Griffin Natural Childbirth Videos - Part 1, Labor

Buckle up everyone, here’s my natural childbirth story! It’s a big one, so we’ve divided it into three parts.

This is part one of my three-part birthing story. I did my natural childbirth in a birthing center with the assistance of a doula (two of them, actually) and a midwife.

Other videos in this series

Here’s the story

Labor began at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept 10 and lasted through the night and into the morning. I was unable to sleep, but managing fairly well. We called our doula over around noon and soon it was time to drive to the alternative birthing center at a nearby hospital. When the midwife checked me out I was 5cm dilated. Yeah for the rookie mom! We were worried I’d be at a 1 or 2.

I continued to labor in the birthing center – mainly in the shower and down on all fours with the birthing ball – till 4 p.m. When my midwife rechecked me I was at a 7! Life was good. I had hope! I labored for 2 more hours… very intense, very painful and thank God for Mike who literally held my back together with every contraction to help offset the pressure. I was rechecked at 6 p.m. and was making progress.

We labored for another half hour and then filled the birthing tub…

Click for Part 2: Delivery.

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22 Comments

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  1. This is so inspiring, I am feeling confident my upcoming birth will be calm and centered.it will be my third, my labor with my second progressed faster than I would have liked. I’m focusing my thoughts on a smooth less unnerving birth, but realize it may happen quickly as well. I was shocked with my second when they said you are at six, then I was pushing before I felt mentally even there.every birth is a blessed journey. My journey is close now, at 39 weeks with low cramping.I honor the process.

  2. I love the idea of a birthing center…where do I find an alternative birthing center??

  3. Just watching this for the first time and having flashbacks! My baby girl was also not posterior yet I had ALL back labor. My contractions started 7pm on Friday, July 15 and I never gave birth until 3:07 Monday morning! I literally spent three days on my hands and knees and was bruised by the time my baby girl made her appearance! A long haul but sooooooo worth it! Good for you, Mama!

  4. This looks like West Suburban in Oak Park? I delivered here too! Nice place. Did not get to use the tub though:(

  5. Genevieve, you are a rock star!
    That was not an easy birth and you really did an awesome job!
    My first labor was at an active birthing unit with birthing tub, midwife and Doula. I had every intention of having a totally drug free birth for my baby boy, but he just wasn’t moving down. The midwife insisted on rupturing membranes :-/ and when that didn’t work, gave me Aterax and when that didn’t work, gave me Cytotec (not approved in the States by the FDA, but still used here in South Africa). I didn’t think too much about what was wrong with my labor because I had my beautiful, healthy baby boy, but when I fell pregnant with my little girl I started working through it all and I was determined that it would be different second time around. I changed midwives and wrote out 3 highly detailed, different birth plans so that any outcomes were covered. My little girl was born at home at 41 weeks with absolutely no intervention. A very different experience! I can’t help feeling that her birth healed any guilt and regret I felt about my first birth.

    • Thanks for sharing Christie! Woo hoo! I loved hearing your stories as I think it shows how you learned and grew from your first birth. Frankly, I think the first birth is so out of this world and hard (at least for me) that we’re lucky if we both survive. I hope and pray that my next birth will be like your 2nd birth :).

  6. First of all, I have to say you have some serious guts putting your labor online! And having such patience with the camera in the room! Your husband was pretty hilarious, he was definitely excited! I also had a natural child birth and these videos just made me tear up watching. The moment when they placed your son in your arms… complete bliss written all over your face! So beautiful. Watching these videos definitely brought back some memories I had blocked out from child birth! haha Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story.

  7. Oh my!!! Yes, back labor is AWFUL!! Never a break…with my first, my hubby’s arm was practically numb because of having to rub my back all of the time…my baby wasn’t posterier(sp?) but for some reason I still had back labor. I was lucky though in that I didn’t have to push that long once my babies actually decided to come! Good job mama!

