Mr. and Mrs. S and Baby Soren

Mr. and Mrs. S and Baby Soren

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.

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed Cord Clamping

This is a pretty fascinating article showing the stages of placenta through photography by Apple Blossom Families.  Her pictures are wonderful and remind us again how magnificent the placenta truly is both before and after birth.  We ought to be mindful of cutting and clamping the cord prematurely and the benefits delaying this process offers babies and mothers.

You can read more here.

Mr. and Mrs. H and Baby E.

In November a precious, beautiful girl entered the world early in the morning in the presence of her brothers and sister and her brave parents.

It began the night before. I received a call from Andrea that a contraction pattern had set in and things were moving along.  A few hours more we checked in and things seemed to be progressing perfectly, slow and steady.

At about midnight I headed their way as labor had picked up some intensity and she felt she needed some additional support.  As I entered the house I could tell she was heavy under the presence of labor and concentrating through each contraction, yet not overcome by them.

As the hours ticked by she moved from the couch to hanging from a rebozo around her husbands neck.  He was a fortress of encouragement, support, and love for her.  They were playing the soundtrack from War Horse giving Mrs. H a strength and power as the instrumental music spoke to her spirit.

We prayed… we invited God to come and be present  in this place…to lay a cover of protection over them as they pursued the homebirth they so desired and had taken measures that can only be attributed to faith to make happen. As we prayed the presence of the spirit became evident and I could tell she took rest in inviting him into the sacred space of birth.

The night progressed there was no doubt progress was being made.  A few times I noticed the purple line near her bottom was increasing which gave hints that baby was coming down and dilation was occurring. This was simply an observation on my part, with permission, not a medical attempt to gauge progress.  In this case, the purple line seemed to indicate progress in her stages of labor and we were pleased.

She moved from the shower to the living room again on all fours. She began feeling some intense pressure in her back seeking refuge in changing positions attempting to divert the distraction.  As transition began to rise she drew inward.  She used tones, humming, and speaking in french to call out to the Lord with each new wave.  She surrendered her body and soul to the process of laboring and it was inspiring to witness.

Slow and steady her inward focus brought the sweet baby down and as she was on all fours her water spontaneously ruptured. She did some light pushes in this position, trusting her body and following her instinct.  She never wavered.  It wasn’t long before the urge to push became strong and the head began to crown.  She was steadfast…

She turned and leaned back on her bottom to try and relieve some pressure from her back. This was unsuccessful. As the head began to fully emerge and was delivered she rolled back over onto her hands and knees carefully, while protecting her baby, and as she was brought to her hands and knees she delivered the rest of her perfect baby girl.

Baby E was born early in the morning. Just an hour prior to delivery her 3 siblings had woken from a full nights sleep, and were there to welcome her into the world.

She was held to the breast within minutes and cozied with mommy.  Lord, thank you for this precious life, this arrow to be released into the world by parent who know and love you.

 

Welcome to the world Baby E.

 

Mr. and Mrs. P & Baby L

Sometimes when there is a storm brewing and you can feel it rolling in; changes in the sky, the smell of the Earth, even the sounds tell you something is on the horizon.  There can be trepidation, concern, and even questions as to what the storm will bring…but we all know that with the storm comes something beautiful.

We know the storm brings the richness of water for the Earth.  The cleaning of the sky.  The refreshment of all living things.  In the end, a rainbow…a gift.

I would say the birth of baby L was similar to a storm like this.  Her parents were being so patient.  They could see the storm brewing on the horizon…they knew soon the storm they were anticipating would be a reality.  Sometimes, the waiting becomes unbearable.  Mothers talk themselves into actions that force things to happen, often too early.

They were being steadfast…waiting for baby L  to come on her own time.  Finally the time for waiting had been exhausted and it was time, at 41 weeks 5 days to get things rolling.

As they checked in to the hospital early on Saturday morning I was thinking of them.  Confident things would go well, after all they were very educated and confident in their decisions.  They had decided to start with a bulb induction. A much more natural way to get things started than say Pitocin or breaking water.

As the day rolled on I was receiving reports of the two of them just hanging out, watching tv and spending their last few moments together before baby arrived.

