The Home Birth of Griffin

Thursday morning I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and realized that my water had just broken. I woke Ben and he told me I should go back to bed until morning, but I was too excited. He went back to sleep and I went into the living room and watched TV and rocked on my birthing ball until morning.


I was getting occasional contractions, but nothing serious.At 8:30 a.m., I called our midwife, Toni to let her know my water had broken. She suggested that I do some walking to get labor going and call her when I was ready for her to come.I got the kids ready and Ben and I took them to school.

While dropping the kids off at preschool we spoke with another parent to arrange for him to bring the kids home just in case the baby came before school was out.I also told the teachers that we may be sending another parent to pick up the kids, hoping that the baby would make a quick arrival.
On the way home, we stopped and got breakfast at McDonalds and went to Ben’s warehouse so that he could do some work.He offered for me to help him lift and carry boxes if it would help my labor along, but I was not crazy about the idea of doing anyone else’s work but my own on this special day.I called the midwife from the car to see when she could come and check me and check on the baby.Then we went home and went on a very long walk through the neighborhood.
When we got home, the contractions were strong, but got weak again after I sat down for awhile.Toni arrived around 11:00 a.m.I was only 1-2 centimeters and the baby was still high.The baby’s heart rate was good. griff1 She suggested that I try drinking parsley tea and castor oil to get things moving along.Since my labor was still not active, she left and asked me to call her again in a couple of hours to let her know how I was progressing.

We walked the neighborhood some more and ate lunch.Then, I went to pick the kids up from school by myself while Ben got some work done. I’ve never seen so many people disappointed to see me.They were all hoping I’d have delivered the baby by now. On the way home, the kids and I stopped at the grocery store to buy some parsley and castor oil and a birthday cake for the baby.Ben used a wheat grass juicer to juice the bunch of parsley, instead of steeping the leaves to make tea.I drank the parsley juice, but I was afraid to take the castor oil.My contractions had picked up by this time and were in a good pattern, coming every two minutes and lasting about one minute, but they still were not very strong.Gwyn and Gavin took a long afternoon nap and I continued rocking on my birthing ball, walking around the block and waiting for labor to pick up.

Toni returned to the house around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m.This time she called her assistant, Andrea to meet her at our house.They set up and prepared the bed for the delivery.Toni gave me some herbs to help sluggish labor.The kids took turns walking me around the block and I was still leaking a lot of amniotic fluid.Everyone started to get concerned that my labor wasn’t more active yet and it had been more than 12 hours since my water broke.So, I tried using the breast pump for about 15 minutes to stimulate stronger contractions and it worked.Toni checked me around 9:30 p.m. and this time I was 4-5 centimeters dilated.Contractions had become more uncomfortable and I was welcoming the progress, worried that they would weaken again.

Ben started putting the kids to bed, which was a long process since they were so excited to have other people in the house and looking forward to the baby’s arrival.The contractions started to feel productive.I got into the shower to relax and Ben went to give Toni and Andrea an update on my progress. The contractions continued to strengthen, so I moved into the bathtub.After only five minutes or so in the tub, I got extremely cold and started to shake, so Ben helped me back into the hot shower. This should have been our cue that I was in transition, but neither of us realized it.Andrea came in to check on me in the shower and I told her I was fine.I kept hoping and praying that each contraction would be stronger so that my labor would not last much longer.I was having a lot of bloody show now, so Ben went to tell Andrea it would not be very much longer. About five minutes later I suddenly had a strong urge to push. Once Toni heard this she quickly started preparing for delivery.Ben helped me out of the shower to the toilet.Toni checked me and could already feel the baby’s head crowning.Toni asked us where we wanted to go and Ben suggested bringing the birthing stool into the bathroom since I didn’t think I could walk very far. Andrea rushed to get it and somehow they all managed to get me off the toilet onto the birthing stool.Gwyn woke up just in time and she came into the bathroom just as I was starting to push. Gwyn was able to help by getting us some extra towels from the box of birth supplies.

It only took a few pushes and the baby was out.Griffin Drake was finally born after 19.25 hours of labor at 11:45 p.m.He had a double nuchal cord and he did not cry right away.


I held him on my lap and helped to rub and stimulate him, along with Ben and Toni, to get him to cry and breathe while Andrea gave him some blow-by oxygen.Toni also suctioned his nose and mouth.He started to cry and then Toni pointed out that there was a true knot in the umbilical cord. Ben cut the cord and I moved onto the bed and began nursing baby Griffin.He was an expert at nursing right away.

The third stage of labor lasted about an hour.Once the placenta was finally delivered, Toni and Andrea weighed baby Griffin, examined him and the placenta, and dressed him while I took a shower and ate some cereal.Toni showed us Griffin’s placenta and umbilical cord and explained that the cord was very long.This was either the result of, or the reason for his cord entanglements.
Griffin weighed 7 pounds, 12.5 ounces and was 21 ½ inches long.He looked almost exactly like his big brother Gavin and we all fell in love with him instantly.Toni and Andrea left and Ben and Gwyn fell asleep, but I amazingly still had enough energy to stay awake for the rest of the night holding and studying Griffin until everyone woke up the next morning.