The nurses in the Level 2 nursery kindly staged and took this photo for us
The nurses in the Level 2 nursery kindly took this photo

Babywoods’ birth turned out to be rather surprising and unexpected–and not just because it was my first time having a baby. Remember that one time when I overshared about our challenges with getting pregnant? Well, get ready for another overshare of a similar variety.

There are a number of topics that people shy away from discussing: money, infertility, greyhounds who fart, difficult births… you know, the usual slate of taboo subjects. Since I already write about the first three, I figured I’d go ahead and divulge on the last one as well.

Most birth stories I’ve read wax poetic about the glowing, magical experience of bringing a human into this world. While the actual arrival of Babywoods was certainly glowing and magical, the process wasn’t exactly what we’d anticipated. But what in life ever is? I believe in planning for as much as you can in this world and then simply rolling with the punches, because that’s pretty much the only way to enjoy life and not drive yourself crazy.

Labor Begins! We’re Excited (and terrified)!

At 5am on November 30th, a paltry five days after my due date, I started having contractions. I was thrilled, apprehensive, and also not really sure if they were contractions. Everyone told me that I’d definitively know I was in labor, but I wasn’t entirely certain. I woke Mr. Frugalwoods up at 6am and we decided to call the doctor and start our morning routine (Frugal Hound was pleased since it meant she got to go on a walk). I hopped in the shower and realized that my contractions (I was now pretty convinced they were in fact the real deal) were coming rather close together–to the tune of 3 minutes apart.

I called the doctor again and she asked how far away we were from the hospital (10 minutes) and told us to come in immediately. It was only 7am and I’d imagined being at home for the supposedly many hours of early labor. I’d had these fantastical visions of serenely doing yoga at home through contractions…. HAH! I can tell you how that worked out: not at all.

But, we happily followed orders and piled into Frugalwoods-mobile. The entire, admittedly brief, drive to the hospital was populated by me asking Mr. FW how far away we were (a fact I knew perfectly well but was nevertheless compelled to repeatedly ask).

Paying For Parking = I Knew I Was In Labor

Hanging out post-epidural

We’d originally intended to park for free on a city street near the hospital (since we have a resident parking permit) in order to avoid the hospital’s $7 parking garage fee, but made the game time decision that proximity to the entrance was worth spending seven bucks. I was now certain labor was advancing rapidly since I was willing to forgo free parking. Mr. FW pulled into a spot and I leapt out of the car–I was seriously ready to be inside that hospital.

I was immediately admitted and our fabulous labor and delivery nurse started the process of monitoring my contractions and dilation. I was still fairly chipper and the pain of labor wasn’t terribly overwhelming yet.

I walked around a bit and Mr. FW and I admired the gorgeous view of the Charles River from my room. Long about 10am, the pain of contractions ramped up to what I’d characterize as an 11 and I no longer felt so hot. My desire to walk around vanished and I cried in a heap on the bed.

Bring On The Epidural

With this turn of events, I decided it was time for the epidural. I know there are many different (and bizarrely contentious) opinions about epidurals and I firmly believe everyone should do what works best for them. Let me tell you what, an epidural worked best for me. I’m a huge fan of modern medicine and the epidural is an marvelous invention. I am forever grateful to the kind souls who administered it to me–as is Mr. FW’s left hand, from which I inadvertently drew blood by squeezing it so hard before the medication took effect.

Me on my way to yoga the day before giving birth
Me on my way to yoga the day before giving birth

My decision to have an epidural stems from the fact that I had nothing to prove with my labor. I’m human, I don’t like pain. Props to those who do it without medication and props to those who do it with. Either way, labor is profound and it really doesn’t matter what you decide. We all have our own unique childbirth experience and imposing our personal viewpoints on how another decides to handle it is entirely preposterous.

Post-epidural, Mr. FW, the nurse, the doctor and I chatted about all manner of things as we waited for Babywoods to labor on down. Mr. FW regained feeling in his left hand and I regained the ability to see straight and think clearly without mammoth pain clouding my brain. My labor was progressing quickly and without incident.

The nurse and doctor repeatedly commented on how easy and fast my labor would be and praised me for staying so healthy throughout pregnancy (hooray for yoga, which I practiced up until the day before Babywoods was born). All was good and I perused the hospital lunch menu in anticipation of needing some post-birth refreshment (also, free food you guys!).

From Simple To Crisis In 30 Seconds

Mr. FW and Babywoods

Long about 11:30am (a mere 6.5 hours after my first contraction), our nurse checked my dilation to prepare me to push. I was elated and overjoyed that Babywoods would be with us soon. And that’s when my incredibly simple, straightforward labor became a rare statistic.

As the nurse evaluated my dilation, she suddenly went from smiling, encouraging, and chatty to pale and frantic. She told Mr. FW to pull the emergency call button, which he did and… nothing happened. Our call button was broken and so she directed him to “run into the hall and yell for the doctor.” Being a man of action who is impeccably tranquil during adversity, he did just that and returned with a phalanx of 15 people.

Apparently he was so convincing of our need for additional personnel that they left a wake of abandoned clipboards, stethoscopes, and coffee flying into computers. I was now flat on my back with our nurse on top of the bed and a frenzy of doctors buzzing around me. Needless to say, I commenced panicking. I thought to myself–well, if there was ever a time to panic, this is it.

Mr. FW for his part (again, the most zen-like man on earth) calmly stood back and said comforting things in the direction of my prone head. In my fog of panic, I didn’t understand what was amiss, but it was blatantly clear that something was very, very wrong. In 30 seconds, I was wheeled across the hall into the operating room. The doctor informed me they’d be performing an emergency caesarean section and I said “ok, do whatever you have to do!” Ever the optimist, Mr. FW started shouting “I love you and you’ll be fine.” I wasn’t so sure.

Me and Babywoods
Me and Babywoods

Once in the operating room, I heard the doctor continuously yell “faster, faster, faster!” to the team of what now appeared to be 30 people. I, for my part, was having a rather convoluted conversation with a nurse who had been assigned to keep me apprised of the surgery. I was, oddly, quite calm at this point because I felt confident in our doctors and was tremendously thankful to be in a world-class hospital. I was also on a lot of pain killers.

As I eventually learned, Babywoods’ umbilical cord was prolapsed–in other words, protruding ahead of her–which cuts off baby’s oxygen supply. Turns out, this is a rather rare situation that occurs in fewer than 1% of pregnancies. It’s not something that can be predicted, prevented, or planned for. It can simply happen in the course of labor and usually the only way to resolve it is through a c-section. The statistics for infant mortality in environments where an immediate c-section is not available are quite grim. But, with the intervention of a rapid c-section, the outcomes are quite good. Here again we give thanks for the miracles of modern medicine.

She’s Born!

Seven minutes after our nurse discovered the cord prolapse, Babywoods was born. Mr. FW yanked on scrubs and ran into the operating room as Babywoods came out and thus was able to see and hold her immediately. Thankfully, since I’d had an epidural, the anesthesiologist didn’t have to put me completely under, so I was (relatively) lucid and able to see Babywoods as Mr. FW held her.

However, father and daughter were quickly whisked out as Babywoods was deemed perfectly healthy after an APGAR of 9, but I was still in need of monitoring. After finishing my surgery, I was taken back to my room where Mr. FW and Babywoods were hanging out together enjoying their first cuddle. Mr. FW brought Babywoods over to me and held her as she breastfed like a champ. I was initially concerned that having a c-section would stymie our breastfeeding progress but fortunately, that hasn’t been the case at all and we’ve been successfully breastfeeding since birth.

Assuming The Worst Is Over

Babywoods in the Level 2 nursery
Babywoods in the Level 2 nursery

Having come through this emergency c-section unscathed, we certainly believed that the worst was over and that we’d now be able to recover and bond as a family. And that’s just what we did for a day or so.

Then, when Babywoods was in the hospital nursery for her routine baby tests and shots, she suffered a loss of oxygen for a few moments, which raised an alarm. Apparently, Babywoods was experiencing bouts of oxygen desaturation, which essentially means her lungs weren’t sending commands appropriately to breath. This condition is unrelated to the cord prolapse, but related to the fact that she was born via c-section.

Babywoods was then admitted to the Level 2 nursery at the hospital, which is essentially one step down from a neonatal intensive care unit. She continued to endure desaturations in her oxygen levels and thus was kept under observation for six days. Fortunately, the hospital was extremely encouraging and accommodating of my desire to exclusively breastfeed Babywoods and I was able to do so in the nursery around the clock.