Around 9pm she called to say the bulb had fallen out and she was 5cm.  Such awesome progress for the inconsistent contractions she had been reporting. It was very encouraging for all of us.  She had said the Dr. was going to come back in an hour and see how she was feeling and if there was any change.  She was going to go take a shower and get refreshed.

Less than an hour or so later her husband called and said I should come on down to help with any decisions that needed to be made.  At that time I packed up my stuff and headed to Good Sam.

When I arrived she was on the birthing ball, pressing on the roof of her mouth and her husband was resting.  We did some Clary Sage massaging of her hands and started some oils going in the air.  Once the Dr. came back in he was fine with her continuing to be patient and ride it out waiting for active labor to pick up. This was a blessing as most of the time there would be a sense of urgency. But, this Dr. was willing to let things happen on their own.

After some changing of positions, walking, and massaging of the ankle and feet pressure points, we all agreed a little push of Pitocin would be a good idea.  The hope was it would kick start things just enough to gather a regular pattern of labor. Throughout the night daddy, mommy and I all got some rest as her labor patterns had slowly picked up but not enough to make her too uncomfortable.  But, now as the morning approached, they started a small drip of Pitocin to try and initiate her own body’s labor receptors.

She got in the shower again in hopes of the contractions picking up.  They were so flexible about her movement and change of location, even being attached.  This seemed to pick things up some and as they upped her Pitocin to 4 she was showing signs of increased labor…she was no longer able to talk through them but needed more concentration each time.

The morning also brought in her Dr. Dr. Kennard arrived to check in with her and see how things were going.  At this time we all agreed it would be good consider breaking her water since her pattern had increased, to allow the Pitocin to be turned off and her body to take over on its own. I was impressed with the Dr. making the suggestion to encourage her own body to make headway with labor rather than synthetic labor with no end in sight. That was extremely wonderful and rare.

Before they could get in to break her water she was in full on active labor.  Moving between the bed and the toilet she was making quick progress.  Each contraction brought total concentration on her part.  She would surrender to the contractions, with daddy right by her side each moment telling her how strong she was.  She was toning and humming to help release the tension during the swells of the storm.

When the storm really hit she went into the zone.  She was fully engulfed in it.  Allowing her husband to help her, hold her, support her, listening to our voices, relaxing her bottom half.  She didn’t waste a single swell.

When they came in to break her water she was 8cm and fully effaced.  She’d done amazing work.  We expected things to really pick up now that her water was broken and they soon turned off the Pitocin.  She was free to go back to the shower and sit on the toilet to finalize her transition.

She did just that.  Fully surrendered she went from 8-10 in less than 1 hour and began feeling the urge to push.  We saw this in the bathroom during a contraction.  Her sounds had changed and her focus shifted.  She was beginning to feel urges.

She slowly made it back to the bed where she gripped the birthing bar and managed to hoist herself up with all her might for several contractions, pushing baby down into the birth canal.  Her husband was supporting her by sitting behind her on the bed helping her up to the bar each time she felt the need.  She was completely following her body’s direction and desire.

I could tell she was getting tired with the bar.  She took the suggestion to try hands and knees for some rest on her legs.  She made incredible progress on hands and knees and before we knew it the little dark hair of their little girl was peeking through with her pushes.

As she brought the baby down and the baby’s head came in and out, Dr. Kennard asked her to turn over for delivery.  She obliged.

She was doing the most incredible pushing.  Full body, fully committed pushing was being done and that baby was coming down the birth canal perfectly.  Not too fast, to allow for proper stretching, and not too slow as to discourage her.

It wasn’t too many pushes that we could see baby was coming in the next few pushes.  They brought over a mirror and Dr. Kennard helped support her stretching as the baby moved in and out a few more times.  Momma would rest well in between during her long rests and ramp up as the contractions piggy backed.

Two more pushes and baby’s head was pressing into the ring of fire, making its way out for the last time.  Dr. Kennard asked her to slow down just a bit to allow for stretching without tearing.  She listened perfectly and then pushed when asked and baby L’s  head made its way out with her shoulders and body immediately following.

Dr. Kennard placed her directly onto momma’s chest and they laid eyes on each other for the first time.  They breathed each other in, heard each other’s voices, and out came the rainbow after the storm.

