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Biblical Womanhood

My Second Baptism

January 22, 2016

Baptism | www.sarahkeller.com

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail not too long ago- these photos of my second baptism! I was baptized in January of 2013 on our last Sunday at the most wonderful church we’ve ever been blessed to be a part of, and it’s a true gift to have it documented in pictures. This was technically my second baptism, the first being at the age of eight. But in this case, there was something that wasn’t quite right; I didn’t have a genuine relationship with Christ at the age of eight- some children do, but not me- nor did I understand what the biblical model of baptism meant at that age.

But praise God that He kept pursuing me through my childhood and into my early adulthood, and once He did give me the gift of genuine faith and salvation, I had a moment of clear conviction that I needed to be baptized again.

Annnd, I ignored it…

For a few reasons: 1) I didn’t want to get out of the pew and actually do something in front of people, because that meant stepping out of my comfort zone. 2) I didn’t want to publicly admit that I’d been putting it off and living in disobedience to God’s Word and to His personal call. 3) I didn’t want to look out of place as a 28 year old being baptized when you usually only see eight year-olds {ha!} and new believers doing it. Oh, the excuses I weave together when I want to resist God!

But, consistent as He is, He kept reminding me. And finally, after about six years of feeling Him tug, He gave me the courage to- finally- step out in faith and do it! And let me tell you, it was more beautiful than I could ever have anticipated. It happened in the knick of time- at our last day at our church in Georgia before moving to New York. Our Pastor was so incredibly kind and gracious and turned the occasion into a short message about why I was being baptized a second time, as well as some of the amazing things God had been doing in our family. And the cherry on top was being surrounded by dear, dear friends. But regardless of those things, all that really mattered was that the name of Jesus was proclaimed and that by His grace, His patience, and His strength, I was finally stepping out in obedience to Him.

On that note, let’s face it; being baptized is no where near as scary as I was making it out to be. There was absolutely no reason to allow myself to shy away from doing it for so long. This was my chance to follow Jesus’ own example- see Mathew 3:13- out of love and commitment to Him. To identify myself as His own, as awkward, as hopelessly flawed, and as sinful as much of my life is. And it was such a tiny act in comparison to what He subjected Himself to on the cross. Yet even taking this simple step of faith and pursing a second baptism had little to do with me, because I didn’t summon up the courage to do it on my own. This was all an act of God, in every facet, and I know that He’s the One who shined that day!

And then…relief. There’s such joy in a clear conscience before God!

Obviously there are different opinions on how to interpret what the bible says about baptism, and I really don’t think that this is an issue that should ever divide the family of God. So if you’re in a different camp of thought on this topic, that’s okay! As long as we’re all doing our best to continutally read, learn, and prayerfully examine what the bible says about any and every issue, we’re on the right track. In the case of baptism, there are a few very clearly stated truths and examples. We know for a fact that baptism is “not the removal of the filth of the flesh” (1 Peter 3: 21b), for no outward cleansing or work of man can purify us from our sins or reconcile us to God*. But instead, baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 3:21c). And this “good conscience toward God” is exactly what being baptized a second time as a mature, believing adult gave me. It allowed me to obey His command (Mathew 28:19-20), to demonstrate my repentance, (as called for in Acts 2:38), and to follow the biblical model of baptism which Jesus Himself demonstrated in Mathew 3:13.

I’m so, so thankful for His patience with me over the years- in so much more than just this, trust me- and I hope that I can encourage you if you’re a believing adult with the same circumstances. If you think you may need to re-baptized- or even baptized for the first time- go for it! You’ll be amazed at how He blesses you.

Praise God for His goodness!

P.S. You can’t tell from the photos, but baby Silas got dunked too!

NOTE
*For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God… {Ephesians 2:8}

Biblical Womanhood, Motherhood

To Be a Fly On Another Mom’s Wall

March 12, 2015

Fly-On-Wall

Sometimes I wish I could be a fly on another mom’s wall. Just to see what a “normal day” looks like at another home. We have a routine that we try to stick to, some days it goes well, and other days it doesn’t. But generally, I do my best to make our mornings at home productive. Meaning plenty of play time, craft time, book reading, cooking together in the kitchen {we make a lot of smoothies and dough together} and anything that doesn’t involve the TV being on before 1pm.

