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Homebirth Stories > Birthing Elijah

4 Feb 2002

Birthing Elijah

Great is Thy Faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness
Morning by morning New mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

This is the song the Lord gave to me on the morning of February 4, 2002.  Why is this significant?

I was awakened by contractions several times during the night and they continued to increase in frequency and duration throughout the day. Around noon, I realized I was really in labor and called Tony to come home and called Martina (our primary midwife). Martina said she'd check back with me around 3:00 to see how labor was progressing. At that time, contractions were about every 7 minutes and lasting around 45 seconds. It was during this time, as the contractions were strengthening, that I began to hum Great is Thy Faithfulnessduring the contractions. I can't tell you what a comfort it was to me to be constantly reminded of His faithfulness. When I would get to the part that says 'All I have needed, thy hand hath provided' the contraction would peak and go back down. It was so neat to see the Lord comforting me in this way.

When Martina called at 3:00, she said she and Kim (the other midwife) were on their way. At about 3:30 I nursed MaryVance to
sleep and then laid down with her. I dozed between contractions until about 4:30 when they became hard enough that I felt I needed to get up. When I got up MaryVance woke up and was fussy so I nursed her again.

Just a little before 5:00, my water broke--a new sensation for me as it has never broken with any of my other babies. I called Martina
to make sure they were on their way. She said they would be here within 10 minutes. Martina arrived at 5:00 and around 5:30 checked me. I was dialated to 5 and having contractions every 3 minutes at that time, though the contractions did spread out a little after she arrived.

Around 7:30, I decided to try relaxing in a warm tub. The contractions continued to strengthen and lengthen and I was able to
finish the entire chorus and part of the first verse of 'my' song. I was no longer able to hum, but was singing the song in my mind. The first verse talks about 'harvest' (which was very meaningful to me) and about 'bright hope for tomorrow'. I kept thinking about how this baby was our 'bright hope for tomorrow' and this gave me such a focus and the strength I needed for that contraction. I got frustrated once and Tony gently reminded me that the contractions only come one at a time. I know it sounds so simple, but
it really helped me to be able to just focus on the moment--whether it be contraction or a rest period between them. Tony was such a pillar of strength for me.

Around 8:00, Martina came in to check the baby's heartbeat. I asked her at this time when she was planning to check me again. She
said they usually check every 6 hours, unless there is some obvious change. At this point, my friend Lisa had arrived.

At 8:15, I decided to get out of the tub as the contractions were really hard and there was only a brief break between them. I
thought that if I could lay down a little while, it would give me a little more of a break between them. I was thinking I still had
several hours to go and was really in need of a break. I had several contractions between the bathtub and the bed. Unbeknownst to me, Tony decided he should go get Martina as he could tell my demeanor was changing. Lisa helped me to the bed and asked what she could do to help. I asked her to pray for me. She laid her hands on my head and prayed aloud for the Lord's protection and comfort. It was really beautiful and helped me to keep my focus where it belonged.

Martina came during Lisa's prayer, and after the prayer she checked me I was completely dialated. She told me later that she
was not expecting me to be so far along--was she surprised! I told her the contractions were not ending. They seemed to peek and
head downward and then to start right back up. I told Lisa to sing Great is Thy Faithfulness for me. I can't tell you what a surreal
feeling this was for me. I had my eyes closed. I was totally unaware of anything that was happening except for my body giving birth and this beautiful song just washing over me. Tony went to get the children --they stayed in the corner of the room by my head.
Martina said for me to just follow what my body was doing and push if I wanted to. I never felt an overwhelming urge to push, but I
realized that my body was pushing so I went along with it. I pushed twice and his head was born. Martina asked me to breathe through a few contractions so she could suction him. Then my body contracted and his body was born. It was so beautiful.  There are no words to adequately describe this experience. I was able to hold my beautiful, perfect little son as he took his first breaths.... My bright hope'...

He weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces and was 19 inches long. He is our smallest little one! He has strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes  
and is nursing like a champ! His biggest sister, Molly, cut his umbilical cord--what a gal!

I want to thank those of you who were praying for us.

Great is HIS Faithfulness!!

Elijah Jack is named for my Daddy. His name is Jack. We wanted to honor Daddy by naming a little one for him. It's pretty neat that Elijah is our only red-haired boy and my brother, also named Jack, has red hair too!


Dana Lewis