Dear Deborah: On The Day You Were Born

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 Zion was barely in labor when she had her babies!
Do I open the womb and not deliver the baby?
Do I, the One who delivers babies, shut the womb?
Isaiah 66

   “This one was born there,” they say.
And of Zion it shall be said,
 “This one and that one were born in her”;
for the Most High himself will establish her.
The Lord records as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.”
Psalm 87:4-6

“ The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come so they may have life, and life abundantly.”
John 10:10

//

It has been eleven days since you came into this world in the dim light of our bedroom, in the early hours of the morning; your daddy’s hands the first to touch and hold you. You gave your first cry, and he placed your warm body into my waiting arms.
This is the beginning of your story; full of miracles.

July second, two thousand and sixteen. You were born some time between 5:50 and 5:59am. We’ll never know the exact time, because we were not looking at the clock.
We were looking at you.

So much of your story is intertwined with mine. You are a part of me that could never be separated even by time or by distance. I heard your name in a dream, and my darling girl you became that dream. Your life is a fulfillment of the goodness of God, the faithfulness and follow-through of a good Father, a miracle-working Savior. A God who speaks and who creates existence. A God who redeems our days. Who in place of trauma, grief, pain and death, gives a new experience.

Babies are born everyday, and to some it may be just another regular occurrence. But to me, your day was a day that changed me. This is not only your story, but ours. A day of redemption.

After so many months of hurt, I can finally feel again. After so many years of silence, I feel worship flowing out of my heart, apprehending me. After so many days clinging to truth when I felt nothing, I can feel the love of Jesus rushing over me. After wondering If I would ever have the ability to see my future with hope and life and promise- I feel freedom.  I see His power. I see His life. I see him choosing me, again and again. When I may feel so small and powerless, I hear him saying, “Daughter, I chose you, you didn’t choose me.”
And to my broken heart, “I believe in you.”

I feel hope. Hope with a momentum that can’t be stopped; a confidence that can’t be cut down or drowned out with uncertainty. A faith that comes from knowing He never gives up or forsakes me. When Isaac died, a part of me was buried with him.  I buried all self-confidence, all self-belief. My insecurities were louder than they had ever been.  I could believe in the character God. I could still believe in his ability to do miracles- But believe in myself? Believe in my body that had so seemingly failed me and left me devastated? I could not. Believe in my own hands to perform those miracles when my own son was not raised from the dead? I was unable. I was disillusioned. And with each miscarriage that only increased.

The day you were born, sweet girl, i found a strength inside. A fire inside that so undeniably burned into me a knowing- instilling in me a confidence that I CAN.  The ability to trust him with the one thing i felt i could not-  The life inside of me. Your life. I trusted him to bring you into this world; to give you your first breath as the Author of Life, The Finisher of my faith. I overcame that fear that had so crippled me, that anxiety and powerlessness that had consumed me for so long. There were no doctors, there was no midwife. There was only Jesus. Yes, we did it. He and I. A sacred and holy partnership of trust that brought you into the world. And maybe that sounds crazy to some. Of course it does. But we are not to live like the world, constantly wondering and worrying about the “What ifs” of life.
“What if I bleed out? What if she doesn’t turn, what if…?”
“–but what if it’s amazing- What if it’s incredible? What if it is the best day of my life?”

These were the thoughts that drove me.

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I woke up at 2:00am. Contractions. Not too painful, not too intense. I was not impressed with them as I had been having them for 7 long weeks. I went back to sleep. 4:00am. Those are more painful than usual, I thought. I found myself having to breathe through them, and I woke up your daddy. He wasn’t very responsive and I was sure that I was probably getting my hopes up, so I tried once again to sleep. I soon realized that wasn’t going to happen and that I needed to get out of bed and wait them out. Was this real labor, finally? So many times I thought you were coming and they would stop. But this time, they kept coming. Still, I was in total denial that this was in fact labor. They were inconsistent, but wow did they start to intensify!
Your daddy finally got the message when I squeezed his hand so tightly that it hurt.

We waited to see what would happen; it was about 5:00am and Grace was fast asleep in her bed. About that time I started to shake uncontrollably and I knew suddenly- not only was this in fact real labor, but I was in transition. I knelt down on my knees next to the foot of the bed and rode the contractions like a wave, unable to move from that place.. Thoughts were racing through my mind: “This really hurts! This isn’t pain free at all! I was believing for pain free! I want to get in the bathtub! I want to brush my hair!” But I couldn’t move. I was pinned on my knees as the contractions became more and more intense and on top of one another, hardly giving me a break to breathe. I gripped the sheets (thank God or your daddy’s hands may have been broken) and with one big contraction I felt you come down. When I saw blood I knew this was really ‘it’, and  my water broke just minutes later. It was probably around 5:30am. We frantically text our friends to come and get Grace as was the plan, but we knew at this point it may be too late. Now I was really starting to make some noise! It was all I could do to keep my sanity- I was sure I was going to wake our neighbors. With Grace’s birth I had been so quiet, unable to express myself in that hospital room. But here I was to my surprise roaring like a gorilla at the top of my lungs with no inhibitions. I honestly hadn’t expected that I would be so vocal and loud. It was as If I had found my voice for the first time all over again after having been told to be silent and sit down and don’t have an opinion and don’t think for yourself or be so strong-willed and passionate. But there I was.

