Matthew’s Birth Story
On March 8, 1988, about 12:30 to 1:00 am, I had to go to the bathroom. I got up and there was a little discharge but I didn’t think anything about it. I went back to bed- I had a pain now and then- I think pain is the wrong word- discomfort is better.
Well at 2 am I woke up again to go to the restroom and this time there was more of a discharge so I decided to turn on the light and check it out. Yes, there was blood. “Good,” I thought, maybe now we’ll do something.”
And we did! I went back to bed and started having mild contractions-lasting about 10 seconds and about 2-3 minutes apart. I was so excited that I woke up Fito. We lied in bed, him giving me a massage and touching and just talking quietly.
About 3 am, he said to me that a poem had just come to him. I told him to get up and write it down or he would forget it. I was hungry too, so we got up and he wrote while I ate. I also called Ruth, my midwife, and she said she was on her way.
Fito and I talked until about 5 am when he decided to try and get some more sleep. I went to take a bath (Ruth told me not to sit on the toilet or walk around until she arrived as that would speed up the labor).
Just as I settled down into the bathtub, the doorbell rang. It was Ruth. We went to the other bedroom where she checked me. I was 5cm. We then filled out some papers and she then volunteered to rub my back as I was having back labor.
I told her that for right now I wanted to handle it on my own as I could and that I would use her later on when they were stronger. So she decided to also get some sleep. She said to wake her in one hour if the contractions speeded up or in two hours if they remained the same. She also said that if I just wanted to talk or to have someone massage me to wake her.
Well I started to go back to the tub because it sounded enticing but then I thought: ”No, I am going to get this baby here!”
So I went to the toilet and read the Reader’s Digest.
At times too, I would sit in the rocker or walk around but I’ve decided that the toilet is the best place to labor. My water was leaking during contractions and on the toilet I didn’t worry about that so I was able to relax more, therefore, eliminating much of the pain.
About 6:30 am my contractions became a little more intense, but not longer, nor did they speed up. I had a desire to wake up Fito, but restrained from doing so.
About 7:00 am I went and woke up Ruth. As I waited for her to go to the restroom, my contractions became more intense and one started coming right after one had ended. She quickly checked me and I was at 8 cm. A contraction came while she was checking me and during the contraction I went to a 9.
Well Ruth became excited and said this baby will be here soon. I went to call mom and I had just said Hi mom when another contraction hit so I said, “Mom, here’s Ruth,” and handed the phone to Ruth. She told mom that if she wanted to see this baby born she had better get over here now!
I had also wanted to mention that while Ruth was checking me I was lying down on the bed and when the contraction came it was unbearable. She had me lie on my side but still I couldn’t keep on top of it. (That’s the way it was in the hospital) but as soon as I could stand up or sit on the toilet I could control the contractions and they didn’t seem as intense.
Ruth by now, was helping me through the contractions. About 5:30 am my back labor had also become front labor so I was feeling the pain in both my back and my abdomen. To help with the contractions I would push my back against the seat and jiggle my tummy or pull up in it and then relax my pelvic muscles and this helped.
Now that Ruth was helping I stood and she pushed my back with one hand and pulled up my stomach with the other. She’s a magician. She knew exactly where to push and how much pressure to apply etc. Oh how she helped!
Well now back to the story. 7 am - 7:15 am Mom’s called and Fito was awakened. He went to take a quick shower… while in the shower (I had awoken Fito before Ruth), Ruth had checked me and she said get him out of there!
I went in there and said Fito, this baby is coming. If you want to see it come out. Well he did so quickly, as Ruth started setting up her stuff in our bedroom. Tony and Douglas woke up and wanted to eat, be held etc., while I was having contractions.
Fito was getting dressed and trying to organize the room and Ruth was trying to set up. Fito changed the babies, got Douglas a bottle, put him into the hammock and he was content. He gave Tony something to eat and he wandered around looking at everything.
All this time I was leaning against our closet and when I would have a contraction either Fito or Ruth would come and help me. Poor Fito, when he would help I would be saying, “ Not so hard! Push higher! No, not there, over more!” etc.
