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The Birth of Mercy Joy


Early labour lasted for most of Saturday November 20. In the afternoon Elnathan went to Grandma’s, happily waving goodbye. The contractions became increasingly regular and intense in the evening. In between contractions we looked at plants outside. Later Dave read to me. We have some lovely memories of the evening at home together. I had practiced breathing in through the nose to the count of four and out through the mouth to the count of six, and found this helpful throughout labour. I progressed to established labour (contractions that were more intense and I didn’t want to go through alone) at 9 or 9.30pm. We went to hospital at 10pm.

In hospital I spent most of the time labouring in the bath, as I was achy and tired. The water was restful between contractions. We asked the same people who were with us for Elnathan’s birth at home to come with us to the hospital, a private midwife (who also works at the hospital) and my sister. The contractions were less painful than last time, when I needed massage to get through them, and I only required Dave to talk me through. The pain was all at the front, none at the back. The bath was an ordinary sized one where you lie down, unlike the birth pool we had at home for our first labour. I kept wondering if I should be up upright to get things moving along faster. In my heart I knew that my body was opening up, but my head kept wondering if this was hard enough, or I was doing enough.

Sometime after midnight the waters broke. The next stage was short, but more painful. I was very panicky during it. I laboured on the bed. After I began pushing, she came with only a few pushes and was born at 1.30am on November 21st with only a minor tear. We praise God for an easier labour than first time around. With Elnathan’s birth established labour lasted seven hours and pushing took two hours. While I remained calm for most of the time, unlike this birth, afterwards I felt shocked. When I think about Mercy Joy’s birth, I feel happy and positive. As her head came out I said “it is a wonderful thing to give birth”. Now I can identify with people who say that labour and birth were not as bad as they expected, and that giving birth is a wonderful experience. We share this story with gratitude to God. Soon I hope to share some praise points from the birth and the first six weeks.

Brenda  – (January 4, 2011 at 4:54 PM)  

Women have so much awsome power from God when giving birth. Your an amazing person Sherrin, such faith and dedication. May God bless you and your family.

Anonymous –   – (January 4, 2011 at 9:47 PM)  

I loved to read your two birth stories that you have posted. Thankyou for sharing these intimate and beautiful moments of your life. I'm so glad you could "enjoy" the experience, even as it was occuring. Often we can only realise the joy in hindsight (without so much pain!).
Can you share for what reason you chose a hospital birth the second time, rather than another home birth? I'm glad that the experience was still pleasant and you could maintain your control of the situation.
thank you,

Susan  – (January 5, 2011 at 12:12 PM)  

So happy for you that this birth was easier. Praise God!

Sherrin  – (January 6, 2011 at 10:09 AM)  

Thank you all for your encouragement!

Hello Jenny, lovely to hear from you :). We chose a home birth the first time because I thought it would give me the maximum opportunity to have a natural birth. I really wanted to avoid an epidural due to my back injury. We thought that the water we could have at home (which is not available at hospital) would help me with pain relief and also allow my body to rest between contractions. This proved to be true, praise God! The second time round, having already had one straightforward birth, the changes of having another natural birth were very high anyway so we did not see the water as necessary for me. I felt that the expense of a homebirth ($2000+ as opposed to less than half that for a private midwife to accompany us to the hospital) was not justified and wanted to give the money instead. Also, I didn't want to fear going to hospital. Perhaps, as well, the fact that I didn't feel good about the first birth affected the decision. I was very grateful for the first birth, but I didn't have many positive feelings about it. Having said all that, we think we'd chose homebirth if we had another baby as Dave particularly preferred it.

Sherrin  – (January 6, 2011 at 10:11 AM)  

Just to clarify one thing: water pools are not available at the Royal Hobart hospital, an ordinary bath is sometimes available but not guaranteed.

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