me with it. My poor little guy came out weighing 5lbs 15oz at almost 39 weeks. We had to stay in the hospital an extra day because of low blood sugars and temps. But he is amazing and so worth everything I went through. My little Leo will be 6 months on Thursday! Only hes not little anymore- almost 18lbs!

  16. Oh girl! I feel you a million times over with this! I was induced with my third and had never been induced… but we were at 40 weeks, she would have stayed put for another three and I was DONE being pregnant! I had no idea what to expect with being induced but I’m with you… if I could go back and do it all over again (which I won’t, I’m good 😂), I would have tried to hold out! Of my three labors, it was the worst. I was uncomfortable, felt sick, was exhausted… and it just didn’t seem to be going right! Our Tess arrived after what felt like forever (which it wasn’t but our other two arrived fairly quickly) and all was well. But not the experience I had envisioned!

    You have two sweet babes – I laugh along at yours and Kevin’s videos of Molly every day! Enjoy it all – it goes quickly! But make sure you take time for yourself – we need it and m deserve it and you seem to have a husband who totally understands that so take advantage!!!

    ❤️❤️❤️

  17. Ali I love your blog but never comment! I just want to say I have the same emotions about being induced and my son not being ready as well!! They started me on pitocin on Saturday afternoon nothing happened. Sunday morning I got my epidural and dr broke my water. My epidural wore off 8 hours later and had to have another as well! Come Monday morning dr noticed my sons heart rate dropping and had to have a csection. He came out with a double knot in his cord and wouldn’t have survived a vaginal birth!! I love reading others birth stories and ours are kind of similar which is crazy!!

  18. I too had a horror story of an induced labor and my son was born 5 weeks early. My daughter was an emergency c-section 7 weeks early. Needless to say there wasn’t a third child!! Nothing about my pregnancies or deliveries bring fond memories. But as you know the minute they are in your arms you can put it all in the past. My children now 27 and 22 are still my everything! I’m not going to say it’s easy with all the ups and downs but so worth the struggles. And now I was just informed I’m going to be welcoming my first grandchild in about 8 months! Congratulations on your lovely family, keep smiling that beautiful smile of yours and love your family with all your heart. You and Kevin are going a bang up job! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  19. I had same experience with my third and they said would be easiest one ha .. being induced is awful the pain was awful I threw up so much and did it all natural and after I was bleeding so bad they stab me with needles oh and when he was coming down he turned so they were pushing so hard on my tummy to turn him that was painful too .. I swore never again and never did ..
    first and second births were a Picnic compared to my induced nightmare.. but once you hold them you forget 🙂

  20. You did great! Just wanted to let you know I was in labor over 24 hours at the hospital and my Epidural failed after 10 hours. It was horrible and I couldn’t get another one. I also had to be on Pitocin afterwards which was not fun!

  21. You are truly amazing! I cried reading your post because as a mom of three boys, all of my labors were really easy. It makes me so thankful when I hear stories like yours. Riley is adorable and you are a champ for being in labor that long. Congratulations are your bundle of joy!

  22. Thank you for being so honest about your whole experience and not wanting more kids. It’s so refreshing to hear someone being honest about how hard it all is instead of glorifying because they feel they’ll get judged. Congrats on making it through!! Welcome to the world Riley!!

  23. Thank you for sharing and you go girl! That sounds absolutely awful but with such a magical outcome. Please don’t look back and feel guilty. This experience will make you trust your mama instincts even more! You have beautiful family and you are a wonderful mommy!!

  24. I was also induced at 39 weeks and had the SAME feelings that I was rushing my baby out and she wasn’t ready. I cried so much! I’m grateful my induction was successful and only 12 hours from start to finish but I know many times induction stories are much less pleasant! You’re a tough mama to endure that. Of course at the end of the day a healthy baby is the most important thing, but I think it’s still so important to share these stories so other moms to be know what the possibilities are for their own labors. Thanks for sharing yours.

  25. Hi! Thanks for sharing! I also had the same thing happen to me with the epidural!! The first one worked for a second then was only working on the left side of my body! We had the anesthesiologist come back and it stumped him as well! He did it a second time but it STILL didn’t work! He said I was a conundrum! I never progressed and eventually had to have a C-section after 30 hours of labor. As you can imagine I was terrified of the C-section since I obviously wasn’t getting numb. The anesthesiologist was amazing and made sure I was completely numb before they started but I was VERY close to being put out all the way. It was so intense!

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your story!! You are a super woman for sure!! I can’t believe you went through all that!! You and Kevin have created the two cutest little blessings!! Congratulations!! Enjoy the next chapter….it’s the hardest job but most rewarding!! Hugs to you and your completed family!! ❤️

  27. i love reading your stories and especially watching the videos both you and Kevin post. Molly is a blessing. she brightens my days so much. i cant wait to see Riley now too. my grandsons,name is Riley. I was going to say you’re lucky having epidurals but after reading your post Im not sure. when i had my babies in 1973 and 1974 we didnt get anything for pain. my first was 25 1/2 hrs. i passed out came too when they broke my water. come to find out i had some kind of stroke that affected my pituitary. 10 1/2 months later my 2nd son arrived.

  28. All I can say is that I loved how you openly and honestly shared how you don’t have to do this again lol! I am with you! I have 1 and all I can think about is I just have to do this 1 more time! Thank you for Sharing your story and you did nothing wrong going with being induced. Everything happens for a reason!

  29. Oh, Ali! I feel every bit of this with you. My second labor was the same. They rushed my daughter, Ruby, out and it was excruciating. The epidural stopped working and it really messed with my head. I swore I would never be induced again but it sure was a nice present at the end to have my girl. Riley is adorable and I’m so happy for you family.

