Written by: Chelsea McKinney
A portion of this post originally appeared on the “And Then Life” Blog.
Early on in my pregnancy I decided I wanted to experience natural childbirth. I wanted to do it for the typical reasons you hear—no unnecessary meds, faster recovery, and movement during labor. But more than anything, I honestly felt that women truly are capable of birthing their babies without medical intervention. I felt strongest about that, but since I had never experienced pregnancy before or even researched natural childbirth, I didn’t know why it was such a resounding feeling…I just couldn’t shake knowing that I was fully capable of this. A few months in, a natural childbirth book was recommended to me. When the book arrived, I dove right in. I was immediately hooked! It was written in such a positive way and really had me feeling confident about going through with a natural childbirth. I also hadn’t known at the time of ordering it that it had been written by a Christian mother who had been through natural childbirth six times! How inspiring! I read and read and read. I couldn’t put the book down. She shared Scripture, she gave tips, and overall she reminded women that they could do it because God would provide in those trying times of contractions, anxiety, and intense pain.
I prepared for labor by writing scripture cards that I would study multiple times a day. It brought me peace each time I read them. It also helped me stay calm, reminded me of the faith I must put in God, and overall helped me feel prepared.
The time finally came, and less than 24 hours before my due date I felt the first contractions. They were slow to begin with, and I actually wasn’t sure if that’s what they were until about four hours later. I got into our jetted tub to help ease the contractions, but after about an hour I got out because I didn’t feel like it was helping. I then began to get physically sick, and as the contractions got closer and stronger, I questioned why I ever thought I could do this. That thought was immediately replaced with “YES I CAN!” I began reciting “I will not be shaken” (Psalm 62:2) from one of the scripture cards I’d memorized. As labor pains swirled around me, I kept my focus on God. I knew He was going to get me through this, and I felt at ease. More and more contractions. My husband reciting, “I will not be shaken,” reminding me to repeat it to get me through. Hours passed and we began our 25-minute trek to the birthing center. The contractions grew stronger and closer together. I thought I may birth my baby right there in the passenger seat. I grew nervous, but again put my focus on God and remained calm. When we arrived at the birthing center, I was wheeled up to a room and almost immediately got in the shower with a birthing ball. The contractions were very intense at this point, and I started questioning my strength again. My husband was right at my face, coaching me on, kissing me, and reciting “I will not be shaken,” to help keep me calm and focused. It worked wonders. My water broke while I was in the shower, and that’s when things got even more intense. I felt so much pressure and knew the baby was coming soon. I tried to remain calm in my breathing, but I couldn’t. Everything was so intense. “God will get me through this. I can do this. I will not be shaken.” Intense, intense, intense! Time to push! “God will get me through this…”
After thirty minutes of pushing, our sweet daughter arrived at 7:34 in the morning. She was perfect in every way. I couldn’t believe all the intensity was over! God had gotten me through natural childbirth, and I felt His satisfaction for trusting in Him as I lay there staring at our beautiful babe. I could almost tangibly feel that my relationship with God had truly grown in those past 12 hours. He had also grown the relationship of me and my husband. We’d both relied on God throughout the entire process, and finally we lay in awe, staring at our most beautiful newborn daughter.
Adalynn is almost fourteen months old now, and every time I think back to Adalynn’s birth I am overwhelmed with joy. Even the labor and delivery were peaceful, and I know I owe it all to my Heavenly Father. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I prayed for a safe and healthy pregnancy and promised the Lord that I would enjoy the entire journey—the pregnancy, the labor, and the delivery. I trusted that He would do good throughout, and I constantly thanked Him for allowing me to be a mother—to grow, carry, and bring this one of a kind human into this world. I will never take it for granted. I will forever be grateful. And I will forever be humbled that He chose me to be a mom.
Chelsea is a former teacher, turned stay-at-home mom who is the blogger behind And Then Life. She and her husband have one daughter and a handful of rescue pets. Aside from spending time with her family (fur babies included), she lives for traveling, watching Friends on repeat, and sneaking the occasional donut (or two!). You can follow her adventures on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.