Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Birth Story of Avalynn Nicole

My brother and I one week before delivery
      My record long pregnancy and biggest test of faith and endurance. I was sure of my dates...Either I was wrong or the Lord needed to connect with me on a higher level. I never expected to deliver on or before my due date. My last two were "late" at 42 and 41 weeks, but I never expected to deliver past 42...past 43...nor nearly to 44 weeks. My patience was tested, my faith was tested, my joy, my peace...etc. Pretty much Galatians 5:22-23. Something I continually teach my children. Mom must have needed a refresher course. My thoughts were not peaceful. My heart was bitter. I nearly gave up hope, but one last encouraging prenatal, relieving ultra sound, and late night conversation with Crys, my doula, gave me one last hope to hold onto. I am still not sure what was holding things up, but that night I was able to talk to my King comfortably for the first time in months, Maybe that was all it was... My heart found peace. 
     The next morning, February 22, 2013 6AM... My son Hayden, 4, wakes up like a freight train...running around trying to wake his sisters up. Aaron, my husband, literally just left for work. I am sleep drunk, unable to think clearly... I just got blasted from REM. Some how by grace alone I was able to get that boy back to sleep... Whew... Then I notice it... That feeling. I lay there a few minutes and there is the first one. I got excited I quickly notify my husband and got in the shower... If this labor was anything like my last two I would have a baby in about 4 hours... So I expected...
      I am still unsure if this is true labor. Contractions continue and an easy but uneven pace. I call my husband home and let my mother in law, Carrie, know...That woman has sacrificed more for us than we will ever know. That woman is awesome beyond measure. I also notify the birth team. A couple hours later I am most certain I am in labor, but things are still slow going. I keep thinking, " I should have a baby by now". Gosh me and my expecting things... 
     Aaron is home now. He quickly gets everything ready while I labor easily. He gets our son off to speech school. I am sad that he is gone and hope the baby holds off until he is home..... yeah, I know I am crazy... Who wants to labor longer than they need to. Crys arrived and Aaron runs to the store, because Fridays at the Griggers house means you are hungry. My second doula in training Destinee arrives and we go for a walk. It is now 10AM. I am still laboring easily. When we finish the walk Destinee braids my hair into a beautiful birth crown while Crys sets up the birth pool. At 11:30 I get into the pool while my daughters get into the bath tub beside me. It was so cute. At 11:45 I begin to vocalize through each wave. I remember the verses I have on the wall... 
My girls taking a bath while I labor
Exodus 1:19, Lord thank you for the vigor and strength to deliver this child you have given us.

 "I praise You because I am fearfully made." -Psalm 139:14...

  Lord, you made me. You created me to carry and deliver children. Thank you for making me in such a fashion. 

"So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 40:10... 

Because You, Lord, are staying with me throughout my labor and delivery, I have NO reason to fear.... 

Those are just a few of the verses I had up. They and the prayers with them really helped me. 

     Now the midwives start arriving. First Stephanie, then Gwen, then Crystal. It is a birth party at my house. 12 total after baby arrives!  My blood pressure was checked because it had been elevated and I was rather concerned by it, but at that moment it was good...( so I was told). By noon I feel like active labor has just started. My daughter, Skylar, and little doula in training, is bringing me food and drinks while I facebook with my phone in a zip top bag, dropping my head during a wave. At some point I can not longer hold my phone anymore and need to hold a hand to help get through each wave. My husband puts Bailee, our toddler, down for a nap. I hope she doesn't sleep long. Hayden arrives home and I am overjoyed to see him.
Moments after my son arrived home from speech school
     It is now 1pm. I am no long laboring easily  but instead constantly remind myself I have control and to not panic. I try to keep my tone low and breathing even. Bailee doesn't sleep long to me, but my perception of time is way off. I feel like Dr. Who , floating in a time paradox. Just a small peak into my geeky life. 
      At around 2:30 I mention how I no longer wish to do this anymore. Followed quickly by that first pushy feeling. I let Stephanie know. She tells to me push if I have to, not because I am ready to be finished. The very next contraction I am pushing involuntary.  At 2:33 my water breaks with such force it hurt!!! Like a wet balloon popped against some very tender areas. Moments later baby's head was out. Suddenly, Destinee rushes out of the room, but moments later returns with Skylar, who wanted to be present at the birth. Thank you for remembering Destinee. Several more moments have passed and I cannot free her body. Stephanie tells me to raise up because her head was hitting the bottom of the pool. For four minutes I am trying to get her out. Finally I find an arm and pull her out. At 2:39 PM my fourth child swims air side. My husband remembers my request and turns on my birth song.... Beautiful Things by Audrey Assad. 
Taking in our new daughter
     I pull her up to my breast, her face still purple... She doesn't cry... All I see is a purple face. I start to panic... Stephanie assures me that she is pinking up, but her head had been squeezed so long that her face was bruised. Her cord had also been wrapped around her neck. She wasn't crying but was making noise and clearing her airways. Her cord is still working to bring her oxygen... I begin to relax... Shes ok... Once the cord goes limp and white my husband cuts the link. I then pass her to him while he waits bare chested.
The pass off
     She immediately is hunting her food source. I get out of the pool and get into bed to deliver the placenta... which took way longer than expected... There's that wonderful E word again. I then get up and sit in my chair... Way better than laying in bed... Type A person here... I do not like to lay around. Gwen and Stephanie look baby over while Crystal looks placenta over. Destinee has already gone and Crys is taking the pool down... I already miss it... Stephanie brings the baby over and sings Happy Birthday to her. I fight back the tears. I AM NOT A CRIER.  She hands babe to me and we nurse. She is a pro already... Must have had good practice time with dad. 
     She is 11 weeks old now and it is bitter sweet. I miss the kicks and hiccups. I miss the regular visits with my midwives. I miss the belly rubs from my doula. I miss the sweet newborn smell. I miss how she once fit in one arm. I've packed away the newborn clothes and I'm ever so close to doing the same with the 0-3 month clothes. All those things I miss are replaced with baby smiles, cuddles, and coos. 2AM sleepy eye snuggles at my breast that generously soak me, baby, and bed. Glorious diaper blowouts that require 10 wipes and new clothes for baby and mom( not so much when using cloth diapers)... I am ok with that... One day I will miss that to. While this experience was nothing that I expected, it was everything I wanted... 
     Thank you Lord for giving me what I needed. Thank you my sweet children who endured a very grumpy mother. To my darling husband, Thank you for filling the roles abandoned by your wife in her time of need. Thank you to my mother in law, Carrie, who has sacrificed more for us than we will ever know. Thank you, Crys, the doula I wanted, but didn't know I needed. Thank you Destinee for your presence at the birth. Your energy was fun and my hair was beautiful. Thank you Stephanie for teaching me that it is ok to hug, to cry, to express love. Thank you Gwen for being my primary midwife. Your energy assured me that I was ok, even when I was concerned  Thank you Crystal for your parts in my care and birth. I felt warm and loved in your presence. 
Avalynn Nicole
February 22, 2013
7lbs 14 oz
20 1/4 " 
Perfect creation from God

The End, hope you enjoyed!