I was supposed to be scheduled for an induction this morning, but thankfully that didn't have to take place! Our precious baby Matthew George-Lewis was born Saturday morning, 11/08/08, at 8:03 a.m. weighing 8 lbs. even. It didn't take us long to notice all the "eights" surrounding the occasion. Brad took a picture of the clock as soon as Matthew was born, and the clock read 8:03:08 - as in eight seconds! He is adorable, and if you'd like to see pictures, you can visit my sister's blog as I haven't had time to load any pictures yet.
We chose the name Matthew after Brad had finished teaching one Sunday afternoon at our church. In his lesson, he mentioned that Matthew meant "gift of God." I immediately thought that would be a great name to give our son. The middle name is a bit long, I know, but we chose those names after our fathers. Brad and his dad both have the middle name of Lewis, and my dad's middle name is George.
As far as the birth story, it all began on Friday afternoon. I was two days past the due date, and I had a doctor's appointment at 2:40. After the normal exam, the doctor decided to do the non-stress test to make sure the baby's heart was reacting properly to movement. During the test, three contractions were picked up on the monitor, but they were still just the tightening kind and not the painful kind. Everything looked well, and we decided that if I didn't have the baby beforehand, I'd come back in on Monday and schedule an induction for Wednesday. I left the visit and on the way home received a phone call from my friend, Cherraine. She mentioned that she'd just read on the internet a story regarding eating eggplant parmigiana to help induce labor. It especially caught my attention as my friend, Kim, had told me the same story earlier in the week about one of her friend's doing just such a thing to induce her labor. So, I called Brad and told him about the restaurant in Atlanta that makes the claim, and we found out that they had a sister restaurant in Douglasville. They offer a free meal if you have the baby within 24 hours of eating their eggplant parmigiana. The girls were spending the night with my mom and dad, so Brad and I headed to Douglasville when he got home from work Friday evening. We returned home from the restaurant around 8:00 p.m. and by 11:00 the contractions were getting pretty painful. We were headed to the hospital around 11:30 p.m.
The contractions were not getting regular, but they were getting more painful. Around 2 or 3 a.m., the nurse phoned the on-call doctor, who was still at home, and told her the situation. They decided that since the contractions were not regular and I was only about 2 cm, the nurse would give me a shot of demerol to help with the pain, and then I could go home and rest easier in my own bed. I was thinking, "you must be crazy!" I told her I didn't even think I could walk to the parking lot, much less go home. I remember saying that I wished Dr. H was on call because he knew how my labors progress, and he would never be sending me home like this. She said we'd reevaluate after the shot. I began to pray earnestly that the Lord would allow my water to break so that I would not be sent home. Within the hour, he answered this prayer and I joyfully hit the nurse call button and announced what had happened. Within minutes, I had an IV in my arm. I was also now 4 cm and was offered some stadol, which I even more joyfully accepted. (I know I said I was going to try to avoid this, but I couldn't.) Soon after that, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me my epidural. Because of the stadol, I slept through this. I remember him asking me questions, but I was having a very hard time answering him. The epidural didn't work on the right side (as usual), but I was unable to communicate this to him - again, because of the stadol. The good news is that I didn't have to have any pitocin this time, so the contractions were not nearly as painful as they had been in the past with the pitocin. This made it not such a big deal that the epidural didn't work completely.
Around 7 a.m., I was complete, so they started making preparations for the main event. He was stuck behind my pelvic bone, so that made the pushing a bit difficult, but the doctor stayed with me the entire time and did all she could do to help. In the end, I was very thankful that I ended up with the doctor that was on call, and I was once again reminded that God always knows best!
After pushing for less than an hour, he was born at 8:03 a.m., but of course, you already knew that. He is doing very well but did have a bit of jaundice, making us have to stay an extra day in the hospital. We have an appointment this morning to have that rechecked.
I am so thankful to be "on the other side" now, and once again I'm reminded how it is worth whatever you have to go through to get them here. Not that I really had to go through anything as I was blessed with a wonderful pregnancy and L&D. My fears were unfounded, and I truly appreciate all of your prayers throughout the past few weeks! I have so much to be thankful for. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful family.
Soon after Matthew was born, I asked Brad what the number "eight" means. It means "new beginnings." How appropriate.