Griffin Michael Peterson
Where do I start? Our beautiful baby boy, Griffin Michael Peterson is here! He was born on September 9th, 2016 at 12:31pm. He weighed 7 lbs, 1 oz, and was 20 ½ inches long. For those of you who like reading/hearing birth stories, here is Griffin’s! I read TONS of birth stories the last few weeks of my pregnancy since I wanted to hear different stories. I’m a planner and I’m the type of person that wants to know what to expect. So I like hearing different people’s labor & delivery experiences. This was my birth plan: TRY to have an all-natural labor/delivery, but since I didn’t know EXACTLY what to expect in regards to pain, I figured I would “see how things go.” The main thing was to have a healthy baby and mom! Since I was already a week past my due date, I also didn’t know if I would have to be induced or not. I was worried about being induced because I’ve heard Pitocin can really make contractions exponentially horrible, and I’ve heard getting Pitocin is basically a one-way street to an epidural, which I also didn’t exactly want. But I knew if I HAD to be induced, that I would just trust the Lord and deal with it. Thankfully, that was NOT the case…
Thursday, September 8th (41 weeks, 1 day)
11:00am Went into our normal clinic for a BPP Ultrasound & Check-up with our midwife. A BPP Ultrasound checks fluid levels & baby’s breathing patterns. Griffin seemed to be napping during this, so his breathing patterns weren’t showing up a ton on the ultrasound, but they weren’t worried. My fluid levels were ok, but on the lower end, and would only be getting lower each day since I was 8 days overdue at this point. During my check-up with my midwife, I found out I still was not dilated at all (disappointing!), but my cervix was much softer & thinner than the week before. My blood pressure was a little high, so they sent us over to the hospital for a non-stress test on the baby and to continue to monitor my blood pressure. Thankfully, that all went great and we were sent on our way.
1:45pm We stopped at Subway for lunch, and then headed home (our clinic & hospital are 20-25 minutes away from our house). As we were getting close to home, I felt a big “cramp”, but didn’t really think much of it since my midwife said I could be a little crampy & could be spotting after my check-up with her. Mike & I had rented “The Jungle Book” from Redbox, so we popped that in once we got home. I tried to lie down and rest during the movie, but I kept feeling crampy and couldn’t get comfortable. So I moved to the exercise ball & the floor. I wasn’t sure if the crampy feeling that I was having were contractions or not, so I started doing lots of research online to see what real labor contractions should feel like. I started timing them on an app I have on my phone, and soon realized that these were probably the real thing since they were somewhat getting stronger and I could feel them in my lower abdomen and wrapped around my lower back. Around 5:15pm I went to the bathroom and noticed a lot more blood than before. I figured it was my mucous plug. Things were progressing. Contractions were getting stronger, lasting longer, and coming closer together. Mike called the hospital to see if we should go in or not. We decided to go, even though we knew we might be sent home since I wasn’t even dilated earlier that day.
8:15pm Went to hospital. Checked into triage – only dilated to a 1, but was 90% effaced. Seriously, only a 1??? We decided to walk around for an hour, and then they were going to check me again. Contractions were now 2-5 minutes apart. Mike & I walked around the birthing center and I would lean up against the ledge on the wall every time I would get a contraction.
10:00pm They checked me again and was dilated to a 2 ½. At least I was making progress! They gave us the option of staying and laboring in the hospital, or going home to labor in the comforts of our own home. They told us it would probably be a long night, especially since this was our first baby. We decided to go home. The nurse told me to take Tylenol PM and try to rest since I would need my energy for later. So we stopped at Walgreens to get some before going home. Once we were home and the Tylenol PM was kicking in, I tried lying on the couch, but it was hard just to rest since the contractions were getting really strong. I somewhat was able to doze off between contractions, but when they would come I needed to be up and moving. As the night went off, I moved from couch, floor, exercise ball, and walking. Mike was so encouraging, but at one point I turned to him and sternly said, “Can you just be quiet when I’m having a contraction?” (Sorry baby). I also could not have him touch me at all during a contraction. I thought for sure I would want my lower back to be massaged during a contraction as most women say the counter pressure helps, but for some reason I could not be touched during a contraction. Before or after was ok, but not during. Sometime in the early morning we decided to take laps inside around the house since we knew walking helps progress things. I held onto Mike’s hand or arm, as he led me around while carrying a bucket (I was extremely nauseous during contractions, but thankfully never threw up).
