"I can’t dive into the details of Sienna’s birth without first telling you about my spiritual journey into natural childbirth. Stay with me here, I won’t get too fruity on you. It all began in about my sixth month of pregnancy when I was at a baby shower for two ladies in the ward. I was the only soon-to-be new mom and the others all had little kids. Someone asked me, “So, are you going to get the epidural?” I said, “Pshhh. Yes. That seems like a no-brainer.” The others laughed and agreed."
"About a week later I started reading The Birth Book by William and Martha Sears as recommended to me by my friend Brooke. When she handed it to me months earlier, I thought, “What’s there to know about birth? You just go to the hospital and the doctor takes care of everything.” Three pages into the book, I had an epiphany: I wanted to have a natural childbirth. No one was more surprised than me to discover this. Martha Sears was recounting each birth story of her seven kids. Her last six were without medication and the way she talked about those births in contrast to her first, where the doctor definitely “took care” of everything, was something else. It moved me spiritually and emotionally. I was on my lunch break reading the book and remember walking back to the office with tears in my eyes.
Martha has two heart diseases, and her OBGYN and cardiologist did not understand her desire to have a natural birth. She says,
"Dr. M and Dr. G had no stats or studies to back it up, but their main concern was the risk natural childbirth would pose to my heart. I could never really get to the bottom of it, but I was CERTAIN natural childbirth would pose no extra risk to my heart. I felt just the opposite, actually."It is no coincidence to me that this story found it's way to me right after listening to Elder Holland's General Conference address Safety For the Soul, in which he speaks passionately about latter day dangers. "Think of the heart as the figurative center of our faith, the poetic location of our loyalties and our values; then consider Jesus’s declaration that in the last days “men’s hearts [shall fail] them." (Luke 21:26 and D&C 45:26)
Martha's heart did not fail her, in fact, I think her heart being just right is what saved her.
"Needless to say, this was a time of great confusion for me. Here I was, reading about this concept [natural childbirth] that no medical doctor I talked to could wrap their head around. I thought doctors were supposed to have all the answers and help me do what was in the best interest of my body. I felt so betrayed by the medical establishment and resented every appointment I was scheduled for. The final month was the worst because they made me have extra fetal monitoring twice a week which made me anxious and worried because each visit threatened induction because my amniotic fluid levels were all over the map. I knew being induced would put all hopes of a natural childbirth out of my grasp so I prayed more fervently than ever to be spared from induction."Martha's birth ended up being, in her words, "way better than the best." Someday soon, you can read the whole story in the book.
"I found great comfort in Ether chapter 12. The more I learned about faith, the more I knew it was my answer. Faith precedes miracles and I needed a major miracle. Faith brought about the impossible, like moving mountains, and I needed a mountain MOVED. Each time after fetal testing, I was sent home. Each time I KNEW it was a miracle. I still didn’t know what the end would bring, but I just kept my faith fine-tuned and told God what I wanted and left it up to Him."
Thanks for sharing your stories. Keep them coming.