Monday, March 29, 2010

Griffin's Birth Story - Part 4

As I mentioned in Griffin's Birth Story - Part 3, Oliver was able to deliver Griffin, and he placed our little son on my chest, amidst tears and loads of emotions.  I reached down and held my vernix-covered boy and laughed with joy.  I simply could not believe he had just come out of me!  It's hard to describe the emotions that wash over you when you deliver your first child...I remember thinking that it felt surreal, like a dream in slow-motion.  He was born at 1:56am on December 27th, 2009...just a little under two hours after my dad's 50th birthday!

Since I was on my back and the umbilical cord was still pulsing, I could only see the top of Griffin's head and his little arms.  I rubbed the vernix into his skin (it's supposed to be an amazing moisturizer for them) and attempted to soak it all in.  Soaking it all in is, in fact, impossible, as I found.  It is one of those moments in life where you wish you could grasp it all fully...  C.S. Lewis describes this overwhelming state as "joy," and he says that these moments are like little tastes of heaven that we won't fully be able to grasp or consummate until we are there with the Lord.  Isn't it amazing to know that the birth of your first child is only a teeny, tiny glimmer of the fullness and consummation of joy we will have in heaven?!  Soon, I was able to see my little son's face for the first time, and I had/have never laid eyes on anything so perfect.  All my life, I've dreamed and wondered about what my child would look like, and finally, I knew.  The bond was absolutely instantaneous...Well, I suppose it was just an increase of the already established bond I had developed with him in my womb.  I kept thinking of what a gift, a precious blessing, we had been given, and I was so thankful to finally have him in my arms.  I was also quite thankful that I didn't die during labor like I felt I would :)

Oliver cut the cord, and I delivered the placenta quickly and easily.  I must say, that sucker was HUGE!  The midwives showed it and all its parts to me, and it was fascinating.  It's just the craziest thing to think that my body was capable of growing a baby and a whole new organ on top of it!  Apparently, the umbilical cord was the longest many of the ladies had ever seen, and they said we were blessed that it didn't cause any complications during the delivery.  It was wrapped around his neck, but there were no issues with that because it was so long.

Immediately after the delivery of the placenta, the ladies got to work checking me for tears.  I had a 2 degree internal tear from Griffin's fists being under his neck during the delivery, and I had the choice whether to be stitched or not.  I chose not to because the skin was laying together nicely and would heal well on its own.  The only stipulation was that I needed to be extra conscientious about keeping my knees together and not sitting straight up for 2 weeks.

After that was determined, Lisa and the ladies got the bed changed, an ice back between my legs, and helped me get set up for nursing Griffin for the first time.  This was more difficult than I imagined.  He had a hard time latching on, and it was quite a fiasco.  Later, we hired a lactation consultant to come out to our house and help me with nursing, and she was a great help.

It wasn't long (around 3 or 3:30), and all the relatives arrived to meet the baby.  My dad, step-mom, and brother and Oliver's mom and brother came into the room to meet our little one.
My dad with his first grandchild:
My step-mom with her first grandchild:
Oliver's mom with her first grandchild:

It was just pure giddiness in the air, and they were all able to watch as Lisa did the newborn exam, including the big weigh in.  Griffin weighed 8 lbs, 14 oz, 22 inches long, and got a 10 on the Apgar score.  He was just absolutely perfect.  I could not believe how beautiful he was!!!  Three months later, I still am not sick of staring at him all day.  Maybe that'll never end!

After a while, the family headed home to get to bed, and we were thinking that way as well.  I have never, EVER been so completely and thoroughly exhausted spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  We attempted to nurse some more, and I did the necessary trip to the toilet.  Whoa is that the weirdest feeling in the universe!  After 9 months of having all my internal organs completely displaced and my diaphram being pushed way, way up into my ribcage, standing up with a sudden, enormous void made me feel like my organs were going to fall out onto the floor!  I felt like I had been punched repeatedly in the stomach, and I could hardly breathe.  Shuffling to the toilet was tough between that and the light-headedness!

At about 5 or 5:30am, Reilynn took our first family photo and headed home herself.

We got settled into our king-sized bed, all together, and feel into a much, much needed sleep.  The next morning, Oliver went out and got us Atlanta Bread Company breakfast, and we were ready to head home by about 1pm that day!


  1. what a beautiful story! congratulations!!!

  2. Katie,
    You don't know me, but I'm friends with Ashley; she recommended your story. Thank you SO much for sharing it! I am 40 weeks pregnant with my second baby right now, and this will be our first birth center birth; it's always an encouragement to read such a positive, beautiful story. Griffin is quite a handsome baby!

  3. Oh Katie, that was a beautifully written story, you made me teary eyed. Thank you for sharing!! Griffin is such a beautiful baby, hope to meet him soon. Love you guys.