An Incredible Day – by

I would love to do another post on previous birth experiences, so you would completely understand how incredible this birth was. But I like to keep my blog a relatively positive place, so I’ll keep it brief. I have had many false alarms, lasting days at a time, 2 c-sections, 3 transfers to the hospital, pushing lasting 3-4 hours, and the list goes on. But this time it was different. 

We prayed long and hard about this delivery. We talked about my previous hangups and uncanny ability to stop labor. I printed verses and hung them on the wall by the tub. I talked to Noah and asked him to help me know what to do during labor to help him get out. I searched my heart and repented and forgave so I would be a clean vessel.

One day, I was visualizing pushing Noah out and putting him up on my belly. (I don’t remember any of my other babies being put on my belly.) YHVH asked me, “Is that what you want?” “Yes, it is,” I answered. “Then that is my gift to you.” He showed me that all those hard births and rocky roads were needed to make me what I am. I used to be the ninety pound weakling, as my dad teases me. I was weak in many other areas, too. But Israel overcomes, and I needed to be molded into what He wants.

So as I got near to D-day, as it were, I had an incredible sense of peace. YHVH had personally given me a promise, and I thanked Him for it. I knew that everything would be okay. I had specifically asked to know when to call. I wanted to know it was real labor. On Monday, I started having contractions, but they were too sporadic, so I waited. I felt like Mary, who pondered in her heart. I kept things to myself prayerfully, thankful for YHVH’s confirmations and answers. On Tuesday, I went to my midwife appointment. I am so thankful for her. I was able to share with her my fears and frustrations. She knew my fear of false alarms. She understood my desire to call the shots and not be told how to handle everything.

Wednesday, the contractions returned around dinnertime. This time I was really wondering. Doug went to work as usual, and we had complete peace about that decision. By seven, I decided to start writing down times between contractions. The kids and I watched a movie together and they asked to camp out in the living room. By ten, while talking to Doug on the phone, I knew it was time to call. My dear mother was ready to come, but I told her to go ahead and get some sleep. I would call when I needed her. My midwife started out, with a long drive ahead of her. I started collecting last minute things like the camera to take upstairs where the big tub is. By this time I was leaning against the wall, praying through each contraction. “Help me to work with my body and not get in the way. Help me to be strong.” I felt YHVH’s presence each time. At 11:30, I did not want to be alone any longer, so Mom came and helped me get in the tub. What a relief that was! I listened to hebrew lullabies and read the verses I had posted on the wall. (More on those later.) YHVH’s promises were surrounding me. I truly felt like I was under the shadow of His wings.

I think Noah truly was helping me, because I strongly felt the need to keep moving around, to truly work with each contraction. I refused to let myself cry, but got very good at moaning. I leaned against the wall, crawled on my hands and knees, lied down on the mattress on the floor. Sometimes I felt like a flopping fish, trying to find the right position. My midwife soon arrived and her approach was amazing. She was often in the other room, but knew exactly what was going on. She timed my contractions by my moans, checked the water temperature, offered me water, but gave me full freedom to do what I needed to do. It was so empowering to be able to listen to YHVH, listen to Noah, listen to my body, and do what I needed to do. I didn’t have to work around cords hooked to me, or a hospital gown, or being told to get back in bed. My mom never left my side, but she simply was there. Her presence was very comforting. I remember one particularly strong contraction. I said, “Mom, look at me.” She helped me calm down and breathe through the contraction.

The first time my midwife, Laurie, checked me, I was a little nervous. How many times in the past had I been checked and checked, and the numbers never changed. I prayed, “Please let it be at least 4.” I was seven! I asked her where he was in regard to the pelvic bone. +1 station! He was already settling in! YHVH is sooo good! I was progressing! I continued my routine of bouncing around like a fish out of water for some time more. It was getting very intense. I was thankful for the little 10-15 minute breaks when I could doze off.

At about 7 am, I found myself very desperate. I felt I could not go on. I asked mom to call Doug, but she couldn’t get a hold of him. It was then that Laurie checked me again. “It’s time to push!” At this point everything was so painful that I couldn’t get off the mattress, so I started pushing right there. My poor Mom wasn’t ready for me to start grabbing her legs, her knees, her hands, but she was wonderful. Laurie could feel his head, and let me feel it. I had never felt that before. It was an incredible feeling. My sister soon arrived, and scooted in behind me to hold me up. She would tell me that I was doing good and I could believe her! In the past, I would be told I was doing good, but I just wanted to smack them. How could I be doing good if I had been at it for three hours?