The major upside to being in a hospital for so long is that Mr. FW and I feel like we received a master’s class in infant care. We asked Babywoods’ nurses endless questions and watched as they cared for babies around the nursery.

We learned all about breastfeeding by making friends with the lactation consultants and just generally being open to advice. Anytime someone asked if we wanted to observe or learn something, we said yes! We might’ve been stuck in the hospital, but we certainly took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves. The pediatrician deemed Babywoods healthy following her six day observation period and we headed home in the trusty Frugalwoods-mobile.

Prepare For The Worst, Enjoy The Best

The prevailing sentiment Mr. FW and I have following the unforeseen conditions surrounding our daughter’s birth is gratitude. We are deeply and profoundly grateful to the doctors and nurses who saved Babywoods’ life and ensured my safety in surgery. The care we received was excellent and everyone we interacted with at the hospital was helpful, kind, knowledgable, and proficient in their field.

Finally heading home from the hospital
Finally heading home from the hospital

After an exceedingly easy and uncomplicated pregnancy, we were certainly surprised by how her birth transpired, but we weren’t entirely unprepared. Mr. FW and I tend to live according to the ethos of planning for worst-case scenarios. Far from being a defeatist or negative attitude, this approach enables us to realize success even in less than optimal circumstances. For example, rather than have an ironclad birth plan we stridently wanted to adhere to, our goal was to have a healthy baby and a healthy mom. Other than that, we weren’t wedded to a particular course of events.

People have asked if I’m disappointed about Babywoods’ birth process and the answer is I’m not because I have a healthy baby. By remaining focused on our true end goal (healthy baby, healthy mom), we set ourselves up to experience gratitude.

This approach allows us to be at peace with the anomalies of life and to even enjoy them. While I never imagined we’d be in the hospital for a week, I also never imagined how much stellar infant knowledge we’d garner by being in a hospital for a week. There’s nearly always an upside to unanticipated situations because they pull us out of our comfort zones and cause us to gain new insights.

I know that raising Babywoods will be rife with deviations from “the ideal” and I hope that I can keep this attitude of flexibility always at the fore. Mr. FW and I control the variables we can and surrender the rest.

I firmly believe you can put yourself in the best possible position to undergo crises by having an attitude of open acceptance. Things will happen in life. We can’t always predict them. The key is how we’ve prepared ourselves–emotionally, physically, financially, and logistically–to manage them.

How do you handle unexpected circumstances in life?

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  1. I don’t know how much preparation can prepare you for all of that. It seems you and Mr. FW did an amazing job at rolling with the punches. So glad in the end both you and Babywoods are healthy.

  2. Wow, quite a rollercoaster and a poster story for why I’m not a huge devotee of the whole ”do it at home, any emergency will give lots of warning, really, just a midwife, a paddling pool and a TENS are all you need unless you want The Man and his scalpel to force you into terrible interventions” mode of thinking. There you were, healthy, well, normal, happy, no issues… till within 7 minutes there were, and they were potentially fatal, which could have gone from exciting and thrilling to unimaginably terrible in less than 10 minutes. You are a rockstar and so is your husband, congrats to all of you and let’s hope it’s a bit less dramatic from here on in!

    1. Yes, definitely hoping for less dramatic now :)! We were so grateful for the amazing medical attention we received!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I absolutely loved my epidural. Like you, I believe everyone’s birth plan should fit them. For me, there is no prize for pain; everyone gets a baby 🙂 As far as your complications go, thank goodness you were with highly skilled healthcare professions in an environment suited for your situation. Home births scare me for this very reason. You just never know when you’ll be the 1% I look forward to future posts about your new family member and how everyone is adjusting!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    1. Exactly! You just never know. We are so grateful that all turned out well. And, the epidural was definitely awesome 🙂

    2. …well, not everyone gets a baby. Fetal demise, still born, and neonatal death are a real thing that occur. I work in NICU so I’ve seen it before and it’s very sad. Very happy to hear that BabyWoods is okay 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness! I love reading everything you write. Your outlook on life, your advice, your writing style, it all really appeals to me and aligns with how I try to live my life. But today your post left me crying, happy tears! Birth is so emotional and I, like you, feel any woman giving birth deserves a gold medal, no matter how she does it. I’m so happy for your family that all wound up well and everyone is healthy. Thank you for sharing your extremely personal experience, it wasn’t TMI! Sharing our experiences helps make life so much more manageable! Oh, and btw, my husband and I have been working this last year on minimizing the “extra & unnecessary” stuff from our lives and working hard at paying off debt. You, along with Cait Flanders, Joshua Becker and many, many more have inspired us to change our approach to finances and how they interact with our day to day life. Best of luck to you, Mr. FW and Babywoods as you embark on this fabulous new chapter of your life!

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! You’re very kind! I’m a big fan of Cait and Joshua too–I tell Cait that I’m a “failed minimalist” but it’s a good perspective for me to aspire to 🙂

  5. Life is a journey. It has twists and turns…..even a few bumps and potholes. I prepare by taking care of myself physically and financially. Then, I try to enjoy the journey!

    I am so happy that all went well for your family. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Congratulations and your attitude is a fabulous one. Both of my children’s births went off script and included epidurals and ‘jump starting’ the baby to get her breathing and, in one case, a failure on my part to clamp down after birth (you would not think a smallish woman could have that much blood to lose!). I am so grateful to live when mothers and children survive and thrive in circumstances that probably would have had tragic endings not very long ago. Keep that flexible attitude – children tend to be full of surprises and it is more pleasant for everyone with a relaxed parent (says my super high strung by nature self – I work on this. Every day.).

    1. So true about how lucky we are in this day and age of modern medicine! Glad to hear both of your births had happy endings too. I am really striving for that flexible, relaxed approach–seems to be the key, but it’s a bit counter to my Type A personality… I’ll keep trying!

  7. I have a similar story. I nearly died having my first son. I passed out multiple times, hemmoraged, my placenta wouldn’t come out so this was the worst part, a manual placent removal, then the dr. Ripped it in half, the other half was stuck. I should do blog post about it. We should never feel guilty about having an epidural. I got through my contractions with one but it was turned off during the delivery. Not fun.

  8. What a beautiful story! It was kind of hard to read through the tears! It brought me back 29 years ago to the birth of my daughter! We went through virtually the same thing, albeit without even the barest outline of an “end goal”! My daughter was coming out backwards, and doctors could not turn her in a timely manner, so off to emergency C section! I had hope to welcome her into the world, but I was banned from surgery for antiseptic reasons. I’m very happy for you folks, and I know Babywoods is in the best possible situation on Earth with you three! God Bless, and Congratulations!!

  9. I feel silly, but this post brought tears to my eyes. I certainly do not know you as I am a random internet person, lol, but reading your posts every week I’m always rooting for your family. 🙂 So happy all’s is well, despite the challenges and scary moments getting there. To your question at the end of the post, I often tell my husband having a child has been the best therapy ever for my Type A personality. It forces you to accept your plan won’t always go “as planned” and the sooner you embrace it, accept the situation as it and go with it, the better each experience becomes. Isn’t it crazy how fast those nursery nurses can give a bath?!?!?

    1. You’re so sweet–thank you! And, I’m definitely seeing my Type A fade as we ease into parenthood. It’s such a different pace of life and certainly a wonderful lesson for me in letting go of perfection. I’m envious of the nursery nurse bath speed for sure…. !

  10. I am so thankful your baby is okay. I admire your calm and your husband’s in the face of such a storm.

  11. I, too, had a cord prolapse immediately followed by emergency c-section. Thankfully, my epidural was in full effect after an unfortunate experience in its administration. Unfortunately, I left the hospital with an undiagnosed epidural headache and, thus, had to return to the hospital 5 days later (on my birthday) to remedy said ailment. All of these circumstances [all found in the “rarely happens” section of What To Expect When Your Expecting], while frightening and unenjoyable, resulted in the healthy birth of my son.

    1. Oh wow! So rare and so terrifying. I’d skimmed that “rarely happens” section, but not paid it much attention–hah! Glad to hear you and your son were both OK in the end.

