The day after my 28th birthday, I started reading Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize, a book highly recommended by a close girlfriend. I read it in about two weeks, and then I teamed up with a couple of ladies to study the book together, as we all were looking forward to having our next child.
Supernatural Childbirth presents “a practical and realistic look at God’s promises for conception, pregnancy and delivery”. Jackie Mize shares her own story of how she and her husband “overcame defeat and triumphed in God’s plan” after being told she’d never have children! In the introduction, Jackie’s husband Terry explains, “Supernatural childbirth to us means faith in God’s Word to bring about what man has declared impossible.”
The experiences, testimonies, and scriptures I read in this book caused me to see conception and delivery in a new light. A new level of faith stirred within my heart. I prayed fervently. I was excited about seeing the hand of God at work once again, especially after all He’d done for us with our first child. I experienced life-threatening sickness during pregnancy that led to an emergency delivery and premature birth of our baby girl Christian. In spite of the obstacles, God saw us through and she progressed miraculously.
At the time I was studying this book, Christian was 5 years old and about to start kindergarten. She was never shy about letting us know she wanted a sibling. In fact, she had been drawing pictures of the family with her baby brother she labeled “Little Arlington”. We had told her if we had a boy we’d name him after her dad. One night while I was getting her ready for bed she reminded me that she and her daddy would be gone during the day now to school and work and I’d have no more kids to care for. Then she said, “the baby’s in heaven.” I said, “What baby?” She said, “Little Arlington!” I don’t recall what I said afterward, but I recorded the conversation in my journal. Knowing me, I cried, prayed, and hugged her tightly because Christian always had a way of saying things to melt my heart.
About a month after I finished the book, my husband and I talked and prayed about God’s timing and direction, and we decided to try for Baby #2. Many people asked why we had waited so long and some teased us about our biological clock ticking away. Though we didn’t feel pressured. We had many reasons for waiting, and, above all, we knew what God wanted for us was most important. Our kids would be several years apart, but the age gap didn’t bother me since I grew up with a sister who is six years older. She’s not only a loving sibling but also a dear friend. I was confident our children would be exactly what each other needed too!
I pressed forward with my heart and mind focused on the things the Lord had deposited in my spirit. Inspired by the book, I wrote down a list of 30 things to believe God for during my second pregnancy. Here are 10 of my prayers.
- To get pregnant
- Know what God says and have confidence and faith to stand on God’s Word, promises, and blessing. Don’t settle for anything less or accept anything else. Believe and know He hears my prayers. Believe before it happens.
- Speak only what I am believing God for – speak with, not against, my faith
- My disposition/attitude – joyful mother of children (Psalm 113:9). Fear can set in but I must gain control. God will give me crazy, supernatural peace and people won’t believe or understand it!
a. unknown = fear
b. knowledge = peace = control
- No preeclampsia (high blood pressure, swelling, protein in urine)
- Carry the baby to full term
- No PAIN in Jesus’s name at all stages. Remember pain is under the curse, and Jesus freed us. He cancelled out the curse!
- Go into labor by myself, no inducing
- I will know when it’s time
- A baby boy, caramel complexion, soft curly black hair, dark brown eyes, 6 lbs to 6 ½ lbs. It would be nice to have twins – boy & girl! But that’s on you Lord! (two boys would present a name conflict with Arlington III.)
I started to have one vivid dream after another about being pregnant, even with twins, which was common on my maternal grandmother’s side. The anticipation was building. I could see faces, and the visions were incredible!
The first two months we tried, nothing happened and I was devastated! What was wrong with me? With us? It was like a nightmare. We’d waited all this time to come to this desolate place?! After conversations with our doctor and people who had been in our position, we kept our eyes on God. I cried out to the Lord and read 1 Samuel about Hannah. I made a commitment to trust God and care for myself. I prayed for a son and let go, releasing all of my guilty convictions, plans, worries about this pregnancy to the Lord. He released me of my plans to take hold of His perfect will with no fear or worry. I realized my main problem was I was ready but I needed to completely rely on God’s timing!