  30. Thanks for sharing your birth story. I actually gave birth to our first child two days before you and had the same experience with the epidural. Mine worked for awhile then all of a sudden stopped. It was horrific. They kept giving me booster doses but those would only work for short periods of time. Needless to say it completely stopped working when I was 10cm and was starting to push. It was excruciating and baby was stuck. They ended up having to replace mine while being 10cm. It’s amazing what a women’s body goes through during labor. Thank god when they replaced mine it worked for the rest of the labor and our sweet baby girl arrived safely. Congrats on your new bundle of joy and I just wanted to say good job mama. I know how hard something like is.

  31. Ali, thank you for sharing your story! I soon will be writing mine as well. My baby was born a bit before yours (May 15th). I was induced at 41 weeks. I too feel regret about inducing, I have said to my husband countless times I wish we had waited till 42 weeks to see if she would have come on her own. After over 50 hours of labor she arrived! I actually experienced the same epidural situation… I was in back labor the entire time and finally decided to get an epidural. Well, my epidural worked for about 30 minutes and then I felt everything. They tried twice throughout the labor process to give me a booster but the same thing kept happening. It was quite the ordeal and upsetting. After everything and making it to 9cm it was decided to give me a c section. Now our beautiful baby girl is here and it was worth it all. I’m sorry you had to experience that but thank you for sharing your story…it was comforting to read that I wasn’t the only one to experience that “one in a million” chance. Blessings to you and your family!

  32. I was induced to and I hated it. I kept telling my daughter’s father that we were rushing her, she wasn’t ready to come out, but he didn’t want to potentially risk her health. I wish I had listened to my gut and not have been induced. It was horrible I wanted to go all natural, didn’t like the idea of a needle in my spine I was terrified I’d end up paralyzed. But after hours of contraction after contraction and no let up in between I was screaming for one. And at 7 almost 8 centimeters I got in it there just in time. But after the epidural my daughter quit descending I had to lay awkwardly with this weird pillow between my legs to open my hips more, the doctor said she was basically hooked on my hip nor wanting to come out. Then she lost her grip and started coming out after what felt like hours of pushing and the top of her head coming out then going right back in when I finally had to sell pushing, the doctor said I was straining and my daughter was struggling so gave me an episotomy but I still had a 3rd degree tear. Had to have 40 stitches but in and was in horrible pain but my daughter is beautiful and worth it and I’d do it over again in a heartbeat but I just wish I would have not rushed her. Even now she’s 8 months old and I think it had an affect on her definitely a stubborn little girl though. I can’t imagine where she gets it from

  33. When my water broke it sounded and felt like a water balloon popped, but no water came out. My daughters head was blocking it. I started having awful contractions and then when we got in the hospital doors I laughed and just like you explained-Niagra Falls. I got an epidural while I was feeling the need to push-they were trying to slow my labor down. It didn’t work and the epidural kicked in when I delivered, dropping my blood pressure and making me feel terribly sick. They had to come give me something to reverse it and lots of fluids. Labor is scary, but the end result is amazing. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂 Welcome little man!

  34. Ali-
    I have so enjoyed following along in your pregnancy and birth journey. I gave birth to my first child 2 days before you had Riley, so it really helped me to follow along knowing you were in the same stage of pregnancy. I had no idea you were diagnosed with polyhydramnios, because I was too at 36 weeks and it scared me at the time. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one.

    Thank you for being so transparent on your parenting journey as well- the good, the bad and the ugly. It makes me feel like I’m not crazy when I’m having a rough day and gives me laughs when I need them 🙂

  35. Ali – I, too cried reading your birth story because it brought all memories of mine back. I had my first son 3 weeks early in 3 hrs, only with a minor drug. It was so crowded that summer at my O.C. hospital that I was put in the hallway initially as there were no rooms! But did I care! I left the house with contractions under 5 mins apart having had my water broke while getting ready for work at 6am 3 weeks early – needless to say to this day I don’t remember much of what happened. As you said – good thing we don’t or no one would have more babies! My second son was also induced at 40.5 weeks. Although it was kind of strange, everything went really well and he was born in 5 hrs at 8.10lbs but with a 💯percent head – meaning no babies have heads this big! I don’t know how nor remember how I got him out – also a good thing. So I just want to say this: you don’t know how anything will turn out so you didn’t know and still won’t know how being induced vs not would have been different. So please don’t ever beat yourself up over it! As you said: end result was good! I am sorry you suffered so much though! I have suffered very much thru the raising of my sons all alone – now youg adults a and we’re still not out of the woods – and even so, I still say I would not have it any other way. For once they are born and you are in love you would and will do anything for them for the rest of your life. I just listened to my pastor’s messsge (the infamous Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA) on Fathers Day last weekend on children – he’s doing a new series on Purpose Driven Life in the vein of his well known book Purpose Driven Life – and whether you have a faith or not – I mention this because he talks at length about how parenting is the hardest – and most important job – you will ever have. I say this because the feelings you have are NORMAL and I’m glad you say them outloud because we need to – more people need to say this and talk about how hard it is and get support. Whether you’re partnership is amazing and mature or the worst thing ever like mine – we moms need support and your blog is doing that. I want to add how thankful I am again for your community bc I still need support – more than anything in the smite world. So keep up the amazing work Ali and congrats to you both. Oh – and if you are interested in Ricks message – whether you have beliefs or whether you don’t – it is extremely good can be found here: https://saddleback.com/watch/the-purpose-driven-family

    (I’m putting it here for no other purpose whatsoever in that I thought it was SOOO good and I think is so helpful) ❤️

