Brielle's Birth Story
Before I begin the story of our baby's birth, I feel it is important to share a little background information first. I am 31 years old, and have been married for 12 years. My husband and I have two boys, who just turned 12 and 9 years old. We were never planning on having more children; we had never even considered it. We were using a form of family planning birth control and it had worked well: for 8 years. I had returned to college after a 7 year lapse, and was just finishing my sophomore year. I was also working part time at a preschool, where I had been for four years. Obviously, we had a huge SHOCK!!!
My first two experiences with birth were very medical. With both I had epidurals and with my 2nd I was induced, given pitocin, and pretty much spent the entire 6 hours watching a machine print out what my contractions would have felt like, had I felt them. After having my 2nd (I was clueless about birth with my first) I felt weird. I felt like I had just gotten jipped. Shorted. I couldn't put my finger on it, and I sort of felt guilty because everything had went so well, and my fear of a cesarean had not come true. He was normal and healthy and fine, it seemed. But something had been missing. So, as time passed and I reflected and talked to other women about birth and the medical aspect of it, and how some women longed to reclaim it by promoting midwifery, I made up my mind as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I was going to have a my baby at home. I felt confident. Unfortunately, my husband wasn't as confident in that idea. So…I searched for birthing centers. None. I kept searching. I found a place called "The Farm" and learned everything I could about them. I called them and set up an appointment. I spoke to the midwife there several times over the phone, and she answered so many of my questions with a strong, encouraging voice. She understood what I wanted. I wanted to go there and give birth. We drove the 2 ½ hours there and had our first prenatal exam. My husband and our boys heard the baby's heartbeat at the same time I did for the first time. We discussed our desires. My husband's fears were eased quite a bit after meeting our midwife, and I felt good that this was going to work. The biggest concern was the length of the drive there. BUT I planned to have my baby late remember? So I would plan to be there before my due date. I was getting excited. Then we had a financial fall out. We were unable to get the loan for the cost of the birth, and we were qualified for state insurance. I resisted and tried to figure out how to work around this. But nothing seemed to fall into place. I started searching for midwives who took state insurance. I found one group. One. In all of middle Tennessee. (Note: The cost of a homebirth including prenatal care is now 1/3 of an OB/GYN visit and hospital birth). I set up an appointment because I knew that I needed to get my lab work done regardless of where I went. Fortunately, I found a wonderful group of midwives that were working from a branch of Vanderbilt in a little clinic called Vinehill. They were so amazing, and I couldn't believe that I was actually coming around to the idea of them, because I really didn't want a hospital birth. I was still in denial. In fact, when I finally called Sharon (my midwife) to tell her, I was crying so hard and she was working so hard to help me understand and encouraging me to pray for peace over this. I did. And I realized that it didn't matter where I had my baby: in my home, at The Farm, or in the hospital. My baby would come. And that was all that mattered.
So…I continued to research, to learn, and to ask my new midwives (a team of five) a million questions. I declined almost all of my tests, including the ultrasound. (I had to sign waivers of refusal). I prayed a lot. I drew up an extensive birth plan. I revised and shortened it. I printed it, along with directions to the hospital and contact phone numbers, and passed them out to the three other women who would be involved (my sister, my doula, and my very close friend). Every new midwife I saw I liked, and each had been informed about my desires by the other. I drove myself to the prenatal visits, which were an hour away. The last one I went to was on a Monday. I met a new midwife that day and she said that I either had a small baby, or I still had a few weeks to go. On Tuesday I should have worked, but I had decided to stop working a week earlier than planned. I tried to do a lot that day, but my body kept telling me to stop, I felt so tired. Everyone had kept reminding me to "rest while I could." And so on that day I did actually listen to my body and laid down to rest several times when I wouldn't have normally done that.
