the birth of Ezra. 

by kendraannie

Perhaps I feel the need to pen down this event because it was so significant. So beautiful. The night I met my son will be forever engrained in my memory and I want to be able to recall every detail.

I was 41+ weeks pregnant and went to bed Saturday night feeling like tomorrow might be the day. I started feeling tiny stomach spasms but decided to pretend like nothing was happening, not tell my husband, and go to bed. Before I fell asleep, I prayed that the Lord would let me sleep through the night so that I would have strength for tomorrow! He gifted me with 7 great hours of sleep (ya know, with a quick pee break because a human being was crushing my bladder). 

I woke at 6 the next morning with light cramps and began timing them. I knew it was happening. I lay next to my husband but did not wake him. I wanted him to get great sleep as well because I knew he needed to be rested for the journey ahead. I laid there and prayed for the boy I was about to meet as contractions waved over me. I read scripture I had written out before to help me through this day.

Early in pregnancy, I had asked God what His will was for me for this birth. He so clearly led me down the path of trying natural childbirth. He reminded me that birth is not a disease but his original design. It is made more intense because of Eve and complications occasionally occur due to the fall, but it is still his design. I was open to any necessary interventions should I need them. Drugs, natural, c-section, all result in beautiful gifts from God and He is glorified in all situations. But I wanted to try. I wanted to try so I could have total dependence on God during birth. Dependence on him if things went smoothly and dependence if complications arose. {i also wanted to try naturally because of all the health benefits!} So here I laid, waiting to join the millions of women in history who had gone before me.

I finally woke Neil up 3 hours later at 9 a.m. I wanted to watch Parenthood with him while contractions were still light and I had to practically force him to sit still. He felt the need to do all sorts of chores. Take out the trash, make me a protein filled breakfast for energy, clean the backyard, put lunch in the crockpot. I literally begged him to watch tv with me. I texted our doula and called our midwife to let them know I was in labor. 

I was able to squeeze in 3 episodes of Parenthood before our doula came over. We all went for a walk around the block and things began to pick up. 

But I still managed to watch Fixer Upper. So basically, I just wanted to watch lots of T.V. at the beginning of labor to distract me.

I felt really ready for this. I researched many things about birth beforehand. I knew what was to come, assuming there were no complications. I suppose the knowledge of what I was about to endure helped keep me calm. 

Then my body just took over.

We finally made our way to the Fort Worth Birth Center around 6 p.m. I was greeted by our WONDERFUL midwife, Carla and our nurse. 

She took all my vitals and baby’s vitals. We were both healthy. Praise God! I labored standing up for awhile and finally made my way to the tub. Y’all, a hot bath is like nature’s epidural. The moment you hit the water, instant relief. (Kinda, I mean, there is still pain!) 

The atmosphere was idyllic. I had a pre-made worship playlist playing the whole time. The room was lit up by candlelight. Everyone whispered so I could tune in to the music. There was a thunderstorm all night (my favorite). 

I mean, don’t get me wrong, contractions were painful. Birth is hard work. But the night was so peaceful and the pain was manageable.

After 3 hours of pushing, yes, three hours, I wasn’t progressing much. My midwife checked on baby’s heartbeat often assuming his heart rate was surely changing due to stress from pushing so long. But nope. His heart rate was perfect each time. Little man was calm and collected in there. Since I wasn’t progressing, she asked me if I wanted to do side-squats on the stairs to help him drop further in the birth canal.

I wanted him out so bad at this point. I had reached the point of exhaustion. 

So. I. Did. Squats. 

Mid-labor. No drugs.

I would do a few squats then push. Oh man. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. 

But it worked! He was finally ready to meet us earthside.

The song Beautiful by Phil Wickham was playing when I met my beautiful son. 

Neil caught his son, handed him to the midwife. And then I met him on my chest. It was magical. It was love.

I got to feed him almost immediately before he was measured, weighed, and had all his newborn tests right next to me. Neil helped weigh, I helped measure.

I ate a meal, we took an herbal bath, and then we headed home only a few hours after birth. 

The people that helped bring Ezra into the world were stellar. I can’t say enough great things about our midwife, doula, and nurse. They talked me through each contraction, never left my side, encouraged me, prayed for me, reminded me I could do it. My mom and sister in law were calming presences as well. Sometimes a grown girl still needs her mommy.

And my husband was the most supportive and encouraging person. I know in the movies, most women yell at their husbands and tell them not to touch them but I didn’t want him to leave my side. I wanted to hold his hand the whole time because he was my rock in that room. This was his son too and he wanted to help bring him safely into the world. He wanted to pray over us during labor. Oh I love that man. 

I felt the presence of God that night. The entire night I clung to him and relied on him. I constantly kept telling myself, “Sarah did this. Rachel did this. Hannah did this. Mary did this. Mary did this. Mary did this.” Mary did it for HER son, our savior. These women endured birth for the glory of God and I could too. Oh I held on tight to God that night. He was my pain relief. He was my help. He was my strength. He was my comfort. I will continue to cling to him throughout the life of my child.

The days that followed birth were challenging and painful. No one can truly prepare you for the care of a new child. I want to go back in time and hug brand new Mama Kendra and tell her it’s all going to be okay. But that’s another story for another time.

This is your birth story, Ezra. The night that a new definition of love entered our lives.