  36. Hi Ali,
    Congratulations! When my third child, after having two sons, didn’t want to come out and the due date Oct. 25, 1996 came and went…I was induced…..on Halloween! Like yourself, I was induced around 2:00 am. For the first time my water broke a few hours later! However I don’t remember going into labor..which is supposed to happen soon after..I think it was several hours before they brought me down to the labor room and gave me more pitocin…man did that work for me! I swear I could feel the baby’s fingernail’s scrapping down my innards! I did have an epideral as I had with the other two…but this time I think it was too late and didn’t really work for me. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard “It’s a girl” but soon after she was rushed away from me because she had swallowed some meconium and they spent several stessful minutes suctioning her! Strangely, I was asked soon after what her name was and I said “Kelsey” but upon looking at her, I changed her name to “Jenna”! It just seemed right! There also was some strangeness with her birth weight as I swear that they said 8 pounds 6 ounces, but by the time she made her way upstairs….they said she weighed 8 pounds! So I still am not sure what she weighed, but her brothers weighed 8 pound 13 ounce and 8 pound 11 ounces so I am thinking 8 pound 6! Surprised what I can still remember after 21 years but how do you forget one of the most exciting days of your life?

  37. What a beautiful blog!! Such a blessing event and being able to have photos of it, is so wonderfull. I. also had a pretty yucky birthing experience with my first child, but she is now 19 and my son is 17. It goes by so fast. Enjoy every moment with your beautiful little ones. And thanks again for sharing our story 💙

  38. Thank you for sharing your birth story Ali! I was wondering how it all unfolded. When you posted that your baby was estimated to be large, resulting in scheduling an early induction, I worried that your doctor was jumping the gun. I commented on one of your posts that the same thing happened to me – my baby was estimated to be equally large too, and his big sister was 10lbs 9oz at birth, but thankfully my midwife was comfortable with waiting until almost 42 weeks to evict him. When you posted during your labour that it was still ongoing, I again had a feeling that he wasn’t ready to come out! Both my babies were the same, though I was induced just before 42 weeks both times. Our bodies weren’t quite ready for them to be born yet, I don’t think! I think you should try not to be too guilty about that, as you were trusting your doctor’s advice. I’m curious if they offered a Cervadil induction before going straight to Pitocin? It can help get the cervix ready if it wasn’t on its way yet. Not that it matters now of course! Regardless, the Pitocin induction is certainly no joke, and my midwife assured me that women rarely endure an induction without an epidural since the artificial contractions are so intense. Anyway, you did it, you and your baby are healthy, and now you have two perfect babies! Congratulations! What gorgeous photos you have of his birth.

  39. You are such an amazing, strong and inspiring woman!! Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. You can be really proud of yourself and those two beautiful kids. Wishing you all the best and lots of blessings! X

  40. Your birth story is beautiful! You had me in tears. And I completely empathize with you on the induction part. I decided to get induced at 41.5 weeks and with that being a perfectly normal time frame to do it- I still beat myself up every time for doing it. It was a rough labor-22 hours and all natural. Trust me when I tell you- I did not make that mistake again. I got that epidural with the third baby and it was glorious! You did what you thought was right and that’s all you can do. You are a rockstar mama! And you have sweet Riley here safe and healthy.

  41. Oh girl…I can totally relate to so much of your story. I was induced with my first on 5/19 at 37 weeks because of a condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and my daughter was definitely not ready to come into the world either! After 52 hours of labor and an additional 4 hours of pushing she was finally born on 5/21…just a few days before Riley! I also had no relief with my first epidural and tried to power through it for about 14 hours before it also had to be replaced. I finally got pain relief for about an hour before they had to turn it off because my pushing wasn’t effective enough when it was on. I have had so many emotions about the whole process and have learned that birth trauma is real and so many women experience it, but many don’t talk about it. I applaud you for being real about your experience and sharing it with us! Congrats to your family and hang in there 🙂 motherhood is hard work, but we’ve got this!

  42. CONGRATS! I think we all have these crazy birth stories for at least 1 of our children. Mine involved me showing up to triage, them not believing me that I was labor, sending me to lunch to come back in 1 hour. I came back, water broke, and baby born 15 minutes later. NO EPIDURAL! This was my 2nd child. I already have forgotten the pain, but I will never forget thinking I was going to die as I was pushing. Thanks for sharing. What beautiful pictures–thanks for being natural in some of them!

  43. So many of us were praying with you when you shared your insta stories that you were at the hospital but still in labor. So happy you had your photographer able to document this for you! Births are crazy stories and every mama has one. Thank you for sharing yours. Lots of love from Arizona.

  44. Im surprised how similar our stories are, I was induced with both my boys so I have nothing to compare it to but it was traumatic. Like you said, its a good thing you forget the pain so you can have more children.. ha.
    I always assumed epidurals were fool proof and worked every time. Now after my labors im hearing more and more stories of them not working (maybe they should mention that in the birth classes).
    Congratulations, love the photos!

  45. Ali-
    My birth experience with my second child was so similar to yours. So hard but of course worth it! I was sure I was done as well for many reasons but in part due to the extremely hard birth experience. In an unexpected turn of events I am two weeks away from my due date with baby #3 and the one thing I am dead set against is an induction. Having had such an unexpectedly difficult labor last time I am feeling very nervous about what my final labor with bring- thanks for sharing your story and reminding me that when it’s over the memories will fade and the reward will have been well worth it!