Friday, September 9th (41 weeks, 2 days)
5:50am Got to hospital again. They checked me and I was dilated to a 6 and 100% effaced! This made me SO glad. I had already made it this far. We got into our labor room and they started filling up the birthing tub right away for me. The water felt so good. We had peppermint oil diffusing and my labor playlist (soft piano music) playing. The water was making me pretty hot, especially during contractions, so Mike gave me cold wash cloths to put on my neck and face. I stayed in the tub for almost two hours, then my midwife and nurse wanted me to get out and start walking around, so Mike & I walked around the room for a little while.
8:30am My midwife checked me and I was dilated to an 8. She asked me if I wanted her to break my water or not, and I said sure. Mike was outside getting our bags from the car, so he missed them breaking my water. I hardly felt it, and it didn’t feel like a gush or anything. I moved to the exercise ball for about ½ an hour, and then walked around the room more. I was heading into the transition period because my contractions were getting so strong and I started moaning. I didn’t think I would make noise, but when you’re in so much pain, sometimes ya just gotta. I was getting really nauseous and kind of felt like I needed to push. So my midwife checked me again and I was a 9 ½. There was still a little bit of cervix left on the left side, so they had me turn on my left side for a while to try to help things along. About 10 minutes later she checked me again and I was at a 10.
10:30am I started pushing. I don’t think I made much progress right away. It was hard for me to know how exactly to push and I was getting so exhausted. My midwife held one of my legs, the nurse held my other legs, and Mike would hold my neck/head and counted to 10, as I “bared down” and held my legs too. They wanted me to do 3 big pushes (10 seconds each) each time I got a contraction. Those were the longest 10 seconds as Mike counted out loud during each push. Griffin’s heart rate kept dropping, so they put a heart rate monitor on his head, and both he and I needed Oxygen, so I was given an Oxygen mask. My midwife and nurse realized that I hadn’t peed all morning and I seemed somewhat out of it, was a little pale, and just plain exhausted. So they decided to give me an IV with fluids. Unfortunately, I have pretty horrible veins, and being dehydrated didn’t help, so it took 3 different nurses to get an IV in me. And this was all being done while I was having contractions and pushing – NOT FUN. They kept having me flip to my sides to see if baby liked certain sides better, but his heart rate was still dropping every once in a while. My midwife told me she had to do a small episiotomy to help get the baby out faster since his heart rate was dropping.
12:00 Noon I was making lots of good progress with pushing as the fluids were helping me. I was more alert and had more energy to push. They kept telling me they could see his head and he had hair! I was so excited to meet him, but at the same time, I still felt like I wasn’t ever going to get him out. Pushing was hard work and I felt like my head was going to explode each time.
12:20pm They brought in a NICU nurse in case he wasn’t breathing when he came out. This worried me a little, but also motivated me to get him out quick!
12:31pm Griffin was born and crying right away! Thank the Lord the NICU nurse was not needed. The cord was wrapped around his neck, but they got it off right away, suctioned out his mouth, and put him right on my chest. OH MY GOODNESS, here he was!!! My eyes filled with tears and I was so enthralled with him already! He had just a little bit of blood on him, but no vernix (most likely because he was overdue).
So overall, my labor/delivery was about 22 hours (from the time of my first contraction to the time Griff was born). Labor & delivery was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life (I now understand why it’s called “labor”, and I also now have SO much more respect for any woman that has given birth, especially all-naturally!!), but it was so worth it. Now we have our sweet Griffin in our life and he’s just as precious as ever. Both Mike & I just stare at him and say to each other, “How did we get so blessed?” Obviously, we are biased because both of us think he is the CUTEST baby we have ever seen! Now we are just enjoying lots of newborn snuggles while we figure out this whole parent thing!
We love you Griffin Michael Peterson!!