Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jude's Birth: Prelude

The story of Jude's birth is not merely a play-by-play of all the nitty-gritty details about contractions and dilating and pushing. It's a story of the mercy of God. It's about His abundant provision of grace even in the face of fear and unbelief. It's about intercessory prayer and powerful, clear answers to those pleas. It's about a God who loves to be known as mighty and faithful, a God who bears our burdens and generously gives good gifts.

Four months later, I'm finally getting around to sharing the story. Fair warning: it is going to include lots of details, which may bore those of you who are not interested in birth stories. And it's going to be a multi-part series, because--well, because I'm writing it, and if you've been reading this blog longer than three days, you know that I can't tell a short story :) Disclaimers we go.

My story--Jude's story--starts with the birth of Elijah three years earlier. A birth that on paper was textbook, uncomplicated, everything I had hoped for. He came in about 12 hours, without any drugs, without any of the interventions I didn't want.

And it terrified me.

I had prepared for natural childbirth, and actually hadn't felt fearful in the weeks leading up to his birth. I felt ready: I can do this. I labored as long as possible at home, so by the time we got to the hospital, I was dilated 6-7 cm. And then my water broke, and instead of the regularly spaced contractions we talked about in childbirth class, my pain turned into one four-hour-long contraction. No breaks. I panicked. I've never felt so scared in my life.

After Elijah was here, I didn't experience that whole "when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish" thing. I used words like "traumatic" and "shellshocked" to describe his birth, less "love at first sight" and more "what just happened to me?" We've covered that on this blog already. But all that to say, learning last February that I was pregnant meant that I was going to have to go through labor and delivery again. And I was terrified. The first time around, I'd read all about the fear-tension-pain cycle, how you can't be scared, and I wasn't. I refused to listen to negative birth stories. I was confident. This time around, I *knew* what was coming--how on earth could I NOT be scared?

Despite my fear of enduring natural childbirth again, I ended up deciding to have a homebirth--which is another post(s) for another day. I spent the first several months in denial about the fact that I was actually going to have to deliver this baby. Then I spent the last couple of months reading book after book, from childbirth books to biblical counseling books on fear. I tried to remember that every birth is different, that this would not be simply a repeat of Elijah's birth. I knew being at home was going to be completely different. I planned a waterbirth, sometimes called "the midwives' epidural." I prayed a lot, and asked others to pray. Then, late in August, I hired a doula. That experience was my first clue that God had something beautiful in store.

[part 2: a doula provided]
[part 3: waiting]
[part 4: finally, labor begins]
[part 5: hard work, but not alone]
[part 6: pain, peace, joy]

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Wow, a 4 hour long contraction! I think that would scare anybody! :0

I'm excited to read your story! I love birth stories, details and all! And I loved my natural birth so much, as well as photographing a friend's natural birth, I could really get into either doing photography for births one day or just coaching. I think it's really such an exciting time and support is so needed.

I'm excited to hear how God met you.