Griffin’s After Birth

Griffin relaxing and enjoying the herbal bath

Griffin relaxing and enjoying the herbal bath

 

As Kayla and Heather helped me catch my beautiful baby boy, and I laid him on my chest for the first time, my heart was so full! I was so excited that he was here! I then noticed that he wasn’t crying, and he wasn’t all newborn pink like I remember Ian and Hazel being. Knowing that babies born in the water sometimes take a little longer to transition, I tried to not worry. I realized that he had not taken his first breath yet. (Still trying to not freak out) Griffin was obviously taking his sweet time getting adjusted to life outside the womb and making everyone nervous in the process. I started rubbing his back and Heather told me to talk to him to see if he would respond. I was getting worried. I started asking if he was ok. I can’t remember if I asked this aloud or in my head. The calmness, but prompt attentiveness of Heather and Kayla were the only reasons I was not completely flipping out. Heather asked if she could give him a breath. (Like I would have said no!) Heather gave him a breath and everyone was sweetly encouraging him to take a breath and start crying. He finally did take a his first breath and start crying. I think I started to breathe again also. The total time that went by between the time he was born and when he took that first breath was probably under a minute, but it was the longest minute of my life!

 

Griffin getting some skin to skin with Daddy while our midwife checks up on him.

Griffin getting some skin to skin with Daddy while our midwife checks up on him.

As soon as I knew everything was fine, (he still wasn’t very “newborn pink” and his face was pretty swollen and bruised, but he was fine) I remembered my mom was still in the living room! I was sad that she had not been in the room when he was born. (She was there when both Ian and Hazel were born) So I had to get her in here as soon as possible. I had someone go get her. I felt relieved when she came in and apologized for not letting her know when he was about to be born. She, being the most wonderful mother ever, said she didn’t want to get in the way and knew she would get to see him. (Yeah, I do have an awesome mom, be jealous!) I then announced that his name was Griffin Daniel! This was the fun part because no one at all knew what we were going to name the baby. Most people knew that his name would start with the letter G, but no one knew the name. So it was fun to reveal his name to everyone.

 

Newborn exam

Griffin and I stayed in the tub a while, pretty much until the water started getting cold and I was worried he was going to get cold. He was pretty swollen in the forehead and eye area, and he had a cone head too. I’m thinking it was from being squished in my pelvic bone for so long before he was born, but who knows. The move from the tub to the bed is always an interesting trip after giving birth, especially with his cord still attached, but we soon got comfortable in the bed. (On Jeff’s side of the bed, which I am still sleeping on, four weeks later!) We waited until the cord stopped pulsing, well really my midwives just let us have a little time to soak everything in and then Jeff cut the cord. I was so proud of Jeff. He does not do well with blood, but has cut the cord with each baby. Let’s just say this time was definitely the least eventful. I found that I had only torn just a little bit with this birth (I had torn more significantly with the other two) which was actually a little surprising given Griffin’s shoulder got stuck and needed a little help. Kayla would only have to put two stitches in, which she did after our herbal bath (I’ll get to that) I waited for what I felt like was forever and delivered the placenta. Heather, Kayla and I “Oooed” and “Ahhhed” over it while Jeff and my mom were totally weird-ed out by our fascination. (It’s a birth worker thing and they just didn’t understand) This was the organ my body made to grow and sustain life inside of me! That is so cool! It was also in the shape of a heart which I thought was really cool too!

 

Kayla listening to Griffin during his newborn exam.

Kayla listening to Griffin during his newborn exam.

