Joyful and Triumphant

by Jessica Shyba on December 21, 2011

in Lifestyle,New York

Today marks the 14th day since our third baby was born, and while I’m struggling to believe it wasn’t just yesterday that we were in the hospital together, each day has brought a sense of newness all it’s own.

I’ve been thinking for the past nearly two weeks about how I want to share the story of his birth. While it wouldn’t be remarkable to most people, it was one of the most profound moments of my life.

I spent the day before I went into active labor running around from a meeting on 5th avenue to a hair appointment at Bergdorf Goodman. I was out nearly the entire day, tying up loose ends and trying to find a few moments of peace by myself, knowing that they would be the last for a very long time. This adventure out included a trip to my OB so that he could check my progress. At only 1 cm dilated, I was told nothing would be happening for a few days at least. Given my history with prodromal labor (basically non-productive labor) I ended up out until 8:00 pm that night just busying myself to distract from what I thought were Braxton Hicks.

I didn’t sleep that night. The contractions got progressively more painful but never closer than 8 minutes apart. The morning continued on as usual-I still wasn’t expecting to actually be in full blown labor until the evening, so we started the preschool drop-off’s and Justin headed to school to take a final.

By 3:15 in the afternoon, the contractions started hitting back to back. Justin was home, but we didn’t have anyone to watch the kids. Not knowing anything but what my body was telling me, I scrambled to find a sitter and when she arrived, we literally jumped into the cab that she came in and fled to the hospital.

My water broke the moment I set foot into the emergency room, and I was wheeled up to Labor & Delivery (not nearly fast enough).



This entire period of time-all 7 or 8 minutes of it-were some of the most terrifying moments of my life. Not only have I never experienced my water breaking on it’s own, but I have never given birth without pain medication. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to my children or even prepare them for us leaving. I didn’t want to deliver our son in a taxi, but that was a very, very real scenario and I knew it.

I can’t really describe in words how Beau came into this world. Delivering a child fully unmedicated was an experience that I completely believed I wasn’t fully capable of. And, after a couple of years of feeling guilty and robbed because of it, I finally came to peace with the fact that I simply must have a low pain threshold. This child’s birth was so completely different from the other two; I screamed and groaned and even yelled an obscenity during the mad rush that took place getting me from the ER to Labor and Delivery. It was chaotic and loud and unbelievably intense for the full 8 minutes I was preparing to deliver.

Beau was born in a flash after two pushes, and the feeling of peace and triumph and jubilance flooded though my veins and bounced off of the walls like rainbows in that stale hospital room.

It was a completely ethereal (and yes, very painful) experience.







I’ve been changed by the births of each of my children, and each one a little more than the first. Seeing my babies holding their siblings and gazing into each other’s eyes makes my heart beat stronger and swifter than I ever thought possible.





My life is so blessed and full, I can hardly believe it. We are so grateful.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

OHmommy December 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm


Congrats again to you and your beautiful family. Much love this holiday season.


Jana A (@jana0926) December 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

This is just beautiful. That last picture of y’all is absolutely amazing. Much love to your gorgeous and blessed family this holiday season! {ps: I was in NYC when you delivered him. }


Vicki Arnold December 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm



Patty at A Day in My NYC December 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Congratulations on your beautiful family. I am so happy for you. An amazing birth story indeed. Thank you for sharing it :)


Melanie Notkin December 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Mazel Tov to you and the entire family!!


Rosie December 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm

So proud of you super momma! Love to you all!


Erin December 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

The birth of any baby is remarkable, truly. As someone who has had a fast labor, I know how scary and painful it can be! It’s terrifying when you go from 0 to 60 in thirty seconds, but what a wild ride it is. Congratulations on your sweet, beautiful baby.


Anna December 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

What an amazing story Jessica and one you will always talk about!!!! Children truly are such a blessing and each birth is amazing in its own way. I was lucky enough to have 4 children and I can remember each birth so well and each was such a miracle. Your children are all so beautiful…..just like their parents. Congrats to you and your family!!!


wendy @ mama one to three December 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

You are so great. Big kisses lovely.


Jessica The New Soccer Mom December 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Congrats Jess! So happy for you!


YUMMommy December 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Congrats on your new bundle joy.


abra December 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm

what a beautiful story. thank you for sharing. birth is so mysterious, exhillerating, and scary all at the same time. :)

you look absolutely amazing in all the photos.

xoxo this christmas!


Angie K. December 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

What an awesome birth story. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are gorgeous. You did good, mama!


Titania (Atlanta Green Mom) December 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

So beautiful, in so many ways. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!


Bea, OT December 21, 2011 at 8:21 pm

How beautiful! You have a lovely family!


Melissa December 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Ah such an amazing experience birth is! It’s so neat each birth has been unique -just like each of your kiddos! I loved reading this, made me shed all kinds of tears! Especially those pics. Wonderful birth story and you told it so well.
love you!


Alicia December 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Congrats!!! Great story. You are so blessed. Happy to hear everything went so well and everyone is healthy.


Anastasia @ Eco-Babyz December 21, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Congrats and thanks for sharing your birth story! A friend of mine just shared her birth story yesterday and it was very similar, she was 10 cm when she got to the hospital and the doctors barely had enough time to catch the baby :) I gave birth twice without any pain meds, I thought I had a ‘low pain threshold’, I still think that way! Boy was that painful! But of course so worth it :) Here is my birth story from a month ago:


J @ ... semplicemente j ... December 22, 2011 at 1:01 am



Andrea Oft December 22, 2011 at 2:59 am

You are AMAZING! Congratulations on all of the beauty in your life!


Lorette Lavine December 22, 2011 at 4:01 am

Such a beautiful birth story…thank you for sharing…it brought back memories of working in the OB unit at NYU years back… so glad everyone was there to meet your needs that afternoon.
What a gorgeous family…lots of good wishes for a wonderful Christmas and New Year!


Serena @MamaGoesNatural December 22, 2011 at 4:35 am

Beautiful story! happy holidays to you and your family!


sara chana December 22, 2011 at 4:52 am

As a mom of 7 kids, a lactation consultant, doula ALL my clients births are like
that….easy pushing and calm after a great birth. Read some of my articles you may really enjoy them…


Michelle December 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your story with us!! Congrats.


Anna December 23, 2011 at 12:31 am

congrats to you and your wonderful family! glad you made it to the hospital in time!


Holly December 23, 2011 at 4:43 am

That last photo is priceless. You make motherhood look effortless. Congratulations.


nic @mybottlesup December 24, 2011 at 1:45 am

i have read this post so many times, i’m pretty sure i could recite it… it’s so poignant and beautiful. congratulations again.


Elaine December 28, 2011 at 5:52 am

Wow! That was fast, huh? ;) Congratulations! You are truly blessed. You’ll love having three (which I know you already do!). It’s so very wonderful. xo


sleepgh January 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this. My pregnancy hormones are making me weepy at the sight of your beautiful babies all cuddled together with your mom. What a blessing. Congratulations!


Dagmar ~ Dagmar's momsense March 6, 2012 at 3:58 am

What a great birth story. Congratulations! I’m so glad you got to experience a natural/unmedicated birth. It’s intense but so life-changing. I had my son naturally and am so glad for that experience. I felt like superwoman. :)

It’s wonderful to see you at the blogging events with your kids and even husband, and babywearing little Beau. I wish I could do all of that all over again.



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