  46. Omg the same thing happens to me for my 3rd and final child. I say all the time if she was my first she would be an only child. My epidural didn’t work and she had a bowl movement in the womb so after her head was out I had to stop pushing so they could suction her and I thought I was going to die. Then I was hemorrhaging and was on Pitocin for 12 hours after she was born and that was the worst pain of my life. My baby was born on her due date so it wasn’t because I was induced. I was induced for my first 2 and they were much easier but my epidural for those 2 worked. It is amazing what we forget because there is nothing like becoming a mom. You are amazing Ali and your family videos make my day everyday. Molly is adorable and her reading stories and her singing into the sprinkler are the best stories on the internet.

  47. Your birth story sounds identical to my 2nd. I too was induced at 39 weeks, 3 days for the thought my daughter was 10lbs. She came out finally at 8lbs 7oz. She laid on her side for HOURS without budging and my epideral wore off 3 times, I didn’t end up getting the 2nd epideral poke but wish I would have. We are definitely done now after two 🙂 and my girls are 21 months apart, I feel your pain momma!!

  48. Hi Ali! Happy 1 month birthday to Riley! I’ve never commented but I’m an avid reader of your blog. I can’t believe how much your birth story is like mine! I had 4 natural births (1 epidural with the first, the other 3 natural) but my last, my 5th, was my worst labour. I too was induced at 39 weeks due to a condition in which the umbilical cord isn’t attached to the placenta in the proper place. Our dr wanted to monitor it closely hence the induction. This was my very first induction as well and I too completely belief he wasn’t ready to come out and join us yet. I so wanted the natural progression of starting natural labour but the doctor was concerned so naturally we wanted our baby to be safe and healthy. They induced me at 8 AM on April 25. It was excruciating. He was born at 9 PM on April 26.
    The dr tried to break my water but it wouldn’t break. It hurt so bad when he tried to do that. I’ve found no similar birth story in which it hurt someone else. My water wouldn’t break either and just leaked tiny bits like yours. Around an hour or 2 before he was born, my water gushed out. So very similar to your story. I too constantly question myself and blame myself for the induction I didn’t think he was ready for. But who knows what else could’ve happened if we hadn’t been induced and monitored. I’ve accepted that this is the way his/my birth story transpired and he’s a healthy bubbly boy 😊 And really, like you say, that’s what matters.

  49. Congratulations!! You have such an adorable little family! And I agree that we forget almost immediately. My first is 2 1/2 and we haven’t even started trying for another so I have definitely forgotten!! Lol. Congrats again and best wishes to you all! 💙

  50. The timing of your post couldn’t be better. I’m considering induction in a few days at just slightly past 40weeks (my first had meconium) but am considering pushing it out further after reading your story. My fear is rushing her out when she’s not ready. Thanks for sharing your story.

  51. Hello Ali!!

    I just love hearing any and every birth story. They’re all so amazing! I love telling mine to anyone that’ll listen 😉 When I had my baby girl I felt like I cried continually that entire first 24 hours!! I’ve never been so in love and happy all at once. So when I read that you cried and that you were crying typing this I cried too! Haha! Riley is beautiful congratulations 🙂 Riley is actually my number one (next) baby girl name!

  52. Ali-
    My baby’s measurements were exactly the same! They were totally scaring me by telling me I’d have a ten lb baby. They even mentioned suction, which totally freaked me out! But my ob refused an induction. At the time I felt frustrated and eventually VERY frustrated because I had painful “false” labor, but they were REAL contractions, for a month. Another story! Anyway, she came a week late and weighed 8 lbs 10 oz. Definitely don’t “own” that it didn’t go well. You did it! You went through ALL of that, mama! And Riley is one healthy, gorgeous boy. Congrats!

  53. Thanks for sharing Ali
    Such a beautiful and cute story!!
    I too had to be induced with pitocin no pain like it . Our baby girl the doctor said was close to 10 pounds

    When she was born she was 9 pounds 15 ounces!
    Enjoy every moment ! Every decision you make being a Mom is the right decision 💖❤️
    our girl is off to college in the fall
    Susan ❤️💝
    I Think you are my nieces age you both went to Miami of Ohio .

  54. So glad you got the second epidural! I was not as lucky and it’s a miracle, I’ve got 3 kids because it was my first child’s birth that was the most painful experience of my life. Your family is lovely and I’m so glad you share your life with us all!

  55. Hi Ali! I had a similar experience with induction that I wanted to share with you. Don’t feel bad about wishing you had not been induced, I felt the exact same way too. I was induced at 38+2 weeks on April 5th with my second (a baby girl) for the opposite reason as you. She was mesuring 5lbs 7oz, and hadn’t gained weight in two ultrasounds, so they felt it was best to induce and provide nutrients by feeding her outside of my body. With my son he was measuring small too, but they gave him more time and he came on his own at 38+4weeks. His labor was so smooth and he was out within 12 hours of being in the hospital. The induction with my girl was terrible. I wasn’t in labor as long as you but the experience was almost the same. Pitocin went up at 9am. When they gave me my epidural, they had to stick me twice to get it into the right spot. Then I had a bad reaction to it when my BP dropped and I was nauseous and dizzy. They fixed that quickly, but had to turn the epidural way down. When the pitocin started increasing, I could feel the contractions more because the epidural was so low. Then I was nauseous/vomiting on and off the rest of the day. I was also group B strep +, so I needed iv antibiotics every 4 hours while in labor….it burned my vien badly every time they put it up. My Dr even came in and offered me a sedative at one point because I was crying. I told her I just wanted the labor over with and the baby out, and that I did not need a sedative. Finally after 12 hours of the pitocin being up I went from 4cm to 10cm in about two hours and was able to push her out in three pushes! The easiest part of the whole labor. I just wanted to share my birth story with you because it was so similar to yours, and to let you know that I am totally with you on regretting my decision to let them induce me! Oh, and by the way my girl weighed 6lbs 3oz….. almost a full lb over their prediction. She was definitely not ready to come out….just like Riley!

