It was 3:22. I remember looking at the clock on the wall from our bed. This was my third contraction—strong enough to wake me up. I figured I’d get up and walk around the house a bit to see how they progressed. A few laps around the house and the contractions were coming on evenly and pretty strong. I would stop for each contraction, leaning against the couch or the kitchen table. I remember waking Erik, “I think its happening!” I said! We had been praying that our baby would arrive soon, I have a history of liver complications (cholestasis) in the third trimester of my pregnancies and my liver was showing signs of weakness that could pose a risk for our baby. The statistics of risks and complications swirled in my head. So many emotions, doubts and fears filled my mind. I don’t think any mother would want to take any risk when it comes to the life of her child. As much as I wanted to panic that week I tried to surrender each doubt and fear to the Lord, trusting my body was strong enough to do this and that our baby would be healthy and safe. I felt an underlying calmness; I somehow knew that the Lord had us wrapped in his perfect plan. (He is the Ultimate Healer!) We are so thankful for family and friends that joined us in prayer that God would protect our baby from any complication resulting from my weakened liver and for a safe entry into this world. It was so nice to be able to go into birth/labor with faith and trust and not in a place of fear.
Knowing we needed the baby to come out soon, my midwife suggested castor oil to help induce labor—which I took a small amount of that night before I went to bed. Castor oil has been used for years to help induce labor. We waited in faith praying our baby would come soon.
Now, a few short hours later, March 9th, our “due” date: I was in labor! Erik called our midwife at around 4:00 a.m. and told her that I had started having contractions. She sent her apprentice over to assess the situation. Jodi, our midwife apprentice (in-training) arrived at around 5:00 a.m. and about 15 minutes later she asked if I wanted to be checked. I said ok, even though I didn’t really like the idea of being checked; I thought it would help to know how much further I had to go, because at this point things were pretty intense. She told me I was 3-4 cm! I remember looking at Erik after she walked out of our bedroom and I said I am not sure what is going on but I know am way more than 3-4 cm! It was around 5:30 a.m. I was already feeling a LOT of pressure. It threw me a bit (A LOT) being told I was only 3-4 cm, I now had to wrestle with the doubts: Should I push? I don’t want to hurt my baby if I am only dilated so little! It was a mental battle, but I had to trust what my body was telling me, and it was telling me that this baby was about to come soon! Jodi and Erik attempted to fill the birthing tub, while I continued having contractions. They were very intense, I tried to not get ahead of myself and just take them one at a time. At this point, I was in the bathroom, my contractions were so strong. I called out to Erik and Jodi, I remember saying this is no 3-4 cm, I feel a head! As Erik and Jodi watched from the doorway, I reached down and felt my baby’s head. Our midwife had not yet arrived. I heard Jodi from behind me saying “Go ahead and catch your baby!” One more contraction and the baby slipped into my arms. I looked up at Erik and said, “It’s a GIRL! We have a daughter!” I clutched her close to my chest. It was 5:48a.m. I was in awe. Thank you God for the gift of another beautiful child, How Great Is Your Faithfulness!
Professional maternity and newborn portraiture courtesy of: Jenuine Creations,LLC.