22 November 2009

Countdown and Another Birth Story

I am now 30 weeks pregnant! This is always a special milestone in my pregnancy. A time to celebrate! From now on it is downhill. I can still remember my first midwife drawing my attention to the countdown in single digit weeks. She told Christo to take me out on a date and celebrate it! She was such a special lady.

Since I'm in the countdown zone, I'm thinking a lot about the births of my children. Here I've shared a bit about Josua's birth. He was our 3rd baby, but first home birth with a midwife and what a blessed, God-honouring experience.

The birth of Danika, our 4th baby was an even more God-honouring experience, but not nearly as easy and relaxing. But let me start at the beginning.

After Josua we thought our family was complete. I desperately longed for a 3rd baby, but shortly after his birth our business went nearly bankrupt. We had to down scale radically and ended up living in a small 2 bedroom granny flat.

When Josua was 2years and 1month old, my dad died of cancer. It was a very traumatic time in my life. Because of the stress and pain of my huge loss, my hormonal cycle went out of rhythm, our natural family planning plan failed and I got pregnant!

It was traumatic! People crucified us! How could we be so irresponsible? We just started surviving our financial disaster, but still needed another year or two to get back on track again. Christo's health shop was two years old and showing the potential of reliable, consistent income, but he still had to work very hard, we still had to live on a very small income and we still needed lots and lots of prayer to pull us through financially.

I was devastated. There was nobody I could turn to for support. I felt like I've dropped my husband in our attempt to financial survival. With not one of my previous pregnancies did I ever suffer morning sickness or fatigue, but from 5 weeks I had severe pregnancy symptoms. This continued for 4 months. Then one day (in the middle of February) as I was lamenting our hopeless situation with Christo, he told me that he believed as soon as I made peace with this baby, my symptoms would stop - he was at peace with this baby since day one. He trusted the Lord for financial provision and he glorified the Lord for blessing us with another baby. I knew Christo was right. I made the decision to praise the Lord for this baby and stopped taking notice of people's negative comments. Children are a blessing, a reward from the Lord.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Ps 127:3

Almost immediately my health improved. With the knowledge I’ve gained since then to my current pregnancy (#8), I now realise the stress and bitterness lowered my body's pH and caused all the problems with my health. The moment I chose to live in praise and trust of the Lord, my pH improved.

A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Pr 17:22

A few days later I had a revelation from the Lord. The Lord revealed to me that He didn’t want His people to blend in, to be ‘balanced’ people. He wants us to be ‘off balance’ – we must stand out. If I’m seeking His will for my life and longed to walk in His ways, I will not blend in with the world and in most areas I will not even blend in with the average Christian.

Within 2 weeks (!) our financial situation improved. We didn't have a vehicle of our own up till then, a friend's dad gave us a vehicle to use for as long as needed, but we needed a seven passenger vehicle when baby was born. At the end of February a friend gave us a loan for two thirds of the money we needed to buy a seven passenger vehicle, interest free, and gave the remaining third as a love offering. We were also financially able to rent a 3 bedroom house.

It was during this triumphant time that I unfortunately started to experience a terrible fear for my life, when giving birth to this baby. I've never before experienced such fear and had no reason to fear, since the last birth was so relaxed. I had the same very experienced midwife. Still I had this certainty that I was going to die, while giving birth to this baby. After a few days I had to share the fear with Christo and we started to pray for God's hand of protection on our baby and myself.

Financially, the Lord blessed us abundantly during the next 5 months, without any extra work or effort from Christo's side. But I was experiencing complications in my pregnancy. Baby was laying breach and we needed to plan for a caesarean or at least a hospital birth, since our midwife wasn't sure if I would be able to give birth at home with baby laying breach. We prayed for weeks and had a prayer network over the whole globe. Then at 35 weeks, 3 days before my appointment with a gynaecologist, during which we would discuss a caesarean, baby turned into the right birth position! A miracle in itself, since I was already 35 weeks pregnant!

But only days over after this victory I all of a sudden, in the middle of the day got very strong contractions. I immediately contacted Christo and my midwife who both arrived within an hour. I was in early labour, 3cm dilated and progressing. Being only 36 weeks pregnant, she suggested we get an ambulance to wait out in front of our home to take us to hospital as soon as baby was born. She didn't want to transport me during that stage.

