My Birth Story

Well, hello! Last time we spoke, I was pregnant. Now, I am not. I have a tiny little peanut of a baby living with me and I couldn’t be more in love with him.

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After oohing and ahhing over Griffin, the first thing people ask me, is about how the whole process in the hospital went. I love hearing people’s birth stories, so I thought I’d share mine with you!

Richard and I went to the hospital to start the induction process on the evening of our one year anniversary. We had celebrated the day before, so on Sunday we spent the day together, just us, hanging out and getting stuff ready to head to the hospital. After we ran out of things to do, we started pacing, then headed out to have dinner with my family. We finally arrived at the hospital (45 minutes early–we were very anxious!) and we were ready to get the party started.

Sunday, July 6th
10:00 pm: I received Cervidil for the first time.The bad news is that nothing happened. The good news is I got a little bit of sleep.

Monday, July 7th                                                                                                                                 2:00 am: Second dose of Cervidil. Felt some cramping and a few small contractions.

6:00 am: They started me on Pitocin and that’s when things really got going. I’m not going to lie to you, the contractions hurt, but they were far enough apart at first that I was still pretty laid back about the whole situation.

9:00 am: By this point, the contractions were more frequent and I was starting to get uncomfortable, but was only dilated around 2-3 centimeters.  Just as I was discussing an epidural with my nurse, my water broke. To be completely honest, up until this point, I was still trying to figure out why everyone talks about how painful this is. Yes, I was uncomfortable and in some pain, but this was when I finally started to get it. OW! My nurse brought up the epidural again and the answer was 100% YES.

10:00 am: Received epidural and went completely numb. I had people in and out of the room visiting with me throughout the day, and I think around this time was when I told everyone it felt like I was wearing snow boots?? I don’t know, people. I had a lot of medication in my system and not a lot of food to soak it up with. Needless to say, I was a little loopy and a lot sleep deprived.

2:00 pm: Only 3-4 centimeters dilated.

4:00 pm: Solid 5 centimeters. So tired and beginning to get frustrated because things were moving so slowly. Being the naive first time mom that I am, I was totally convinced that since my water broke on its own, that would really speed up the process. I was obviously wrong.

6:00 pm: Stuck at 5 cetimeters. This was when my doctor started throwing around the C Word. Yes, C-Section. I still had a little glimmer of hope, though. My doc said she was going into surgery, and would come and check on me when she got done. This was when my mom, Richard, and I had a conference and decided that if I hadn’t progressed anymore by the time she got back, I would give the go-ahead for the C-Section.

7:00 pm: Just as I suspected, I had not progressed and my nurse started prepping Richard and myself for surgery.

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8:44 pm: Griffin Michael was born, weighing 5 lbs 9 oz and 19 inches long. I was an emotional wreck and so so annoying, asking a million questions like, “Does he have all his parts?” “Is he okay?” and “Why isn’t he crying more?” I was politely told to shut up and relax and they stitched me up and sent me to recovery.

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I’m still in awe of this incredibly precious boy. He literally could not be any cuter or look more like his Daddy, and I’m so in love with both of them. Richard hasn’t been around babies much at all, but Fatherhood suits him well, and just as I thought, it just clicked for him. We couldn’t be more proud of our strong and adorable boy. We love parenthood!

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Expect the Unexpected

So, today took an unexpected turn. I was scheduled to have two appointments. The first was my weekly NST, the second was an ultrasound, except I didn’t make it to the second. I was in my doctors office all of 20 minutes. They took my blood pressure and it was crazy high so I was sent to Triage to monitor Griffin’s heartbeat and my BP. Griffin’s heartbeat was totally normal and he was moving and kicking as usual. My BP was still a bit on the high side, but went down enough that my doctor was comfortable sending me home. She also started me on medicine to manage my blood pressure and ordered a 24 hour urine collection.

Side note: If you’ve never experienced the joy that is a 24 hour urine collection, let me tell you, you are missing out. Yeah. I know how to party on a Friday night. 

I know that this is just another hiccup. I know that other than my fluctuating blood pressure, I am healthy and so is Griffin. I know that in just a few weeks, we will get to bring our beautiful baby boy home and will have forgotten about all of this. And most importantly, I know that there are people who have gone through so a hell of a lot worse. Richard and I remain cautiously optimistic and can’t wait to have Griffin here with us.

I feel totally fine, and plan on having a nice, relaxing weekend with my family, and can’t wait to celebrate Richard’s first Father’s Day. As always, your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated. 

 

 

A Wee Bit of Advice

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Well, the past few weekends have been a whirlwind of lots of fun and lots of great news. I had my baby shower Memorial Day weekend, which was amazing. It’s really something special to have all (or most) of your favorite people in the same room at once. Griffin and I were very spoiled and Richard and I have spent the last few weeks trying to get all this amazing baby gear organized. The nursery is ALMOST complete and it’s looking great, which leads me to my first bit of advice I’d like to share.

