Four days ago, I became the mother of four. Life will never be the same. And I am so excited about that. Not that life wasn't full before, but my little girl has taken it to a whole new level, and I can't imagine there was a time when I thought we were "done" after my third.
Something else I learned about myself four days ago, was how absolutely broken I am without my God. This last and final time of delivering a child into the world (yes, it was my last :) ), was my first time to endure the complete pangs of childbirth without relief from anesthesia. It was a choice I tentatively made months ago, and with the encouragement of friends, and dependence on the power of the Word, I held myself to that decision.
Looking back on my experience, I discovered a lie I've told myself, and a truth that needed to replace that lie.
During early labor, and with each strengthening contraction, I reminded myself through the pain that my body was made for this, and I recited the verses:
"For God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of Love, and
Power, and sound judgement," 2 Timothy 1:7
"The Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken. He is right by my side." Psalm 16:8
"I am fearfully and wonderfully made," Psalm 139:14
And I thought of each contraction as a muscle pain-- something I gleaned from reading excerpts from Supernatural Childbirth . Because I could relate to this pain after several classes of enduring the pain of muscle strengthening, it made the pain less "scary" and more familiar. Who would have thought my year of obsessing over working out would help me through natural childbirth? :)
After laboring at home for 3 1/2 hours, we headed to the midwife at 9am. I was dilated between a 6 and a 7, and sent across the parking lot to check in at labor and delivery.
God provided me with an excellent nurse who had endured three natural childbirths herself, and had worked frequently with my midwife (who would meet me there after her office visits...around noon).
So, I labored. I got through each contraction with my husband's encouragement, and my mind on the Creator who made me for this.
The nurse mentioned that there was holy water in the room (Catholic-based hospital), and some of the nurses used it...she even said that someone said it's sprinkling was "needed" to bring God into the room. After my next contraction I said...
"If that's true, then there is no way I would get through this...God's here in the room regardless of holy water."
But the impending fear of what was ahead, crept into my heart between contractions, and I wondered what I was in for.
And, oh my, I couldn't ever anticipate what I was in for. The 30 minutes from 9cm to 10 cm to pushing and delivery, took me into a realm outside of that hospital room. It was out of body, but in the most out-of-control, unnerving, downward spiral way. I LOST it! At first, I couldn't get past the flesh and focus on the greater Creator.
But the small voice whispered into my heart at my heightened panic, and I breathed out (incomprehensible to everyone else) "He made me" and when I felt a paralyzing fear grip me and coax me to ignore everything coached to me to push, the small voice said, "just push." All sorts of irrational, "what if" thoughts raced through my head, stopping me from moving forward, were pushed aside with that small voice, and my baby was upon my chest within seconds, 1:38pm.
It's taken me a few days to get past the embarrassment I felt for those moments of panic in front of the midwife and the nursing staff. But this morning, after reading a post about writing from our Broken Places, I thought about my own brokenness which brings me to the lie I told myself(mentioned above):
The lie:I thought natural childbirth would also heighten my spiritual walk with God, proving I could depend on Him through the toughest physical moments of my life.
But the truth, in two parts:Part One: When the toughest physical moment came, my spiritual walk failed me, and I pushed Jesus aside and focused on the flesh. I was broken.
Part Two: God still met me, regardless of my brokenness, regardless of my lost focus.
His small voice is louder than my cries of fear.
So, I wanted to walk away from this childbirth with a sense of triumph and spiritual enlightenment.
In a way, I did.
Just like my little girl has taken my full life to a new level, my humility and trust in God has risen to new heights. Two very simple things I've known were needed in this walk all along, but I could only truly grasp them when I let go of control.