But I still felt some hesitation in me, something that I was afraid of that kept bugging me. I felt I could have it all planned out, and still, nothing would be in my control. I feared hospital medical interventions and cesarean section rates. I feared not being able to bear the pain. I feared not fully releasing all of this fear to God. But I knew that it was necessary. At one point during that particular day, I remember thoughts of labor/birth really gnawing at my brain in a negative way, and I knew that they would just continue to get worse as time went on. I felt like the enemy was finding a way into what should be a wonderful experience. I knew that I had to give up everything fully to God and trust Him and know that His plans never fail, they are always good and He will sustain me. I decided that whatever His plans were, they would have to be totally fine with me. Whenever baby was due to come would be the perfect time, and the circumstances surrounding the event (here I was releasing my hospital fear mostly) would glorify God, and that was all I wanted all along. I felt so much peace settle around and within me. I didn't think much more about it, I just felt better. I fell asleep on the couch (a rarity for me) around 8:30pm that night, then got up and went to bed at some point.
Sometime in the late morning hours of the next day I began to feel these small waves of what felt like cramps in my lower abdomen. They barely woke me, and I wondered about them, but I would just fall right back to sleep after they were gone, and I think they were about fifteen minutes apart. At 5:41am however, one woke me up for good. It didn't hurt or feel very strong (they actually felt kind of good and I remember smiling about them). It was definitely "something" and so I began praying. More came, about every ten minutes for the next hour and I just lay there experiencing them, thinking "what an interesting sensation!" I mostly expected them to go away. Honestly! Here I was eleven full days before my due date, having expected to go right past it! But when my husband got up to go to work, I heard myself say, "better keep your cell phone close by today, it might be the day." He said, "Noooooo, it's not until December 9th. Remember?" And he got up and got ready for work. The contractions didn't cease, and I wasn't really aware that they were intensifying, only that they were consistent. I sent our older son to school with the warning that he may get picked up early. He laughed when I told him why. He said, "No….it's not even December yet Mommy." I assured my husband that he could go on to work, that this would probably take hours to progress, if it was even the real thing. He was hard to convince, but he finally left. That left just our younger son who I walked to the bus stop, walking and praying right through two contractions. He had seen a couple at home just before we left and he said "I just might think you are going to have a baby today now that I see how you are." I walked back from the bus through a much stronger contraction, while praying, then called my really close friend. She decided to come over, saying I didn't need to be alone right now. I said, okay if you insist, but take your time….
I tried to do some strange things at that point. I attempted to record a little video for our video journal (?) Then I began rocking in a circular motion through contractions. This was not strange of course, it really helped and felt good. But surely I would have realized this was real labor at this point. I thought I would just take a shower. I started throwing everything on my bed that I would be taking with me to the hospital, and called my doula and my sister. Neither of them answered, so I left messages to call me back. For some strange reason I was still in partial denial and didn't want to tell them that this was it, so I didn't leave that particular message in their voice mail box. I got into the shower, which felt nice I think, because I don't remember much of it, only that I thought I should be getting out soon. My doula called me back and said she would be getting ready to come over, then I called my sister back at work and told her it was time. When she called back a few contractions later, I told her it would be a good idea for her to go ahead and pick up the boys from school (as we were planning on them attending the birth). I couldn't imagine trying to check them out of school in my current state! I heard the doorbell ring, and still only partially dressed, tried to make my way down the stairs, but I just had to stop and kneel on the stairs going backwards, trying to take each step one at a time. After the rush passed, I opened the front door but there was no one there. Then I heard someone come in through the backdoor. It was my very close friend. She began gathering stuff from upstairs for me. I was crawling on all fours in my living room, holding my pants (trying to put them on) and my hair pic (trying to brush my hair) very frustrated that of all days I didn't think to use conditioner! I never could get my pants on. I was on my knees for almost every contraction, and my hands were either on the floor or the couch. I tried to do stuff in between contractions, but they were so intense and close together that I felt like all I could do was rest in between them. She helped me get dressed and I told her I felt like it would be best if we could start moving the stuff out from the house and into the Durango. I felt that would help me to know that we were progressing. All the while, the contractions were increasing in speed and intensity. I felt like I could not focus, I tried to relax, but mostly all I could do was pray. And I felt pretty incompetent at that too. I had planned on praying scripture and had even preplanned prayers for certain stages of this labor. All I could do was cry out, "God, Father, Please, I cry out to You. Please help me." Earlier, while I had been gathering stuff onto my bed prior to my shower, I had laid my pocket bible onto the bed, then picked it right back up, thinking I would need something from the Word to take with me for the upcoming moment (thinking I'd be reading a lot more along the journey of the labor). I opened to Psalm 17 and read this:
I am praying to you because I know you will
answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would your own eyes.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I began to reach for that verse and parts of it would just come to me while I was praying. The best was that during a contraction, or even between, I could envision God coming near to me to listen to my prayer and rescuing me through His mighty power. I am so glad I opened my Bible at the moment I did, because I never got another chance.
