**Warning: Longest Post Ever!**
Our baby turned 1 year on Saturday. I was going to try and get this up over the weekend, but honestly, I spent the day just soaking him in. In honor of his birthday I’m (finally) sharing his birth story.
Side note – I left out the gory details. ;)
~ For those who don’t want or have time to read the whole story, I have put a very short summary at the end.
There is no way you can fully know what to expect during labor and delivery. My experience is nothing like I ever imagined. I will say, in some ways my experience was more scary than I thought it would be, yet also so much better at the same time.
It was a normal Thursday. I was due in 3 weeks and was working hard to get caught up at work and have everything ready for my due date. (Yes, I was planning on working right up until the day I delivered). I had my weekly appointment scheduled that day so I got some things done and headed straight there. Unfortunately there was a scheduling mix up and I ended up waiting 45 minutes for my appointment. They finally called my name and I went back only to wait yet another 30 minutes to actually see one of the midwives. At this point I was on the verge of leaving because I needed to get back to work, but just as I got up to leave my midwife walked in. We talked about how everything was going and then she pulled out the measuring tape to measure the size of my abdomen. She said, you know, you’re measuring a little small (this was now the second week in a row). “You’re the same size as you were last week, I think It’s a good idea to do an ultrasound just to make sure everything’s okay.” (Looking back now I realize she was acting like it was no big deal just to keep me calm).
Now, in case you are wondering where my husband was, I will take a moment to explain. The office was a 25 minute drive from where we lived and this was supposed to be a quick 10 minute appointment just to check how things were going, so we had previously agreed that there was no need for him to drive all the way in for this appointment. However, for some reason instead of going to bed (he works graveyard and sleeps during the day) he just had a feeling he had to stay up. Mikey didn’t know why, he just felt like he needed to.
They were able to get me in on the next ultrasound appointment, so I only had to wait a little bit longer. All the while I’m trying to remain as calm as possible because I knew at this point he should have definitely grown since the previous week, especially since I was in my 3rd trimester. I told Mikey, to be on stand by because I didn’t know what was going on aside from the size being off.
I finally get called back and they jelly my belly up and began the ultrasound. The exciting part about this was that I got to see my baby again. She showed me that he had hair and tried to get a picture of his face but his little arms were in the way (he always had his hands by his face, so cute!). Then, almost sounding shocked, she asked “did you know that your baby isn’t head down”? He was head down the previous week, so clearly he had moved! She did quite a bit of measuring our little guy and then said she needed to go talk to Kelly, my midwife, and that she would be right back. A few minutes later she told me that I can go back and Kelly would be right with me.
Unfortunately some of the details are a bit foggy at this point, but when Kelly came in, she sat down right next to me, so I knew something wasn’t right. She looked at me and said that the baby was smaller than what he should be this far along in the pregnancy. Because I am such a small person they weren’t expecting me to have a big baby, but he needed to be bigger than he was now. She was going to have me meet with one of the doctors on staff and we would go from there.
In walks Dr. Kopp, she sat down on the chair and started going over the details. Because our little guy was so small she said we needed to induce today because he’s just not getting the nutrients and oxygen he needed. They were afraid if they waited any longer we would be risking a still birth. At that I completely burst into tears. She also recommended doing a Version (the process of moving the baby to head down manually).
I was instructed not to eat anything, not to go home, not to go back to work, and that I needed to head straight to the hospital and wait for her there. My head was spinning. I had just packed my hospital bag that weekend, so I was thankful for that, but there were still things I needed! My glasses, my going home outfit (it was in hamper waiting to be washed!), my toothbrush, all the last minute stuff. And then there was work. Oh gosh, there was work. I still had stuff I needed to do. And then there was our dog. My brother was supposed to watch her but I was going to take her to get groomed that weekend! And speaking of dog, our house needed to be vacuumed! The baby can’t come yet, I need to vacuum!! I’m not ready!
I walked to the car in a daze, taking deep breaths. I called Mikey and told him he needed to pack the bags and take Kahlua out. He was telling me not to cry and that it was going to be ok, but I knew he was freaking out too. I called my mom. I called my brother. I was about to call my sister when I got a call from the doctor with the best news at the moment. The hospital was full and I was to wait until 3:00. Thank the Lord!! I had some time. I took this opportunity to run back to work and give everyone the run down on what needed to be taken care of. It was actually really awesome because it gave me the chance to say goodbye to everyone and also get lots of hugs and a really awesome send off from everyone. I left feeling so much better (about work anyway!). Still feeling completely dazed I walked to the car and called my sister on the way home and talked the whole 25 minute drive (we have a built in blue-tooth in our car, so I was completely hands free).
Walking in the door I felt at a complete loss as to what to do first. Kahlua was a mess. She knew something was wrong and kept crying and whimpering and pacing. I felt so bad for her! It was so stressful and unfortunately no amount of petting her and telling her it’s okay was helping. We decided to take her on one last walk before we left. It will probably be one of my favorite memories actually. It was one of the last quiet moments we had together.
