Today as I’m writing this, Griffin is 3 weeks old and I fear if I wait any longer to write out his birth story, my insomnia may cause me to forget all the little details. His birth, while certainly not my easiest, feels like my it may have been my favorite because of mainly one particular thing that I would certainly want to happen again if we are crazy enough to add another little Rogers baby to our family in the future 😉
I guess I should start around my 38th week. At my weekly appointment, my Dr. told me I was around 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced, which I thought for SURE meant I wouldn’t make it to my induction date, even though my prior two babies were perfectly content remaining put in my belly and were both evicted via induction…I just assumed since this was my third, he would make an unexpected arrival. I was feeling pretty good overall, but certainly READY to have him. Things were starting to happen that were indicators that labor could be imminent but alas…he stayed put until we checked into the hospital bright and early at 5 AM on May 11.
Prior to being induced, the hospital required that I be tested for COVID-19 and we had both had to wear a mask upon entry into the hospital. We were assured that Dwight would be able to be with me during the delivery and recovery so needless to say, it was a complete surprise when the following interaction took place as soon as we arrived.
The nurse at the front entrance to the hospital knew I was obviously there to have a baby, but then told us that my husband would not be able to come with me. Thinking she couldn’t possibly be serious, I responded “It’s way too early to joke about things like that” and then she stated that she wasn’t joking….
Ummmm WHAT?!? At this point, I still didn’t think she was being serious, as that was not the information than had been communicated to us, so she asked us to hang tight while she called up to labor and delivery to check. Of course they confirmed that my husband COULD come with me but boy, it was not exactly the way we hoped to start off the morning to say the least. We just had to laugh about it all because nothing about this time in our world felt normal or simple.
Once we got to L&D, thankfully everything really felt pretty familiar and standard aside from all the dr’s and nurses being masked. Dwight wasn’t allowed to leave the room (or the hospital) but they took care of the both of us so well with plenty of food, drinks and snacks (well, not for me…but Dwight was well fed, ha!) I should note that the night before, when Dwight’s dad came to stay with us to be with the kids the next morning, Dwight was in charge of ordering pizza for us all and only got 2 personal sized pizzas for 5 adults and two children. I should also state the obvious that this was my last meal before having the baby and not being able to eat until after the birth so my measly ONE SLICE OF PIZZA was not exactly the nourishment I was hoping for. Needless to say, I gave him grief about it the whole morning while I was laboring in the hospital bed and he sat next to me eating his massive breakfast he ordered from the cafeteria. I will never let him live that down 😉
We had wonderful L&D nurses and I am so grateful for their warm and supportive demeanors despite never being able to see them smile since they were hidden behind their masks. They started me on pitocin around 5:45 AM and I was already having fairly regular contractions upon checking in, but nothing that was painful. After about an hour, they asked how I was doing and I told them “great!” with a big smile on my face…to which they replied, well we need to change that! Ha! Apparently I have a pretty high pain tolerance so they upped my dosage of pitocin and the contractions really started to pick up at that point.
I wanted to go ahead and have my water broken to help speed things along so when my dr came in around 8:00, he broke my water and at that point, my goal was to make it to 10 AM without the epidural just to give my body as much time as possible to progress on its own since the epidural tends to make things slow down a bit. By around 9:45, I told the nurse that I was definitely READY for the meds so she called in the anesthesiologist who arrived right at 10 AM on the dot…so I made it to my goal!
Now, this is where things got….tough. I have had epidurals with both my last two deliveries and really never had any real complications with them. I LOVE the epidural and personally don’t feel the need to have un-medicated birth when I have the option to take the edge off of it all. The nurse asked Dwight to leave the room and said he could come back in about 15 minutes once it was complete. I assumed my arched back position and breathed through the intense contractions while focusing on the ground to remain as still as possible. The dr started off by joking with me a bit…but after about 20 minutes the mood really shifted in the room.