I grabbed a jacket and put my summer shoes on, despite that it was chilly outside, and we started out of the house and into the truck. My husband had been calling off and on for the past hour checking on me. The last time I talked to him was right before I got into the shower, and he knew that my close friend was on her way over. I told him to just go onto his job site, which was on the way to Nashville anyway, at Exit 24 (about halfway from Clarksville to Nashville) I told him we would pick him up on the way down. My sister arrived at the house with the boys. I remember wanting so badly to hug them. They got out of her car and were walking so very normally towards the house, where I had just come out from. They had their backpacks on, and Josh asked if the door was already locked. He wanted to go inside and change into shorts. I remember thinking that was incredulous, but at that moment another rush hit me and I turned and knelt onto the concrete porch steps for another contraction. I decided then that the boys should probably not ride with me in the Durango on the way over to Nashville. We were in completely different states of mind, and I wasn't quite sure what I would do. So they got in with their aunt, and I climbed (on all fours) into the backseat of the Durango. My left knee was on the hump on the floor in the middle and my right knee was up on the seat. My left hand was on the seat behind the passenger's and my right hand held the back of that seat. This is the position I maintained for most of the journey.
The worst part of the entire trip was the back up out of the driveway and the drive down my short street, a left onto the next short street and down that street. It was during a contraction and though it was probably ½ mile total, it felt like the bumpiest ½ mile of my life! Then we were on the parkway and my close friend who was driving my vehicle asked if my doula knew we had left. I said, "Oh no! Call her!" She did, and we were passing her at that time on the parkway. They debated on where to leave her car, at the nearest gas station or back at my house. I remember thinking I'd be willing to go back over that nightmarish ½ mile if it was the only way she would get into the vehicle with me. I yelled, "I need her in the car with me!" She met us at the nearest gas station and climbed in the front seat. She immediately turned around and began to see how I was doing. She stayed turned around for the entire rest of the ride, I think. I was still having contractions that were closer and closer together and this part of the ride (to get to the Interstate) took forever. I would pray, moan, attempt to relax through the rushes, and try to rest in between them. My doula would rub my lower back, pray out loud and encourage me through each contraction. Very early in the morning I had been so hungry and thirsty that I had drank a small cup of orange juice and a few bites of bananas, all of which came back up now. Thank goodness my friend had grabbed the plastic bag I had almost used in the house and my doula was there to hand it to me! The midwives were aware that I was on my way to the hospital. I had contacted one of them, who was working at the clinic that day and she had let me know who was on call for deliveries and would meet me at the hospital.
