Birth is not just a physical event and definitely not a medical event. For humans, it was designed by the Creator as the way to bring forth those created in His image. Because He has created us eternal, spiritual beings, it is first of all a spiritual event. A true miracle is taking place in the birth of an eternal person and there are no words adequate to describe the impact of being present when that person is birthed from the secret place into the world.
Birth is also the completion of a cycle of life and the beginning of another. The Creator commanded us to be fruitful and multiply and made a man and a woman to complement each other in that process. He designed them to be united as two into one and in the peace and intimacy of their union to bring forth children to be brought up to know Him. The child is conceived in intimacy and the completion of the cycle of bringing forth that fruit of love is also an intimate act. It requires peace and a trust in the One who designed it all to safeguard the whole process. There is a special work done in the parents as far as their relationship to one another and to the One who made them and brought them together, as well as in the relationship to their children when birth is seen from this viewpoint.
I have been privileged to give birth to six children and to be present at many more births and to have my Father transform my thinking gradually about the whole process. This sixth birth has been the most wonderful event in my life in enjoying birth the way it was designed to be. I had two babies in hospitals, two at home with the medical system present, one unassisted at home with still too big of an audience, and this one that was just my husband and myself.
The whole pregnancy was another step of the journey in trusting my Father, as I conceived a child at 43 and about 70 lbs. overweight with borderline high blood pressure. I asked my Father that I wouldn’t gain any weight with this pregnancy and I did not diet to keep from doing so. He led me to make some very simple changes in the way I eat by increasing the amount of raw food I eat and decreasing cooked foods, meat and dairy. I felt the best this pregnancy of all of them as long as I was eating this way. My blood pressure came down to normal, also.
As the pregnancy progressed, I wondered if I was having twins because of how quickly my uterus was growing. I did not really desire to have twins even though every one else in the family did. One reason was knowing the complications that can arise with a twin birth and the other being I felt too old to cope with two little babies (and eventually toddlers) at once. I came to the point of really believing that I had two babies in my womb and had to come to a place of surrender and trust in my Father about it. I even got excited about the thought. My Father used this in my life in a tremendous way, even to be willing to share what I thought and be willing to be wrong and appear foolish.
I asked Him for the baby’s head to engage in the pelvis when I was about 36 weeks and shortly after that it happened. My first baby is the only one who dropped before labor and that was over 23 years ago so my memories of labor had a lot to do with all the pressure in the pelvis. I spent two weeks feeling like I was in labor and had to go through the process of learning to trust Father for His time for the birth. I did try nipple stimulation to try and get labor going on about three occasions and it did not keep labor going. I was tempted to try herbs, also, but decided He wanted me to trust Him about it.
I got bigger than I have ever been and there was so much baby movement and I just wanted it to be over with. The waiting was getting extremely wearisome to both my husband and me and also to the rest of the family. I did begin to lose the mucous plug about two weeks before the birth and then on Friday night, September 24th, I lost a little blood tinged mucous, but nothing else was going on and we had a pretty decent night’s sleep.
When I got up in the morning, there was a little more blood tinged mucous and the pressure was greater than it had been. I had contractions throughout the day, but they were usually 10 – 20 minutes apart and irregular, as the rest of my contractions had been for the last two weeks. They were stronger feeling, though, and felt more like labor contractions to me. I was really hoping it would be the day. I had prayed for a quiet and peaceful house. We had all our children here and a very good friend and her daughter the first time we thought we were starting labor, and even though they were just to be present in the house and not in with us for the birth, it was too much commotion and confusion.
We wanted this to be a husband and wife event and after that experience, decided we would let everybody know right after the baby was born. We were hoping for a middle of the night birth while everyone was sleeping. My son, J., was spending the day with a friend until about 4pm. About 3:00, I had a couple of contractions that seemed to be getting closer together and longer. Right after that, my daughters J., A., and R. took off for the library and the grocery store. As soon as the girls left, the contractions started coming sooner and harder. Dh R. was playing Free Cell on the computer and I told him I thought we were going to have the baby today and played a little more with him (teamwork wins more games). I was really getting uncomfortable, so convinced him to stop and went into the bathroom.