 

Griffin and I started our adventure in trying to nurse. He didn’t nurse very well the first few attempts, even with the help of Kayla. I was worried this would be the start of a very difficult nursing journey. Later on in the night he seemed to get a little better and my mind was put to ease. While I was trying to nurse, I sent my mom to go get us I-HOP. Eating I-HOP after a birth is kinda my thing. I did it after I had Hazel and it was the best meal of my life. So why ruin such a great thing. The main thing I wanted was BACON! I told my mom to get me some food with bacon. When she returned she found out that I-HOP got everything right except the bacon. I kid you not! They gave us sausage instead. THREE orders of bacon and we ALL ended up with sausage! Seriously?! I was upset! I had just given birth and I wanted some bacon, dang it! It was even on the receipt as bacon! As you can tell, I am not still bitter about that! While we ate our I-HOP (minus our bacon) Kayla gave Griffin his full newborn exam. His official newborn stats were that he was 20 inches long and weighed 7lbs 2oz. He was long and skinny like his daddy. Griffin was officially the runt of our litter. He weighed 8oz less than Ian and almost a pound less than Hazel! He was so tiny compared to them, and I loved it!

 

Griffin being weighed by our midwife. He was 7lbs 2oz!

Griffin being weighed by our midwife. He was 7lbs 2oz!

 

Griffin’s birth story concludes with my favorite part of having a home birth, the herbal bath. This is where a mix if herbs and salts are brewed like tea and poured into a bath for mommy and baby to soak in. This is considered baby’s first bath and the herbs and salts are to help with the healing process for the mom. It is also a magical bonding time between mommy and baby. Griffin and I soaked for a long time. Pretty much until the bath was no longer warm. Heather was so gracious enough to take a few pictures of Griffin in the tub and I will cherish those pictures forever! Heather and Kayla stayed for maybe another hour and then left with many congratulations and “Great job Momma!”. They were truly wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a better birth team for Griffin’s birth. Not only are they wonderful at what they do, it is obvious they love it as well.

 

This is part 3 of Griffin’s birth story. If you want to read part 1 and 2 click on the links below:
Part 1: Intro to Griffin’s Birth
Part 2:Griffin’s Birth Story

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Griffin’s Birth Story

Griffin and I in the herbal bath. Jeff and I couldn't help but admire him!

Griffin and I in the herbal bath. Jeff and I couldn’t help but admire him!

It was about 4 in the morning on October 18 and a contraction had rudely waken me from my sleep. I wasn’t in that much pain, but it was much more comfortable to walk than to be lying in bed. So I paced the bedroom dealing with the contractions as they came. They were strong, but not too painful and consistently about 10 minutes apart. I was skeptical that I was actually in labor, It just didn’t feel “right” yet. As I was pacing my bedroom two songs kept popping in my head. “Strange Things” by Randy Newmen and “Here It Goes Again” by OK Go. I had made a labor play list and needless to say, neither of these songs were on it! Not sure what my brain was trying to tell me at this point. Anyways, I tried to rest a little so I could go to Ian’s t-ball game later that morning. I didn’t rest much. Actually, my contractions started coming faster, but not getting any stronger. It was really starting to frustrate me. Was this really labor?

 

I called my midwife, Kayla just to let her know what was going on. She asked how strong my contractions were (I was able to talk just fine while having one), if I had a “bloody show” yet. (Not yet, which was why I was so skeptical of it being real labor) and if she should head on over. My gut told me it was way too early. Plus I was feeling pretty good. Jeff and my mom did talk me out of going to Ian’s t-ball game that morning though. My mom (my wonderful mom) took both kids to the t-ball game and just got them out of the house for a while. It was great for all of us. I told Kayla I wanted to wait until my mom and the kids left the house and see if stuff would pick up. I figured without the craziness of the kids in the house, my contractions would pick up and the party would really get started, BUT NO! My contractions stopped completely! Ugh! How frustrating! I told Kayla to hold off and that I would keep her updated (Side note: Kayla was slightly concerned I wouldn’t call her in time to make it to the birth.). I decided to try and take a nap since my contractions stopped and the house was quiet.

