Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Your Heart will Rejoice

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

John 16: 21-22

I cannot say how much these verses meant to me as I sat in church around 6 months pregnant, still terrified of becoming a mother. Joy. You might remember, I challenged myself at the first of 2013 to choose joy for so many reasons. 

These words comforted me throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and I was reciting them to myself throughout the delivery process (which was a process indeed).

I am a high - risk pregnancy.  From the beginning, I knew that I would have to be induced early so that the doctors could time my labor with my going off blood thinners. So at 12 am on May 21st, Nathan and I went into the hospital 10 days before my due date (June 1st) to go into labor. My doctor had been concerned about my (TMI warning) unfavorable cervix, so I started out on cytotec and went to sleep around 1:30 am.  A few hours later the nurses woke me up because I'd gone into labor naturally, much to my relief.

Again, a few hours labor, with very little progression, I was put on pitocin, and eventually had my water broken. Not long after, the contractions intensified, and at the insistence of my high risk doctor, I had an epidural. 

The day progressed, but I did not. We went through lots of rolling back and forth onto different sides as my epidural kept going away on my left side. My contraction sensor went bad and was telling the nurse I was having contractions of about 12 intensity when they were really around 80.  Baby started to give us scares with d-cells and variables in his heart rate. Looking back at texts I was sending friends with messages such as,

"still no baby"

"Only 2 cm"

I should have known that things weren't going too well.  By 6 pm, I was only 4ish cm, but stubbornly insistent on going natural.  

At 2am (after 24ish hours of labor) I hadn't gotten any further and we chose to have a c-section. I was exhausted, baby was exhausted, and all in all my body just wasn't ready to give birth.

Nathan texted our parents and my mom later told me that at about 2:45 she felt an overwhelming peace - instead of the fear that something will happen to your child - a fear that as a new mom I am familiar with.

Gavin James was born at 2:52 am. After such an ordeal, something that Jesus understands as "sorrow" and "anguish" was immediately replaced with joy. A joy and a love that only another mother can understand. A joy that cannot be taken from me.


  1. Michelle, this was absolutely BEAUTIFUL to read! THANK YOU for sharing! Also, I was randomly thinking about you all earlier this evening and couldn't remember if I knew your sons name. So beautiful!

  2. Wow, it is amazing how similar our experiences were. As you may remember, I had 25 hours of labor with Noah and then still ended up with a C-section. I think back at how miraculous it was that God's grace surrounded us through the whole experience (by far the toughest of my life). Your joy is just beginning. I am amazed daily by the wonders of being a mother. There are so many tough times, and at the beginning your child can't give much feedback (am I doing good or bad?). It is so neat to get to learn your child. Noah and Samuel are both talking so much these days. I am learning more and more about them and their thoughts every day. Nothing can describe how wonderful that is. Many blessings to you, Nathan, and Gavin. You can always contact me if you need a sounding board.

    1. Yes! definitely similar. I wish that I was around to hear the two of them talking! thanks laura!

  3. thank you for sharing! i'm 5 days from my due date and am getting anxious and nervous about labor. i'm continually reminding myself that God is in control and loves this baby even more than we do!

  4. sweet boy!! enjoy these early days. they are so precious.



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