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Labor of love

on January 29, 2009

Griffin was ONE WEEK old yesterday! In honor of his one week birthday, I thought I’d post the details on how he came into the world. 🙂 I actually meant to get this post done yesterday but, because my baby boy is pretty unpredictable (as babies are), I had to put in on hold.

At about 3am on Tuesday, January 20, contractions woke me up. I had been having them all night but, since they weren’t too bad, I had written them off as Braxton Hicks. Since I couldn’t sleep and also since my cousin, Lyn found me this awesome online tool to time contractions called Contraction Master, and researched daycares. The contractions were about 30-45 seconds long and about a minute to a minute and a half apart with some really long once thrown in for good measure.

Our doctor told us to call when the contractions were 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour. Since my contractions weren’t that long, I just waited and kept timing until they started getting pretty strong. I woke up Scott and he said we should just call the doctor so I did. Unfortunately, there was a problem with their emergency answering service so it was almost an HOUR AND A HALF before we heard anything from the on call doctor. She said we should just go ahead and go in. If it was false labor, they’d send us home. If it was true labor, they’d admit us.

When we got to the hospital at about 8am, we found out that I was dilated about 5 centimeters! Needless to say, the admitted us. At this point, the contractions still felt pretty mild. They left me slightly breathless, but I was okay. We hung out, Scott put on a movie and, by the time my doctor came in at about 10am, I was dilated 8 centimeters. They broke my water and said that I could have the baby by lunchtime!

Unfortunately, lunchtime came and went and nothing had really changed.

Between contracts

Between contractions

I think I should mention at this point that Scott and I wanted to keep the birth as natural as possible. I really did not want an epidural. Not because I think I’m super ultra strong or tough, but because I didn’t want any drugs coursing through my system unless it was absolutely necessary. Also, I learned about what an epidural entails in my childbirth class and I just wasn’t into the spinal block injection or the numbing. I can be a control freak and I did not like the idea of not being able to really feel that part of my body.

So, the doctor and nurse asked if I wanted an epidural because they would probably have to start me on pitocin which would really kick up the contractions and I refused. The drip started and the contractions changed from being mildly painful to hurting really bad. After some more time passed and the contractions started to grow more and more unbearable, Lori, our nurse checked me again and this time I felt a gush of liquid leak. As it turns out, either my bag of waters didn’t break completely the first time or I had a second bag. After THAT broke, the contractions came fast and furious. They never seemed to end!

When I was finally able to push, I was so surprised at how much better I felt. I was also surprised at how tiring pushing can be. Luckily, I happened to be a good pusher AND Griffin was extremely helpful at making his way down the birth canal. After just a few set of pushes, they could see most of his head! Unfortunately (gee, I seem to be saying that a lot!), there was no sign of my doctor! The nurse kept trying to get a hold of her but, since she couldn’t, she told me I had to stop pushing for a while. That was AWFUL NEWS! Not only did pushing feel better, but it meant that I was that much closer to giving birth! Stopping was not easy, but I had to excellent coaches (Scott and Lori) so toughed it out.

When the doctor finally got there, it was just a few more pushes until Griffin slid on out! They told me that I pushed for about 20 minutes. All I can say is that if 20 minutes of pushing was hard, I feel really bad for the people who have to push for hours!

Minutes old Baby Griffin

Minutes old Baby Griffin

Anyway, Griffin was as perfect as he could be. It was such an amazing feeling to finally see him and hold him. It was even more amazing that it was over! It was both the longest and shortest day of my life!

Our nurse was absolutely incredible! I was doing A LOT of moaning and screaming, and she was continually understanding and supportive. My appreciation for that profession has increased a thousandfold. She was instrumental in bringing Griffin into the world just because of all the support she offered.

I don’t what I would have done without Scott there. He was the most encouraging, patient, sweet coach. I drew a lot of my strength from him. For me, it takes our marriage to a whole new level. It’s something beyond parenthood. I know even more that I can depend on him when I need him. His positive outlook really helped me through a lot.

So, that’s the long and gruesome story of Griffin’s birth. Holding him in my arms for the very first time made the pain of labor seem miniscule. He is our world and our miracle.

Our little family

Our little family

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One response to “Labor of love

  1. Lyn says:

    Aww…I am so happy for you and Scott!!! If I haven’t told you already (I’m sure I have!) you are AWESOME parents.

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