Biblical Womanhood, Birth Stories, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Asher’s Birth Story

January 5, 2013

Ashers Birth Story

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. {Psalm 127:3}

First and foremost, I want to praise Jesus for a safe, beautiful, all-natural birth! This is what I hoped and prayed for, and it was His strength that sustained both Asher and I from conception all the way to the moment of delivery. So all glory and thanks goes to Him.

Friday morning, February 18th 2011, I had my 39 week appointment. I was 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. It was still about a week before our due date, and I’d stopped entertaining hopes of Asher coming early. So although it was nice to see that I’d made a little bit of progress, we weren’t expecting anything other than a normal day and went about things as usual.

We took a long walk that morning, and I also did some lunges and a teeny, tiny bit of jogging, on complete impulse- Thane looked at me like I was crazy- ha! Later in the afternoon we did some shopping and then stopped by a museum on post. Afterwards we went home and took a nice nap till about 5pm. I had been feeling extra achy all day and had been having very mild irregular contractions, but nothing different from all the previous Braxton-Hicks that had been going on since I hit 36 weeks. I was also having some light bleeding, but that started during my cervical check and the midwife told me to expect it. (On a side note, she had been offering to sweep my membranes, and tempting as it was I decided against it. I wanted to leave it in God’s hands and for Asher to come when he was ready.)

But then, to our surprise, I started having regular contractions around 7:30pm that same night that were about 8 to 10 minutes apart. Those lasted for a couple of hours. I think I knew it was the real thing, but didn’t allow myself to admit it for a while to avoid disappointment just in case it wasn’t. We decided not to tell anyone so that they wouldn’t be awake worrying all night, but it was hard not to! And that’s about when they started getting more painful and coming every 5 minutes or so. Thane and I went to bed and put a birthing relaxation CD on. We were going to try to get some sleep, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to since the contractions were getting too intense to ignore. I got up and filled up the tub, hoping that would help. But it wasn’t very comfortable, so I showered and packed a few last minute things. Very soon, they were about 2.5 minutes apart and becoming increasingly intense and painful. I didn’t know what to do to manage them anymore, so we decided to go to the hospital.

We arrived at Martin Army around 1:30am and I was worried that we were getting there too soon. I’d only been having contractions for a few hours and they’d been pretty mild to medium until the previous 30 minutes. But luckily we didn’t wait longer! I was close to transition when we arrived, being 6-7 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I had to lay back to get the Hep lock and have blood drawn, which took forever and was a terribly uncomfortable position to endure the contractions. The ladies doing it were so slow, even Thane agreed to that. The pain was mostly in my lower back and I had no back support on the bed. My midwife was called in and arrived shortly, it was so good to see her! Unknown to me at the time, the doctor who admitted me went to go get the anesthesiologist to talk about an epidural, but she had enough confidence in me to tell him I wasn’t going to need it and stopped him in his tracks. It never entered my mind to ask for one, but I’m glad it wasn’t even mentioned to me all the same. {Although at one point I did have the thought that if an emergency arose and I needed a last minute C-section, I would gladly take it!} But beyond that, all I could do was focus on enduring each contraction one by one and attempt to relax and stay sane between each of them. That was hard because my whole body felt jarred even during the breaks and relaxing was pretty much impossible.

After being on the bed in the delivery room for a little while, I got up to use the bathroom and realized it was comfortable to sit on the toilet with my pelvis opened up. I had Thane stand there and I’d hold onto him and pull down on his shirt. That was one of the most helpful things. Not long after my midwife suggested I get in the shower, and so I got in and Thane hosed me off with warm water continually. That really helped. There wasn’t even time for me to consider using the birthing tub like I had planned, but the hot water on my back was probably the best thing I could have had at that point. She offered to break my water, which she said could decrease the rest of my laboring time from four hours to 45 minutes. It was definitely tempting, but before I had time to make any decisions another contraction was there and all my mental capacity was gone again. {But praise God, he was born within 45 minutes anyway.}

“So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.'” {Hebrews 13:6a}

In the shower I was able to grip onto a bar and lean into each contraction, and that’s where I started to feel the urge to push. It was such a strong force that I almost threw up. But I had to hold off to allow my cervical lip to dilate fully. It was such a strong, irresistible force and almost impossible to hold back. Fortunately I only had to hold off for a few more contractions before I was fully dilated.

It wasn’t long before the midwife could tell Asher was near delivery and got me out of the shower and back to the bed. Once there, I pushed on all fours for about 20 or 30 minutes, leaning over the back of the bed which was raised up. It was such a relief to push, and I pushed with more might than I knew I had. Then she had me lay down on my side and hold one of my knees up and back while she sat at the end of the bed and braced my other foot. I just had to curl and push a few times before she had me reach down and feel his head. At some point around this time my water broke naturally. Another push or two, and I could feel his head almost out. He started to crown and thus came the much anticipated “ring of fire”. It was intense, but it honestly wasn’t that bad compared to everything else, and I was instructed to stop pushing at the end of the contraction that started his crowning.

And soon enough another one came. I gave another series of huge pushes, felt him crown, then felt the shape of the shoulders which popped out one by one, and all of a sudden he was on my chest! Moving around, breathing and crying immediately. It was such an incredible thing, I couldn’t believe he was born so soon! I always imagined labor being this long, drawn out process where I’d have plenty of time to think and anticipate the actual moment of birth, but it all flew by in such a whirlwind that it was truly hard to believe it was over and that Asher was here.

Ashers Birth Story 2 Asher's Birth Story 4 Asher's Birth Story 3

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. {James 1:17}

Once again, praise God! It was amazing, definitely the most intense experience of my life. I love thinking back to what it was like those first moments as he laid there on my chest. I’m not sure how exactly to describe it, but it was like nothing else! Just purely wonderful. There he was, just 7.5 hours after it all started back at home. It was so amazing to hold him and to see his face! He nursed almost immediately and we got to spend a whole hour together before the doctor asked if she could take him to do his vitals and weight, which were all done right in the same room. I owe it all to Christ for blessing us with such a precious gift, and for sustaining us both throughout the entire experience.

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