Matthew’s Birth Story: Baby #3

Can you believe that I’m actually getting another birth story written?

For men and children readers:

I went into labor early on the morning of our fourth wedding anniversary and much  later that day our baby was born, our first boy whom we named Matthew.  Both baby and mother were fine.

If you are a child, please get your mom’s permission to read the rest of this post.

For other moms:

Our 3rd baby was due in May.  After Kaitlin’s Pitocin induced birth, I assured Mark that I did not want to attempt another birth with Pitocin without an epidural.  Since neither of us was comfortable with an epidural, I was prepared for a late baby!

The baby was due a couple of weeks before our anniversary and we laughed that if this baby was as late as Kaitlin it would be possible for it to be born on our anniversary.  It was all a big joke, certainly we wouldn’t have another baby who was 2 weeks late, after all I’d been in labor with Kaitlin when the trauma of my mom’s heart attack stopped the process.  Two weeks late had been just a fluke, right?

May came and went and two weeks after my due date there was still no baby.  My OB was fine with me going another week as long as I came in for daily non-stress tests.  We were fine with that.

The day before labor starts a 2 liter of soda is spilled on the floor.  You would have thought it was the end of the world by my reaction.  I cried for 30 minutes over that spilled soda.  Mark knew that things were close and I KNEW that I’d be pregnant forever.

However contractions start at around 6 am the next morning.  These are my usual, regular, 5 minute apart contractions. I get up and get breakfast for the children and Mark heads off to work.  I’m still unconvinced that this baby is actually going to make an appearance and wander around tidying and cleaning until I’m experiencing a discernible 30-40 second peak with each contraction.

I don’t want to bother Mark at work, still convinced that this can’t be it, but I call Ivy (our doula), around 10am to let her know that ‘something’ was happening.

Ivy isn’t comfortable with me being so far from the hospital (we lived about 50 minutes away) having contractions as strong  and close together as I was having them.  I’m still not ready to head to the hospital, so I call Mark  and we decide to go to Ivy’s house (about 5 minutes from the hospital) and hang out there for a while.

The car ride is horrible, making the contractions more intense and closer together.  I decide that in the future we will time this l-o-n-g drive at an earlier stage of labor.
As soon as we get out of the car the contractions go back to normal.  I’m only 3 cm dilated so we decide to walk.  Ivy has a neighbor with an amazingly, steep driveway and for some reason she thinks that this is a good place for us to walk, in the heat, in the humidity,  with my 9 1/2 month pregnant belly.  Up and down, up and down, up and down. Very hot and I  keep thinking of how tough the ride in the car was and that I have another 5 minutes of that torture before we  are at the hospital.

We go into the house for a drink and I begin to shake and feel nauseous.  I’ve not experienced these symptoms before transition during my last two labors and even though I know we’re not quite at that point, I am finally convinced that we will be having a baby in the near future.

We get in the car and head to the hospital about noon.  Ivy wants us to walk some more before we check in.  The baby is OP “sunny side up” and with each contraction she has me lean forward and rest my hands on my knees trying to get the baby to turn around so that labor and birth will be easier.

We walk in the park next to the hospital, and walk and walk.  We are walking AWAY from the hospital.  Far away, considering I am no longer able to walk through a contraction and I am  having 60-90 second contractions (beginning to peak) about 3 minutes apart. I am hot and tired and wondering who was going to carry me back to the hospital if things got to that point.

I’m ready to check into the hospital and take a shower.

I’m thankful for the hospital’s air conditioning.  We check in about 2.  I am now 6 cm.  The baby remains high and  I am finally able to empathize with those who experience back labor (my first and only time).

As soon as I get the OK, I get into the shower.  Our deal with Dr. G. is that I’m only monitored 15 minutes each hour.  Other than that mandatory monitoring time I stay in the shower.

By 3pm I’m 8 cm and 100% effaced.  “How much longer?” Contractions are one on top of another and extremely intense.

Back labor continues although the baby has partially turned and Ivy encourages me to spend time in the torturous position from hell, otherwise known as being on my hands and knees.  I long for the shower, but try to spend as much time in that position as possible.  The baby has turned a little by this time, but is now just facing one of my legs and still not facing my back in the best position for birth.

Here is where my memory gets a bit blurry.  I’m thankful that during the most difficult parts of labor God allows your mind to find rest.

I stand in the shower putting the shower head on my stomach then back, stomach then back.  I wish that there were two shower heads.  I need two.

