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.


Jenn said...

Great to read the story and so thankful for stories of answred prayers. Hope you are starting to regain some energy and getting settled in at home. Love you and will give you a call this week.

Megan said...

My #4 was probably my most painful one as well. What is it with those #4 stinkers? :)

So sorry you even have to qualify your post with that disclaimer at the end, though I understand why you did it.

Mamas need to have a tad more grace with each other, no?

Rest up and enjoy these sleepy baby days. You know how fast they go!

erika said...

Congratulations on your beautiful boy!! I can't believe the cheeks on him! Thanks for sharing your story. No disclaimers needed, girl. :) Cant' wait to see you again and meet that little one!!

Sylvia Little said...

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for your birth story and congrats on little Matthew. What a cutie! And, yes, those cheeks are just cute enough to wanna pinch! I sympathize with your long labour. We reached the same point with Cassie and then did end up going through with a c-section. I was so thoroughly exhausted and at my wits end emotionally. Thankfully all ended well. I hope your adjustment is going well at home and it sounds like you have a very strong support group around you. Praying for you and Andrew - lots of love!

Melinda said...

Rachel, Congratulations on your new little boy! A close friend of mine just had her fourth baby named Matthew too! We are set with 3 although I do wish for another little baby to cuddle but I don't want to raise another one. :)

I was induced and had epidurals with all of my labors. It is so sad that people think they get an opinion about anyone else's labor.

Enjoy cuddling with your little one and the new family dynamics. I love seeing the siblings interact with the new baby.

Heather said...

Congrats, enjoy the little sweetie! Blessings to your family, Heather

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story, Rachel! God is so good! How wonderful to hear your story of answered prayer and a successful birth. Matthew is very handsome and so fortunate to have you and Andrew as parents. - Allison B.