Birth Testimony

God Is In Complete Control: Emma

A Not so funny April Fools joke

It was April Fools, a Monday night, around 8 pm, and my husband was putting our 2-year-old daughter to bed. I was 40 w and six days pregnant. I went to lie in bed and rest myself when I felt my water break as soon as I laid down. Not a gush but more of a trickle, and I just knew what was happening because this was the same way my labor started with our daughter Nora. I stood out of bed and went to the bathroom to be sure I kept having gushes of water come out. I let Jordon know and called my midwife to let her know; this was around 8:15 pm. Jordon and I decided to head to the birth center because we thought things would move quicker the second time around. We would soon find out we were wrong! My dad stayed the night at our house to be with our daughter, and I thought we would even be back sometime the following day. We also wanted my mom and sister there for support, so they each met us at the birth center.

Birth Center Arrival

We got to the birth center around 9 pm and got settled in. I started antibiotics around 10 pm for GBS+ (they recommend two doses before the birth…you get the antibiotics every 4 hours. I was disappointed to have antibiotics and have Milo receiving them through me, but after talking with my midwife, we didn’t want to take a chance on him contracting GBS. Hence, we decided to the antibiotics). My midwife recommended that Jordon and I lay down and try and sleep until my contractions started so that we could get as much rest as possible. (my contractions started 6 hours after my water breaking with Nora; she was born 6 hours later, so I assumed they would be starting anytime!). We got to sleep around 11 or so, and then I woke up at 2 when my midwife came in to give me the next dose of antibiotics. After being awake, I had trouble getting back to sleep.

I was uncomfortable from being in a wet depends from my water continuing to leak. Hence, I kept going to the bathroom and being somewhat anxious with the anticipation of when labor would truly begin. I fell asleep around four or so for a few hours and woke up at 6 when my new midwife on call came on shift (Kimberly, who delivered Nora). When Kimberly arrived at six, we decided to start trying to get my contractions to start (they said once I could get into active labor, things would move quickly!). My midwife also checked to see if I had progressed with dilating. I was about a 4, where I had been for the week leading up to this. Jordon and I went for a 30-minute walk and did curb walking and squatting.

Prayer, Pumping, & Castor Oil Milkshakes

He read me Scripture and birth affirmations I had written down to help me during labor. We prayed and talked about how excited we were to meet our son. We returned to the birth center, and I used the breast pump for 20 minutes, and they gave me some herbs known to help strengthen contractions. We kept this process going for what went on to be most of the day. I stayed hydrated with water and coconut water. We ate a good lunch- turkey sandwiches, and I would snack here and there. It wasn’t too hot, but I was getting warm on our walks in the sun. We went up and down stairs and continued to curb walk and squat. I would get into a pattern on our walks of feeling contractions every 2 minutes, or so that would last 30 seconds (they weren’t super strong to where I had to stop walking for the most part, but they were very recognizable). As soon as we would come inside from the walk, my contractions would completely stop. I began to get discouraged and confused because I had not anticipated working so hard to get contractions to start the second time. Around 2 pm, we decided I would try drinking a castor oil milkshake. That’s another thing the midwives will try to get labor moving along. Since I was GBS+, they usually have about a 24-hour time frame for the birth center, where they would like to see me in at least active labor for 24 hours since my water broke. Throughout the day, I missed Nora too. I had not anticipated being away from her for so long and wanted to see her. She might be an excellent distraction to distract me from things. For everything to feel more “normal”, my dad came to the birth center with her, and she got to hang out with us for a bit and did some stair-stepping with me. I was so glad I got to have her there for part of Milo’s birthday.

God’s plan was always the plan.

Around 4 pm, I cried because I felt our birth plan would not work out how we had hoped and prayed for. I requested that my midwife check to see if I had made any progress, and I was still a 4, with no change. I may have to transfer to the hospital for some pitocin to see if that would help push my body into active labor. Jordon suggested that he thought I needed to lie down and rest. We had tried everything else and I had been exhausting myself, so he felt we should do the opposite and relax. I agreed, so I took a shower to settle, and my mom would pick up some dinner for us to eat before heading to the hospital. Jordon was incredible at pointing me to Christ when I felt defeated and thought our plans were completely changing. My husband has been a rock throughout our labors together, and I am always so overjoyed to see how God has gifted him with such trust for the birthing process.

Around 6 pm, I went to lie down by myself and nap in Nora’s birth room.

I had a good sob and prayed, giving my plans and hopes to God, knowing that He knew precisely how Milo needed to be born and that, in the end, all that mattered was that he was here and we were both healthy. I felt like God was asking me to trust Him if things looked much different than we pictured and not to let fear overcome me.

The Arrival of our Son

Just as I finished crying and praying, the strongest contraction came over me at 6:15 pm, and I could not help but moan through it. I knew after the first contraction that he was coming & quick!! My sister heard me and came into the room and also got Jordon. I told them he was going to be born here! Things moved quickly. I could not get comfortable in any position, constantly moving from the bed to the tub to the bathroom. I would wrap my arms around Jordon’s neck and let him hold up all my weight for the contractions. My sister would squeeze my hips and was a fantastic comfort to me, telling me I could do it and everything would be okay. My husband, sister, and mom were terrific at recognizing needs I couldn’t even realize for myself.  My contractions were strong and steady, and I could feel a lot of pressure.

I labored on the toilet backward for a while, and that was the most comfortable place for me. I hit transition around 7:00 pm and started feeling the urge to push. I didn’t want to move to the bed, so we stayed in the bathroom, and I sat in Jordon’s lap and began to push around 7:15. Milo was born at 7:35 pm, and it was a moment I will never forget seeing him for the first time. Instant unconditional love and my heart were forever bound to this precious baby! He had so much vernix and looked so tiny to me! He also looked so much like his daughter; they were little twins two years apart! After all, he wasn’t so tiny, just 1 ounce smaller than Nora. He was 8lbs 2oz and 20.75″ long.

Whether or not anything would have gone according to our plans, God was merciful and gracious to us in the birth of our son.

He has shown me during each labor that I must surrender all my hopes and desires to Him. It is hard for us to let go of the idea that we can control the outcome and experience of our birth, but just like every detail and part of life, God is the One in control and orchestrating it all.

This lesson from labor is also something I need a constant reminder of in motherhood. God is sovereign over my children’s lives; that is a scary and comforting thought at the same time. I don’t have control over my children’s salvation, but I also thank God because I am a messy, sinful human just like them. All I can do is be faithful to be the wife and mom God has called me to be. Nothing has ever exposed my need for Christ as motherhood has, and I am thankful for that.

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