Danielle Kerr

“I am a Hebrew and I worship Yahweh, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Jonah 1:9
When My Body “Failed” Me: My Natural Birth Story

When My Body “Failed” Me: My Natural Birth Story

WARNING: If you are easily frightened or squeamish please don’t read. Most births aren’t like this. The purpose of this post is to discuss some of the ideas in the natural parenting community about moms who give birth in a hospital rather than at home. I will be sharing my next, more “normal” birth story soon.

I recently went back and began to read some of the books on home birthing that I had read with my first pregnancy. This first passage grabbed my attention:

“We need to come out of medical bondage. We are women held in bondage, robbed of the miracle of birth…We are being robbed, held in fear, toil, pain and bondage…”

These sentences were referring to hospital births.

My first birth was supposed to be a home birth. I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt strong and supported. Even powerful in the last days of my pregnancy. I was comforted with lots of love from other home birthing women and from my midwife who assured me that my body knew what it was doing. My body was created for this. God would be with me. I knew that home birth was the natural way and God’s plan for me and my baby. Since home birthing is the best, most natural, and most spiritual way of birthing, why wouldn’t God want that for me?

When labor finally started I was actually quite relieved since I was two days shy of 43 weeks. Tired of being pregnant and eager to meet my new baby, I was excited to feel the contractions. I breathed correctly and made low noises as the contractions rolled over my abdomen like waves. My midwife said she was impressed I was handling them so well because I was a first time mom.

But the labor kept going on and on. It was night and then it was morning and then it was getting to be evening again.

I was in labor for about 24 hours when I began to feel my body getting weaker and weaker. I couldn’t eat, I hadn’t slept, and I couldn’t do anything but ride each contraction over and over again. I prayed fervently and practiced the positions that gave me comfort. Strength and dignity were my clothing. I still felt so strong, spiritually speaking.

But all of a sudden out of no where my back and ribs were burning.

A sensation I’d never felt before and I hope to never feel again. Excruciating pain seized my back and crippled me into all fours on the floor, wailing.

I felt as though two hands had grabbed both sides of my rib cage and were tearing them apart with the force of some disastrous mechanical machine.

The breathing exercises weren’t helping anymore. The ginger, the tea, the warm compresses. Nothing could take this pain away. Yet, even in all of my pain, I do not remember feeling any fear. But I do remember when I began mindlessly crawling around my living room floor begging God to make it stop. I wouldn’t let anyone touch me. It was an out of body experience. I wasn’t myself anymore. I was watching myself helplessly from above.

But I kept repeating to myself, over and over, that my body could do this. Women were created for this. My body knew how to birth this baby. This was the natural way. I was determined.

Around 30 hours hit when my midwife called another midwife and they both decided I should go to the hospital because my baby’s heart rate had dropped and labor wasn’t progressing right. I was now frozen in one position in so much pain that I knew it couldn’t be real. It had to be a dream.

I hadn’t felt fear up until they told me to go to the hospital. Because I thought doctors would want to cut me open and take my baby out the unnatural way and ruin my birth plan. I couldn’t have a C section. Never.

I now find it interesting that all the books that I had read about birthing without fear hadn’t prepared me for the fear that they fostered inside me— the fear of the hospital. The fear of doctors. Medical bondage and all that.

I was 3 weeks overdue, I could barely stand up due to the pain, and I’d been in labor for over 30 hours. They were definitely going to give me a c section. I was now terrified.

I rode in the trunk of my van all the way to the hospital because my body was bent over on all fours, sealed in that position because the pain wouldn’t allow me an inch. This was no longer every two minutes pain. It was constant excruciating pain that heightened every two minutes nearly knocking me to the ground.

When we got to the hospital, I reluctantly limped my way into the doors, held up by my husband and my midwife’s daughter. We had to stop twice before reaching the front desk because even though the pain was constant, it peaked every 2 minutes.

But when I got all checked in , we found that I was only dilated to a 4. Technically, not even in active labor yet. We had thought I was at a 10 already.