One day during the third month of trying to conceive, I knew something was going on with my body, but my OB/GYN had recommended, if I start getting signs, I should wait a couple weeks before taking a pregnancy test! She was trying to keep us from false alarms and being disappointed. Around this time, I was due for my well woman’s exam with my primary doctor. Instead of cancelling the appointment, I decided to go ahead. When I mentioned I might be pregnant and that my OB/GYN to wait on a test, they gave me one anyway. They said they wouldn’t be able to go ahead with the exam if I were pregnant. Honestly, I think they were just as excited as I was to find out as I was! And lo and behold, it came back POSITIVE! I was overjoyed and relieved at the same time!
Because of my first pregnancy history of preeclampsia and premature delivery, my primary doctor (who happened to also be an OB/GYN) told me about a new vegetable & fruit supplement called Juice Plus. It had been proven to help maintain a healthy body as well as protect and heal against many diseases and ailments, especially for pregnant women. I told my primary doctor I believed God had sent me there that day! Not only did she confirm what I believed was happening with my body but she told me about this supplement. I left the appointment on cloud nine! I researched Juice Plus, and it sounded like a good fit for me. After praying about it with my husband and confirming it with my OB/GYN, I started taking the supplement along with prenatal vitamins.
At our first prenatal appointment, we were told by the nurse I would not be able to have vaginal birth because of my previous C-section. She said all of doctors at the practice, including mine, only did repeat C-sections to keep danger down. I asked how could they determine or be sure I’d have the same complications as I did the first time? What if my health were fine this time around? She had no answers. I didn’t think it was sensible or fair at all so she said I could talk it over with my doctor at the next visit.
Well, at the next appointment, my OB/GYN had the same message. She said the C-section would be scheduled at 38½ weeks. She was unwilling to do a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) due to the risks. She said my pelvis hadn’t been tried and tested and didn’t want to risk uterus rupture, hysterectomy, or death for baby or me. My husband was also extremely concerned about the risks. I didn’t like what I was hearing at all! Everything she was saying went against what I’d been believing for. I knew we needed to pray for God’s will and plan! I felt disappointed because I could be denied the opportunity to experience natural birth. I understood the risks full well and the fact that the doctor was trying to protect me. After all, she wasn’t comfortable and tearfully expressed her concerns. She, with the Lord’s guidance and power, had helped to save our first baby from potential death.
I trusted her, but I wanted to know all of my options. I asked for alternatives, but she had none except for mentioning another doctor in the area who specialized in VBAC. We continued to go to her practice for our prenatal checkups, but we decided to do our own research. We found a couple of doctors close to home, but after meeting with them, we didn’t feel comfortable with some of their philosophies and methods. I felt as if we are being led by fear. But God reminded me He didn’t give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)! So I kept praying for God to see us through it.
For the first sonogram appointment, our daughter Christian was with us. When we showed the picture to her, she was convinced it was a boy. She said it was obvious by looking at the picture it’s a boy, particularly by the shape of his head! She also said it didn’t really matter anymore to her if it were a girl or boy. She didn’t care either way! We told her we must wait and see just as we did with her. We wanted to be surprised with whatever little package God gave us on that special day! I admit I wanted a boy though. I thought it would be great to have one of each! It was fun though daydreaming and thinking on the possibilities, and of course, looking at baby clothes (one of my favorite past times)! We were getting more and more excited every day!
All the while, my prenatal appointments were going well, except my weight fluctuated. The recommendation was to walk 20 minutes, five times a week. I also started working out to a pregnancy exercise video and doing stretches. The regimen worked because at the following appointments I received good health reports. I tried to stay hydrated. And, the Juice Plus supplements were keeping my levels right.
