Please bear with me as I attempt to share my pre-birth story. I share my story as a journal entry to reflect upon with my family and to give a testimony to His love and mercy for me. I share the good, the bad, and everything in between. I recap some of our current trials, not for pity. May it all be for His glory.
It is always my prayer that I embrace my labor and persevere through the delivery of my precious gift, with His grace and strength. I haven’t always held such a strong conviction that my labor must be completely surrendered to Him but I give Him thanks for leading me to this place.
I’ve been pregnant eleven times. Five of which I have been able to bring into this world, one that is due any day, and five children that did not make it to term. I am left with their imprint on my womb. I pray that each of my little ones, not with me today, will see the face of God.
I birthed in the hospital with the mainstream model of care for my first baby. Two home-water births followed. The next baby was a planned homebirth that turned into a scheduled c-section due to complete anterior placenta previa. That very dramatic pregnancy was followed by a VBAC in the hospital, which I coin, my home-birth in the hospital. I’m now waiting for Baby G to arrive any day via a homebirth.
My current delivery was planned to be a repeat of the last, a homebirth in the hospital. Things were going as planned up until my sixth month of pregnancy when I finally had to confront the fact that my Catholic Pro-Life physician and I did not share the same model of care for my current pregnancy. Prior to then I realized that we did not share the same overview of labor but something kept me with him. Surely, I did not fit into that mold and he would be willing to accommodate me as he assured me he would during my second visit with his practice. He confirmed otherwise at my six month visit and a decision had to be made.
I called the Catholic hospital that my insurance coverage uses to schedule a tour so that I could get a better feel for the type of care that would be extended to me if I did decide to go the traditional route of delivery. I was told that I would have to wait a month and half for the next scheduled tour. I then asked to speak with the charge nurse. The receptionist transferred me to the charge nurse on staff, Madonna. I briefed her on my situation and explained the urgency to take a hospital tour. Many OBGYN/Midwives will not take on a new patient if they are past the seventh month of pregnancy. Madonna reiterated that there was no other option for a tour but she offered her time for me to ask my questions. She confirmed in ten short minutes that I would most likely not get the birth I desired with the current doctor or in the hospital. I then contacted other midwifery practices within the area. I also contacted my previous midwife to explain the situation and see if she would be willing to take me on so late in my pregnancy. I gathered all my info and took it to prayer. Homebirth wasn’t really an option due to our tight budget. I needed peace since my emotions were all over the place. In addition to peace, I needed the headship of my family. I needed my husband to pray over me and seek the direction that we were to move in.
I gave my husband a very tight time frame (due to the constraints of the physicians) to discern the best option for my delivery. I prayed for his discernment, God’s providence, and my humble submission to accept whatever way Dad was called to lead me.
During Dad’s discernment, I received a phone call from my previous midwife. She sensed some hesitation with my acceptance of a homebirth due to our financial situation. She extended me a significant discount in hopes that it would make things easier on Dad and I. The discount was God’s providence at work. The amount she quoted was the exact amount that Dad was scheduled to receive from his family as a gift. This helped Dad’s discernment since he felt that we were to pursue a homebirth but he could not get a handle on how were to pay for it. God led the way for us.
We committed to a homebirth with my previous midwife. I started care with her immediately and we signed to pay her the complete fee by the 36 week of pregnancy. Not a problem since Dad received his financial gift during my 28th week of pregnancy. We could pay the midwife and I could have a stress fee pregnancy, or so we thought. Another trial was soon to come.
Dad and I had made a pact to pay for my midwifery care as soon as we had the money, regardless of how early the payment would be in relation to the due date. Yet, when Dad received the money, I was not called to pay it. I shared my hesitations with Dad and he took heed. He said, we could hold onto it until the mid of the month to allow my hesitations to play out.
That Saturday Dad had a traumatic accident that sent him to the hospital for several days. Praise God that he has insurance coverage and we didn’t have much out of pocket expense. However, Dad’s pay was drastically reduced over his time in the hospital and subsequent recovery time at home. We had to tap into the gifted money just to pay for our basic needs. Before we knew it, the midwifery payment was gone.
We prayerfully moved forward with a renewed perspective on our priorities. We told the midwife of our situation and she was willing to work with us if we were still opting for a homebirth. It was another difficult decision since we did not have the definite means to pay for services. Our discernment continued and ultimately, we were called to walk in faith.
My pregnancy continued to progress with no complications other than my battle with complete exhaustion. Dad and all the kids stepped up to serve me, take up the household duties, and joyfully learn at the foot of my bed. My weakness coupled with my inability to contribute around the home for basic tasks, topped with financial stress led me in and out of bouts of depression. I began to question my worthiness. Feelings of resentment towards my husband began to fester. Worst of all, I began to question my openness to life. I was definitely under spiritual attack. I knew from past experiences that I could not go this journey alone. I sought Jesus in prayer, in my husband, in Adoration, in the sacraments, and in spiritual direction (from a Priest). I ran to Him!
I was eventually able to cooperate with His grace but the surrendering has not been easy. Financial stress due to our tight budget, debt, uncertainty of pay, two broken down vehicles, college looming in the very near future, and our inability to meet some basic needs continues to infringe on my joy. My lack of energy has led to a series of other issues such as lack of physical exercise, bad eating, and poor self-image. My home remains out of my control and my children remain solely in His grace. It is not what I desired or had planned for this pregnancy but I know that it is exactly where He calls me to be.
I trust that He knows best and His plan is far better than any plan I could create. He so graciously leads me to this place of complete surrendering, where my only choice is to offer it up and move on with complete trust in Him and his wondrous ways, Our Blessed Mother is my guide. I must walk in faith.
He fills me with peace. The kind of peace that cannot be explained. The kind of peace that is mocked because it makes one look foolish to eyes of the secular world. The kind of peace that propels one to live for Christ at all costs, at all times, with only the goal of bringing glory to the Heavenly Father.
I realize that this peace is a consolation. Its presence or absence should not dictate my movement or heart. Yet, I am human and I dearly give thanks for His moments of consolation. He meets me right where I am to encourage me forward, to the depths of refinement that He wills for me.
This peace that comes at this moment in my pregnancies is a beautiful gift that I treasure. It removes all doubts, anxieties, stressors, and all other barriers that keep me from Him. It is my sign that the time is near. I will be taken further into the desert to experience an agony, stripping, great pain, a passion like experience – my labor and delivery of Baby G. I am not alone in this journey. He will be with me and Our Blessed mother will comfort me. My husband will be my physical rock to raise me up to Him when I am too weak to call His name. May the Passion of Christ be my stength.
I can birth my child for it is His plan for me. I will find peace and give thanks in whatever events occur. I only ask for His will to be done.
Refine me Lord through the delivery of Baby G.
Continued prayers for you and yours from a mother about to enter labor.
This post is included in my pregnancy reflections. You can find the other posts of my 31 Days here.