  56. We women are stronger than we think! Our bodies go through amazing pain to have our beautiful babies – and we would do it again! I had Pitocin with both my boys- I called it the “Devils drug” because my contractions were sooooo painful!!! And with my first son, not only did they not give me ANY pain meds because his heart rate was initially dropped, but he was born face up! A “sunshine baby”- 8 lbs with no meds- my doc said I should get a medal. I wanted to slap him! Ha ha

  57. Thank you for sharing your story! Ever since I had my daughter I love to hear birth stories. And regarding the induction – you made the best decision you could at that time with the information that you had. There are a few things I wish that I had done differently in my daughter’s birth, but at the end of the day we had a healthy baby and a healthy mama. What more can you ask for, right? Wishing you and your family all of the best and all of the rest :)!

  58. My epidural wore off after 8 hours on me too! And that was right when I had to push. And I had to push for 6 hours. The worst pain ever! But I totally want to do it again. You’re so right about women forgetting the pain. Thank you for sharing your story. Those are two beautiful kids you have!

  59. Loved reading your birth story Ali. Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes. 1. Because gosh girl you went through sooo much emotionally & physically and 2. I’m a mom of 2 and only know c-sections (which are not easy either). You’re so right in that if we remembered all the pain we would only do it once, but I love my girl & boy so much & am so blessed to have them. The best gift of all is being a mother. Congratulations again Ali! Molly & Riley are both adorable 💖💙

  60. Ali

    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story. I was also induced at 39 weeks for a big baby- except he actually was just big- just shy of 10lbs. I could relate so well to you BC I remember asking the drs of they could un-induce me (the answer was no ha).

    You have a lovely family 🙂

  61. Hi Ali, I loved reading your birth story. I found myself empathizing with you as mine was somewhat similar with my son who is now 22 months. He was 9 lbs 5 oz and born via c-section after a failed induction, also at 39 weeks (and 24+ hours of labor). It was pretty miserable for me as well as I had 2 epidurals which both lasted 20 mins max. I had high blood pressure and symptoms of preeclampsia which is why I was induced early. I go back and forth on my feelings about the induction and have come to the conclusion I am just glad my son is here, however it had to happen. Also, I LOVE the pictures, so precious! Thanks for sharing and best wishes to you and your family!

  62. I had to be induced right at 36 weeks first it was a vaginal supp medication that was in for 24 hours which didn’t do anything then they inserted a catheter and inflated the balloon then they broke my water and gave me pitocin as well which def makes contractions hurt a lot ! Luckily my epidural worked really well . Can’t I mange how painful it must have been for you for yours to not have been effective for a lot of you’re labour . But he’s here safe and sound and it’s all over (yay)

  63. I too begged to be induced with my second child and was always sorry I had. He is now 15 and he is a great kid . We all do the best that we can at the time with the knowledge we have. I love seeing your pics . Keep up the great work !

  64. I had such a similar experience with the birth of my daughter! I work at the hospital where I delivered, as an anesthetist, and I still cringe every time I walk by the delivery room where I struggled for days through an induction that I didn’t want and FIVE failed epidurals! Like you, I would initially have relied and then 30 minutes to an hour later it was pure agony! After no sleep for 3 days and excruciating my poor girl born blue! The stress of labor caused her to have some abnormal labs resulting in a week long stay in the NICU. Another agonizing week of no sleep! That delivery still traumatizes me every time I walk by 18 months later! Reading your story has given me the courage to sit down and try to write my sweet Landrys birth story! Seeing her sweet face everyday is worth all the pain I endured! Congratulations on your newest bundle of love! He is absolutely perfect!

  65. So worth all the tears and pain!!!! I too with both of my babies had issues with my epidural. First time it wore off and was only numb in my left thigh for pushing (HORRIBLE) and ended with a shoulder dystocia delivery. So scary but super thankful my big boy at 9.1 didn’t have any issues after delivery. And my 2nd I had the anesthesiologist come back a 2nd time due to extreme pain with contractions on only my right side. He upped my dose and little did I know my girl was literally about to fall out! We barely had time to fully set up for her to arrive! 1/2 a push. So crazy!!

    Birth is AMAZING and every story is so special. Congrats on your beautiful family being whole! Xo

  66. I was induced with my 4th and I felt the same way.. he wasn’t ready.. he was 8lb3oz but he was technically a full week early and I had gone late with my first (long story of the other two) and my mom was two weeks late with all 3 of hers.. so I think he should have had more time. We trust our docs.. they have more experience, and I do think we as women need to trust our feelings more. So thankful Riley is here and you are both okay! A lot to be said for mother nature taking it’s course! 🙂 (Love the name Riley, my first is Ryan and my husband didn’t think that was a good idea to have a Ryan and a Riley.. :/)

  67. With my first, I ended up getting the epidural twice. Both failed and I was in agony for 8 + hrs. My son’s heart rate dropped so we ended doing an emergency csection. In the operating room, they prepared me for a spinal block. Took 3 attempts for it to work (all the while, I was still contracting and my son was trying to make his “escape”). Needless to say, when it finally worked. I wanted to hug the anesthesiologist haha. I was so pumped full of drugs, that I didn’t regain feeling in my legs and waist till 24 hrs later 😳

  68. What a beautiful story!!!! And a true testament to how strong a mother really is. (I’m in tears reading this!) I’m sorry it was a difficult process for you, but we are all so excited for your sweet family!

    And remember that you made the best decision for your family based on what doctors were saying. Kevin was absolutely right! (What a great supporter you have there!)

