If you are like me, most moms like all the details of the birth story! I always write down the account anyways and so thought that I would share with you some about Matthew Henry’s gentle waterbirth.
This gentle waterbirth story is of my 7th baby. You might be interested in some of my other birth stories here. As I have mentioned before, I am the prodromal queen. For days before my babies are born my body does a lot of work ahead of time. I have contractions and feel like I am in early labor. They really are getting me ready, but it is very hard physically and emotionally to go through this. One moment you think you are going to have the baby that day, the next you realize it could be a few days yet. It is a time of learning patience and leaning on the Lord for His timing. On the other hand, I am very glad I have this, because by the time I kick into good active labor, it goes rather quickly since so much pre-work has been done.
This time was no different. For a couple of days beforehand I was “cooking”. Everyone was on pins and needles waiting for the moment when things kicked in for good. I have never had a baby during the day, and usually labor in the deep of the night, so we assumed it would be the case this time as well. (Although I had people praying for a day baby, including my dear, sweet husband.)
After having some very restless nights, the night of the 6th I had a fairly restful night sleep, up a couple of times, but we were able to rest nonetheless. About 6 or 6:30am I had a strong contraction that I wondered if I had really had, or had dreamed since labor was much on my mind. I realized it wasn’t a dream and when my husband’s alarm went off I turned to him and said “It’s time!” But, wait… How could I possibly go into labor first thing in the morning. I don’t do anything productive early morning!
I got up and sat on my birthing ball while I called my midwife to let her know. I didn’t know if I should tell her to come right away, but with me things can progress fast. She called her assistant who lived closer to have her come and assess things. But, within a few minutes I could see things were moving quickly so I texted her and she was on her way. In the meantime, I called my friend who is my prayer warrior for labor. My birthing pool was already up and it was my hope to have another gentle waterbirth. Steven woke the children and told them it was time for the baby to come. We had planned it beforehand, and my dad took them over to their place to wait for the news of Matthew’s arrival. My contractions continued to increase and I told my husband I was going to be needing him by my side soon to help me through them. I read my scripture cards and sat on the ball working as someone was getting me some breakfast and coffee!
A Gentle Water Birth
By the time my midwife’s assistant got here and checked me I was dilated to 6. She confirmed that Matthew was head down (always a relief because of my history of breech babies). I got in the birthing pool at some point after that and again felt the relief of that warm water surrounding me. Steven always gets in with me as well. He is such a support to me and full of whispers of love and encouragement all the way through.
It was not long before I was at an 8. I usually progress to pushing very fast by that point and so was thinking we would have a baby before 10am. But, the pushing did not come and things actually started slowing down. It was at this point I started getting discouraged. I asked them to check me again and I was still the same. The midwives thought that because Matthew was still up so high that he was not pressing down enough to bring me to completion. They asked me to get out of the water (I did not want to!) and walk around to try to get him to drop lower. For the next 3 hours we walked, I sat on the ball, and quietly waited for things to progress. It was so strange to have such a break and to have the contractions actually lighten up when I had been all geared up for a fast finale! I cried in discouragement and the Lord was teaching me patience to wait on HIS timing. The midwives broke my water around noon and after a while things starting picking back up again. I was back into active labor within 30 mins and climbed back into the tub. After a couple of intense pushes Matthew Henry was born at 1:05 into his daddy’s arms!
The Lord has been so kind and good to us. He gave me another gentle waterbirth and we were filled with gratitude!
Matthew is named after a very godly 1600’s puritan minister Matthew Henry. His commentary on the Bible has been a huge part of our entire family’s life. It seemed so fitting for us to name our son after this faithful shepherd who has been such a blessing to many generations. May our Matthew Henry love the Lord in such a way!
My postpartum was one of the best I have had. I am feeling good, and Matthew is doing wonderful. I feel very loved and pampered by so many! I have a lot of caring help and have been so blessed by the support and love of so many! Thank you to all for rejoicing with us!
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.