You’re pregnant. You’ve been waiting for months for “Labor and Delivery Day.” You’ve had aches, huge boobs, more sweat and tears than normal, hemorrhoids, sciatic pain. Some of you maybe gained stretch marks. Some of you puked your brains out. Some of you read every.single.book.on.the.planet. about child-birth and joyfully made your hubby watch videos of other women’s naked bodies push out a kid. Some of you never read a single thing or watched a single video clip. Some of you will choose an epidural. Some of you will choose a home birth. Some of you choose one thing but end up with the opposite. But one thing is for certain.
You will not be pregnant forever.
During your pregnancy, whether it is your first or seventh, somewhere in your brain you’ve sorta-kinda planned out a mild plan of what you’re expecting. Right? For those more seasoned, maybe you’ve just planned that you’re having a baby and know the rest of the details will fall into place.
For my first child, I had expectations. Home birth. Why? Because I was born at home, vaccine and drug-free. I have one older sibling and one younger and my mom was that mom that never fretted nor saw prenatal care doctor/midwife. My dad was a chiropractor and he was her doctor. He delivered me and moments later gave me my first adjustment. My mom always said, “God didn’t create a baby in the womb and forget how to get him out again. He designed women’s bodies to do this. Pregnancy is not a sickness, so why would I go to a hospital to be treated like I have an illness?”
Our primary care doctor was my dad, my entire life. The medical field was in place for emergencies which only applied if my dad couldn’t crazy-glue us back together. No one in my family had been to the hospital, ever. We never, ever took medicine. We were given an adjustment, ice, and herbal/holistic remedy.
Labor and Delivery: When Something Goes…Wrong
So, fast forward to my labor. I was 41 weeks and 1 day into my first pregnancy. Water broke at 4 am. By 4:30 am my contractions were 3 minutes apart. I called my midwife and she suggested I rest and she’d be on her way over in a few hours. I told her she’s not going to make it in time! It was my first, but I fully expected to be done with labor and have my child in hand after about 2 hours. Little did I know what God had in store for my firstborn.
I saw the nighttime turn to daylight. I saw the daylight turn to nighttime. And again I saw the nighttime turn to daytime.
Still contracting 3 minutes apart. We were stuck – at 8 cm. My son was turned wrong. My midwife was able to turn him back so he could drop. Hours later she checked me again, and he turned back and retreated! We tried all sorts of things to progress. But after a full 24 hours at 3 minutes apart, I was emotionally and physically spent. My trusted midwife said my son and I were not in an emergency situation, but if I were to transfer to the hospital now, I wouldn’t be considered an emergency C-section.
After many tears, prayers and a huge gulp to swallow my pride, we transferred to the hospital. One epidural and a total of thirty-seven hours later, my son was finally born, vaginally!
Labor and Delivery: How to Cope with Unmet Expectations
The moral to the story? Expectations aren’t always met. Sometimes what you end up with wasn’t on your radar. My epidural was the first drug that ever entered my body. I never dreamed I’d be in a hospital bed, IV in my arm, epidural in my spine, with a doctor on his way up the elevator to assess if I needed a C-section. This was not my plan.
So, what do you do with labor that wasn’t in your plan? For me, I turn to my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He has a far better plan than my finite mind can conceive. My son was born healthy, and aside from my pride being a little bruised from having an epidural/hospital delivery, we all made it out of the hospital with smiles on our faces.
Through this adventure, I can say that hospitals are indeed in place to help when help is needed. Each staff member we encountered was kind, civil, and educated. We were very clear and involved with each decision made, and we made sure every nurse knew our plan to not vaccinate our son. Some of their practices were not my preferences, but I understand they are acting as they are taught best.
There are many ways to respond to circumstances that don’t go as planned. At the end of the day, even if you’ve had an unplanned labor and delivery, does that give you the right to be bitter or angry or resentful or shameful? Of course not.
Why? Because even though we think we are in control of our daily occurrences, we truly are not. Our lives, down to our very breath, are ordained by the Mighty God. We, however, are not merely pawns or robots living out our lives here. We were given breath in our lungs and life in our bones to bring joy to Him. As much as we enjoy our earthly children, how much more so God enjoys us! He gives us blessings. Lavishly. Sometimes it seems as if He is throwing a monkey-wrench in our plans (like being a hospital-transfer).
Instead, He is protecting me. I have no idea what He actually protected me from that day, but if a hospital birth was what His protection was for my son and me, I can rest peacefully knowing He can see all things:
In those moments of labor, that hospital bed was the safest place on Earth.
Have you had a labor and delivery go differently than planned? How did you deal with the disappointment?