  12. Congratulations on your beautiful baby! And I love your approach to remaining positive when circumstances aren’t exactly what you’d imagined. And….this is super creeper, but judging from your view from your room and picture in the lobby, we had our second there 8 days after you! It’s truly an amazing place to welcome a sweet baby. All best to the whole family!

    1. Congrats on your new baby :)! Mt. Auburn is amazing, isn’t it? We absolutely loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough!

    1. Oh I don’t know. Electives are pretty cool; you know exactly when and where, on rounds two and subsequent you get to rest and relax for 3 blissful days, quite aware of the storm brewing at home, people bringing you tea and food… Admittedly my first birth was a horrifying NHS-brewed emergency C-section catastrophe of epic proportions so perhaps I am… disenchanted with the beauteous power of natural birth, but my 2nd couple of sections were… how to put this… like going on holiday but with better drugs!

  13. Omg, my stomach dropped while reading this! I’m so glad that everything was okay in the end after everything you all went through. You are a trooper!! You are so right, you can do all of this planning and things never quite turn out how you think they will when it comes to giving birth….or even life in general! On paper, I had the birth I wanted (no epidural, natural birth). But I have to say, it was STILL a horrible experience. Neither my daughter or I had complications, which I’m thankful for, but it still isn’t an experience I look back on fondly, until she made her debut that is. It wasn’t anything like I expected it to be! Next time I will go into having a baby with the mentality that you both did, I have a difficult time going with the flow and being out of control so I think this will serve me well 🙂 Congrats again on your beautiful Estelle, what a precious gift she is!!

    1. It’s such a wild ride, isn’t it? But it’s amazing that we get a little human at the end of it :). Glad you and your daughter were both OK.

  14. Oh my – quite a ride! I’m so glad everything worked out and Mom, baby and Dad have recovered.

    I have no idea why women do not go the route I did. I was hypnotized and needed no meds at all for anything. I merely felt pressure during a contraction. Mind you, I know what real labor feels like. I had twins first and felt every bleeping minute. But we moved after those babies were born and I was introduced to the wonderful world of hypnosis. It really is like deep meditation but is sure beats needles and contractions that can send you into orbit.

  15. Wow……thanks for sharing your story. Labor is no joke, truly we are all so lucky to live in an age of modern medicine.

    Our first birth also could have gone badly if it wasn’t for the team of providers around us, and like you we may have lost our first. Lots of my friends with kids also experienced a less than optimal labor.

    Thats one of those amazing advances that we simply take for granted nowadays…..

    So happy you guys pulled through.

  16. So glad everyone os doing well, she’s beautiful! I had a planned c/section because of a known placental issue (which could have torn and i basically could have bled out). Do i loke surgery? No, but thank God for the ability to do so or i could havr died if not for modern medicine. A friend of ours had a very similar situation to you and it was further complicated by other things…long story short their little man was cut off from O2 a little too long and they face the challenges of having a child with cerebral palsey. It could have been worse though. Good luck in next few months, it goes so fast!

  17. Glad everyone made it through safely, and there are definitely worse things than a few extra days hanging around a hospital! As more and more of my friends have started to have kids, it amazes me the frequency of fairly serious birth (or soon post-birth) complications that have arisen. Not all that long ago, these babies wouldn’t have made it, but thanks to modern medicine they are bouncy little kids now!

    1. Exactly! Modern medicine is quite amazing indeed. Giving birth is just not always straightforward or easy.

  18. This post is just beautiful and, having just had my own daughter, brought me to tears. Loved what you had to say about epidurals, gratitude, everything! Congratulations

  19. Wow I would be totally freaked if all of a sudden someone was yelling to get the doctors. But I actually do get a bit calmer when things start to go haywire. I had read before that in that kind of situation you become hyper present and in the moment, like time stands still. Glad everything turned out OK!

  20. Wow, you guys win the day (year) for most epic post. I literally felt chills reading this. I’m so happy for you that everything turned out well and you had such a great team of doctors surrounding you. Mr. FW sounds like a real champ too! Whew…

  21. There’s no shame in epidurals! I gave birth to all 7 of my children under the fine direction of them. Back when I had my first child, the two hospitals in the city shared an anesthesiologist and after having started me on pitocin to increase the intensity of my contractions I was informed that the doctor was in surgery at the other hospital and would be back in about 10 minutes. It took quite a bit longer than that. On a side note, the anesthesiologists always have you sign an informed consent form right before they give you the epidural. I’d love to see a compilation of those signatures. If they are anything like mine, they covered half the page!

    1. You’re so right about the signature! I have no idea what mine looked like–probably a ridiculous scribble. They kept asking if I was OK before they administered it and I was like, uh, in what way do you mean “OK”? 😉

  22. Oh my goodness! Isn’t modern medicine amazing? I’m so glad that everything turned out so well!

    We ended up spending 5 days in hospital for this baby’s birth. 48 hours of that was just labor (no c-section, just an extremely long active labor and yes, I did get the epidural after the first 24 hours and yes, it was just beautiful) and then 2 days of IV antibiotics for our son due to my uterine infection, then a full day on Thanksgiving just waiting around to be discharged… We wound up spending a lot of money on hospital parking!

    My one question is: did Mr FW move the car, or did you keep paying for parking?

    1. Glad to hear everything came out OK for you too, but I’m sorry you were in the hospital for so long! Bummer on your hospital parking! Ours was actually just a one-time cost of $7 for the duration of our stay, so not a big deal. But then once I was discharged (but Babywoods was still a patient), Mr. FW did move the car to street parking to avoid incurring additional charges. Fortunately he was able to park pretty close to the hospital, so we just had a quick jaunt across the street when Babywoods was finally discharged.

  23. WOW! Congratulations on so many levels! As you’ve heard many times, a baby will change your life. Enjoy each day as it is such a blessing to behold.
    Attitude is Everything! I’d say you have the best of everything!
    Thank you for sharing.

  24. . After an incredibly normal pregnancy, we went through a lollapolluza of a birth as well. Just as you, everything went normally during labor until the hospital staff realized his head was too large and it was too late for an emergency c-section- he was stuck and went without oxygen for over 4 minutes. His apgars were 0’s across the boards and he was life flighted to the neo-natal unit of a nearby children’s hospital. Everything turned out well as he turns 27 next week but it was an unforgettable experience that I can still relive right down to the smells. And by the way, he has two younger sisters who were both born by c-sections – my doctor told me that I could have whatever I wanted after what I went through with our firstborn. I can easily say that it was a great lesson in life in learning that I can’t control everything – or sometimes anything.. I am thankful that the nurse assessed your situation and you were able to have quick medical care. And that everything has turned out well for you and your baby. I hope someday you are still telling your birth story to someone when she is turning 27!

    1. Oh that is just terrifying about your son!! SO relieved to hear he’s a healthy 27-year-old now! I was panicked about Babywoods until I heard that her Apgar was so high, so I can’t imagine how scared you must have been.

  25. Thank you for sharing your story! I do not have any children yet and giving birth is something that really scares me. It is so refreshing to hear someone be pragmatic about the epidural. Congratulations on your beautiful and healthy baby. I hope the recovery from the c-section is smooth.

  26. Can I just saw I love your attitude towards life. Thank you for this incredible story. I’m learning gratitude in a whole new light through your lenses. All the very best to the Frugalwoods family. I pray that mom and daughter will continue to grow in health as in every other aspect in life.
    Thank you

  27. Oh my gosh! I was hanging on the edge of my seat with this – and getting weepy. Thank God all is well and that both you and Babywoods are thriving. Beautiful message about being open and accepting while having planned and prepared. My first was delivered by C-section too, but my 2nd and 3rd were not – but if they had been, it would have been just fine. I second your three cheers for epidurals : ) By the way, you are not “over-sharing”. Your story combined with your insights are of great value. Again, congratulations. And thanks.

    1. Thank you so much! Glad to hear it’s not too much of an overshare :). I feel like giving birth is one of those things you don’t really hear much about until after you’ve already done it!

  28. I am a nurse and worked Labor and Delivery for a while about 10 years ago. One of the moments on that unit that is seared in my brain is when one of my patients had a prolapsed cord. Seconds literally count in that circumstance, and we went flying down the hall at warp speed, and that baby was out within 4 minutes. I don’t remember most of the faces of my patients, as there have been so many, but I will never forget that patient’s face. I had 3 c-sections myself, and while surgery is not my favorite experience in the world, it is a wonderful thing when you are facing the alternative. I hope you are recovering well.

