Monday, April 16, 2012

Elsie's Birth Story, Part 3

Once Gretchen got into the tub, things began to move very quickly.  She had three or four contractions and then began pushing.
Rene’e is our amazing midwife.  When having a home birth, the prenatal care is done in our home, with the midwife, so by delivery time we had been meeting regularly with her for about seven months.  It is quite a bonding experience going through this process with someone.  Throughout the ups and downs of pregnancy, there are many very vulnerable moments to share.  Having done this once before with Amelia, we have come to love and appreciate Rene’s very much.  She is a sweet, kindhearted and gentle person.  She exudes experience and confidence.
During our last birth Gretchen became a little ‘restless’ during the final moments and moved abruptly about in the water.  Rene’e was not having that this time.  Not even a little bit.  During and between a push, I heard our gentle southern belle midwife pronounce with great authority, “Girl, don’t you fight me!”.  WOW!  Where in the world did that come from?  The sweet “honey darling” went to “girl don’t you fight me” at neck breaking speed.  Where ever it came from, it worked.  Gretchen calmed and focused pushing Elsie out during the next contraction.   As Elsie came up from the water, we quickly wrapped her to conceal the gender.  Not even the midwives saw. 
The kids gathered around to Gretchen’s side, as we held our baby, not knowing whether we had a son or daughter.  There were tears of relief and tears of joy, bursts of laugher and sighs of relief, as the sweet and penetrating presence of God was felt as we together experienced the miracle of new life.  The child we had known for nine months in the womb and the child God had known before the foundation of the earth, was now nestled safely in our arms. 

After waiting several minutes, much to the chagrin of our ‘dream team’, we pulled back the towel to find out together the gender of our new baby.  The kids waited with much anticipation and strained to see…. a girl!  The next and most obvious question was, “What is her name?”.  However, that was to remain a surprise for later. 
 Following in Jacob’s footsteps with Amelia, Sophie was to cut the cord.  With Renée’s and my assistance, Sophie proudly completed her task.
What an amazing gift Elsie Jane is to our family.  I marvel at the miracle of conception, revel at the creative power seen throughout the nine months of development, and am dumbfounded by the awesomeness of birth.  However, that is only the beginning.  Our children are a joy even in the challenges we encounter as parents.  I realize that the responsibility of loving my wife, parenting my children, and leading my family, is infinitely more important than earning degrees, building a business, or having adequate ‘me time’ to enjoy hobbies.  The concept of family has become so diminished in our culture, one might not see the point.  It is my personal belief that strong families offer strength to a struggling culture and even church. 

Thanks for journeying along as I have shared our story.  My prayer is that perhaps in some small way God has spoken to your heart along the way.   May God bless and comfort you.


Final post coming, with more great pics and the kids’ perspective.


Ginger said...

Love it, love it, love it! Precious story.

1Midwife said...

Oh! How precious. I want to buy the book. You are both such wonderful story tellers. I laugh when I read what you wrote of me and my part I played at the birth. Your kind words are deeply moving. I so love being a part of such memorable days in your lives. Welcome baby Elsie! Love to you all!

Kelly said...


Jody said...

Beautiful!! Oh, I LOVE that picture where my hands are on your head. (Not cause I'm in it, well....sorta) But I just LOVE all the emotion.