Monday, November 7, 2011

My Birth Story ~ 2011

{Me, days before baby was born. can't you tell I was ready to be done?!}

I knew it was coming.

I was so tempted to hide out in my house and not come out until he was born. The comments of "That baby hasn't come YET?" were starting to get on my nerves. Or maybe it was that people had been saying I looked ready to pop for two months...

Then there was the week I was put on a modified bed rest because of all the pressure I had been feeling "down there." I was ready then, but had to wait another three weeks.

It began at 2:30 am on August 27th.. Six or more contractions right on top of each other hit me strong with no warning. I immediately called my midwife because she was forty minutes away and every minute counted, considering my last birth took less than three hours.

I got up and began cleaning. We had been so good about having the house picked up every night, dishes put away, laundry put away. We were prepared. But not that night. So, I was putting laundry away and straightening up the bathroom, etc. Hey, don't laugh! I like order. AND I was having company over.

I felt a sense of excitement. I felt like this birth was going to be beautiful and glorious. I remember pausing by my bedside table at one point as my eye caught this quote on my journal, "Joy comes in the morning." I smiled. We were naming our baby Isaac, which means "Laughter" for a reason.

My Doula lived just five minutes away so she arrived first and began preparations for my midwife. During all this, my contractions were still strong but had slowed waaaaay down. As in, every eight to ten minutes apart.

My midwife arrived and lugged all of her gear in, which is a lot. Did you know that a midwife can suture and adminster oxygen and run an IV? She was ready! After checking all my vitals, she began unpacking.

I remember the first moment that I began to fear. My contractions had gotten to be so far apart. The thought came, "This is taking too long." I began to compare to my previous birth which was so precipitous. I guess I had expected, albeit wrongly, that this would be another "bing, bang, boom, whoa baby!" birth. The thought, "This is taking too long." then turned turned into "Something must be wrong."

Now, if you knew how much fear I had battled with during this whole pregnancy and how many times I prayed and repented for each specific fear, you would maybe think that the fear shouldn't be an issue anymore. At least, that is what I thought. I know what fear does to your body, especially in a birth. Your muscles tense up and your body begins to fight the birthing process. Been there, done that and that is why I fought so hard early on so that I would not have to deal with the fear in the middle of the process.

There were days during this pregnancy when I almost went into anxiety attacks. Anxiety is not just a disorder or a physical thing to be treated with pills, it is a battle with thoughts in the mind. It is fear. Or, even more accurate, a "spirit of fear." Evil spirits are named for their character. First Timothy 1:7 states, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." When the fear would come upon me, I would begin to fight, first by recognizing it, then taking responsibility and then repenting for letting it in and renouncing it. I have found that if I entertain a fearful/anxious/worrisome thought, that I begin to agree with it. We are commanded to do this: "... bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." {2 Corinthians 10:5} Fear is not trusting God. It is unbelief and ultimately a sin {Romans 21:8}. Sounds harsh, but for me who has been under fear's influence my whole life, I have to take a hard line against it.

Okay, back to my story!

I decided it was time to get into the birthing tub. I needed to relax my body. I wondered if the soothing, warm water would slow the labor down any more, but the opposite happened. My contractions began to speed up. Good, right? No. I began to dread each coming contraction and tense my body against them. And the fearful thoughts kept coming. Even as I began the pushing process, they were bombarding me. One said, "You're just gonna end up in the hospital anyway" another said, "The umbilical cord is going to be wrapped around his neck," yet another said, "You are failing." And the best one was, "I am NEVER doing this again!" Which is kinda funny. Doesn't every mom in the intense moment feel like this? But this thought was also based in fear because of the fear of pain. Can you believe that I was even worrying about whether or not we should have any more children? I have worried about what others would think of us if we did. Not saying we will... :-D

One of the best weapons against fear is the WORD. I finally felt the attack on my mind lift when I whispered, "Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings... " {Psalm 17:8}

At that point, I was near the end. I reached down to feel his fuzzy head. There he was. Finally! We brought him out of the water and he wouldn't breathe. Literally, for what felt like forever we were trying to get him to take his first breath. It was really only a minute, but he was being so stubborn with his little lips all pursed shut.

All went smoothly from there, but for an intense struggle I had with myself later in the day. I really felt like I had failed at being strong. I began to join my voice with my Accuser's and believe it. I had let the fear back in and was not able to overcome it until the very end. The attack had been too strong.

When I think back to those fearing thoughts that were bombarding me, they sound so ludicrous. But in my weakness, they came in and got a hold on me. The enemy had planned to steal my joy and almost succeeded. It wasn't til a week later at a check-up with my midwife that I realized how wonderful my birth had been (aside from the mind wars). From start to finish, it was only four hours! My midwife informed me that the bag of waters had never broken and so, when baby came out, she had to break it from around his head. This was a rare thing she said, and made for such a gentle entry for baby. Gee, that was so nice of me to do that for him. Hahaha.

I am so thankful that I am being perfected in His love because, "... perfect love casts out all fear..." {1 John 4:18}

{Welcome Baby Isaac!}

{One Month}

{Two Months, swimming in a sea of fur}

{Such sweet cheeks!}

{Tiny baby hands} {That he is with the signature Cheston baby chin}
{Crazy action shot with brother}

{Lovin' this!}
~ christa jean


Janelle said...

Welcome, Isaac! Wow! Our Isaac was born July 6. The crazy thing is I battled weird fears this time around also! I had high blood pressure the last few weeks of the pregnancy and then for 2-3 weeks after he was born. So much fear, it felt like I had to battle against it so hard! Lately I have been loving a new song by Jason Gray that says "there's no thief like fear". It seems to me God must be planning something amazing in these little boys lives for Satan to come against us so forcefully at their arrival! Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world! I'm so thankful for that!

Megan said...

What a handsome boy! Thank you for sharing his birth story with us. Giving birth is such a battle of the mind. It really comes down (for me at least) to fear vs. faith - faith in God's goodness and in how He created my body to work. Yesterday was my baby boy's 1st birthday and all day I was remembering his birth. While reading your story I could almost feel the contractions!
Blessings, beautiful momma!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Christa, well said. My battle is with unbelief, and I must continually tell it to leave. Now I must remember to watch the on-line program I purchased from "Be in Health"...two weeks of classes. I would like to go back to Thomaston...but this will be good too.

The Everett Family said...

Love to you and sweet baby Isaac! We miss you!