Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday!

It has been a most blessed year since you joined our family, Zoe. I believe your special gift, your anointing, is to bring joy to those around you. Your infectious smile, good nature, and joyous spirit brings abundant life wherever you go. We celebrate you today!

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Birth Story of Zoe Grace

Our Zoe burst forth into this world on a sunny afternoon of a beautiful spring day. I had been experiencing rumblings for days before, leaving me with a vague feeling like her arrival could be at any time.

At about 2:30 in the morning, I leapt out of bed as best a 9-month pregnant woman could. I was astonished to discover that my water had broke, completely on its own. I sleepily thought to myself, well this is going to be a long day so I should get some rest, and went back to bed. I woke again a few hours later, alerted my midwife that labour had started, and she popped by to make sure we were doing all right.

I spent the morning wandering around the house, made some soup, and marveled that I wasn't in any discomfort. Maybe my prayers for an easy labour had been answered! When my midwife came to check on us again around 1:00 she expressed some concern that labour had not really progressed and reminded me that we really only had about a 24-hour window from when my water broke before we would have to consider further medical intervention.

So I got down to work. I marched and squatted around and around my basement, reluctant to walk outside and go any distance from the house. It didn't take long for contractions to intensify and become constant around that magic 5 minute mark. Sabrina was due home from school just after 3:00 and I asked Corrie to take me to the hospital because I knew it wouldn't be long. I could feel Zoe descend with each contraction. So, after only 1 1/2 hours of active labour we met the midwife at the labour & delivery triage. I was only 4 cm but working hard, and my wonderful midwife convinced the L & D staff that I was ready for a LDRP room (labour, delivery, recovery, postpartum). I was increasingly uncomfortable, and had to concentrate very hard on keeping my inner stillness and relaxing through the contractions. This was my first labour without an epidural, and I was using prayer, breathing, meditation, and singing to help my body do the work it needed to do. We were only settled in the room for a few minutes when the tub was ready, and I was grateful for the warm water on my lower back.

However, the relaxation of the tub progressed my labour significantly, and after only about 15 minutes, I was urgently aware of an intense need to push, and the staff scrambled to haul me out of the tub and rush me back to my room. I think it was only two pushes and Zoe's head burst forth with a yell. She made her first cry even before she was completely out! Then one more push and she was in my arms.

I think we were all shocked. This was not what I had envisioned my natural delivery to be like, but I was grateful it was over so quickly. We had only been at the hospital about 1 1/2 hours, and from the onset of active labour, it had actually only been 3 hours in total. I think my body was surprised at how quickly Zoe's birth had taken place, too. The second midwife arrived to help with our after care, and she and Corrie gave Zoe her first bath. She, however, did not want a bath yet and was quite ready to eat!

I was excited and energized - we laid Zoe on my chest and allowed her to find the breast on her own. I was delighted to discover that she knew exactly what to do, and for the first time in my life as a mother, I was able to feed my child naturally with confidence. God is such a redeemer!

This is quite likely to be my last birth experience, and I'm so glad I was able to go out on a high note. Our little Zoe, full of life abundant, would not be held back and took charge of her own birth. I was just along for the ride. Praise be to God!

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