    1. Thank you so much for being a labor and delivery nurse!!! I can’t tell you how grateful I am to our nurses and to nurses everywhere.

  29. Congratulations! 🙂 I think you definitely had the right attitude going in, my sister’s baby was also prolapse but they only discovered this as he was being born! Luckily they were able to pull the cord from around his neck and it had no negative impact but it was certainly a scary moment! I love reading your posts! You’re always very authentic and it really helps in all areas!! 🙂 Good luck with cutie Frugalwoods!! 🙂

  30. Wow – so glad that everything turned out ok! We also had quite the unexpected birth experience with our first. He was born 8 weeks early while we were out of town (4 hours from home) and we wound up in the NICU for 4 weeks before bringing him home. It definitely was a journey! I’m glad that we were able to roll with the punches and find whatever positives we could. For me, it was also important to allow myself to feel sad about the negatives. Of course, our ultimate goal was healthy mom and healthy baby (which thankfully we had) but it was hard to not be able to hold my baby right away, to be separated so much for that firth month, to watch him undergo medical procedures at such a young age. It was really healing to grieve some of those things. And now I’m 38 weeks pregnant with our second and feeling really great going into this next delivery knowing that we grew so much from the first experience.

    1. Oh that would be so tough to be separated from your baby for so long–I’m sorry you had to go through that. But so happy to hear all is well in the end. And congrats on being 38 weeks, momma! So exciting :)!

  31. Congratulations and I am SO thankful you are both ok!! The thing with L&D is that when things go badly, they can go VERY badly and VERY quickly. So thankful you were in the hospital and were willing to be open-minded and keep your baby’s best interest in mind. I have worked 20 years as a L&D RN and unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances arise and fast intervention is necessary to save a baby or mama’s life. With my first, I had a birth plan, I was “all natural”…until I hemorrhaged during and after a very difficult natural delivery. Yes I accepted medical intervention at that time. If I had been at home I may have not gotten to the hospital in time. Yes, it was a very small percent chance that something would go wrong, but why take a chance with you and your babies’ life? That child is dependent upon you to make good decisions in their best interest.
    You have a fantastic, flexible attitude which will make you both wonderful parents. Your new little love is gorgeous and I wish the three of you all the best in your new life together!!

    1. Thank you so much for being a Labor and Delivery nurse!!! I cannot tell you how grateful we are to all of the nurses we had. We were so, so glad to be in the hospital and in such good hands–you’re exactly right that it was very bad very quickly! I completely agree–why take the chance!

  32. Congratulations! What an interesting story. I’ve never had a baby, but my mom did once, and she was pregnant with me for nearly 10 months. I still wasn’t showing any signs of popping out yet, so even then the doctors had to induce labor! Glad you didn’t have to wait that long, at least!

  33. Thank you for sharing your story! I admire your strength and positive attitude in a scary situation! I had to have a c section for my daughter as well, and I will not repeat some of the horrible things people (even a longtime friend) said to me about c section births. I wish everyone had the attitude that all that matters is the safety of baby and mama!

    1. I’m so sorry people said awful things about your c-section–how very insensitive, especially considering how serious of a surgery it is and how painful the recovery is! I agree with you–all that matters is healthy baby and mama.

  34. Wow, what a story. I find that the stories you read are glowing, but the stories we moms tell each other in person are raw and real. Welcome to the club. The birth stories are pretty frequent in the first year. But any time you see a new mom, it’s a new time to swap birth stories, ha!

    I’m glad it all worked out. I, for one, loved my epidural with my first son. Sadly #2 came too fast. I was not mentally prepared, especially when my childbirth classes were 6+ years prior and my husband was missing for most of the labor (delivering our older child to a friend).

    1. That must’ve been tough to not have your husband there. I can’t imagine going through it without Mr. FW–he was my constant reminder that everything would somehow be OK. I wish I’d known some of these more real birth stories before I gave birth! But I do feel like I’m hearing them now, which is a wonderful thing to share.

  35. Thank you for writing this. My twins were born in Boston (BIDMC; I’m guessing you were at Mount Auburn) after 3 years of IVF and a host of complications in between each round of treatment. I had long let go of any picture of building my family in any traditional sense. I had to claw my way to pregnancy, a safe (C-section required because of the position of one twin) delivery, and a challenging recover. I am a stronger person for all of this. Your description of the team who delivered Babywoods made me cry because I am eternally grateful for the team of professionals who helped me build my family. The all-female delivery team in the OR who delivered my twins was my powerful moment. It might not have involved contractions and having a baby placed on my chest, but it was our family’s moment. And it was amazing.

    1. I’m so happy to hear you have your babies!! And I’m so glad that IVF worked out for you–that is such a wonderful thing :). It really is incredible when you have so many people helping you bring your babies into this world–I truly did feel it was a profound moment. P.S. You’re right we were at Mount Auburn 🙂

  36. The best laid plans of mice and (wo)men… 🙂

    Glad everything worked out okay.

    I love how you knew it was urgent when you paid for parking. We had a similar story (but with free parking, because the hospital doesn’t have pay parking). For our baby #2, she was coming quickly and, after doing 90 on the freeway to get to the hospital in 6 minutes instead of 8, I pulled up to the maternity drop off area. I was still thinking RUSH RUSH RUSH and as soon as we stopped moving, I started yelling for Mrs. RoG to jump out of the car so I could go and park. Her response confused me. “Hrmmmmpphhh hrrrmmmmmph”. Something was wrong.

    Eventually the hrrrmmmmphing stopped and she said something like “I was having a contraction. How could I get out of the car?”. Eventually she squeezed out of the old green Civic and ended up on the bench on the sidewalk. The rest of the next hour or two was a blur, but I distinctly remember the nurse saying, in response to an inquiry about when the epidural is coming, “Honey, I hate to tell you this but there ain’t no time for the epidural. This baby’s a-coming!”. True that, nurse. It wasn’t long and then we had a large rotund healthy baby girl. 🙂

    1. I know that Hrrmmpph feeling–those were my sentiments exactly pre-epidural :). Glad you have your three healthy kiddos!

  37. I’m so glad you are all home and doing well. Congratulations on your new daughter! I’m sure that the hospital staff truly enjoyed having you as patients too 🙂

  38. I’m so happy Babywoods is here and fine — and Momma too. I agree that the ultimate goal was achieved successfully! I have only one burning question after reading your story: did that cost more? (LOL, but I am wondering…) BTW, she is absolutely beautiful — looks just like Momma and Dad.

    1. Good question! It actually didn’t cost us any more since my co-payment for the delivery covered any type of birth and complications. An upside to be sure 🙂

  39. The situation which caused your husband to call for help must have been VERY scary, but the thought of him running out and returning with 15 people made me giggle. “Apparently he was so convincing of our need for additional personnel that they left a wake of abandoned clipboards, stethoscopes, and coffee flying into computers” — what a great visual. So glad you and Babywoods are thriving. 🙂

    1. Yeah, he can be a pretty convincing guy when he needs to be–being 6’2″ and bearded helps too I think 😉

  40. Glad to see you are all healthy. My wife was on bedrest for the first two weeks after our baby was born. I was able to take the first week off vacation (already had this lined up anyway) & her mom came up for the 2nd week. Family has been the bedrock for when we have crazy times.

  41. Congratulations! I absolutely love reading birth stories and yours is no exception! Tearing up at the thought of you meeting your daughter for the first time. So glad you had an amazing experience and felt supported even in the midst of a quite serious complication. Thank you for sharing and offering a glimpse into those moments.

  42. Oh. my. goodness. I occasionally work on medical malpractice cases, and all I had to read were the words “cord prolapse” for me to get chills up and down my spine. Hurray for your fabulous nurse, for Mr. Frugalwood’s quick action, for your ability to cope, and for the surgical team that got your beautiful baby girl out!

    If there is a next baby, I highly highly suggest laboring in the shower. They had to practically drag me out of there to deliver Baby DebtFreeJD (who took nearly 4 hours of pushing to deliver once we were forced out of the shower, but arrived safe and sound, albeit with a Klingon head from all the time he spent in the birth canal).

    1. I had a goal of making it to the shower/tub in my hospital room, but couldn’t get myself to walk across the room ;). Glad to hear it worked for you though–sounds nice! Yeah, I’ve been terrified after the fact by reading about cord prolapse… it’s not good if things don’t move very quickly.

