Editor’s note: I had promised to write this right after the previous post, but alas, even while this page has remained open in my web browser, three weeks have passed. Three very busy weeks.

Last night, a Tuesday night, Tristen went to Target with Torrie and the boys. When she got back and was feeding them, I looked over at her and she looked just absolutely beat. Starting the previous night I think, she would stop now and then and just breathe very deeply. I kept asking her if she was alright, or I’d ask if she’s about to have the baby. Having never gotten this far in a pregnancy or experienced any real contractions, and it being two weeks and two days before the scheduled c-section, she didn’t seriously consider that she might have been in labor for a while.

Which she was, although we still didn’t know it yet.

Fast forward to the next morning and Tristen hadn’t slept well. She’d also been having some pains. She decided to go to work, but she set up the earliest appointment she could get to get checked out. That appointment was at 10:45. When she left, she told people she’d either see them in a couple hours or a couple months.

Obviously it ended up being the latter.

I called my mom to tell her that there was a possibility that Tristen was in labor, since she was planning on coming down to help out for a week. I got a call from Tristen around 11:00 wherein she told me that she was already three centimeters dilated and it was happening today. Tristen had, fortunately, already gotten most of her stuff together and I had put together a little bag for myself while I was waiting to hear from her. I dropped Fawkes and Phoenix off at Torrie’s and headed on over to the hospital. Tristen’s mom, Laura, arrived shortly after I did.

By the time I got to the hospital, Tristen had progressed to six centimeters. The baby was coming one way or the other. The doctor asked if she wanted to do a natural birth, but it was very short notice to change up the plans for Tristen, and she was planning on getting her tubes out anyway, so she figured it made sense to go ahead and get that done while they were in there taking the baby out.

It wasn’t long before they wheeled Tristen to the operating room and I found myself decked out coverings just as I had been exactly one year, two months, and one week prior. Tristen told me later that she had to ask about me joining them- I guess they were going to forget me out in the waiting area.

But I was there at 1:29 PM when Griffin (middle name to have been determined at the time, but we settled on Oliver despite the initials) Dotsey was pulled from his mother’s belly, bruised just a little from the journey. As I did with my three other children, I cut his umbilical cord. He was 20 inches long and five pounds, thirteen ounces. He peed a LOT on the table he was taken to, to the point that one of the nurses remarked that if he’d waited just a minute to let it all out that he might have weighed a little more.

Tristen got to snuggle with him for a bit. He was already trying to find a boob, which was indicative of how good an eater he would turn out to be.

This being my fourth child and third c-section, I decided to watch over the divider a bit more than I had in previous births. I don’t seem to mind seeing a bit of surgical mess, which is funny because I’m still not a fan of even getting my own blood drawn or getting a shot.

Anyway, they took me and the baby to a room while the mama got sewn back together. She joined us after a bit, but it was still a while before we were taken to a recovery room. Poor Laura was sitting out in the lobby forever. But she did get to see her latest grandson after a while, and then Torrie came by for a bit with cousins Sebastian and Gabriel.

I spent the night at the house, which felt a little odd to me just because with all my previous kids I spent nights at the hospital. Of course, when Milly was born there were no kids to be home for, and when Fawkes and Phoenix were born Milly was at her mom’s house for most of that time, so I didn’t need to be back home for her, either.

My mom arrived the next day to watch Fawkes and Phoenix. Milly was on Spring Break and Amanda was nice enough to drop Milly by for a little while. I think she was more excited about Griffin than she thought she’d be. Samantha stopped by for a bit. Dr. Fru had come by the previous day, which was conveniently-timed because she and her family were moving the next day. My mom got to trade up the babies and come by for a bit as well.

Griffin was born on April 17 and got to go home on April 20. He was early, but not so early that he had to go to the NICU like his older brothers did. My dad was at the house when we got there and he carried Griffin in. We introduced him to his brothers, who were eating lunch at the table. Phoenix was so excited! He had a huge grin in his face and chattered on as babies to and wanted to touch his new little brother. As for Fawkes, I later used the hashtag ZeroFawkesGiven to describe his reaction. He didn’t really care at all. That said, this being written three weeks after the fact, I can say that they both get excited when they see their little brother and both want to touch and play with him.

My mom stayed until the following Thursday I think. She was a HUGE help. I was able to get a good bit of work done and she also spent a good bit of time with Milly on the afternoons we had her, which I know they both enjoyed. Milly even passed up time with one of her friends who came by because she wanted to spend time with Mum Mum.

The day my mom left was a rough one. The boys (I can’t just refer to Fawkes and Phoenix as “the boys” anymore since there’s one more, but I’ve always tried to avoid calling them “the twins”) were teething, I was busy, Tristen was exhausted. It was just a rough time.

Griffin was born perfectly healthy and has been great since. He’s mostly a quiet baby and he really likes to eat. He’s got dimples and nobody can really decide who he favors. He looks like Griffin, I say. That’s about all that can be said for him at this point because, well, I mean he’s just a newborn baby and he doesn’t do a whole lot.