Walt’s Birth Story

I feel so blessed that I am able to tell this story. It’s a story of miracles, promptings, and trusting in God’s timing. After years of secondary infertility, it feels surreal that we finally get to snuggle our precious little boy. And to those who may be struggling with infertility, I see you. I empathize with your pain. And you are in my prayers.

This story starts 11 years ago. I had just delivered our first child. A beautiful little girl named Nora. My husband looked at me, after she was wrapped up and placed safely in our arms and said, “I am so proud of you!” I remember thinking, “but I didn’t do much” … I had had an epidural, so I hadn’t felt anything. I just *tried* to push when the nurses told me to while simultaneously trying not to πŸ’©. I wouldn’t think too much more about his sweet compliment until I was 24 weeks pregnant with Walt.

When I was in my 3rd trimester with Walt, I started feeling called to a natural birth. I had been exposed to so many positive birth stories and they all had something in common: A natural birthplan. It was as if the desire to birth naturally provided these women with the ability to see their birth from a more positive perspective. But wait, isn’t that the opposite of what we have been told?! We’re taught through traumatic birth stories and dramatic media that birth is negative. Especially if it’s done unmedicated. It’s painful, scary, and most importantly, an emergency! This is what we’re told at least. From a young age, we are inundated with this narrative. So why were all my crunchy friends humming a different tune?

I felt the need to explore this option. And almost immediately knew I wanted to try delivering Walt unmedicated. I started researching and what I was reading spoke to my very soul. As I started to unlearn everything I thought I knew about labor and delivery, I felt so close to my Heavenly parents. I was created, by God, to grow life within me. I was also created, by that same God, to deliver the life within me. I felt a new purpose and a new opportunity placed before me. Where I had previously harbored feelings of fear and confusion, grew new feelings of excitement and confidence. I felt called to do this. I looked forward to this opportunity.

I took an online hypnobirthing course, Built to Birth, and everything I learned felt so empowering. It all seemed to make sense. However, I was worried about how well I would be able to advocate for myself while laboring through intense contractions. I decided I wanted to hire a doula to help me through labor. Because of the nature of delivering at a military hospital, I needed a doula who had base access. And unfortunately for me, there was only one registered doula in the area who could assist on base. And she was already booked. I was shattered. Especially because Champ was deployed until only a few weeks before Walt’s due date.

I decided to at least schedule a few antenatal classes with her. I wanted her confidence and education before embarking on this journey that I was actually so excited and eager to experience. Everything I had spent weeks educating myself on had left me excited to experience physiologic birth. Excited for something that women are, more often than not, taught to fear.

When my first antenatal appointment came along, my sweet doula came to my home, sat with me, let me cry, prayed with me, and encouraged the heck out of me. But at the end of the appointment, she looked at me and asked me, “remind me when your due date is?” She scrolled through her calendar and then said, “I really feel The Lord telling me to take you on as a client. As it stands, I am already on call around your due date because my other clients are due 2 weeks before you and 2 weeks after you.” I dissolved into a puddle of tears. It would be impossible for me to explain how many prayers I had cried to The Lord that this answered. But I felt so heard and taken care of in that moment. He is so good. And because of that, I now had a doula πŸ₯°.

Champ finally came home from his deployment at my 36 week mark. We were so blessed with amazing leadership that truly did everything to make sure he made it home in time. The President of The United States of America said it right when he said our squadron commander was “the best in the whole da** world” … (IYKYK.) In all honesty, things were heating up where he was deployed to, and it was making me extremely nervous that he would get stuck over there. But again, The Lord heard our many prayers.

As it came down to the last weeks of pregnancy, I was so antsy. Part of me felt anxious because I had been having pretty consistent contractions since about 25 weeks. Another part of me, convinced that because my other kids had been born at 38 weeks, that Mr. Man would come at the same time. And the other part of me just felt guilty that my husband had been home, away from the fight for weeks and still nothing had happened. I felt like I needed to go into labor to justify him being home while the rest of his squadron was deployed away from their loved ones. It didn’t feel fair and it made me incredibly impatient. All that on top of the normal impatience you feel in the last month of pregnancy. And no matter how many times internet trolls tell you “the baby will come when he’s ready”, you still want your baby OUT of you (and you want to punch them square in the face). Being sick with HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) for 9 months really takes a toll on you physically and emotionally. I. Was. Ready!