She did perfectly.  They were patient, steadfast, and resilient in the storm which ended perfectly with a precious baby girl, healthy and strong in her mamma’s arms.  Momma held her to the breast and began to allow baby to latch if she desired.

They were all immediately in love and it was a beautiful thing to witness.

 

Baby L.

9/14/14

7lbs 12oz 20 ¾ inches

Born at 41 week 6 days

Happy Birthday Baby L.

 

 

Photos taken this day with camera phone and edited with Photoshop Actions.

GOD IS HOVERING OVER YOU
God hovers over motherhood. He is with you from the beginning to the end. Are you waiting to give birth to a baby soon? God will be with you in your birth. David confesses in Psalm 22:9, “Thou art He that took me out of the womb.” Many translations say, “You brought me safely from my mother’s womb.” Whether you are having your baby at home or in a hospital, put your trust in God. He is the one who brings the baby safely from the womb. He is hovering over you for the life of your baby. Trust Him.

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Mr. and Mrs. R and baby S

Mr. and Mrs. R and baby S

On Thursday June 19th an induction was scheduled to bring Baby S into the world. He was comfortable in his temporary home and not showing too many signs of wanting to come out. Mommy had been using Primrose to try and get things stirred and had made progress to 3cm with some thinning by the time they checked into St. Joe’s Hospital on June 19th at 8pm.

We had agreed ahead of time that she would let me know once things really started getting going. It can often take some time to get an induction started. Around 2:30am I had nursed my little guy and felt like maybe I would go in and see how things were going.

Upon arriving at the hospital and visiting for a few moments it was clear labor wasn’t active even though she was at 16 Pitocin and moving up every 30 minutes. She had made progress to 5cm but was not in active labor. She was still able to visit and snack. We visited and talked about how things would go if she reached 20 Pitocin.

Around 7:30am the midwife came in and suggested turning off the Pitocin, taking a shower, eating something and getting some rest which would allow the receptors to get cleared out and then she could begin again.

We agreed I would go home and tend to my children while Mrs. R and her husband were able to get some rest and spend some quality time together in the quiet. I wanted to make space for those intimate final moments they could have together.

The plan was for them to call me once things picked up, just as before, and labor seemed active. I was hopeful to get a call sooner than later. But, it is typical for babies to come in the evening hours so I expected the day wouldn’t bring too much news. But, even more hopeful for the coming evening and a new baby to be born.
Everyone got some much needed rest and they began Pitocin again around 12:30pm.

Around 6:30pm I let her know I would arrive around 7:40pm as I thought maybe things would begin to pick up as the sun set.

When I arrived around 7:40pm her mom had joined the birth team, which was a nice support for her. The room was calm and the mood was anticipatory. She still wasn’t really in active labor and the Pitocin was climbing to 18 in the next few moments.

She was moving from sitting butterfly on the bed to standing and then to sitting on the ball. At about 9:30 she was reaching 20 Pitocin which was the limit of the dr.’s order, so we started to try a few different things. She did some squatting on the bed and on all fours for a bit trying to encourage the baby to come settle on the cervix.

We talked about AROM to bring the baby down and allow natural pressure to create action with the cervix. As she was laying on her side with a peanut ball with a stronger contraction than she’d had up until now, she felt something funny.

The nurse checked to see if anything was leaking and she didn’t see anything at that moment. Mrs. R felt for sure as if something had occurred. She stood up and sure enough there was a small leak. This made her very emotional as the impending change in contractions seemed as though they might be overwhelming for her.

The nurse and I calmed her and encouraged her that all would be fine and this is what we’d been waiting for all along. It was exciting to see some changing occurring.

At about 10:23pm the nurse wanted to get a check of where she was at. During this check she reported she was an 8cm and fully effaced and as she was checking the bag of waters it broke. A rush of fluid poured out. This was very exciting as we knew this would bring a faster end to what they’d been waiting for so long.

Once her water was broken the contractions really picked up in intensity and we began the work of breathing and concentrating through each contraction. She wanted to stand but as she stood the baby didn’t seem to like it very much so, the nurse asked her to lay back on the bed. She obliged and had several great contractions on the bed.