 

At lunch time I was feeling pretty good. I had been able to get a little rest and my contractions were milder and were pretty sporadic; 15 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 23 minutes. As frustrating as that was, I was kinda thankful for the break. I ate lunch with everyone at the table, getting up to walk every time a contraction would come. I wasn’t able to sit during a contraction because baby was already so low it was VERY uncomfortable. At lunch I tried to make plans to go to the annual Olde Tyme Days Festival downtown. It’s one of the biggest events in our small town and is my favorite! I didn’t want to miss out! Again, Jeff and my mom finally talked me out of going. I did decide to call my chiropractor to see if she could adjust me and maybe help kick start labor.

 

Now, I see my chiropractor every week, but it just so happened that the past week, my chiropractor (well both of them since they are married, its a family business) went out of town for the week! Of all the weeks, they picked this one! I know, totally not their fault and they totally deserved that week away because they are AWESOME! Anyways, they said if I do need them, they would be back in town around noon on Saturday. Guess when I called them! Dr. Allie so graciously said that it would be no problem for me to get adjusted (even though she just got back from vacation!) We decided to meet her at her office at 2:30. This trip would have been uneventful except we couldn’t get out of Hutto! Our town is divided by a railroad track and to get out of Hutto you have to cross the tracks. Well, there had been an accident and the entire road was shut down and the alternate route was so backed up we had to turn around! Just what I needed! When we FINALLY made it to the office (like 45 minutes late!) I was so relieved. Dr. Allie was wonderful! She took her time, adjusted me, and asked me how everything was feeling as we went. When she got done I felt so much better! Seriously SOOO much better! She also did a little acupuncture to help me relax and hopefully jump start labor. She jokingly said that I might want Kayla to meet me at my house when I got back. I was skeptical. She said that this particular acupuncture would either help labor pick up or stop labor depending on what my body was supposed to do. (whether it was time or not) I was convinced it was going to stop my labor, but I just pushed the negativity out and decided that I was going to be happy with whenever baby wanted to come. (Even though I REALLY wanted him to come today, but more on that later)

 

We finally made it home around 5:00PM with a short detour to Chicken Express. I was pretty beaten down and frustrated. I felt like this darn baby was just teasing me and that he would never come. I admitted defeat and decided to go take a nap. I was convinced baby wasn’t coming today and that we would just have to wait until he was ready. I was actually able to take a good hour and a half nap until I was jolted awake by a very strong contraction. I was very surprised and a little excited, but they were only around 15 minutes apart. My mom and the kids were watching Cinderella when I woke up (not sure why I remember that). I watched the rest of the movie with them and paced around the house laboring, and monitoring my contractions. At about 7:15PM I texted Kayla. I could tell my contractions were a little different. They were getting more intense and making me feel cold, but still no bloody show. This usually is a good sign of cervical changes, which is why I was so concerned it had not happened yet. If the cervix doesn’t change and start dilating, then baby’s gonna have a hard time getting out!

 

Griffin enjoying the herbal bath with Mommy.

Griffin enjoying the herbal bath with Mommy.

At about 7:30PM I texted Kayla to tell her I had finally had some bloody show. Yay cervix! Now the party has started! My contractions were now 7-10 minutes apart and I was pretty heavily laboring….on the toilet. Ugh! Yes, the toilet was the most comfortable place for me to labor and I hated it! Sitting on the pot while is labor is the most unflattering thing EVER! By about 8:00PM my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and were more intense. And yes, I was still laboring on the toilet (Ugh! How embarrassing!)

