deeply  rooted motherhood


Ada's Birth Story

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” -John 1:16

When I look at my daughter, I see a tangible example of God’s grace. Yet another blessing that I do not deserve; a gift I have done nothing to earn; a rare treasure. Evidence of his grace has marked my life in so many ways, and it was present all throughout Ada’s birth as well. 

I was pretty open about my desire to have a natural childbirth throughout my pregnancy, so many people have asked my husband or myself how it all turned out. While the short answer is “basically nothing went the way I planned apart from not having a c-section,” I experienced God’s presence in a powerful way, and his grace was over our family the entire time. For that, I am grateful, and I was reminded again how God’s plan is always good. 

For those of you who are interested, here’s the longer version:

On Friday, January 12th, I had been up all night about every 2 hours to use the restroom. I figured I must have been really warm, because I was extremely sweaty to the point of changing my clothes each time I got up, which was out of character for me up until that point in pregnancy. Just before 7am, it dawned on me that what I was thinking was “sweat” this entire time may have actually been me leaking fluid. I knew I needed to call the doctor, but I was also fairly confident that they would ask me to come in, and I hadn’t finished packing the hospital bag!! I peeked in our bedroom and saw a very peacefully sleeping hubby. I didn’t have the heart to wake him yet, so I calmly finished gathering our things into the bags and began asking the Lord to prepare my heart for this day. I know everyone talks about false alarms with your first baby, so my head told me it was just that. In my gut, however, I knew this was it! Planning to have a natural labor, remaining calm was key, because it would likely be a looooong time until true labor started. 

By 8:15am, a few other funky symptoms of early labor started showing up. I started having some cramping, and I had finished packing. Jordan started to stir, so I gave him a kiss and woke him up by saying, “Are you ready to have a baby today? I think it’s happening.” We called the doctor then, and they said that unfortunately, we couldn’t come in until 10:30am to get checked out because there wouldn’t be a provider there until then. 

Still completely calm, we ended up at Chick-fil-A for breakfast. Yes, not kidding, we literally went inside the restaurant & casually ate CFA while unbeknownst to the both of us, I was in labor. HAHAHA. This was God’s grace #1, because everyone knows chicken minis are the Lord’s food, amen?

When we got to the doctor, they checked me and said that basically, I was in early labor and had become effaced. They did not check me for dilation because they didn’t want to risk infection, and sent us home saying that my water hadn’t broken & gave me instructions to wait for contractions to get stronger. Once they reached 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, and that was consistently happening for 1 hour, I was supposed to call the hospital. God’s grace #2, because in hindsight, I think the doctor was wrong about my fluid level...

We got back home somewhere around noon, and it was pretty much business as usual. Fridays are Jordan’s day off, so we hung out, watched a little TV, and tried to relax, but I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Again, because I was trying to prepare myself for natural labor, I downplayed EVERYTHING. I knew this was gonna be a marathon, so I told myself that my “discomfort” couldn’t really be that bad yet. I also wasn’t recognizing my contractions as contractions because they were completely unlike everything I’d ever heard described by anyone. Honestly, this just proves that every woman experiences labor differently. Every ounce of my irritation was focused directly on the center of my lower abdomen. I never had the wave feeling people talk about, or a targeted muscle group tightening up and then relaxing. I just had a stabbing, twisting pain in my pelvic area that lasted for about 30 seconds and then went away. 

My “discomfort” {I refused to use the word “pain”} intensified gradually the entire afternoon, but because my maybe-maybe-not-contractions weren’t lengthening, we just kinda waited. Around 3:30 that afternoon, I decided I was going to take a warm bath to loosen up a little. While in the tub, I noticed that my stabby episodes were becoming a lot more frequent, so I started timing them. It was also getting much harder to deal with them. It took a lot of effort to concentrate on breathing through them. Sometimes I could talk through it, but other times I couldn’t. I looked at the app on my phone...THREE minutes apart. Consistently. But only lasting 30-45 seconds and of varying intensities. 

So at this point, I was just confused. I didn’t want to be the girl that cried wolf, but I also didn’t want to be the girl that delivered her baby on the side of the road in 30 degree weather, ya know?

I phoned a friend who had birthed a human already, and asked for prayer & a little advice. Hubby convinced me to just go ahead and call the hospital to see what they said. I had to leave a message with a nurse who said the doctor would call me back in about 30 minutes. Although it felt frustrating in the moment, it was really God’s grace #3 because it bought us just a little more time...

I “relaxed” for a few more minutes and then decided I should get ready while waiting on the doctor to call back, because my gut told me it was almost time to go to the hospital. I came back into the living room to let Jordan know what the deal was, and while standing in front of him, we both witnessed a relatively-small-but-prominent-enough-to-raise-alarm gush of fluid come out of me. Eyes wide and mouths open at each other, “let’s go!” was the immediate consensus. I kid you not, 15 seconds later the doctor called back, 100% confirming we needed to come to the hospital. 

For some BIZARRE reason, likely related to all the information we’d heard from other people about first time parents getting sent home from the hospital when they think they’re in labor, we weren’t actually convinced that they would admit me, and didn’t call our parents yet!! HAHA. The last thing we wanted to do was get everyone all excited and then have to go back on it. So we just waited...

By the time we got to the hospital, I was tip-toeing around the word “pain” and feeling pretty shocked and scared by how much it was unexpectedly hurting. Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of a warm up into hard labor, I thought? My body refused to relax, and it was already getting very difficult to find a good position to cope with my “stabbing episodes.”

