Beauty in the Sacrifice
When I chose to give birth naturally I did so out of conviction first, research second. When God created Eve he also created childbirth. Through Eve’s sin that childbirth remained within the same design but with the addition of pain. Since I trust God’s design in all things I also trust that in order to experience birth the way He intended it, I also have to do the pain part – birth without medical intervention. Besides, I do deserve the pain. May sound masochistic but that’s not at all how I feel, I simply feel it is God-honoring to pursue an unmedicated birth.
At 9pm on September 18, my birthday, labor began. For a brief hour or two I attempted to make it stop and simply go to sleep. Come 11pm I found bloody show during my latest trip to the bathroom, called my birth team, and buckled up for my home birth experience. There was a hustle in the house as my entire birth team clearly thought this baby was going to come quickly. Before the light of day I felt the promising and oh-so-exciting pushing urges only to have them slip away just as fast as they came on. My labor came in short intervals with long contractions for the rest of the day. I pleaded for the hospital and cried. Come 3pm, 19 hours of labor behind me, it became obvious the hospital was not happening so I committed to doing anything and everything my labor team told me. I went up and down the steps, I went up and down the steps in lunge form, I went up and down the steps in side lunge form, I squatted through contractions, I stood and swayed through contractions, I let them rub labor intensifying herbs on my feet, and I paced the place like a lioness stalking prey. Finally I felt some teensy weensy pushing urges again and pushed with them with all my might. The most I got out of it was a little blood here and there and a pathetic little hiccup sensation. Several more rounds of that and I was coming to the wall of my determination, but just as my strength and will were about to give out my body finally took over for a glimmering 5 minute pushing contraction and it racked me like a tidal wave. Eleven minutes later, Penny’s head popped out with the rest of her body slipping our right behind.
The cord was wrapped around her neck. I watched my midwife fumble, gloved fingers too slippery on the cord, trying to get the cord off of her. I started to reach, then thought better of myself. I figured “the more the merrier” did not apply in this moment. So, instead, I sat with invisible hands clenched around my throat and a boulder inside my belly sinking me into the ground.
For what seemed like an eternity they probed that cord. Then finally it was off and I was on the floor with my not yet crying baby girl in my arms. I knew she was a girl the minute I felt her head. As she struggled and fought for air my heart welled with pride and how strong my baby girl was. She fought so hard for air, for life. And she won! After what felt like another eternity of her crying and struggling for breath later she was finally able to breathe well enough to suckle like she so desperately wanted to.
This is the story of my second labor. My 21 hour back labor home birth. Nothing compares to the feeling of connection I had after that labor. I was instantly inseparable from my daughter and undeniably so in love with her.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 1 Corinthians 5:17 NIV. When Christ came to save us He came and He endured the pain on the cross for us, and He fought the battle in Hell for our lives, and He came out the other side alive and triumphant. This is labor. In labor I endured the pain of each contraction, I fought the battle for my baby’s life, and we came out the other side alive and triumphant. There is no greater moment than that. The moment of euphoria each mom who delivers 100% naturally feels that moment they have done it and are holding their sweet baby in their arms. Take a runners high times a hundred and you’re about there. The beauty in sacrificing my own physical comfort is that I am doing labor God’s way, I am allowing my body to do what He made it to do.
Beauty in the sacrifice. God gave me the greatest beauty there is to behold on this Earth: those moments following my sacrifice of self comfort, the euphoria that comes with completing birth, the happy hormones that come with naturally delivering, and the overwhelming raw surge of joy at holding that new life in my arms.