Also, I got frustrated with him twice- once when he went to put away his pajamas and once when he came into the room with his shoes in hand. Here I was having this baby and he was putting away stuff!
Both he and Ruth later on told me that I hadn’t shown any anger or frustration, but I sure had felt it.
As I was standing at the closet, I could tell that the contractions had changed and that they were too intense and I felt despair. I knew I was in transition and told Ruth so. She said yes I believe you are, this period is when I felt frustrated towards Fito.
During another contraction I felt the urge to bear down and did so ever so lightly and it felt good so I told Ruth I needed to push.
I was still standing- she said, “Wait till the next contraction and see if you feel the same way.” I did and she said, “Okay, sit on the bed and let me check you and see if everything is okay before you push.”
Then she said, as I got up on the bed, “I can see some black hair, go ahead and push.”
I told her that that’s what they told with Douglas and it was 2 hours before I got him out.
“Well,” she said, “ this baby isn’t going to take 2 hours. He’ll be here in about 10-15 minutes and if your mom doesn’t hurry she’ll miss it.”
Just then we heard the front door open. It was now about 7:20-7:30 am. I pushed and the head crowned. Ruth handed mom the bottle of olive oil and mom would pour while Ruth massaged me.
Fito was behind me helping me to sit up. On the second push the head came out. On the third I could feel myself tear and I wanted to stop but thought to myself, “No, the quicker the better. Don’t give up now.”
Ruth told me later that the shoulders had gotten stuck and if on the next push nothing happened she was going to have me squat. Well, on the fourth push, the shoulders came with rest of the body.
At 7:42 am, on March 8, 1988, Matthew John, was born. He started fussing as Ruth was cleaning his airway.
Tony had watched the whole process and had had a mixture of assorted faces.
Now he crawled up on the bed beside me as Ruth handed Matthew to me. He touched Matthew and said, “Baby!”
Later on as Mom was sitting and rocking Matthew, Tony came in and pointed to my tummy and then to Matthew and said, “Ouch, baby, Mommy.” And pointed to Matthew.
Before, when I had pointed to my tummy and had said baby. He had always said, “No, no” and then pointing to Douglas, “baby”, but after the birth he knew that that’s where the baby was.
One of the biggest differences between a hospital and home birth was now, in the hospital , they were always in a big hurry to get me sewed/cleaned up and the tests on the baby etc. Also it’s always cold in the hospital. At home (my temple) in our room (our celestial room) peace prevailed! It was calm.
Ruth wasn’t in a hurry. Matthew was placed in my arms and he stayed there, nursed a little and we took pictures and sat around talking and admiring him. Later on mom cleaned him up and Ruth checked me. I had torn just a little and didn’t need stitches. (I had torn on my old scar which turned out for the best-after Douglas, apparently, I hadn’t been sewn up correctly and was left with a little tab which bothered me.
But Ruth said that God knew what he was doing and that a woman gained weight on her rear so that as she sat, she would be balanced just right and heal naturally and correctly which is what happened.)
Matthew weighed 6 pounds 10 oz. and was 19” long.
He’s been an excellent baby. He’s very content, has been an excellent nurser and I haven’t had any problems with soreness or engorgement.
For the first day after the birth, Ruth had us (Matthew and I) take an herbal bath. It was great! I stunk, but boy, you just tingled and for hours after I didn’t sting etc.
Also it helped to heal and dry out Matthew’s cord. In the afternoon after the birth, Fito was outside playing with Tony, and Douglas and Matthew were asleep. I was supposed to take a nap, but I couldn’t.
It was like being at a spiritual meeting, the spirit was so strong and had been all during labor and the birth. The love just overflowed, to be able to help create a body for a new child, but to be able to “give light” (as they say in Spanish) surrounded by those whom you love and who love you.
No strangers present, no mechanical intervention. My body being allowed to do as God intended it to-- without drugs or man-made interventions.
It was on a higher plane, it was a perfect birth and a deeply spiritual experience. To understand or know; one would have to experience it, but how grateful I am to have had the opportunity. Thank you Heavenly Father, and Matthew.