At one of the appointments, a damper came when I was told the C-section scheduled date. To keep my mind in check, I had to keep praying. My husband was worried at the thought of losing me, the baby, or both. He knew I was very frustrated with the planned C-section and expressed he hadn’t been praying as he should. I was concerned about being in disagreement with him or stepping out to say “this is what I want” if he didn’t have peace in his spirit! I asked God to give us agreement and asked my husband to pray together for agreement.
I didn’t let this news stop me from continuing the research for an alternative. I read two more books, Natural Childbirth after Cesarean by Diana Korte and Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. Both of them gave me a great overview and knowledge about labor and delivery processes and issues. After talking to friends and professionals who were familiar with natural births, I researched birthing centers and midwives in our metroplex. These places would be at least 30 miles away, which could make a big difference for someone with my history and in my “high risk” situation. Although the atmospheres sounded ideal for natural birth, the emergency procedures were limited and we’d have to pay more out-of-pocket. They also told me they didn’t deal with first time VBAC patients so they referred me to a women’s health practice nearby. Another “no”, but I continued to pray for wisdom.
Around 27 weeks, my husband shared a revelation with me he’d received from Isaiah 54-55. He asked me what I wanted from this pregnancy, and I shared what I was believing God for. He declared God will give us what we believe if we have faith and do not fear. I told him that is exactly what Supernatural Childbirth is about! I had been praying and reading scripture. God had already given me peace about the situation and had also given me the same message! Thank the Lord we had come into agreement! We started praying together more. He also mentioned that since we have a covenant with God, His promise would be fulfilled. He said things that are foreign or unknown to us can be called forth by us and those things will have to submit to us because of the covenant (Isa 55:3-5). Most of all, he proclaimed he was no longer concerned or worried about the risks of VBAC or trial of labor! Bless God! We were always united, but God brought us closer than we’d ever been in our marriage. It was an amazing turning point for us. I knew God had touched my husband’s heart, and I was so grateful for His faithfulness to put us on the same page. Together, we were facing this head on!
We looked into the women’s practice recommended by the birthing center and took a tour of their affiliated hospital in the metroplex. At 30 weeks, we notified our existing OB/GYN we were going to another practice. She asked us to please let her know how everything turned out. We had settled on the women’s practice referred by the birthing center. The practice was about 30 minutes away from home, and the lead OB/GYN came highly recommended for VBAC patients. From the moment we met her, everything clicked. She understood everything we had been through. She listened to our story, our hearts, our concerns and said “yes” without hesitation! She was willing to let us try, and that was really all we wanted! She encouraged me to keep walking, but now for at least an hour a day. She wanted me to keep up the Juice Plus, prenatal vitamins, maintain healthy habits, and rest when needed so my vitals and tests could stay on the up and up.
When we were about three weeks out from the due date, I prayed again to the Lord to help me walk out this process with confidence, to give me His peace, and for my body to know when it was time! I didn’t know what labor was like considering I didn’t make it to that stage with our first pregnancy. I shared my desire to know the signs with my new OB/GYN, and she told me I would definitely know. I also had a girlfriend who explained that in her case the contractions felt like intense menstrual cramps, not pain but pressure. I had a great support group who shared their experiences and encouraged me. My husband and I knew God would give us our own unique supernatural experience. At this point, we were well passed the premature stage, and we were thankful to have gotten so far. We knew it was all up to God!
At 38 weeks, I had one sign after another every day (pre-labor contractions, more baby movement, etc.), and my body kept changing. I had no reference for this stage so I had to trust God. Everything seemed to be moving along fine according to my checkups. But at 40 weeks, when the due date arrived, the baby did not come. Our OB/GYN said she’d let me go one week past the due date, but that was it! She didn’t want to take the risk so just in case she scheduled a C-section for 10 days after the due date. My husband and I understood, but we cried out to the Lord again to help the baby come on His time. Our doctor also informed us she would be out of the office part of the next week, which meant one of her associates might have to deliver our baby. She introduced us to the other doctors in her practice – that way we wouldn’t be meeting the person for the first time in delivery.