On the Interstate I began to feel more intensity and frequency with each contraction. I realized later that a lot of what I had read and had learned about how to work through contractions I had been doing, which had been obviously working to both ease and progress my labor. The best book I read was entitled "Christ Centered Childbirth" by Kelly Townsend and I had just finished it recently. I was really aware of my need to depend on Christ to carry me through each rushing wave. I knew I had to release myself to Him in order for Him to hold me, and I would pray "Lord, be my strength for me." There were times in the middle of a contraction that I would remember this, pray this (or my doula would), and release myself to Him, and it was totally amazing what would happen. I could feel (and she can testify to this too) the tension and fear releasing its hold on my body and myself surrendering to the Almighty. How amazing He was! He was carrying this for me, every moment I that I would surrender to Him. I could hear my doula praying at the most intense moments when I was unable to speak or even think and I felt God's touch, both strong and soothing at the same time. We were experiencing and witnessing amazing things happening!
At one point I began to get very hot in the jacket I was wearing and I thought there'd be no way I could take it off, so I just cracked the back window and the fresh air smelled so good. I focused on the sound of it and the coolness of it. I wanted it get closer to the crack in the window and I probably even would've put my face out of the window if I could have reached it.
In between two specific contractions I straightened up my body to rest and felt a very strong sensation come upon me. I could feel (and see) the baby on the left side of my belly almost like clench up and push itself out away from my body and I said, "Oh no! Baby don't move! No, no, no, no…" because baby moving during the contraction was extremely more intense. I didn't realize that at that time the baby, submitting to gravity and by extreme will, was moving itself down into the birth canal. I'm not sure at what point the girls called the midwives at the Vinehill Clinic, but my doula was talking to them sometime around here. I was aware of the passing vehicles, sometimes they were passing us, sometimes us passing them, and I wondered if they could see me and what I looked like to them. But I didn't really care, I mean, why would I? I just thought it was interesting.
The contractions that followed the baby's decent were much different than the ones that preceded it. I felt a burning sensation and thought about the "ring of fire" I'd read about. I thought that was crazy because I didn't think that would be happening yet, did this mean I was close? The next contraction I felt the urge to push. Now that was really crazy to me, because I couldn't really believe this was the stage of labor that we'd reached! The girls up front asked me if I wanted to pull over or drive on as I informed them that I thought the baby was coming now, or at least very soon. I kept saying, "the baby's coming" immediately after a few of those kinds of contractions. My doula said later that my eyes were huge when I told her it was time. She was relaying this to the midwife and her and my close friend were conversing while we were moving. I couldn't hear any of it, which was a good thing, because of the wind noise. I just wanted to make it to Exit 24 for my husband, sister, and the boys to be there for the birth! But we drove past Exit 24. But when we did I was okay with it. My sister & boys were going to pick up my husband and meet us at the hospital.
The urge to push was getting stronger and sometimes uncontrollable. I asked my doula why my water hadn't yet broken if we were this far along in labor. She said, "it's because you have strong membranes." I thought that was a good reason. I'd always had my water broken by someone before. The very next contraction my waters broke and I said, "okay, there it is." I was relieved and I remember being glad because I'd always wanted to know what that would feel like! I felt the vehicle speed along faster (I found out later she started going about 90-100mph at this point). She was doing a great job though, speeding in and out through traffic, I felt like it was all under control and I didn't worry about that part of it. I knew she would be praying like crazy and that God would protect us to all the way to our destination. We did pull over along side the Interstate and I had to take off my pants (good thing, because I did envision trying to have the baby with them on, having no idea how I would take them off by myself). My doula ran to the back and grabbed some wet wipes as I was soiling every thing (my favorite blanket was under me L ). But I was glad to have my favorite pillows and blanket surrounding me, even if we did have to trash them afterwards. They had slept with me every night for my whole pregnancy. It was homey and comforting (as could be given the circumstances).