    Also thank you for sharing about how quickly you loved him. I have an almost 2-year old and the thought of loving another person with that same deep, protective love is unfathomable right now. But when I hear moms say it happens, it makes me feel much better about any future children.

    Take care sweet Mannos!

  69. Thank you for documenting your birth experience. I think that too often, women only talk about the good things, not the real things. I also had excess fluid, my midwife told me to expect a 10lb 10oz baby (she was 8lb 9oz), my epidural stopped working and I had to have a second one, I hemorrhaged postpartum, and I actually had severe nerve damage and couldn’t walk for months (maybe from the epidural snafu?). It was a lot. But when I look at my now 2 year old, all I see is love, happiness and wonder. It’s pretty incredible what women’s bodies go through and are capable of. Thanks again for sharing.

  70. Thanks for sharing, Ali! I love reading birth stories, and I loved writing down all three of my own. I think simply writing them out helps you remember them better forever (even without re-reading). I SO remember thinking the exact same thing you did during my third labor: THANK GOD I NEVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN! haha. I was also induced a week early because my doctor assumed my little guy’s size would create a challenging birth for me, but he ended up being my smallest baby by over a pound at only 7lbs 1oz. I definitely could and probably should have waited, but how could we have known? Congrats on your precious baby boy and completing your family!

  71. Loved this story.. my baby girl Leyla Rose was born 23/5/2018 my labour was just around 40min long but o god it was intense and painful (No pain reliefs) But I know exactly what you mean, i fell in love with my baby girl straight away and now her big 4 year old brother, my other big Love, is taking care for her and loves her dearly.. 😊 the best of luck to you all..

  72. Oh Ali. I am so sorry. I know how hard it is to believe you’ve made the wrong decision and feel as though you wish you could go back. I am so happy you and Riley are here and healthy, and that some day this will all be a distant memory and you’ll have the beautiful photos to look back to.

    If ever a chance, I would love to speak with you about your hemorrhage experience. I did with my 2nd baby, post labor, and am due in October. The plan for me as well is to be given out as soon as they are born to keep my uterus contracting. I don’t know anyone else who’s experienced this, let alone twice, and if ever an opportunity, I would love to speak with you in some form.

  73. I’m so sorry that you didn’t have a good birth experience. I didn’t have a great birth experience either. I had a partial induction… I was dilated to 4 cm on my own so my labor in the hospital was only about 12 hrs. I also had to get two epidurals. My first one wore off within about 8 hours and when nothing worked they gave me another. But then once I got the second one I was dilated to 10 soon after but too numb to push! So I had to wait awhile. My little girl was flipped face up and she wouldn’t come out so they had to suction her out! She ended up being in the NICU for 24 hours. She’s a healthy 18 month old now. I think we will have another one day but I am definitely nervous about it.

  74. I have a very similar photo of when my daughter was born! Wish I could share it here for you… it is also my favourite picture of myself!!
    Don’t regret a minute or single decision of your birthing experience! We chose a drug free hospital birth, and I had MANY, if not most, people tell me I couldn’t do it and why try. But I did it, and I now love my birth story.
    I always say Your birth, your body, your baby, your decision. Nothing else matters. You made the decisions you thought were right for you and your baby, and now he’s here and he’s perfect.
    You’ll look back soon enough and not regret anything!

  75. That pic of him holding your finger and you guys looking into each other’s eyes!!!! 😍 those first look at each other is truest the best moment – just knowing the baby is thinking…you’re my Mommy! I’ve been waiting so long to meet you! Pure love!!

  76. Oh my, reading your birth story reminds me so much of mine with my 1st child (my daughter). I was in labor for 29 hours with 2 epidurals, 2 boosts, and 2 spinals. I never displayed past 6cm and my contractions were so strong that i was trying to push her out at 6cm. I ended up having a c-section cause I couldn’t handle the pain since my epidurals had worn off as well. I also was screaming in pain after the spinal (numbs you from sternum all the way down). It was almost as if all the pain I couldn’t feel in the rest of my body had gone up to the only part I could feel (my upper back). My surgeons had to put me completely out. I missed out on meeting my daughter until 3 hours after she was born. You are so strong! Props to you mama. Your children are so adorable! I love watching your stories. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  77. I had The same issue with my third child- and yes, getting pitocin for days after birth is not the most fun but they struggled to keep my blood loss under control. The things we go thru for our precious babies

  78. Did they have to give you blood? Hemorroging during or after labor is one of my greatest fears. I’m so glad you and baby ended up safe in the end.

  79. Ali:
    I totally know what you went through with hemorrhaging. It happened to me with my second child, anf having that pitocin hurt so bad. To me, it was like being in labor all over again, after being in labor 13 hours!
    Riley is so beautiful! May God continue to bless you and your beautiful little family!💙💖💙💖💙💖💙💖

  80. Beautiful pictures and birth stories! I’m sorry you had such a crazy ride! I was induced at 39 weeks with my first too and after the fact wish I hadn’t also!

  81. I feel so much for you. I was induced with my son and I didn’t have him for another 36 hours. It was the most painful thing I have ever endured, but after 27 years and watching him grow into a wonderful young man, the pain was well worth it. God Bless your family!

  82. I totally cried while reading this. And not entirely because I’m still so hormonal 5 months postpartum after my last baby.

    Ali, you are SO STRONG!!! Good job working so hard in your labor. He is totally worth it.