“How much longer?”

“Transition doesn’t last long, right?”

“I can’t do this.”

At 6pm I’m still 8cm.  The nurse has mercy and allows me to try pushing to see what happens.  With the next contraction I push and the water breaks, but pushing is all wrong.  We wait some more.

There is a picture on the wall across from the hospital bed.  A picture of a baby asleep under a quilt. I hate the picture.  It’s mocking me.  I will never have this baby.   I wish that someone would move the picture.

By 7 pm, after being in hard transition for 4 hours and STILL being only 8 cm, The nurse has me try to push again while she tries to push the cervix back out of the way.   It
doesn’t work.

I get back into the shower.  Mark reminds me to relax.  He tells me I’m doing a great job.

I cry.

We try squatting, standing, kneeling.  I remain in hard, unrelenting labor and have not made any measurable progress in 4 hours.

Eventually we try pushing again with the nurse pushing the cervix back and this time it works,  the baby’s head is past the cervix.  The baby’s head crowns and is born with the next push.  I did it.   It’s over.  I know from experience that as soon as that head is born the baby’s body just slides out, but everything still hurts.  Did I misunderstand?

The room fills and Dr. G. starts giving orders.  I don’t know what is happening.  Mark is standing beside me, holding my hand.

He can see what I can not.  Our child’s head has been born.  The face is purple and still.

The bed is laid flat and a nurse climbs up next to me and begins pushing down on my fundus (the top of the uterus).  Another nurse pushes one of my legs back, Ivy gets the other leg.  Everyone is pushing HARD.  Dr. G. tells me to push.  I am pushing.  I don’t think that I’ve stopped.

Dr. G.:

“Push, harder, push.  Don’t stop.”

I can’t breathe.

“I’m going to break the collar bone.”  He grunts with the effort, but the bone will not break.

“I need the OR prepped.”

Ivy, “No, she can do this.  Please give her some more time.”  To me, “You have to push as hard as you can and just keep pushing.”

“Push, push.”

Dr. G:

“Pull her legs back farther.”

“More fundal pressure.”

“I need that OR, NOW.”

Everyone is pushing or pulling.

“I’m going to have to break both collar bones.”

“How are we coming with the OR?”

Dr. G. apologizes before he cuts the episotomy.

“Ouch, ouch, ouch.”

“I know, I’m sorry.”

Pain, everywhere and then it’s over, 15 minutes after the head was born the rest of our baby was delivered.

Our baby is whisked to the warmer.

“It’s a boy.”

Our first son, born at 8:05pm.

“Is he OK?”  They always say, ‘yes’ and they give us that hollow reassurance now.

Dr. G. is still attending to me and there is a crowd around the warmer.

We wait.

I’m exhausted and rest.  Mark is still holding my hand.

Then we hear what we’ve been waiting for, a baby begins to cry.  Mark collapses on the bed beside me and joins his son, crying, as the relief that our child lives floods over him.

They eventually bring our baby over for us to see and he looks as if he’s been in a fight.  His face is one huge bruise.

They place him on my belly, “umph”, he is much heavier than I anticipated.  “‘I bet that baby is at least 8 pounds.”

He was 9 pounds 15 ounces, although Dr. G. says that I can tell everyone 10 pounds because he is certain that Matthew lost  at least an ounce while he was stuck.

Once again God was merciful to us.  After testing it was determined that Matthew had not suffered any brain damage from lack of oxygen.  Dr. G. said that both his arms looked good, a statement that Mark and I would not fully understand until 8 years later when our 9th child suffered a brachial plexus palsy injury (Erb’s Palsy).  And despite Dr. G’s efforts he is our first baby who does not have a broken collar bone.

Matthew had a bit of jaundice, but other than that he was just fine.

I was in rough shape after the birth and going home was hard as Mark  had only one day off and I had all little kids (2 1/2 years, 16 months and a newborn) and no helpers, but that too passed and life settled down to ‘normal’ as we adjusted to our wonderfully blessed life with three small children.

Amber’s birth Story: baby #1
Kaitlin’s birth Story: baby #2
Isabella’s birth story: baby #10

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39 Responses to Matthew’s Birth Story: Baby #3
  1. Shannon
    June 29, 2010 | 8:51 am

    Wow. Amazing story. I think I was holding my breath for 5 minutes. I’m always amazed to hear about doctors and nurses who work so hard to help a woman have natural childbirth. God is so merciful and good! I bet you’re getting excited hold a little one once again. You’re having a c-section, right? Don’t be afraid; you can get through it. I’ve endured 3 myself.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, we’re having having a c-section this time. I’m doing very well with that decision and can hardly wait until next week when I should be holding our little one. 🙂

    Mark and I are very thankful for Dr. G and all he put up with to deliver our first 7 children. After this birth he did tell me that he did not want to deliver any more of my babies. He said that I was way too good at scaring him nearly to death.