I had a lot of blood tinged, slimy mucous and knew that it wasn’t too long until we would be having a baby. We started setting up, but R. still was not thinking I was really doing it yet. Then I had another contraction and felt like I needed to get into the bathroom. Even though it was difficult to walk in there during the contraction, I did so and as soon as I got there my water broke all over the floor. There was meconium in the water but I didn’t feel it was cause for alarm so just committed it to the Lord. The waters breaking is what convinced my husband we were going to have a baby and he started getting that adrenalin rush and was somewhat jittery while he cleaned up the mess and we finished setting up. Son J. came home just before this, but had forgotten to bring home some of his stuff so we had to send him back over to get it, so he was not here when the waters broke. He came back home and R. set him up watching the Prince of Egypt and asked him to not disturb us, and amazingly he didn’t (a feat for my 6 year-old talkative boy!) After the waters broke, we had a little break with no contractions. When they started up they felt like pushing contractions. I found that the most comfortable position during them was on my knees with my legs spread apart and sometimes dropping to hands and knee.
Sometimes I would stand but usually would end up down on my knees again. R. was so sweet and supportive. When he saw that I was sweating, he went and got a rag wet and started wiping my face and neck in between contractions. It felt so good. He started laughing during it all and would get me laughing and that would bring on another contraction. It was a really precious time for us. After pushing that way for quite a few contractions, I felt like I needed to change positions, and changed to a squatting position using the bed behind me for support for my elbows.
The head started really moving down then and was soon crowning. The next contraction the head came out and R. told me the head was facing towards my tailbone and asked if that was okay. I told him that was the best way for it to be. Then he said “There’s a hand – a little hand on the cheek!” I knew then that the baby was coming out with a nuchal hand. The next contraction I was not budging the baby, so felt like I should switch to a hand’s and knees position. I know it confused R. a little as I did that with the head hanging out but he just went with the flow and handled it very well.
With the next contraction there still was a little resistance and then suddenly the baby was out and R. was exclaiming, “It’s a girl!” He told me afterwards that all of a sudden she stuck out her arm and her body came out right behind and he had fun catching her because she was so slippery. He remembered reading something that one of the ladies on a birth forum had written about what to do when the baby is born and put her face down to drain any fluids from her mouth and nose. He said she was moving her mouth before she was even out like she wanted to breathe and as soon as she was out she started hollering and did not quit for about 10 – 15 minutes.
R. wrapped her in a towel and handed her to me during this time and started crying. He was so overwhelmed by it all. I was trying to figure out if there was still another baby and what I should do next plus trying to put the baby to the breast. She did not want it right then as she still wanted to holler. Then I felt another contraction and something moving down the birth canal and coming out. I said something to R. and he looked and figured out it was the placenta as it dropped into his hands. It was the one thing he had felt squeemish about and Father put it right in his hands, but it was all enclosed in the membranes and a very tidy little package.
It did not take me long then to figure out that there was not another baby coming. At first I was keenly disappointed, and then I was relieved for I didn’t really look forward to another head coming out after the one that just did. R. then handed me the things to tie the cord. I offered for him to do it but he told me I knew what I was doing and let me do it.
After we all settled down a bit, R. stuck his head out the door and told the kids that they had a little sister. The girls had come home a few minutes before she was born and he had only told them that I was in labor. When he put his head out the door, everyone was waiting right out in the hall. Then they all came in to meet their sister. I thought that J. would have problems with her being a girl because he wanted a brother so much. He was just excited. After a little while, he asked when the other baby was going to be born and was briefly disappointed when we told him there was only one.
J. is so excited about his new sister. He wanted to know all about the placenta, so I showed it to him and how the bag would be around the baby as I checked it over. Everyone else got all grossed out by it, including R. Not J., though. He is our scientist.
Then R. had the kids go out and got a pad on the swivel rocker for me to sit and nurse our daughter. When I got up I had soaked the pad I was sitting on with blood. I nursed Gaelyn and after a while, they noticed the pad I was sitting on was all bloody and some of it was going down my leg. I figured I might be losing a little too much and had one of the girls get me some cayenne pepper in some juice and also some of the strong red raspberry tea I had prepared the day before. As she continued to nurse, I massaged the uterus. After that, the flow went to normal and I have had no more problems with it.
Gaelyn E. was born at about 5:45 pm on September 25, 1999. When we measured her, her head was 14½ inches and her length was 22½ inches. A friend brought up a good bathroom scale the next day and she weighs a little over ten pounds but we don’t know the ounces. I think it would be less than half a pound. We say she is our ten-pound bag of sugar. Gaelyn is a derivative of Abigail and means “Father’s joy” and Elisabethe means “God’s oath” which to me means “The Lord is Faithful”. We both were crying out to Him before she was born and choosing to trust Him. During the labor, we were both calling out to Him as she was being born and we testify that He is Faithful and that He has given us His joy in giving us such a sweet and precious little daughter.