Maurice’s Birth Story

Maurice Vinal Craig was born on June 16th at 10:56 PM in Hartford, Connecticut PRE-LABOR: Our Maurice turned six months two weeks ago, so this post is a little behind schedule. For the last six months, my world has been […]

Maurice Vinal Craig was born on June 16th at 10:56 PM in Hartford, Connecticut


Our Maurice turned six months two weeks ago, so this post is a little behind schedule.

For the last six months, my world has been focused on my little Maurice. I’ve been playing catchup since returning from my maternity leave in September in both my business and personal life. For example, I mailed my Christmas cards out on December 27th. Nonetheless, I’m showing up where I can when I have the time to do so – and now I’m ready to share Maurice’s Birth Story.

When I was pregnant I was obsessed with reading birth stories.

Now, I feel like it is only fair that I share mine – especially since it was such a positive birth experience overall!

Let’s rewind to June for a moment.

Maurice was born on Friday, June 16th; exactly five days earlier than his estimated due date of June 21st. He weighed 7lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long.

The month of June is our busiest at Mr. Trophy. I had planned to work up until June 16th, but come June 14th, I could feel the time on my feet was coming to an end. In the last week of pregnancy, my feet went from a size 8 to a size 10 due to swelling. Yes, two whole shoe sizes! So, that last week of pregnancy I purchased a pair of size 10 Walmart crocs, the only shoes I had until I delivered on June 16th!

Beyond the shoe dilemma, and even with the massive swelling, I did feel good!

So on Thursday I ran some errands, connected with friends and co-workers to announce the official start of my maternity leave, and took a quick trip to Sam’s Club. By the time I got home at 6 PM, I was so tired that I went straight to bed. I even skipped dinner. Around 4 AM I woke up and was starving. So pregnant me had a mini feast – Matt had purchased a tuna fish sandwich for me from Panera’s that night for dinner so I ate that, had a bowl of yogurt, some chips, and pretzels. It was a lot of food but I was hungry. Matt called me insane and rolled back over to sleep.

With a full tummy, I went back to bed and woke up at 6 AM per usual. However, when I got out of bed, I realized my water must have broken somewhere between my 4 AM feast and my 6 AM wake-up time…which was nuts. In hindsight this was such a peaceful way to go into labor, my water breaking was more of a slow leak so there wasn’t a mess for me to clean up. It was before Matt headed off to work, so we didn’t have to worry about meeting at the hospital, I didn’t have to count contractions – I got to go swiftly and calmly straight to the hospital.

I arrived at the hospital and was admitted into a Labor & Delivery room by 9 AM on Friday, June 16th at 3 cm dilated with really no pain. From 9 AM until 3 PM it was just a waiting game of getting dilated, walking, bouncing on the ball, and distracting myself.


Whenever I read anyone’s birth stories I always read that line that ‘they wish they got the epidural earlier’ because it can take a little while to administer the epidural from when you request it (you have to have fluids first, they need to call the anesthesiologist, etc). Luckily, I knew our labor and delivery unit was a full house. So, around 3 PM at 5 cm dilated I was ready to prepare for the epidural.

At this point I felt uncomfortable contractions but nothing that wasn’t manageable to me. Was I uncomfortable? Yes. Was there moments of pain? Sure. But, I felt very in control – calm, peaceful, and I was excited!

Leading up to giving birth, I was nervous I’d be anxious or fearful of the “labor to come.” I’m sure it’s part adrenaline, but I felt no sort of crippling fear or dread. Rather, I felt pure excitement – even in the painful moments!

By 4 PM, I had been given the epidural and I felt great! The nurse was helping me move from side to side to evenly distribute the epidural. They also had me do some downward dog-like positions to help the baby rotate because he was sunny-side up and somewhere in all that moving and grooving my epidural stopped working.

I will say going into labor with the idea of my epidural not working was my biggest fear. So, I might have manifested that and by 6 PM my epidural had fully stopped working. The anesthesiologist was in two back-to-back emergency c-sections. So from 6 PM until 10 PM – I was sucking it up and waiting it out.

The contractions were certainly tougher to handle because they were one right after the other. However, in my opinion, the contractions were less painful than my middle-of-the-night pregnancy Charlie-horses. Those would have me in tears, and less painful than the early labor cervical exams.

By 9:30 PM the anesthesiologist had a short window to view me. He determined that the epidural had moved in my back. So, he adjusted it and came back 30 min later to check on me. By 10:00 PM I was just about 10 CM dilated. And with still no pain relief so he gave it one last adjustment shot. I finally felt the pain medicine release!

With that, my doctor gave me 30 minutes to rest, numb, and regroup before pushing at 10:30 PM.


When 10:30 PM came we were ready to go!

By this point, I felt very calm and comfortable. With a sense of joy I knew it was time to push out my baby.

Thank you to the medical team for giving me the time to regroup and relax after the four hours of contractions without my epidural. Being in less contractional pain had me feeling more present and mindful that a baby was coming. I could talk and listen to what was happening. Whereas when I was riding the pain, I was mostly just focused on breathing. I don’t even remember what happened during those hours. I’m sure my eyes were closed the entire time, as I focused on the deep breath work I saw on Tiktok.

For me, the epidural helped in feel like myself in the process. When my doctor told me it was time to start pushing Matt turned on Old Dominion radio via Spotify to play from our portable Marshall speaker. After five rounds of pushing just a short 25 minutes later – Maurice was born.

For me, active labor was the most peaceful part of labor.

The music was calm. Matt was at the head of the bed facing the wall trying not to faint. And I was able to talk and actively listen to my mom and medical staff coaching me through the process. I think I assumed I’d be in labor for much longer so when they said he was coming. I was kind of like “Yeah – okay.” But nope he came as quickly and as peacefully as I could have EVER asked for.


Our baby Maurice is perfect.

I know every parent says that but I swear he’s as good as they get. He is so patient, with both Matt and me as we navigate this new thing called parenthood. He’s so happy and also has such a healing and comforting energy to him. His presence is very calm. It’s a vibe I picked up from him during my entire pregnancy. It was partly the reason he ended up with what might have been his middle name as his first.

Maurice felt very old-soul to me, even from the womb. So, I decided to name him after my grandfather. And save the spunky little name I originally had picked out for maybe another child down the line if it felt right.

He loves to cuddle, he loves to sleep, he loves his Daddy and he loves his home. He’s an introvert for sure. Maurice is a true Gemini born on National Veggie Day and is the biggest fan of Dancing Veggies on YouTube. He lives for wheels on the bus and has just started eating food this week. He is 100% already a foodie – he loves to eat.

Giving birth to Maurice was the highlight of my year. I’m so grateful to have had such a good birthing experience.

As someone who read a lot of birth stories while pregnant, I will say this to expecting mothers:

I spent a lot of time, especially in the last couple of weeks, worrying that I’d be afraid. I was fearful I’d be incapable of getting through the labor process. As soon as my water broke – even when I was in pain – the anxious thoughts disappeared. My overall emotions at the hospital were not fear-based. Instead, I was simply excited! I was so excited to meet Maurice. That was my only focus during the whole process which made it an enjoyable ride!

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