What ‘Immeasurably More’ Looked Like to Me: My Birth Story
I wrote a blog about being pregnant and overdue and expressed the great vulnerability I felt being in this position. I mentioned in that blog that it was meant to be proof of my prayers and pleas to God and testimony to the faithfulness the AWESOMENESS of my God and that He would truly come through for me. I promised I would share it with you when He did!
The truth is, I struggled a lot the week after writing that! I struggled with the idea that my body wasn’t working the way it was meant to and with the fact that I couldn’t plan ahead and was frustrated every day I woke up with the same massive pregnant belly! I grappled with God the way Jonah did in the Bible and I complained a bit too much, sulking from 7-10am every morning. But truly, truly, truly, if I KNEW what God had in store for me I would NOT have sulked for a minute. Finally at 41 weeks, I heard God speak to me at church. He said: ‘Bianca, I’m going to take you to the very end of yourself and stretch your faith as far as it can go but I am going to bless you incredibly at the end of it.’
Well, He did MORE than that. If you’re curious, here’s what my AWESOME and MIGHTY God did!
1. He delayed her birth by the exact amount of time needed to ensure that after Henry’s paternity leave of two weeks I would not spend a SINGLE day by myself as my father arrives within that time to help. Henry had to use one of his paternity days to support me during the early stages of labour but because his time off overlaps with my dad coming I didn’t have to worry that he was using one of his few off days to allow me to go through a slow early labour by taking care of my son.
2. He gave me the two weeks of mental rest I begged him for (with tears) as I had so much going on up to the week before I was due. I had an amazing amount of rest for over two weeks.
3. He allowed me to spend tremendous amounts of quality time with my husband and son as Henry has a month off of his MBA and we obviously had no weekend plans. The time together was so sweet and I could tell Ethan was really nourished by it.
4. He gave me such beautiful moments with Ethan to enjoy him fully before my attention was split, like hearing him sing his ABCs for the first time, begin showing a real passion for worship and just walking about the park and going for a movie date to see Mama Mia.
5. He timed my birth so that the heat wave had passed and I didn’t have to worry about labouring in the heat! The temperature was finally cool enough for me to take an amazing two hour walk the evening of her birth, which ultimately sped up my labour.
6. He allowed Henry and I to go to one of our closest friend’s weddings on Tuesday 14 August (where Henry was a groomsman!), where we enjoyed a lovely last hoorah in the gorgeous countryside. I had a phenomenal amount of vitality that allowed me to even throw down some dance moves at the end of the long wedding day. It was awesome being able to show our friend our love for him by turning up 41+2 days overdue!
7. He timed my labour in such a way that I didn’t need any childcare for Ethan but he was able to stay with us and then slept soundly through the crazy active phases of my labour, which ended up being a….
8. HOMEBIRTH! I actually had my baby girl at home, successfully, on the floor of my living room, at 9:29pm at night, with worship music blasting, a 30 minute boost with gas and air and the hardcore, persistent prayer of my husband who saw it ALL this time. Ethan also saw quite a bit so hoping he just thinks his mother is a lioness and saw power not vulnerability, revolutionising the way he will see women in the future (wishful thinking?!?). Seeing that he went to sleep peacefully after seeing and hearing me scream down the whole of SE1 London, was a little miracle in itself :)
9. He certainly took me to the end of myself, having gone to 41+4 weeks pregnant and JUST missing/avoiding the induction I was booked in to have the morning after!!! My early labour was also 20 hours long, with excruciating pains as close as 3 minutes apart! By 6pm on Thursday I told my midwife that I didn’t have it in me to continue and would go in for the induction and an epidural on the Friday. But Henry reminded me that I am mighty through God and this incredible song reinforced it! I also had God’s promise of blessing at the end written on my soul. I drew on the might of God and by some miracle He got me through 90% of my active labour without any painkillers except the TENS machine we only were given on Monday, at 41+1 weeks!! What’s more, my active labour was just 2hrs long, just enough to push my mental state to its very end then relieve me in the the most amazing way with a child born in my own home; not a hospital was walked into the entire time!
10. He gave me a supernatural experience right before I gave birth. Despite how much I doubted my ability to withstand pain, God filled my body with so much strength to literally ROAR through my last few contractions. During one in particular which brought my daughter down to crowning, I felt as though I touched heaven, and that the noise I was making was fuelled by God’s voice Itself, that it rang out to the whole heavens and I raised my hands in the air to the background sound of John Piper in this song saying that ALL of our pain and affliction is so meaningful and ultimately because of our shared suffering with Christ we will share in His glory one day! Literally for the first time in my life I experienced and touched God’s glory and I know what it feels like! I’m never going back!
11. Finally, I’m here now, writing this, holding my daughter in my bed, without even a single stitch in my lady parts. My daughter showed no sign of distress in the womb and was able to poo after delivery. I’m left in awe, in full awe, of what Jesus can do when you let Him stretch you and when you put your life fully in His hands!!!! I’ll say it again, I’m never going back. I’m living by radical faith from now on!
Listen to me! The world will give you a ‘due date’, a perfect timing for you to achieve something, to feel adequate, to feel secure. But Jesus, He has his own due date for your life’s milestones and you do NOT want to miss out on how He will blow your mind if you just let go and let Him take you all the way to that supernatural place of living by faith, in the perfect will and timing of our Almighty God!