Some days this all goes wonderfully and I think “yay, I love being a mom!”, and other days I feel defeated before we even start. I wake up wondering how in the world I’m going to muster the energy and motivation and patience that I know I need but just isn’t there. I make a point to ask God to help me be good to my boys before I even get out of the bed. But as much as I know that He’s with me and ready to help me every second of my day and that I would utterly fail without Him, being a mom is still one of the most challenging and demanding things I’ve ever done.

I love taking photos of the boys and capturing them in the good moments, and there are so many good moments. I don’t want to minimize the absolute blessing of motherhood. It means so much more to me than a job or a hobby ever has. But I also don’t want to paint an unrealistic picture of it. What you don’t see in the photos are the tantrums, the fighting, the food all over the floor, the toilet paper unrolled all over the bathroom for the thousandth time, the whining over nothing, and worst of all, my selfish, impatient, and sometimes explosive reaction to it. Granted, the long cold winter indoors and being massively pregnant and tired doesn’t help. But oh my goodness, sometimes it’s just plain hard no matter what the circumstances.

And to be perfectly honest? Sometimes it’s the days that I give up and don’t worry over the details that are the best; the days that the TV is on way too long and I get the space to just relax and stop tallying the success for failure of my every move. I do my best to not let those days happen too often… But when they do, I’m learning to be okay with it. I don’t want to be a super-mom. Whatever that really means, it sounds exhausting. I’m okay with being a far-from-perfect mom that leans on Jesus and finds her identity in who He says I am; loved, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, most definitely imperfect, but empowered for good by His strength. And then passing the knowledge of Him onto my boys.

I know I’ll never be a perfect mom. But I want to be one that shows them what it means to rely on God, ask for forgiveness, and humbly press on when sin gets the best of me {yet another thing I need to work on doing better}. I’d rather have it that way than to parade a false exterior of perfection that masks the bankrupt nature of our souls apart from our Redeemer.

This isn’t a self-serving anthem to quit trying, because I always want to do my best. I think it’s more of a realization that “my best” is often a moot point when it’s anchored in anything else other than Christ. And it’s when I get my gaze fixed on Him- where it belongs- that He brings me out of the fog long enough to remember that I am blessed beyond belief. That I’m an undeserving but ever grateful daughter of God and that I have a beautiful family that I would not trade for the world.

All this being said, I still want to peak in on the day to day lives of other moms! I still want to feel like I’m doing okay and to remember that we’re in this together. To have the fellowship and community and support that only others in these {very busy} shoes can offer. Isn’t it wonderful when we do get that? I am so thankful to all of you who rejoice with me, sympathize with me, and just flat out understand the blessing and challenge of motherhood!

 

Biblical Womanhood, Family Adventures, Motherhood

Three Boys & Three Moves

February 12, 2015

Baby Boy Knit Hat

When it comes to having babies in the Keller family, we stick to a pattern; pop out a boy, and then move. We did it with Asher, we did it Silas, and- you guessed it- here we go again. Our next little guy is due to arrive in the middle of April, and our next move is scheduled to happen about six weeks after that.

When I found out we had to move into a hotel for five months a mere six weeks after having Asher, I cried. When I found out we had to move into a hotel for two months about six weeks after having Silas {and then see Thane off on another deployment}, I sighed. When I found out we had to PCS six weeks after the due date of this next little boy, I barely batted an eye. A “yep” and an eye roll was enough to suffice. We’ve been through so many moves and unconventional living situations that I couldn’t imagine it would be much more challenging than what we’ve already experienced. After all, we’ve been in the Army for eight years now. We’re pros at this game, right?

Wrong.

As much as Army life teaches you to expect the unexpected, there are occasionally still things that catch me off guard. Way off guard. I wasn’t too phased by the idea of this next move because there was a good chance we were going back to Georgia, which is familiar ground. Fort Benning was our top choice and there were two open positions there- I know, not very adventurous- but we really wanted to be back in the land of warm weather and southern comforts! We even had a long conversation with some good friends who were thinking about trying for Georgia as well. They wondered about Hawaii {our first duty station} or Germany, to which our advice was “forget going overseas, go to Georgia!”

