the birth of Ezra James

I have to first state that I believe birth to be a spiritual experience. It is a time when a woman is drawn closer to her Creator than ever before. She is vulnerable as she gives her body to be the vessel that God uses to mold and birth a new little person- bearing the image of God Himself. It is only by clinging to His strength to be her joy that she is able to travail through childbirth. It is during these moments, that I personally am most aware of how great our God is and how I am nothing without Him.

I chose a scripture for each one to meditate on throughout pregnancy. For Ezra’s it was Psalm 46:

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled; Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God; The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she hall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

My due date had passed and I was starting to feel frustrated about still being pregnant and uncomfortable and anxious about the birth. We weren’t sure if our midwife would make it in time and had done our best to prepare for this likely scenario. Everything seemed really uncertain.

Early Wednesday (October 24th) morning I was awakened with contractions coming every five minutes. They continued steady for three hours. Finally at 5 in the morning I had a bloody show and decided it was time to call the midwife and wake her up! (She had at least a three hour drive ahead of her!!) She said to move around a little, go for a walk, and call her if anything more happened. So, we went to the park and took a walk, fed the girls lunch and put them to bed. Around this time contractions increased to every two minutes!

Brent quickly called the midwife who was on her way. A little later we called my mom to come and help with the girls.

In true Missi-style, by the time everyone was assembled, labor had really slowed to a trickle. I felt bad, considering everyone had driven over from another state to be there!!! I was determined not to wear myself out trying to keep labor going, and went to bed around 10 pm. Midwife said if I started having good contractions again, I had to get up.

Throughout the night, I was awakened every so often with good ones, and every time I prayed for them to stop so I could go back to sleep. At 4:45 on Thursday morning I couldn’t sleep through them anymore. I got into the bathtub, trying to process my thoughts. What was my problem? I’d been so anxious to meet this baby and it was finally about to happen and I was running away from it! I realized that I was having some serious fear issues. This was probably what was slowing things up the day before… I’m still not sure what I was afraid of, but I woke Brent up and asked him to pray for me. Immediately I felt confident and sure of God’s help and protection.

I went downstairs at around 5:30 a.m. and starting cleaning the kitchen. I just knew I needed to keep moving and wanted to have breakfast stuff ready for everyone who had slept on our couch, floor, and guest bed. =) (Brent’s family stayed the night at a nearby hotel.) By 6:30 I was really feeling ready and asked Brent to start filling the birth pool. We quickly ran out of hot water, which has never happened before, and had to resort to boiling large pots of water to add. As a result, the pool was not completely filled by the time I gave birth. =/

At 7 a.m. I got in the pool and made it my personal goal to have the baby by 9. (If you know me well, that should totally explain my thinking here…lol). I lost track of time at this point.

Sometime the midwife and assistant started setting everything up. I was very very quiet through the labor, reminding myself through each contraction that it would be over very shortly and asking the Lord to give me strength. I think my calmness made everyone doubt that this was it.  My kids got up and came and said good morning and played all around me. I labored through the ABC’s being sung by a toy, my husband and midwife laughing at funny videos on youtube, and random conversations in between. It was announced that Brent’s family was ontheir way over and bringing food.

Midwife suggested playing some music to drown out the noise of the party going on in the house. LOL. So, I chose a CD that some friends of ours had put together for their wedding, and also the CD that my Grandad had recorded of his piano playing, shortly before he passed away last February.

The first song was a Christian song, I don’t know the artist, but it’s about being reminded that God holds the big picture in His hands, and ‘who am I’? The next song was about God’s forever being faithful and strong. I started to cry thinking about these things and really started feeling bewildered at the thought that God had once more chosen to bless our family with another child. What could I possibly have done to deserve such a wonderful gift?!?

At this point, because of my tears, I realized I must have been at transition! Everything was happening so fast. No one else even knew- it was a wonderful time of reflecting on God’s goodness and clinging to Him while my body pushed the baby closer to being born.

I had a bad contraction and could no longer be silent. I cried out and EVERYONE came running. LOL. Midwife asked if I was pushing yet, and I said, ” I don’t know!” She and the assistant donned gloved hands and got ready.  That is ALWAYS such a good sign! It means labor is almost over!! I had one more contraction like this and decided I was not having another one! Baby was coming out with the next one!!

Grandad’s CD was playing at this point and it was so comforting to have a little piece of him there. We’ve all missed him terribly since he passed so suddenly from this earth, into that great cloud of witnesses.

Brent was hanging his head out the door (I was birthing in our office/play room), greeting his family and I could hear the little kids going burzurk and lots of hellos. I decided I only wanted Brent and the midwives and everyone else needed to go upstairs so that I couldn’t hear them anymore. “JUST US! EVERYONE UPSTAIRS!!!” Was what came out. “JUST US… UPSTAIRS, UPSTAIRS!!!!” Brent realized I was yelling something and turned around. Midwife said, “Uhh, she’s probably going to have the baby very soon, and I think she wants everyone to go upstairs.” Brent conveyed this to them all.

I guess they were on their way up when I had the last contraction. I was on my hands and knees in the birth pool and let out a scream that movie producers should pay me to use in their next horror movie. I don’t know why, but I get really “primal” when it’s time for the babies to come out. Unpredictable- I do what I feel like I need to do to get them out, and this time, it was screaming like a mad woman and birthing on my hands and knees. LOL. Midwife was instructing Brent what to do, as he was to catch the baby this time. The head came out nicely, followed very very quickly by the rest of the body. RELIEF! The relief you feel when that last little foot clears your body is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced!!!

Brent brought baby up out of the water and exclaimed, “IT’S A BOY!!!” and Ezra had a very hearty scream right from the beginning. I don’t even think they had to suction his nose or anything.

I think the first thing I said was, “It’s OVER! That was almost easy!!”

We then had to navigate my legs over the cord so I could turn over and hold him. That was….. interesting. I don’t think I want to birth on hands and knees again unless the shoulders get stuck or something and I have to.

It was love at first site when I gazed down at my little man. He is so handsome. Lots of dark hair, dark eyes…

Then I had to get out of the pool, as usual, and all the cleanup began.

Ezra and I were soon snuggled up in my bedroom, where he was weighed (9 lb, 4 oz.), measured (21.5 inches) and given the general look-over to make sure all his parts were there and working. Of course, there was no poking, no gook in the eyes, no taking him from Momma or any other nonsense.

No one looked at the clock when he was born, but we guessed it was 9:56 a.m. Making labor a short 5 hours, with only two contractions that I’d consider unbearable. Not bad!