Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Laboring in Faith Follow-Up

I was going to write this post the day Abigail was born. Now, I get to combine it with sharing my actual labor and delivery experience, because I feel like I wouldn't be walking in integrity if I did not. Got your attention now? Well, this might get a little long, but I'll do my best...

Let me start with what I had originally intended to share on the blessed day of June 12th. :) I had talked a couple days before with someone I go to church with who has had 3 (yes, 3) pain-free births and she is expecting her fourth in a couple of months. It was encouraging and challenging at the same time.

You know, the whole concept is soooo contradictory to what we "know", but isn't that actually typical of the Kingdom of God? Shouldn't we expect things to be different, if not completely opposite, of what we have experienced or been taught in the world?

Anyway, let me just share a better short version of the biblical support for God-given pain-free birth than I did before. In Genesis 3:16, Eve is cursed for her sin:

To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain (some versions says sorrow again) you shall bring forth children;..."

Thankfully, we know that Christ came to redeem us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13, but I recommend starting from verse 10 for a fuller picture). We don't have to live under the curse of the law any longer when we accept Jesus into our lives. Now look at what Isaiah 53:4-5 says:

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

I'm going to be honest and say that I haven't followed up on it myself, but my friend shared that the word griefs above in the Isaiah passage translates into the same meaning as the word sorrow that is found in Genesis 3:16. Whoa!

Now, Abigail was born two days after I had this talk and to be honest (again) I hadn't done much time digging into the Word myself and covering this in prayer. BUT, God is merciful - read on.

Was my labor and delivery pain-free? Yes...and no. Let me explain...

The first 7 hours of labor were pain-free, thank You, Jesus! My tailbone hurt a bit, but I believe that was from those horrible delivery beds they put you in. When I was walking around, which I did quite a bit, that pain was not there and believe me, when I had back labor with Caleb, it was always there!

So, what happened in that seventh hour? Good question and I'm still working it out myself, but let me share a few things that I feel might have changed the course of it. My water had broken and they had already told me that the baby would have to be delivered within 24 hours. After 7 hours, they asked me about administering pitocin to help speed things up because I was dilating pretty slowly.

I had been expecting this birth to be very quick and was a bit discouraged that it had already been 7 hours and very little progress. And instead of praising God, I decided to linger in the discouragement. Yeah, let's say mistake #1. (Well, mistake #1 was not eating breakfast before I left the house, but that's another story.) Mistake #2, not praying before I said yes to the pitocin. Looking back on that decision, I see myself taking control and not leaving it in the hands of God. After the first dose of pitocin, HELLO! Pain.

Now, I am not beating myself up over the situation, but it does slightly make me hope we'll go through this experience one more time so I can do a few things differently. Number one being preparing for birth by soaking myself in the Word of God and his promises concerning it. If I had been full of and on the Word, well things would have been different. I also really wanted my praise and worship Cds and in my haste and procrastination to pack, forgot them.

And yes, I did get an epidural. Don't be judgemental, in fairness to me, I labored 14 hours before I asked for one. All of my babies have been born 1 1/2 - 2 hours after I have had them (meaning 10 hrs, 43 hrs., and 14 hrs. without). This always makes me regret not waiting longer. Perhaps we'll have one more chance to try again without. I am finding 3 children to be quite a handful at this point! :)

So there's my story, or at least part of it. This was by far my best pregnancy and birthing experience so far. God's hands were clearly evident throughout the labor and delivery and I have some wonderful stories maybe I'll share some other time, but I felt that God would not release me from following up on this one. And thanks to all of my friends who support me and believed in me and God through this experience and who love me just as I am. And yes, I do still believe in God-given pain-free birth.


Karen said...

now that is just pretty ol' cool joann.....instead of letting the enemy convince you that the word is a lie, and give up bc "i did not experience this" you hit him with a realize where you can tweak your faith....AND you are quick to praise for the things you DID see of GODs miraculous.......i think our faith walks are often a few steps forward...some back...a few more forward...then, duh, one day we actually GET it...ok that is how its been for MOI - not claiming that is normal....but me...thanks for delight HIM


Jamerrill Stewart said...

Well, three is a handful now...but Abigail will grow and it will be "well, just one more?" If I would have read your blog I would have been caught up before I saw you today! You'll have to have number four to put all you've learned in action. God is Good! I always say "Just give me the epidural!" But you are a better woman then I am. I believe in what you quoted from the Word. I like to believe that I believe God. But like you said there is just so much "out there" that goes against the Word-we have to untangle it from our thinking!

Jo Ann said...

Jamerrill - I am most certainly not a better woman than you. I can think of plenty of instances where you have faith and I find myself lacking! Don't knock yourself, girl! This was not meant for condemnation, encouragement only - for any area of our lives!! :)