JONATHAN THOMAS BORN
Born at 10:14 pm on November 10th, 2004
Weight: 9 lbs, 8.5 oz
Name explanation: Nathan’s family had a tradition of the firstborn son getting his father’s first name as his middle name. Nathan was the third boy in his family, so he didn’t have that for his name; instead his parents chose “gift of God” (Nathan) and a missionary for his middle name (Carey, after William Carey). When we tried to think of a name, I liked “Josiah” because of the great king of the Old Testament, the only one who didn’t get a “but…” at the end of his epitaph. Nathan wasn’t thrilled with that as a first name, and suggested “John” which I wasn’t thrilled with. But taking the Jo and adding it to Nathan we found that we were both happy with Jonathan as a first name! We wanted the middle name to be that of an evangelist/missionary, and chose Thomas after the disciple. Remember him? Usually he’s called “doubting Thomas” but he is also the disciple who, when Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem to die, said “let’s go and die with him!” (John 11:16) and he is historically credited with taking the gospel about Jesus to India.
Jonathan was conceived about 4 months after Nathan and I were married. We had not been planning on getting pregnant for at least a year; the first 3 months of our marriage Nathan was unemployed because he couldn’t find a job in Saskatchewan. Finally, we moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where there were jobs aplenty. We stayed with friends for a few weeks, until we found a job and a place to live (as apartment managers). We were not thinking of getting pregnant! 🙂 I was unable to work, as I was still going through the process of immigrating to Canada. Then about a week after moving our things to our new apartment, we conceived Jonathan. A few days later, Nathan’s parents came for a quick visit. During that visit Nathan’s mom had a dream that we were having a baby boy! We said, “What?” – and then knew, two weeks later when my period didn’t come, what we were in for!
During the pregnancy, I used a midwife program based in a hospital. When my water broke on November 8th at 7:30pm we stayed home (Nathan’s parents were visiting) that night and I tried to get some sleep. By the next morning, labor hadn’t really started but we believed that we had to go to the hospital since it had been 12 hours (ah…we should have stayed home). At the hospital things didn’t really progress much, although the environment was great. They started an IV after a while to give me antibiotics since it had been a while since my water had broken. The midwife also manually dialated my cervix, which was not dialating by itself. That kind of sent me into shock (vomiting/diarrhea and shaking). Labor started progressing but slowly. That night (about 24 hours after water broke) I used the nitrous oxide (“laughing”) gas to help with the contractions; all it did was make my fingers tingle and make me hallucinate (Nathan morphed into an alien?), but it did stop the shaking for short periods of time. By the time morning came, they suggested a partial epidural, which Nathan encouraged me to get. When I did, I was able to relax, even smile a bit! At some point, the pitocin also started since the epidural slowed things down again. Labor progressed all day, and I began pushing around 8 pm. I squatted for almost an hour on Nathan’s knees trying to get gravity to help. Another hour and Jonathan was finally coming out. He didn’t rotate as he should have and came out facing up instead of down; apparently he had gotten “stuck” perhaps on my tailbone, as I discovered later that it had been dislocated during the birth. I tore and had an episiotomy (according to Nathan, I don’t remember that), so I had quite a few stitches…but by that point I had my baby so I was past caring. Poor Jonathan, though – his head was so big and getting stuck and everything…he came out a cone-head! Literally! But it went into a normal head shape a few days later. He was in obvious pain around his head after the birth.
If I had been at a hospital that did C-sections instead of with a midwife program, I am sure that I would have been sent for one. At the time, I was in the “marathon” mindset and just assumed we would keep on til he came out – and that’s what we did. It did take over 50 hours from water breaking to birth. I kind of joked afterwards that Jonathan didn’t just “pave the way” for the rest of the babies later, he broke it. But I still think it was a good birth, just hard. I am so grateful that it wasn’t a C-section because my second had to be a C-section and that would have made it a requirement for the next 3 births…with who knows what kind of complications. But God knew all that. 😀