So, you can imagine the irony of waking up to a text from Thane the very next morning that read:

“Are you ready to go to Germany?”

Yeah. That whole thing I said about not batting an eye at the thought of moving again right after having another baby? I take that back. GERMANY is a totally different ball game. And my groggy, barely-awake-at-6:40am-self could do nothing but stare at my phone as a slew of shock, anxiety, and general bewilderment washed over me. Yes, it was exciting. But a lot of that initial excitement was eclipsed by imaginary doom & gloom scenarios. Like showing up to a totally foreign country and Thane deploying the next month, leaving me alone and trapped with three kids plus a puppy that we would never have gotten had we known this was coming. It’s funny how fast my professed “yes Lord, send me!” attitude takes a nose dive as soon as He sends me somewhere out of my comfort zone. I know I’m supposed to have unwavering trust in Christ through all things, but this is one of those times that my initial reaction was just the opposite.

But, I got over it! And I’m pretty excited. We all are.

Globe

Asher and I have fun looking at the globe and seeing the big ocean we’ll fly over and the new country we’ll call home for a while. And in the moments when my reservations start to creep back in, I remind myself that we’re blessed. Germany is where so many other Army families that we know want/try/maybe get to go, and it’s where even I wanted to go when for our first duty station. But seven years later- after deciding we were more than content to remain in the Continental United States for the rest of our Army career- here we go! Now all that’s left to do is laugh and try to figure out how to go about preparing for a move to a place we never pictured ourselves in a thousand years. It’s going to be complicated, tenuous, and exhausting, and I’m not sure how the amazing opportunity to tour Europe is going to go with a four year old, two year old, and a newborn in tow. Not to mention I don’t know the first thing about the German language. But, all the same, praise God for throwing a surprise our way! This is another big reminder that “the heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” {Proverbs 16:9} It took me a little while to embrace this unexpected twist in His plans, but no matter what the future holds, I know He’s up to something good. He always is.

Biblical Womanhood

What the Bible Says About Being a Woman

November 13, 2014

What the Bible Says About Being a Woman | www.sarahkeller.com

A while back I was chatting with some friends and made a comment that went something like this: “I wish the bible was more clear about what we should be doing as women. It doesn’t say that much about us.” Then it occurred to me that I should go home and test that statement. And guess what? I was totally wrong. It says a heck of a lot about the roles God designed us to fill. It’s not all in one spot and it took some digging. But He weaves a clear, intricate picture of the unique calling of womanhood in both the Old and New Testaments.

So, I wrote it all down in a list. I know what you’re thinking- “another list?! No thanks.” Let me just say that I totally hear you! But ladies, if there is one list that we can’t live without, it’s this one. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m prone to get busy, let my eyes drift away from Christ, and get lost in the thick of daily life. And if you’re anything like me, I bet you’re all too familiar with this struggle. So as beloved women and image-bearers of our good and gracious God, let’s link arms, dive into the Word, and press on together!

WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT BEING A WOMAN
First and foremost, whether we’re single, married, have children, or don’t have children, we as women are created “in the image of God”. (Ref. Genesis 1:27)

IF WE ARE MARRIED:
We are a gift and “a helper” to our husbands.
(Ref. Genesis 2:20)

YOUNGER WOMEN are Instructed to:
-Marry (see note below)
-Bear children
-Manage the house
-Give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully (Ref. 1 Timothy 5:14)
-Respect our husbands (Ref. Ephesians 5:33b)
-Love our husbands
-Love our children
-Be discreet
-Be chaste
-Be homemakers
-Be good
-Be obedient to our own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed
(Ref. Titus 2:4-5)
-Be temperate
-Be faithful in all things (Ref. 1 Timothy 3:11)
-NOTE: Not all women are called to marriage and singleness is a gift as well.
(Ref. 1 Corinthians 1:7-8)