  43. Beautifully written, as always. =) I’m so glad everything turned out okay, and I love the attitude you kept throughout it all. (Also love the bit about parking, although I’m surprised it wasn’t able to be waived/reimbursed; I had a scheduled surgery years ago and pediatrics gave my parents a free pass.) I don’t know how you kept calm, though. I’m always uptight in hospitals and had a near panic attack before I was operated on a few years ago.

    I am right there with you in preparing for the worst, and although I’ve told people I’m simply a fan of being realistic, they take it as being negative. I always enjoy reading about how others focus on gratitude and this was no exception. So glad you shared this story! You all are such an adorable family (and shout out to the FinCon shirt, haha).

  44. Holy moly that is exactly the kind of thing that terrified me during the birth of our two girls. I’m happy we’re done with kids so that I don’t have to go through that again, and I’m just the bystander!!
    Epidurals are awesome, anesthesiologists busy in another surgery is not! Congrats on the healthy girl!

  45. Brought tears to my eyes. Having a past life in healthcare, and in a large university women’s hospital no less, I can attest to the fact that world-class healthcare nearby is something to never take for granted. These healthcare professionals train for years and years all for your greater experience to your better health. I’m sincerely happy Babywoods’ outcome turned out well and appreciate you sharing your story. This experience will stay with you for a long time. Truly, very happy for all of you.

    1. Thank you so much! You are so right and we are profoundly grateful to the doctors and nurses who cared for us and saved Babywoods’ life!

  46. I’m so glad you shared this. None of the births of my three children were “ideal” – we had cords wrapped around necks, hypoglycemia, nearly delivering a baby in the elevator (no time for an epidural!), but all three kids made it out healthy and that’s all one can hope for. I’m glad you all are healthy and happy.

  47. Congrats on your beautiful baby! Similar experience here–26 hours of natural labor, meconium, and a scary dip in our baby’s heart rate–we ended up with a c-section and a healthy baby. So grateful for the support of nurses with early infant care. It was so good for clarifying what is most important!

  48. What an ordeal. I’m so glad everyone is ok – in the end, that’s all that matters. Your attitude is exemplary.

    Little Estelle is adorable, and like the meaning of her name, she is a little star.

  49. Thanks for being so honest. I’m sorry you guys had to go throught such a hard time…
    To keep it short, let’s just say that my 1st delivery did not go as planned eighter. Easy conception, easy pregnancy despite some anxiety. Follow-up by a midwife because dead set against anything medical/hospital. We were expecting a magical moment, in a calm environment, in control, all natural, etc…. Yeah…. Ended up in the hospital, baby’s heart beating too fast, then me going crazy with pain and taking an epidural that did not work well, then baby not coming out so succions, cups, forceps, cutting…. the joy! Them baby comes with a fever, going to intensive care. And me unable to breastfeed, getting a post-partum depression and ending up hospitalized for a month. So all the plans and all the dreams out the window!! But 2 years after I had another baby, totally different story! Those stories need to be told. Not to scare future moms but to put the message out there that it’s not always peachy and you do not always fall in love on the spot with your baby, and IT’S OKAY. It’s a process, sometimes a fast one and sometimes a slow one.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, isabelle. I completely agree with you that it’s helpful for people to realize that we can’t predict how birth will go, but that even an uncharted experience can turn out ok. I’m very glad to hear that all is now well with you and your babies!

  50. Good for you and Mr. FW for staying calm and going with the flow through the chaos of the experience. You’re absolutely correct, there is nothing that can prepare us for the unexpected, but having the right attitude can make all the difference. Your baby girl is gorgeous, and the entire family looks happy and healthy. I hope everything is feeling well and getting as much sleep as possible. Congratulations, again! 🙂

  51. Our first was an emergency c-section, our second was a home birth. Our first child nursed great, our second had latch issues so we bottle her. We cloth diapered our first, using disposables on the second. There are lots of different ways to get the same end result. I don’t feel the need to explain why for any of it. You will change your opinions a thousand times over before your first is 18. Lol. I support all moms and their choices. It is the only way to go. The sancti-mommy tones in some birth stories today and certain parenting blogs are a turn off for me. I wasn’t prepared for that. Motherhood is a deep complicated journey and at the end of the day, we need our tribe of other moms for support. Good luck on your parenthood journey.

      1. Very well said–we all make different choices in how we raise our kids, but I totally agree that supporting other parents is so important. I find that we already change our minds/opinions with Babywods–every day is an evolution 🙂

  52. Oh wow a cord prolapse! I’m so glad you all are ok.
    I too had visions of gracefully bouncing on my ball and then after about 12 hours, at 4 cm was vomiting from the pain … I have never been so thankful as for that epidural!

  53. Wonderful story. Glad everything turned out well and all of you roll with life’s punches. I love how you “set yourselves up to experience gratitude.” I had an emergency C-section, too, with my second child, albeit for different reasons. I was at the hospital – overdue over two weeks and had labor induced – when all of a sudden the nurses and doctors didn’t hear our baby’s heart beating. Turns out our daughter Amanda was born with Dextroxcardia with Situs Inversus, and no one realized it until she was born. It’s a rare heart condition. Look it up, if you like, it’s quite fascinating. Thankfully, she is a mostly healthy, happy 14 year old today.

    My husband worked for many years in finance and due to unexpected life circumstances retired early at the age of 50 seven years ago. It’s been quite an experience. We were always somewhat frugal, and had saved about 25% of our income over the previous 20+ years. We had zero debt and a fully paid off house when it happened. I work part-time (after losing my office job last summer) and go to school part-time. I am taking an Office Manager certification class to upgrade some of my computer skills – Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Quickbooks, etc. We have a 14 year old daughter (Amanda) and a 21 year old son (Alexander) who is currently living at home. I recently realized I want to reevaluate our spending patterns and possibly make some lifestyle changes. Although our family is quite different than yours in background, life experiences and composition, I am glad I stumbled across your blog and look forward to reading your posts!

    1. That’s awesome that you’re working on honing new skills and reevaluating your spending–sounds like an exciting time for you and your family!

  54. {{ I believe in planning for as much as you can in this world and then simply rolling with the punches}} That’s the best possible game plan in life.

    {{I know that raising Babywoods will be rife with deviations from “the ideal” and I hope that I can keep this attitude of flexibility always at the fore. Mr. FW and I control the variables we can and surrender the rest}} Raising even the best of children can be a bittersweet experience.

    Thanks for sharing, it was truly scary. You’re a trooper!

  55. When my daughter was born I was with my ex during labor. Nanoseconds after she emerged, the attending physician went immediately from calm to very highly concerned. He turned to the nurse and yelled, “Get Dad outta here.” I was quickly ushered out and witnessed my newly born child being whisked away to parts unknown (to me at least).

    After watching the trail of medical personnel recede into the distance and turn the corner, I didn’t know what to do, so I went back into the birthing room to see my ex. Understandably, she was in a state of panic and tried to pump me for information. I didn’t have much to say because I had no clue what just happened. She cried and I tried to comfort her as much as possible.

    A minute or so later another medical person entered the room and explained to us what was going on, at least as much as my sensory overloaded brain could absorb. To make a long story short, my child had a pneumothorax. An air pocket had somehow formed between her chest wall and lungs. I was told it was due to the trauma of birth. Child was almost 11 lbs and the ex was 5’1′, 105 lbs. No C-section.

    She spent a few days in the NICU with a chest tube before we were allowed to hold her and bond. I understand you fears. Believe me I do. Interesting enough tomorrow is my daughter’s 29th birthday, so she survived the ordeal just fine.

    1. Oh how scary! So glad to hear everything turned out just fine and happy birthday to your daughter :)!

  56. You are so positive about everything, it is great to read this instead of how it ‘all went wrong’.
    Fantastic to read that it is all going well with breastfeeding! Babywoods is so cute! <3 And only 3 weeks younger than our youngst so I really like reading your stories about her 😉

  57. I wondered why you were in the hospital so long. You two have a great attitude! This was not a disappointing birth by any means. Well, OK, you wanted a regular birth, but you plan for anything to happen. Thank goodness for epidurals! I can relate to the pain…I had my first born with natural childbirth. There is nothing natural about an 11+ pain level. Second time around–epidural. In the past four years my daughter has had two C-sections. Hey, wha ever works. I agree that the objective is both healthy mom and healthy baby. Good luck!

