In 2011 Chris began to ask God to give us a business. I also began to pray that in the right time, God would give us another sweet baby! In October of 2011, we were able to purchase a Signarama shop that was only a few blocks from our home. Being business owners turned out to be harder than we had ever imagined; pouring our blood, sweat, and tears into a venture that just seemed to devour all of our money. God continued to encourage us with Ps 27, “Be strong and let your heart take courage and wait for the Lord.”
In July of 2012, I discovered that I was pregnant. I was blissfully happy for a week! Then morning sickness began, worse than I had ever had before. To understand just how I felt, you can read a previous post of mine, “God Needs Me?” Chris and I had both received our heart’s desire from the LORD, and we were both very discouraged about it, because it wasn’t the glorious reality we had expected. We were more than discouraged…rather; we were depressed and wanting to give up on everything. Yet God kept giving us the same message every place we turned.
“Let your hearts take Courage!”
We found out that this baby was a boy, our sixth boy! I knew that Courage was the prefect name for him! Every time I talked to my baby boy, I was reminded to take Courage!
I had been reading the book, “Supernatural Childbirth” which describes one woman’s journey of praying and speaking out scriptures and promises from God and then experiencing no pain in childbirth! I started praying the prayers over myself and my baby, over and over again. I had a few specific requests for God. Number one; I didn’t want my water to break before labor. That had happened the last four times and that had been quite enough to me. It would happen at night, and then I would be so nervous or excited about the impending labor that I couldn’t get any sleep. I wanted a good night sleep before this labor, I decided! Number two; I didn’t want any after-contractions. After my last labor, they had been so painful for two days, stripping me of the joy of new motherhood. Number three; I wanted a fast, easy, early, and pain-free home-birth. Not too much to ask.
Three weeks before my due date, I felt my water break. I was rather confused, because I really thought that God would honor my prayers and keep my waters intact. Still, I was excited to have Courage early, and I notified friends and family to pray. An entire day went by and no labor had started. Day two passed and I was beside myself with worry. I wanted an uncomplicated home birth, but I thought that now I would have to go to the hospital to be induced. Surely the midwife wouldn’t let me go much longer.
Mary, the midwife, arrived at my house that second day to see how I was doing. After a quick exam, she declared that my water had NOT broken after all! My cervix was completely closed, and I had no fluid leaking out. It was the outer bag that had broken, but the inner bag was still intact. I had no idea that there were two bags! Instantly my fear dissolved and I was at peace again. My water had not broken! I could safely stay pregnant for few more weeks!
I was actually happy to wait for labor to begin. Courage was sitting so low, at +1 station, as though at any moment he could just slip out! I was incredibly uncomfortable, but I was still at peace.
On March 8th, I felt a contraction while in bed and noticed that it was 1:11am. I would normally have Braxton-Hicks during the night, but they hardly ever woke me up. The rest of the night I slept very soundly, having dreams of contractions. Early in the morning, my four year old padded over to my side of the bed. I got up with him and snuggled in the first light of dawn. I kept feeling contractions, but they were so mild and irregular. I spent the morning doing all the regular chores, sitting on the birthing ball whenever I could. I was hesitant to tell anyone that I thought I was in labor, since my last announcement had been a false alarm.
Finally at 10am I called Chris and asked him to come home from work. I was feeling too distracted to take care of things at home by myself, but I still wasn’t convinced that I was in labor. Chris arrived home within minutes, and he found me rocking on the birthing ball and shivering under a few layers of clothes. I was not in any pain, but Chris immediately recognized the tell-tale signs that labor had arrived. He called the midwife, and Mary’s helper, Shirley showed up in no time flat. She was a plainly dressed, kind-faced woman who immediately started preparing warm compresses. When she told me that she had given birth to 12 children, I knew I was in good hands.
Mary arrived to our home around 11am, and she started getting set up in our bed room. She checked my cervix and informed me that I was 9-10 cm, all the way there!
“We just need to wait for you to feel the urge to push. The baby is at +2 station so it won’t take long for him to be born.”
Wow! I hadn’t even been sure that this was really labor, and Mary just told me that the baby would be born soon!
The contractions started to become uncomfortable and then downright painful. All my normal positions didn’t bring the expected relief. Mary could see that I was very tired and suggested that I try lying in the bed on my side.
“I just don’t think that position will be comfortable when I have a contraction,” I replied.
“I don’t think any position is going to be very comfortable at this point,” she said.
I agreed to try. I lay down on my side. Immediately, Shirley was packing pillows and warm compresses all around my heavy and burdened body which was now trembling. She would massage and apply pressure at just the right time in just the right place without ever being told.
I had never given birth like this, and I just couldn’t believe that it would work, without gravity to help. Mary assured me that the baby would come right out, but I just didn’t believe her. Yet I felt so tired that all I could do was lay there.
I thought, “This is going to take a while!”
Fear began to try to take hold of my mind. I prayed, “Jesus, you are going to have to give birth to this baby because I don’t think I can.”
He assured me that he would. I closed my eyes and imagined myself snuggled in the arms of Jesus.
“I might need to push.” I said.
“Great,” Mary said as she held up my top leg. After a few light pushes, I heard a loud SPLASH! SLAT! I opened my eyes to see that Mary and Chris were all wet. They were commenting on how the water had burst all over them, the bed, and splashed unto the floor.
“Is the baby out?” I asked.
“No, that was just your bag of waters. But he is right there!” Mary answered.
One more push and Courage slid out so easily onto the bed! Mary scooped him up, bundled him, and placed him in my arms. He settled peacefully in my embrace and promptly started sucking his fist. I was tired but completely and totally happy! Our Courage had arrived so quickly and easily, although not totally pain-free. But the biggest answer to prayer I would experience every moment for the next few days. I could enjoy my newborn without any after-contractions! It felt like a miracle to me, and God had honored my requests!
What had started as a very discouraging time in our lives had ended in a beautiful birth of a beautiful boy. The business that kept Chris busy at least 60 hours a week was still teetering on the verge of failure. Yet as we watched our Courage grow bigger and stronger, our courage and faith in God grew as well.
He never let us go without food, and He never stopped sustaining our business in amazing nd miraculous ways. Signarama is still growing and improving, making signs for the greater Harrisburg area. And we are still daily reminding ourselves of God’s good words.
Let Your Heart Take Courage!