And It was so surprising what I heard the Holy Spirit say.

I had prayed and believed for a pain free experience and this was far from it.
(And it was surprising, since Grace’s birth had been mostly pain free.)
It was intensely painful and quick and out of my control.
I felt as If I simply surrendered my body to the process
as you came down farther and made your way into position.

In the thick of the contractions, I felt him say that I needed to experience this pain. (don’t go making that a theology and I won’t either.) I needed to experience this brief, quick, intense pain. Just as I had experienced so much pain over the last four years, I needed to feel. Rather than be numb, I needed to feel. I needed to let it go and release the depths of pain and heartache and disappointment and bitterness and trauma. And I felt a release as I roared through every contraction, eager to see your face. I whispered under my breath to your daddy in-between the waves,

“This is hard, but I can do this.”

I believed Jesus for a supernatural birth, and he gave me just that. An experience with Him. So much more than labor and a delivery. So much more than a dream of home birth fulfilled. I was not afraid. There was no ounce of fear left in me. I had already buried a child and lost two more in this same bedroom. I had no more hesitations. I knew you were going to thrive. I knew what I had heard straight from Jesus himself. I had no time to process or even to think, I was only in “that place” with Him as I labored and as I surrendered.

Grace had woken up by this point at my roaring and was, to my absolute joy and amazement, watching everything now. She woke up just in time to see you be born, Deborah girl. She was propped up against our dresser with a bag of pretzel sticks just like she was watching a movie. She did so great and I was so proud of her.

I remember hearing her little voice in-between contractions, “I got some snacks, mommy!”

You came down into position and I knew it would be soon. I got on my hands and knees and a tangible peace filled the room. For the first time the contractions stopped for a little while and I could take a breath. There was a sacred quiet as I waited for the next wave. I really was not pushing at all, my body had taken over and was doing what it was made to do. If anything, I was aware of the thick presence of the Holy Spirit as he hovered over me, filling our bedroom. It really was as if time stopped, just for that moment. The next contraction came, and you started to crown. Clearly I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t push yet.”

So we waited until the next contraction. You crowned again, this time your daddy saw your eyebrows. During the next contraction, I heard Jesus again so crystal clear:
“You can push now.”
And I whispered, “Catch her, daddy.”

Then your head was born; suspended between two worlds. Your eyes opened up and you saw for the first time your daddy and your sister, watching in amazement and total awe of you.
I will never forget Grace’s little voice, full of excitement saying, “She’s coming out!”

With the fourth and final contraction you came. Your sweet daddy caught you and somehow handed you to me, your umbilical cord still attached. I am pretty sure my first words were, “Oh my God, she’s so slippery! Get a towel!”

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This picture is pretty blurry,
but you can definitely see that my smile is radiating!

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I was honestly in total shock. I was in an other-worldly state as a rush of hormones flooded over me. I just held you in my arms and stared at your perfection. You were beautiful in every way and there will never be words to describe those first moments. I couldn’t believe I did it. It could not have gone better. There were no complications, no tearing. The placenta delivered itself in less than 10 minutes. I felt like I had just conquered the world. Well, I had in a way. I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment and amazement at myself. I was not in fact incapable. Not incompetent. Not silent or small or powerless. No, I brought you into this world roaring on my hands and knees, full of raw power and trust in a God who sees me. And no one can ever take that away from me.

And just as a final gift, our sweet friends pulled up in the driveway just minutes after the birth. Like a sweet mama she helped me get off the floor (literally) and covered up in bed with my sweet babe. Then they took Grace (dressed in just a T-shirt and undies I might add!) and kept her for the better part of the day, taking her to the zoo and splash park! I am forever grateful!

A few hours later, we called the midwife and OB I had been seeing, and they told us to our complete elation that I didn’t need to come in if everyone was doing well. We took our first bath together and climbed back into bed to nurse. Your daddy and I were in heaven as we sat in the comfort and privacy of our own home, uninterrupted, just soaking you in. Also, we took plenty of pictures and ate donuts of course.

At the end of the day, we sang you happy birthday and marveled at the goodness of God to us. I remember as we all snuggled up in bed together saying that I didn’t want to go to sleep, because then the best day of my life would be over. It was honestly the best day of my life thus far. It felt like Christmas at the end of the day when you want to celebrate just a little longer.

My heart has never been so full.
You were worth every ounce of waiting,
you were my reason to never give up..
Forever my freedom girl.

 

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3 thoughts on “Dear Deborah: On The Day You Were Born

  1. OMG what an amazing story you have shared. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for writing it and reminding me of that absolutely wonderful moment my sons began their journeys with me. Many blessings to you and your family!

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