I have so much to say. Birth is such a gift. Like actual childbirth, is a gift. I knew this was true before I ever gave birth, but after Jonah’s birth, I experienced that it was true.
I literally felt the presence of Jesus and had a revelation of childbirth as a praise offering to the God of all creation.
I’ve experienced the presence of God many times in my life in different ways, but I’ve never felt such an extravagant worship offering as the labor of birth. Your body, your whole being, is creating, forming and birthing life through the power of Life Himself.
When you think of it in that respect, no wonder birth gets a bad wrap. No wonder so many women experience trauma, pain, suffering and the curse of childbirth. I’m not going to get too deep in theology here, but I don’t believe that childbirth was ever supposed to be a curse of pain for women.
It was intended to be a labor for women, just as men were to labor for food on the ground. Labor is simply work.
But even beyond that, Jesus took the curse of it all in his labor of the cross. It’s now our job to rest and to receive, by grace through faith, all of His promises. We rest in His finished work of the cross, and that means even in childbirth.
Eden’s name is even more significant to me now, because I believe that Jesus is restoring birth for women to the delight and pleasure of the garden, before it was stolen and distorted by the prince of the air. I’m now on a journey with this whole thing, and it’s gone beyond my own birthing experiences.
I’m following the Lord as He is teaching me and leading me to see something entirely new He is doing in this arena.
Did you know that the end times are spoken in context of birthing pains? Here’s what we are going to do as His bride: Breathe through each contraction, rest in Him and His presence and believe His word to us. No pain, no fear, no tension, no anxiety.
And remembering that despite any circumstance or visible reality, His truth is our reality and His will for us is an expected end of perfect peace, love, joy, life and life abundant.
I’m excited because I believe that He’s actually going to bring repentance and new life…salvation new life, eternal new life, through this ministry of childbirth.
It does say that through childbirth, women will be saved. In the end times, I believe He’s eradicating birth because He is STOKED about birthing, re-birthing, His home.
It’s my desire to spend more time seeking Him about these truths and echoing His heart of prophetic hope for women as we draw near to His coming.
It’s not just women, we are entirely His bride and He wants to show His Church how to completely surrender, and completely trust, completely rest and completely labor gracefully to the very end. He is teaching us how to work the way He works.
Jesus labored a persecution, a death so sacrificial, that we’ve now received His life and been crucified in Him. It’s our work now to rest in what He has done and advance in this way of living.
Birth is hard work, but there is a way that it can be done in such rest, with such ease. I’d like to expand more on this when I’m able, but for now…here’s more on the birth of Eden.
It was a couple days of contractions, off and on. Nothing really consistent and basically a whole lot of what I knew was false labor. Your labor isn’t really getting started until things are happening consistently, with growing consistency.
It was a Friday and I took it pretty easy. I went to get my nails done that evening, drank some wine, and tried to get to bed early so I was rested. I woke up around 1 or 2am with more intense contractions and laid there to time them. I tried to get through them on my own without waking up Paden, but he eventually woke up and pressed me to tell him the status.
I’m an internal processor, so naturally I was trying to cope on my own until I knew things were serious. I didn’t want him up all night or calling people to the birth center if it wasn’t time to go. But once he was awake, I couldn’t convince him to go back to sleep and he started getting ready and calling people to let them know it was time to go.
At this point, I had to make a choice. I could either be upset that he wasn’t giving me the space I wanted, irritated that he was inviting my mother-in-law over in the middle of the night and feeling the pressure for things to progress…or I could get over myself, recognize that he was intending to help, and continue giving myself grace for the actual task at hand so that I didn’t end up in unnecessary pain.
I had essentially slowed down labor and began feeling pain in contractions because I got distracted; I allowed anxiety and selfishness to creep in. I kept thinking to myself that it was my labor and this is what I wanted and I wanted to be in charge! No, that’s not how it goes.
Yes, I can set up boundaries to honor the process, to honor myself, my family, our birth. But it’s not MY labor. I’m not even able to labor without the Lord. It’s all His. And it’s not about me, this is for Eden.
