WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!
I must be a girl mom now.
Many of you have asked the question: Well, Did she shoot out like a gingerbread man??
To answer that question fully, you must know some history. If you know me well, my 3 greatest fears: Boys, sharks, and being pregnant.
Boys because they can break your heart.
Sharks because- I saw JAWS once and just couldn’t handle that vengeful attitude, attacking innocent beachgoers and capsizing boats trying to kill the captain. I mean, seriously, Who does that?!
Aaaand being pregnant/Giving birth- I witnessed my sister Hannah being born when I was 11 years old and I don’t remember a debriefing afterwards. I’ve been terrified ever since.
So fastforward 15 years, I’m astonished that I’m actually married and yet had no plans for kids. I told the Lord if He ever wanted me to have babies, they gotta be surprises. And so far, 3 for 3, they’ve all been pretty shocking.
I read in Scripture somewhere that it says a woman will forget the anguish of birth for the joy she has from bringing forth a child. Well, let’s just say, with my firstborn, I ended up being a science project at the hospital… I DID NOT forget the anguish. Recovery took months.
Second birth, I still questioned if that Scripture could be true. I was 2 weeks late with Jet in July (Btw, I offer spankings for every day a kid comes late we’ve definitely made up for lost time with both boys!) It was a much better experience than the hospital, I was happy with a healthy baby and a 10 hr labor, a bit sore from being poked around by a student midwife but saw that Scripture to be true.
There’s something about fear that always tends to creep back in. You can logically call it out and say it’s irrational but inwardly it can be paralyzing.
During the month of December, there was a moment I felt uneasy about something (non-pregnancy related) and yet the Lord quickly reminded me of a verse:
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.”
If He can encourage me with that verse during something minor, there’s no way He’d leave me hanging during such a great moment as childbirth. I’ll hold on to it for this specific time and for the upcoming labor as well. Too many times, women can get overcome with fear about birth based on the horror stories of other women making Romans 12:2 difficult:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Here’s what I asked Him for in no particular order…
- She would be born in the morning
- My water would break at the onset of labor (Both previous births I had to be cracked open)
- That it would be a peaceful waterbirth
- It would happen during a cold front
- That I would be at least 5cms at the very first “checkpoint charlie”
- That our dog Dakota would be taken care of
- That I would gain access to my blog to write about it (been locked out since March/April)
- That our boys would sleep through the night of delivery
- Great photography/video to documenting
- Boldness and Confidence
- Lots of encouragement/mind at peace
- Healthy baby! Zero complications
- a FUN birthing experience
- Gingerbread man status (a.k.a. short push time)
- Lots of rest and Bonding time
- Easy recovery
- That I wouldn’t be rediculously late like the boys were (Remember the spankings?)
- A Tax Break Baby? Is that selfish??
- A Birth the way God intended it. How do I measure this one?
- Unspoken request
- A speedy delivery- specifically less than 6 hours.
- She’d have hair- yes, I know it’s vanity, Jethro was bald for 2 years!
So here’s what happened…
Dakota was taken care of by the sweetest family (and all the specifics we prayed for with that.#6 ) My brother and his team somehow cracked into my blog mid-December and I got access to it after 9 months of being locked out. (#7) I had no idea who to ask for photography yet my friend Christine randomly offered one day to take pics and she is so FUN so I just got #9 and #13 in one shot! SWEET!
At 7:30pm, my water broke. Instead of any kind of fear, I was totally at peace, no panic button at all. I was in the middle of cleaning the house, putting the kids to bed. I’m ready to charge this thing. #10. Boldness and Confidence.
We put the boys to bed. I slapped ’em with some essential oils to help them sleep. I’m hoping they will sleep through the night, but even if they don’t, we’ll roll with it.
I had ZERO contractions for hours. I called my midwife Rachel just to give her a heads up that my water broke because I knew it would be a fast delivery. At that time, she was delivering another baby and legally has to stay with the new mother for 3 hours to make sure all is well. When she told me that, I knew my labor wouldn’t begin until she was available.
Sometime after midnight, we had an official pattern of 3-4 minutes apart and called the team over. Rachel just finished with the previous birth and headed to our house by 1am. She checked me and called it: 5cms and 50%. BOOM! Half way there! (#5!)
