The first time I entered a birth room, it was in a hospital. It was cold and the lights were bright and I was in no way prepared for the 3 hour pushing session my best friend was about to go through. I had never seen birth, I had never experienced the atmosphere of birth, but she entrusted me to believe for her… that the birth she prayed for would be taking place that day. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to believe that she could birth a baby with no pain, I wanted to believe that God would show up and the sweet baby would just slide out and there would be no chaos. I wanted to believe all that, but this was one of those moments where believing in my intellectual mind could do no good. I had to dig deep. I had to reach into my spirit and bring the faith of a mustard seed that could not only move my mountain of disbelief, but also the mountain of my friend’s fear, worry, wonder, pain, and uncertainty. It was in this birth place that I realized that even though everyone was excited in anticipation, there was a war going on around us. A spiritual war to take the birthright of my friend’s first born. A war that was trying to steal the joy of the Lord, which would be my friend’s strength. And a war that tries to mask the atmosphere in fear to block out the gentle invitation of the Holy Spirit. This was a time where I first realized the need for intercessory prayer in labor and birth.
I retreated to the small, cold hospital bathroom. Then, with the aroma of antiseptic in the air, I began to pray. I prayed in a language I did not understand, but it brought my spirit to attention. It awakened me to the atmosphere around me and the anticipation that heaven prepares before a child is born. I could feel rushing angels preparing a way for this new child and I knew the time was getting close. I walked back into the birth room and told my friend, with the doctor there… “she will be pushing by 9am”…the doctor looked at me like I was crazy (and to be honest, I felt a little crazy) and she asked if I had a crystal ball. Our friends laughed, “nope, just the Holy Spirit”. You see, we walked into this birth room…the mom, the dad, and 5 of us friends BELIEVING that the HOLY SPIRIT cared about the process of this birth. We knew that HE was in control . We believed that even in a cold medicated atmosphere, God is still good and He is still there. Sure enough, my friend started pushing at 9am and 2 hours 59 minutes later she would be holding her healthy baby boy. During those 3 hours I learned the most valuable lessons about birth.
- Birth is sacred and private, if a women feels protected and safe; she will be able to birth more proficiently.
- There is no time clock. Truly , when you go into birth naturally, your body is different than anyone else’s. You can not compare one person’s labor to another, or even one birth to another. It truly is in the Creator’s time.
- Invite the Holy Spirit early, have support to remind the mom He is there, and always remain calm and in prayer.
- Birth is unpredictable, but Jesus is always the same.
- You are not done birthing after the baby comes. The placenta is a part of the beautiful birthing process that should be honored and discussed with new moms.
- Jesus shows up to every birth; yes, Jesus and He loves being invited into your birth place.
That first birth experience was the seed that was planted in me to become a doula. It was about a year before I even knew what a doula was, but the taste of what God had called me to do was already planted. As I walked away from that birth, I was exhausted physically and spiritually but my soul was
nourished in the experience that I had just encountered. I saw the Holy Spirit move in such a way I had never experienced and I knew that He wanted to show me more. That is when the journey God took me on began. It was a chase to find Jesus in birth and what He wanted to show me about His desire for the birthing mother. It was the difference about what the world said birth was versus what God intended it to be, a celebration of life. God’s word says that He knitted us in the womb, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It was surely not His design to do all that great creative work, just for His Masterpiece to be born into an atmosphere where fear reigned. We are all born into a sinner’s world, but we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and God had every intention for that blood to cover the birth place of His children. Don’t mistake me, birth is labor… labor is hard work, but everything we labor for should not be in vein by masking it in a cloud of fear, anxiety, worry and chaos. The labor is the process that brings the fruit. The fruit of the womb is a blessing from the Lord. God’s word is full of scripture speaking about the uncertain things in life that He has control over already, birth is one of those things.
During the last two years I have been in many different birth rooms. Some were cold and medicated, others warm and inviting… but one things always remains the same. Jesus shows up to every birth. He is there and He is still wanting you to allow Him to conquer every fear in the process. The Holy Spirit wants to take back the birth room and He is putting the desire in the hearts of women and women servants (doulas/birth support) to make this the new normal. This is the heartbeat behind The Praying Doula and the desire I have for every women I have the privilege to serve in labor. God is moving and He is bringing life, hope, and faith back to the birth room.