    • Hi Sara, My baby also wasn’t posterior so not sure why the back labor either. It is tough! I wouldn’t have made it without my hubby either who literally held my back together with every contraction :). LOL!

  8. Amazing video! You’re one tough mama. Thanks for sharing with the blog-world.

  9. That definately took me back to delivery too. I had my last two natural, my first one I hoped for a natural delivery but was bombarded by all the medical staff, and treated like a child. I wass 22 with my first. Needless to say I switched to a mid-wife who delivers in a nearby hospital. Things went wonderfully time 2 , and time 3. My second one had strong fast contractions. It was pretty bad. But my third baby was my slow poke. It was a gentle delivery. I wasn’t even sure if I was really in labor because the contractions were steadily 3-4 minutes apart even in the intense labor. Can’t recall how long they lasted now, but they were pretty short, and the contractions were very manageable. Even when they wanted to push things along I decided to let it run it’s own course, I labored two hours longer than I would have. I just was in shock I was at a five because my contractions seemed so mild compared to labor 2. Also when I was at a 7, I even kept asking the Midwife, “Are you sure I am a seven? I really should be feeling more than this. How can I be progressing? This is way too manageable!” We both laughed about it later. Mother to a 6, 2, and 7 month old. How many children do you have?

    • WOW, I hope and pray I have a delivery like your number 3 :)! He… he… it’s amazing how each birth story is so unique. Just like each child! Sounds like you have your hands full in your household. Griffin is our first child and we hope to have a few more. We shall see how it all unfolds… Thanks for sharing your birth stories with us and stay in touch!

  10. You truly are an inspiration to all women out there who are pregnant, considering, or moms already. I myself am rearing three children not of my own, but each passing day is filled with free entertainment, and lots of love. To see each one of them grow into their own unique personalities has been very intriguing to me. I ask my parents was it this hard as a parent when I was little and all the replies are yes. As each day passes some will be challenging and some will be the best heart-filled but I wouldn’t change it for all the money or anything in the world. Good Luck to you and your new family.
    Lots of love and prayers,

    Brooke

    • Aw, thank you Brooke! I love how you talk about loving children with their unique personalities :)> I like to think of children as God’s children and we just get to be a guide for them through this life. Sounds like you are an amazing mama! Enjoy your day and keep in touch! Genevieve

  11. I am glad to see you’re back on line Earth mama:) I missed seeing your vids.
    So… I’m going to have to jump on the birth-story-telling wagon with you two moms asap, I need to share Gibson’s birth…he’s almost two months old. I am behind. haha

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of your birth story, Genevieve! Congratulations!

    • Good to hear from you Elisabeth! I love your baby’s name… Gibson! So cute! Yes, do share your birth story… I find them fascinating.
      How’s new motherhood going? I’m two weeks in and learning a TON! Keep in touch…

  12. Congratulations, Genevieve! I recognized the Hypnobabies CD in the background . . . are you going to share your thoughts on how it worked for you? I used Hypnobabies with my first birth and loved the affirmations but definitely did not have a pain free delivery. The second time around I simply did not have an hour to invest each day on practicing the technique, so I went without it and the discomfort was about the same. I can’t wait to find out if you had a boy or girl! I guess you’ll be sharing that in Part 2?

    • Hi Heather,

      Ha, ha… Good ears! Yes, that was hypnobabies and I will touch upon in part 3. I’ll say this, I agree that the anesthesia didn’t work for me :(.

      We will be posting pics of baby soon!

      Take good care.

  13. Man, that took me back. Unfortunately my labor pains were continuous. I never got a break. Maybe that’s why it all went so fast. I don’t know which would have been better. Thankfully I had my husband and doula for support. But honestly, i think I would have killed them if they tired to get “commentary” from me for a video. 😉

    • Ouch, Flucky mom, continuous labor pains doesn’t sound fun! How long was your labor? If you have another child, hopefully it will be better!

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