I could tell that he was having trouble and even though I couldn’t see what was happening, I knew I was being stuck multiple times. 30 minutes passed and he finally said that he wasn’t comfortable moving forward at this point, as he was having trouble getting a successful stick and was going to call in his colleague to help. To say I was nervous would be a gross understatement, even though I was trying to remain as calm as possible on the exterior. I began to debate if I should just forgo the epidural and say I would try it unmedicated because I didn’t want to risk any serious of permanent damage to my spine by continuing to be stuck repeatedly. The next dr arrived pretty quickly and began the process again…and she too was having obvious trouble. Finally after an hour of attempts, they were finally able to get a good placement. I was so relieved but they immediately told me that I had a puncture with a spinal fluid leak, which is a risk that comes with epidurals and the side effect of that happening is that you get positional headaches when you are in any position other than lying flat on your back within 24 to 48 hours later. I was familiar with this as I had two good friends who had experienced this with their epidurals and how told me how debilitating they could be so needless to say, even though there wasn’t a guarantee that I would get them, I knew it was more likely than not.
The epidural kicked in pretty quick and from that point for the next three hours, I rested comfortably and ate a ton of that amazing hospital ice. My L&D nurse suggested I use the “magic peanut ball” which was something that was new to me and she assured me it would help things move quickly by allowing things to open up nicely for the baby to make his way down. It is just what its name describes it to be, like a peanut shaped yoga ball that you place in between your legs while laying on your side. I stayed on one side for an hour and then flipped to the other for an additional hour.
And it turns out that the magic peanut ball was just that, MAGIC! Around 2 o’clock, they checked me and I was ready to push, which was so exciting considering it was almost 10 hours after my epidural with Quint before he was born. I’m officially a believer in the peanut ball 🙂 For about 20 minutes, I “labored down” with just my nurse honestly…it was tough. I felt like I was working so hard with very little result but both she and Dwight were encouraging me that they could see progress with each series of pushes. The epidural was turned down enough for me to be able to feel when the contractions were coming and that was really helpful. Around 2:40, the doctor and all the additional nurses came in and scurried around to get ready for Griffin’s arrival. Ironically, one of the nurses husband’s name was Griffin!
My doctor let me push about 4 or 5 more times and realized that he just wasn’t coming out with a little help (just like with my other two babies) so after a small episiotomy (sorry if thats TMI) and one more push, Dr. Kaufman said “Alright Blaire, grab your baby!” and what was one of the most amazing moments of my life, I reached down and pulled my baby boy, who was looking right at me as he came out face up (which explained how tough I was having to work) to my chest and got to be the first person to touch him. It truly was just such an incredible moment for me. I know that might not sound like THAT big of a deal, especially now that I type it out, but it really was just such a beautiful and powerful moment for me as a mother to be able to do that. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to carry my baby from inside my body to the outside world. I hadn’t done that in my previous deliveries and I wish that I had been able to do that with my first two.
My baby boy was as purple as a grape but had the sweetest cry. He was big and healthy, weighing the same as his older brother right at 9 lbs. Everyone left the room fairly quickly and Dwight and I were able to soak it all in by thanking God for this new blessing to our family and talk to our newest little boy.
I went home the next day and my little family was waiting for me to drive us home. Sutton and Quint both had on their big brother and big sister shirts and I could see them waving excitedly to me from the car as I made my way out of the doors of the hospital. Sutton, with her precious heart, was so overcome with emotion upon seeing her new brother, just burst into tears. She assured me they were happy tears and of course it made me cry too.
We settled in with just the 5 of us at home, which was a first for us as we have always had family there with us but it really was such a sweet time for just us. Unfortunately just as I expected, my spinal headaches showed up right at the 48 hour post delivery mark. I wont go into too much detail about all of that as this post really is more about the birth. Thankfully I was able to get the blood patch procedure very quickly and it resolved the problem immediately, which I was so grateful for because I couldn’t even sit up to feed him without my head throbbing.
So that is Griffin’s birth story. I love giving birth and it really is such a miracle each time. We are grateful to God for entrusting us with another little life to raise and love.
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