In the wee hours of the morning last Friday, Dec. 10, a pregnant, Near West Side woman started her day just like any other; however, within a few hours that would all change.
Adrianna Griffin, 20, was at home alone with her 1-year-old daughter, when she went into labor. There is no telephone landline in her mother’s town home and Griffin doesn’t own a cell phone, so, subsequently, she couldn’t call for an ambulance. This was no deterrence for the mom, who, within a few hours, single-handedly delivered her healthy 5 pound 8 ounce daughter, Aaliyah Nicholson.
Griffin is thankful Aaliyah was born without complications, because the child was born two months before her Feb. 16, due date. At around 5 a.m., Griffin awoke to use the restroom. Frequent additional trips, though, prevented her from going back to sleep.
She got out of bed about an hour later, and by 8 a.m. she was in the kitchen, preparing oatmeal for Akirriana. Shortly thereafter, the six other family members that share her mother’s town home on the 1800 block of Maypole were out the door, and Griffin was left alone with Akirriana.
Then her water broke.
Griffin initially yelled for help, but afterward no one came. With her contractions increasing, she decided to tackle childbirth alone.
In an interview with Austin Weekly News at her mother’s home Tuesday, Griffin said that she first attempted to deliver Aaliyah in the bathtub but abandoned the idea when she realized that she had nothing to wrap the baby in.
She quickly moved to a bedroom, at which point, young Aaliyah was already coming into the world. In the bedroom, Griffin delivered her baby and then sought out a pair of her father’s scissors. She cleaned them with hand sanitizer and cut the baby’s umbilical chord.
“I panicked a little bit,” Griffin said, laughing.
“I [had] been reading books, and watching shows,” she added, explaining how she knew what to do during the delivery and afterward. Griffin explained that tying the baby’s umbilical chord-commonly done with a metal clamp-is necessary to prevent the child from bleeding to death. She was aware of this and used a shoestring to protect Aaliyah.
After delivering the child, Griffin cleaned her up, fed her, and put her to sleep. Her sister, Mariah, 19, then arrived back from Harold Washington College, and was stunned when Adrianna told her the news.
“If that was me blood woulda been all over the house. I woulda panicked,” a joking Mariah said.
She then ran upstairs to confirm her sister’s story; and, upon doing so, immediately called paramedics to transport Adrianna and the baby to UIC Medical Center, where she spent the next three days.
Sheena Griffin, Adrianna’s mom, admitted that she was upset when she learned that Adrianna was pregnant last year. She thought it would interfere with her daughter’s ambitions to pursue a career in cosmetology-a goal Adrianna still intends to pursue- but now considers both her two granddaughters a “blessing.”
“All I can say is God was with me that day,” Akirriana said. “And, I had the faith to have my baby in my house.”