Our birth story begins when I was still pregnant and decided to pursue an unmedicated birth. I read books, hired a Doula, signed up for a Bradley natural childbirth class and did both physical and mental exercises daily to prepare. I had just finished my class, finalized my birth plan and felt confident that I could make my plans happen when I was hit with a surprise diagnosis- gestational diabetes.
Suddenly my midwife began talk of inducing labor early as well as having me hooked up to an IV and monitor for the entire labor. None of those things are exactly natural birth friendly. I was devastated and cried for 2 weeks. It was then that God opened my eyes to what really mattered more than birthing naturally- birthing in a way that gave him glory. While I never gave up training for natural birth, my focus shifted to seeking wisdom for handling these new changes, worshipping God through birth and Gospel centered parenting.
Through the process of surrendering my wishes for birth, I learned to trust God’s sovereignty rather than my own will power. When the time came for my son to be born, my attitude had shifted from “I MUST make this happen exactly so or everything will be ruined” to “I welcome whatever God sends me.” I lost my mucus plug and began experiencing contractions after a membrane sweep the Friday before I would’ve been induced. I labored at home with the help of my husband and techniques from our Bradley class until contractions were coming 3-5 minutes apart.We were admitted to the hospital around 11pm and our Doula joined us there. Due to good readings on the monitor and well-controlled blood sugar, I was allowed off the monitor and disconnected from an IV for most of the labor. This was a wonderful surprise. I mostly relaxed by slow dancing with my husband and moaning in contractions, but we also walked, got in a warm tub in the hospital room and my Doula had lots of other great tricks to use. We never needed medication.
Finally around 9am I was ready to push. I pushed him out in about 5 contractions using a birthing bar and when they put him on my chest my heart melted! It was the most intense experience my body has ever been through but I felt so blessed to participate in bringing my son into the world that I can’t bear to use words like suffering, agony or pain todescribe it.
This is the birth story God wrote for us. Because of my experience during pregnancy, when I was able to go into labor on my own, forgo medication and move freely I did not congratulate myself for “achieving” these things or worship them as idols but I was able appreciate them as gifts from God during my journey to an even bigger gift- my son. I know God could’ve easily chosen another birth story for us so there is no room for comparing myself to other moms. The only proper response is to thank him for his goodness to our family.