Tuesday, August 23, 2011


At 3:30am, Dr. Wai, our ObGyn, arrived and checked my cervix.  Finally, I was at 10 centimeters!  The baby was still at 0 station.  Dr. Wai offered to break my water, and we all decided this is probably a good idea, to help the baby come out, at this point.  After he ruptured the membrane, I continued laboring on the side of the bed.  It was actually somewhat comforting and a relief to feel a warm gush of water, each time a contraction came.  Dr. Wai let me know that, since I was fully dilated, I could begin pushing, whenever I was ready.  I'd heard of so many women feeling the urge to push, but I wasn't experiencing any urge to push yet.  However, I thought perhaps that was what needed to happen next, so I agreed to start trying.

At 3:45am, when I started to try to push, it was a very confusing time.  I tried a few different positions, but anything leaning forward at all or putting pressure on my pubic bone was excruciatingly painful!  Dr. Wai and the nurse could tell I was fighting it, and they let me know I could stop temporarily, if I needed to, and just let the contractions bring the baby down a bit.  That sounded good to me, because I still wasn't feeling an urge, and nothing was working well for me.

As the clock approached 4am, Dr. Wai suggested that trying pushing again, in a semi-reclined position, sitting in the bed, with the stirrups out for support only.  I agreed and asked for further help to know what to do, in order to push efficiently.  He also asked me if I wanted a local anesthesia for my perineum, to help with any pain of stretching or tearing.  This was the one thing I hadn't actually researched; I didn't even realize I'd be given that option.  So, I looked over at Katie, and she indicated somehow that I didn't need it, so I promptly declined.  (Later, Katie shared that even though it may take some pain away, the numbing of the anesthesia had the potential to make it more likely that I would tear.)  A contraction came, and I was throwing my head back to deal with the pain.  "No, bring your head down and push!" I was told.  Next contraction came, and I was blowing all the air out.  "No, hold your breath in and push!" I was told.  (Thinking back on these things, it is kind of comical to me...but I honestly didn't realize what I was and wasn't doing at the time.)  It was very different from when I had an epidural with Emmi, because I was still trying to manage dealing with all the pain of the contraction and also know how to push at the same time.  Finally, after struggling through a couple of pushes, I realized what I was supposed to be doing!  The next contraction came, I started pushing effectively, and by the grace of God Almighty, we were making great progress with each push and each contraction!  Within a few minutes, Dr. Wai was showing my husband Dave that some of our baby's head had already became visible, with the first good, productive pushing contraction!

Photo taken by Katie Perez.
After about pushing through about only four good contractions, I was birthing our baby boy!  His head finally popped out with a strong push, and Dr. Wai helped adjust the cord from around his neck.  

Photo taken by Katie Perez.

 I was very grateful also that Dr. Wai told me when to stop pushing for a moment and helped to ease our son's head out gently, so that I did not tear at all.  (I was told later that I just got a few "skid" marks down there.)  Then, my next push brought out his amazing little body!  

Photo taken by Katie Perez.

At 4:13am, I reached down and helped deliver my beautiful baby boy, pulling our son's precious little being up onto my chest.  It was miraculous, and a great relief.  And, he was perfectly healthy!  All glory to my great Shepherd and good Father in Heaven!   

Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.

Katie wrote that God's presence was incredibly powerful.  I just remember holding my son's hand.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Within five minutes, I began having contractions to deliver the placenta.  These startled me a bit, with more intense pain, as I was holding onto my son for the first time.  

Photo taken by Katie Perez.
We were both so relieved that labor and birth were over, though, we just relaxed.

Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Checking our little man's heartbeat.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.

The placenta then detached from my body and came out easily on its own...

The sac in which our baby lived
for over ten months: The Placenta.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Dr. Wai showing us the placenta
and examining its composition.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.

The umbilical cord was cut, just after it had stopped pulsating. 
Our baby boy weighed in at 7 pounds and 3.5 ounces.

Photo taken by Katie Perez.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.

Soon after our son was born, he latched onto my breast beautifully, with little assistance, around 4:30am, to eat his first meal on his birthday.  I was so impressed with how strong of an eater he was!  He would have no problem nursing, and I was delighted to find that it didn't hurt or burn for me, this time around.  Praise God!  

