Grace’s Birth Story

by Meghan Yost

Now that Grace is five months old, I figure it’s about time to share her birth story – and what better time than on my own birthday?

Selfishly, this post is more for me to get the details down on paper a computer screen so that I can go back and relive that special day in full detail, but I hope you enjoy reading about it too. 😉

On Sunday, April 14, 2019 my life changed forever when I became a mom to Grace Catherine. She arrived at 37 weeks on the nose, catching my husband and I a bit off guard.

We were starting to suspect Grace was going to arrive somewhat early, but didn’t expect her birth story to begin three weeks before my due date (which was “Cinco de Baby,” as I like to say).

On the Monday before I delivered, I went to my OB/GYN and there were no signs of impending labor. I wasn’t effaced or dilated. When I asked my doc if she had any idea of when I’d go, she said, “I can give you a better estimate at your appointment next week.” Well, that wasn’t happening.


In the weeks leading up to Grace’s birthday, I had been experiencing contractions, but I assumed they were just Braxton Hicks and nothing more. I remember one particular day at work when I was about an hour and 45 minutes away from my hospital and one hit hard. My belly got tight and it felt as if Grace was turning all over the place. In a few minutes, it was over.

As a lifestyle reporter/multimedia journalist, I was on the road a lot, so it was always in the back of my mind, “What if I go into labor and can’t get to the hospital?”

Grace's Birth Story

I was planning on working right up until the baby arrived. So on what would end up being my last day on the job, I was out on a shoot at a restaurant and bumped my belly on the corner of the table. I thought to myself “Oh no, did I hurt her?” (an important note for later on in this birth story.) I was also having what felt like contractions on my 45 minute commute home that day. By the time I pulled into our garage, my husband greeted me only to see I was crying because those last contractions were so uncomfortable.

But still, I thought we had more time. That was Friday.


On Saturday morning we were busy finalizing the tile selection for our ranch house remodel. We also stopped by our future house to see the progress that had been made.

On Saturday night we were eating at one of our favorite restaurants (The Beam House in Glastonbury, CT – highly recommend if you’re ever in the area!) We didn’t realize it would be our final meal as a twosome.

During dinner, I turned around to look out of the window behind me at something and felt a sharp pain in the side of my lower abdomen. I thought it was strange, but wasn’t totally alarmed – your body does weird stuff during pregnancy.

We still enjoyed a pretty amazing Buckeye Ball cake for dessert, which we later joked is probably what put me into labor.


At around 2:15am that morning (Sunday) I woke up suddenly from cramping. I noticed some heavy spotting, which I never experienced during my pregnancy, so I knew something was happening. Yet, I still wasn’t sure if the baby was ready to make her appearance.

I called the on call physician of my OB/GYN group and she told me to head to the hospital so she could check me out. She was worried I may have experienced placental abruption since I was bleeding.

Since we hadn’t finished packing our “go” bag, we quickly threw some additional things into it “just in case.” My husband also tidied up our condo for a showing we had later that day … because we weren’t just having a baby but were also completely remodeling a house and selling our current one at the same time. No big deal. (Note to self: Don’t ever do that again.)


After getting stuck at a few very long red lights, we were at the hospital by 3:15am. They hooked me up to a monitor and saw the baby’s heartbeat was strong and I was having consistent contractions. But they said the contractions didn’t mean I was in labor. Nor did it mean I was going to necessarily have the baby (Wow, I learned nothing in my labor class).

At some point, a doctor checked my cervix (one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve experienced) but I wasn’t dilated.

The resident who was tending to me said she thought it was safe for me to go home. My gut told me that wasn’t a good idea, especially with my contractions coming so frequently (but what did I know?)

Thankfully, the resident said the doctor on call from my office would be in to see me one last time before I left. While I figured I might not be going home right away, imagine my surprise when she said inducing me was the best idea.

I was emotional. I wasn’t ready to give birth. In fact, I was scared. Not to mention my entire family — mom, dad, sisters, brother in law and nephews — had left the day before on a week-long vacation. They jokingly told me before they departed not to go into labor while they were away. I had told them they had nothing to worry about (Yet again, what did I know?)


I was admitted to the hospital around 7am and at 10am they started administering Cervidil to soften my cervix. It was supposed to take 12 hours to work, and then I would be given pitocin to dilate my cervix. I expected it to be a long process. I had been told it could be 24 hours or more before I actually had a baby in my arms.

Since we thought this birth story would move along somewhat slow, we decided my husband should run home to get a few more things (like snacks for me, because you know, you can never have too many snacks).

