Lessons From My Birth Story, Part I

Baby J was due November 27, 2017. Around Valentine’s Day, approximately 9 months earlier, I was reading about Mary & I felt the conviction, the nudge, the unmistakable go-ahead from the Lord to start our family. We did the calculations, but I was still surprised when March brought a positive test. So I read Baby Bargains, met my doctor, started a registry & created the Pinterest boards. As the time got closer, J & I took a new parent class (like newbs…), I met with a nurse to create my “birth plan” (quotes will be explained later…), & set up our home for the impending arrival. Excuse the ring of arrogance with this statement, but NO ONE could have been more prepared than me…

I prayed along the way, too. Pregnancy scared me, especially in the beginning. At first my prayers were that this embryo would survive to become a fetus, and then develop into a full-on baby. Around 5 months, I had settled into pregnancy & my prayers were geared toward labor & delivery after a bout of anxiety that kept me awake & shook my confidence. The Lord delivered me from that place like He always does. I then began to make my requests known to God.

During my morning drives, I prayed first & foremost for the Lord’s will to be done. I gave my story & testimony over to Him, thanking Him for the ending He had already written. Then I prayed for a safe & healthy baby, regardless of the circumstances. Lastly, I listed my specific wishes. I now realize that I had formed my perfect birth plan as if I were shopping in a boutique filled with everyone else’s stories – natural birth, I would like to do that (no pain meds or epidurals will influence me or my baby!). Please no induction, that would only make the natural birth part hard. I would like to labor at home with J by my side. And also Lord I would like You to redeem me from the pain & fear of childbirth like the woman in the book I read. I claim the promise that if I ask anything in Your name, You will grant it & I trust that You can bring all of these things to pass through Your mighty power.

It never dawned on me that my shopping bag of wishes might be contrary to my first two prayers…


This is what I placed beneath every pregnancy photo on Instagram, subconsciously willing Baby J to come a few days early. I had low-grade contractions for a week, convinced I would go into labor any minute. Well, Thanksgiving came & went. I very pregnantly went Black Friday shopping & hiked around a Christmas tree farm. The night of my due date they stripped my membranes (induction #1). At midnight I finally began laboring. J & I sat up together watching Gilmore Girls & I ate what I could, only to have it come back up. I was ecstatic to have progressed to 3 cm by the time I was admitted. I had the best cheerleader of a nurse, as well as J & my parents, encouraging me through breathing & position changes. I progressed naturally…until I didn’t. I plateaued at 6 cm after 17 hours, my OB went home & my nurse apologized that her shift had ended. A small dose of IV pain meds did nothing for my pain, leaving me sad that I had subjected my baby to meds after all & disappointed that I couldn’t maintain the natural-ness any longer.

Another shift change brought an angel of a nurse, who compassionately served me as I moved into the hardest part of my labor. They started me on Pitocin (induction #2), progressing from 2 drops an hour to 6. After another 6 hours I was faint, tremoring, & exhausted, unable to control the contractions. I was facing a C-section if my body didn’t get a move on. So, tearfully, I resigned myself to the fact that in this case, an epidural was the safest thing for my son, who had spent way too long in the birth canal at this point. My water was broken after another 4 hours (induction #3). The epidural allowed me to get the much needed rest I would need to push & my body relaxed enough to dilate. I was heart-broken when this nurse reported that she had stayed an extra hour, hoping to help me deliver, but had to go home.

The second shift change brought me a super hero of a nurse who recognized that Baby J had turned, causing back labor. She creatively caused him to turn & descend fully. I began pushing at hour 30. My OB unprecendently offered to come in to help with the pushing stage. The Lord knew who I needed in my delivery room. They coached me during contractions & conversed about Christmas & children in between. At the third shift change, she told the next nurse that she wasn’t leaving without delivering this baby; I was her last delivery before being promoted. She changed up my pushing techniques & I used a mirror to help with me concentrate. I was able to see Baby J crown & felt his head as he emerged after 31 hours.

He took two very long seconds to cry, but J was able to cut his cord & I was able to hold him for a few minutes before we realized he needed deep suctioning to clear his lungs. Our healthy baby boy was finally here. I was full of emotions, positive & negative. I doubt any honest mother will deny that there was fear & apprehension mixed into the deep relief & supernatural love you feel in the first moments of holding your child. As the next days unfolded, I was left with another feeling. A feeling of being let down by God. Or being punished by God. But ultimately thankful to God. And being ashamed to speak to God. To put it simply, I spent about a week being utterly spiritually confused…

To be continued…


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