Our chunky, little, bundle of joy is finally here! Hallelujah Simkah (joy in Hebrew) was born on a Sunday evening in August, right around supper time. She weighed 7lbs and 8oz and was 20 inches long.
It’s been a wonderful and exciting last couple of months. I had dreamt of becoming a mom for most of my life, but I didn’t know what it was really like until I was living it. Learning to be parents has grown my husband and I in so many ways.
It was honestly a challenge to adjust to for a couple weeks, but she brings us so much joy and we are so thankful she is ours.
I couldn’t believe how much love you could have for a little person. My heart feels like it could just burst with love for her.
Her birth didn’t go as I had hoped and planned.
I had plans to have a water birth at home with a midwife and doula. I did many things to prepare for this months before. From exercises, to eating well, birth class, hanging up scriptures on my wall, and much more.
The day before I went into labor, my midwife did some tests and said I may have to go to the hospital to be induced because of some concerns. But we waited for the test results. That day was really hard for me. I had things to do to prep for sabbath but I couldn’t focus well. I had put together a worship music playlist for labor many months ago. Just songs that I knew or heard that I thought would be fitting for me while in labor. During this day, I listened to it a lot and it helped. I’m so glad I made that playlist, every song had the exact words I needed to hear while trusting Him in the unknown.
I went into labor *early* in the morning the day before she was born. I was very excited! I couldn’t go back to bed because of my excitement. My mom came over a few hours after labor started to be with me. (I wanted her there for Hallelujah’s birth). I was thankful for the time I got to spend with her. We laughed and talked a lot. And as labor progressed, it was such a comfort to have her there with me. Luke’s mom was also there. She wanted to show her support and be there if we needed anything, and I greatly enjoyed having her there, too. She was such a great help.
(During this time, we did get my test results back. And while things were borderline concerning, since I was already in labor, my midwife let me labor at home.)
Things picked up soon around noon, and Luke set up my birth pool. I felt like he and I were such a great team. As soon as a contraction came on, he helped me through it with the techniques we learned in our birth class. He would breathe with me, massage me, and give me encouraging words. It was such a blessing to me to be able to go through that with him.
After the pool was set up, it started to feel real, like I’d have a baby in a few hours. I thought for sure that I’d have the baby that evening. The contractions started to pick up in frequency and intensity. So we called the midwife. The midwife came and checked on me. She told us we were still in early labor, to preserve as much energy as I could but that everything was going well. She left and told me to call her when I was ready for her to come again. I was a little discouraged that I had made little progress in almost 12 hours. So I had my sisters come over for a “labor party”. We watched a movie and had snacks to distract me from labor. But not long after they arrived, my water broke. My sisters quickly left because they thought I’d be having a baby soon. Than things started to get intense. And this is when I started to realize something wasn’t right. I started feeling pain in a different area than normal contraction pain. Growing intense pain in my hips and pelvis.
Soon after my sisters left, I was able to get into the pool. And that felt really good. But it also made the contractions much harder. I asked my midwife to come back for labor support. When she arrived, she checked me and said I was making good progress and thought we’d have a baby in a few hours.
It was in the middle of the night now, and my midwife told me to try and get some rest. But when I laid down, the pains were much worse, and I couldn’t rest at all. At this time, I told Luke and my mom that the pain didn’t feel right. My Mom asked me if I told my midwife what had happened to me as an infant and I realized that I hadn’t.
When I was a baby, my biological dad abused me. One of the things that he did was he had broken my hips. Since they were broken, they grew back crooked causing nerve damage to my pelvis and spine. They gave me pain when I was growing during puberty. And during labor, I had intense pain in my pelvis, hips, and tailbone that wasn’t normal.
I labored at home for 21 hours before I told my midwife that the pain was too much and I needed to go to the hospital. So we transferred to the hospital to hopefully get some pain relief and rest.
But things didn’t go so well there either. I had gotten an epidural in hopes of getting rest and pain relief to progress more and push my baby out. But it didn’t work like it should have. Because of the nerve damage, the epidural couldn’t reach the nerves like it should, and it actually made the pain worse. And after a few hours, they tried a second one. And this one also failed. The pain was the worse pain I had ever felt in my entire life, and I couldn’t handle it anymore. My pelvis wasn’t spreading like it should for my baby to come down through it. Hallelujah was coming down on my pelvis but she wasn’t going in. But both my baby and I were healthy, and the doctors really wanted to help me have a vaginal birth.
So after 38 hours of labor, I ended up having a C section. I had to be fully sedated for the surgery because my nerves wouldn’t take the numbing medicine needed for surgery. I had specifically wanted to avoid a C section and go “all natural and unmedicated”. But little did I know that it would be the only safe way to deliver my baby. I was very thankful that we decided to do the C section before things became an emergency. I was also very thankful for the amazing doctors and nurses that Yah put there to help us make well informed choices.
In the months leading up to birth, Luke prayed that Hallelujah would be healthy and strong. And Yah definitely answered our prayers. Both Hallelujah and I were very healthy and strong and healed quickly after the surgery.
The next couple weeks after giving birth were the hardest. I had to let go of feelings of regret, shame and pride.
Luke and I had to take time to process our feelings and allow Yah to step in and heal us in certain areas of our hearts. There were emotions from my past that came up. Not necessarily anger, but great sadness and grief. I had already forgiven my biological dad years ago. But looking at my baby girl in the days after her birth, it just made my heart so full of sadness that someone would hurt a precious baby.
I honestly think it was good for me to think of him, because it made me pray for him. For his heart, his salvation, and his life now. I don’t know where my biological dad is at in his life right now, but I wonder if this was Yah’s way of having someone pray over him right now. Who knows? Yah’s timing is perfect, I know that.
Sometimes He allows things to happen to us that we don’t always understand. I had to learn to be okay with how things went because I knew that He must have wanted it this way if He allowed it to happen. And His ways are always good and for my benefit. Why couldn’t I trust Him who created me to take care of me? He knew what He was doing. It didn’t come as a surprise to Him like it did to me.
He taught me many things during my labor with Hallelujah. He showed me His protection in my family and His hand in my life.
And I get to choose joy over all of it.
I think Yah knew what He was doing when He told us to name our baby “Praise Yehovah with joy”. It has been so fitting to me in my time of trusting Him in His ways. He gave us joy, and a daughter who will bring Him praise.
With many blessings comes trials. But He only allows it because He loves us and is always growing us as His children.
I hope and pray that Hallelujah’s birth story encourages you to trust Him in the unknowns and to never lose your joy in Him, even when life doesn’t go as planned.
Blessings & Shalom,