Our son's first meal, in Mama's arms.
Photo taken by Katie Perez.
The first few days of nursing were a little uncomfortable, but that soon went away.  (With our first, I was in burning pain for the first 3 1/2 weeks of nursing our daughter!)  The uncomfortable uterine cramping intensified when he would nurse, but Katie reassured me this was beneficial for my uterus to clamp down and return to normal in the long run.  By 5:30am, we were saying goodbye's and thank you's to our amazing friend and doula, Katie Perez of Triumphant Birth Services.  We all had to smile, when we realized that our baby boy had made his entrance into the world just 47 minutes before I would have needed to be at the hospital for an induction at 5am.

Photo taken by Katie Perez.
With our daughter, we had already chosen her name months before she was born.  However, with our son, we decided to do things a little differently.  We had a short list of favorites, and desired to name our baby boy with the most fitting name, as a blessing, after meeting him and spending some time together.  So, Dave and I spent a couple hours with our new baby boy, and we finally decided upon his name: Pierson Everett Matthews.  Pierson is a form of Peter, meaning "Rock," and Everett means "Brave."  We originally put another middle name with Pierson and another first name with Everett, as two separate choices, but we decided to combine the two names, especially for him.  Even now, nine months later, it's amazing to see how very fitting this name is for our brave little rock...

Pierson's first bath.
Our little trooper...
Pierson being scrubbed down by Daddy.

Pierson getting dressed on his birthday.
Happy Daddy.

I remember thinking how beautiful, tiny, and perfect he was, and what a gift I had been given!  I was incredibly relieved and grateful he was finally here.  Tears of joy were on Dave's face, once again, and it was very special to see him help care for his son, by giving Pierson his first bath and dressing him in a little outfit we brought for him.  I was also thankful that the very hard labor only lasted a little over four hours and the pushing around 15 minutes or less, as opposed to what I had experienced with my first labor and birth.  And, apparently, it was indeed a very good idea that Dr. Wai went ahead and broke my water at 10 centimeters dilated.

Pierson Everett Matthews.
Photo taken by Dave Matthews.

So, yes, Katie's dream was prophetic!  And, I didn't realize just how prophetic is was, until I later read the following, in the birth notes she made for me...

November 16th, 2010 at 9pm- I had a dream the night before that Amber had a beautiful birth, and that we were at the hospital for 4 hours. I deliberately leave out the 4 hours part when I tell her, because I just didn’t want her to get frustrated if it ended up being bad pizza. But I definitely feel God, and we are optimistic and standing in faith!

Praise God for hearing our prayers and for encouraging Katie with this dream, so that she could be strong and encourage me, as my doula and friend, to wait for and press through the birth I wanted to have, with our son, who was born naturally, two weeks and two days past his "due date."  I should tell you all that my dear husband Dave was an amazing support and strength, as well, and I could not have done this without him (literally, ha!).  Finally, I wrote to my dear friend and mentor, Lyn Mitchell, that day, and sent her the following message:

We welcomed to our world little Pierson Everett Matthews at 4:13pm this morning, November 18, 2010.  He is amazingly perfect and precious and so beautiful...what a gift he is from God!   Weighing 7 lbs., 3.5 oz. and 19.5 in. long, he currently has sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, and is nursing very well.  Glory to Father God!

First family photo with Pierson, on November 18th.
Photo taken my my aunt, Sara Hendrix.
Our family had such a sweet reunion that morning, as Aunt Sara brought Miss Emmi up to the hospital to finally meet her new baby brother.  With Aunt Sara's help, Emmi brought Pierson a little snuggly bear, as a gift, of which she later appropriated back to herself that day.  We also had a pretty, new dolly for Emmi, from her baby brother, to let her know how much he was going to love her.  We stayed in the hospital that night, and went home the next morning, Friday, November 19th.  And, so our life began with a family of four, and we looked forward to a very blessed Thanksgiving Holiday around the corner...

Me and my son...
Pierson's cute, flaky feet, from being in the amniotic fluid so long...
Pierson's first smile, the day after he was born.
Pierson's homecoming, on November 19th.

1 comment:

  1. that was beautiful! congrats on your baby boy! :)Hope you can check out my blog for some +vibes and inspiration! I am also hosting a cute giveaway (handmade flower ring+$20 gift certifcate). blessings.