Greyson's Birth Story

[Tap, tap, tap.] Is anybody there? I've had this post drafted for months (literally) and finally decided to add the photos and hit publish. Sorry to keep anyone hanging who has been waiting for the update. :)

Hello from the other side of pregnancy - the fourth trimester! In those last two weeks of pregnancy it really felt like I might be pregnant forever. The little guy was so happy inside, my fluid levels were great, he was doing well at the no stress test and I wasn't having many contractions.

Here's the story of Greyson's birth both for me and those who are interested. Birth stories are fascinating to me in that they are all so unique. So here goes...

Greyson was due June 12 and when he hadn't come at 41 weeks (June 19), I headed to the midwifery center for a no stress test and placenta fluid check. Everything looked good there, so I opted to have my membranes "swept and stretched" which can help induce labor if the body is ready.

That evening, I felt some contractions that seemed semi regular for about 90 minutes, so I asked my mom to drive down so she would be there with Henry in case things picked up in the middle of the night. She arrived around 8:00 p.m. and sadly contractions had stopped, so we took a slow waddle at sunset. Contractions didn't really return, so the morning of Thursday, June 21 (summer solstice), nine days after his due date, we headed to the hospital for an induction.

We got settled into our room, saw the midwife and then the nurse got my antibiotics flowing (I was GBS+ so needed antibiotics every 4 hours in the hospital). Around 12:30 pm, the midwife finally came back to break my water. At that point, I was already about 3-4 cm dilated (which I had been earlier that week). Within 1.5-2 hours, contractions started and my body took it from there.

I was thankful not to need pitocin to get labor really going. To help things keep moving along, Pete and I walked laps around the labor and delivery unit as I was able to wear the wireless monitors to track baby's heart rate and my contractions. (I’m so happy I asked for wireless monitoring this time around because with my labor with baby #1, I didn’t know that was an option and sort of felt chained to the monitors and my room.)

I also tried to keep eating snacks throughout the afternoon to keep my energy up - things like nuts, dried mango, a Picky Bar and a bagel & cream cheese. With Henry, I felt nauseous during labor early on, so didn't eat much.

As the hours passed, my contractions consistently got stronger and stronger. At some point, Pete turned on our birth playlist (a random smattering of pop songs that make me happy and some relaxation style music) and I really couldn't focus on anything besides each contraction and breathing/moaning through each one.

For the most part, I was either sitting on a yoga ball and leaning against the bed or Pete, or standing up to help the baby's positioning. Time seemed to go quickly and I believe I was checked at one point and told I was 7 cm and the next few cm went fast. At this point (6 p.m. or so), I was getting hot from all that hard work so they brought in a fan for me, lowered the room temp and Pete and the midwives kept getting me cold wash cloths for my face and neck.

As sh*t was getting real, I was beginning to really doubt my mental and physical strength and asked the midwife about pain options. They checked me and I was at 9 centimeters! Honestly, I was shocked to have gotten so far in such a short time, but I was also getting nervous about pushing this baby out, especially knowing how large Henry was (9lb 3oz).

I opted for an interthecal, which is essentially a shot of epidural that lasts 2 hours. It seemed like a good option since I was so close to being fully dilated.

The interthecal was a good choice for me because unlike with my epidural with Henry, I was still able to feel contractions pretty well. About an hour later, I was fully dilated and ready to push.

When we checked into the room that morning, I remember thinking "Oh, this room will be so pretty at sunset. Hopefully, I'll be holding our new baby by then." Ha! I remember sunset being pretty, but also being blurry amidst some serious pushing.

Two hours of pushing later, at 10:01 p.m. on June 21, Greyson was born at 9 lb 8.9oz and 21" long. The last few minutes of pushing were a little intense in that they could see he was coming out with his shoulders straight on rather than corkscrewing his way out. And to make matters more difficult, he was also coming out with his hand up by his face.

They didn't tell me in the moment (thankfully), but it's the reason they brought in extra nurses and had some NICU folks standing by. In the last few pushes they actually had several extra people pushing on my stomach to help get Greyson out. It felt very Grey's Anatomy as it was happening, but whatever it takes to get these babies out safe!

They cut his cord quickly and whisked him to the back room to get him breathing and just a few minutes later brought him back to me. I remember him feeling big and squishy and perfect.

Scale was set to kilograms, but 9lb 8.9oz was the conversion

When you have a little human growing inside you, you wonder what he or she will look like. What attributes will they have of you and your partner? How much hair will they have? How will that little face look? What I honestly didn't expect was to have a baby who looked like a twin to Henry's baby self. But that's exactly what I have. I know he will grow into his own little face and personality, but it's pretty incredible to see the similarity.

That squishy, wrinkly skin = 💗

Post birth, they stitched me up a bit, did the lovely pressing of the uterus and let us be. Shortly after, I had a turkey sandwich and lots of orange juice and Pete had a nap ;) while my parents came in to see the little guy.

We stayed the night in the hospital that night (I didn't get more than 15 minutes of sleep) and then asked to be discharged that next evening. Between the lack of sleep, poor food and discomfort of the hospital bed, I just wanted to get home where we could be more comfortable.

Side note: Has anyone actually slept that first night after having a baby? The nurse looked at me so pitifully when I said I hadn't slept. But I couldn't imagine with either Henry or Greyson to have left them in the bassinet and them being okay with that. We tried with both babies swaddling and putting them in the crib, but it was a no go for the babies and us. So, I stayed awake nursing, cuddling and hoping for the sun to rise quickly while Pete got a few hours of rest.

Henry came to the hospital that next morning with my mom and brother to meet his new baby brother. He was so sweet and excited. He got up on the bed with me to hold him and declared "I want to hold him all by myself." And when asked what he thought when he first met him, he says "I just loved him."

The last few weeks have been sweet, full of cuddles and also very tiring. I'm not able to take naps like I was the first time around (Henry no longer naps) and we are lucky to get 4-5 hours of broken sleep most nights. And being 3 years older this time around I'm sure doesn't do me any favors.

A day of snuggles with baby G while grandma watched Henry

A rare nap

I love the hand under the chin

Okay, I think that about sums it up. Let me know if you have questions. I'm sure I'll be writing more soon. 


I'm glad you posted the birth story! I love reading birth stories as they are all so very different! I can't imagine pushing out such a big baby boy! You are a rock star! My mom also had big babies as 3 of us were over 9 pounds. I was her biggest at 10 pounds. Paul was quite the peanut at 7# 5oz and I think he would have weighed less if I hadn't been on fluids for days leading up to his birth. He looks so puffy when I look back at his birth photos!

I did actually sleep that first night after he was born but it was pretty interrupted. I hadn't slept much 2 nights as I got admitted a day before the induction due to a blood clot scare and they were testing my blood and adjusting my blood thinner medication all night so I think I got maybe 3-4 hours of sleep? And then I was in labor the following night and maybe got an hour nap before the contractions got really bad. We ended up sending Paul to the nursery the first 2 nights. I felt super guilty about it but the nurse told us that we needed to get some sleep and take care of ourselves. Plus the 2nd night he was under lights for jaundice so one of us would have had to stay awake to make sure he didn't take his sleep mask off. We had to spend 4 nights in the hospital after he was born which SUCKED. Paul slept really well in the hospital bassinet but jaundice makes them extra tired so I think that's why he slept so well. We had to wake him up to eat actually!
Hannah McAllister said…
So sweet! Thanks for sharing.
Karen said…
I loved reading this! And the pictures you posted are so precious. Congratulations! <3

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