At about 9:30pm on Thursday evening I received the text I’d been anticipating for over a week. Mrs. S had a history of early deliveries and although her due date was two weeks away we were right in her typical zone of labor. I had just spent 4 days away in Utah with my family, holding my breath that the backup doula would be available at her call and even better she would still be pregnant when I returned. God answered our prayers and she was still pregnant when I returned to Phoenix on Sunday. She then managed to continue to be pregnant until Thursday evening.
Each night I knew the Lord was teaching her patience, trust, SURRENDER. We’d shared conversations about the Lords timing and how we can’t try to control the outcome when it comes to babies. We have to let go, trust His plan and His will. We’d discussed how if I missed it, then the Lord knew that and the backup doula was meant to be all along. There was nothing outside of God’s plans nor anything He would miss or mistake when it came to the time for her baby to arrive.
Fortunately, He had planned for me to be there. And, not just be there, but again orchestrated everything so my children were where they needed to be, taken care of and being loved on, and I could focus on my time with her as she brought her babe into the world. In addition, she managed to go into labor before my husband had to leave town the following week which would have made things exceptionally more difficult. God is so gracious and so faithful. I had prayed each night for the perfect time and He delivered yet again.
I left my house at 10:30pm and arrived to her home at 11:00pm. She was in labor, but I wasn’t full convinced it was active. She was managing really well. Exceptionally well. I spent the next hour or so attempting to silently gauge the best course of action for her. Should she rest and try and sleep or try to stimulate a more consistent labor pattern. Her mother and I walked with her down the street as we chatted and just spent some time together. The contractions seemed to pick up and soon they grew in intensity which was visible.
The hospital was about 30 minutes away so at about 3:30am we headed towards St. Joes. She reported several good contractions in the car on the way. Once she arrived and made it into Triage, they assessed she was approximately 6cm dilated and were preparing a room for her. As a compromise to testing positive for Group B Strep, she accepted an IV and 1 dose of the abx with no intention of taking the second dose. As we moved into the room it was painfully clear her contractions had slowed down and lost some intensity.
We spent some time trying different positions, never stressing about the slow down but attempting to encourage the return of contractions. After the ball, the bed, walking, standing, sitting, pacing…we agreed she should turn down the lights, get comfy and rest if she could. Her mom and husband left the room, I made myself small, and she closed her eyes for a few minutes. Within about 20 minutes she began to have some contractions again. They weren’t anything too difficult for her. She has the most wonderful pain tolerance. It is quite impressive. Some deep, concentrated breaths and she was enduring each contraction with lovely composure.
Not too long after that it was obvious labor was back and she was making progress. In the past, her water had broken at the onset of labor. In this case that would have been troublesome due to the positive GBS (even though she’d been treating the GBS naturally and was confident it had been put to rest.) At this time her water was still intact and the pressure was noticeable but not unbearable.
At 7am there was a shift change and the new nurse and the new midwife entered the room. This midwife was much more willing to discuss the breaking of water, which had come up a few hours prior but been decided against at that time. She hadn’t been checked in many hours so she agreed a quick check to assess to progress would help to confirm whether the breaking of water was a good idea. She was 9cm. It was pretty incredible. She was completely controlled and managing wonderfully yet 9cm and so ready to finish.
The midwife agreed breaking water would be fine and probably end everything in a short amount of time. As soon as her water was broken the contractions gained in intensity and she in obvious “transition” compared to before. But, still so controlled. Within the hour she was complete and making pushing sounds with each contraction, though not fully pushing. She was simply following her body and letting it do all the work. She did several pushed while hugging the bed on her knees before turning and getting comfortable in the most traditional hospital bed position. I handed her mother some scripture cards from www.surrenderbirth.com and through some happy tears she read them to her daughter during those final moments prior to babies birth.
The midwife suggested she lay back further to help baby get under the pelvic bone. Mommy obliged and did only a few pushes in this position before it became obvious baby was coming. In a matter of two more pushes baby was crowing and the head was delivered. Where there had been tearing in the past there was none and her ability to control her pain made it possible for her to push baby out in a seamless and natural way. At 8:45am baby entered the world and took his first breath. Eyes wide open, alert and responding to mommies voice. Baby Soren had come at the perfect time with the most wonderful birth.
He was precious and perfect in every way and God’s timing again was perfect.
I was so blessed to be there to witness his birth and to be able to guide his mama when she needed it. She was so strong. To God be the Glory!
I was able to snag just a few pictures of her birth. Enough to convey the beauty and strength of this woman.