All that work, for nothing. That’s what it felt like. It felt like my body was failing me.

By this time I was crying and still unable to move. I shrieked in pain every time someone touched me. They decided to give me an epidural to calm me down and let me rest. But that required complete stillness and a man had to stick a giant needle down my back.

No way, I thought.

A nurse, my guardian angel, I now call her, took hold of my two shoulders, placed her forehead on my forehead and held my pain ridden body still. She looked straight into my eyes. She spoke so calmly and so softly and so sweetly despite my panic.

She held me and breathed with me. She told me I’d be okay and that she wasn’t going to leave me. With each contraction my back split over and over again(not really but that’s what it felt like). I honestly did not think it was humanly possible for me to sit up straight. And I couldn’t have done it without that nurse.

I dug my nails into this nurse’s shoulders, while the anesthesiologist set up his tools for injecting me. All the while this nurse held on to me, never letting go and never complaining about the pain I caused her.

They gave me the epidural and some food and something to drink. I fell asleep while my body contracted and dilated more. I was exhausted and discouraged and very upset. My birth wasn’t going the way I had wanted. But I do remember feeling relieved to sleep. My nurse stayed past her shift to make sure I was okay, but eventually she had to go soon after I woke up. I’m forever grateful to that angel of a woman who probably had bruises because of me.

When the doctor came in, he had the nurses set up for a c section. I begin panicking again. But he came over to me, calmly, and introduced himself. He told me I was doing a great job and that he was going to help me.

He asked me if there was anything I wanted for my birth plan.

Which surprised me, because I thought doctors didn’t care about birth plans. We told him we wanted the cord left unclamped as long as possible.

He said “okay”.

My baby boy, my sweet Jethro was posterior, the cord was wrapped around his neck, and his heart rate was going down with every single contraction. He pooped meconium while still inside the womb, due to the intense stress he was in.

The doctor was calm and very quiet. Solemn and determined. It comforted me to see him so unaffected by the high stress of the situation. It was just another day on the job for him. Strangely, that gave me a sense that he knew what he was doing.

He didn’t give me a c section. My baby was stuck, his heart rate plummeting and my doctor somehow, miraculously reached his hands inside of the birth canal, unwrapped the cord, turned my baby around and pulled him out.

He did all that for me because I couldn’t do it for myself. My body could not do it. I had no energy left.

Upon reflecting on my birth experience, some of the things that learned in those books, I began to see in a different light. Because my birth was in the hospital, but I tell you what, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was not robbed of a miracle. I was granted the miracle of LIFE.

I was not robbed, I was saved. My baby was saved. And Yah was with me, the whole time. He knew that my body wouldn’t do what it needed to, even though I was 100 percent sure I could. He knew my baby was in the wrong position and he provided him a way. A way that some may think is unnatural.

I ended up loving the nurses and the after care so much! I felt so cared about, so pampered and so humbled, that I went back for my second birth without a doubt in my mind. I got an epidural and I triumphed as I pushed my second miracle out and as she sounded her first cry. There was no fear. There wasn’t any room for that. There was only love and joy and victory through Yeshua in that delivery room.

The nurses who cared for me were profoundly pro-women and so knowledgeable. My second baby was also turning posterior, but this amazing nurse got me into a position that moved my baby back into the correct position.

The point of the story is this: I no longer need a book to validate that my children are miracles. I don’t need the permission of a book to have my birth be a spiritual, powerful experience. I don’t need to give birth in a certain place for me to see that birth is amazing.

Birth is a miracle no matter how a woman chooses to do it. That baby is a miracle. Medical science has saved so many lives including my own baby boy’s. I’m so thankful that I live in a time where a doctor was able to save my boy’s life.

So this is for you, woman, who’s body has also “failed” her. Whether it failed to get pregnant, failed to deliver a baby the “correct” way, or failed in any other way by the standards of other humans. God is with you, even still, dear. God is always with us. Outcomes are different for every woman, but you are still a woman and still a child of the one true God, Yahweh.

