ID's Birth Story

Below is a letter written to explain the great things God did through the birth of our little boy, ID:

We thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts our way during our labor and delivery of ID. We often felt the Lord very near and close to us during the trial (and blessing!) of ID's birth, and we rejoice to tell you all of the great things God worked through this. As I write this, ID is at home with us, in his bassinet, and we are very thankful to be a family again! Although things did not go as we planned, we rejoice that God worked the impossible and directed our steps in a way that would glorify Him the most. We both feel much like Sarah from the book of Genesis, laughing at the impossibility of ID's birth, then rejoicing when God works it none the less! We'd like to take this time, while all is still fresh in our minds, to share what great things God has worked through this. But a little background is needed first.

After the birth of FJ in July 2010, we learned through some friends more about the home birth movement. We were honestly very wary at first, but after talking to some people and researching more about it, we decided if we ever got to have another child we would go with a midwife and a home birth instead of an OB/GYN. So naturally when we found out we were expecting again, we went looking for a midwife. We were blessed to be introduced to Beth, who became our midwife. Our pregnancy was very normal with one small hiccup at 32 weeks, when labor pains started coming regularly. After a short trip to L&D at the nearby hospital, the contractions were stopped and the pregnancy proceeded to be normal. As the due date got closer and closer, our excitement to meet the little guy (we knew he was a boy and would be named ID) grew and grew. But, our due date came and went. Figuring we'd go into labor on our own soon, we just continued with our normal routine until Tues, Jan 2nd. At this point it became obvious that labor wasn't going to start on it's on soon, and our midwife can only legally deliver babies until 42 weeks gestation, which for us was coming up quick. So, at the suggestion of our midwife we began to try pretty much every possible thing to induce labor naturally. Most techniques would start contractions up for a few hours, and then they would stop. During this time our midwife, her apprentice, and Jamie (a friend from San Antonio), stayed at our house and helped us in any way possible. We also had friends take our other three kiddos during the day, so that they would not be a distraction in trying to start the labor going. Tues - Thurs we prayed, asked others to pray, and tried everything humanly possible to start contractions. Nothing worked. Finally on Thursday night, Beth asked us to consider going to the hospital. Though there was no emergency, we had reached 42 weeks gestation and she could no longer legally deliver the baby. We were frustrated and disappointed. Hadn't the Lord heard our prayers? We really believed a home birth would glorify His name in the best possible way, yet He said no. Though "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." - Proverbs 16:9, we could not fathom how this would glorify God more than a home birth. In addition, we gave up any ideas of a natural birth and all of our hopes that went with it. Here in South Texas, women typically have little to no say in the decisions that take place during labor and are rarely given any options. In addition, most doctors and nurses look down on home birth and do not respect the women who choose to go this route. With these things in mind we resigned ourselves to the idea that things were going to go very different then we hoped. We had three requests we made known to others for prayer: (1) that the labor would go quickly, (2) we would not need or be forced into a c-section and (3) we would be well rested when the labor started as we had been working at this for several days.