  83. I see this happen all the time as a Labor and Delivery Nurse for thirty years. I wonder why everyone wants to have a elected induction? Your messing with mother nature and she doesn’t like that. Epidural problems always happen and it’s unfortunate. Did they use a peanut ball ? I would of asked your Doctors for a pitocin break,and off course you hemorrhaged to much pitocin. You pitocin sites to full and then pitocin doesn’t work effectively. Anyways all went well in the end you got your beautiful son. Congrats. Next time wait for nature to take it’s course,unless your post dates! I would happily be your doula, I should be retired by then .

  84. Your story, while difficult to go through, is a beautiful one. I’m a FTM at 30 weeks with a little girl. I’m fearful of all the things that can go wrong during labor and the pain, but I know that it is all momentary and it definitely will be worth it.

    Thank you for opening up and sharing the good and not so good sides of birth. It makes it that much more real. Your little family is beautiful! (Owen included) 🙂

  85. Thank you for sharing!! I was induced with both my girls and went into labor on my own while in the hospital with the flu at almost 39 weeks. I thought the labors with the girls were bad bc of the pitiful…. boy was I wrong! Going into labor with our third was so fast and almost unbearable. If I hadn’t been at the hospital already I don’t think we would have made it there in time lol!
    I know it’s hard looking back and thinking I should have done this or that. But maybe there is a reason you were induced, maybe that was Gods plan for Riley all along! He’s here and he’s beautiful! Congratulations to you guys!!

  86. What an amazing story!! You have a beautiful family!
    My birthday is May 23rd and since I read your blog and follow you on IG, I was very aware on my birthday that your little boy will be joining the world that day too! (almost made it! lol) I love hearing when babies are born on my birthday, always have! My friend Beverly also was going in for delivery that day (scheduled C-section) and I was elated that 2 babies that I know/know of were going to be born that day. I kept checking my phone for updates on Beverly and when I had the chance to go on IG, I checked yours and Kevin’s stories. It was almost midnight on the east coast when I said, ok, he has 3 more hours to make it on the 23rd. But he was really taking his time…ha ha… but I think May 24th is a great day too!!

    Congratulations Ali!!!

  87. Welcome Riley Manno! He is so adorable, he looks just like Molly!
    I love all the pictures your photographer took, their perfect you have many memories to keep.
    Molly is so smart and she will teach her brother many milestones.
    Wishing you much happiness and all the best of health to your
    beautiful family!

  88. I had my son two years ago this Saturday. I was induced at 41 weeks and I didn’t have a good experience. The after labor was even worse for me. I was ready and I think my son was but my body was not! I had to have two epidurals as well.. not sure how long I could feel the contractions but it felt like eternity!! It got better with time and I plan on having another one. It’s worth all the pain and sleepless nights! Congrats on your precious little boy!! They are so much fun!! ❤️

  89. He is a beautiful baby and I’m so glad you both are safe and sound. He looks so much like Molly! Enjoy your precious little ones. <3

  90. You are AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your story with so many! And hang in there mama, going from 1-2 is SO hard at first but it gets easier! And seeing the bond between brother and sister is like nothing else!! <3

  91. Thanks for sharing your story. I absolutely love reading birth stories. I have to say from being a mom myself who had a rough delivery and recovery, and as someone who has worked as a RN in labor and delivery, I do not think you being induced has anthing to do with the things you experienced. Unfortunately, that is just a very normal experience for so many both from induction and natural. My water broke with my son and I was 4-5 cm when I got to the hospital. I was exactly 37 weeks. I thought it was going to be so easy. Boy was I wrong. The contractions never let up at all and my epidural didn’t work at all. I decided to let them take it out and place another one. That one didn’t work at all either. It was hell. So they pulled the second one and I didn’t have an epidural at all. I didn’t dilate to a 10 until 13 hours after my water broke and then pushed almost 3 hours. I tore so badly too and felt it all. I just say all this to say that induction or not, these things happen. So please don’t think you did anything wrong. I think the doctors made the best decision by inducing you because the baby was measuring big and extra fluid is also something that needs to be taken seriously. It could have been dangerous to allow you to continue the pregnancy. All the doctors I worked with in labor and delivery always said “nothing good comes after 40 weeks” and I really believe that after years of working. I know many people choose to wait until after 40 weeks to deliver, but almost every still birth or major problem on full-term babies came from mom’s who were over 40 weeks. A lot of things can go wrong. Cord accidents, fluid problems, meconium before delivery and so many other things. So after working in that field, I personally would never ever go past 40 weeks. I think you and your team made the right decision and you and Riley are here and healthy which is always the ultimate goal. He’s so beautiful and I’m so happy for y’all! And girl, the after part can be just as scary. I too had bleeding issues and more stitches than I care to remember. I’m still trying to talk myself into doing it again and unfortunately I haven’t been able to forget any of it. 😩😂 Congratulations to all of you on the birth of sweet Riley. I know you are running on survival mode right now, but just continue to soak it all up and hold him as much as you want. As you know, babies don’t keep. 💙

  92. Ali, so sorry it was such a rough delivery. My first born delivery was great but my second was awful. I ended up in ICU for 4 days which meant I couldn’t even see my baby during that time. I wanted a third child but that experience completely eliminated that entire idea. Enjoy your precious babies. Time goes so fast!!!

  93. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I read this at work and had to stop to collect myself so many times to stop from crying. I am 28 weeks pregnant and so afraid of childbirth. I debated reading this or not because of that, but I’m so glad I chose to. Seeing that in spite of all you endured, you would do it again and again if it meant holding your little one at the end gave me so much hope and reassurance. You are so strong and I love following along with you and your little family.