An OLDER WOMAN is Praised if She:
-Is well reported for good works
-Has brought up children
-Has lodged strangers
-Has “washed the saints feet” (or other menial duties done with a humble servant’s heart).
-Has relieved the afflicted
-Has diligently followed every good work (Ref. 1 Timothy 5:9-10)
-Is reverent in behavior
-Is not a slanderer
-Is not given to much wine
-Is a teacher of good things
-Admonishes the young women to love their husbands, children… (see Titus 2:4-5 and Titus 2:3)

THE PROVERBS 31 WOMAN:
-Does him [her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life.
-Willingly works with her hands
-Brings food from afar (she puts effort into resourcing “the best” for her family)
-Rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household
-Girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms (she’s the opposite of lazy!)
-Her lamp does not go out at night/she perceives her merchandise is good (she’s industrious and works with her hands)
-Extends her hand to the poor (she is generous)
-Is not afraid of snow for her household for they are clothed in scarlet (she is prepared)
-Makes tapestry for herself, her clothing is fine linen and purple (she takes pride in her appearance)
-Makes linen garments and sells them (she’s industrious)
-Watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
-Is “a woman who fears the Lord” and for that, “she shall be praised”.
(Ref. Proverbs 31:10-31)

IF WE HAVE CHILDREN, WE ARE TO:
-Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that the days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land… (Ref. Deuteronomy 11:18-21a)
-Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Ref. Proverbs 22:6)
-Does not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. (Ref. Proverbs 23:13)

IN A PUBLIC OR CHURCH SETTING, WE ARE TO:
-Adorn ourselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation…(Ref. 1 Timothy 2:9)
-Learn in silence with all submission (Ref. 1Timothy 2:11)

This definitely isn’t a complete list, but it’s enough to keep us busy, right? My love, encouragement, and prayers are with all of us dear sisters who strive daily to walk worthy of the calling we’ve received in Christ Jesus, to remember His goodness and truth, to cling to Him even in the midst of our failures. But if you’re not sure where you fit into all of this, or if you fit in at all, it’s okay! We’ve all been there. See how He made me part of His family and set my feet on the right path. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that He wants a real, intimate, saving relationship with every last one of us. Especially you!

Biblical Womanhood, Birth Stories, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Silas’ Birth Story

June 13, 2013

Silas Birth Story 2

Praise God for our sweet little Silas! He arrived at 8:18pm on June 4th, weighing in at 8 pounds and measuring 20 inches.

This little birth story starts at 10:30pm on the evening of June 2nd when I started having regular contractions that went on for three hours, getting closer and closer together as well as more intense. This was it! Just a few more minutes and then I’d get up and get ready to go to the hospital. That was the plan, at least, until I woke up and realized it was the next morning and all signs of labor were gone. Womp woooomp…

Nothing happened the day of the 3rd other than the usual achy joints and muscles and maybe a contraction here or there. Same thing that night and the next morning, which was the day of my routine 39 week appointment. After telling my midwife about the false start, she checked for dilation and found that I was 4 (close to 5) centimeters, and that Silas’ head was very very low. So those false labor contractions must not have been for nothing! Since she would only be available to attend the delivery for two more days (before her weekend off), she offered to do a quick membrane sweep to encourage things to continue moving along. I somewhat hesitantly accepted in order to avoid the possibility of a delivery with a doctor I’d never met. But she was confident that it wouldn’t be much longer either way, and sure enough, very mild and sporadic contractions started again a couple of hours after the appointment.

I didn’t want to get excited too soon after my night of being sure I was in labor when I wasn’t. But Thane was pretty certain that Silas wasn’t going to linger in the womb much longer so he came home from work and started prepping things for the hospital. When I asked him a couple of hours later if the two of us should take Asher up to the park for a little while, his reply was “woman, you are on your deathbed. You should be ordering your last meal, not taking Asher to the park.” I preferred a less urgent frame of mind for the matters at hand, but as usual, his urgency wasn’t misplaced.

