introducing Cora Elise


It’s been awhile.

Since before I gave birth in fact.

But I am back to work now and have more face time with my computer so here I am! I’m going to try to condense this post as much as possible, but it’s been the craziest eight weeks of my life so I’m just going to apologize to you now for keeping you here for the next ten minutes to read this post.

Cora Elise Caraballo joined our family unofficially on February 23rd, 2018 – the day I transferred her in embryo form. She officially joined our family on November 14th, 2018 via a birth that was nothing like I planned but everything I needed it to be. I am a planner, so naturally, at my 39 week appointment, I scheduled an induction because the thought of going into labor and/or being on the hospital on Thanksgiving or my husband’s birthday was stressing me out. I know I need to work on this, but planning life out literally two years in advance is what I do for a living so it’s a hard habit to break.

November 13th, 2018 – Induction day!

6:00am – alarm goes off and we get out of bed. My contractions have been regular since the night prior, but definitely not strong and definitely not close enough to go in on my own. As we are walking out the door the hospital calls to let me know there aren’t currently beds available, but to call back around 10am and they will update me.

6:50am – Irwin tells me to take a nap. I laugh to myself at the thought of sleep.

10:04am – I call the hospital to get an update. I am informed they have a c-section at 11am, but once that is through they will call and I will likely be able to come in at that point.

10:30am – my contractions are getting stronger and I am in a bit of pain, they seem to be closer together so I start timing them

11:00am – the contractions have now been 4-6 minutes apart for 30 minutes. We decide to leave for the hospital at 11:30 if they keep up.

12:00pm – we arrive at the hospital as the contracting picked up and was regularly at 4-5 minutes apart for a minute a piece. I can still breathe and talk through them but it hurt to move during them. We got a room and changed into a hospital gown. They checked and I was only at 3cm and 50% effaced. They sent us to walk the halls for an hour and then they would check me again.

1:27pm – we get back to the room and are hooked up to the monitors. Contractions are coming every 3-5 minutes but I’m only at a 3 1/2 and 50%. They give me the option to go home and labor naturally through the night or start pitocin. We decide to start the pit drip thinking it might speed things up.

4:00pm – the nurses come back to get the iv and medication started. The pit drip starts at 1 and goes up to 20 – which they increase every 30 minutes. I am also hooked up to the monitors which turn out to be the most annoying part of the whole labor.

7:00pm – shift change! I loved the nurses that had been working with us up until this point. Not so much a fan of the night nurses.

8:30pm – the night nurse lets me have a sherbert! This was the best thing I had ever eaten and gave her a few brownie points.

9:30pm-7:00am – we try to sleep. Between the IV fluids making me have to pee every 45 minutes and Cora kicking the monitors every 15 minutes, I barely slept.

7:30am – Shift change! We meet the new nurses. I am still only dilated at a 4 and 60% effaced. Irwin’s dad visits and brings coffee and breakfast for Irwin. I eat my second sherbert and a hashbrown from Dunkin’ Donuts that will make another appearance later.

8:30am – Our friend and Cora’s godfather visits to keep us company for a bit.

9:30am – my doctor arrives and decides it’s time to break my water. I get up to go to the bathroom and clean up a bit while they change the bedsheets and while I’m there my contractions begin to get so strong I can hardly breathe through them.

10:30am – my mom arrives to check on us and offer moral support. I ask the nurses about pain management options since the contractions have been a minute apart and strong for the last hour. We ultimately decide to get an epidural.

12:30pm – sweet freedom – the epidural was placed {on the third try} and kicked in almost immediately. Irwin and my mom were not permitted in the room while they administered this, but by the time they came back I was cracking jokes with the nurses.

1:00pm – I took a nap. Like full blown asleep nap.

2:30pm – I wake up as the nurses were in the room to check me. I am at an 8 and 90% effaced. They told us we would likely be pushing in the next hour. We make our phone calls/texts to family to let them know Cora was on her way and would be here that night

3:00pm – I feel pressure. Like “I need to push now” pressure. Irwin calls for the nurses and I am at a 10, but still only 90% effaced. The nurse does something that gets me to 100% and it’s go time.

5:00pm – I am tired, exhausted even, and can’t bear to push anymore. I want a csection at this point because I get to a point where I just can’t anymore. I threw up – which is when the nurse inspected my vomit and likely saw the hasbrown I had earlier. My doctor comes into the room at the request of the nurse {which I found out later was because I was tearing pretty bad} and he tells me “I am going to help you, but I need you to not give up”.

5:30pm – our sweet girl, Cora, is born into the world kicking and screaming. She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. I ultimately needed an episiotomy and they had to use the vacuum to reposition her as she got stuck in the birth canal and her heart rate was dropping. Once those things happened, everything went really quick. I could feel when her head and shoulders were out and that’s when I opened my eyes to see Irwin watching the whole thing and crying in amazement. He later told me it was the most incredible thing he’s ever witnessed.

I ended up with the episiotomy, a second-degree tear, and fifteen stitches.

I wanted a completely natural birth, but honestly, I couldn’t have imagined it going any differently than it did. I felt strong, empowered, proud of myself for adapting and doing what was needed to get her here safely. The whole experience of getting pregnant, being pregnant, labor, and childbirth taught me life is never ever going to go as planned – and that’s okay because the end result is still beautiful. I’ll stop writing now and give you all the thing you came here for – the photos. Enjoy!


All photos courtesy of Ashley Sasak Photography. Believe it or not, Cora is even sweeter now than she was then. More to come…