After the walk we piled all our things in the car and drove to the grocery store to pick up some snack items for Mikey for the stay at the hospital. It was such a surreal experience. Here we were getting ready to have a baby and everyone was just going about their normal day. Our lives were about ready to be turned upside down and no one had a clue.
Once finished at the grocery store (which took forever by the way), we then drove to the hospital. I don’t remember much of the drive except that it was a beautiful day. It was sunny and a little crisp out. We were a little over halfway there when I felt the baby shift. “Mikey, I’m not sure, but I think he may have turned head down”. I really hoped that was the case, but we were soon going to find out.
This was a very different experience than what I expected. I checked myself in as if we were just checking into a hotel for the weekend, then we waited. There was no one around, which was really weird. Since they were so busy earlier I figured there would be at least someone else there too. We finally were taken back to triage where they took no time in getting started. I changed into the super flattering hospital gown (I had debated on buying my own for delivery, but I decided that I didn’t want to spend money on something that was probably going to get really nasty).
Next I was filling out a consent form as they were telling me all the risks of having a version done. Let me tell you, if this were ever to happen again I think I will just opt for the c-section. That by far was the scariest consent form I have ever filled out. I just put my trust in God and the doctors that they knew what they were doing.
After this the nurses started bringing in all sorts of different equipment while another nurse pushed slightly on my stomach to try and get a feel for the baby’s positioning. At this Gryffin really did not like getting pushed on and pushed out his fist in protest. He pushed SO hard that he raised my stomach out and the nurse could grab his tiny little fist – our jaws all dropped! She also agreed that she thought he might have turned head down. They pulled in the portable ultrasound machine and low and behold, he had moved head down on the drive. Thank you Jesus! I no longer had to worry about the version.
The induction began right at 5:00 p.m. From here the fun began.
The Birthing Room
Here is where things were completely different than what I imagined (as if it wasn’t already ;). I figured things were going to happen really quickly, but it couldn’t be more opposite. The nurse came in and asked me all sorts of questions, mostly general information questions. I signed a lot of papers and was asked all sorts of things. Then Kelly came in to sit with me for a little while and made sure I was doing okay. She made sure dinner was brought up for me, which was a happy surprise since I didn’t think I was going to be able to eat. Unfortunately, it happened to be a meatloaf that I ended up giving to Mikey because I thought it was disgusting. I devoured the mashed potatoes and gravy though and I even had cheesecake and tea. Mikey decided to take a nap. Guys…his nap turned into falling asleep the rest of the night. To be fair, he had been up almost 24 hours at this point so it was pretty understandable.
So there I was…waiting, waiting, and waiting for the balloon to fall out. It wasn’t unilt 2:00 in the morning that if finally fell out. It took 9 HOURS. And you would think that I would have slept at least a little, but nope, I was awake the whole time. It was a relief to finally have that part over with. I finally got a couple hours of sleep in and woke up around 7:00 a.m. Thankfully Mikey woke up too. We watched a lot of TV and I talked on the phone throughout the day with family. I tried watching Gilmore Girls and all sorts of different movies, but I just couldn’t focus. I was just so nervous about becoming a mom. As time went on my fears started to subside and I was more anxious to meet my little guy.
I was checked at 1:15 and since I wasn’t making much progess they decided to break my water (gross!). Finally from here things started to progress. Contractions became strong and by 3:00 I had a contraction that made my eyes water. I tried to tough it out, but by 3:30 I decided to go for the epidural. It was a 30 minute wait and by that time I started to wish I had asked for it sooner. I held Mikey’s hands as I received the epidural. After that was done everything was wonderful. I mean, I hated that I couldn’t move my legs, but I was thankful not to feel increasingly uncomfortable. I tried taking another nap since I knew my chance for sleep was slipping by. Mikey decided he better take a nap too.
I believe I was checked for progress at 6:30. I don’t remember where things were at, but still not as far as I had hoped. By 7:00 p.m. I was bored out of my mind and Mikey was still asleep so I called my brother again and we talked about my nephews and babies in general. By 7:30 I realized I was having a hard time talking. Even with my epidural I could feel my contractions getting stronger and closer together. I was trying to concentrate on having a conversation when I suddenly felt a drop. It was at that point I knew I could’t wait until 8:30, I needed to be checked now. I quickly got off the phone and called the nurse back in. It only took about 2 seconds before she said “yep, let me call Kelly. You’re ready to start pushing.”
Next thing I know my room was transformed into a delivery room. It looked completely different. It was now completely bright. Tables and stations were moved in and around. NICU was on standby and waiting as none of us fully knew what kind of state our little guy would be in once he was delivered.
