Let The Adventure Begin - Sarah's Birth Story
365 days ago I drove myself to the emergency room. The visit was to confirm what my heart already knew. After what felt like hours of waiting I was given the news that hit me like a ton of bricks. “I’m sorry honey, but there is no heartbeat anymore. The baby has passed away.”
The days after that stung. They left me with wounds that took months to heal. The loss was traumatic because not only was it unexpected, but I went through actual trauma when I passed the baby. Minutes before they took me back to have the surgery to remove the remains I passed the fetus on my own.
Seeing those tiny fingers and toes was not something I was ready for and it rocked my world. Like I needed therapy rocked. I spent the last year walking through it all and trying my best to not only overcome it, but to also come out stronger.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that my pregnancy with Sadie was one that left me nervous and fearful most of the time. I tried my hardest to lean into my faith, but once you go through something like we did, not just once but twice you learn to guard your heart.
That was what we worked through in therapy. Un-guarding my heart and helping me gear up to welcome this special rainbow blessing that God so knew our family needed.
It’s fitting today that I write out Sadie’s birth story as a celebration of what life has given me just one year later from all the trauma that we walked through.
Thanks for taking the time to sit and read her birth story. I hope it gently reminds you that there is always a rainbow after a storm and beauty for ashes.
Welcoming Sadie Marie
As I shared before, I have a history of precipitous labor. Meaning that the babies come within four hours or less typically. Because of this condition my doctor was allowed to induce me. It was something I chose to do for my last pregnancy as well. The plan was that we do a “Cinderella” induction. Meaning that after the stroke of midnight that Friday night into Saturday I could be induced. We had to wait until 39 weeks to be allowed to start the process and I wanted my favorite doctor from the practice to be the one to do it so this was the plan since she was on call that night.
That Friday I cleaned the house one more time, napped during the day with Kevin and made sure everything was all packed up before the evening. We put the kids to bed, I showered and “got ready” and anxiously awaited the phone call to come in.
Around 10:25 pm my phone rang and they said to head on over. We had a good 30 minute drive ahead of us into the city so we left right away. The waiting room was empty when we got there. They took us back to the labor and delivery room just shy of midnight.
One thing that we did as a family was have a guessing game of what time she would arrive. Our parents, siblings and grandparents weighed in. Everyone gave number guesses and we tracked them on a piece of paper. Little did I know that my guess would be only 1 minute off from her actual arrival! Pretty cool if you ask me.
Once we settled into our room they began to track contractions. Mine were already about 5 minutes apart without the pitocin and I had been dilated at 4 cm on my own over the weeks leading up to the delivery.
I swear the IV was one of the worst parts of the entire process. My nurse wasn’t able to do it so the IV team had to come and try again. I swear I complained about my hand hurting more than I did about the actual labor process.
Once they started the pitocin the plan was to get my epidural started and break my water. I knew that was when the progress would happen quick so getting the epidural first was the priority. Even though I had had two epidurals in the past for some reason I had a ton of anxiety about this one. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I made it out to be in my head and went very smoothly at first.
We didn’t know it, but they must have went a bit too far into my spine because my blood pressure kept tanking and setting off all sorts of alarms. It left me feeling really sick and I started to get some splitting headaches. It was getting a little scary, but the baby was handling it really well. Her numbers were never affected even though mine were all over the place. They ended up giving me a shot in my leg and keep the pressure up. It worked - thank goodness.
After they broke my water (which was totally painless) the labor started to ramp up pretty quickly. We were only alone for about half an hour just the two of us before the nurses joined in to sit with us full time. The doctor came back pretty quickly because I was feeling pressure but I was only at 5 ½ cm. I started to worry that maybe I wasn’t going to have a quick labor after all. My nurse insisted otherwise. This was around 2:30 am.
While I wasn’t feeling much of anything thanks to the epidural, my contractions were indicating she was coming sooner rather than later.
The nurse called the doctor back in right around 4:15 am. This is when you start to get a little nervous. The big overhead lights come on, tools and instruments come out and you know things are about to get serious. They moved the bed into a position for pushing. I had a nurse on each side to help with my oh so numb legs and Kevin stood on my right side helping with that leg and to coach me through it all. I was 10 cm and it was go time so we started with the pushing. It only took me five or six sets of contractions until she came out and when she did it was like a cannon.
At 4:46 am Sadie Marie Griffith arrived. Safe and sound. Perfect and sweet making our family complete. It was fast just like her siblings were. True labor was only about 2 and a half hours long. Kevin got to cut the cord after the delayed cord clamp while I was busy holding her for the first time. The emotions that you are flooded with in the moment are some of the best you will ever have in your entire life. We were both in tears and I was sobbing. It’s a gratitude sob along with a sob of relief that all the waiting and all the worrying was over.
Because she came so quickly she had some fluid in her lungs. We did skin to skin for a bit, but then the NICU had to come and suction out her lungs and do some check ups. They kept her under the warmer and listened to her lungs for a bit and did her vitals before giving her back. While I hated to not be holding her the entire time during the “golden hour”, I also wanted her to be safe so we had to let them have her for a bit. They repeated this three times before giving her back.
At this time I began to breastfeed her for the first time. She latched like a champ and nursed for quite awhile.
After two hours in the labor and delivery room we were given breakfast then taken up to the mother and baby floor where we would spend the next two days recovering and loving on our sweet girl.
We enjoyed short visits from family and tried to rest as often as we could. Our all nighter from labor really wore us all out. Carter and Grace came late in the day to meet her for the first time. The moments were priceless. They both wanted to hold her and touch her and were just so eager to finally meet her. Each of them wanted to take something of hers home with them when they left so both of them got to take one of her hospital swaddle blankets to snuggle up with that night at home.
We were able to leave to head home Sunday evening around 6 pm. We could have stayed another night but we wanted to get home to our new family of 5.
Sweet Sadie Marie, “Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born. You are loved.”
Let the adventure begin.
Looking for more? Sarah will share regularly on her fitness and motherhood blog and you can follow along with her on Instagram.