They let me keep touching his head, it was poking out now! “Push through the hurt!” “You’re almost done!” And then that terrible moment of the ring of fire, the widest point of his head! I screamed, “Get him out! Get him out!” And then, in a few more pushes, he was out and on my belly. I looked down at my beautiful, pink little boy, and sobbed tears of joy! It was the most wonderful moment! Twenty minutes later, Doug walked in and saw Noah on my belly. All he could do was kiss me and tell me he loved me. He was so happy.

The placenta was a little slow in coming, but Laurie was right on top of it, and handled everything so calmly. Soon everything was cleaned up, and Noah was attempting nursing for the first time.

I tried a few different things this time, and they worked very well.
First, I had only women with me. I love my men (Dad and Doug) but having them elsewhere and just praying for me really worked. Just having women really helped me relax and do whatever I needed to do.
My children stayed at home, and YHVH gave me the night delivery I had prayed for. It was so wonderful to have them come in and meet their brother.
I planned a water birth. He wasn’t actually born in the water, but the water was so helpful during labor. Maybe next time, lol.
Having so few people put me in the driver’s seat. I had to be strong and brave. I had to do what needed to be done. I had to depend on YHVH for strength. He was faithful to give it.
I surrounded myself with YHVH’s promises, and He kept them all. Psalm 20 was particularly helpful.

*Thank you, Heidi, for allowing me to share this birth story from your blog:

This Grand Vocation

When I heard my pager beep at 1 am and the phone ring before I reached the pager, I knew I was probably going to miss this birth. JIM had been in a hurry to call and accidentally paged me first. He said, “SHELLEY’s in labor, and her contractions started right out at two minutes apart.”

I didn’t ask anything more, but just did the bare essentials (I HAVE to brush my teeth) and headed to their house. I was out the door at 1:10.

No call from JIM on the way, but you never know what that means. Either things were moving more slowly and I would make it, or the baby had arrived and he was too busy. I didn’t want to think about complications as the reason he wasn’t calling. But the possibility nudged at my mind, while I drove as fast as the deer would allow.

As I pulled into the campground to park at their home, I had to slow for a fat skunk waddling ahead of me. I didn’t want to annoy it at all, so although I was feeling hurried, I let it mosey out of my way, and I slowly passed by. After parking, I grabbed everything and headed up the porch steps and on into the house. A smiling boy greeted me—a smile that made me think he already had a baby to report to the midwife, who was late. JIM said, “You won’t need everything—the baby boy is already here! He was born at 1:32.”

I heard a little cry, and the boy who greeted me said happily, “You missed it!” like it was a game at which mom had beat me!

I took a peak at the little fuzzy-headed baby nestled into SHELLEY as she tried to get him to nurse. I was pleased to see that he was nice and pink. After a quick fundal height check, I got my bearings on what needed to be done next, and JIM began filling me in on what had occurred. We looked the placenta over as we talked. This baby was born in the bathroom, as had the other two (totaling three babies born in this house), and JIM was good at giving details that you usually have to coax out of other husbands. But this baby put him “one-up” with the midwives. He had now caught five of his nine children (more than half!) without a midwife present. He jokingly told me that he’d look into the midwifery business if it was this easy. I told him if it was always this easy, we wouldn’t even be needed!

I did the newborn exam with two children watching and getting me baby clothes and asking questions, while SHELLEY rested, pleased that it went so easily. When I announced that the newborn weighed 6 lbs, 14 oz, the boy next to me said, “YES! I’m the biggest baby still!” He proudly told me he had weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz when he was born. In a family full of boys, this one found a way to be unique. I think it’s great that he knows his birth weight and has an understanding of birth and how the placenta works.

I dressed the baby (JIM was jokingly calling him “Ocho”—“eight” in Spanish because he’s an eighth son!) and checked things over one more time before heading home.

The skunk was nowhere in sight, but I could hear the waves of Bear Lake gently slapping the shore. I hadn’t noticed the peaceful sound when I was hurrying into the home a couple of hours before. I smiled at this “job” I get to do, still in awe of finding it—or it finding me. Life is good, and another baby has made it safely here.