I hope this long post doesn’t bore anyone, but I’m partly writing it for my own benefit. I highly doubt I could ever forget the events surrounding Griffin’s birth, but I know that the details can get a bit foggy. So here’s how it all happened:

Monday, July 22
Due to a major storm that knocked out power to most of the Quad Cities, I was at home (lots of damage and no power at work). I planned on using my time at home to get a few more things ready for the baby. However, I was feeling really tired and had the start of a migraine. I decided to take a nap around 3 PM, and when I woke up, my headache was even worse. At 4 PM, I got up to get some more medication, when I felt this strange sensation. It sort of felt like I peed my pants – not much, but enough to make me think, “Oh great, just another lovely side effect of being 9 months pregnant.” I did find it a bit curious as I hadn’t had any of these issues previously, but there’s always a first. Pretty soon I realized that I wasn’t wetting myself, but that my water broke.

I called the doctor’s office thinking they’d tell me to chill at home for a little while as I wasn’t feeling any contractions, but they told me to grab my bags and check into labor and delivery. Holy crap! I wasn’t ready for this. Just then, Patrick came home. I told him what was happening and we grabbed our stuff and left for the hospital.

By about 6 PM we had been checked in and were getting settled in our room. I was in my hospital gown and was hooked up to the fetal monitor. Pretty soon, we could hear his heartbeat, which sounded a lot like galloping horses. Eventually the nurse turned down the volume because it was quite distracting. The doctor came in and we developed a plan – I would labor until midnight without any intervention and see how I progressed. If I dilated more (I was only at 1 CM, but 70% effaced), great. If not, they would start the dreaded Pitocin drip.

Patrick and I watched the Cubs game and chatted. I walked to the bathroom numerous times (still had that pregnancy bladder) and dragged my IV with me, while the cords from the fetal monitor were wrapped around my neck. Let me tell you…this wasn’t easy!

Tuesday, July 22
Finally, it was 12 AM. No progress. They started the Pitocin drip a bit after midnight, and within 30 minutes, I started to actually feel some contractions (I’d been having them consistently since 6 PM, but they just weren’t strong enough to make any real progress). By about 1 AM, they were strong enough for me to pull out the old breathing techniques. They were quite helpful until about 1:30 AM, when the contractions didn’t deem to ever break. I decided to forgo the breathing and went straight into a plaintive moan. By this time, I also had rolled onto my side and gripped the bed rails with the wave of each contraction, moaning through them and waiting for them to peak and then subside…but they never subsided. The nurse came in around 2 AM and I told her that they didn’t feel like they were letting up. She said, “That’s because they’re not.”

It was at this point when every fear I ever had about getting an epidural went right out the window. She must have read my mind, because she asked me if I wanted one. She checked me again, and I was still stuck at 1 CM, but was 100% effaced and the baby had dropped. I didn’t think they would give me an epidural because I had always been told that you needed to be at least 4 CM dilated. Thankfully, I was wrong. The 15 minutes it took the anesthesiologist to get to my room felt like an eternity. Patrick was strangely quiet during this time – I know it must have been hard for him to watch me like that. He was wonderful, though, and kept bringing me cold, wet washcloths for my face and neck.

All of a sudden, I could hear a man’s voice coming down the hall. Relief was in sight! The epidural was painless and very quick. For some reason, I was able to sit still during my contractions for him to complete the procedure. I was motivated to feel better, so I was willing to do just about anything. Within 10 minutes, I started to feel some relief. I was numb from my thighs up to my mid-back, but I didn’t care. I felt like a human being again – I could speak and breathe and actually listen to what others were saying to me.

I started experiencing some weird sensations – a definite pressure in my pelvis. The nurse checked me again, and was in complete shock when she told me that in the previous hour, I had dilated from 1 CM all the way to 10 CM! I was ready to push. I turned to Patrick and said, “Did you hear what she said?” He just nodded his head and smiled.

It’s now 4:30AM and I’m starting to push. It’s a strange sensation because your body is all crunched up and people are holding your feet and you’re curling up in a tight ball while gripping some handle bars. Very primal. I made a lot of progress for the first hour, but then I kind of stalled. I pushed…and pushed…and pushed for 2 straight hours. I pushed on my back and on my side. I pushed while performing a tug-of-war with the nurse while we both pulled on a bed sheet. Nothing. Finally, the doctor said that we might need to think about a vacuum-assisted birth, and if that didn’t work, we needed to do a c-section. She let me push some more and all of a sudden I was overcome with an insane amount of pressure. It was non-stop and I couldn’t stop myself from pushing. They’d count to 10 and I would keep pushing to 11, 12, 13. My body was doing it on its own. I was so scared because they had turned off the epidural not long after I got it, so the numbness was wearing off and I could feel so much pressure and burning. I was so scared because the more I pushed, it felt like my body was going to break. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s the truth. They told me that the best way to deal with the pain is to do the opposite of what your instinct is – instead of holding back and not pushing, I needed to push right through the pain. So I did. My nice, controlled pushes that I started out with were replaced with stronger pushes, heavy breathing in between (did I mention I had on an oxygen mask?), and I believe some occasional grunting. And you know what? It worked. A little before 7 AM, the doctor got on her gown and gloves. The nurses set up the cart with all the necessary medical supplies and instruments, and I was told it would be over very soon.

After his head was out, they suctioned his mouth and had me push very lightly. Out came his shoulders and my work was done – they pulled him out and out him on my chest. The rest is a blur – he was crying, Patrick was taking pictures, I was thrilled it was over, etc.