Four days after the due date, I woke up around 3AM. I got up for a minute and laid back down. Then again a little after 6AM I woke up with lots of cramping in my lower abdomen and back. I decided to go walk for an hour. I saw one of my walking friends while I was out. She was about my grandmother’s age and always showed her concern for me walking while pregnant. She asked about the due date. I said I think the baby’s coming today because I had started to have regular contractions. She said if she didn’t see me tomorrow she’d know I had the baby.
I continued walking and I felt pretty good. The contractions and pressure were non-stop, but I had no pain. Things felt exactly like my girlfriend had described weeks before. After finishing my walk, I went home, showered, and then woke up my husband and told him I think it’s time. We got ready and then called our doctor’s office. Even though she was supposed to be out of the office, we were still connected to her. Since my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I complained of no pain, only pressure, she said I couldn’t be in real labor because I was talking to her so calmly. She said call back when it was painful and the contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart. She also advised me to eat light snacks. In my head, I was thinking, “Uh! Okay! If you say so, but I believe I’m in labor!”
Since we lived far from the hospital, we thought it’d be best not to wait around. So within an hour, we dropped our daughter off at the grandparents’ house. I got a snack and water there and then we drove closer to hospital and walk at a nearby park. We arrived around 11AM, and after about 45 minutes or so of walking, the contractions got closer. So close, I had to stop walking at times to wait them out and catch my breath. We decided to get food at the hospital around 12PM. I ate tomato minestrone soup and crackers with water to drink. We walked more around inside the hospital and the contractions started getting even closer and more intense.
We called the doctor’s office again. The doctor kept asking about pain, but I still had no pain just intense contractions. She advised us to go to the hospital to be admitted around 1PM, however, when we arrived I couldn’t be admitted because the doctor hadn’t called ahead yet. I think she was still doubted if this was the real thing. The hospital staff sent us to maternity observation for about an hour. Most of the staff people in that area didn’t believe I was in labor because I still had no pain (They didn’t know that crazy, supernatural peace had kicked in!). We got strange looks and people were slow with the processes. The contractions were getting stronger, but I was only 33% dilated around 2PM. Thus, my doctor made the decision to call the labor & delivery team and tell them to break my water upon admittance. I disagreed at first but then we agreed because our doctor said it would help labor. Even still, my husband and I prayed my water would break before we got to labor & delivery. We didn’t want the process to be rushed in any way.
Once we were admitted, I asked my husband to go to the car to get our bags and my radio to play my CD I’d made just for the labor & delivery room. I didn’t want anything to start without him or my things so I gave them my birthing plan, which had been approved by my doctor. They turned around and gave me paperwork to fill out. When my husband returned, I asked him to turn on my CD with a playlist of my favorite songs of faith, declaration, and peace. It was designed to set the atmosphere and keep my focus on the Lord, regardless of what was going on around me. And it truly worked!
A nurse hooked me up to external fetal monitor and inserted a hep-lock just in case I’d need an IV all while I finished signing papers. It took me about an hour to fill out the papers and by then it was close to 3PM. I was still believing God to break my water. The nurse sent in a young female resident who worked closely with our doctor. She tried twice to break water but no fluid came out. Then they sent in male resident who did same thing, and nothing happened. He asked me if my water had already broken. I said I wasn’t sure. That’s when he said he had ruptured in at least two spots but no fluid came out so he told the nurse to record as rupture. He believed my water had probably already broken earlier. Blessed God! We knew exactly what had happened, and we praised the Lord for breaking my water!