Now, remember: I’m new at this. I definitely don’t know a lot, but I do know that if I could do it again, I would have started decorating the nursery the second we found out the gender of our baby. Why you ask? Because I’d like to meet the soon-to-be Mom who, at 30+ weeks has the energy and/or patience to make decisions or do anything that requires that amount of energy. Thank goodness for some pretty amazing guys I know (Pawpaw, Rick, and Richard) because without them, I would be in tears and Nana would probably still be laying on the floor trying to measure the wall. 

Two weeks ago, I began my weekly NST’s (non-stress tests) and I’m happy to report that my first two have gone really well. Griffin’s heartbeat is strong, I’m not having any contractions, and my blood pressure has been GREAT. We are still trying to remain cautiously optimistic, but I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to walk out of the Women’s Hospital after a really, really good doctor’s appointment. 

Since about April, my mom and I have been hitting the yard sales pretty hard almost every weekend, so here’s my second bit of advice: Go to all the yard sales. I’m serious. That may sound a little weird to some soon-to-be Mommy’s, but it’s probably one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. I cannot tell you how many great things in FANTASTIC condition we have found for Griffin. You will be able to tell pretty quickly after approaching a yard sale if the owners have taken care of their stuff or not. If they haven’t, don’t waste your time. Move on with your life. But if they have…you shove that other pregnant girl out of the way, and you DIG through that bin of onesies and bibs. You buy those Nike crib shoes for $3.00. And you always say yes to pretty much anything that still has the tags on it. 

Well, I better get back to drinking all the slushies, Richard can find and eating a ton of freeze-pops. Gotta love being pregnant in the summertime! 

Just Some Updates

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Oh, hi. I’m back. No particular reason I haven’t blogged in awhile, other than the fact that I’ve just been busy/trying to enjoy the last weeks of my pregnancy. Here’s what’s been going on lately…

It’s official. I can no longer paint my toenails. That’s right. It’s professional pedicures from here on out, which I’m not too bummed about. That is, unless Richard wants to step up to the plate. 

Another thing I can no longer do? Get up off the couch without looking like a turtle on it’s back. I’ve really got to get some momentum going before I propel myself up and I giggle a little every time. 

I’ve received quite a few comments on how cute my belly is. Thank you. Really. Griffin and I definitely appreciate that. You know what’s not cute? That I can’t get through a meal without spilling something on that adorable baby bump. It tends to get in the way a bit, but does make a nice little table when eating cereal or yogurt. 

I’ve been a smidge moody/overly emotional lately. If someone else cries, I cry too. Cute puppy or baby? I’m a wreck. I’ve really been trying to keep my emotions in check, but that doesn’t always work out. Cut to me ugly crying a week or two ago because I hated the way my bangs were laying. On the flip side, when I’m in a good mood, you can’t shut me up. I JUST LOVE LIFE, OKAY?

I’m really looking forward to this long weekend coming up. I have an ultrasound on Friday, and it always makes me happy when I get to just lay back and see what Griffin is up to. He’s been moving around like crazy and kicking twice as much lately, so I hope he cooperates with the tech and we can get a good picture/see everything we need to see. My baby shower is also this weekend and my sister and other friends and family members are coming in town. It’s hard to believe that Griffin will be here in less than two months, and while I am a bit nervous, I couldn’t be more excited. 

 

Griffin’s Mix

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Well, the good news just keeps on coming. I had two doctors appointments last week. The first was with my regular OB. I did my glucose test for Gestational diabetes (which came back negative- woo!) and got my TdaP vaccine. On Friday, we went back to the high risk OB for another growth scan and Griffin is growing and doing well. The images we got this time weren’t as clear as the last set, but he’s looking great and is already growing some hair!

Griffin and I have been having some quiet time each night before bed, and recently I decided to add some music into our routine. Apparently, research can’t completely support that playing music for your baby while in the womb will make him smarter, but I’m totally convinced that he’s going to be brilliant. Anyway, I thought I’d make a little mix for him, and with the help of my sister, found some pretty great tunes. 

Stuntin’ Like My Daddy by Birdman and Lil’ Wayne. I’M KIDDING. But Richard and I did hear this song recently and died. 

Okay, let’s get back on track…

Danny’s Song by Kenny Loggins – This is such a sweet song. The lyrics, He will be like she and me, as free as a dove, conceived in love, sun is gonna shine above get me every time. 

Blessed and Levon by Elton John – I love pretty much anything by Elton John. My mom introduced me to his brilliance at a young age. I had heard these songs probably a hundred times, but they never meant as much to me as they do now. 

Wonder by Natalie Merchant – This was another song I used to jam to with my mom as a kid. It had to be included.

Baby Mine by Allison Krauss – I’m pretty sure this song was originally from the movie Dumbo, but this version is gorgeous. I love her voice.

Songbird by Fleetwood Mac – Totally cried the first time I heard this song. So beautiful.

Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright – Obvious choice.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack – The song that will most likely be playing in my head when I hold Griffin for the first time.

Hold You In My Arms by Ray Lamontagne – Love him. Love his voice. Love this song.

Such Great Heights by Iron & Wine – So pretty. Kind of puts me to sleep.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Judy Garland – If you know me at all, you know that The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie growing up, and I’m still obsessed. 

You Are My Sunshine by Ray Charles – This song is a staple in my family and I know I won’t be the only one to ever sing this to Griffin. I vividly remember my dad singing this to me before bed many times as a child. He was a “bluebird” ya know😉

I’m sure this list will continue to grow. Let me know if you can think of any others I should add! 

6 Things I’m Glad My Parents Taught Me

It’s been a pretty normal week here in the Stillwell House. We have been a little busy, but managed to carve out some time to clean and organize a little so that we can finally start getting serious about Griffin’s nursery. I have a pretty clear vision of what I we want, so I’m really excited for the finished product.

I recently stumbled upon this great blog post and I knew immediately that I had to make my own list of Things I’m Glad My Parents Taught Me. Some of these things were drilled into my head on a daily basis, but in some instances, my parents simply lead by example. 

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1. Surround yourself with good people. This was one of those things that I heard all. the. time. And I’m glad I did. Because I did. I can honestly say that I had some of the best friends growing up, and still continue to surround myself with positive, encouraging, and genuine people. 

2. Don’t worry about what other people think. Unfortunately, this is something I still struggle with, but I think I have become better at it lately. During my first couple years of high school, I was a total people pleaser. I let people walk all over me and take advantage of me. Something clicked later on though, and I realized that was no way to live. While it is important to me to make people happy, I have learned that I can’t please everyone, and not everyone is going to like me (shocking, I know). I feel like that is something that everyone needs to come to terms with at some point in their life. 

3. Birthdays are a national holiday, and at Christmas, we go hard. I cannot WAIT to celebrate holidays with Griffin. I’m so happy that he is due in the summer, just in time for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course, Christmas. My parents always made our birthdays really special, and at Christmastime, we literally go all out, and I don’t just mean with presents. If you’ve celebrated Christmas Eve with us, you know it is an EVENT. It literally makes me giddy just thinking about how Griffin will be a part of all the fun festivities this year. 

4. Always stand up for yourself and the people you care about, but don’t get crazy. The don’t get crazy part of this one is something I have to remind myself on a daily basis. If I ever think that I, or someone I love is being attacked I immediately feel like it’s my responsibility to stand up for them. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that it is possible to do this, without losing my damn mind. My parents, while very protective, always seem to handle themselves with such grace, and I hope that Richard and I can be the same way with Griffin. 

5. Work hard, play hard. While I truly believe that one of the most important things you can do for your family, is to work hard in order to provide for them (which is something that my husband is very good at), I think it’s equally important to let lose and have a good time every once in awhile. 

6. Have a sense of humor/Be able to laugh at yourself. Laughter was a huge part of my childhood, and is also a really big part of my relationship with Richard. If you can’t take a second to laugh at yourself, then you’re doing something wrong. Yes, we do have to be serious at times, but if you bend down in front of my dad, he’s going to make a fart noise, and we’re all going to crack up. I truly feel sorry for people who are always “on” and never present. They’ll never really appreciate a good fart joke, will they? How sad. 

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Thanks Mom & Dad. I can’t wait to pass all these very important lessons on to Griffin. 

Forced Family (Easter) Fun

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It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, or how grateful you are to have said job, it’s always tough going back to work after a really, really, great weekend. Even though I came to the realization that a good night’s sleep just isn’t in the cards for me for quite some time, I spent the weekend with some of my favorite people and was reminded, yet again, just how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

I am lucky enough to see most of my immediate family AT LEAST once a week. We have a standing Sunday dinner and lately my mom and I have been hitting up the yard sales, finding tons baby bargains. Richard and I talk frequently about how lucky we are to have friends and family members who will also have such a great presence in Griffin’s life. 

This weekend, after going on our first double date in a good month, we were so happy to get to spend some time with my extended family. We had lots of family members in from out of town. My sister even popped in for a surprise visit, AND she’s coming back next weekend for her birthday, AND next month for my baby shower. Golf was played (by the guys, not me, obviously), food was eaten, and Hollywood Game Night was attempted. Our family is constantly growing, and it makes me so proud that my family is always so warm and welcoming to new members. There will be no shortage of love shown for Griffin when he gets here, that’s for sure.

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On Easter Sunday we celebrated at Nana and Pawpaw’s. The food was great, as usual, and Pawpaw busted out the old family videos. After coming to the realization that my brother, sister, and I were some of the cutest, funniest, dorkiest kids on the planet, I also realized that I honestly cannot wait to make memories like we had with Griffin. It’s the simple things in life that are the most special. Thank you, family, for a fun/hilarious/amazing weekend.