 

At about 8:15PM Kayla decided she was going to head on over to our house. I was freaking out a little, thinking it might be to early. Yes, I was heavily laboring ON THE TOILET, groaning through each contraction, but still thought Kayla was coming too early! About 10 minutes after that things really started getting intense and I made Jeff call Kayla to make sure she was on her way. Later Kayla said she knew it was serious when she answered the phone and Jeff was on the other end. The entire time Kayla was en-route I was freaking out that she may not make it in time. The contractions were intense and I could tell things were changing. I felt baby move lower and lower and I knew it couldn’t be long (Eventually, lower means out, right?!) Jeff was a champ during this time. He reminded me to calm down, relax and let my body do what it needed to do. He is the best birth coach I could ask for. He knew when I was starting to get overwhelmed and could help calm me down.  Later he said he likes the in-labor Katie because he can tell me what to do and I do it without arguing. (I let that little comment slide because he is the best birth coach and I couldn’t have done it without him)

 

Even though I was handling labor well on the toilet, I really didn’t like it. I decided to move to the tub where I hoped the water would help with the pain from the contractions (my midwife from Hazel’s birth called it an aqua-dural). Our house is not the ideal place for a birthing tub, so I opted out and decided to use our tub instead. I finally got into the tub about 10 minutes before Kayla got there. (Yes, she made it in time) Little did I know, this was where my little Griffin was to be born.   The water made the contractions more intense, but a little less painful. I was still able to handle the contractions as they came, but not as well as I was on the toilet. Frankly, I didn’t care because at least I wasn’t sitting there anymore!

 

Kayla arrived around 9:00PM. She listened to baby and asked if I wanted to be checked. This was the only cervical check I had. She said I was in transition! Yay! It’s almost baby time! I labored laying in the tub for a while and Kayla suggested I switch positions. I moved to sitting on my knees, laying over the edge of the tub. As the next contraction came I knew it felt different. It was VERY intense and then I felt my water break! I literally yelled out in mid groan “Oh my gosh! I think my water just broke”. When that contraction had passed and I got over the shock that my water had broke, I leaned over to Kayla and said “I think I know I’m in labor now!” I kid you not! I was joking, but it did give me the realization that giving birth was right around the corner (already?!) After that the contractions were more intense, but did seem to be farther apart (thank God!) After a few more contractions I started feeling pressure and the urge to push. This was the part I had been looking forward to. Pushing always helped with the pain and intensity of the contractions. Kayla calmly asked Jeff if he would call Heather and tell her it was time for her to come on over. Jeff called Heather and very calmly told her it was time. Kayla later said that she was trying to sound calm, but knew Heather needed to get here soon. Luckily Heather only lives a few minutes away.

 

Our beautiful Baby Griffin enjoying the herbal bath. My favorite part of both my home births.

Our beautiful Baby Griffin enjoying the herbal bath. My favorite part of both my home births.

Heather showed up about 10:05PM and literally on the next contraction his head was emerging and the next one his head was out! Kayla and Heather noticed right away that his shoulder was stuck and there wasn’t enough room to get him out in the position I was in. This happened with Hazel as well. Our bath tub just wasn’t wide enough for baby to get out. So, with his head already out, I flipped over onto my hands and knees and pushed him the rest of the way out. Kayla and Heather helped me catch him and I pulled him up out of the water onto my chest. I did it! Wow, that was fast! He was here and he was beautiful! With just around 3 hours of active labor and around 5 pushes, Griffin Daniel was born at home, in the water, at 10:13PM on October 18, 2014.

 

This is part 2 of Griffin’s birth story, if you want to read the rest, click on the links below:
Part 1: Intro to Griffin’s Birth
Part 3: Griffin’s After Birth

 

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Intro to Griffin’s Birth Story

Here I am sporting my daughter's cape about half way through our walk the day before Griffin was born.

Here I am sporting my daughter’s cape about half way through our walk the day before Griffin was born.

