Monday, March 16, 2015

Joaquin's Birth Story...

photo credit: G. DelMar
It’s so humbling to work with such amazing women during the most transformative time in their lives. Many births stories have been shared with me throughout the years through conversation. I have shared my own birth stories in class impressing upon empowerment and informed decisions. Each of us have our own beautiful journey that we have or will embark upon. Below is the first written birth story shared with me, and reprinted with permission by my return student, Gracie DelMar. I am very excited to share her beautiful birth story and that of her son, Joaquin. This is her journey…

Joaquin's Birth Story
As soon as Joaquin Tre DelMar was born I knew I had to share his birth story because I am so excited to share about God's faithfulness and strength. We know that we all have our own individual stories and they can be ever changing – so I sure am excited to add this to MY story! 

When I found out l was pregnant with our third son, Joaquin Tre, we were really surprised and really excited. Early in the pregnancy it was put on my heart to just focus on worshipping and giving thanks to the Lord for this surprise miracle and also to do everything I could to make the labor and delivery worshipful and peaceful. I knew there would be a challenge to having a worshipful labor and delivery because if I could have my way, I would have had a room full of my best girlfriends reading scripture and praying over me so it was constant and right there in the room with me through the intensity of labor. But I knew how my husband would react to that idea so I knew I had to brainstorm a different plan. I told my doula my wants and challenges and we came up with the plan for me to make scripture cards and hang them around the house and meditate on them before going into labor. On delivery day the plan was to gather them as we headed to the hospital for my doula to read them through labor. To include the feeling of being surrounded by my close family and friends, strong women of faith in my life, I asked them to help me by sending me their favorite scriptures on strength and whatever they thought would be helpful, and I had a great collection of scriptures and prayers to meditate on prior to the big day!

Now fast forward to the big day!! Because both Grayson and Vincent's were 2.5/2 weeks early, I just knew it would be any day now and we were totally ready. Especially since I literally felt Joaquin drop so low the week before that I was completely immobile from the pain it caused my pelvis and hips. I recovered from the pelvic shock by Friday and was able to enjoy a sweet relaxing weekend with our little family of 4 before we became a family of 5. I decided to make plans and live life as usual for the week ahead. On Tuesday morning I was going on with my plans to hang out with my father in-law and run a wood shopping errand in Temecula for a home project. As the morning went on the low pressure increased, however, it was not painful. No biggie - I thought. As I got home from our morning outing at 11:15 am I checked in with my brother in law (also my neighbor) to confirm babysitting for that afternoon. Then my plan was, feed the boys lunch and then naps all around! I started making the boys lunch and just as I started to do that I started feeling contractions at pretty regular intervals. My mind went into panic -"what the heck is going on" - mode. As if I didn't know because I was in complete denial. I called my husband to let him know and told him to go to his lunchtime workout as planned at noon but to just keep the phone on him. Twenty minutes later I had fed the boys the fastest lunch ever. I scrambled to get them through nap time routines (all the while having consistent intense and painful contractions that I couldn't even time) and into bed, so I could start focusing on myself and what my body was telling me. I remember my blood starting to boil, being short fused with the boys and immediately feeling bad for it, because things were not going smoothly. I felt fear creeping in because I was alone, the boys were acting out like crazy, I had to make decisions for people to throw our labor plan into action and I was in a LOT of pain!! Finally about 12:30 pm I called my husband to come home. I still hadn't timed the contraction intervals but I just knew it was time. After gathering my thoughts I remembered the intentions I had set into motion for this labor. I wanted to focus all my energy on worshipping our Father. I was definitely not focused so I took a few seconds to pray to God to help me to remember that God made my body perfect to give birth to Joaquin and that God would provide all the strength and comfort I needed to get through this labor naturally. Once I finished praying I was able to finally get the boys down for their nap. I rushed into bed to start timing contractions, called in the babysitters, called in my Doula to make her way to my house and called my OB to get his advice on what to do. Since my contractions were about 6 to 5 minutes apart we decided it was time to get to the hospital to start at least 1 of 2 rounds of antibiotics I needed since I was group b strep positive. My husband walked in the door and because fear kept creeping in to take over I cried to him "I can't do this! And I want an epidural." Perplexed he looked at me, comforted and encouraged me, telling me I could do it and made sure he knew how to play the epidural request when we got to the hospital. He packed the bag (yup last thing on to-do list) and RUSHED this pregnant laboring mama into the car. Of course without the scripture and affirmation cards - but there was no time to turn around to get them. By this time it was 1:30 pm! All the way to the hospital I was so uncomfortable. So I put my head back and I asked my husband to pray over me and I listened to my worship radio station - Hillsong United - to again refocus my intentions. Thankfully it wasn't a really far drive and zero traffic so we made it to the hospital rather quickly. Got checked in to the hospital room and did the first cervix check and I was dilated 6 cm!! Holy smokes! That was going fast. 

But there in that delivery room, as I was getting all settled in for Joaquin's big day, was when I truly felt God had totally stepped in and taken over. He blanketed our room with such an overwhelming feeling of peace. I could see in my minds eye with each contraction a scripture about strength, joy, and encouragement. At the end of each growingly intense contraction I would thank God, thank Him for giving me the strength and peace to endure the pain of each contraction and thank Him that I would never have to experience that contraction again. I praised Him for my body that He created so perfectly to birth Joaquin, quickly and efficiently. I know and understand that not every woman has such experiences. 

About an hour later - during all the commotion of getting monitored, getting antibiotics, my doula arriving, and getting through contractions, I quickly dilated to 8 cm and my OB arrived. He didn't even bother checking me, and at this point, he, my nurse, my doula, and of course my hubby, wouldn't leave my side. They knew Joaquin was going to arrive any minute now. And still during all of this time it was like a group of friends sitting around catching up, cracking jokes, enjoying each other's company. My doula would pray over me and remind me of the perfection in God's plan for us. There was such a tranquility in the room. If it wasn't for the pain I was feeling with each contraction I wouldn't have guessed that in just a few moments I'd be pushing Joaquin out. 

The next and final hour of labor flew by so fast, it felt like only one minute long. And in the midst of it there was a sudden shift in sensations of the contractions. The urge to push came upon me so quickly! As the shift occurred I could hear my yoga instructor's voice in my mind telling me to breathe through the pain and to relax my jaw and mouth because it would relax my pelvic floor and make for an easier push. I tuned in to the music playing in the background and my favorite song, "Oceans" by Hillsong United, was playing and I asked my doula to put it on repeat. I worshiped the Lord like I had never before! I focused on Him, listened to my body and gave in to the urge to push. I had been given some direction by my OB but I also felt my body just doing what it was made to do. Even with the intense pain I was feeling, the loudness of my pushing and the encouragement from the birthing team, there was a calm still in the room. I was thankful for the Lord who gave me strength and focus and took away the fear. Within moments I was holding Joaquin, a tiny little baby boy with the tiniest sounding cry - he was healthy and he was perfect! In that moment of holding Joaquin Tre for the first time - I instantly realized how amazing it was that I felt God was right there with us!! He was sitting in the room with us just covering my husband and I and our newest family member in His love and protection! I knew immediately that it was God there with us the whole time making it the most amazing birth experience. My goal was met. It was a worshipful, peaceful birth and the whole time God made his presence known. We know that God is present all the time with each brand new life that begins and we know that God always gives us all we need to get us through any situation. But me personally I never experienced such an obvious encounter with God! I was so moved by this I just had to share this testimony - this piece of my story! I hope that whoever reads this finds encouragement in being able to rely on HIS strength and just know that HE will provide all you NEED in HIS perfect time!

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