  58. You can only plan for so much and sounds like you handled the birthing experience quite well.

    Mrs. T gave birth to Baby T at home. She wanted a water birth but we had to change the plan because Baby T’s heart rate was dropping. The midwives also called for ambulance because it was taking too long to push Baby T out. Luckily everything was OK. 🙂

  59. Wow, what an experience! Mrs. Mortimer is an apprentice home-birth midwife so hearing about all the details of birth is far from taboo in our house. You definitely have the right attitude—every birth is unique and calls for different methods. So glad you have a healthy, beautiful baby girl and you are recovering and doing well. You made the right decisions at the right time, and trusted your team and your body to handle whatever came up. Making healthy decisions based on the reality of the situation is in everyone’s best interest—no excuses required. Congratulations! (And, as a fellow dad, my commendations to Mr. Frugalwoods for being such a great birth partner!)

    1. It actually didn’t change the cost–my copay covered any type of birth, so fortunately, we don’t have to pay anything extra–yay!

  60. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I think that future parents will find it really helpful, as was your post about getting to ‘pregnant’. Congratulations on having a well mom and babe !

  61. Wow, what a birth story! So glad that you and Babywoods are okay. Props for having such a positive and flexible attitude about the long hospital stay! Letting go of expectations and remaining flexible has definitely helped me during our baby’s first year. It’s a great parenting skill 🙂

  62. Congrats on your beautiful daughter! Your post brought me to tears quite a few times. I am so glad that you & your baby girl are healthy and there are no long term effects of the complications. I also live in the greater Boston area & drove 30 minutes (each way!) during my pregnancies, to one of the wonderful hospitals you mentioned. I feel incredibly blessed each day that some of the best hospitals in the world are at my doorstep. Blessings to you & your family!

    1. Thank you so much! And yes, we feel very fortunate to have such wonderful health care here in Boston. I’m sorry you had to drive 30 minutes–I thought I was going to pass out (more from anxiety than pain) on our 10 min drive…. 😉

  63. I loved reading the birth story. When other Moms tell me they’re worried about giving birth I just remind them they’ll do what’s best for them in the moment. I love that you guys got to make the best of your extended stay by learning things.

  64. Gratitude! That is where it’s at. I’m so glad you and your blessed family are well. Your share is awesome as always. God bless you all.

  65. Wow what a story, so glad everything turned out okay! This actually makes me wonder about home births. If you were doing a home birth and this complication came up, would there have been time to get to the hospital and correct the issue? Terrifying to think about imo.

    1. Yes, very terrifying and sadly, the answer is that one might not make it to a hospital in time. There are instances where cord prolapse can be corrected without an immediate c-section, but it’s not a sure thing. We were very grateful to be in a hospital!

  66. So glad that the entire family is doing well after the ordeal. It would have been a very difficult read if it hadn’t been clear from the other posts that the story had a happy ending. We got a worksheet for a birth plan from the office last week and the only note I wrote is “not die.” Really, that’s what matters. The rest is immaterial.

    Thanks for posting this. It gives me some questions to ask at this week’s appointment. All of the places within 2 hours are rural hospitals which means, among other things, that there may not actually be any obstetrician in the hospital during the delivery–the nurse-midwives handle births that are supposed to be low risk. The hospital emergency plan may just end up being “hope emergency can wait 30 minutes until on-call shows up,” but it’s worth knowing either way.

    1. I like the “not die” birth plan approach–I do think it’s good to be flexible and have healthy baby, healthy mom as the goal :). And, I hope I didn’t scare you! Cord prolapse is very rare, although I will say, it’s good to be informed about your health care options and availability. And I’m sure your hospital has a plan in place for emergencies. I wish you all the very best!

  67. Wow! I’m 22 weeks pregnant and reading this, I am so blown away! Thank you for sharing your story. I have a very similar attitude so when I learned 2 weeks ago that I may have a c section I was accepting of it, more so than I think people around me were anticipating. I’m so glad to hear that you and your family are well! Xo

    1. Congrats on your pregnancy :)! Have no fear about the c-section–you’ll do great. It was surprising to me to have one, but I can tell you that it all ends up OK. And at 8 weeks since birth, I feel great and totally healed. Plus, bonus is that baby comes out with a perfectly shaped head 🙂

  68. Thank you for sharing such a private part of your life. I too, admire you for your great positive attitude; Estelle is very fortunate to have such great role models. My daughter gave birth to her first baby just over a year ago and nothing went as expected either. Emma was two weeks overdue and labor was induced. After many hours of painful contractions and no progress, our daughter received an epidural. 24 hours after commencing labor, Emma was delivered via C-section due to problems with her heartbeat. Emma had lots of problems with latching and our daughter with her milk production. Despite huge efforts, resorting to medication, our daughter was unable to nurse her baby. For a short moment, I was deeply worried for my daughter, she was very overwhelmed. Emma is healthy and my daughter is looking forward to having another baby eventually.

    Estelle is so adorable!

    1. Thank you! So glad to hear your daughter and granddaughter are doing well :). I love the name Emma–it was one we considered!

  69. I am so glad all of you ended up healthy and happy! Fabulous that nursing went so well. I had a looooooong labor, and our little one had an Apgar of 4 coming out (9 at 5 minutes). She was quite sleepy for the first day, so it took us a bit to get up to speed with nursing.

    As you say, the key is to go with the flow and trust in your good care. So glad that you had good options in place. Circumstances like yours (and, honestly, like my very long labor) were why I chose a hospital birth.

    I hope you have recovered nicely from your c-section and are feeling great!

  70. I love your positive attitude, but it is ok to still have hard days and times you think you aren’t cut out for this parenthood gig and to express that. I had a family member tell me “you wanted this baby so badly, you don’t have the right to complain”. That was a horrible thing to say. Being madly in love with your baby and being completely overwhelmed with exhaustion and hormones and needing to “vent” are two completely different things.

    1. Oh that’s such an awful thing for your family member to say! It’s tough to parent these little people day in and day out. You’re so right about the hormones and feelings of being overwhelmed!

  71. I’m so glad to hear that you and Babywoods are okay. What a stressful ending to your pregnancy! Though it is a little funny to hear Mr. FW had to break his tranquil demeanor for his daughter’s entrance. A call to action means more from the quiet guy 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story. You have a great attitude about it all.

  72. Yes, having given birth a number of times, there were only a few that would have been considered textbook. Congratulations, your baby is beautiful.
    Please reconsider the paragraph that starts with “I had an epidural because I had nothing to prove.” At least until you’ve had time to process your emotions. I’ve had hospital c/s and home births and a baby in the NICU for months so I am not unsympathetic – it’s just that statement…..

  73. So happy that you are all fine after this scary and unexpected event! My sentiments are the same- hope for the best but always plan if things head south.
    I work at a pediatric hospital with a level 1 nursery. Emergent events surrounding labor and birth are pretty terrifying, as are some of the very serious results. So glad that both if you emerged healthy!

    1. Thank you, us too :)! And thank you for working in a pediatric hospital–we were so, so deeply thankful to all of the staff we interacted with at our hospital. You’re doing amazing work!

  74. Just wanted to say that I’m so glad that you were able to get the care you needed, when you needed it. Congratulations on your new baby, and thank you so much for all that you share of your lives.

  75. So many blessings to you! We had different complications but an extremely similar experience (undiagnosed pre-e, blue baby, huge blood loss, paralyzed vocal cord after an emergency c). Using the time in the hospital to establish a strong breastfeeding relationship was by far one of the best things that could have come out of a bad situation. I think every family should get 5-7 days with 24 care/advice in the hospital haha.

    Don’t be afraid to mourn the birth experience you were expecting. I don’t wish you anything but a blissful PP experience! But if you feel sad/mad/anxious etc it’s totally normal and a lot of moms dealing with a traumatic birth experience can feel that way.

    Many congrats on a beautiful baby & thanks for inspiring me with your blog!

    1. I agree with you on the 5-7 days in the hospital–I can’t imagine going home after just two days :)! I felt like I was just finally learning how to care for baby at 7 days! I definitely have my sad/mad/anxious moments–all part of this amazing journey I think.

  76. Oh my word! Congratulations, on doing what’s right for you, and for the baby – and on having such a flexible plan, I really admire what you did.

  77. Hi Mrs Frugalwoods, I’ve been following your blog for over a year now and realised (I’m English…) how much I had been enjoying your posts when they briefly stopped for your maternity leave! I particularly enjoy your more philosophical writing, and you’ve given me much food for thought, thank you.

    Many congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter; you are so right that in the end all that matters is that you are both healthy, and I’m sure your flexible attitude will see you through anything. Although I’m a GP (Family Physician in the US?), I also have an interest in Nutritional and Environmental/Integrated Medicine, so when I had stage 3C breast cancer at 38, some people criticised my decision to go for the full gambit of conventional medicine as well as a more integrative approach, but I wouldn’t be here without it all. Likewise your daughter needed that type of delivery to survive, so celebrate it, and enjoy this precious time.

    On another note, until my illness I was yoga mad and taught 4 evening classes a week. Even in a rural location I found it a good side hustle and wondered if you’d considered it? Like you I’m also dog mad, but my adorable opinionated little Jack Russell won’t stand for any dressing up. Shame, Frugalhound looks so cute….

    I wish you a speedy recovery and hope you can get back to your yoga soon. I look forward to reading many more posts.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your experiences! I have considered teaching yoga, but I’m not a certified yoga teacher–I’ve considered getting certified, but just haven’t taken the plunge yet. Sorry to hear your pup won’t let you dress them up 😉

  78. Congratulations to you and your family, it sounds like you handled everything like a champ. My Little Man is just 12 weeks old now, and we also had a surprise complicated birth. We almost had an emergency c-section, but then our baby decided to crown and I had to push unmedicated, super fun /s.

  79. Congratulations to all of you, and I’m so pleased it all worked out ok in the end! Being calmly prepared for and accepting of potential setbacks (in a neutral rather than a pessimistic way) is one of the tenets of the ancient philosophy of Stoicism and I think from what you write that this is your approach to life to life too, even if you don’t call it by that name.

  80. Congrats on your beautiful baby girl. I had a c section with my first (2 weeks over and induced), but went on to have 3 VBAC’s and the last 2 I had no epidural.

    I agree with planning the best you can, and going with the flow. I declined a epidural with my last 2 because I felt I recovered MUCH easier after birth, and could push how I wanted, not in the hardest position gravity wise for baby to come down. So it wasn’t a competition…I just recovered much faster and easier without it. I am thankful for my first 2 births though when I felt I needed it.

    Also, please give yourself time to process the birth and your emotions as a few others have commented. I know you have a great attitude, but it’s ok to feel some emotions over the complications and hospital stay that arose. It’s not a easy situation and I know after my c section with my first it took my another birth and awhile to process it all. (I did also have a doula with my last 3 and felt that was a huge help.) I feel my last 2 births were hugely healing and showed me births can be “normal and uneventful” after my 30 hr labor and c section with my oldest.

    1. That’s awesome you had 3 VBACs–I’m certainly hoping I might be able to go that route when/if we have more kiddos. And I agree with you on the time it takes to process all of the emotions around having a baby. It’s such a new and awesome, yet overwhelming, experience :)!

  81. How incredibly scary! She is beautiful and I’m so glad ya’ll are finally home and enjoying the sleepy haze that is newborn love. Reading your words hit me hard, as I was rushed in for an emergency c-section with my first born when he got stuck in the birth canal and heart rate was dropping. I had my epidural at that point (yay!) but once in the OR, realized it was NOT working as it should have and I could feel everything so they had to quickly put me completely under, and whisked my husband out of the room with little explanation as I drifted off in approximately 1.4876 seconds with tears in my eyes and fear in my heart. Luckily I woke up to a sumo sized baby who didn’t need much aftercare in the Special Care Nursery!

    Anyway. Phew. Your ability to roll with the punches is rather admirable! Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your candid and open nature!

  82. Holy cow, that’s scary! Kudos to you for staying calm-ish and making the best of your hospital stay. My sister had a home birth, which I attended; I remember it was reeeeally scary when the midwife was giving us pre-birth instructions about what to do in the event of a cord prolapse at which she was not present. (FWIW, sis is a NICU nurse and it’s not just an act–they really love those babies they take care of in the various levels of nursery.) Happily, it went fine.

    My two births were also c-sections, although for different reasons (just couldn’t make progress either time, stalled out) and Big Brother was also a mec baby. I didn’t even get to see him right away! I do think that birth experience is important–not having a particular KIND of birth, it’s not like you can choose from a menu, but just being treated with respect and as a full decision-making partner. I got that, so I feel good about how it went down even though it wasn’t my ideal scenario–sounds like you did, too!

    1. Glad to hear your two c-sections went well! I’m feeling pretty well recovered now at 8 weeks out, but it was definitely a long recovery period. And, yeah, there’s definitely no menu of options in an emergency, but it all worked out fine in the end.

  83. Wow, what a story. Thank you for sharing. As a planner as well, sometimes I need to remind myself that things can still go wrong and staying calm and positive is the only thing we can do. I’m so glad it all worked out and I love the picture of Babywoods in the Christmas stocking!!

  84. Hubs and I are SO glad everything went well in the end. I read him your story and his eyes got really big. He said he’s seen cord prolapse one time and it was very intense and scary with people running all around similar to what you described. I think I might have told you before but our daughter had issues with oxygen levels too and again, scary. We’re just SO glad that you have such a healthy baby. She is just so beautiful and perfect!

  85. I so admire your outlook and resolve. I have been following your blog and pregnancy with interest as my baby was due at the same time! (And I love your writing!) Weirdly, I too just had a cord prolapse and emergency c-section with people running around and a scary urgency to everything. I had to have a general anesthetic. Baby was out in six minutes and though her Apgar was 1 after birth, she is now a healthy six-week-old. It was a terrifying experience at the time (especially as my last two births were easy and natural), but now all I feel is gratitude.

    1. Oh wow–glad to hear all turned out OK with your baby too! The urgency was definitely terrifying, but I’m so thankful they moved fast and ensured that we were both safe. Our babies must be almost exactly the same age 🙂

  86. Read this and the stock market post today, both great posts, thank you, but I hated to hear how traumatic the birth and hospital stay were.. you guys went through a lot, that is for sure! It must be taking some time to recover on all counts.. But so great the NICU was supportive, my nephew and his wife had a baby this year in Manhattan and the baby had to stay in the Level Two nursery for a bit and the hospital (a major NY teaching hospital) made staying with the baby and breast feeding really difficult.. How are all the frozen meals going?

    1. That’s too bad that your nephew and his wife had challenges with breastfeeding in the nursery–I think we were very lucky to be at a smaller hospital that allowed me to be in the nursery all the time to feed her. The frozen meals are going great–good memory! We’re still enjoying them and are super glad Mr. FW made so much food for us in advance.

  87. I’m riding the NYC reading your story thru tears of happiness. Having recently discovered your blog, I’m such a fan of your family and ways of looking at life. Congrats on your bundle!

  88. Thank you for sharing the intimate details of the arrival of Babywoods. You guys are awesome and I’ve been following along with you guys for months, although this is the first time I’ve commented. When our little guy was born 16 months ago, things went perfectly until the last few moments when the the birthing process resulted in his heart rate dropping, causing him to come out quite blue. While it was momentarily scary, even for this RN daddy, he quickly pinked up and was perfectly happy and healthy. Love the happy endings and glad to hear you guys made the most of your time in the hospital…Estelle is beautiful!!!

  89. Thank you for sharing your birth story. Neither of my births turned out like I had hoped for, but like with all things in life you have to roll with the punches. Thank goodness you and babywoods are happy and healthy!

  90. Oh my gosh – we went through SO many similar circumstances with our oldest daughter’s birth! Thankfully everything turned out okay for you guys (and for us) but it’s extra freaky when it’s your kid, am I right? You guys handled it like champs – no big surprise there. Great job. 🙂 Oh, and GOOD for you for taking the epidural. I didn’t have it with oldest daughter (and Rick has the scars on his forearm to prove it 🙂 ) but you can be da** sure I insisted on it for the other three. What a blessing from heaven that thing is!! When we had 2nd daughter, Rick kept asking “Why aren’t you freaking out like you did with Maddie? You’re so calm and happy this time.”. All thanks to the blessed epidural. 🙂

    1. So glad everything turned out OK with your oldest (and your other three too 🙂 )! And, thank God for the epidural!

  91. This is exactly what happened with the birth of my first child, except in my case, the epidural failed. I’m sure you can imagine how fun that was. I got to experience the club drug the kids call “special k”, I.e. Ketamine. Good times. In any case your take it as it comes, learn as much as you can attitude will serve babywoods and the two of you well as she grows. There will be illnesses, hopefully mild. There will be accidents, ditto. And then school – ooh there’s an entire LAND of things you can’t plan for. You guys will be great. I wish you all of the best.

