Resting in Him: Nicole’s Birth Testimony
When we found out we were expecting our first child, we knew we wanted to go completely natural. We took natural birthing classes, we watched multiple documentaries and YouTube videos, we met with our doula and midwife – on paper everything felt perfect and planned out.
I was ready to waltz into the hospital and breathe out my baby. However, pregnancy is not something you can fully plan out. I began having extreme swelling and had to go to the emergency room multiple times because of it. Finally we decided to “naturally” induce, using the Foley method. My doula was out of town during my induction, and this was when I first got a realization of God fully evident in my labor.
Our nurse walked in and was talking to us. While we were talking, my phone, which had a Christian ringtone, went off. She recognized it and carefully asked us about our faith. When she found out we were Christians, she immediately opened up to us, even praying over us and my early stages of labor.
After talking to her more, I found out not only was she a nurse, but a trained doula, and she was more than happy to stay with me and help me feel encouraged and supported.
Labor lasted a long time, and despite changing positions, walking, laboring in the tub, and more, our son hadn’t dropped and the nurse’s shifts changed. We said our goodbyes to our wonderful doula nurse and in came a new nurse who was “too busy” for a natural labor. With her I felt discouraged, heckled, and exhausted. After 26 hours of natural labor, I conceded to the epidural. Within minutes of receiving it, I fell asleep and slept for 10 hours. I woke up to find my original doula nurse was back; she said she wouldn’t leave my side until our son was born, and within that hour he was born!
I felt so refreshed so they didn’t increase my epidural after it had worn off. I was able to feel everything, and after about 3-5 minutes of pushing, our son was there. I vividly remember during pushing the nurses talking about how I didn’t labor like a first time mom. That really meant a lot to me. Our son was placed on my chest and all of our wishes from delayed cord clamping to him staying with us at all times was respected. He was born on my 22nd birthday (April 3, 2013) at 4:45pm after 36 hours of labor. It was an amazing birth experience, and from it I walked away feeling joyful and supported.
The song that resonated through both of my labors was “Jesus Paid it All,” and many times during my contractions when I felt like I just had to do it my planned way, I would hear the tender words of the song hit my heart – “I hear the Savior say, ‘thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all.’”
Birth to me became about giving up my need for control and instead experiencing the moment. There was never any sense of urgency or pressure, just a calm, joyful peace. I learned that the birth you love may not be the birth you plan, and I think that really helped me grow as a doula and as a Christian. The life you love may not be (a lot of times is not) the life you plan, but submitted under the will of God is where you find true joy. I’m so glad we have a loving, heavenly Father that cares about every aspect of our life, including labor and delivery!