And if I stayed stuck and focused on the things that irritated me or bothered me, I was going to enter into a slower labor, a labor that wasn’t peaceful, a labor filled with strife or anger, bitterness….you name it.
I was not going to feel sorry for myself and rob myself or rob Eden of a peaceful birth.
So this was a small but pivotal moment as I came to terms with my own emotions and let the Lord lead me out of that place. I returned to peace, I returned to rest and I returned to leaning into the labor with grace. I slept a few more hours and woke around 6am to get ready. I tried to eat, I walked through the home, I got dressed and listened to worship.
I leaned into contractions, breathing through them and bending over or squatting as they grew in intensity. I started timing them closer together, longer. And despite the timing, I knew that the growing intensity was my cue. I let Paden know, we let our midwife know and we started to the birth center that was just minutes down the road.
It was around 7am by the time we started out the door, and I was still trying to eat because I could feel the lack of sleep making me weary. I grabbed a piece of gum on the way out the door and almost immediately regretted it. I thought it may help with my nausea, but it did the opposite and I found myself hurling in our front yard moments before we left.
I knew that birth was quickly approaching because my body was giving me clear signs. The only thing I didn’t experience in this labor that I experienced with Jonah was furious shaking. That was so exhausting, and I’m so glad I was able to do without that this time around.
Labor and Birth
We got to the birth center around 7:30am and everything was pretty chill. Our midwife, Hannah assessed where things were at so that we could let our doula know to head our way. When we arrived, I was at 7cm and I was so relieved.
I remember thinking, well what should I do? Should I try something to speed up labor or do I just wait? It was really so quickly progressing, I just felt like all I should do was let my body take its time.
I sat on a birth ball, tried to snack but I really wasn’t hungry, and we put some worship music on. Hannah began filling up the birth tub and I just sat on the ball and worshiped. It was a peaceful Saturday morning, what felt like a light rain and a quiet, quiet stillness in the room. The presence of Jesus felt much like it did when He hovered over the waters. He was bringing new life again.
I think He loves to be welcomed into these moments. He is Lord over these moments entirely. How foolish of us to think we could experience them apart from Him. But I welcomed Him. He drew near and He was so close. I remembered what I had learned as I birthed Jonah, and I gave Him my worship.
When a contraction was strong, I stood up and leaned over, squatting down and breathing deep. No pain. They grew in intensity and I had two or three of that caliber when I noticed my water break. I think I said something to the effect of, “She’s about to be here,” and Hannah started directing me to a good birthing position.
The tub wasn’t full, the birth assistant wasn’t there yet, and neither was our doula. After one or two more contractions, I had made my way on the bed and Hannah tells Paden, “She’s coming.”
I continued to breath deeply through each contraction and I felt her head begin to crown.
This was a moment I didn’t experience with Jonah, because he was breech. I remember specifically reading about this crowning moment when the women feels like she may burst. I knew I wouldn’t burst, but I still uttered the name of Jesus under my breath as if it were my dying words and I needed His rescue.
I did need His rescue, I always do.
Then she came. Her little body, curled up, frail and covered in junk. This tiny new life was bundled tight as she laid underneath me on the clean white sheets. I reached down underneath my body and pulled her up, sobbing in an overwhelming mess of hormones. It was so much joy.
I think the song that played as she was born was “Child of God.” Similar to Jonah’s “No Longer A Slave” with the words, “I am a child of God.”
“Father You’re all I need, My soul’s sufficiency. The strength when I am weak, You’re the love that carries me. Your arms unfold me, till I am only, a child of God.”
She was born at 9:03am and she weighed 6lbs and 13 ounces. It was that simple, that restful, that peaceful and that good. It was exactly how it was intended to be and the Lord was so so near.
There may not be a lot of words for the story, but I will never forget the depth of it. Such a closeness, such a purity and holiness. Such a love, a comfort, an ease and joy. Jesus’ resurrection was likened to the joy of newborn life. It was for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross.
It’s really cool how He set this thing up, and I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned about birth.