I thought we were going to deliver right there alongside I-24, and I wondered why we didn't pull more off away from the traffic and onto the on ramp that was visible from where we were parked, so I said so. So we got back in to move the vehicle and surprisingly just kept driving down the interstate. My doula had me switch positions so that in case the baby did come she could see and catch it. I put my pillow behind my back and was mostly sitting up, but kind of reclining against the back seat door behind the driver's side. She was still in the front seat, turned around, on the phone with the midwife. They told us to drive on and to have me pant through contractions and to resist the urge to push. I had no idea how that was going to work out, since I now felt very ready to have my baby. I remember thinking, "I'm actually going to give birth naturally! I really am!" And I was so glad. I had been singing the same line of the same song through most of this labor. It was Shawn McDonalds' "Open Me," asking God to open me. And He had!
When I saw the Nashville skyline on the horizon I felt hope at reaching the hospital. I began to feel so different. I felt more aware of everything going on around me and much more relaxed between these contractions. I was able to resist the urge to push on most of them, though I could feel the head crowning on a few (and I could hear Kelly telling Bess on the phone that she could see the baby's head emerging) but I was closing up between contractions with all my best efforts. I laid my head back and rested against the window pane. As we neared I-65 and I felt the sun on my face as the road turned South. It felt so wonderful, so warm, so bright and brilliant. I just basked in it, very aware of each breath I inhaled. We had reached the part of the road that I didn't think I'd be able to handle because it is extremely rough where the interstates meet. I'd actually thought about this while traveling to my prenatal appointments. But we flew over it and I felt as if we barely touched the bumps. We had closed the window in case the baby came so it would be warmer inside, but since it was apparent we were probably going to make it and I was burning up, we cracked it again. I remember my lips and mouth being so dry that I could not even close them together, as I tried to moisten them. I got one contraction here that I was attempting to pant through but on the tail end of it the pressure to bear down was too intense and I felt a groan escape me that was totally involuntary and I bore down. I felt the head crown big time that time. But we were almost there. The city was on our left and my friend was doing a great job of whipping through traffic while my doula was still praying and panting with me through contractions, keeping me focused on what I was trying to remember to do. I honestly think if she hadn't been there reminding me, I would've just pushed the baby out. She did remind me that people have birthed unassisted plenty of times over the course of history which did help to alleviate any fears I might have of just simply having my baby. I was okay either way. I looked up and we were in the lane heading down I-40 at the split and I yelled, "get to the right!" She looked back over her right shoulder and whipped it right over onto I-65 in just the nick of time. She had been so busy maneuvering through traffic and skillfully weaving in and out of it, that the split had come upon her quickly. I can't believe I had even noticed what was about to happen, but it felt like something right out of a movie! Right afterwards we were off of the Interstate and on Charlotte Ave, which presented it's own set of challenges and traffic. She just drove right around and through it, she honked through stoplights and drove the SUV like it was an Emergency vehicle.
When we reached the hospital's ER drive-up I saw my midwife walking out in her blue scrubs. She looked like an angel to me! She was carrying something in her hands, and I remember thinking, "That's not who I expected." I had just seen this particular midwife at my prenatal appointment two days prior. She came in through the passenger side back door and assessed the situation. I couldn't get out because I was having an intense contraction. I think that actually having arrived and seeing my midwife was like permission for me to give birth and I felt the head crown and not go back in this time. She asked me if I could scoot myself back onto the stretcher that someone had wheeled up behind me. I was still having the contraction and was shaking my head and asked, "Like this?" incredulously. That would just be too weird with the baby partially out of me. She said very calmly and confidently, "Okay, we'll have the baby right here then." She got something set up and Emergency medical personal came out of nowhere. Every door on the SUV was open, but there were