  92. Hi, well done! My experience with giving birth to my daughter was almost similar. I know precisely what you went through. My daughter is now 25 and studying…. how time flies. I wish you all the best and lots of fun with babywoods 🙂

  93. I just love the Frugalwood fam! Overshare w me anyday!
    I love that you are real people.
    And that your doggie is farty.
    Not Instagram perfection.

    Keep doing what you do!

  94. Wow – how scary, times two!! I’m so glad everything worked out. I, too, had an unplanned c-section, but it wasn’t quite as much of an emergency as yours.

    I have the utmost respect for women who labor without an epidural. I was most definitely not one of them, and I’m totally fine with that. 🙂

  95. HI! My name is Mylène and I’m from Canada. I have been following your blog for quite a while now. It’s been very uplifting for me so far. Thank you.

    I guess its because I read you so often that it felt so terrible when I read that blog post on babywood’s birth.

    Yesterday I learned that our 30 years old friends lost there baby in circumstances similar to Babywood’s birth(ombilical cord problem they guessed). They and we are inconsolable.

    My point is not to make you feel down or anything but rather to realise that you are very lucky to have a healthy Babywood and to enjoy.

    Take care

  96. Really glad to hear that you had a happy ending! That baby is beautiful. Love your attitude about birth and epidurals. Everyone does what works for them! It is perfect. Keep snuggling that baby.

  97. So glad you and your family are safe and happy. Your story sounds familiar to me because our baby was in the NICU for a month after being born early (33 wks) we also paid for parking for a few days until we found free parking a few blocks over 🙂 Our daughter was having “desats” it’s quite terrifying when your holding your newborn and you hear the alarms go off. Although we would of preferred not to have to go through this experience, sometimes life sends these unexpected silver lining moments, this of one of them. We went in for a routine checkup and were told your having this baby in 2 days, to say we weren’t ready would be an understatement, our baby was born on November 9 2015 at 3 lbs 11 oz and is doing great now at a hefty 11 lbs! We Got a degree in newborn care from the nurses and met so many amazing and incredibly strong parents with babies that were born much earlier than ours and in much worse shape, The NICU family room doubled as a new friend Hangout and support room. it’s truly amazing the strength of people in horrible situations. Last point, because my wife and I live a frugal lifestyle I was able to take off 4 months to be with my family during this time, frugal living does open up opportunity in all sorts of places.

    – a frugal enthusiast

  98. Found you guys through a podcast you did with Financial Independence … so happy to hear your baby is healthy and awesome! We have 5 kids and are in our 40s and (1) breastfeeding saved SO MUCH MONEY! cloth diapers I’m not so sure did (2) homeschooling kicks ass (3) we are just starting to spend less and spend smarter and save for things like travel and moving to the country so we can have chickens and the biggest garden ever made 😉 … Thanks for all you do!

  99. I love your attitude about your whole birth process. This is exactly what I am trying to do as well at 6.5 months pregnant. When the time actually comes, I wont have a rigid birth plan orchestrated in my mind. My ultimate goal is to just have a safe, healthy birth and just go with the flow. I am not ruling out the epidural, while I know people that are completely against medicated birth, I’m not sure why the negative sentiments exist around this. As long as the mother and baby are fine in the end, the way you get there shouldn’t matter. Also, no one should make you feel guilty for a having a C-section (referring to asking if you were disappointed by the outcome of your birth) this is completely out of your control and every birth is different! I’ve been following your blog for the past 6 months and love it. I love too that I’m able to read ahead at what you both are doing to prepare for your baby in a frugal way and it has given me many great ideas to do with our own baby once she is born in order to keep costs down. Keep up the great writing and of course congratulations on giving birth to a healthy baby girl!

    1. Thank you so much, Katie! I wish you all the best for a healthy birth! You certainly have the right attitude going into it. Enjoy these last few months of pregnancy 🙂

  100. Sounds like my labour. I was induced and called for an epi after 5 active hours of 1min apart contractions. At the 15hr mark the epi stopped working properly and i was numb from the hips down but my contractions moved to my back and i could feel every one. They said i could push but instantly (i wasnt aware of any of this at the time, contractions pain and all that) bubs heart stopped. The emergency button was pressed and the room full of people. Sadly i wasnt fully dilated and after the OB had to manually turn bub with her arm inside me up to her elbow then out came the forceps and out came bub. He was whisked off to the nursery with low body temp i started to hemerage. We are both fine now but it took a full 3 weeks before i could move without pain killers and 6 months before i could walk without muscle pain. They told me after that i should have had a csection much earlier in my labor but they waited too long. Moral of the story, next time, im getting a csection.

  101. I never knew cord wrap was a 1% chance. I’m part of the 1% too then. But my dad actually noticed it on the heart monitor. My heartbeat dropped whenever there was a contraction. The cord was wrapped around my neck! C section it was for my mom.
    I ended up with one as well due to no growth. My little girl was a tiny 5lbs 11 oz. but truthfully I love my c sections. No surprises no labor. Win win lol.

  102. I am not sure how I missed this post before, as I love your blog. Probably distracted with my babies! Believe it or not I have had two emergency c-section for cord prolapse – my first and my fourth children. I had two awesome VBACs in between. I also had trouble getting pregnant, many miscarriages – it seemed unbelievable that after all that the baby would some close to death during birth. It sounds like you really did great with it. Being at a good hospital is such a wonderful thing. I am inclined to do natural births, but I am so thankful for the help to step in when needed. It’s amazing to watch the people suddenly appear out of nowhere. With number four, they actually ran me down the hall with the doctor pushing the baby back up, off of his cord! It was crazy. When the same happened with my fourth, despite SO much effort to prevent it, I was disappointed, but really pretty calm. As I waited for them to knock me out, I prayed and knew things were probably going to be just fine. We are so privileged to live in a time and place when this is a bump in the road and not a tragedy! Your baby is absolutely adorable!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! And, so glad to hear you had two great VBACs in between :). Cord prolapse is such a scary, immediate thing, but I agree with you, so thankful for medical professionals and hospitals who were able to save these babies :)!

  103. Thanks for sharing your birth story. I went back to re-read it as I recently had a baby and it ended in an unplanned C section as well. Mom and baby are both happy and healthy! Though, I was curious about something…despite having very good health insurance (and pre-paying for my hospital stay, $250), we were recently hit with bills – $1,200 for me, $750 for our baby (who was treated in the hospital for an infection), and $350 for anesthesia. I went back through your post baby expense reports and see nothing re: medical bills. And so my question is – how on earth did you guys not have to pay a cent?! Just trying to better understand this for when I hopefully have baby #2! Thanks! 🙂

    1. Happy to hear you and baby are doing well :)! So we pre-paid the co-pay for Babywoods’ birth and that was inclusive of our entire hospital stay. I received a bill from the hospital afterwards, but I called both them and the insurance company who confirmed they’d already taken care of it. Always worth a call to dispute/discuss the charges in case they’re actually covered. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for your response and ahhh man, you got lucky!! I did call and unfortunately we owe the monies. GRRRR! Oh well!

  104. I just have to share that this same thing happened to me when I was being born, many years ago on November 30th. 🙂 Thanks for all you write about Mrs. FW, your blog is what has started my FI journey. I can’t thank you enough!

  105. I was diagnosed with IUGR and placental insufficiency at 37 weeks and had an induction and vaginal birth which was OK but my son stopped breathing and required a lot of oxygen support including ventilation. We had to transfer hospitals multiple times and it was traumatic. He spent 25 days in the hospital. It still gets to me three years later. Baby number 2 due in July. Fingers crossed all goes well

  106. What a bunch of excitement!! For my daughter….I knew I would get an epidural bc I wanted to be as comfortable as possible. It really helped after I was induced although I also tried laughing gas which didn’t do anything for me. I actually only pushed a few hours after I get the epidural and then had my baby is I know is entirely quick for a first pregnancy. I honestly think between the epidural and a hot shower a d washing up after that’s why i recovered so quickly. Plus a nice meal(and milkshakes).

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