With very little time, I began to see that during the contractions she was instinctively bearing down. The nurse could feel the head at +2 station and coming down with each contraction. As the nurse went to call the midwife, who as off campus just about 10 minutes away, another contraction came on and with this one came another push. She couldn’t hold them off.

I asked Mr. R to come down to the edge of the bed because I thought for sure the baby’s head would emerge with the next push. We could see it crowning at this time.

Mr. R came to the bottom of the bed. I instructed him to have his hands out and ready just in case and also asked him to push the call button. With the push of the button I called to the nurse’s station that baby was coming now. It took less than 10 seconds for the team to be in the room, to have a nurse giving perineum support and the resident OB followed up 5 seconds later ready to catch the baby.

1 more push and the head completely emerged with the OB giving support. 1 more push and the shoulders emerged and baby S slipped out and onto his mother’s tummy. It was a smooth 40 minutes from water breaking to baby being born. 40 minutes of active labor. Who could ask for more?

It was an answer to prayers. Healthy 9lb 15oz baby boy and a quick active labor and delivery for Mrs. R. And, as an extra measure of luck baby S had a true knot in his cord. This is not so common and a neat thing to see.

The extra special part of the labor is that as we were remembering the Lords presence in the room and His ability to meet her needs, her nurse shared encouraging words and scripture with her as well reminding her of His strength and that He will never leave us nor forsake us. It was precious to see the Lords light being shared among the team.
She did an incredible job, stayed focused and committed to a natural birth and was given that gift. And also the precious gift of a healthy, robust, wonderful little boy.

I was blessed to witness their birth story and am thankful for Gods provision each step of the way.

Born on 6/20/2014
9lbs 15oz
21 ¾ inches long


Mr. and Mrs. A and Baby R

Mr. and Mrs. A and Baby R

Early in the morning on July 15, 2014 I received a text message saying Mrs. A had been having some early contractions starting at about 1am. It was now about 7am and as we spoke on the phone it was clear it was early pre labor and she was going to go in for her appointment with the midwife at 8am.

At the appointment they determined she was 2cm and soft and labor was imminent. She spent the rest of the day with her family as labor approached. At approximately 6:00pm I received a text from her husband that things were picking up speed and they were about 1 minute long and 3-4 minutes apart. I arrived at her house at 7:00pm and she was clearly in a labor pattern. We prayed and asked G-d to be with us and to be with baby as they traveled this path.

We agreed she would give it 30 more minutes at home before making a decision to go to the hospital. Each contraction brought powerful surges and she really surrendered through them, sinking deep into her hips and allowing each one to work.

At 7:45pm we were in the car headed to the hospital. Triage assessed her and the midwife arrived. She was a wonderful 4cm. She expressed feeling some discouragement and asking about an epidural. Mr. A and I chatted briefly about that and agreed we would dissuade her and she would be able to get in the bath and see how things went along.
The sweet nurse G-d gave us drew a warm bath and Mrs. A got in. Mr. A changed into his bathing suit wanting to join her in the bathroom. As he changed we were able to do some really great contractions in the bath. She was definitely relaxed in there and focused.

As the surges progressed in intensity and pattern she really focused more and more. She was very in tune with her body. Her husband joined her in the bathroom and her mom and I gave her some time alone with him. Her mom and I spoke while her and her husband spent time together alone. She had entered the room at about 9:30pm and spent the next 45 minutes in the bath with Mr. A.

When I went back in to check on her I could tell things had changed some. She was feeling warm and wanted to sit on the toilet for a few contractions. As she got out of the water there was some bloody show which showed signs that things were changing.

She did a few contractions on the toilet and seemed to be bearing down some. I gently told her to try not to push as it would make the cervix swell if she wasn’t ready. It seemed she couldn’t really help it. So, we asked if the nurse could do a check just to see where she was. I prepared her to not be discouraged if there wasn’t much change. I was praying there had been change and hopeful the signs of instinctual pushing meant so.

At the check she was 8cm. Amazing. 4cm to 8cm in under an hours’ time. Such incredible work. She had really opened up and let her body do what it was designed to do.

