Griffin Batch Hofer : Birth Story

Born: March 3rd, 2016 at 4:46pm
Weight: 8 lbs 10 oz
Length: 20.5 inches

I expected child birth to be hard, but it was hands down the hardest thing I've ever done. Physically, and emotionally. I was prepared for the pain of contractions, but not the pain of having my baby rushed to NICU before I got to see his sweet little face or hear his cry.
But it was also the most incredible, and such a special experience. I would do it again in a heart beat. My pregnancy was a breeze, with no major complications or complaints. So I expected my labor to go just as smoothly. Tons of people even commented how labor and recovery would be easier for me since I had stayed so active throughout my pregnancy. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, it was ROUGH.

The morning of my due date I thought I might be leaking amniotic fluid so I was hoping labor would kick in soon. Around 9pm it still hadn't so the OB on-call recommended coming in to get checked. (There is a risk of infection if you are leaking fluid for too long.) I crossed my fingers as we made the hour drive up to the University Hospital. The nurse said the first test was positive and my heart skipped a beat. However, after doing another test combined with the fact I was still only dilated to 1 cm they decided to send us home. I felt a little silly for driving all the way up there for a false alarm, especially since we didn't get home until 11 pm and Michael had to be up at 5 am the next morning.
We went straight to bed and just moments after falling asleep I awoke to a 'POP'ing sensation. It kinda felt like when you pop your knuckles, except it was in my belly. I laid there for a minute trying to decided if it had just been a dream or if I had really felt it. I got up to use the bathroom and there was a small gush of fluid. I sat on the toilet for a few minutes & in my tired state tried to decide if I was peeing or if my water had really broken. I decided  to go lay down in bed (ontop of a stack of beach towels-just in case) and see if I had anymore gushes of fluid. After a minute I could tell I was still leaking so I rolled over and told Michael for the second time that day that I thought my water had broken. Needless to say he didn't believe me and tiredly responded with "are you sure?" before rolling over and promptly falling back asleep. So I woke my mom and told her what had happened, and she excitedly agreed that she thought my water had broken. 
I felt my first contraction and decided I should try and get a little sleep before they got worse. I was planning on delivering naturally and wanted to labor at home as long possible, and since this was my first pregnancy figured that would be atleast a few hours. By the time I walked back down stairs the contractions were making me double over in pain. I laid down in bed and immediately knew I wouldn't be getting any sleep. I moved to the living room so I wouldn't wake Michael and alternated between my yoga ball and stretching on the floor. After only 5 minutes since my water braking, my contractions were already just 2 minutes apart. I could hardly stand when they hit. So I woke Michael telling him "it's time to go!". That woke him right up and he quickly grabbed our bag.

We were back at the hospital only two hours after we'd left. This time my water had broken, and I was already dilated to 4 cm. Michael tried some of the hypnobirth techniques we learned in our class that we had been practicing but since my contractions were less than two minutes apart (and lasting longer than that) I never had enough time to relax enough and be able to get into the zone. The pressure points that were suppose to help with the pain only made it worse. I didn't want to be touched. So I switched to the tub and labored in the water for a bit. By 7 am I was about blacking out between contractions because they were so intense that I had zero energy left. The fact I had been awake for over 24 hrs didn't help either. I was dilated to over 7 cm but worried if things kept going like this I would have zero strength left to push when the time came and end up with a c-section. Even though I wanted to continue going natural I REALLY didn't want a c-section so I decided to get an epidural. To compromise I got the lowest dose of medication and then didn't press the repeat dosage button so that I could still feel everything that was happening. It was nice to have the edge taken off though. After the contractions were more bearable I noticed I was cold. It started off as just a chill but even with a pile of blankets I was freezing and shivering uncontrollably. I had a fever of 104 degrees so I got a dose of antibiotics. My face became so puffy I didn't even really look like myself.

