Friday, July 29, 2011

The Story of Mathias James

The Story of Mathias James
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
11:00 I called my chiropractor and friend, Jamie Graham, to see if I could get in for an adjustment. I remember feeling like my body and the baby were just about ready to go into labor, and I wanted to set my body up for success to have a quick and smooth labor.

3:00 I went in for my 39 week appointment, where my OB guessed it would be another 7-10 days before I would meet my baby. I glared at him and chose not to believe him and stayed in a
hopeful, anticipatory mood.

5:00 Micah and I went to youth group. While at youth group I have a handful of pretty painful contractions. Freaked a couple of youth out. Kinda funny.

7:00-1:00am I layed on the couch and timed these contractions. They were painful, but bearable. I was such a mess of emotions; they were 10 minutes apart and not progressing, so I was trying to talk myself out of early labor.

Thursday, June 9, 2011
1:00am Finally went to sleep. Mad. Surrendering to the belief that I was indeed NOT in labor.

5:00 I awoke to a painful contraction. As the contraction passed my mind took off as if racing a 400 meter. "Am I really in labor?! Could God really be answering our specific prayer request to have our child one week early?!" My heart swelled in quiet worship and gratitude. ....and then, sadly, passed, as I remembered my desire to do this naturally. :) "Stupid idea" I thought to myself. But two phone calls to my superwomen sisters talked me back into it.

5:00-8:00 Matt and I labored at home. Matt began his role of operator, making phone calls to sisters, moms, and Heidi. I had asked Heidi (our great friend from church) to be present during labor to help Matt coach and support. During this time the contractions were so sporadic, from 8-3 minutes apart. Micah was shipped off the the Lopez house, excited to play with Molly all day.

9:00 Matt, Heidi, and I left for St. Joe's Hospital. God answered some huge requests in this area as well. I was dreading driving all the way to down town Denver while in labor. And I was quite tempted to kinda rig the system and just go through the ER at a closer hospital. For months I was wrestling with this decision. And I was also stressed because I was hoping to labor at home for a long time, like I did with Micah. However, during the early hours of that morning, God seemed to whisper to my heart, "Honor me by being honest and driving to St. Joes, and I will indeed bless your labor." And like a switch being turned, the temptation to go to another hospital was gone. And the dreaded drive? It was so easy. My contractions slowed and lessoned for the 45 minute drive (almost so much that I thought I was not in labor anymore!)

10:00-12:00 We labored in the Labor and Delivery triage of St. Joe's. Matt and I had not even visited the hospital prior to labor because my attitude was so bad. ( I know, I'm immature) So it was a wonderful surprise to love the hospital! The first thing my first nurse said to me was, "So, would you like to do this naturally?" I couldn't believe it! "Yes!" I replied with a huge smile on my face. "Will you please help me do that?" I begged her. She was immediately my advocate. I , again, couldn't help but sing silent praises to the Lord as he remained so close during this process. During this time I leaned on a labor ball that was on a chair and swayed. I swayed. and swayed. and swayed. And I stared at Matt and Heidi while they counted backwards. (Kinda random but it was so effective) At noon, my nurse checked me again. I had only progressed from a 3 to a 4. My second wave of doubt came rushing in. I looked ahead at the day and a natural labor was dubious.

12:00-2:00 We went upstairs to our labor room and Matt likes to remind me of my first bout of feisty-ness. I guess I saw a male doc in the hall way and started venting about how men shouldn't be OBs because they have NO IDEA how painful it is.'s true.

For the next 2 hours I labored in the tub. It was incredible. My pain went from like a 9/10 to a 6/10. Which was great because in 2 hours I went from a 4 to a 8 1/2. We had the water as hot as they would allow and then Matt and Heidi put ice cold towels on my face and shoulders. These 2 hours were so interesting. I was almost relaxed. I only had 45 second in between contractions, but I almost fell asleep during that time! I felt like it was just me and the Lord in that room. I felt his presence and strength in a new way.

Let me attempt to explain the sweet way I experienced that Lord on that day. To be very very honest, as I approached Micah's labor and delivery, I wanted to do it naturally. But in a very competitive, almost athletic, approach. In a prideful way. It was a challenge that I wanted to overcome. And big surprise, I kinda failed. I received IV medication and felt totally stoned during labor and delivery. (while still feeling ALL the pain). It was kinda crappy.

As my third trimester began this past Spring, the Lord began working on my heart in this area. I felt a desire to approach a natural labor in hopes of finding a place of brokenness and dependence on God that could not be found in other day to day experiences. I listened as my two sisters shared that this occurred for both of them in the previous months. So I prayed. and prayed. and prayed. I prayed that I would be changed and humbled. And if possible, that labor would include worship of my baby's creator.

Oh friends, God answered. What a sweet, loving, intimate God we have.

2:00ish My water broke in the tub. Which ticked me off because they made me get out. Grr.....

Then a resident came in and wanted to check me. She asked me to lay in the bed. I guess this was round 2 of feisty-ness. I told her no. Several times. I had no plans of doing anything but standing on the side of the bed and swaying. Ah wonderful swaying. And then I felt the urge to push. Which I guess makes everyone a bit nervous. And everyone was yelling at me to get into the bed. I was the only calm one in the room, simply telling them "no." :)

But when I was good and ready I got in the bed (stuck out my tongue at everyone and glaring at the resident :) ) . And pretty much 15 minutes later and 3 terrifying horrible painful pushes later I got to meet Mathias James Johnson.

It was so wonderful. My wonderful, strong husband cried tears of joy as we realized that God had given us another perfectly healthy son. He leaned down and kissed me. It was the most intense day of my life, where everything I felt and experienced was heightened.

As with all aspects of motherhood, labor is so unbelievably challenging. However, with the innumerable challenges arises the sweetest opportunities to experience our creator. To be reminded that He knows us, loves us, and will always be with us as we fumble through this job.


  1. Oh lovely, thank you for sharing! I wish I could meet these little stinkers!