She decided to get back in the bath for a bit since she did such good work there. They were becoming more intense and taking more concentration at this point. She was in transition but you would never have guessed it. She was so calm, collected and centered on her body doing its job. It was inspiring.

As things progressed we ended up back on the toilet for a bit and then back to the bed. Gina had come and joined us and everyone was fully focused on helping her to reach the birth.

Gina gently broke her water hoping it would melt away her final bits of cervix and at 11:15pm she was on her way to pushing.

Some contractions brought pushing and others didn’t. She just followed her body. She wasn’t in a rush and baby was doing great. She gave in to each one. She had incredible support with her mom and sister and her husband was so precious as he met her needs and gave her quiet support. She was incredible.

The pushing contractions did great work. She did some on her bottom and then flipped to her hands and knees. After a few on her hands and knees and resting greatly in between she turned to her side. From here she was able to really get behind each contraction and bear down.

With each push she brought baby down further and further. By 12:13pm, with worship music playing in the background, we could really see the head peeking through.

At 12:16pm she gave a few small pushes and baby Baby R came rushing out and into his mommy’s arms. He had a nuchal cord around his neck but nothing to worry about and a cord around his body, again no cause for concern. Gina unwrapped him quickly without fuss and handed him to her. Daddy was able to see each moment of his son’s arrival and was overjoyed when he was finally placed into his mom’s arms. The look on his face was precious.

Mrs. A trusted the Lord, trusted her team, and most importantly trusted herself and her intuition. Her body did exactly what it was supposed to do. Early labor took time, preparing baby for labor and birth. She handled transition beautifully and without a hiccup. If she was doubting herself she never let on. She was a rock for her boy, breathing deep and really surrendering to bringing his life into the world.

I’m incredibly blessed to have witnessed their labor and delivery and feel even more blessed to know they followed the Lord’s will through each step.

Welcome to the World little guy. G-d has big plans for you!

Water Birth on Good Morning America

Water Birth on Good Morning America

I was going to write an article on the spot Good Morning America but Haven Midwifery already did a pretty good job. So, I thought I would just share her post on the subject. I will say it is a shameful state of our society in terms of childbirth that this type of {mis}information can be perpetuated. When will the public demand to hear the truth?

You can read her post here: Haven Midwifery

Mr. and Mrs. W and Baby W

Mr. and Mrs. W and Baby W

Early Sunday morning I received the call saying Mrs. W was in labor and the contractions were enough that she felt she wanted to head to St. Joe’s Hospital. In the truck I jumped excited for them to begin the journey of bringing their baby into the world. It was about 2:30 in the morning and the traffic light, the air crisp and cool, and I enjoyed the smooth drive to the hospital thinking about the incredible moment they were about to have.

They had experienced a stress free pregnancy (minus a little nausea, but that gets the best of women), a healthy baby and had little to no interventions including ultrasounds and tests. So, they were being surprised at the hospital with their little bundle as they did not know if it was a boy or a girl. The unknown was very exciting.

I arrived just minutes behind them and caught them on the walk from the parking garage to the entrance. We chatted as we walked up and traveled the elevator to the labor and delivery triage.

I waited in the waiting room while she was in triage. Mr. W came out to chat with me from time to time as they got all their ducks in a row. We were together again once she was able to get moved to a room.

She was 4cm and making progress. We didn’t quite expect what was about to transpire in the coming hours.

As she labored and the contractions came on in regular intervals we began the process of breathing and sending all the energy south. She was smiling a radiant smile between contractions and accepting the labor that was impending with great joy.

Her husband was right by her side. Holding her head for each contraction. Rubbing her back and staying close. It was truly precious to see. He was so devoted to her and what she needed. His ability to be in tune with her emotions and then appreciate her joy in between the hard moments.

As she pressed on towards transition I was so confident she had made huge progress. She had been laboring in the bathroom really utilizing the pressure of sitting to bring the contractions down. With each wave she’d speak out loud “go down baby, go down”. She knew exactly what she was doing.

The early hours had done more thinning of the cervix rather than dilating. This can sometimes be discouraging for a laboring mom as each time she is checked she desires to hear a larger number. In this instance the first check since admitting to the hospital resulted 5 cm but much more thinning than before.