people in and surrounding the vehicle so it didn't feel cold at all. Someone said something about what to do with the baby after it came out and my eyes must've looked stricken. I said, "Oh no. Please don't take my baby from me!" I felt like I would close up and put the head back in where it came from if they were planning on taking the baby, as that had been one of my greatest desires, to hold baby directly after having it. My midwife knew this was a great desire of mine and said, "Baby goes directly onto Mom. That's the warmest place for him to go. Get blankets ready to cover them up after he comes." I relaxed immensely. Then she looked at me and said, "Okay, you can push your baby out now." I said, "Now? I don't feel the urge until the next contraction." She said, "You won't tear right now. Baby's head is almost out. Go ahead and push your baby out." So I pushed a little. Not much. And out came the rest of the head. I was a little scared that the rest of the body would hurt coming out (I thought this was where I was supposed to feel the "ring of fire." I should have read this part over better, obviously. I remembered though that I had a "small baby: 6-7lbs" (this is what everyone had told me) so I thought that would make it easier.) Then I felt the shoulders and chest come out, then the bottom, legs and feet. It didn't hurt at all! It felt incredible! So, baby came out in three parts kind of, but I don't remember actually pushing the last two out. Baby just sort of emerged out of me. Which was an awesome feeling to have something come out of your body like that and to be aware and able to feel every movement on the inside and the outside! Baby came straight up onto my stomach and chest area and was immediately covered up with heated blankets. Someone from the ER said something about cutting and clamping the umbilical cord and my midwife said, "I'm not going to." They told me to hold baby and back up onto the stretcher behind me so they could wheel us into the hospital. I did back up, but all I could think of or focus on was this incredible life that was now on top of me, that had just been inside of me for the past nine months! Baby was so warm and wet and I could feel so much strength in its little body as it squirmed around on me. It felt absolutely wonderful as baby lay directly on my skin. Someone said to keep rubbing his back. I think they wanted to hear that he was breathing and okay, but I could see very clearly that baby was fine. I wondered why they had said "he" though. Had they seen something that I hadn't? I had no idea what the sex of the baby was, and as far as I knew neither did anyone else. It didn't matter. Baby was healthy, born beautifully, and felt like a miracle lying on top of me. I was fascinated and mesmerized. I couldn't keep from looking at that beautiful face and black hair. I had no idea what was going on around me. I don't know where I went when I came into the ER, who I passed, whether they looked at us or not, and I didn't care. We were moving along in our own little world, baby and I. It felt like a dream.
We finally reached the room that they put us in. I had no idea if it was even in the labor & delivery ward. It didn't feel like it was. It felt like an "extra room." But I didn't care. My midwife took a look at the baby and cleaned her up a little with a towel, saying we both looked good. She put the baby to my breast and it began to somewhat nurse. I don't think it really was, but it seemed to be trying to figure out what to do there. Then she delivered the placenta, which was a weird sensation. I was surprised at how big it felt like it was. I began exploring the little body all over under the warm blankets: arms, hands, fingers, back, legs, feet…and then discovered that this baby was a girl. I had to check again. A girl. I had to look to be sure. A girl. Will & the boys arrived about this time and I told them. It's a girl. They all three smiled. A girl.
When the umbilical cord eventually stopped pulsing she clamped it. She offered for Daddy to cut the umbilical cord, but he declined (as he had twice before as well). Our younger son would like to do it though, and so he did, making Daddy nervous that he would cut me, and me nervous that he would cut the baby. But of course he didn't cut anything but the umbilical cord and when it bled a little he said, "See Mommy, that doesn't even bother me." Our older son pointed my husband to the bowl where the placenta was and where they were trying to get the baby's blood out to determine her blood type. He said, "that's nothing compared to that over there! Look Daddy." Will looked and is still to this day haunted by that image (I never saw it, though I meant to look at it, but according to the boys it was "cool" and was called the "meat looking thingy.") The other girls that were supposed to have been there for the birth came in.