From there, things kicked up a notch. The doulas arrived and BACKPRESSURE was the name of the game! I felt like a Mogli in the Jungle Book when his midsection was getting squeezed by that Anaconda. Contractions are mighty powerful! I couldn’t wait to jump in the pool and get this over with!
The contractions were so fast and furious I could hardly catch my breath in between them. I was begging for the doula’s to punch me in the back as hard as they could. The intensity took me by surprise- there was one moment I caught my breath enough to ask someone to pray. I was getting discouraged but trying not to let it overtake me. Jonathan prayed and soon afterwards played 2 songs for me. One I specifically remembered for Jethro’s birth and then this other song. Oh, yes, that will be the one I remember for this one.
Jonathan mentioned to Rachel that I looked ready to go. She told him that it was still gonna be awhile since she just checked me 20 min prior. Jonathan began to fill up the pool anyway.
Ginger (our doula) suggested I get up to go to the bathroom. I’m thinking,”what?! Why?!” I could hardly move from the floor. A moment to catch my breath and we hobbled toward the bedroom.
I guess changing positions is all it takes. Moments later, something was different. I announced she was coming and even though everyone scrambled into position, everything stood still. They shuffled me to the bed, and within 3 pushes she was out! GINGERBREAD MAN! (#14)
No tearing, no complications, a healthy girl with gobs of babyfat! YES! (#12) Both boys at 2 weeks late were skinny- she’s just 2 days overdue, (#17) a full pound heavier than both boys! And she has hair, just enough jetblack to make her a beauty! (#22)
Ten minutes later, I got up handed the baby to Jonathan and took a shower, singing the chorus to the song that was played in my ear. I feel great! How good and faithful God is! That John 16:21 verse is so true!
AND I FEEL AMAZING! I’M NOT PREGNANT ANYMOREEEEEEE!!!! Praise!!!!
And the boys? Well, I’m not sure if it was my concoction of the essential oils but they slept through the entire ordeal (lights on, laundry being done, 5 women in the house, and me hollering for an hour!) They actually slept an extra hour longer that morning and were so excited to meet their baby sister. (#8)
She was born at 2:25am (#1) and we partied with the midwives/doula/photographer til 5am. She was also born on Friday, which for whatever reason, the weather dropped that night.. (#4) If I time when a pattern with contractions to the delivery it was about 2.5 hour (#21) (that first hour was pretty easy tho!) and yes, call me selfish or just plain human, I praise God that He can sift through all our silly requests, we’ll be getting that tax break in 2017. (#18)
Rachel came the next day to check on both of us. “How you feeling?”
Dude, I just signed up for a 5k next week, I feel great!
She knows I’m joking about the 5k thing. I really appreciate her so much and her great care and kindness this past year. I’ve totally needed the support not just physically but emotionally during this pregnancy and she is the absolute best.
It’s been over a week since the arrival of our newbie and I can definitely say that was the best delivery and so far the easiest recovery out of all 3 pregnancies. (#16) I feel great. I don’t know but it seems to me that maybe God designed a labor to be easier than it is. (#19?) Not to say there’s no work involved, don’t get me wrong- There definitely is! I think we’ve missed something along the way in our modern approach to birthing. But I digress…
So the few things that I prayed for that DIDN’T happen- that peaceful waterbirth part- I was pretty bummed! (But i do remember with my last homebirth stalling out whenever I was in water so, c’est la vie.) My unspoken (#20) and the 2nd half of #11, a mind at peace. There was a just a few minutes where I felt “trapped” right before the doula called the next shot. Outside those few minutes, I kept saying
I say all this not to brag about how quick labor was or how great I feel but how good God is. I don’t deserve any of His kindnesses. I used to believe, even as a baby Christian, that God just blessed “the good ones” and didn’t have much left over for me, no matter how hard I tried. Now I see that God does not show favoritism and He gives good gifts to His kids. We just need to ask!
We had another photosesh with our uber-talented friends Shawn and Christine Rottmann– I am amazed that they actually got pics of the boys looking *not angry* especially with them being EXTREMELY cranky/overtired from being juggled for a few days. They are talented!
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
In His Grip,