She wasn’t dismayed. We pressed on, each swell and wave bringing her back to her body while resting in between. Time ticked on and the hours past. Each hour bringing a new confidence to her ability to handle the contractions but strangely at the same time wearing her down.

The body can only take so much before it becomes exhausted. She was moving from the bed to the bathroom to the birthing bar on the bed. Her back labor was intense and we weren’t able to really relieve it. The toilet seemed to be the most comfortable but not the most restful place to be sitting.

Many hours past and another check came. She hadn’t made much progress at this time. The morning had come and gone and we were traveling into the afternoon. Sometimes a clock can be a laboring mother’s worst friend. Thankfully I don’t think she was looking at it very often so she remained positive.

It was in the quiet moments, in the stale, hallowed light of the bathroom, her husband began to tear up. It was so hard to watch her battle and his perception of her suffering was high. She, in her hard moments, reminded him she was okay. All was okay. Baby was sounding great at each check and there were no signs of concern, only hours were making them weak and discouraged.

His tears were precious to witness. His devotion to her and his patience with the waiting had brought him face to face with his love for her and this unborn baby. I will remember those moments for a long time.

A few more hours tick by and she’s at an 8. Oh my, an 8. This is when you start to believe things might pick up and this baby might come. The Lord had other plans. To make a long couple of hours short, for some reason baby wasn’t coming into the birthing canal at the ideal angle. This was causing lots of delay and lots of back pain.

We began to aggressively try to figure out how to help this stall of labor. She didn’t progress from an 8, rather at one point she went back down to a 7. Fortunately the wonderful nurse we’d been given by God didn’t really say much about it, but rather helped us figure out how to try and help mommy.

We tried so many things. She was in real, active, transition labor but for a long time. Hours it ended up being with contractions coming in even intervals but with breaks in between where she was falling asleep. She became so exhausted that relaxing became very difficult no matter how much she was trying.

At one point the nurse checked her and her water broke in the hopes this would wedge the baby down against the cervix and really kick things along. Again, the Lord had other plans.

Eventually at 7:00pm, after checking in at 2:30am, everyone agreed she should have a little epidural and a small amount of Pitocin so she could relax and get some much needed rest in order to be able to push later on as well as to try and get baby down into the canal a little faster. She needed the break so much.

At this time I headed home to nurse my little man and put my kiddos to bed as well as get a shower so I could be alert. After about 2.5 hours Mr. W let me know she was 9 cm and fully effaced. The plan had worked. She was rested, hydrated, and the baby had made his way down.

I headed back down to the hospital and walked into the room after she had done 1 push. The epidural had been just enough to help her relax but not enough to keep her from feeling what was going on. As the contractions came on she knew to push and was able to concentrate enough to push effectively. She moved the baby down within 45 minutes and was at her final pushes.

Her doctor arrived in those final moments and she bravely pushed her baby into the world and gave him life in just a little over 1 hour of pushing. She was remarkable. She felt everything. She had the natural labor experience (in some ways more than most women could imagine) and exhibited a super human ability to trust her body and allow labor to take place.

She also remained flexible when she needed to divert from her birth plan and do what was best for her and her baby. And, thankfully the Lord blessed her each step of the way with natural labor and delivery nurses and staff who encouraged her to press on and made that path possible for her.

As the baby slid out daddy looked for a sign as to whether it was a boy or a girl and just as we had suspected it was a precious baby BOY!

Theresa held him skin to skin caressing his precious head and talking to him. He was instantly worth the wait and the intense 22 hour labor they had endured. It was a roller coaster of emotions for everyone, even the nurses were so relieved and excited for them and that it was finally all over and at the same time just beginning.

I’ve never met someone so brave and so committed to a natural birth with a partner so trusting and supportive of her desired journey.

Their journey to having their first born child was stamped by Gods enduring and faithful love and provision each step of the way. The bricks of a good foundation were laid. They were faithful to read and educate themselves regarding their choices and informed consent. And then, through it all, we were able to pray and invite the Lord into the labor room. His presence was tangible and His love overwhelming.

I’m so proud of them and can’t wait to see them grow as parents. Welcome to the world Wesley…God has big plans for you!