For some crazy reason, when they checked me in triage and informed us that my water had definitely broken and they would be admitting me right away, Jordan and I looked at each other dumbfounded. Sooo, what I take from that is, when your water breaks, it’s not always like a levee giving way all at once, and sometimes it’s not even a constant, long trickle {both of which were the only scenarios described to me beforehand}. It CAN happen little by little, over a period of hours, with a final small burst at the end {or at least, that’s what happened to me!}

This is the biggest example of God’s grace to me in our whole story - his protection over Ada during the many hours that my amniotic fluid had been slowly leaking. See, we knew I had a very minor complication in my pregnancy that meant I would need to receive antibiotics throughout labor that would protect Ada from getting sick upon delivery. We also knew that once my water broke, that risk for infection increased. 

When I was admitted, I had only dilated 1 cm. Because of the complication, the doctors started me on fluids and the medicine right away, and told me that they could give me two hours to see if I progressed on my own. If I didn’t, they would have to start me on pitocin to speed up my labor for Ada’s safety. I was very unhappy about this, as I knew having a natural childbirth on pitocin would be basically impossible. I gave them a little pushback, and they agreed they could give me four hours instead of two...but that was it. The nurses and staff were absolutely amazing though. I really felt like they were on my side and wanted me to succeed. They respected my wishes, but they just wanted to do their job to keep me and Ada safe. 

We informed our families that the real deal was happening, and got settled into our room. Nurses came in to introduce themselves and ask me the most basic questions, but it was becoming more difficult to concentrate by the minute. I was hurting, BAD, but still trying to be really strong and downplay every contraction. Those four hours were miserable. I mean honestly, it was torture. My sweet husband was the only one who could really see through my facade, and graciously kicked everyone out so I could suffer privately. 

As awful as it was, I was getting pretty excited! With the amount of pain I was in, I figured I had to be dilating pretty quickly. My guess was that I was around 5-6 cm, and I planned to grit my teeth and push through the last 4 to have my unmedicated birth! So, when the doctor came in to check me and informed us that I was only TWO CM DILATED after the four hours, to say I was devastated is an understatement. We had to start pitocin for Ada’s safety. There really wasn’t another choice. My water had broken, and the risk of infection was too great. I was also trying to figure out how on earth I could survive 8 more cm of dilation with the amount of pain I was already in. I felt so defeated, and asked the doctor if there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t understand why it hurt so badly. She was so caring as she explained what was happening in my body since my water had broken, and how there was no protection anymore. She affirmed that what I was feeling was so much more intensified, and how only10-15% of women’s water breaks before their labor begins. She was gracious and understanding about my wishes for unassisted birth, and gave us a moment to think it over, but strongly encouraged that I get the epidural because in her exact words, after the pitocin kicked in, “Honey, that s*** is gonna hurt.”

To be honest, I felt like such a failure in that moment. Before, I really trusted that my pain tolerance was high enough, and given the right circumstances, I could handle natural labor. I know it doesn’t matter at all to some people, but it really did to me. And I was disappointed. Thank the Lord for my husband. He was SO supportive, told me how much of a warrior I had already been, spoke truth over me that I wasn’t a failure, and that God has provided modern medicine for times like this. He said it was going to be okay, and he was proud of me. 

I was SO scared to get the epidural. Honestly, the thought of getting a needle injected into my SPINAL CHORD caused me far more anxiety than the pain of childbirth. I was legit freaking out inside...but again, God’s grace was available for me! I was having a very hard time staying still through contractions at this point, so I prayed like crazy for Christ’s power to remain calm long enough. They placed it on the first try successfully, and I began to feel relief very soon after. Although I felt a little down on myself still, I knew it was the best decision. My body was FINALLY able to relax again, and I slept! Boy, I did not realize how much I would need that sleep. 

I absolutely hated the fact that I had to get pitocin. God even covered that detail in his grace in that Ada did not react well to it and her heart rate became concerning, so they turned it down to essentially nothing! BUT, because the epidural helped me relax, I went from 2cm to 9cm in three hours! The doctors and nurses were completely shocked when they came in to check me. We couldn’t believe it, but we were SO excited to meet Ada. 

The final jump to 10cm took less than an hour, and it was time to push! While waiting on the doctor to come back, I started pushing with the nurse. In about 20 minutes, Ada’s head was THERE! Our poor doctor barely got her gloves on in time to catch Ada. Two big pushes, and she was here!!! January 13th at 6:20am. It was the most breathtaking moment, and a surreal evidence of God’s grace - new life, by him and sustained through him alone - just like the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. And looking at that perfect little girl in my arms, I was blown away by how he would use ME, such a sinful and broken human being, to bring his beautiful creation into this world and allow me the opportunity to care for her as my own in this lifetime, even though she belongs to him. If that’s not grace, I don’t know what is. 

I didn’t get my dream natural childbirth surrounded by worship music, essential oils, and a peaceful environment, but that doesn’t make my experience any less of a miracle. Instead, the Lord chose to guide me through the fire and show me how he would still be there. It was100% worth it. 

I am SO thankful for our Ada Bee’s life. She has taught us so much already & brought us so much joy. I know she will continue to be a light for so many. Her birth story is not what I had designed, but that’s exactly the point - it’s what our sovereign Lord designed from before the beginning of time. He held us both safely in his grace amidst all of the uncertainty, pain, and altered plans. At the end of the day, what matters is trusting him and his way, for it is undeniably better & more beautiful than anything we can craft in our finite minds.

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