And the Lord answered, if you had faith (trust and confidence in God) even (so small) like a grain of a mustard see, you could say to this mulberry tree be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you. ~ Luke 17:6 (Amplified)
It had been a wonderful whirlwind of a week. My husband had defended his dissertation towards his Ph.D. at Notre Dame on Monday, Tuesday we interviewed at Bethel College for a full professorship position for him, and Wednesday he had been offered the job. So, it seemed only fitting that Thursday we’d go into labor.
I had arrived at my 38-week appointment at 2:00 p.m. and doctors determined my blood pressure was at a scary level, so it seemed consistent with the week when I called my husband and said, “You want to have a baby today?” After realizing I was serious, he hustled around to get our 3-year-old and 20-month-old to family.
Meanwhile, the hospital staff had whisked me away and began prepping for induction. Due to my heightened blood pressure, my veins were small and hard to locate for the IV site. Seventeen needle pokes later (yes, 17) they had successfully found a spot. By 3:30 p.m., I had two arms full of blown blood vessels and intense pain as the blood pressure cuff would illuminate the pain with a new automated reading every five minutes. I had gone from excited anticipation to a scared and defeated feeling with tears streaming down my face as my husband arrived. Overcome with concern, he was fabulous at comforting and encouraging me. I felt calmer now that he was by my side; he’d take care of everything. I was so grateful to be a team with him!
Having learned a few things from the first two deliveries, I felt a bit more prepared. I anticipated that just like my other induction, Pitocin wouldn’t be necessary and sure enough, the pill designed to simply soften my cervix put me in full-throttle contractions within the hour. There was no slow build up, just intense and consistent. I had also decided after the victory of one natural childbirth, I was good with an epidural. However, I still had horror stories floating around in my head of women who had epidurals and said it slowed down their labor and, when it came time to push, they couldn’t feel anything, so it took hours of pushing. (Why is it so many women share the worst part of their birth stories with pregnant women, rather than joy and encouragement?) Not wanting that story, I again decided to hold off on any pain meds for as long as possible.
By 10:30 p.m., with the oh-so-discouraging news of only being at 3 cm after hours of contractions being a minute in duration with only a minute of rest in between, I welcomed the epidural. For the 30 minutes following, I experienced calmness and rest. Relaxed and renewed both physically and mentally, I was refocused on the goal of meeting our little guy. We quickly accelerated to full dilation and effacement and it was time to push. I warned the staff it would only take a few sets of pushes – they believed me afterwards.
So at 1:15 a.m., Good Friday of Easter weekend 2007, we met our Dakota Alan face to face. It’s those beautiful moments when you are so overjoyed that you are laughing and crying all at the same time. Trust and confidence in God deepened, yet again, as we praised Him for trusting us with the privilege of watching over and nurturing His new little guy. A Holy Week indeed!
Read Angela’s first birth story “Birth #1: Trusting in an Induction,” her second story “Birth #2: I Knew My Body,” her fourth story “Birth #4: A New Way of Thinking” and “Birth #5: Finding Faith Through Adoption.”
Would you like to share your birth story? We’d love to hear it! Take a look at our “What’s Your Story?” post to find inspiration and direction.
Angela is a woman passionate about connected, committed families and encouraging others as a licensed counselor to intentionally choose ways to love well in marriage and parenting. She is grateful to have walked alongside her husband for 14 amazing years and feels privileged for being entrusted by God to care for their six kids. It’s a continuing journey of learning through the beauty of other people’s stories.