The story of Griffin’s birth should probably start with Thursday October 16, 2014, two days before Griffin was born. So I guess this would be an intro to Griffin’s birth story. This was a rough day in our house. I was feeling the pains of being close to my due date, and my kiddos were going a little crazy because they could tell something was about to be different. Seriously, it is amazing that kids (and animals, ironically) can sense that things are about to change, like if someone is about to go into labor. Apparently when they sense this, they (my two children AND my two dogs) just loose all capability to behave. Needless to say the last few days had been hard on me. On this day I had my 39 week appointment with my wonderful midwife Kayla. I was practically in tears when I arrived at the birth center for my 39 week appointment on Thursday October 16. Amy in the office offered to watch Ian and Hazel so Jeff and I could have a kid free appointment to focus on my needs and questions. It was a small gesture that made a huge difference that day. Everything went well, baby was very low in my pelvis, but still very active. Kayla prescribed two things before I left that day: to find someone to watch the kids so I could get away for a while, and a nice, relaxing evening including Epsom salt bath and a glass of wine.

 

My evening did not go as planned! My sister, who was planning on coming up to take maternity pictures, couldn’t come until Sunday, the kids were uncontrollably wild and went to bed late, we didn’t have any wine in the house, and I caught my hair on fire while taking my “relaxing bath”. I kid you not! I CAUGHT MY HAIR ON FIRE! I had lit a few candles to put around the tub for a more relaxing atmosphere and I leaned back too far, started smell “that smell” (Ladies, you know what smell I’m talking about). I’m pretty sure the world has never seen a full-term pregnant lady move so fast! I panicked and yelled for Jeff to come make sure I didn’t have a huge hole in my hair or anything. After he got done laughing (that jerk!) he said that he couldn’t even tell where I burned it. Whew! That was traumatic! As I collapsed in bed, I prayed this baby did not come tonight because I knew tomorrow was going to be a better day.

The kids racing down the path near the beginning of our walk.

The kids racing down the path near the beginning of our walk.

And it was a better day! Friday (October 17) was a MUCH better day with pleasant surprises and lot less stress! My midwife friend Heather and her sweet baby girl came and brought me lunch! It was just the perfect stress reliever that I needed. I felt so loved that she would take time to come bring me lunch (she brought me Greek food and it was so yummy!) visit with me, and answer every annoying question my children asked her. (Guys, remember, I was pretty stressed!) I also got a glorious text from my mom that she was going to be leaving after school to come up for the weekend to help with the kids! Oh happy day!  Well, she said she was coming to help, but I really think she was coming up to help me get my sanity back.  She also threw in that she was bringing extra clothes “just in case” the baby decided to come while she was here! HAH! That evening we went for a walk around the lake in our neighborhood. It was about a one mile walk and I took it at a brisk pace. I was ready to have this baby, but was pretty sure he wasn’t coming for a while. (Side note: Yes, I walked a mile roughly 24 hours before giving birth, and yes, I’m proud of that!)

 

My mom got here shortly after the kids went to bed and Jeff and I decided to go out for ice cream. After all, it might be the last time we have some true alone time for a while. (And it was, we just didn’t know it yet!) While we were sitting there eating our ice cream, soaking in some alone time, I had a few contractions. I didn’t get too excited as they felt only slightly stronger than the prodromal labor contractions that had been teasing me for days. So I didn’t think much of it, but Jeff started getting all excited and asking me crazy questions he knew I didn’t have the answer for. Stuff like: “Ooo! Was that a real contraction?” and “Are we gonna have a baby tonight?” “Do you need to text Kayla?” Seriously dude?! We are two contractions in (I’m not sure they are even real contractions) and you would think that he had never done this before! I honestly just laughed at him and told him it wasn’t real and the baby was plenty happy inside. I jokingly said that the baby may never come because of how much stress his siblings were causing Mommy! I was joking, but I did actually wonder if the amount of stress I was under would affect when he would arrive. I wondered if my stress was keeping him from being born. We went home and went to bed. I figured if I could sleep then it wasn’t real labor. I was able to sleep until around 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning when a contraction woke me up. It was stronger than the ones the night before. Was this it? Is the baby on his way?

This is part 1 of Griffin’s birth story. If you want to read the rest, click on the links below: Part 2: Griffin’s Birth Story
Part 3: Griffin’s After Birth

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