10 comments found

  1. Amazing! This is a powerful testimony that our Yah is with us always and His ways are not our ways— He never leaves us. Thank you for sharing it. I pray that it reaches many women. So that all birth stories are testimonies not full of regret, shame or disappointment that they didn’t happen the “right” way. He surely does place angles among us, if we chose to recognize them is our own blessing, and gift. POWERFUL!

  2. Thanks for this awesome post! It reasonates so much for me because modern medicine saved *my* life as a young child who needed emergency surgery. The doctors weren’t evil, money-hungry, or anything like that. They saved my life!

    There are so many people in the Hebrew Roots movement who claim hospitals, doctors, and modern medicine are evil.

    But the truth is, as you put it, modern medicine saved your baby.

    The same is true of so many medical treatments today: surgery, antibiotics, vaccines, pharmaceuticals and more. They all save lives. And our witness about Yeshua is discredited when we label this great good — modern medicine — as evil.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! Yes it’s true, many people condemn without even considering the good.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you! Our son Andrew would have died without modern medical intervention in his birth. Without the AFP screening, there would have been no heads up about his medical issues, without the ultrasounds we would not have known that his back would have torn open in a vaginal birth due to his spina bifida lesion, or that his hydrocephalic brain would have been crushed. Thank God for the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals at every step of the process. They saved his life. They were loving and caring to our birthmom, Stephanie, caring for her every need. I love modern medicine and thank God for it.

    1. I praise God for the interventions that saved your son’s life! Thank you you for sharing your experience!

  4. Thank you for sharing! Honestly, this is refreshing to read because my daughter broke her femur bone a few months ago and I have never been so thankful for morphine and doctors! People were praying but it seemed to always be about the doctors not being pushy and here I was trying to say how amazing they all were and there was absolutely no pushing- every nurse and every doctor was there to support and help us. I don’t often go to the doctor but it is a blessing to have them there! I also think if you are looking for evil and deceit you will find it even if it is not necessarily there.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story and the amazing power of YHWH! I am a midwife and have always held to the stance that we (as midwives) are trained to deal within the realms of normal birth and that we are blessed to have medical assistance for times when birth is not “normal.” Your story reminded me much of how my first birth went. My daughter was posterior and were it not for my midwife doing a similar technique at home, we were heading to the hospital. My second birth was another posterior baby as well… and with my most recent, he wanted to be posterior, but thanks to another midwife’s teaching, I learned about belly binding/wrapping which helped keep him in the right position 🙂 Anyways, no room to share all my stories here, but you can read them on my blog if you want too 🙂 http://www.ouryurtifullife.com
    So blessed by your music! Excited to have found your blog! Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you and your family!

  6. Thank you for your article. I was hesitant to read it since I am 37 weeks and preparing for my third birth, second “home” natural childbirth. I have read similar things, though I have people around me that are more the opposite and are more dissenting of homebirth/natural birth than hospital birth. I was very thankful for the very positive experience I had with my last labor experience (homebirth away from home) with my midwife, her apprentice and my husband. My first birth had felt out of my control in a hospital setting, though it had a beautiful outcome.
    I think the main thing is that the woman feels “safe”, loved, nurtured, supported through her experience. In “some” hospitals this is not the case…I have talked to many women that HAVE had awful things done to them without their permission, but I have also had friends that had good experiences. I have heard very positive homebirth experiences and some not so good ones. I am an RN and can see both sides. I can appreciate the medical when necessary, but can also appreciate doing things the “natural” way when God allows. We all need to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of the other. Treat them the way we would want to be treated. A really good book on this subject is Redeeming Childbirth. She doesn’t push one kind or another…she focuses on making our Father the focus and letting Him move in our experience of childbirth. Highly recommend it!

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective! I just had my third child. She was born at home 🙂 It was a very different experience but so positive. I loved it! I’ll be sharing that birth story soon.
      I agree. Feeling safe, respected, and heard are important to having a positive birth experience!

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