In the meantime Christo got hold of a homeopathic remedy that apparently could stop contractions - Spascupreel. He gave me one tablet every 10 min and within an hour my contractions stopped! For the next 3 weeks I took it almost every day and finished 2 bottles! By now I knew there was a serious battle raging over the birth of this baby and we intensified our prayers!

At 39 weeks my water broke around 9 o'clock the Friday morning, but all of a sudden there were NO contractions. My midwife visited me at 18h00 and suggested I take castor oil, lemonade and ice cream (for the taste!) in order to try speed up the contractions. I didn't know it then, but once your water had broken you have to give birth within 24 hours, less you may get infection - endangering the babies' life. By 23h00 I still had only mild contractions about 30 seconds long, 10 minutes apart and serious discomfort of diarrhoea due to the castor oil. By 4 o' clock the next morning the contractions had become stronger with shorter intervals, but still not strong and long enough to put me in full labour.

I was so caught up in labour and didn't notice the stress of my midwife. By 8'O clock she broke the news. I'm not progressing and we need to get to a hospital for a caesarean. She made the necessary calls and by 9 O'clock we were on our way to Mowbray hospital with the gynaecologist and theatre waiting for us. I remember my exhaustion after being in labour for hours already, the pain of the contractions now 2 minutes apart, but I was at total peace with the rest of the situation.

As we got into our Kombi, she suggested that I go down on all fours on the middle seat, with her kneeling in front of me, supporting me with her body during the trip. She was afraid I would give birth on the highway and standing on all fours would slow down the labour. I remember holding both her hands while taking the 30 minute trip to the hospital, counting the contractions (there were exactly ten) and her urging Christo to stay within the speed limits.

As we stopped at the hospital (a state hospital - in SA not in a very good condition) they brought, what was in my opinion, one of the oldest wheelchairs to fetch me. As I sat down in the wheel chair, it felt like I fell right through, but experiencing another contraction, I didn't even complain. Within minutes I was laying on a bed, ready to be pushed into theatre. It was during that few minutes that my body went into a stress and I immediately recognised it as the same reaction I had with Josua minutes before he was born. Christo and my midwife recognised it too, and gave me Rescue drops. At the same time I also felt the distinct urge to push! I told my midwife (it was still only the three of us in the room) and she immediately examined me, only to discover that I was fully dilated and ready to give birth! Baby’s head was ready to crown!

The next few minutes was like a scene from ER24. The midwife making calls to the active birth unit (at the opposite side of the hospital) informing them, she was on her way with a mother who needed to give birth immediately, while grabbing her bag with stuff, Christo getting me back in the wheel chair, grabbing the baby’s bag. The midwife was pushing the wheelchair, while calmly giving Christo instructions to pull the chair in front, to prevent me from falling out of the chair, due to the speed they are running with me and giving directions to the birth unit. I just had to breathe in and out, listen to my midwife’s voice: "don't push", while experiencing another one or two contractions!

Within minutes they rushed me into the most beautiful room (I remember it so clearly, because the rest of the hospital was in a terrible condition) and put me on a large queen sized bed. Our midwife was in and out of the room, fetching monitors, oxygen and everything else baby or I may need during and after the birth. Only 5minutes after arriving in the room with the soft pink walls and pastel colour curtains she informed me she is ready if I'm ready. There was a huge birth pool in the corner, but no time to fill it.

I just squatted next to the bed, Christo supporting me from behind and I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl! It was 10h05, only 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital!

After giving baby Danika some oxygen, our midwife filled the birth pool and we had a relaxed bath.

Christo had the privilege to dress her the first time, but halfway had to ask the midwife’s help, while I was still recovering in the soothing water of the birth pool.

Four hours later, still in the Active Birth Unit of Mowbray Hospital, the children could meet their little sister. We were dismissed half an hour later and could go home.

Our midwife with Josua and Danika, our two babies she caught. A year after Danika’s birth she quit the midwife profession and left South Africa. A huge lost to us.

