Alexandra is the author of Re:Birth and mom to three little ones!
My Third Birth Story
After my second birth, the doctors recommended not having more children (read that story here). When I went for my first prenatal visit, the doctor and was asked if I was “happy” about this pregnancy. With my medical history, the doctors saw a medical nightmare, but I knew what God had done. I was immediately flagged as high risk. Yet, I went for my high-risk evaluation and the doctor wasn’t entirely sure what to do because I hadn’t experienced any symptoms or problems. Despite doctors concerns, warnings, and constant checking, nothing was wrong. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy.
At the very end of the pregnancy, I decided I had experienced enough of the medical side of birth. After my previous hospital birth, I felt really dissatisfied. This prenatal care I had been receiving left me without any confidence. I decided really wanted to have a home birth. At 36 weeks, I found an amazing midwife, Jeni Rector, who agreed to deliver my baby at home. The few visits I had with Jeni prior to my baby’s birth re-instilled my heart with the confidence I had lost through the months of medical banter. I knew the home setting of this birth would be much more relaxing and peaceful than my previous birth, and I was excited to see what God would do! Once I found midwifery care I could trust, my body must have relaxed too and decided to hold on to the baby for as long as possible. Every day, I experienced a moment where I thought, “This is it!” Only to be disappointed and realize it was a false alarm. My constant texts probably made my poor midwife regret taking me on as a patient! Finally, I went in at 39 weeks and a few days and said, “I need you to check my cervix!” I had checked it the night before, desperate for some signs that labor was near, and to my surprise, and I thought I felt a head. Jeni confirmed that she could feel the baby’s head and my cervix was between 6-8 cm dilated.
Hallelujah! The baby was not going to stay in my womb forever! But, before she came, I wanted to go out to lunch with my family and do a mega grocery shopping trip. After, we went home and my husband and parents helped set up the inflatable pool we used as a birth tub. I went upstairs, took a bath, and relaxed. And, I started to feel really badly that they were already filling up the pool in anticipation of labor. I really wasn’t feeling many contractions and they certainly weren’t regular. That’s when I prayed. I said, “God, we’re all ready to meet this baby. Please let the baby come after I get my children to bed!” Sure enough, I was putting my daughter to bed at 8:15 and feeling uncomfortable pressure. I was having contractions, but they weren’t regular. I was still not sure if I was in labor. We asked Jeni to come because we knew it would take her about 40 minutes to arrive. Shortly after, my water broke and my contractions became regular.
During this time, I was able to relax in the tub and really focus on God. I simply prayed that He would show me His Glory. I had learned from my past deliveries that I was not going to be able to have a supernatural birth. He would do it for me. During this time, there were three moments when I felt pain. The first moment came after my water broke and I was afraid Jeni wouldn’t get there in time. I threw on one of my favorite short messages, “The Father’s Blessing,” by John Paul Jackson and was so encouraged by the words, “You were made for such a time as this.”
The next moment I felt pain was when I was feeling discouraged. I simply didn’t know if I’d be in labor for 8 more hours. Jeni and her assistant checked the baby’s heartbeat. They placed the instrument near my belly button and didn’t hear a heartbeat. Then they moved it much lower to detect a heartbeat and confirmed that she was almost ready to be born. Then I could relax again and rejoice. Peace flooded out any worry.
The final moment of fear came right before my body began to push. I was afraid that the baby might be tangled in the umbilical cord and would become stuck. I knew that if I let fear fester in my heart, no good fruits would come. Instead, I looked at Jeni and said, “I’m afraid of pushing.” I thought that maybe she’d give me some suggestions about how to position my body or reassurance, instead she responded, “Let’s pray!” Time felt like it stood still as we lifted the situation up to God and changed my fear into faith.
My baby was born minutes later. The umbilical cord was around her neck and her arm, which prevented her from moving into the proper position. Because of the tangled cord and position of her arm and shoulder, she could have easily gotten stuck. In fact, she was born with nerve damage in her shoulder and elbow because of the delivery. (God healed that too, but that’s another testimony!) Choosing faith over fear opened the door for God to move in and stop what I feared from happening. It was the most incredible experience that I could have hoped for. God brought my baby into the world safely, peacefully, and quickly! One of my favorite parts was waking up the next morning. My older children had gone to bed the night before unaware that the baby was going to be born. They woke up to a brand new baby sister and were so excited! Instead of being confined to a hospital, I was with my family and we were all able to bond together. This made the transition from two to three children feel much easier than it had with my previous birth! It’s my hope that women all over the world will begin to experience God’s mighty hand in their pregnancies and deliveries. When trials come, and without fail they will come, I pray that they become a cornerstone to your faith, the very stage setting for your own might, miraculous, encounter with your loving Father God!