"But God" (one of my FAVORITE phrases from the Bible) had a very different plan than us and He truly loves and cares for us. Beth and her apprentice, Melinda, both went to the hospital with us that Thursday night. The first mercy of the Lord was that Beth was friends with one of the nurses there. She quickly grabbed us and got us checked into our room. Although she wasn't our nurse for the night (she was just finishing up her shift), she really helped start things out well for us. After getting all checked in, the two residents came in and thankfully were in no rush to start inducing us. In fact, they and the attending recommended we wait till the morning so that if something were to go wrong there would be more people there to help out. This was a huge answer to prayer for us and thus allowed us to get some rest that night! Beth and Melinda took off at this point to go get some rest themselves and came back the following morning to support us through this labor. Going into the actual induction we knew the doctors would want to do one of two things, either break the water bag or give pitocin. Because of the position of the baby (he was head down but slightly posterior) we felt in this case pitocin was a better option because it would allow the baby to still have some room to move around and get into the right position during labor where as when the water bag is broken there is no more cushion or room for the baby to move in. Also, breaking the water bag gives a time limit as to how long one can labor for before a c-section due to infection risks. Unfortunately when the doctor came in that morning, he did not share the same idea as us. However, God who rules all and is able to change hearts, had mercy on us and changed his heart, giving us a chance with pitocin first. At this point we also discovered that the day shift nurse that had been assigned to us was very pro-natural birth (she had trained and delivered babies in Tacoma, Washington and was used to 'hippies' giving birth, as she put it) and she really started watching out for us. We were all shocked, but thrilled. At about 10:00 am Shannon, our nurse, started the pitocin at a very low dose (usually higher doses are given to get things moving quicker), another mercy of the Lord as too much pitocin can both make labor harder then necessary and flood your system, which can lead to hemorrhaging later on. Over the next few hours she slowly increased the dosage until we were able to sustain regular, strong contractions. By noon it was obvious we were in active labor and near transition. One of the prayer requests we had not shared was that we would be able to do the delivery without an epidural. Knowing we were going to be having pitocin, and thus making things harder, neither of us were very confident that I'd be able to deliver without an epidural, but God gives strength to the weak and helps those in need. We were definitely weak and needy. During the entire labor there were only two times when we thought it was completely impossible for us to continue on without an epidural, once when we were checked and only found to be 7 cm dilated (I thought I was about to push!) and one more time when in the midst of a very strong and hard contraction. But God brought to mind Matthew 11:28 (Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.) and much strength and hope was found in that verse. Throughout the entire labor, my husband stood on one side of me, and Melinda on the other, holding her hands and encouraging her through each contraction. "That's one less contraction until you see ID" was often on my husband's lips. In addition to their support, Shannon was gearing up to help keep ID in the room with us (not common in this hospital) and being our advocate for all the desires we had not spoken of (no eye ointment, refusing certain vaccines, skin to skin with mom after delivery). We never mentioned these to her, she would just ask us (rare in this hospital) and once voiced, she would advocate for us! We didn't even know these things were possible at this hospital, but God is the God of the impossible, and He worked all of this out. By 2:30 PM it was obvious the only thing holding back delivery was the water bag, so we gave consent and they quickly broke it. Shortly after that I started pushing and at 3:05 PM ID made his way into the world after a short 5 hour labor and no c-section (thus answering all the prayers of the saints). At 8 lbs 8 oz, almost 22 inches long, and 15 inch head circumference, he is our biggest baby yet, but thankfully I made it through the delivery with no tears.

ID was immediately given to me and began to bond. We thanked the Lord for His kindness and mercy to us in helping us through the labor and delivery and allowing us time immediately after with ID. Little did we know that God was not done yet with answering our prayers and hopes. There was one last desire we had, but had given up on it in the morning. We really wanted to go home that night. We missed our other three kids (I had cried numerous times about this) and wanted to be as a family again. This really looked impossible because the hospital has a mandatory 24 hour rule, which states that a mother and child could not leave the hospital till 24 hours after delivery. With a lot of prayer and a bit of hesitation my husband asked Shannon if there was any way around this rule. She knew we could sign an AMA for me to leave, but had never heard of letting the baby go. She went ahead and talked to the nursery. Our hope was to go home and go back under Beth's care. Since I did not need any epidural or stitches and therefore no further treatment was required for her and as ID was perfectly healthy, we knew Beth could handle our care. After calling our pediatrician and promising to do the newborn screening the next day with Beth, our pediatrician felt fine with us leaving the hospital (though could not officially medically clear ID over the phone as she was not near the facility). The staff at the hospital did not immediately share the same sentiments, but as there was no medical reason necessitating ID stay in the hospital, they reluctantly agreed and our nurse Shannon helped compile the required paperwork. So, three hours after we delivered, we walked out of the hospital with our baby and headed home.

We have been greatly humbled by this experience, knowing we do not deserve any of these good gifts God has given us. It amazed us to see Him answer each little prayer along the way, using those that were His and those that are not (hopefully will be some day!). Our hope in sharing this is that others will turn and see how great a God we serve and how awesome His deeds truly are. Although God sometimes leads His children down different, more difficult and trying paths than they may want to go, He never withdraws His compassion and love towards His children...His discipline may seem harsh at the moment, but it truly does yield more love to Him!


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