Grace's birth story swaddled

Thankfully my husband’s trip was swift because my body had other plans. At 2:05pm, just four hours after starting Cervidil, I was bouncing on a birthing ball when I heard a pop in my belly. I knew right away what was happening. My water broke.

That’s when I got really emotional. We called the nurse to have her come back into the room. She was so sweet, comforting me as I cried because I was so afraid of what was about to happen. I have to say, all of my labor and delivery nurses were amazing. I don’t think I could have given birth without them. They made my husband and I feel like we had known them for forever.

Almost immediately after my water broke my contractions got intense. My doctor (by this time a new one from my practice) tried checking my cervix but it was so uncomfortable, so she asked if I wanted the epidural first. Without hesitation, I said, “YES.”


For those who are scared about getting an epidural, don’t be. I barely felt a thing. Maybe just a pinch. The person who suffered more was my husband, who isn’t too good with needles. When he got a glimpse of the massive one sticking out of my back, he almost passed out … and subsequently asked for some ginger ale.

So now that I felt no pain down below, my doc successfully checked my cervix and I was already eight centimeters dilated. Very soon after, I was 10 centimeters dilated and Grace’s head was at station zero. It was time to push.

It was also time, I firmly told my husband, to turn off the Masters Tournament that Tiger Woods had just claimed victory of.

I started pushing at 4:12pm. It was intense. At one point Grace’s heart rate dropped and they had to give me a shot of something to stabilize it. She was also sunny side up, a.k.a. her belly was facing my belly instead of my spine.

After about two hours of pushing (I’ll spare you the details), the doctor stepped out of the room for a moment. That’s when I could feel delivery was imminent and yelled, “The baby is coming!” The doctor promptly returned just in the nick of time because sure enough, Grace was ready to make her big debut.

By some miracle, Grace turned right side up at the last minute. The doctor was amazed. Grace also came out with her hand by her mouth, which left me with a few more stitches than I probably would have had otherwise.

Grace's birth story familyBABY GIRL’S BIG DEBUT

Grace was born at 6:01pm weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 19 inches long. My doctor said if she had stayed in any longer than April 14 she wouldn’t have fit through my pelvis. It was a blessing she decided to arrive when she did.

The ironic thing is, when my husband and I first found out we were expecting, Grace’s original due date was set as April 13, just one day before she actually arrived. Part of me still wonders if that first due date is accurate. She’s hitting milestones based on that age and her developmental leaps also seem to correspond with that date.

It was never confirmed whether I had placental abruption but my doctors now seem fairly confident that wasn’t the case. I was worried I had caused it by bumping into a table on my last day at work, or shifting in my seat the wrong way at dinner the night before. But they assured me it would have taken something more severe like a car accident to cause such a thing.

They were supposed to send off my placenta for examination after birth, but didn’t. So I guess I’ll never know the truth.

My gut tells me Grace was just ready to make her appearance and that those contractions I was feeling in the weeks before going to the hospital were probably real.

Also, an ironic side note, the doctor who delivered my little lady has a daughter named Katherine Grace. We discovered that right after our Grace was born and we announced her name. It felt serendipitous.


I hope you enjoyed readying about Grace’s birth story. Before going through labor myself, I have to admit wasn’t so interested in hearing about other women’s experiences. It’s probably because I couldn’t relate.

I mean, that TLC show A Baby Story? Not having it. But now, I could probably watch it all day (if it was still on the air). It amazes me what our bodies are capable of doing to bring life into this world.

What was your labor like? I’d love to hear your birth story. Send me a message or, if you’re comfortable, please leave a note below.

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Carrie September 19, 2019 - 1:36 pm

Oh Meg! Beautiful!!! I have to be honest, after working in an OB/GYN office for years I wanted nothing to do with labor and opted for an elective cesarian section with both my girls. And I have to be honest…. it was a breeze and so happy I chose that. There were many reasons I wanted this…. I know women do it everyday, but there was no way I was pushing a baby out, I didn’t want to tear, I didn’t want to be exposed like that, didn’t want hours and hours of labor and the chance of an emergency section in the end. it just wasn’t for me. I walked up to L&D at my scheduled day and time, they hooked me all up and prepped me for the section (picked my doctor and day-although, that is never promised) walked to the OR, and 30 min later had my baby wrapped up in a blanket in my arms. I went home 2 days later… if I wasn’t 37 I’d do it 1-2 more times. But I am happy with my 2 beautiful healthy little girls. I know some people would disagree with me, but it was the best and most seamless decision.

Meghan Yost September 26, 2019 - 1:16 pm

Thanks so much for reading and sharing your story Carrie! Your girls are so beautiful and I know you’re a wonderful mom. 🙂

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