Because my pregnancy and delivery were considered high-risk, I was required to stay on a monitor for 30 minutes at a time. In my birthing plan, I had requested to have the freedom to walk around, drink water to stay hydrated, and get in a water tub to relax. In my VBAC research, I had learned all of these things could help in my situation. I opted for no meds (except for emergency situations) because I didn’t want anything to interfere with the natural process. The nursing staff still didn’t believe I was in labor because I had no outward signs. Every time I asked for something, the charge nurse called our doctor for approval. Our doctor told them to monitor me but give me the freedom to move about however I felt comfortable. This back and forth went on for about two hours. I was still dilating slowly, yet the strength of the contractions and pressure were rising. I was determined not to lose hope!
During this time, I also had a close girlfriend, who was an inspiration to me, came to the hospital. She’d been in our Supernatural Childbirth study group, experienced natural childbirth twice before, and had offered to be there to support us. She helped time contractions, give messages to the nurses, and do whatever we needed.
Around 6PM while I was lying in the bed hooked up to the monitor, the nurse said I had to get oxygen because our baby’s heart rate was getting unstable. I hesitated at first. I thought it was a setup to keep me in the bed, but we decided to go ahead to avoid the baby going into distress. My husband said not too long after, I told him we were going to have a baby by 6:25PM. And right then I started having the most intense contractions ever. I asked to get up, use the bathroom, and walk, but the nurse wouldn’t allow it. Immediately, I felt an overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to bear down and push. It seemed like an out-of-body experience. My body’s instinctive reflexes took over. The nurse immediately came in, as my movements had set off monitor. My husband and I explained to her I couldn’t help it. She and her team didn’t want me to push, but she asked did I feel like it would relieve me if I did. I said yes.
When they checked me again, I was fully dilated (Hallelujah!) but our doctor’s associate hadn’t arrived yet. The attending staff still delayed my pushing, but once they accepted the fact that I couldn’t control the urge, they let me push a little. Finally, the on-call associate doctor arrived, and suddenly everything went real fast. The pushing lasted about 5 minutes and, just a little after 7PM, we had a baby boy, Arlington III! He was everything I’d seen in my dreams, and his big sister was right all along!
Tears of joy and excitement flowed! The delivery room was thick with the presence of God and His peace that surpasses all understanding was certainly there. He had shown His glory. Nobody could believe what they had witnessed! Those people who’d been side-eyeing me all day, intentionally slowing processes and convinced I wasn’t in labor, saw the hand of the Lord in full effect! Many of them expressed their thoughts about the amazing experience and said they had never seen anything like what happened. My husband and I were quick to give all praise, honor, and glory to God. Our OB/GYN came by to see us within the next couple of days, and she said people were talking about us all over the hospital. She was excited to hear how it all went, and we expressed our appreciation for her willingness to guide us through this journey.
After a few days of recovery in the hospital, we took our new prince Arlington III home. We had a special time also when we took him to visit my old OB/GYN. She was so touched and excited to hear how our experience turned out. She was glad to know our son and I were healthy and made it through! And of course, our daughter Christian, wasn’t surprised at all! She was so happy to have her baby brother home, and she wasted no time helping us take care of him! I knew then why God had given me a baby girl first. He knew she’d be a big help. I was also reminded how God had uniquely “knit” together each of them in my womb (Psalm 139:13). While I was stressing out over the “when” of getting pregnant, God was busy at work doing things His way! Seeing both of our children side by side was a beautiful thing – our two miracles from the Lord – “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)!
I still get goosebumps when I look back, and it’s been a whole decade and a half. Pregnancy and childbirth are without question supernatural, seeing that God is behind the entire process. Mothers are simply His chosen ones to show His great power to the world! I have shared Supernatural Childbirth with as many women and couples as I can. Even my husband recommends it. Our lives and faith walk changed dramatically. Most of all, this journey taught us that fervently praying the Word of God and unceasingly believing His promises activates unwavering faith and assures you can press through anything! Our faith is greater than we know. All we have to do is activate it and let God take care of the rest!
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Read about my first experience with our daughter, My Journey to Motherhood here