But we have to back up here. When I found out I would be delivering at the hospital on base in England, I felt uneasy. I had had the rest of my kids at off-base hospitals where I chose my provider. I was really worried about what the experience would be like, and I had heard mixed reviews. So it had been a fervent prayer of mine for months that we would be blessed with supportive, kind, and competent staff and nurses during my delivery. I probably prayed these very words every day for 9 months. So when I was 36, 37, and 38 weeks pregnant and NOT going into labor every. single. day, I kept remembering this prayer. Because I knew The Lord was in the details and I wondered if it had to do with the timing of the staff.

I had met a unicorn nurse at the hospital who, I knew from a friend, was more natural minded. She was supportive of natural deliveries and had even had her own 4 kids unmedicated. I knew I wanted her to be my nurse, but I also knew that the odds were slim because of how many nurses worked L&D. But when I finally was in labor, after days of crying myself to sleep and waking up in a depression because I still hadn’t gone into labor, and I walked through the doors of L&D, and that exact nurse greeted me as my nurse, I was a puddle. How did I ever doubt that God was listening. How did I ever let myself feel abandoned? (The 15 extra pounds and incredible hormonal imbalance might have been to blame, but still.) Seeing how perfectly he had fine tuned literally everything to be in my favor was the most humbling experience and I will never ever forget that feeling. The hug I felt from Him when I finally put on my delivery gown and knew I was about to welcome my long awaited baby boy was a huge relief.

Labor was (almost) everything I imagined it would be. I felt so in control and focused. I was in tune with my body and I knew what it needed. I felt safe. I felt incredibly connected to my baby, and my Heavenly parents. This was such a sacred time that I shared with my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother as they concluded Walt’s preparations for his life on earth, and I sat in the waiting room, anxiously waiting his delivery from Heaven’s arms to mine. All while being coached, and uplifted by the many women who came before me. It was a spiritual experience I will never forget. Heaven was right there in that delivery room – all around me.

Champ was my rock and supported me perfectly. His crash-course in comfort measures had proven successful as he knew exactly what I needed before I could even request it. My doula was my constant grounding voice. She prayed with me, encouraged me, and calmly informed me of what was yet to come.

All the breath-work and meditations I had done prior to delivery were so helpful. All the affirmations I had prepared really brought me comfort. But nothing prepared me for the intensity that I would experience. It was so intense. I really had to tap into my primal being. But the beauty was that I knew I could handle it. I knew my body was built for this very thing. I was made by a God who designed this process and I wanted to experience it. I wanted to connect with my body and my baby on a level I hadn’t yet experienced. I wanted to be present, in every contraction, in every sensation, in every thought. I wanted it to be a part of me. And I can honestly say I did. That journey is ingrained on my heart. A new me was born the same day Walt was. I climbed the mountain, and reached the top where I got to experience the best view imaginable.

I learned so much through this experience. First, was that I want to do it all over again. (πŸ˜…) Second, I know without a doubt that God is real. There is no way he wasn’t in every single detail of the last year of my life. Of this I am absolutely sure. And third, we are powerful. We are capable of so much more than we think. When we trust our innate ability to naturally birth the life we have trusted our bodies to grow, we come out the other side changed. Empowered. Confident. Healed. Fulfilled. Settled. It’s everything it was meant to be.

Every birth is different, and I know that there are cases where intervention is necessary. My own sister wouldn’t have survived without a highly qualified medical team at her delivery. I am so grateful for the technology we have and medical advances that step in when there are true emergencies. But our culture has led us to believe that an instinctual approach to birth is not safe. It has ingrained in us, doubt. We are powerful mothers with a God-given ability to birth our children as naturally as our hearts beat and our lungs breathe. Birth is transformational and I’m so grateful I was able to be transformed by it ❀️

Now, when my husband tells me how proud he is of me, I smile and think to myself, I am so proud of me too.

2 Replies to “Walt’s Birth Story”

  1. Teresa Worley says:

    What a beautiful and encouraging testimony! I especially loved the cards that your daughters drew for you; they are such sweethearts! My own daughter is going through HG with her pregnancy right now, so I know it’s rough. Thank you for sharing! Blessings always to you and your beautiful family! πŸ™πŸΌπŸ₯°

  2. Aunt Steph says:

    I love your voice in this empowering birth story! Women are recognizing the potential power of their bodies more and I love that you are fully embracing it. The biggest support I see is the connection to a divine source, letting go and trusting it while staying grounded and connected to your body. Recognizing when that divine source is listening and sends comforting reminders (your sweet nurse and doula) is just the best boost of reassurance. I’m so very proud of you! Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

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