We just said goodbye to Thanksgiving and already the sweet Christmas vibes is in the air. I can’t believe how fast this year has been.
As I’m sitting in my comfy sofa-chair in the living room, thinking about this year, I realised how full and wonderful it has been to us and how much I’ve learnt and grown.
Graduating from seminary, being pregnant, learning French at school, trusting God for job opportunities for my husband, giving birth, learning about nursing and parenting, learning about better communication with my husband… This year has been a full on learning year. So many new experiences in marriage, pregnancy and motherhood. My faith has been greatly stretched.
Giving brith is a big one for my faith stretching. I was planing on having a natural birth at a birth centre instead of hospital. It was something we decided based on condition of my pregnancy and many prayers. However, as the due day approaching, I was only getting more and more anxious as I knew If the baby didn’t come out within 12 days after the due day, I would have to go to hospital and give birth there. Those 12 days waiting felt like months. I had my hopes set up, then I had to see them fall through.
After 12 days over due, with a heavy and uncertain heart, I went to hospital with my husband. I was given induction and epidural, and after many contractions, pain and hard push, and with the assist of a suction cup on my baby’s head, I gave birth to our son Caleb that night.
Afterwards, I stayed at the hospital in a small crowded room with my baby, along with other two moms and their newborns, feeling exhausted. Thankfully, because I had registered to the brith centre before, I could move to the brith centre with my husband and baby the next morning, and stayed in a room of our own for 2 nights. Compared to the hospital room and without my husband being there (it was the rule of the hospital that family members can’t spend night there) , this place was everything I could ask for. The environment was so much better than a crowded hospital room and I got one-on-one help about breastfeeding my son from the midwifes there.
By the time we went to the hospital, I couldn’t understand why God didn’t answer my prayer for having a natural birth at a birth centre, which was something we really felt led by God to pursue. However, looking back later, we saw so much more clear about God’s wonderful lead and His mercy in this critical process of my life.
Little did we knew that Caleb was a healthy big boy, with a bigger head. He was over 3.9kg when he was born! That’s just how God designed him to be. If we had gone to the birth centre, where by policy, they don’t use any medication, no induction nor epidural, it would be too hard for me and the baby. Though my plan A was to have a natural birth without any medication, but, man, I was so glad that I took the advantage of modern medicine eventually at the hospital.
After receiving some induction drops, the contraction became so intense and frequent that I felt so much pain, and felt fainting and throwing up. I was sweating like crazy and can only cry out to Jesus. Thankfully, my husband was with me , encouraging and praying for me the whole time, which meant the whole world. One of the midwifes there was kind enough to give me a back massages which helped relieve some pain. Later, they decided to break the water for me instead of waiting for a natural water breaking. They suggested me considering using epidural because the pain afterwards would only increase. I quickly prayed about it in my heart and said yes. After receiving epidural, the pain massively reduced and I could relax and breathe.
When it’s time for me to push, the nurse told me I only had one hour. I didn’t understand why then, but I accepted it and pushed so hard. After one hour, baby still didn’t come out, but very close. The doctor suggested to use a pump on the baby’s head to help him out. I agreed, and with every strength left within me, I gave the big final push, and the baby’s out!
Afterwards I learnt, the reason for me to only have one hour of pushing because the umbilical cord was wrapping around the baby’s neck and his heart beat would go down too low whenever I had contraction. It was so dangerous that he must come out as soon as possible. If the baby hadn’t come out after they used the suction cup, I would probably have an emergency C-section. Thankfully, I had no idea of all these implications during my labouring . I just followed the instruction from my midwife and used all my strength to push, without thinking anything else. If I had known all these complications, I would have freaked out… God’s mercy!
And, I think being able to leave the hospital and move to the birth centre, receiving all the goodness from them, was the reason why God had led us to sign up with them before hand but without going there in the end. He knew how bad it would make me feel if I had stayed in the room with other moms and newborns without my husband being there. I probably wouldn’t be able to rest at all.
From going to hospital to coming home with our son, those three days and nights was the testimony of God’s love for us. All my wonderings have been explained. It was God’s mercy that He didn’t answer my prayer of giving birth at the birth centre. He truly knows all our needs and has the best interest at heart for us. I’ve learnt and experienced over and over again that stepping out in faith instead of leaning on my own understanding is the way to a more and more abundant life.
I have so many more to give God thanks for this year. Motherhood is another big one. Becoming a mom has taught me so much about God. One of the greatest joy I get from being a mom is to know how much my son trusts me. I love when I feed him or just hold him, sometimes he would close his eyes and smile, fully resting in my arms and enjoying the moment. He trusts that we will meet all his needs and he is safe and loved, which made all the tiredness of nursing, all those late sleepless nights just so worth it. It only made me love him more and more. If I take great joy from my son’s trust in me, how much more, God, would take joy in our trust in Him? And how much more, He would be willing to pour His love and provision upon us? … I’d like to write more about motherhood in the future. 🙂
As this year is close to an end and the world is getting ready for another celebration of Christmas, I just want to write down my thanksgiving as a small gift, to this wonderful God. Thank You Jesus! Because of Your coming to this world, we can live a thankful life and give thanks without ceasing.