Sunday, February 14, 2010

Matthew's Birth Story

Short Version:
Induced on my due date - very long labor at nearly 21 hours - no signs that I would progress on my own to the finish and we were minutes away from going to the operating room for a C-section - we prayed, God answered in wonderfully merciful ways - Matthew Lewis was born! It was my longest and most difficult labor (all have been induced) even though it was my 4th child.

Longer Version:
I was due on February 9th, so with my history of always going late, my doctor and I were in agreement that an induction was a fine course of action. Arrived at the hospital around 8:00 am. We were starting at 2 cm, maybe 50% effacement and -3 station. Pitocin was begun and increased every 30 minutes. Water was broken at 3:15 and I was still at 2cm. Pitocin continued to increase, and the pain did, too. Pitocin drip reached 30 (I'm not sure of the measurement, but the nurse told me that 10 was most often all that was needed for most women.)

I was doing my best to make it without an epidural (I have the last 2 times) but as we approached midnight I was only at 3 cm and maybe a -2 station and was completely exhausted. I opted for the epidural at midnight. I quickly progressed to 5 cm and although I didn't sleep, the rest was so welcome. At midnight an internal monitoring device was also put in to try to make sense of why labor was not progressing and why he was not shifting down at all. I continued to labor through the night, but at 3:40 was only at 5-6 cm and station had not improved. At this point, my doctor expressed that he was still not able to get a reason for why things were not progressing and baby was not descending. He was recommending a c-section, though we were not at the point that it had to be done right then and there. He graciously gave us 30 minutes to talk it over privately and to pray. We called my parents and asked them to pray, too, and we cried out to God. Not that a c-section would have been awful, it was just that we had come so far and labored so long that it seemed so disappointing and I dreaded the recovery and doubted how I could care for my family if it came to that. We prayed for a safe delivery of our little boy, no matter what means that meant. After 30 minutes we were at peace with the decision to go ahead with the c-section. At that point I was checked again and was at 8 cm. My doctor at that point thought it wise to give it another half hour to see if I could complete. Our little guy was holding strong, but it had been a long day and night for him in the womb, too, and was starting to show signs of stress.

We continued to pray and hope that this could happen without surgery, but surrendered our will to His. A half hour later I had completed and I began pushing. He was born less than 5 contractions later at 5:02am on February 10. To God be the glory! We are so thankful for His favor!

We have so much to give thanks for, as witnessed by the story above, but also in other ways...with a wonderfully skilled and compassionate Christian doctor, with a great staff of nurses who cared for us and encouraged us, for my parents who we felt we could call in the middle of the night to join us in prayer, for an amazingly supportive husband who stood with me through it all. My heart is overflowing with thanks for the way God brought this child into the world.

P.S. - I know some will read this and think that it was because of the induction and the medical intervention that we got to the point we were at considering a c-section. Just know that I realize not all will agree with the way we came to be in that situation, the use of the epidural, etc., but that in those moments, they did seem like the best decisions for us. I get the strong desire for natural childbirth and I have gone that route before. This is not meant to be a divisive post in any way, just an account of Matthew's birth story.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

He's Here!

On Wednesday we welcomed this precious one! We praise God for his safe arrival and that the delivery ended so well after a long day and night of labor without promising progress.

Matthew Lewis
February 10, 2010 @ 5:02am
8 lb. 10 oz. - 20.5 inches