Before I knew it Kelly was there and asking if I was ready. I looked at Mikey and whispered that I was scared (pushing was what I was most afraid of, I was afraid of the pain, I was afraid of how hard it was going to be). He held my hand. It was quiet in the room. They instructed Mikey on how to help hold me for support. Then I was instructed it was best to wait and push whenever I felt a contraction. It felt like time almost stood still. I finally felt a contraction come and pushed. I took a breath, pushed, took and breath and pushed again. Then it was time to rest until the next contraction. I remember being shocked. I mean, that’s it?! It didn’t hurt, in fact, it just felt like a weird ab workout. There was no screaming involved. It was such a quiet and calm experience – nothing like I had ever imagined it was going to be like. I was super, super thirsty though. No ice chips for me. I chugged water in between pushes.
A few more sets of contractions and pushes came and went and next thing I know I’m being asked if I want to feel his head. I was like “ummm no, that’s ok”, but then when she asked again after the next push I decided just to feel a little bit. His little head was so tiny and squishy. I had two pushes left and there he was! My little baby! I was so in awe! Kelly handed him to me. He was so slippery I was afraid I was going to drop him, but then he was laying on top of me and we were somehow being wiped off and wrapped up in blankets all at the same time.
I looked up at Mikey and smiled and he smiled back. Then I looked down at Kelly and that’s when I noticed something was wrong. The look on Kelly’s face and the nurse was very serious. The next thing I noticed was all the blood. I heard Kelly then ask for the nurse to call for the doctor. I looked up at Mikey and told him I didn’t know what was going on but that I was just going to look at our precious little baby. Mikey was being very calm but by the look in his eyes I could tell he was nervous too. I looked down at our little Gryffin and couldn’t believe how quiet he was, just laying there breathing on my chest.
I looked down again. Both the nurse and Kelly still had the same looks on their faces. Kelly looked at me and then started to explain. The umbilical cord is supposed to help pull the placenta out, but instead the umbilical cord shot back and the placenta started to shred so they had to try and remove every piece by hand.
The doctor walked in and evaluated the situation. He instructed them to redo the IV since it didn’t seem to be flowing correctly and then he checked to make sure every piece of the placenta had been removed. Next I was being sewn up while I continued to cuddle and stare in awe at my baby.
They took our little Gryffin to weigh and measure him and get his stats. He weighed a whopping 4lbs, 10 oz. and was 19 inches long. He was tiny, but perfect and healthy. They brought him back to me and we started to nurse. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I knew nursing didn’t always come naturally, but he latched effortlessly and we were off to a great start. I had a perfect baby boy!
After we were done nursing we were wheeled into our postpartum room. I received the instructions to feed Gryffin every 2 hours and that I was to wake him up to eat if he was still sleeping. Waking him up proved to be quite the task.
Mikey was a champ through it all. He helped me with every single request I had with absolutely zero complaints. He changed almost every single diaper for the first 3 days and learned how to swaddle him better than I ever could. He even put his foot down and told the nurse she needed to come back later to let me sleep. Seriously guys, he deserves a husband and dad of the year award!
We spent the day Saturday getting to know our little guy. We had visitors off and on throughout the day. My first real meal after delivery was a Jimmy Johns Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sub sandwich – so good! Friends also brought in in all sorts snacks and goodies. One of my friends went above and beyond and surprised me with a whole new nursing wardrobe! I mean, I was completely blown away. I honestly couldn’t thank her enough!
We had our final night in the hospital that night and were released Sunday morning with a packet full of instructions and a tiny bundle of joy.
It was pouring rain and rather cold that day. It was kind of scary bringing a brand new baby home, yet equally exciting. Introducing Kahlua (our dog) and Gryffin went well for the most part, except Kahlua was afraid of him and didn’t really want anything to do with him, but she followed me everywhere.
We began the cycle of nursing, changing diapers, and sleeping. We watched movies including Moana, which now I get all sentimental whenever I see it or hear the music.
This has been one crazy and exciting year. Our lives have been forever changed and we couldn’t be more honored and proud to be Gryffin’s parents.
My original due date was mid April, but I was induced 3 weeks early due to our baby’s size being so small. He stopped growing and wasn’t getting the nutrients or oxygen he needed. 28 hours had passed from the time I was induced to the time he arrived. He weighed 4lb, 10oz. NICU was on stand-by but he was doing so great they weren’t needed. Thank you Jesus!! After being weighed and taken care of he started nursing just fine. I, on the other hand, had issues with the placenta, but they were able to get it taken care of without further complications. We came home with a beautiful baby boy and we couldn’t be more blessed.
Upcoming Posts: Currently: March Edition, March 2018 Goal Recap, Gryffin’s Birthday Party Post!
Also – please let me know if you like baby (now toddler!) specific posts, including updates and “what’s in your bag/diaper bag/pump bag”, etc.
I hope you all are having a wonderful Monday!