  94. Thanks for sharing your experience! My little one is 2 months old and I had a 28 hour labor. Tried to go all natural and made it through 2 hours of pushing and couldn’t do it anymore and had to get an epidural. It was the worst thing getting one when I was at 10cm and pushing for 2 hours. I had to be hunched over my husband while it was being put in and I had the urge to push every 30 seconds. It was horrible. After that the epidural was great and we got our little girl out after 3 hours of rest and 1 more hour of pushing. Congrats on little Riley!

  95. I can so relate to feeling like I rushed my daughter into the world! I had my membranes stripped at 40w, 4 days because I couldn’t handle being pregnant anymore. That began 3.5 days of the worst back labor, basically no sleep, and a C-section to top it off.

    Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done the membrane sweep. I really wish I had waited until she was ready to come on her own. BUT, at the end of it all, we were both healthy and safe, and she is nowhere near what I expected in a daughter in the best, most amazing way. ♥️

    Congratulations on baby Riley!

  96. I had the same experience while getting an epidural… splash everywhere. It was the craziest thing. Your little family is so sweet!! 💙

  97. So sorry to read all the negative experiences with induction. I think it is important to point out that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing! I have been induced twice, and have had two great births. With my daughter, who is 3, I was induced at 40+5 due to preeclampsia. Contractions started when they broke my water, and she was born 8 hours later. An intense but good experience.
    With my son, born 4 weeks ago, I was induced at 41+6. No contractions after they broke my water, so I was put on a low dose of pitocin. 2 hours later my son was born. 4 to 10 cm in 10 minutes!

    Both times I have been past my due date, so by definition my babies have been “ready”. But I feel it is important to show that being induced doesn’t have be a bad thing!

  98. It really is amazing what women go through during child birth. I had a similar experience but this was in 1986. We never got ultrasounds unless there was a problem. My water started leaking and the Dr had me go to the hospital. That was in the evening. He said if labor starts, that’s great. Well it didn’t so the next morning I was induced. They said let us know when you want the epidural. About an hour later I was ready for it. I also hate needles, at least a huge one in my back. I was also never told that they do not always work. They are looking for a spot in your back about the size of a pinhead & if they can’t find it, it’s like putting gas in your car but not putting it in the hole, it does nothing. In the middle of them trying to find the spot, I said that I think it’s coming out. Someone lifted the sheet and they started running me to the labor room. Her head was out. She was born natural, which again I never even knew it could be a possibility. My entire labor was only 4 hours with 3 hurting the worst. My 8 lb, 12 oz, 22 inch long daughter was born. I felt like I had delivered a watermelon!

  99. Hey Ali from India ! I had tears in my eyes while reading your birth story. You are so so brave .. I have 2 kids and both my labours were a cakewalk when compared to what you went through. You are a superwoman.. lots of love to you .. Riley is so beautiful and the pics are priceless 🙂

  100. Thank you for sharing this story Ali! Totally had tears in my eyes the whole time. I am expecting my first baby in November and am super nervous about the whole birthing process. I appreciate you sharing all the details to future mama’s like me! You are so brave and strong for making it through this! And little Riley is so precious!

  101. Thank you so much for sharing! I am really curious about what the head of anesthesiology told you was cause of the failed epidurals and what he did differently with your second epidural?

    I have a very similar birth story with my 6 month old. Induced at 7 days past due date, 2 failed epidurals (first after 8 hours, second after 3 hours), 24 hours of painful labor and failure to progress past 7 cm, ended in an emergency c section. To say it was traumatizing is an understatement. I’m terrified for baby number 2. My doctor couldn’t explain the failed epidurals, she said they simply don’t work for some people.

    I carry guilt due to pushing the induction. I want a vaginal birth next time but who knows if that will be an option. Hearing your story was very comforting. It’s nice to feel like I’m not alone in feeling that guilt and confusion.

    At the end of the day a healthy baby is all that matters and I’m slowly forgetting the pain of child birth and accepting my birth story. My little Layla is pure perfection, so I’m grateful when it’s all said and done. Congrats on your beautiful boy!!!

  102. Ali, don’t second guess yourself. I waited as long as my midwives would allow – 42 weeks – before being induced. My induction began at 6 p.m. on a Sunday, and my son was born at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (😳) via c-section at 42 weeks 2 days. No matter how long you had waited you don’t know how it would’ve gone. My heart goes out to you because my experience was very difficult yet not nearly as brutal as yours sounds. Birth is such an emotional experience that stays with us in a way that is hard to understand until you’ve experienced it. You are amazingly strong for getting through that – congratulations on your son, he is beautiful!

  103. I think it’s so important to share our birthing experiences with others, so thankyou for telling your story. I’m sorry it was a challening one! I too was induced with my firstborn, but not with my son… he came fast and furious naturally in under two hours, start to finish and was 10 pounds. I felt traumatized for a good year for a few reasons. The pain was entirely beyond my control.

    What really helped me, was to accept how it went and to remember that in the end, he was healthy and so was I. At least physically, but who knows what would have happened if the birth had took a different direction, ya know?! Talking about it really helped me as well, I was surprised at how many other moms felt very emotional (and a bit traumatized) about their births! Don’t be too hard on yourself Ali, we are all in this together! It’s messy and it’s beautiful and you rocked it!

  104. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby boy, Riley! My son’s name is Riley too but he will be 21 years old in just under a month…..it goes by so quickly. Thank you for sharing your story, makes me very nostalgic for those precious baby times.

  105. Thank you for sharing your birth story. I had my first baby in March and I feel like women would have so much clearer expectations for their pregnancies and births if other women would be willing to share their stories with honestly and candor. Riley is a beautiful little boy and it’s so true that all the pain is worth it. Many blessings to you and your sweet family. I love following along with y’all’s happenings on Instagram!

Shop Ali's Feed

Click an image to shop
@alifedotowsky