  2. Helen
    June 29, 2010 | 9:29 am

    You certainly have plenty of blog fodder just relaying the eventful births of your children!!!

    Praying that the c-section is UNeventful, unless ‘eventful’ would mean it’s exceptionally easy 🙂



    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The good news is that the next 5 births are fairly uneventful. Then #9 was a LOT like this one.

    Hopefully #10 will be very boring. Something like, “We left for the hospital. They gave me drugs. The doctor did the c-section and our baby is beautiful.” That sounds good to me.


    Helen Reply:

    Yes, I think that would be pretty nice for all… maybe especially the doctor 🙂


  3. Nicki
    June 29, 2010 | 10:16 am

    God is good, isn’t He? I’m so glad your Matthew was fine.

    I have had back labor with EVERY birth, and delivered 2 on my hands and knees. With this next birth, I won’t even TRY to have it in the normal position. It’s torture, and the birth usually goes faster when I realize that. Ugh!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I hear a lot of women say that hands and knees is great, but I really can’t stand it!


    Nicki Reply:

    I didn’t say I liked it, I just finally deciced that it worked better and faster for me!


  4. Rachel K
    June 29, 2010 | 12:50 pm

    I have had back labor for every birth, and I love the hands and knees position! 🙂 I guess everyone is different. Thanks for sharing yet another extremely fascinating birth story!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had back labor every time. That was hard. It is interesting how we are all different.


  5. ambre
    June 29, 2010 | 1:28 pm

    Praise the Lord for his mercies! I should have known your birth story would make me cry, but as usual, it snuck up on me!
    I love the hands and knees position! It drops some of the weight off of my back. 🙂


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Next 5 birth stories are ‘normal’, no crying necessary, just enjoy (if I ever get them written).

    Our 9th birth was eerily similar to this one. I think that if we had had time to stop and think about it we may have known that we were heading down the same path. Who knows. But hind sight is definitely 20/20.


    .ambre. Reply:

    You know what, though? Sometimes the Lord just blinds us to seemingly obvious things to bring more glory to Himself.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You are absolutely right, thank you!


  6. Beth
    June 29, 2010 | 3:01 pm

    What an amazing story! I just wanted to thank you for sharing part of your life with us- I have been following your blog now and feel like I know you! 🙂 I will pray for a safe and uneventful birth this time. Love all of your tidbits and wisdom- I’m especially enjoying my Ergo- it’s really made things so much easier when going out. Thanks again!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

    I’m glad that you like your ERGO!


  7. Sarah
    June 29, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    I had difficulty reading this-it was so eriely similar to my last labour. Mine was OP-“only” took 5 hours to turn and I was stuck at 8cm too and then he had shoulder dystocia. He was 9lb 6oz so a bit smaller. Thankfully, he has no problems from the dystocia-17 months now.
    4/5 of mine have been OP even after exercises in pregnancy. The only one that wasn’t was about 1lb smaller than the next biggest.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Matthew was the only one that was OP, as far as we know.

    I’m very thankful that your baby was fine. Those big ones can be trouble.


  8. Amy
    June 29, 2010 | 3:53 pm

    I LOVE BIRTH STORIES! I have been gone for a while, but I am back now. Can’t wait to read the other stories!


  9. Melissa
    June 29, 2010 | 4:10 pm

    I found your blog only recently and I am enjoying it so much. I am truly enjoying the birth stories you are sharing. As traumatic as they sound, they are also so amazing and miraculous! What beautiful, precious stories!

    I had to comment this time simply because my first three babies were born in a similar time frame as yours were- I had a 2yo, 16mo, and newborn as well.

    All the best with this sweet new baby!

    Melissa 🙂

    PS- My 5th baby was born by emergency c-section. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything (as I’ve heard some c/s moms do). Instead I felt so thankful for the method of delivery that saved my baby’s life. The recovery was more difficult, but I DID recover completely. My point is that a c-section delivery can be just as beautiful as a traditional birth. I am sure the story of this new baby’s birth will be just as incredible and miraculous as the others all were. 🙂


  10. Brianah
    June 29, 2010 | 4:28 pm

    I don’t know how many more of your birth stories I can read while I’m pregnant…way too many water works :).

