simeon joseph plew

It is said that St. Simeon the God-receiver, patron of our wee Simeon, was over three hundred years old when he held the infant Christ in his arms. As a much younger man, an angel of the Lord came to him and told him he would not die until he saw the One to whom the virgin was to give birth. At Christ’s presentation in the Temple, St. Simeon received Him, uttering this prayer:

Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word. For mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation, which Thou hast bestowed upon the face of all peole. A Light to lighten the gentiles and the Glory of they people, Israel.

Our little Simeon was welcomed with much love after a mere nine months :)

Here is his story…

After much discussion and wanting to avoid drinking the thick putrid liquid that is castor oil, Aaron and I decided to go ahead with the Foley bulb induction recommended by our midwife. Tuesday afternoon, she inserted the odd thing and sent me home in hopes of a jump-start response. I rested while my mom watched the kids. Aaron came home and I was having mild but regular comtractions about every ten minutes. We ate, laid the kids to bed and went to bed ourselves, hoping to wake up to stronger waves…

But to no avail.

The contractions completely stopped after I went to bed. We phoned Amber, our midwife, and she gave us a few choices, one of which was drinking a smaller 2 ounce dose of castor oil. After a mildly disturbing battle of will, I gulped down the wretched stuff lovingly “disguised” by Aaron into a strawberry smoothie. It was done. We took a long walk with the kids and contractions picked up to four minutes but still very light. The consistency was encouraging but they seemed to be unprogressive. After returning home, I decided to go for a walk on my own to keep them going and to give everyone some time to step out from under the raincloud I was carrying. What a wonderful walk! I prayed and was given a much needed bit of peace and even stronger waves.

My dad came to get Basil and Juliana at about 3:30 pm. We called the midwife who said she would be heading over soon. Alone and excited, Aaron and I went for a walk in a nearby park. The hilly steps, fresh air, tall rustling trees and firm handholding of my sweet husband refereshed and invigorated my spirits even more and the contractions kept coming. While I was still able to walk and talk through the rushes, the upward pull of my uterus felt notably stronger.

We pulled into the driveway at a bout 4:20 pm and were met by my mom who came in with us. We watched a bit of a movie, during which my contractions grew intense very quickly, coming almost every minute. I needed silence during each one in order to focus and relax. I felt perfectly normal in between. Amber soon arrived, at about the same time as my good friend Cybil. Cybil helped me at our other two births, is a trained doula and fellow home-birther. Amber set up her things and I continued to labor. I felt intense pressure on my pelvic bone, later we concluded it must have been his hand which was incidentally born first. After trying several positions, I found standing and rocking in Aaron’s arms to be the most comfortable. After a few of these contractions, I felt his head descend and started to feel a bit shaky and warm and knew I was in transition.

With the next contraction I was feeling “pushy”. I told Amber and she suggested I get in the tub. Whew! As the warm water embraced me, I relaxed as much as I could though two or three more transitional rushes on my hands and knees where I was feeling a bit like pushing but wasn’t quite there yet. I rested my head on the side of the tub and Aaron put his head next to mine…I remember that being so comforting. One massive contraction whipped through my body. I reached down to feel a bulging bag of waters. With the next contraction it must have burst because the head came out!! I was so shocked, It truly seemed as though I was outside of my body because it was working so automatically…well, outside my body aside from the intense pressure.

I exclained, “there’s the head!” Amber had me turn toward her onto my back. I know I was loud…definitely letting go of some sort of inner tigress :) (a la your mother’s story, Annie). With the next two contractions the body was born! Just like that at 5:19 pm after one just one hour of hard labor . All at once he was the with us, warm, wet and perfectly beautiful laying on my chest.

It’s funny how at that moment, the craziness of the moment before seems to have happened in the far distant past and all you can say is Thank you, Lord, thank you.

Glory to God for our baby Simeon Joseph.

Born May 30 at 5:19 pm

8 pounds, 8 ounces and 21 inches long.

May God grant you many years in His love!


16 thoughts on “simeon joseph plew

  1. annie

    You told your story so wonderfully! Makes me really excited to go through it all again. (really?!?) Glad to hear your inner tigress made an appearance at this birth. I had forgotten telling you about that. HA!
    Simeon is just gorgeous, can’t wait to see more pictures of him. Only 8-8, huh? Isn’t that kind of small for a Plew baby? :)

  2. carol

    oh- what a beautiful synopsis of your birth story. congratulations on all of your hard work and to Aaron as well (I always feel bad for the men, we are in control of the birth, but the poor guy is just riding the wave sort of blind!).

    Love your son’s name- I have always imagined St. Simeon and his meeting with our Lord.

  3. Susan Sophia

    Thank you for sharing your story, it is beautiful!
    I’m so happy for you all!!
    Can’t wait to see more pictures.

  4. lauren s.

    Wonderful story, Sara! For the long wait he gave you, he sure came out rather quickly, didn’t he? I’m so happy you have another healthy, beautiful baby. And you seemed so peaceful during your birth, what a gift.

    Glory to God, indeed!

  5. Arielle

    Congratulations to all of you! I have to admit, I was MOST curious about what you would name your little one, since I LOVE your other children’s names (I even appropriated one of them at my baptism :)). And you sure didn’t let me down! Simeon is one of my all-time favorite names, in part due to St. Simeon the God-Receiver. Chris isn’t sold on it yet, for us (although I think if I’ve given him ATHANASIUS (Athan), I should get Simeon, right?). I actually called him up the other night and said, “guess what Sara and Aaron named their new baby boy? SIMEON!!!”

    He’s beautiful, Sara. Great job!

  6. aaron


    You know what has been hilarious about the name? The wildly varying and often awkward reactions of people. Some people LOVE the name, as you’ve expressed. Others literally say nothing, i’m lucky if they say, “Oh.” I’ve never had that happen with either of the other kids. Something about Simeon just doesn’t work for some people apparently. The huge and more obvious exception is for Orthodox who all seem to love it hands down.


  7. xenia katie

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing the beautiful birth story with us!!!

    So happy for you, Sara :D

  8. Katie Harris

    wow! congratulations. it’s been a LONG time since we last spoke. Be well!!! and props to the moms who do it naturally. (i’ll try that with my next one a few years down the road ;) )

  9. victoria

    wow! what a vivid and wonderfully told story sara!
    it’ll be so cool when they’re older, getting married, having their own babies, to be able to go back and read these.
    I wish I had done this.
    Congratulations, and what a wonderful name. It passes down such a legacy, doesn’t it?

  10. Emily

    Congratulations, Sara! What a wonderful birth! Please God may I have one just like yours next time. :)

    By the way, I’ve read A Mother’s Rule of Life as well, and it has helped me so much. I was joking with a friend at church the other day about how we ought to start a club – there are so many of us reading that book and being transformed. :)

  11. Pingback: the churching of simeon and mom « the bluecanopy

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