**This post originally appeared on my old blog, heldbythefather.blogspot.com on 2/23/13 and has been slightly edited** I will add that I’m not this hard-nosed about delivering babies out of the hospital. Mommas should birth where they feel comfortable and respected. I prefer not to ever deliver in a hospital again barring an emergency, but make your own informed decisions. 😉 If you will take offense however, at my previously very staunch anti-hospital and doctor opinions and can’t get past them or if you think birthing out of the hospital is dangerous and irresponsible, you should just pass on this one and not leave me any angry comments. 😉 Thankyouverymuch.**
I can see the shock on your faces as you read the title of this post. I am a girl! You will gasp in bewilderment and maybe feel faint at this astounding revelation. Okay, probably (hopefully! Ha!) not. But this was kind-of news to me.
God always uses pregnancy and birth to teach me something…and baby number four was no different. Can you believe there is a new baby this blog knows nothing about? So sad. Maybe someday I will have internet at home again so I can blog more. 🙂 Anyhow…we have a new baby! (Well…she is almost ten months old now. 🙂
Little Zoey- An hour old…in an herbal bath. 🙂
It was this pregnancy that I really took control over how and where I was going to deliver this baby. You may recall, when we lived in Arizona, I had a rough time with Harmony’s birth and had to conquer my fears and go back to the hospital to deliver Evan. (That story here) But in a new place (Texas) I had more options and really did not want to put my pregnant laboring self and new baby at the mercy of medical staff who think they know more about how I should be having a baby and how to treat said baby than I do. I always get pressured to do things I don’t want to do and feel like I should be having a baby when they want me to instead of say, when baby is ready. I could talk so much more about all that and have no problems answering any questions you may have but I realized in this process of choosing a caretaker and birth place that I was finally coming to grips with something:
I am a girl.
I have been denying this fact for decades as best I could. I spent years actually believing that God made me a girl because He loved me less. I bought this lie that said He loved every other girl the same as boys except me…He made me a vulnerable, easily abused and manipulated girl because He loved me less. So being a girl became bad.
Just wait, it gets worse.
Later on when the whole monthly thing started (you know…..the monthly thing.) I referred to it as “my shame.” Seriously. Drama much? But I was-totally ashamed and now plagued with this annoying, disgusting reminder that God made me a girl and didn’t love me as much. My period was some kind of unchosen penance. So I did what any other crazy, dysfunctional person would do. Denial. I paid no attention to my cycle or any other thing that was up with me physically. I tuned out what my stupid female body was telling me and concentrated on what the upside of being a girl could do: control the boys around me. It is obvious to you right now that I was a very healthy, happy, teenager, right? 😉
Zoey is pretty new here with Captain Awesome
Fast forward to college- I started dating Captain Awesome and continued in my denial cycle. Chase pointed out after several months of dating that we would regularly have the same conversation every month. We would be taking our almost daily walks around campus only during this particular conversation, emotion would flood out of me. I would cry and vent and yell, “I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!”
To which he would very calmly (and probably fearfully-ha!) reply, “Wellll…Babe do you remember that we had a very similar conversation about this time last month and then a few days later you felt all better?” Then he would look at me and wait for the light bulb to come on where I would realize he was telling me that I was PMS-ing. !!!!
While I was mortified that not only was my period coming, but my boyfriend knew, (!!!) I was very glad to have him do that because then I would remember to go buy stuff before I needed it. Otherwise I was always in trouble. Also, keep in mind that we were not allowed to hold hands much less be sexually active so the only reason he would know that is because he was more in tune with me than I was.
Yeah. I was in pretty bad shape.
And except for poor Chase having to have “the talk” with me every month, being in denial didn’t really affect that much (I thought!) until I started having babies. Having babies is kind of a female deal…well a totally a female deal. But I didn’t want to be a female…I just wanted the babies. Haha! So when it came to my Dr’s, and prenatal care I put very little thought or effort into how it was all going to go down. The first two times, (despite my knowledge of how bad it is to induce or have your water broken prematurely, or have your baby in the hospital in the first place. 😉 I just basically let the caretaker run the show. Whatever they thought or wanted. I was just the shell who wanted to end up with a baby. Truly. Do to me what you must.
I eventually realized I was actually harming myself further and allowing myself to re-live past abuses by not taking some charge in this whole baby-having process. (Again, that story here)
Plus, it was affecting my babies too I learned after more study. So for baby number four, I found an amazing, very knowledgeable midwife who had a birthing center. A birthing center was the perfect fit for us-not the hospital but close to one in case of emergency and not home where I would be distracted by the dirty dishes but very relaxed and homey. It. Was. The. Best.
Zoey, such a sweet gift!
One day during this fourth pregnancy, I was praying about the baby and her birth and “realized” (God basically whispered it to my soul) that to let my body do what it was designed to do in labor I had to accept that my body was female. Female. A girl. A woman. Female. (I am still reiterating it to myself.) And that not only was it female but God designed it that way.
Because He loves me.
And because it is beautiful to be a girl.
He showed me that I have been given a gift. That verse “Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” (1 Timothy 2:15 ESV) took on new meaning for me as I looked back and saw how God taught me, healed me and molded me especially through pregnancy, and delivery. I studied that verse a bit in context and read some commentaries on it and it seems everyone has a different idea of what “saved through childbearing” means. I just think it is referring to the special way the Lord can reveal Himself to women if we let Him. It can be a sanctifying process. Being in labor is such an out-of-control experience (which I am soooo not fond of not-being-in-control-of-what-is-going-on-with-me) you have nowhere else to turn but to pray God brings you through it in one piece. And pregnancy can be scary too, I feel so much more defenseless and vulnerable when I am carrying around a huge load of baby with me. It always seems too, that when I am pregnant all these stories appear on the news about sick people kidnapping a woman and ripping her apart to steal the baby inside.
Freaks. Me. Out.
Being pregnant and/or delivering your baby is one of the can’t-get-away-from-it times when the Lord reminds me of Who is really in control and whether or not I really trust Him. But He is there, carrying me and making Himself known to me. He gives me grace, courage, faith and reminds me that even if something unspeakable happens to me or my baby-He has got this and it will end up being okay.
He uses this time to save me…from myself, my fears, my past, my failures and reminds me that He is giving me the opportunity to put more faith in Him, to love Him more, to pray more, to rest in Him more and give birth to a tiny life I want to give back to Him. It is beautiful and I would totally miss out if I were not created to be woman.
I am a girl. I am learning to love it. And I am so proud that I took control of being a girl and had a baby my way. (That story is coming soon I hope!) I am a girl. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a rock star 😉 I am so thankful Jesus made it that way.
p.s. I also think that not being able to have a baby can be a “saving” or sanctifying experience for women albeit incredibly painful. He teaches us and shows us His love in so many special ways-especially when it is not a situation we would choose for ourselves. We still must have faith and trust in Him and His plan. He has still got this. No matter what. 🙂
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great. Psalm 18:35
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
What about you? What do you feel about your gender? What has birth taught you?Gina