January 23rd our baby girl came into the world and on January 20th our lives changed forever. Yes, you read that right. I labored with Rhonny for three difficult, exhausting days! Leading up to Rhonny's birth me and clayton and our birth team kept hearing the word “supernatural." Although most supernatural births I’ve heard of were “pain free”, every time I heard “supernatural” I also heard “don’t put a definition on it”. Although I fully believe pain free labor is some people’s experience, Jesus wanted to give us a different gift and a different kind of supernatural. To be honest, most of my life I’ve run from pain. Physical and emotional. I’m not one who likes to sit in their feelings or feel something for no reason. I’ve always been a “no nonsense” kind of girl. Some people say no pain no gain but I’ve always said “No pain, no pain!” I mean after all why would would anyone “want” to go through pain, much less three days of it, right? But looking back at my life, as hard as it it to admit, the most painful seasons and things that I’ve walked through have birthed the most amazing miracles every time. And although I don’t believe God is a God who sits back and inflicts pain on His children, because we live in this world we still experience pain and no matter what it is He somehow makes us grateful for it. And If we let him have our pain, He heals us to better than before.
Rhonny was born at a birth center and so most of her labor was at home. When I think back to the first two days of labor, to be honest... they felt really, really dark. If I could go back and do anything differently the ONLY thing I would do is go back to those first two days and do what he told me to do: “Laney, do not fear”.
Friday night I was completely at the end of myself. The sun started going down and I looked at my husband and said, I can’t do this anymore.
All I could see ahead of me was another long night without any sleep and without my baby in my arms. I was exhausted... I hadn’t slept or eaten much at all. I had never felt so surrendered in my life. Truly there was nothing “I” could “do”.
So we called my midwife and decided to head to the birth center to decide what to do next. Little did I know that my mom and sister were outside our house praying for hours. When we went to leave for the birth center my mom came and got in the car with us, and this is when everything began to change.
Because Clayton had been up with me the previous two nights, we were both exhausted and feeling like we had nothing left to give. When my mom got in the car she began to just pray out loud and speak the name of Jesus more times and in more ways than I’ve ever heard. I just remember my focus going from the intensity of my contractions to the overwhelming peace and presence of my Jesus in the car. I was having contractions three minutes apart the whole way to the birth center and yet, both Clayton and my mom thought the contractions had stopped. When we got to the birth center I remember my mom stopped praying for a moment and because I didn’t have the strength to say it, I motioned “KEEP TALKING” because that was truly the only thing holding me up at that point. When I got out of the car at the birth center I couldn’t see faces, but I knew I was surrounded. The atmosphere had shifted and their was full faith that Rhonny was coming in perfect timing and in a perfect way. I was healthy and Rhonny Grace was as perfect as ever.
My chiropractor and close friend was there to help adjust me. Before she started working on me, If you looked at my stomach you could tell Rhonny was completely on my left side. Rhonny's head was also turned in a way that was making it difficult for labor to progress, but as Kara started working on me and praying in the Spirit you could see my stomach move back to center. Rhonny was able to progress. Over the next few hours all I could do was lock eyes with my husband. As I stared into his eyes I kept envisioning Jesus on the cross and what he endured for me. Although I would never compare my pain to His, thinking on that kind of love that He has for me, birthed a love for my daughter like I’ve never known before. I would do anything for her over and over and over again. As I labored, Clayton held me up and just kept saying “Jesus” again and again. I’ve never experienced something more amazing with my husband... I was laboring but I feel like he was laboring just as much as he watched me and held me up.
After laboring for seven hours at the birth center and through the night, Rhonny made her perfectly timed arrival! And by perfect, yes I mean perfect timing, but also perfect health. There’s so, so much to her story that I still feel like I’m discovering, asking questions about, and will be for the rest of my life! But... I can say her birth was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. The closeness and dependence on Jesus during those three days is something I wouldn’t trade for anything... not even a “pain free birth”. And although I still have questions, Jesus has continued to show me He was there... and honestly, that’s enough for me. Because even now when I ask my questions, I know He’s there, and where He is, His goodness and faithfulness will always be there also.
Jesus gave us many gifts in the arrival of the most amazing gift.... I’m still unwrapping them and I’ll keep sharing as I do.