One reason Nora’s birth story has been so resonate is because of the many ways God provided throughout my pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum with her. I wanted to share some of those ways with you, as a testament to His faithfulness and lovingkindness.
Our doula invited us to pray specifically for this birth. She asked us to give her three words we could be praying over Nora’s labor and delivery. We chose these words that we felt captured our hopes for this special day:
If you’re a math wizard, you’ll notice I listed four words instead of three. (Cheeky, you!) I’ll explain why in a moment.
I wanted this birth to be beautiful for the very practical reason that we chose to hire a birth photographer and I wanted those images to look lovely! But, on a deeper level, since Carson’s birth I’ve come to love the birthing process even more. I wanted Nora’s birth to be a way to show off God’s handiwork. Truly, any beauty we derive from birth was placed there by the Creator of all things. A lot of people hold the view that childbirth is grueling, ugly, and even barbaric. One of my personal missions is to push back against this thinking. And one way to effectively do that is to illustrate the beauty of childbirth.
As with my first birth, I hoped for another natural labor. Not because I think I’m a ‘super mom’ for pushing out my babies without an epidural. Or because I think it’s only way to give my children a good start in life. Honestly, my desire for natural birth is because I really enjoy laboring this way! I prefer to have more control over my body and more options for movement to handle contractions. I never felt that I needed medication to handle the sensations of labor and delivery. I don’t like being in hospitals, and I feel that a natural birth is one way to minimize the hospital factor. And let’s face it, I really enjoy the oxytocin high afterwards. Can’t lie. Maybe I really am a birth junkie.
We prayed for this birth to be uniting as a couple. Unbeknownst to both Ben and I, Carson’s birth divided us. We each had very different memories of her arrival. For me, it was a day I cherished. For Ben, it was a day he’d rather forget. Almost two years of hidden resentment and miscommunication came to light as we processed Carson’s birth and prepared for Nora’s. Major thanks to our doula for helping us to face this sore spot in our relationship and work it out. Together, we realized that birth is a wonderful opportunity for us to draw together as husband and wife. Most of all, we realized that even birth can be done to the glory of God. It isn’t merely a natural process experienced in a vacuum. As Christians, we wanted Nora’s birth to witness our faith and bring our family closer together. (Ben even ordered this shirt to wear on the big day as a reminder of that bigger purpose.)
And, finally, the extra word we prayed: safe. As I’ve shared before, my blood platelet count was discovered to be low during this pregnancy. Low blood platelets meant that I was at a high risk for postpartum hemorrhaging and that Nora had to be monitored during my third trimester. I also had to take a steroid to boost my platelets as much as possible before delivery; the steroids sadly did not give me Hulk-like powers, but they did make me absolutely insane which was difficult to manage. Though this complication was minor in the grand scheme, I was convinced that it would harm myself or Nora. In my mind, postpartum hemorrhage equaled sudden death and taking steroids equaled birth defects. I struggled to believe God’s faithfulness, that whatever happened to me was always for my good. The last few weeks of pregnancy I grew a ton spiritually, learning to live day by day. Waiting on the Lord. Believing His promises in the face of the unknown. But I did pray that this birth would be a safe one. That my baby and I would come through it all whole. And you know what? Even though I did have a postpartum hemorrhage, God provided. Even though one of my fears about Nora’s delivery did happen, we all were well. Our midwife was incredibly adept and caught the bleeding and handled it swiftly. I was safe. Nora was safe. Our birth was an incredibly safe one, just as I had prayed.
My naptime clock is running out and I don’t have much time to craft a poignant closing thought. I simply wanted to share my story of God’s provision during the birth of my daughter. And I hope that seeing God’s faithfulness in someone else’s life will prompt you to examine your own, to spot the moments when you could clearly see His hand at work, and give Him all your thanks and praise.