Finally it was time to push. I would give it my all each time but it felt like nothing was happening. The nurses, Michael, and my Mom kept cheering me on saying, "your almost there!". Total and complete lies, haha. My doctor informed me Griffin was in the 87% for size and my birth canal was only in the 2nd percentile for size. Needless to say it wasn't a good combo. After pushing for 2.5 hours my doctor recommended an episiotomy, because he just wasn't going to come out otherwise. I didn't originally want one but at this point I didn't care I just wanted him here. 
The NICU team of doctors and nurses had been called in since I was running such a high fever and I had been pushing so long. I was pushing with everything I had and his head was finally starting to come. But then he had a shoulder dystocia, where the shoulders get stuck on the pubic bone trying to come out. I heard the doctor yell out "shoulders!", the que for the nurses to hit the code button. I knew how serious a shoulder dystocia was from working on LnD, and that they usually ended in a crash emergency c-section. The pediatric resuscitation team came running in and I knew I had to get this baby out, and fast.

 The only thing I remember after this point is pushing with everything I had and more. They pushed Michael out of the way, who was standing by waiting to cut the cord. Then they threw my legs up over my head and had the nurses pushing down on my stomach while the doctor tried to pull the baby free. He was stuck for just under 2 minutes but it felt like forever because time is crucial since the babies aren't getting adequate blood flow (thus oxygen flow) during this time. As soon as the baby was out they passed him over to the NICU and Resuscitation team. There were so many doctors and nurses in that room. I could see him on the incubator in the corner and kept waiting to hear his sweet little cry but it didn't come. They suctioned a bunch of fluid out and then placed him on C-Pap since he wasn't breathing on his own. I felt so helpless stuck in the bed as they stitched me, watching so many doctors working on my tiny baby and not knowing what was going on. I was worried and scared but part of me knew he was going to be okay.  I know Griffin was meant to come and join our family, the fact that I even got pregnant was proof he was suppose to be here.

They rushed Griffin off to the NICU before I even got to hold or see him.  I continued to hemorrhage so they gave me three different shots, and two IV injections, and one oral dose of medication to try and stop the bleeding. They did an ultrasound and then one of the doctors and to go and scope my uterus out of the remaining clots. You'd squirm if I told you how they did this. The bleeding finally slowed a little and I was eventually transferred to the Post Partum Unit. I have never been so exhausted in my life. I couldn't keep my eyes open, but didn't want to fall asleep and miss getting to go see our baby. 9 hours later they took us to see Griffin, and I finally got to see his sweet little chubby face. It was so surreal, I couldn't believe we had a baby! I think it was harder for that to sink in since we didn't get to see or hold him right after he was born. 


We looked down and the little bundle that was sound asleep and thought 'is this really our baby?'. We read the name tag that said "baby boy Peachey" and half jokingly said "how are we sure he is ours?" , "what if they mixed him up with another baby?". Words can't describe how excited I was to FINALLY get to old our little boy. As we talked to him he slowly opened his eyes and looked up at me, it was love at first sight. 

Griffin had to stay in the nursery since he hadn't been breathing. They were also concerned he was septic (a possibly fatal infection) since his white blood cell count was elevated, and that he might have broken his collar bone when he got stuck. He was on an IV antibiotic for two days for the sepsis and when his white cell count dropped back into the normal range we finally got to have him stay in my hospital room on the last night. We didn't know if Griffin would get to go home with us or have to stay for another 5-7 days until a few hours before my release. Talk about stress. Thank heavens he was cleared to be released & we all went home together. 

I loved delivering at the University of Utah Hospital. All the staff was amazing. My nurses were so incredible! My doctor was great too, I think if he wouldn't have been there I would have ended up with a C-section. Makes me proud to work at a hospital that treats their patients so amazingly.

We are so excited to welcome Griffin Batch Hofer into our little family. He is absolutely perfection and we couldn't be more in love.  He brings us so much joy. We are so glad he is here safe and healthy. Plus those cheeks!

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