Afterwards our midwife, confessed that Danika’s natural birth was a miracle. The reason that I couldn't fully dilate at home was because baby went into the birth canal with a flexed head, preventing strong enough gravitation pull to fully open the birth canal. I would not have been able to give normal birth to a baby in that position! The trip to the hospital, with me standing on all fours, caused baby to move back, out of the birth canal (a total miracle, since it is unheard of). As I got into the wheelchair, almost 'falling' right through due to its bad condition, baby moved into the birth canal at the right angle and from there I just needed to push!

I can still imagine God sending His angel to make sure the oldest wheelchair, would be the closest wheelchair available for me!

God is so good and He answers prayer! The only thing we need to do is to ask Him in faith!

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart

Ps 37:4


Petra said...

Sjoe, when I saw the photo I thought something had already happened! What can I say, God is so faithful. Enjoy this last leg of the pregnancy!

Linnie said...

No! Baby is still snug and safe in the Secret Place.
Thank you, my Friend!
Have a blessed week!

Huisvrou said...

Wonderlik om te kon deel in hierdie wonderwerk van jou - dankie hoor.

Linnie said...

Liewe Marelize,
hoe lekker om van jou te hoor daar vanuit Australië, ek hoop jou laaste dag is ekstra geseënd!
Kan nie wag om van alles te hoor!

AutumnVine said...

So lekker om te hoor van die wonders van God. En die wonders van die lewe. Sterkte met die laaste endjie.

Linnie said...

Dankie AV, hoe heerlik dit ook al is om hierdie lewetjie binne my te voel beweeg, die ongemak is maar groot!
Dankie vir die inloer!

Sonja said...

Ek het hierdie gesels nou so baie geniet! Ek het hier en daar lekker gelag en sommer gehuil ook oor die wonderlike God wat ons dien en ai! Wat kan ek se, sulke stories maak my vreeslik emosioneel!Ons het dieselfde negatiewe reaksies gekry op ons 4de kind en dit was bitter moeilik,maar ek was seker dat God met my is en dat Hy hierdie geskenk vir my gegee het!

Johannie said...

HI Linnie! Baie dankie vir hierdie wonderlke 'blog' wat jy met ons deel. God is goed en ek voel so bevoorreg om op 'n jong ouderdom te mag weet van Sy doel en wil vir ons lewens as vrouens en mamma's. Die seening wat saamkom met in Jesus se voetspore en wil lewe is wonderlik en ek voel sommer skatryk! Ons eerste 'reverse'babajie is oppad. Nou 26 weke en dit gaan so goed. Super gesond en geen pyn. Dit sal ons vierde 'olyfboompie' wees. Het tyd terug baie lekker met jou oor die foon gekuier. Dis so heeerlik om met iemand soos jy te gesels en dinge te lees wat en hoe dit jul doen. Familie en vriende mos maar snaaks oor al die gesonde dinge en baie kinders en mamma-by-die-huis en tuisskool! Ons eerste 2tjies is ook tuis gebore en wil baie graag hierdie outjie ook. Nr3 was by die hospitaal met epiduraal,maar dieselfde vroedvrou. Als was normaal en o.k,maar nie nastenby so lekker en spesiaal soos tuis. Hannah word vandag 5. Eric is 3jr en 8maande. Dirk is 2jr en 2weke oud. Weereens dankie vir al die lekker en goeie raad en stories. Mag die Here jou en jul gesin seen en ook die geboorte van jul nuwe babatjie. liefde Johannie

Linnie said...

Goeie more Johannie,
Heerlik om jou hier op my blog te sien kuier. Baie geluk met Hanna se verjaardag gister en 'n vierde 'reverse' babatjie wat oppad is. Dit maak my so opgewonde om sulke getuienisse te hoor!
Ek sien waarlik die vervulling van Mal 4 - Prys die Here daarvoor!
5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
Dit is my bede dat jy weer 'n baie geseënde tuisgeboorte sal hê! Laat weet asb. wanneer hy of sy gebore word!
Dankie vir jou seënwense

Dezi van der Spuy said...

Wow what a story! I am sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks. Praise the Lord. God is truly good. Thanks for sharing with others. ♡♡

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