(Written over a year ago shortly after his birth. Gideon was born after a still birth and a miscarriage. Leah is my firstborn.)
The Lord was so near to me this day. I woke up and started having irregular contractions around 3:30 in the morning. But instead of fear triggered by flashbacks, He gave me such calmness and peace. I woke Caleb around 5 am, thinking maybe this was IT, and he scurried around to get last minute supplies ready and made plans to work from home. At first the contractions didn't go anywhere and were accompanied by an incessant back pain. They fizzled out around 11 am, so I took a homeopathic remedy to encourage more effective labor . . . by 1 pm they were coming along predictably without the constant back pain. Yet I still doubted myself - after all this time, was he finally coming??
Finally I told Mimi (my mom) to come, then the midwife got there and confirmed we'd be having a baby that day! As soon as she left, things got intense and I knew baby would be here soon. So I called the midwife back, had Caleb fill the birthing pool, and Leah was picked up by Papa.
The peace, after all I'd been through, was just surreal. With each contraction, I just closed my eyes and concentrated on the presence of God. I entered into the sweetest place of quiet communion, where I leaned totally on Him to take me through the pain and there were times when, even during some intense moments, I didn't feel pain at all.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ever scared. But for the most part, I didn't experience any more anxiety than a "normal" birth experience. Also there might have been some screaming at the very end when I was ready to get that baby OUT! ;)
I can't begin to describe what it means to have given birth to another living child after a loss. I will never forget the feeling of Gideon being placed on my chest straight out of the water, or of knowing immediately what his name is. This was another answer to prayer. We'd been stuck on two boy names the entire pregnancy. I also thought it might be helpful for me to call him by his name before he was born. As always, God knows best.
A dear friend pointed out to me afterwards that the meaning of Gideon's name, Gideon Isaiah, was essentially found in the verse Zephaniah 3:17. These are the words I feel God was giving to me through Gideon's birth:
"The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
With each of my pregnancies, God impressed upon me a special verse for that child. Now I have my own verse.
After Daddy cut the cord and I delivered the placenta, I was moved to the couch. Still clutching my precious bundle to my chest, I watched the most beautiful sunset through the window across from me. Only it wasn't "just" a pretty sunset - it was a Hope sunset. You see, after Hope went to heaven, we had a memorial for her at the park where we released pink and purple balloons into the sky for her. As we left, the sun was setting with colors that matched the balloons. Ever since then, another friend of mine has called those types of sunsets "Hope sunsets" and would often text me when she saw one. So this sunset reminded me that Hope was not forgotten.
Gideon's birth was amazing. It felt truly orchestrated by God. He knew exactly what I needed. No detail was left out. I was surrounded by love . . . the Scriptures I had handwritten and hung on the walls, the comforting touch of my husband as I listened to worship music and prayed through each contraction. Many thanks if you were one of my prayers warriors during Gideon's pregnancy and birth!
There are days I can still hardly believe he's here!