Hi friends! You may have noticed that lately I’ve been sharing a lot of guest posts, and you may be wondering why. So – before I share today’s post by my friend Valerie – I wanted to give you a little insight into why that is.
I think it’s important to talk about life. And I don’t just mean “what I ate for lunch” or “my favorite drink at Starbucks” or “that’s a super cute shirt” type of conversations. Sure, those things are fun to talk about, but I mean really talking about the struggles in our journeys. The purpose of this is two-fold: 1) to encourage others, and 2) to remind ourselves of all that God has done in our lives.
I also think it’s important to share the stories of women who have had different experiences than I have! That’s why today I am sharing the story of Valerie Perez, who had planned to have a home birth with the help of a midwife, but whose story turned out a little differently – and much better – than expected! I hope you will be encouraged.
I also love this story because it sounds like an episode of PBS’s Call The Midwife – but better!
It was early on a Wednesday morning (1:44 AM, to be exact) when I started feeling contractions. It was nothing crazy or too painful, but I knew the baby was coming the moment I starting bleeding.
My contractions were anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart (so not very consistent), and they lasted about 30-40 seconds in length. Around 9:00 I went for a walk at the park with my doula, my husband, my daughter and my mom to keep me active and help things move along. In addition to walking, we also did some squats and lunges.
By 10:30 AM, my contractions were consistently five minutes apart and lasted 50-60 seconds each. We decided it would be a good idea to go back home so that I could rest and eat before active labor kicked in (or so I thought).
After eating, I decided to lie down for a nap. I was able to nap for a whole six minutes before I hit transition! This was around 10:50 AM, and all of a sudden things shifted and got really intense. I was breathing deeply, moaning and swaying through each surge and it was really beautiful. I felt so empowered!
By this time, my contractions were three minutes apart and then two minutes apart, and they lasted about 1.5 minutes each. They were basically back to back. It was so crazy! With every surge, I was able to feel my baby move down further into my birth canal.
At this point, the pressure was surreal and the urge to push had started. While I was still able to withhold from pushing, my husband filled up the birth pool. I got into the birth pool around 11:40 AM. By then, I only had about 20 seconds between contractions. The urge to push was real!
I grunted here and there but didn’t push yet because every time I pushed I could feel the ring of fire, and I knew my body wasn’t ready. My midwife was on her way, but this baby was coming quick!
By 11:50 AM, I turned around on all fours in the birth pool. I was so scared I might rip. And since my midwife wasn’t there, I didn’t have someone who could tell me I was in the clear for pushing. I was nervous and tense, and I couldn’t help but wonder if everything was as it was supposed to be. After all, this was my first home birth. (My first birth was at a hospital with Pitocin and an epidural, but that’s another nightmare of a story.)
As the song “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle was playing in the background, I started to think to myself, what am I doing? Why am I not trusting in the Lord? After all, He knew it all. He already knew the midwife wasn’t going to make it on time. His plan was already set and nothing could stop it.
I quickly realized that I needed to do something about this. Suddenly, my doula sensed everything I was feeling at the moment and she reminded me to trust in God. At that moment, it felt like time stopped. Inside my head, a million thoughts were rushing around. They were all positive realizations – kind of like lightbulb thoughts – beckoning me to trust in the Lord for strength in weakness.
To me, this moment of realization felt like 15 minutes. But, in retrospect as I view my birth video, it was only about a second of actual time! It felt like God took me aside to say, “Hey! I’ve got you! Just trust me.”
After that, I knew I had to trust God and my body. Finally, I let my body take over, I gave the slightest push and my baby was born at 11:54 AM!
I just couldn’t believe I had done it – or rather, that God had done it once I trusted Him! I had my water birth at home and it was as beautiful as I had hoped it would be. My midwife arrived right after and helped me with everything from that point on. It was such an amazing experience, and I truly learned to trust God like never before.
Alexander Elliot was born Wednesday, September 14 at 11:54 AM, weighing 6 lbs and 15 oz. He was 20 inches long.
Valerie Perez, also known by her friends as Maribel, has been married to her high school sweetheart, Marine, for five years. She recently became a Christian in 2016 and it has been the best decision of her life. Valerie has two children – Scarlett Viviana & Alexander Elliot. She is also a professional makeup artist and has a passion for dancing, singing and calligraphy (you can find her work at @gracefulheartco). She loves sushi, her sister is her best friend and she has plans to become a home birth midwife.