8 Jul 2006
When I think of Joseph’s birth I think of it in three parts…
Beginning several weeks before my estimated due date (of June 24), I began having pre-labor episodes. I would have contractions for long periodsof time, from four to eight hours, but they never strengthened and they would go away if I changed positions. I knew they weren’t “real” labor, but I did feel like they were doing ‘something’ to help prepare my body for labor. I had these with Isaac’s birth also so they didn’t surprise me and I actually welcomed them because I felt they were helpful.
I passed my edd of June 24 (as expected since I tend to carry a full 42 weeks) and was cruising into the weekend that I would hit the magic 42 week mark. Alice (my midwife) had informed me that if I didn’t have the baby before Monday (July 10) then I would have to report to the hospital for an induction.
Our prayer during this entire pregnancy had been that the baby would be born in the Lord’s perfect time, we prayed that nothing man would do would interfere with His perfect will. We had a lot to pray about when deciding what ‘natural induction’ methods we felt were okay and which were ‘playing God’. He led us to the belief that using castor oil to try and trigger labor would be acceptable. We didn’t feel comfortable with some of the herbs that are often used or with more extreme measures (like rupturing of the membranes).
So, part two really began on Saturday morning (July 8) when we began a castor oil induction attempt. I took three doses an hour apart from 10:30-12:30 and began having contractions at 1:41. For most of the afternoon, these contractions were every three minutes, never getting harder and not stopping when I changed positions. Around 9:00 I talked to Alice, it was her opinion that I was having “prodromal labor”. After I read about it we decided it made sense. Prodromal labor is when you have contractions but they do not affect the cervix. I was still dilated 4.5 as I had been for a week.
Tony and I talked and decided these contractions weren’t going anywhere and we talked about what to do on Sunday… were we uncomfortable with any other induction attempts… how would Monday work out… when would we leave for the hospital… all that stuff. Then we decided to go watch a movie with the children.
After just a few minutes of watching the movie I had a whopper “don’t-touch-me” contraction (8:30). I looked at Tony with huge eyes and immediately had to close my eyes to consciously relax during the contraction. Three minutes later another one. Three minutes later another one. Three minutes later another one. I decided to call Alice! It was just incredible how the contractions could go from so mild to so extreme in just one contraction.
Alice said she would be on her way and she would call Kyndel to head on over (Kyndel is an apprentice and she lives only 15 minutes from our house while Alice was over an hour away…). Kyndel arrived quickly and just kinda stayed in the background. Alice arrived at 10:00, she checked me at 10:20 and I was dilated to 7.
Whoo hoo! Progress! Of course I had no doubt I was in labor! The contractions were very strong and I kept my eyes closedmost of the time in my efforts to relax.
One of the ladies from Tony’s office had given us a plaque that says “Joseph” ‘God shall add’ and has this verse “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 The Lord kept this verse in my mind all during the last weeks of the pregnancy. I knew that there was no way I could labor well without being in His peace. When I would get anxious about the possibility of a hospital birth, this verse would comfort me. He brought this verse to mind so many times and it really strengthened me.
During active labor I said this verse over and over during each contraction. Each contraction was a prayer to the Lord. I would repeat the verse and at one point I asked myself “how could I keep my mind stayed on Him?” I began to focus on Him by singing in my mind the song “I Love You Lord”. It was a very precious time to me. At some point during the contractions I just began praising Him and repeating the phrases “You are the Mighty King”, “Jehovah Jireh”, “Almighty God”. Between the verse, the song and the phrases I could feel His presence so near. I just want to praise Him for being so ’there’ for me. I know He alone sustained me. Praise Him!
Joseph was a big baby. I knew he was big but ’big’ in my mind meant 9 or 9 ½ lbs… he was a really big baby. His birthing took a lot of focus. Alice was so great at directing me and I felt total trust in her. I didn’t know until after his birth that he got stuck a little (officially a “mild dyscotia”) but Alice is very well- practiced in helping to birth stuck babies. Everything went just perfectly. His entire birth from the beginning of active labor was just like something out of a book. Everything happened in it’s perfect time, nothing could have been any more ‘right’.
So at 11:46 I held to my bosom a new blessing from the Lord…a new child to raise for my Father. I still feel so overwhelmed that He answered all of our prayers concerning Joseph’s birth. I am so undeserving… He is so good. Praise Him!
Joseph Timothy Lewis
Born at home on July 8, 2006
Weighing 10 lb 13 oz
Measuring 22 ¾ in long
Abdomen and Head 14 ½ in
Chest 16 in
Joseph Timothy is named for my brother Joseph who passed from the womb straight to the glory of heaven and for the Old Testament Joseph who was so faithfully obedient to the Lord. His middle name, Timothy, is the name of Jonathan's father. The S family is very dear to us and we wanted to honor their family by naming our son for his "Uncle Tim".