By 4pm, contractions became regular. By 6pm, Thane was ready to drop Asher off at our neighbor’s house and get me to the hospital. I still wasn’t convinced that we needed to rush, but I followed his lead, called my midwife, and we pulled into the hospital parking lot by 6:30pm. At this point, I had to occasionally stop and brace myself but I was still walking and in good spirits. By 7pm, I was getting settled into a room, having blood drawn for lab work, and answering all of the questions that I’d already filled out in my per-admission labor and delivery packet (don’t you just love that?).

When my midwife arrived I was 6 centimeters dilated. The frequency of my contractions slowed down and the longer breaks in between were much appreciated! I laid in the bed while they monitored Silas’ movements for about twenty minutes, and since he was asleep- of all times!- they had me drink juice to wake him up. That did the trick pretty much immediately, so then I was free to move about. After a few extremely intense contractions in the bed, I decided to employ one of the more classy laboring positions- sitting upright on the toilet. My first midwife suggested doing this while I was in labor with Asher and it proved to be very helpful with Silas, too, since the contractions got shorter and a little easier to bear through. {See Asher’s birth story here}.

Meanwhile, Thane brought me a cup of ice water with the yummy, crunchy ice to munch on between gripping the sink ledge and the side of the tub, praying to Jesus to get me through this and wondering why I ever, ever thought giving birth without an epidural- again!- was a good idea. After what seemed like ten or fifteen minutes, I could feel myself starting to do the somewhat involuntary/impossible-to-resist pushing that many of you ladies know all too well. So I had Thane go get the midwife (who’d been out of the room for a while), and I high-tailed it back to the bed.

In the midst of this, I remember the beautiful natural light of the setting sun streaming through the delivery room window. Despite being in the thick of childbirth, God reminded me of His peace and I’m so thankful for that.

My midwife came in quickly and determined that I was definitely ready to push. She had me lay on my back and pull on my thighs through each contraction. This seemed to make them even more painful, but it was affective. After getting splashed when my water broke during the pushing phase of Asher’s delivery, Thane stood as far back as he could this time to avoid being a repeat victim. And very smart of him, because not long after I had my second projectile-water-breaking experience (my apologies to the poor midwife and assistants.) And after pushing through three or four contractions for what seemed like ten minutes or so, Silas was born!

He came out just as lively as he normally was in the womb, kicking and squirming and with a good, hearty cry. He was healthy and vivacious and it was so, so wonderful to see his face for the first time! After a few minutes of taking him in and attempting to wrap my mind around the fact that he was here {it all happened so fast!}, he was able to latch on perfectly and start nursing. Once he had his bath and the rest of the routine checks a little later, I got up and pushed him in his little cart to the recovery room where he and Daddy and I had a wonderful, relaxed first night together. Thankfully, Asher’s first sleepover at his friend’s house right down the street was going great too.

The recovery was a little different this time around. I felt sick and nauseous right after the birth from drinking that juice during labor on an empty stomach and then not eating anything for a couple of hours. So I won’t be making that mistake again! I had no need for stitches this time, praise God. But I did have terrible, awful, long, almost-like-contractions cramping every time I nursed for the first week, accompanied by the same extremely painful tenderness from nursing that I had with Asher. But all in all, I’m so thankful for a fast, smooth delivery and for the pure blessing that Silas is!

It was so nice that this labor & delivery experience was a few hours shorter (four compared to seven) and a little less intense than the first time. I think that’s what allowed me the mental capacity to not only have sane thoughts during it (ha!) but to pray. To remember Jesus and to thank Him for suffering for me in a way that was much more painful and heinous than this. To do it willingly and sinlessly, and in turn for giving me the strength and grace to endure the little bit of suffering I’m called to in this life for the sake of my own sin. Not to mention for blessing me with yet another perfect little boy at the end of it! So, I praise Jesus and lift His name up! He remains my most faithful Lord and friend.

Silas Birth Story

I still remember Asher bounding into the room to meet him for the first time! Thane had just taken him to the store to pick out a new toy- a big green monster truck- so he was blissfully distracted by that for the most part. But this picture captured at least one moment of relative awe (or indifference, it’s hard to know, hahaha!) upon meeting his new little brother.

Asher

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.