All the while the baby stayed on top of me. I was afraid to move her or let anyone else hold her because I thought that as soon as I did they would whisk her away to the nursery to be measure & weighed. So we just stayed there like that, me on the stretcher bed, baby girl on me, our family and friends surrounding us. I was able to maintain skin to skin contact with my baby for 2 ½ hours! Then they put some other laboring mom into the bed next to ours, after closing the divider curtain of course. Everyone said that I looked really good, and Will said I looked better than I had after having the boys. I felt wonderful. Exhilarated. (I never even went to sleep until midnight that night.) We finally moved to a postpartum room and baby went to the nursery, where daddy stood for two hours and watched her lay under the warmer and get her first "bath." Then she came back to me in the room and stayed with us the entire rest of our hospital stay there. I think they thought we weren't very compliant patients and maybe took offense to the fact we didn't let the baby go back to the nursery. With seven babies on in the postpartum ward she was the only baby who didn't go to the nursery. They all asked us if we were first time parents when they came to our room to check on me or the baby. We just smiled and said, "No. She's our third child." We even had to debate with them to be allowed leave the next day, and even then they didn't release us until the late evening. I'm not sure why they wanted to keep us there longer, but despite it all most everyone was still nice to us.
We named her Brielle Jenae. She was 8lbs 5ozs and 21 inches long. Brielle comes from the name Gabrielle which means "God is my strength." How so appropriate for this girl. God was certainly my strength during my pregnancy with her and especially during my labor and delivery of her. It is my prayer that God is her strength throughout the entire journey of her life. I've truly witnessed the strength that He has already given her, as she moved so much while in my womb, and the strength she exhibited while she was on her way into this world.
We are so glad that everything turned out the way that it did. I could not have contrived a better Birth Plan than this wonderful story that God choose to be ours. His timing is perfect and His Hand was on it all. It remains to be so this day as we enjoy our beautiful blessing, and experience His gracious giving through this joy He lights for us through our daughter. The boys are wonderful big brothers, of course. When they stop to look at her, kiss her, or let her wrap her fingers around their finger they say, "I just love her." We love each of our children so much and know that they are unique gifts from God. We are so blessed and amazed at the goodness of His Love.
So, even though I was unable to have a home birth I was close enough to home in the back seat of our 5 ½ year old vehicle surrounded by my own comforts from home. I was a little sad that not everyone was surrounding Brielle and I as she came into the world. But as my good friend said, "It happened as it was supposed to happen. God was there." And though I had really set my heart on having the baby at The Farm (a community in Southern Tennessee), there was no way that would've happened even if I would've went ahead with the plan for that. God knew that. He knew exactly when baby would be born,. He knew I would never have been at The Farm 11 days prior to my due date (I was planning on going there to stay for a week starting on two days prior to my due date - back when we had decided to do have the baby there last July--), nor would I have made it for the 2 ½ hour drive with only 4 hours of waking labor. But, how beneficial it was to have considered having our baby there, and meeting such a wonderful midwife, who gave me priceless wisdom and confidence in myself that I continued to hear throughout it all, and even now still. How much better it is when we surrender our dreams to our Father! He knows everything, and works out everything in order to His perfect will. I'm so glad that I relinquished control to Him, something He allowed me to experience quite a bit while I was pregnant also. He is the Creator and Designer of birth, who else better to depend on through its amazing process?
While my story still amazes me to read and recall it, I know that I have been given it in one way as a gift to share with you. There are many choices that women have in birthing decisions and also through prenatal and postpartum care of themselves and their babies. It is really knowing those choices and knowing that how making those decisions will effect the outcomes both physically, emotionally, and psychologically of mother and child. No one really tells women about their options or the risks. The information and the answers must be sought out by inquisitive women who desire something more profound for their birthing experience. Our birthing experiences impact us,and we tell our stories of them again and again. Seeking information requires us to no longer act in innocence and be reliant upon doctors. We become responsible for ourselves, for our babies, and we take part in a higher way of deciding, instead of allowing another to choose for us. We take our birth experiences back that way. And even though the most detailed birth plan may totally never work out (I laugh when I reread mine) it doesn't matter. Have one anyway. Know why you choose what you choose and what the consequences of those choices may be. Then, in wisdom, trust your body as a woman, to believe that it knows exactly what to do. Because I am testifying to that truth. It does. And it's an amazing experience just waiting to happen.