A Redemptive Birth Story: Ezra

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
— Psalm 40:3

It was not in my birth plan. It was not to the route I went with Zayin, my first born. He was (by choice) an epidural birth, yet not at all how I envisioned. Everyone’s birth story is so very different and I do believe the Lord allows certain things to happen for our good and His glory. After Zayin was born, the OB looked over at my mom and said, “she will need a c-section if she decides to have another baby-he/she will be too big for her to birth.” Zayin was 7 pounds 14 oz. After finding out we were pregnant with Ezra, thankfully, the Lord revealed something beautiful to me. He revealed to me that my body was made for this, designed for my baby no matter what the size, and made for birth. Why would I trust man and not Him? It was then I knew I needed to tune into His plan for this birth instead of mine and man. 

It’s something I never foresaw doing, yet when Devin and I first found out we were expecting baby #2, I felt the Lord beginning to nudge my heart. I remember writing Devin an email letting him know ways in which he could be praying for me and sharing my heart regarding what I felt the Lord was doing. I was scared, unsure, and had no clue how it would all play out. It was radical to me, and I never ever thought I would be capable of doing something like it. Weeks passed and I visually began to see our prayers being answered. The Lord was aligning every detail. At 12 weeks pregnant, Devin and I switched from an OB practice to a midwifery practice, and we felt the calling to birth our second son at Baby + Co., a birth center in Cary, NC. We loved the model of care and the warm and welcoming environment. As weeks passed, the Lord slowly began showing me that this birth journey was different. It had a new perspective; He would eventually give me a new song. This birth journey was not all about me, and it wasn’t even all about Ezra. We were just merely vessels created by God solely for His glory. This brought so much peace to my heart and calm to my mind. Although I wasn’t quite sure what all the Lord wanted to do just yet, I continued praying for Him to reveal His will in all of it. As months passed, He was faithful to reveal that He was Authoring this story solely for His glory. He was the Main Character. He would prove trustworthy to deliver me from the pain. He would be widely known as Ezra’s Deliverer. I began praying a, which seemed strange to me at first, prayer- not for a healthy birth, or a healthy baby, or a smooth labor & delivery, but that myself and the people involved in Ezra’s birth would personally get to experience the Lord in a way they hadn't ever experienced Him before, and if there would be people there that did not know Him, that Ezra’s birth story would spur their hearts to wonder, and that His Name would be lifted high despite pain. I prayed the Lord would meet us there, and that’s just what He did….9 months came so fast. From the beginning, I had been praying that the Lord would somehow redeem this birth. I noticed He was refining me in ways I could never have imaged. My heart was at rest and my mind at peace. He would deliver Ezra, not the midwives and not the nurses, but Him alone. When had there ever been a time where His faithfulness hadn’t proven to be true?  Yes, the midwives would play an incredible role in aiding in bringing Ezra into this world (in which they did!), yet it was only by the power of His Spirit that He'd give sweet Ezra His very first breath. Although completely unknown, there was absolutely no reason for me to doubt Him and His plan in any area. It wasn’t going to be on my strength, my ability to handle the pain, my “toughness” to endure the eb and flow of each contraction. My labor was in the Lord’s hands, no matter what the outcome.

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.
— Genesis 3:16

I had been contracting for days every 3-5 minutes at a steady 4 centimeters and almost completely thinned out. Devin was working late the night of May 18th and didn’t get home until 9:30pm. We climbed into bed to get some rest and at 10:30pm I noticed my contractions changing and my water broke. We packed our car, called care for Zay and headed to the birth center. I labored beside my sweet husband and amazing doula for a little over 2.5 hours with no change. My body was wearing down from laboring for days and no rest that night. The midwife sent us home to rest, with confidence this would be the only way to progress my labor. With the birth center being about 30 minutes away from home, Devin and I decided to get a hotel room across the street from the birth center and rest there. At this point I was contracting every 3-4 minutes- lasting about 1 minute and wondered how I would ever “rest” through this time. My strength was completely depleted, yet as I laid there close to my husband in the hotel room with my eyes closed, all I could do was envision Jesus taking my hand, walking me up a steep, hard mountain, yet promising me He will bring me down. And with each contraction, this is just what we did. Jesus and I. It was one of the hardest, yet sweetest times of my life. 2.5 hours later I opened my eyes and told my doula I couldn’t do another contraction. (hint hint: this is when I kind of had a clue I may be transitioning!!) My doula began timing the contractions- a very consistent/painful contraction every 2 minutes, lasting a minute she called the midwife. The midwife would meet us there 20 minutes later and it took me about that time to get from the hotel room to the center with a painful/hard contraction every 2 minutes. Once arriving, I remember thinking to myself, "Oh, please Lord let me be at least 6 centimeters so they will admit me”. I walked into the birthing room, the midwife checked my cervix and said (something to the extent of…), “Are you ready to push? You’re 10 centimeters!!” HALLELUJAH!! What music to my ears!! She ran the bath water and with each contraction, I did a few squats (not many hah!) to help baby continue to move downward. I climbed into the warm bath water and remember feeling so incredibly relieved that I could finally push. Approximately 30 minutes later at 7:27am, Ezra Michael came up from out of the water onto my chest. All 9 pounds of his squishy self! Thankfully, I didn't cling to what that OB advised (“your next baby will be too big for you to birth vaginally”), yet rather tuned into what the Lord was setting before me. The Lord intricately designed my body to push out all 9 lbs despite my size or the size of my baby. It was a moment like no other. It’s impossible to put into words just how miraculous the work of the Lord was in that very moment and in all of the moments leading up to Ezra’s deliverance. From the beginning of creation the Lord had designed pain in childbirth, and due to The Fall, He increased that pain, yet He knew there would be a great reward- the baby would come and the pain would automatically be no more. He had delivered me from this pain. Ezra was here and just like all of the pain completely subsided. His Spirit was so present, so tangible in that tub that glorious Friday morning. In my great weakness, His power was manifested so perfectly; so beautifully. In that moment, it’s almost as if Jesus whispered a sweet “We did it”. Ezra was in my arms and Jesus flooded my heart with so much joy. Indeed did He give me a beautiful song of praise. 

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me
— 2 Corinthians 12:9

My prayer was that the Lord would redeem this birth, and that they (midwives, nurses, etc) would see the work of God. I will never forget the words of my midwife as she lifted Ezra out of the water onto my chest, (with shouts of joy…) “You a bad woman!!” and out of my mouth rolls, “No, I gotta bad God!!” Something so sweet that I’ve come to realize is that He wants to be there. He desires to be with us. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives, and YES! even (especially) our labor and delivery. Invite Him in. I promise you won't regret it! 

Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.
— Psalm 146:3-6

Side note: Please disregard any typos... it's just my brain adjusting to two kiddos ;-)

 

Enjoy these images by the talented Brent Deitrich of Live View Studios

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