“This, then, is of faith, that everything, the very least, or what seems to us great, every change of the seasons, everything that touches us in mind, body, or estate, whether brought about through this outward senseless nature, or by the will of man, good or bad, is overruled to each of us by the all-holy and all-loving will of God. Whatever befalls us, however it befalls us, we must receive as the will of God. If it befalls us through man’s negligence, or ill-will, or anger, still it is, in even the least circumstance, to us the will of God. For if the least thing could happen to us without God’s permission, it would be something out of God’s control. God’s providence or His love would not be what they are. Almighty God Himself would not be the same God; not the God whom we believe, adore, and love.”E. B. Pusey
I am so thankful that I have a solid foundational understanding of the sovereignty of God. Nothing slips through His hands. He providentially orchestrates all things that touch our life.
Knowing this, helped me handle a difficult phone call the afternoon of January 9th, 2024, the day before I turned 39 weeks. The fetal and maternal health specialist called me to talk to me about my fasting glucose numbers that hadn’t budged. I asked her what the concern was since my blood pressure was fine and his growth was fine. With no sugar coating whatsoever, she very bluntly responded, “Risk of stillbirth.”
Although I was a bit taken aback by her answer, I believed that most likely was not the case for me since my other numbers were not in question, yet, I chose to rest in God’s sovereignty regarding this phone call and this information presented to me. I asked her about the foley balloon method and she said that was definitely an option for me.
“How would you feel about scheduling your induction for tomorrow?”
Truth be told, friends, I wanted off this rollercoaster and knew that none of this was coincidence. This was all coming to me from God’s hand, even through a doctor’s lack of tact. Even if she was possibly pressuring me with that scary outcome, God was allowing it and giving us an opportunity to trust Him as He gave us wisdom to make the right decisions.
I agreed to proceed with the induction and received a request through the health portal for an appointment at the hospital for 5:30 AM the next day. I called the sweet sister in Christ who was on call to watch the boys and asked if she would be able to come over to hang with the boys while Paul and I were at the hospital. She said she would be at our house by 5 AM and was so excited for us to be so close to meeting baby boy #4! Her joy for us was quite calming for me as I embraced this new unknown experience that was ahead of me.
Considering childcare for the other boys was another thing weighing on Paul and I’s mind, we were so thankful that our boys would be cared for and loved on while we were briefly away. This sweet sister played with them and baked homemade banana bread with them. Even 1,000 miles away from family, God has provided a family for us in so many ways through our amazing church. I let a lot of my friends know about the situation and Paul informed our elders- we had a lot of people praying for us.
I had trouble sleeping that night from nerves (and some contractions too) and was woken up by our three year old who wanted to sleep next to me as he had always done pretty much his whole life. He had no idea that his little world was about to change. He was about to become a big brother!
I didn’t even need my alarm to go off at 4:30 AM because my eyes were already wide open as I rolled out of bed to get ready to head to the hospital. After checking into the hospital, we got settled into my birthing suite that overlooked Tampa Bay. As the sun rose, the view got even sweeter. I doubt many people get to labor while looking at water and palm trees out the window. 😊
I relayed the birth plan to my nurse who was a sweet homeschooling mama. The midwife on call was also just as sweet…and spunky. She was my hype girl for sure! Our game plan was for me to labor with the foley balloon for about five hours, check my dilation to see how my body was responding to that method and then break my water, knowing that he would most likely come quickly after that since that happened with the other boys. By God’s grace, within 30 minutes of the balloon being inserted, my contractions picked up and labor began to progress wonderfully. I was even able to walk around and labor over a birthing ball for the first time. I implemented breathing exercises this time around and a rocking motion that truly helped me stay focused as I calmly took each contraction as they came. My focal point being Tampa Bay, of course.
One thing that was truly different with this labor was my great need to cry. The oxytocin was truly making me weep; It was beautifully overwhelming in the best way. Within 2.5 hours, the balloon helped me dilate to 4 cm, and he was low enough for the midwife to break my water. That of course was when labor got intense FAST. I continued the swaying motion standing up, but this time, I needed to hold onto Paul’s hand and lean into his shoulder as I had done with my previous labors. He is such an amazing birthing partner; we truly make a great team.
Within 30 minutes, I began to vocalize through the contractions so I knew I was approaching transition. I made my way to the bed, got on my knees, and faced the wall with my arms around Paul’s shoulders. As contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and I got the urge to push, I grabbed the bars of the bed and used it to brace myself as I pushed. Within 3 or 4 pushes, he was born!
The midwife slipped Jonathan through my legs so I could see him…oh, my goodness…so much hair!!
Our Florida boy was born at 1:20 PM- something I had silently asked the Lord…that he would be born during the day, which is why the view out of the window was so beautiful with that Florida sun shining off the water.
“I did it, I did it!”
Little man’s blood sugar was a little low right after he was born but after sucking on some sugar mixture and eating (he latched perfectly immediately!), his numbers were thankfully normal. He would have to have his glucose checked 4 more times while we were at the hospital, but the numbers were within range each time. Thank You, Lord! We only had to stay at the hospital for 24 hours…another silent prayer answered!
So here we are, now seven weeks postpartum, with baby boy laying on my lap, as I wrap up what will most likely be my last birth story. Although it is not exactly how I wanted his birth to go, I trust that God’s hand was upon the whole journey and that His grace carried me the whole way as I know it will continue to do until I take my last breath. I will forever live to tell Jonathan (and my other boys) of this great grace that is ever-sufficient.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV