Monday, February 22, 2016

A Birth Story; Welcome, Little Son!

Oh my goodness! Such adorable cuteness! I could sit here and look at his little face all day long. And smooch him and, oh, my heart! It's amazing how God has created this love, this bonding. Our whole entire family has fallen smack dab head over heels in love at first sight.

He is finally here, on the outside. Our long awaited little baby. I can hardly believe the pregnancy is over and he's really here! The long wait, all the uncomfortableness, the worry is over. And here he is safe and sound.

Long ago in the early fall, I was driving home one night praying about the birth of our baby. We wanted so much to have our baby born at home but because of the laws here in South Dakota, there aren't many practicing midwives. Two, in the whole state, to be exact. I was already seeing an ob doctor but she knew from the first visit that we hoped to find a midwife who would deliver our baby at our house. Anyway, there I was worrying and praying. Wondering if we would dare to give birth on our own or just with a friend. Wondering if homebirth was that important to us. 

I feel that God gave me a glimpse of what was to be, because right in the middle of my prayers, I saw in my minds eye a few moments of time, where I had just delivered a baby and Blue eyes was putting him into my arms and saying, "Honey, it's a boy!". There were other women there but I couldn't tell who they were. We were in our bedroom and all the feelings were so intense and real. It was so comforting to me and I told Blue eyes and the kids about it when I got home. From then on I believed that one way or another, our baby would be born safely at home.

And what do you know? About a month later, I met a wonderful woman who spends her time lobbying for the rights of midwives and families in our state who desire more and better birth options. She told me about a Certified Nurse Midwife, who lives about an hour and a half away from us, and assists a few homebirths here and there on the side. I was so excited and called her right away.

She works as a hospital emergency room nurse as well. And has a two week on, two week off schedule, so obviously has a conflict of interest. The best she can do is schedule her two weeks off around when you think you might have your baby and hope for the best. We decided to plan on using her but to continue seeing the ob, just in case.

Finally her two weeks off arrived, the week before and the week after my due date. Our last four babies have been born right on or a few days after their due dates so I was just expecting to go over due. I was nesting like crazy, though, and finishing up the last projects on my list. I had everything ready in our bedroom, gave it one more good cleaning and scrubbed the entire upstairs bathroom to within an inch of its life. The midwife came for her home visit and we agreed we'd probably see each other in a week or so. She told me she had been and would be praying for us and she felt sure everything would go well. I brought the kids to piano lessons and went to the library. After supper that night I took a really long hot bath while reading Willa Cather's Sapphina and the Slave Girl. (Not my favorite of hers, but an insightful look at human relationships. And good, of course, it's Willa Cather, after all.)

I was completely taken by surprise when I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and my water had broken. It's never broken at the onset of labor before. With our hospital births they would brake it as the labor progressed and with each of our homebirths the water broke as the baby was being delivered. So we had a few minutes of panic wondering if the baby was actually going to be born right then. Lucille was born literally a half an hour after we woke up from a sound sleep, so we were expecting anything.

Within a few minutes the midwife was on her way, Blue eyes was making coffee, and I was down stairs straightening up. Such an adrenaline rush! It was so different because I was not having any contractions at all. When the midwife got here a little over an hour later, I still hadn't had any contractions. She told me to just keep doing what I was doing and she got an emergency station set up on the dining room table. 

Within fifteen minutes the contractions had started, good and strong, all in my back. Just like with Lucy. That did not bring back good memories and I started to feel afraid. But good old Blue eyes prayed for me and pretty soon started to tell me that if I wanted to give birth upstairs, we should probably go up there.

So we moved up to our bedroom and woke up the big girls. I had labored and delivered Lucille kneeling down and that seemed like the right position this time too. The girls came in excited and happy to witness the miracle of birth, but quiet and reverent too.

For some reason I was afraid this labor would stretch on for hours and I was worried that I wasn't as in control as I should be. I told Annika that she should feel free to go out if she changed her mind about being in there. But the midwife and Blue eyes told her the baby was going to be born really soon, that gave me hope.

So intense, birth is. How could I describe it but like a crescendo of being a woman? Like everything that makes me human meets there, all the frailty and strength of my soul. All my fear but all the faith of my heart. All the raw naked love in my spirit, allowing me to bury my head in Blue eyes' arms and believe him when he tells me my baby is almost here, that I'm doing good, that Jesus is with me. Drawing strength from his muscled arms, finding peace in his faith, so that my spirit and his voice pray together. And God hears and I surrender, I let my body open up, I muster all my strength from somewhere deep inside me, because I can and I must, and I push my baby out. 

It is a little before 6:00, and Blue eyes is crying and saying it is a boy. And we're all laughing and crying and he is crying his little newborn cry. The sound we love because it means he is healthy and that God has graciously granted the breath of life and we have a new little son.

And his face is so darn cute! We can't get over it. Meredith wakes up because she heard a baby cry and people laughing and she just must have happened, our baby is born. She just told me today that if there was no such thing as kissing, she would have invented it now that Abe is born;). 

As promised, Blue eyes brought the baby into meet his big brothers and let them hold him before all the girls got a hold of him. He also asked them what they thought about Abraham for a name. We all think that sounds nice, Abraham David. We'll call him Abe for now, since Abraham seems like such a big name for so little a fellow. David is for my kind, gentle uncle, my mom's only living brother.

"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever." Isaiah 59:21

".......that they might be called trees of righteousness, the plantings of the Lord, that he might be glorified. And thy shall build the old wastes, thy shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.......and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord has blessed." Isaiah 61

What a gift that we through faith can trust that little Abraham is a planting of the Lord and will grow to be a tree of righteousness! Praise the Lord for His bountiful goodness!