    The birth of my son was AGONY! I was in the hospital (induced at 35 weeks) and in labor for almost 3 days…never dilated past 4cm, back labor, no pain meds until the end of day 2. I totally agree that it is tough without the epidural if you are induced. God was merciful in that I felt no pain with regards to the actual labor (just from laying in that awful bed for so long w/o being able to move).

    Your births are so beautiful to me! Even though traumatic, I pray for the ability to just once experience a vaginal birth. Hopefully with this baby I will, but thank you so much for sharing your journey!


  11. aimee
    June 29, 2010 | 5:02 pm

    wow, that was an incredible story! My son was sunny side up too. I ended up with a C section with him, but his face had nerve damage from it and his head was horribly mishaped. Both situations corrected themselves though. Your story is amazing. I don’t think I could have another one if that had happended to me!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    “I don’t think I could have another one if that had happened to me!”

    I had epidurals with the next four births! 😉


  12. Kacie
    June 29, 2010 | 5:27 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS! That is really scary.

    On a related note, I’d love to hear how you managed with small children and a newborn and no helpers.

    I’ll have a 24-month-old and a newborn in a few months, and family is 400 miles away. So I need tips!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Here I share my schedule when we had all little ones and here I talk about going out with lots of little ones.

    You may also want to look through some of the posts on my parenting page or the 4 moms page for more. I can’t remember them right now.


  13. Jessica
    June 29, 2010 | 6:19 pm

    That must have been so terrifying!
    I had an easy delivery with my son (who is now almost 15) and I’m hoping for the same this time.


  14. celee
    June 29, 2010 | 6:52 pm

    I had a similar birth experience with my first and have been induced at 38 weeks with all the others. I’ve always been induced and have never had an epidural. It’s been so hard on my husband he says I either have to not be induced this time or get an epidural. I want to try to wait it out, but am scared to death of having a 10 lb baby! My story like yours was with a 9 lber so I can’t imagine making it another 2-4 weeks! I for one am kind of relieved you’re having a c-section this time. You’ve had your share of delivery room drama!


  15. Elizabeth
    June 29, 2010 | 9:59 pm

    OW OW OW OW OW…………………..
    Oh my goodness Kim you are one amazingly brave woman. I am so glad you have had some un-eventful labors too. I cannot imagine. I honestly think that the c-section is an excellent option for you all. Praying for a completely boring birth. 🙂 (Like any birth is boring just trying to be silly)
    Thanks for sharing. Feel free to post another birth story tomorrow! Hint Hint 🙂


  16. chantelle
    June 30, 2010 | 8:02 am

    Wow, what a story. I was sitting on the edge of my chair with tears in my eyes. I did laugh out loud when you talked about that picture. After this, your c-section will be a piece of cake. I have been thinking about you and praying for you everyday.


  17. Marissa
    July 15, 2010 | 5:42 pm

    Wow, 15 minutes after the head came out the body delivered? It is a miracle he didn’t suffer a broken collar bone or brain damage! God is so good! Your birth-story is inspiring, thank you for sharing! I am 35wks pregnant with my second child. My first had shoulder dystocia, terrifying experience. My OB is reccomending a C-sec for fear of recurrence. I don’t want a C-sec based on fear of what might or might not happen. I have prayed and asked the Lord to make it crystal clear to my husband and me as to what we should do. I noticed you have experienced SD several times with your babies, do you have any advice for me, I am so nervous as to what to do. Thank you.


  18. JD
    September 1, 2010 | 6:57 am

    Wow! I found your site on anordinarymom’s site. I didn’t realize, too, that I was holding my breath reading your story. The Little Booger Man should be getting up any minute, so I’ll have to check out your other stories later, but wow!


  19. Tami
    September 2, 2010 | 12:16 am

    God is so good! We are houseparents of 8 teenage boys and have a 3 1/2 girl and 2yr son. Lately got has been revealing to me that we should not prevent pregnancy even if it means not trying. So I was on the Duggers website and now yours. Both of you have said the same thing, that children are a gift from the Lord. It is so freeing to let God plan our family and stop thinking we know what is best. Your website is encouraging. God Bless your family.
    Tami L.


