I had a deep desire to experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood in an untainted way. Years of teaching pre and post natal pilates classes had exposed me to every horror story known to man and especially woman. Fortunately, instead of scaring me, a righteous anger grew in me and in hindsight, is ultimately what lead me to redemption. This story is not so much a birth story as it is a testimony about the power of prayer and partnering with God in his design of birth, spirit, soul and body, all wrapped into one.
With my first child, all I knew was that I needed to be as far away from a doctor as I could be, for as long as possible, to avoid any pressure for intervention. This led me to the obvious choice of a midwife and thankfully I found myself in the gentle care of Heather. After 22 hours of labour and 6 hours of active pushing, she fought for my cause and my doctor agreed to try suction before caesarean, with which my son was born. Even though my recovery was quick, and I was in good health, I still had trauma to work through. Emotionally, that was relatively straight forward, as there were certain aspects of past control issues I had, that played out in labour. The physical effects took 4 years to work through. This was not on the surface, it was on a cellular level, which can make it much harder to reconcile.
My husband and I were very happy to hear that we were going to have a second child. I didn’t experience any problems throughout pregnancy, but my body felt 4 years older! Following a nudge from the Holy Spirit, I started doing something that never occurred to me before. I began asking the Holy Spirit to go ahead of me to prepare the day, time, space and people for the birth, in alignment with God’s will. I began blessing my body and my child’s body. I blessed every hormonal system in my body and my child’s body to synchronized, as well as our spirits and emotions. I came into agreement with God to celebrate what we were creating and that this child was exceedingly excellent.
Aside from prayer, I was able to read Sarah Buckley’s book, which clarified the aspects of my first birth that accumulatively, resulted in the slow walking I experienced. I realized that the only question we should be asked as women preparing for our birth, is, “Where and how do you feel most private?” If you find this difficult to answer, you need only think back to what you did as a child, when you were experiencing a privacy related event. If that doesn’t spark any memories, then imagine where and how you feel safest going to the toilet for a poo. That answer for me was, in my own home, with the door closed. If I could arrange for no one to be in the house, that would be even better! It was clear to me that I needed to give birth at home and as unobserved as possible. The environment would be set by me and anyone joining me, would have to adjust to my pace, not the other way around.
The day and time arrived with no warning. It was my father’s birthday and we took him to dinner, 40 minutes from where we live. As I took a bite of my second last prawn, I felt a twang like a rubber band snapping in my belly… and then a warm and wet feeling! I ran to the bathroom and was really confused as to whether I had lost all bladder control! I mean, it was entirely possible, I thought. I was really waddling at that stage! I walked briskly to my husband and informed him that I thought (no confidence there) my waters had broken and we should leave. He sprang into action and thoroughly enjoyed driving home at 180km per hour on the highway, hazards flashing! He fulfilled his role perfectly.
I called Heather on arrival and informed her I was planning a bath. She agreed and recommended calming myself and seeing if I could sleep a little. Amazingly contractions had begun almost instantly, just like in the movies. These were not light contractions! They increased drastically with each wave. Sleep was out of the question! I got my space arranged and told my husband to wait downstairs and
have a beer. I read through the verses of scripture I had printed on my cupboard door, reminding myself of my focus:
1. Blessed is who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. 2. Fear of poverty or man outweighs the fear of God = focus on the bigger picture! 3. The joy of the Lord is my protection/safety/fortress/refuge/rock 4. Nehemiah: even though people cursed, God turned the curse into a blessing. Our law is not the world’s law, I am not the same as everyone else. 5. For with God nothing shall be impossible 6. Blessed am I among women and blessed is the fruit of my womb 7. Let the King of glory come through my gates: for he has broken the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron in sunder 8. The voice of the Lord makes the deer to give birth. The Lord will give strength to his people! The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Heather arrived and later Guinevé. Within 3 and a bit hours of my water breaking, my daughter was born. Words cannot convey the joy and relief I felt that I did not have to go through another birth like my first! God had heard my prayers. He had given me the resources to prepare myself, my spirit, my emotions, my body and my space. He had given me his word and he cannot lie. His word also will not return without completing its purpose.
As my husband and I went to sleep later, in our own bed, with our baby in my arms, I could almost not comprehend how God had redeemed me. Since then I have experience the fruit of having an undisturbed birth. The instantaneous love and bond I have with my daughter is so great, I celebrate every day! I believe that I have also changed childbirth for my daughter and generations to come. How special that she now shares her birthday with her grandfather.
With God (and wonderful midwives), nothing is impossible!