…You Make Me Strong

My Baby Girl was finally born on June 8th, 2011, at 7:34 in the evening!  Praise the Lord, my princess is here, the false labor is over, my recovery can begin… and we can officially start this new chapter as a family. This was an incredibly healthy birth, from start to finish — successful VBAC, healthy baby girl, healthy mama… amazing adventure.

Beautiful Baby Girl

What was also incredible to me was, in fact, that I still did not escape the traumatic birth experience.  My first child’s birth was emotionally traumatic… I struggled for months afterward to cope with c-section after laboring all day and night.

First Birth - Transition to Surgery

I worked hard to hand the real control of this pregnancy over to the Lord… to honor Him in my stewardship over this young Baby Girl.  I felt He put her in my life because he knew the way I would strive to take care of her was just the way she needed to be cared for.  I did as much preparation as I could, research, asking questions, making decisions, prayerfully considering what I needed.  I began to deal with all my fears as well.  I know that birth is just the beginning, but in my family’s background there have been a range of scary and unsuccessful experiences.  My first birth had shattered a lot of my confidence at being able to handle a second birth, no matter which way things went.  Something meant to be so joyful instead became a sour and hurtful area… a place of isolation in fear rather than celebration.  Yeah, Satan really got in there… for a while.

My Baby Boy

About a month before the baby was due, I was feeling a confidence and strength that has lacked up until now.  I began to look forward to this experience instead of fearing it.

Now, here I avoided making this pregnancy about any of those first-birth things, went all the way to vaginal birth and beyond, and still — this birth proved to be just as traumatic in its own way.

This go-round, my pain was mostly physical.  There was some emotion to it, but more than anything else was the shock to my body.  I have never done anything as hard as this.  Ever.  Not even climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can compare to it.

Thank you for praying for me and with me.  This has been an emotional, and physically traumatic, month or so for us.

I am so pleased and thrilled and thankful that the Lord saw fit to bless our VBAC attempt.  I had so much support while in labor.  When we finally got to the other side of delivery and they weighed Crystal in at 9 1/2 lbs, I was shocked.  There is nothing quite like knowing that the concerns about her size and health were not only in the hands of the Lord but that he took us to the opposite end of the spectrum from where we asked her to be (born May 20th — around 37-38 wks — at a dainty 7 lbs) to where she ended up (born June 8th — around 41-42 wks — at a hefty 9 1/2lbs).  It just goes to show that what we want and what God can do are often two very different things… and just because we don’t get what we ask for doesn’t mean we aren’t going to be incredibly blessed and wowed by the outcome.

My Hubby and Doula at Crystal's birth

I know that birth happens every day, and many of you have seen it or done it over and over in your lives or your families’ and friends’ lives, but for myself, this was a harrowing experience and I want to share about it as a testimony to God’s grace, sufficiency, and healing in my life.  I am so glad to be on this side of the whole ordeal, but knowing what Satan stole from me the first time around with Clay, how he invaded my sense of womanhood and confidence in myself, how he snatched a lot of peace from my family as a result, I now reclaim that — not with the VBAC, but with the process of leaning into God as I faced those fears and hurts again this time around.  I am so thankful that God is returning those things which were lost.  Again, not because the VBAC was successful, but through everything he did in me in the process.

Thanks for reading, Friends.  Hope it is an encouragement to you.

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