When I told Bobby about my conversation with my friend, he then told me about how God had led him to look into the possibility a midwife-assisted delivery. Shortly thereafter, I got in touch with Beth, and she told me a bit about how home birth works, and what a midwife does during a pregnancy and delivery. My husband and I prayed about what to do and felt that home birth with Beth was what God wanted for us.
After many monthly and then weekly meetings with Beth for check-ups and childbirth coaching, Bobby and I felt ready for the birth. We both had been praying earnestly for God’s guidance and protection for all of us during labor, and we were excited to know just how he would do that. Finally, it was July 22, our due date; and then it was the 23rd, the 24th, the 25th, the 26th, the 27th, the 28th (would she ever be born?), the 29th, and then – hip, hip, hooray! – I woke up in pain on the 30th.
It was about 6:15 a.m. when I got out of bed with some small pains in my uterus. I was not optimistic that I was in labor, however, because I had been having slight pains like these for a couple of weeks prior to this day. Although the pains were not severe, they were intense enough to keep me from sleeping, and so I decided to do some sewing to keep my mind off of the pain. After about an hour, I noticed that my pains were somewhat regular, and so I began to time the contractions; at this point, they were not regular enough to signal that labor had begun. At about 7:30 a.m., my husband left for work, and I told him that I’d call him if my contractions became regular.
By 8:00 a.m., my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. At that time, I called my husband (who had just arrived at his office), and I called Beth. By 8:30 a.m., our home was buzzing with activity. Beth (midwife), Jessica (intern) and Susan (assistant) had arrived, Bobby was waking up our sleepy son and getting him ready for his sitter, and I was doing my best to completely relax through my contractions. By 9:00 a.m., Bobby was coaching me and holding me through the contractions, Beth and her assistants had checked me over, had taken my vital signs, and they had prepared our bedroom for the birth; the day had finally arrived.
Through our childbirth education classes with Beth, we had learned about the stapes of labor, and so I was not surprised when the pains became more and more severe and more and more frequent. I was also not surprised that I reached a point at which I felt like I couldn’t endure the pain any longer. At that point, Beth and Bobby reminded me that the amazing pain meant that delivery was close, and God reminded me that He was in control and that He had created my body to be able to do this. About 5 minutes into this difficult stage (they call it transition), Beth asked us where we wanted to deliver, and then she guided us into the bedroom as I had requested. At this point, I was clutching Bobby so tightly that he practically carried me into the bedroom.
After two hard contractions on the bed, it was time to push. One push later, Beth asked Bobby to join her at the foot of the bed in order to catch our baby, and one push after that, Elizabeth Faith fell into her father’s arms. So at 1:24 p.m., Bobby first held our precious daughter. Bobby cradled her in his arms for a moment, kissed her forehead and then laid her on my chest so that I could feel her soft, baby skin and look at her adorable little face. Bobby then cut and clamped Elizabeth’s umbilical cord, and Beth cleaned her off a bit and covered her with a cozy blanket.
My labor was now over, and Beth suggested that I nurse Elizabeth – she was a great eater even then. Bobby and I thanked God for a smooth delivery and such an amazing child, and then we sat on our bed together with Elizabeth enjoying the peaceful moments and in awe of God’s amazing creation. Soon, Beth escorted me to a candle-lit bathroom for a warm and soothing herbal bath that had been prepared for Elizabeth and me to share. We enjoyed the bath, and we enjoyed the sharing of it.
Needless to say, July 30 is a day we will never forget. “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3), and how blessed we were to receive our gift in the comfort of our home and surrounded by loving sisters in Christ. God is so good.