  20. Rachel
    September 10, 2010 | 11:43 pm

    Amazing birth stories and glad for the positive outcomes. I am surprised that your OB didn’t suggest a planned C-section for this baby given the history of the first two. With my first my OB suggested one based on predicted size and so a fear of SD, but I turned it down and had him naturally, though with an epidural in the end. Fortunately his shoulders came flying out straight after his head with no extra pushes!


  21. Brit
    June 28, 2011 | 8:52 am

    I love reading birth stories! Reading this gives me hope. I only have one little one right now, but my labor was aweful (but with a great reward)!

    I had extreme back labor until a minute before he was born. There was never a break between contractions because the back pain was so strong. I couldn’t even walk! They had to lift me in bed, and I thought my tail bone was going to break. They tried to put me every which way to get him to turn, but that never happened. Then, a minute before I began pushing my husband prayed, and what do you know, he turned!

    Why didn’t I think of that earlier?!?!?!?!?

    This gives me so much hope that maybe all of my hopeful future deliveries might not have the same back pain. 🙂


  22. Abbi
    August 18, 2011 | 12:00 pm

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your stories. I have 7 children. Twins by c-section, who weighed 7# 10 oz. and 8# 10oz. All the rest were over 10# and two of them weighed 11# and 12# and were both shoulder dystocias. My 11 pounder(who is now 9 years old) was very purple at birth and I suspect that his birth caused some slight learning disabilities due to the oxygen deprivation. (He was stuck for 5 minutes.)He also struggled with some speech impediments whan he was younger.
    My 12 pounder, who is two and a half now, had his humerous broken by the doctor during birth. His mental abilities seem to be perfect (although I will know better when I begin teaching him to read.)
    I only had one labor where there were no complications. I wanted home deliveries for all of them, but one of my twins was breech, thus the c-section. And out of the remaining 5 I had to transport to the hospital during labor twice. God, in His goodness, allowed me to deliver at home with 3 of my babies and their births were so special, even though 2 were very frightening shoulder dystocia deliveries.
    My husband feels that we should have as many children as the Lord gives us but I am terrified as each pregnancy got more difficult and each baby got bigger. I also suffered with depression during my last pregnancy because I was so fearful of another shoulder dystocia delivery and a damaged or dead baby. I know I need to leave all these things in God’s hands, but it seems as though He hasn’t yet given me the grace to do so. I have thought that if I conceived again I would opt for a c-section but I struggle with that because I feel as though I would be placing my confidence in man instead of trusting God for the safe delivery of my child. I would love to read your insights on this subject. (I don’t like it when people ask me this question but I have to ask you…)Are you going to have more children considering your history and complications?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Abbi.

    Of course whether or not we have more children is in the Lord’s hands. Our last baby was born via c-section because of these complications, but we would be delighted if God were to send us more blessings.

    Praise the Lord for doctors and hospitals who are equipped to perform c-sections.


  23. Abbi
    August 24, 2011 | 2:10 pm

    So, will all your future babies be delivered by c-section? C-sections also pose significant risks. Especially when you cotinue to have them back to back. Do you ever experience fears about delivering via c-section? Do you ever feel that by opting for a c-section you are placing your trust in man rather than in God? These are just some issues I personally have not been able to get past yet.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, all of our future babies will be delivered by c-section.

    It depends what you mean by ‘significant’ risks. Repeat c-sections pose a slightly increased risk for uterine rupture, but when all’s said and done it’s a safe procedure (well, as safe as any major abdominal surgery) even when you have many. We choose to trust God with the health and safety of any more children that He chooses to bless us with.

    You ask,

    Do you ever feel that by opting for a c-section you are placing your trust in man rather than in God?

    No, not anymore than I feel that I’m putting my trust in man when I prepare healthful food for my family, strap my kids into a car seat or take antibiotics when I have an infection. 🙂


  24. Marilyn
    October 5, 2012 | 10:26 pm

    I stumbled onto your website somehow, can’t recall. Anyway, I find large families FASCINATING and women willing to risk life and limb in childbirth again and again even more amazing! So I had to read your birth stories. As a doctor and mom, I would never risk my life again and again with a history of repeated shoulder dystocia. I am not such a risk-taker! (I also find mountain climbing rather scary and would never sky-dive.) You are a BRAVE person!!! I am SOOOO glad that your kids have all come through OK — and you, too. My personal perspective on that is, you have had good medical care AND good luck/fortune/blessing. I am really relieved to hear that you deliver in a hospital setting, where you can be cared for if need arises. Good luck to you and your family!


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