As you embrace this miraculous adventure, take the time to get still a be present. I have had two very different pregnancy, labor and delivery experiences. Taking the time to get still and present helped connect me to this spiritual and physical experience.
I had the easiest pregnancy with Elijah but a very, very difficult labor and delivery. During pregnancy, I had a ton of energy, my body was in amazing shape, my skin glowed, I slept peacefully, life literally radiated from me. I was able to keep with my entire yoga practice all the way through my first day of labor. I even taught yoga during my first day of labor! As I got still, I would have visions of Elijah when he was two years old running through fields of grass. My intuition said this little boy was going to be fast!! I was totally prepared to go to the hospital. My bags were packed, house spotless, read lots of birthing books including Hypo Birthing. I read stories of how women in Africa would work all day, go over to a wall, squat and birth their beautiful babies. I thought this was going to be easy, I totally know how to breath, to get calm and prayed continuously for God’s ever present help. My labor started 9am on a Tuesday Morning. The contractions horrible. BACK LABOR IS A NIGHTMARE!! They continued to progress through the night, making it impossible to eat, to drink or sleep. Weds came and I spent the day in all 4s in the yoga pose cat/cow with back rolls. Quietly I breathed. Thursday came, the contractions unbearable. I called my husband home from the hospital hoping to be far enough along that the hospital would keep me there. I wanted so badly to have a natural water birth. That was my birth plan. My husband and my mom took me to Sutter Davis Hospital. They checked me and still not dilated that far! How can that be, I thought??!! But because of the amount of pain, they kept me and hooked me and Elijah up to monitor our heart rates. I spent most of the time in the shower and would fall asleep between every contraction for about 2 minutes before the next contraction would arrive. I tried getting in the tub at least 4 different times with my midwife and doula saying try not to push. I was dilated to 9 almost a 10 for hours of laboring. With Elijah at risk, they asked me to please take Pitocin, which intensified the contractions greatly! Friday comes around still not fully dilated. My midwife has me get out of the tub and lay on my back in the hospital bed. She needs to finish releasing me. During the most painful contraction, she reaches her hand inside of me and releases my cervix, I cry out in pain. She broke my water and it was finally time to push. Elijah was sunny side up meaning his spine was against my spine. I pushed for over 2 hours, he was stuck. Tired, exhausted, in incredible amounts of pain, my body swelled up so much that I didn’t even look recognizable. Finally, my sweet angel made his debut. My fighter. He was taken away from me right away because he swallowed meconium. This experience wasn’t just traumatic on me. It was traumatic for him. Only 6 pounds 3 ounces, he was brought back to me. With tears, I said to him we did it. Blessed, he was able to stay with me throughout the night with his ear pressed against my heart and his breath gently calmed. After two nights in the hospital, I was able to bring Elijah home. Our home was prepared and we created a sanctuary of peace for him to acclimate to this new world.
Fast forward two years.
My second pregnancy, I thought I am having a girl. Nauseous, horrible skin, exhausted, the complete opposite of being pregnant with Elijah. I was about 14 weeks pregnant where something in me said no you are having a boy. I started seeing the name Isaiah everywhere. As I got still, I kept hearing the word he is strong!! I prayed continuously and filled with joy knowing Elijah would love to have a little brother. As the pregnancy progressed, I still kept up with my exercises, running and yoga. At about 7.5 months pregnant, I kept hearing soften and surrender. I signed up for Birth Wisdom Yoga Teacher Training. I stopped running and started a gentle home yoga practice. After going through Julia Piazza’s Birth Wisdom Yoga Teacher Training, I recognize it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me to create space within my pelvic floor for Isaiah to be born. I commuted to practicing Birth Wisdom Yoga & Birth Breath. I prayed for Jesus help. I was not only scared for labor and delivery; I was scared to leave Elijah overnight. He has never not had mommy. He is my cuddle bug, my best friend. On a Weds Morning, Halloween, at 5:30am I started cramping. My husband already left for work. I honestly thought it was just the green juice I had the night before and I needed to poop. I had been feeling for weeks that Isaiah’s head was super low; I already had hemorrhoids, again this pregnancy so different. I waited an hour and took a hot bath. I noticed that the cramping was happening like clock work and downloaded a contraction counter app and texted my mom can you stop by on your way to work, I may be going into labor. This labor was so different though. It was bearable. She came by and then went into work and said text me if they start to progress. I texted her by 7:30 am and said please come. Elijah woke to me in labor. Seeing me in labor frightened Elijah and luckily my mom was able to get to my house by 8:30am. At that time, I was scared to drive an hour to Sutter Davis Birthing Center only to be sent home. The labor pains bearable without back labor. I thought this couldn’t be it. I then said, I need to call Daniil home from work. He got home by 9ish. We had to pack the bags, put car seat in the car, and get things ready! It was 9 days before my due date and I planned cleaning the house and getting ready that day without expecting Isaiah to come early. With a messy house, left for the hospital. When we arrived, they took me back to check. I was ready to push!!! The midwife called in, the tub began to fill. Worship music filled the room and candles gently lit the space. The midwife arrived, it was a man!! He pressed into my hemorrhoids to help alleviate pain. How embarrassing!! I asked Daniil to put the song Take Courage by Kristene Dimarco on repeat. I needed God’s presence. Moaning, crying out my voice strong and active. Repeating soften create space for Isaiah and encouraging him that he is strong and courageous. I spoke freely out loud. Something I did not do with Elijah. I looked at the nurse and the midwife and said, hope you do not get offended I need to pray out loud. I started crying out in prayer, asking for Jesus to help. Isaiah was born at 12:02pm Weds in the tub in peace. His body laid upon mine. He didn’t cry. Peace filled the room. What a difference!!!
The labor and delivery of Isaiah was easier than Elijah but the day we brought Isaiah home from the hospital was very hard. Elijah spiked a high fever and couldn’t receive mommy cuddles or come near his new brother. Elijah and mommy’s hearts broken. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with joy and at the same time sorrow. I cried begging for God for help. My mom and Daniil took him immediately to the Doctor and no infection but most likely a virus. My mom said that it slowly progressed in the day the more he missed me. In my heart I felt the fever came on because he watched me labor until she could come & I didn’t come home until afternoon the next day. He’s never not had me and to watch me labor and progress so quickly scared him. When I got home he felt replaced and not able to go near Isaiah just in case he was exposed to a virus. He cried for me and I couldn’t hold him the way he needed to be held. I myself broken and crying that this joyful time was filled with brokenness. Elijah started crying over everything, acting out. Again I went into my room with Isaiah and just cried. I wanted so badly to hold both my boys. To give kisses, hugs and cuddle up together as a family. As I prayed, I felt peace. I knew Isaiah would be protected. I laid Isaiah down. Daniil and I cuddled up to Elijah on the couch just as it used to be. We put on a movie and I silently cried. Tears pouring down my checks. The more love I gave him, the more the fever went down. Extra love from Daniil, and lots of time and extra love from Grandma & Grandpa carried Elijah through. With the fever gone, we got into bed, cuddled up and he fell asleep to me telling him about the day we brought him home from the hospital. With the fever gone for over 2 days he can finally love on his little brother. Our prayers answered and now our home is filled with peace and LOVE.
I share my stories hoping to encourage you mamas. You are stronger than you think you are. Pray continuously. Let your emotions flow free. Know your voice. Remember every breath is a gift and it’s the moments like this we never want to forget.
Need prayer? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember the lyrics from Cory Asbury – Reckless Love
“Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”
Creator of Roos Wraps