Originally Posted 1/16/15
Sometimes homebirth doesn't go as planned. Mine didn't. I'm eternally grateful that I still had a good outcome, but if things had ended differently, of course there would have been a great deal of grief. For this reason, my faith is the most important part of my birth plan. This is my testimony.
The most spiritual moments of my life occurred when tiny, wet, delicate newborn babies slid out of my body and into this world. It has happened five times in my life, and if I think about it too much, I’m deeply saddened that we are done having children - and that never again will I feel the same way I felt on those days. The moments when my children were born were the closest I’ve ever felt to Jesus. When my last baby was born, He really put an exclamation point on that birth. It showed me how connected He was, and is, to my existence.
Throughout my pregnancy, I prayed for God’s hands to be on Taylor’s birth. My precious midwife did the same. At the end of each prenatal visit, she held my hands and prayed for me and my baby, for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth. It built my confidence and allowed me to really connect with the baby growing in my belly. I was at peace. No worries. No fears. Jesus had it covered.
When I was about 5 months pregnant, I got a wild hair to get certified to become a Birth Boot Camp childbirth instructor. I had been considering the idea for several months, even before I had become pregnant. But suddenly there was this overwhelming urge - I needed to become an instructor. I had about three months to read a huge stack of books, watch films, complete a study guide, attend two births, and do the 2.5 day workshop. It was a crazy amount of work to take on at the time - but there was this fire - this voice inside telling me to do it.
I got all of the book work done with a week or so to spare, and then attended instructor training in Dallas when I was 36 weeks pregnant. It was wonderful. It was inspiring. It was JUST what I needed to prepare for my own birth! And I got to meet the most amazing women. In fact, I got to room with THE creator of My Breech Baby, Lauren McClain, who taught me all kinds of interesting information about breech birth. I would later realize how big of a deal that was.
I left instructor training feeling so confident to birth my baby and to teach others how to do it too! Birth Boot Camp has a slogan, “You CAN have an Amazing Birth!” I was going to do just that - I was going to go home and have a freaking amazing birth! And I did.
I was blessed with a pretty easy and FAST labor and delivery. You can hear the full story about the labor here. But I’m going to fast forward to the actual birth, because that was when things got pretty interesting. My doula was helping me relax - I was in my bathtub and she was gently pouring warm water over my contracting belly and breathing in and out right along with me. I started to feel an intense pressure as my baby began to emerge.
Then, my midwife gently said, “The baby’s coming breech.” There was no panicking. She said it as if it were just an observation. In that moment a million things flashed through my mind. But not scary things. When people hear about breech birth, they often envision emergency cesareans or tragedies involving a baby’s head getting trapped - they imagine trouble. Nothing like that even crossed my mind.
As I used gentle, grunty pushes to nudge my breechling out, my midwife softly whispered, “Okay, Jesus. Okay, Jesus.” And the millions of thoughts going through my head were thoughts of peace and thankfulness. Thoughts about how Jesus had been openly invited to this birth throughout my pregnancy and how He was obviously sitting on the edge of my bathtub - I mean - that’s exactly how it felt. I had flashes of conversations with Lauren, the breech birth expert I’d met at training. I could feel that the baby was in a frank position (butt first), and I knew that was good. I felt so much peace and comfort - it was like all this proof of Jesus being involved was exploding in my mind.
Then I felt these little arms and legs literally flop out of my body, and it kind of snapped me back into the “here and now” of what was happening. I felt the sensation of a softball resting just inside the window to my womb; it told me that all I needed to do was push this baby’s head out and my work would be done. With confidence in my body and my birth team, I gave a focused push and the rest of Taylor popped into the world.
I cried thankful tears of joy, relief and appreciation. It didn’t take long for the gravity of what had happened to wash over me... I began to do a full-on ugly cry - I just sobbed. My baby stayed purple for a few minutes. My husband was getting kind of nervous, but I remained at peace. God was literally carrying me through those moments. I could hear my baby breathing tiny, squeaky breaths, and I knew she’d turn a lovely shade of pink if she was just given some time to recover from her backwards entrance.
And she did. She turned a lovely, perfect pink. She nuzzled my breast. We stared at one another as though our souls had already known each other for an eternity. We were completely wrapped in God’s love.
When I tell my birth story, I am often on the receiving end of raised eyebrows. People think having her at home was irresponsible and dangerous. If I’m being honest, there have been moments that I look back and wonder how I could be so content with a birth that is considered by many, I BIG risk. But when I really sit and ponder over the whole thing, I know that everything worked out because Jesus was invited to my birth.
No matter what kind of birth you’re planning, home or hospital, Jesus has to be there. This is not to say that God fearing women do not experience trauma or loss. But when Jesus is at your birth, there is peace. When things take unexpected turns, there is still peace. And in the rare event of a tragedy, even then, Jesus brings peace. Jesus carries you through the triumphs and through the hardships. He has to be invited for you to receive this gift.
When you have the peace that comes with having Jesus, you know that you will be carried. You know that you will be held up by something bigger than yourself. When I decided to have a homebirth, I knew that good, bad or ugly, He would be there. I knew that in the event of an unexpected birth outcome or trauma, Jesus would be my comfort. If I was going to have a homebirth, I knew I had to own it - I had to own it AND the results of it. Because of Jesus, I was able to do that.
Jesus was the voice that said, “Learn more about birth.” He was the one who, mere weeks before delivery, put me in a hotel room with a knowledgeable woman who could calm my heart for a breech birth. I didn’t even realize it was Him when it was all happening… until after my baby was in my arms. Then it all made sense.
No doctor, or midwife, nor friend, nor educator can guarantee you a risk free birth. And Jesus doesn’t make that guarantee either. But if you invite Him to your birth, whether you at home or at the hospital, He will show up. And He will bring peace to that birth. I trust birth. I know that it almost always unfolds perfectly; however, I respect it enough to know that sometimes, scary things happen - and I need Jesus to be there if it does.
Please, if you do nothing else to prepare for childbirth, at the very least, invite Jesus to your birth.
Of course, I still think you should take Birth Boot Camp classes ;) From my personal experience, they seem to be Jesus approved.