I don’t think there is anyway someone could truly explain exactly how it feels to give birth. First of all, every woman’s experience is different. Second, we all have our own issues to deal with. What I mean is that I am a highly anxious person who worries about everything. For me, labor and birth was the ultimate unknown. There were so many things out of my control. I tried to remain open minded about everything and go with the flow as much as possible. Overall, I think I did a great job…and for the first time in my 35 years, I am in awe of myself. This was me facing the ultimate fear. This was me going beyond any physical limitations I had ever put on myself. If I can do this, I don’t know what I can’t do. It feels like just about anything is within my reach.


Griffin Delaney Moore was born on Tuesday, July 22nd at 7:04 AM. He weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz and was 21 inches long.

There’s so much I want to say about what happened – the details of the whole experience. I do plan on posting them, but right now I’m just too tired. We just got home about an hour ago and we’re all exhausted. For now, I’ll just post a couple of pictures:

– I’m still dilated to 1 cm
– My cervix has “considerably thinned”
– My blood pressure was still high
– The Bambino is “definitely head down”
– My blood pressure returned to normal after being on my side for 10 minutes
– The Bambino passed his third non-stress test
– I had two contractions between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM today and then they stopped

Sorry for the short and medically-themed post, but I wanted to be sure to make note of my 37 week appointment. I don’t want to forget any of these details.

I go back to the doctor on July 22nd, so we’ll see if I continue to make progress…

I was planning on writing this yesterday, but never got around to it. Work is just crazy and they’ve had to put a temporary hold on one of the grants I’m writing due to some budget issues at the state level.

Anyway, I had my 36 week appointment on Tuesday and everything was fine – my blood pressure was up again, but I attribute that to my fear over having my first internal exam. Let’s just say that I had a right to be nervous. Yowza! I figured it would be like having a yearly internal exam, but it wasn’t. I was wondering how long she was going to be up there…and why the heck they have to go so far. For a second, I thought about asking her to just pull him out while she had her hand so far inside me. After all of that, I find out that I am dilated to 1 cm, but not effaced at all. As I said before, this doesn’t mean that much. I could have the baby tomorrow, or I could walk around like this for the next few weeks.

I went up to labor and delivery for my weekly non-stress test. My blood pressure was almost back to normal by the time I got there, so I was relieved. Towards the end of the test, the nurse came in and asked me when I had seen the doctor. I told her that I came straight from my appointment to the test. She then took the printout from the test and left the room saying, “I need to call your doctor.” I freaked out! What was wrong? Was the baby not moving enough? Are they going to have to admit me immediately? She finally came back and told me that the baby was doing just fine (we passed again!), but that I was having a lot of contractions. Who knew? I felt nothing aside from a dull ache that I figured was just from having been violated in my doctor’s office. Obviously no one was too concerned because they unhooked me from the monitors and sent me on my way.

Now other things are happening. My body is showing signs that it is getting ready for the big day. The frustrating thing is that it could be tomorrow or it could be three weeks from now. After today’s issues I’ve decided that I really need to get my hospital bag packed and have the baby’s stuff packed. That makes it seem all too real. I’m starting to panic. What if I don’t handle the pain well? What if I freak out? What if I’m really not strong enough to get through this?

I try to be funny about the exams and the tests, but the truth is that I’m really, really scared.

The Bambino definitely has dropped a bit. First of all, my belly looks different. Second, I have to pee, like, every 15 minutes and I’m having a ton of pressure on my bladder – I feel it every time I stand up and I’ve been getting these sharp “jolts” when the baby moves around. Actually, I can feel him in every part of my belly (he moves a lot!), but I definitely feel them a lot lower than I used to.

I go to the doctor tomorrow for my first internal exam to see if I’m dilated or effaced. I hear these exams can be uncomfortable at this point in pregnancy, but I’m so curious about my progress. And, yes, I know that it doesn’t really mean squat. I could walk around dilated to 3 for weeks, and I also could not be dilated at all and go into labor tomorrow.

It’s all a big mystery…

I think the Bambino has started to drop. Over the past couple of days I can feel some things changing in how I sit, sleep, etc. I used to be incredibly uncomfortable while sitting at work or at home. I’d get these awful aches in my ribs and I would try to lean back as far as I could to alleviate them – not an easy thing to do when you sit all day at work. Now when I sit, it feels like he is resting on my lap a bit more. Relief! Also, when I bend down or reach over to pick up something, I don’t gasp for breath. I feel like I can take a deep breath again and I don’t feel full after a few bites of food. I was beginning to wonder where my appetite had gone…I think it has returned now that he’s sitting a bit lower these days.

Of course, this means absolutely nothing. Well, not nothing. Obviously, he’s positioning himself, but I still have about 4 weeks left, so I’m trying not to get too excited.

In other news…I found out on Monday that if I do make it to my due date, the Bambino could be around 9 lbs. Last week, he was estimated at about 6 lbs 8 oz with another 5 weeks to go. No wonder it’s hard to roll out of bed! I also had my first non-stress test up in labor & delivery at the hospital. They are monitoring me closely due to the diabetes. His heart rate was great and he passed with flying colors. I will get these every week until I deliver just to make sure he’s doing OK. If they notice anything wrong, then we move into a whole different set of decisions.

I can’t believe he’ll actually be here in a month. It seems like just yesterday when we found out I was pregnant. It really has gone by so quickly.

As for names, we’ve got some ideas but we’re not sharing. Too many people feel like it’s their job to inform you that they used to live next door to some kid with the same name and he was a real jerk, or that their least favorite relative has that name. We’re avoiding all of that and keeping our names to ourselves. In fact, we haven’t even settled on anything. We’re going in with a few first and middle names and plan on waiting to see what he looks like.

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