A Story of Birth & God’s Grace
Here is Flora’s unexpected birth story.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Sunday, September 7, 2014 (Flora’s due date)
- 11AM: We attended church where I cried through every worship song. I was SO emotional on her due date b/c I was having no signs of labor and I had just hit my wall. I was tired of being pregnant and simply wanted to meet my baby girl. Church was significant for me on this day b/c we sang the song ‘Overcome’ by Jeremy Camp. There is a line, ‘all authority, every victory is Yours’. For some reason this line really stuck out to me. The Lord reminded me that HE is in control and has authority over when this baby was going to be born. It brought me hope in that moment and would bring me hope a few hours later.
- 12:30-5PM: Daniel and I went out to lunch to our favorite Mexican restaurant where I ordered the hot salsa (which I never ever do). We stopped by Walgreens on the way home and bought Castor oil which I took a tablespoon of (can you see I was pretty desperate, lol). I then proceeded to deep clean the stove top which required vigorous scrubbing. I went through all my shoes and got rid of ones I never wear. I swapped out my summer and winter wardrobe which took several trips up and down the stairs and lots of bending over.
- 5PM: Suddenly my back started hurting SO bad to the point of tears. I thought maybe I pulled something. Daniel and I went on a walk to try to loosen up my back. I also did some curb walking.
- 8:30PM: To try and soothe my back I decided to take a long warm bath and just relax after an emotional day. After soaking for a while I started to drain the tub and I stood up (trying to stand up from a bath at 9 months pregnant is pretty funny guys) and as I did that my mucus plug came out and my water broke all at the same time. I was a little confused at first thinking it might just be bath water…but nope, it definitely wasn’t!
- 9PM: I began the hardest work of my life. Contractions started right away after my bath. They were very strong and quickly getting closer together. Daniel started timing them right away. We labored for an hour or so before calling our doula who gave us some guidance and we kept at it. At some point my mom and dad arrived and mom stayed with me off and on as things progressed.
Monday, September 8, 2014 (Flora’s birth date)
- 1AM: Our doula arrived and checked me, I was effaced and dilated to a 3…so we still had some work to do.
- 1-10AM: Using Bradley techniques I labored and labored. With lots of concentration and help from my exercise ball I was able to relax and release tension through each contraction. I also used the low moaning technique which helped me focus my energy downward. Our doula had me change positions about every 20 minutes. We went on 2 short walks down the street where I had to stop and lean on Daniel through the contractions. She also had me lay down and try to sleep in between contractions which helped a lot to conserve energy.
- 10AM: Deidre checked me and I was dilated to a 6. She decided to check me through a contraction (not fun) but she said that during my contraction I was dilating to an 8. At this point I was really feeling the urge to push so we decided it was time to head to the hospital. Daniel had already packed up our car earlier in the labor process so we grabbed a few last things and headed out!
- 10:45AM: We arrive at the Wesley Birth Care Center. I waddle in with the help of my mom and Daniel. They have paperwork ready for us and I start to have a contraction in the lobby. That was a bit embarrassing but I’m sure they see it all the time. I looked around expecting someone to come get me in a wheel chair, but the nurse came and had me walk back to our room. Longest walk of my life. We get to the room and she wants a urine sample and goes into the bathroom with me. I start to have a contraction and she just grabs me and starts to rub my lower back. She was so encouraging and amazing. This lady I’ve never met just held me and supported me.
- 11AM: They get me to the bed, take my blood pressure and have me lay back so the nurse can check me. I’m at a 9 but something is wrong. This is where my whole world stopped. The nurse says, ‘I’m either feeling a second bag of waters or this is a butt’. My heart SANK. Before I could blink they had the sonogram machine wheeled in and they determined it was her bottom…my baby girl was breech. I instantly knew what this meant. I have a contraction, I can’t help but push. They tell me not too. I am crying and all I can say is ‘no, no, no’. Deidre comes up quickly and tells me I’ve done so well. That every contraction was good for the baby and good for me. My mom comes up next and says, ‘Remember our goal…healthy baby, healthy momma’.
- 11-11:35AM: In a sudden frenzy there were tons of people in the room. I was poked and prodded and hooked up to all of the things I didn’t want to be hooked to. A nurse tells me I can have 1 person with me in the operating room. I say Daniel and they take him to go suit up. They start to wheel me out of the room, away from all of my support team including my husband. All the nurses are so sweet but I’m crying trying to understand what is going on, trying to recall what I know about c-sections. As they are rushing me to the O.R. I have another contraction, my first one without Daniel with me. And suddenly that line from the Jeremy Camp song came to my mind. All authority is Yours. In this moment of uncertainty, of pain, of despair, of loneliness…God is in control. He has not forgotten me or forsaken me. He is with me and will see me through. We get to the O.R. They put me on the table and give me the epidural. I have a contraction and they tell me not to push. I couldn’t help it. Daniel comes back in. They put the sheet up and he holds my hands. They check to make sure I’m numb and get to work. I feel tugging but no pain. I hear a cry. My tears of disappointment and stress instantly turn to tears of joy. I see my baby for the very first time. They take her to clean her off but in a minute she is on my chest. I am fully reclined and my chest and arms are numb, but they place her on me. I can’t really see her or feel her but I know she is there. She is feeling me. It’s all over. She is safe. She is healthy. She is born at 11:35Am.
From there they stitched me up and took us all back to our original room. Flora in my arms the entire time. I start to regain feeling in my body and can finally sit up a little to see her. She is perfect and pink and has a full head of dark hair like her daddy. I nurse her for the first time and it’s a beautiful connection. She is a natural and it just feels right. Our family of 3 is finally here.
The next few days were spent in recovery. They were very hard but also filled with lots of joy and happy visitors. I will share more about the recovery process another time. It was a journey in and of itself. We went home on Thursday. Boy was I glad to be home.
I’m continuing to process all that happened. I’m grieving the fact that I couldn’t deliver my baby in a natural way, that all of our planning went out the window. But I’m also learning more about God’s grace. About HIS plans for our lives. About how to see beauty in pain. I’m rejoicing over a perfectly healthy baby girl who is so laid back and really never cries. She is a great eater and sleeps 4 hours in a row at night. I’ve never known this type of deep love and affection. I would give up anything for her to be healthy and happy. I would have a c-section 1000 times if it means she is ok.
Maybe I’ll never understand why this all happened the way it did, but that’s ok. I don’t have to understand. All I have to do is know that my Father is good. He is love. He is my authority. He writes the story of my life and I must surrender to Him. He has blessed me with the biggest blessing of my life so far…a daughter. And all of these new feelings I have of love and sacrifice are just a hint of what he feels and has done for me…His daughter.