On August 26th 2018 at 3:31 am Eland (E-land) Zander Barrios was born weighing 6lb 7oz and 19 inches long. 9 days early (similar to my daughter who was born 10 days early). It’s been almost 2 weeks and I can still remember every single detail.
For months I had been preparing. Not the room, or the house, or his clothes, (though I should have been - apparently I don’t nest or feel the need to clean until like...a week before birth hah) but preparing my mind because honestly it’s my weakness. I wouldn’t say the skill of positivity comes natural to me and I knew I would need to control my mind this time around so my fear didn’t run off with me. It may have ran a small marathon for my last birth.
So, for months I jotted down every single bible verse I could find that would, or could prepare me for not just labor, but...the fight I knew I’d be having in my mind. Verses on fear, worry, my authority in Christ, my authority over the devil, what Jesus dying on the cross means for me as a believer...basically every single verse I could find that aligned with what I hoped would happen while giving birth.
I also wrote a list of 12 specific things I really wanted:
No tearing or complications
A quick delivery
To go into labor in the middle of the night, or after Elias nap in the afternoon
Elia would be close by, in the waiting room or with a friend nearby
That my water would break
Baby would be in the perfect position
Placenta out of the way and birth placenta
Quick discharge from hospital
Best midwife possible
Amazingly fast recovery, no need for recovery
Born end of August
And, a few other things I had decided I wanted really badly but didn’t write down. Which were to be alone when I went into labor, no guests at the house so I could get my mind right (because we had been having a million people over), and I wanted to know this time when I should leave for the hospital.
I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of it, but I read the book supernatural pregnancy, and let’s just say...I was really pushing (ha ha all the pun intended) for a supernatural delivery in every way.
So, August 26th at 12:00 am I had a really strong contraction out of nowhere. No braxton hicks, no signs throughout the day...nothing. Just a strong contraction. Jared already fell asleep so I figured i’d just get up for a bit and read my bible, pray, and read all my verses while I timed the contractions. At first I had a few contractions 9 minutes apart, then a 7, then a 9, then a 5, 5, 3, 5, 3, 3. By that time it was 2:00 am and I really was wondering if I should leave for the hospital. Contractions were strong but manageable and the last thing I wanted was to show up and have to wait hours and hours. Just then Elia woke up (which never happens at 2 in the morning) and on top of that she woke up READY. TO. GO. She wanted to play, asked for a snack, and sounded like she had been given a pound of sugar and a red bull. So strange. I figured “well, no use in getting her back down, i’ll just wake Jared up and we will head out”. So, I grabbed her out of bed and woke him up. He was pretty surprised I was saying “it’s time” basically out of nowhere, but he got up and stuffed the stack of clothes I still hadn’t fully packed for us, into the duffle bag with the kids clothes (because really I mean...who needs to be totally prepared for labor, right? haha). He packed Elle some snacks, and loaded everything into the car but of course not before we accidentally tripped the house alarm and an emergency dispatcher called to ask if we were ok. I’m standing in the kitchen thinking...well...pretty sure I may pop this baby out any minute but at least there is no burglar in our house. So we’re good. And, we headed out.
By this time my contractions were pretty strong, but still not unbearable, and I had my eyes closed just breathing and praying until I opened them and told Jared I really felt like pushing and that the contractions were pretty strong. At this point I’m pretty sure I looked over and we were driving….pretty fast (like 90...shhh) on the freeway...and, were 2 exits away from the hospital.
As we turned onto the main hospital road Elia started throwing up all over herself. So fun, and so random again! We parked and I wasn’t having a contraction so I told him I was going to walk in. I walked through the doors, asked the front desk cop where the elevator was and then had a contraction. He panicked and grabbed a wheelchair and we went up in the elevator together. Of course the front desk lady asked me like 21 questions and at this point all I could really say was my name and that I needed to push. She called on the phone to another nurse which also felt like it took equally as long and slothful but Jared showed up after cleaning Elle off (aka she was shirtless and wrapped in a blanket), and they wheeled me in to check how far I was dilated. I was dilated to 10 and 2 ephased...still not sure exactly what that means but I would say based on how it felt he was coming down the pipeline. At this point I was still in triage, and there was no time to head to a delivery room.
They basically told me to take off all my clothes (sorry for the TMI), my water broke as I was climbing in bed, and asked me if I needed anything and just said “I want the baby out” (because who can really think of anything else at this point haha...no I don’t want ice chips) … then told them I really didn’t want to give birth on my back, so I flipped over on my hands and knees. I had one more contraction and with that one I felt his head drop down, then another and his head came out, and another and his shoulders and the rest of his body as I’m pretty sure I yelled “help me God”. They handed him to me underneath my belly like a football and I was able to relax.
This was all while elia was wrapped in a blanket sitting on a chair next to me and after delivery she climbed into bed and slept beside me for a couple hours while they checked me to make sure I wouldn’t bleed to death...you know...all that good stuff. They were pretty concerned about how much I was bleeding but I just kept saying “oh it will be alright” haha and I kept praying. They finally came back and said I’m all good. Praise God!
Jareds recount of the story has some funny parts in it because he actually got to see the nurses faces while all this was happening but I’ll leave that for another time.
This may be TMI but, with Elia I tore almost the worst possible tear you can have...and with this one they said a paper cut size and it wasn’t bleeding. Every single prayer on my list with the exception of a “totally painless delivery” was answered. But I will say I came pretty close to that considering I somehow dilated to 10 centimeters in like 2 hours and I could still breathe! WOO HOO!
By the time this was all over my husbands parents arrived from Los Angeles (which is crazy because they were there earlier that day and left around 6 pm) and came to meet the baby and get Elia. We had a complimentary couples meal of STEAK, which felt like the most special date of my life, and I took a bath in the largest tub i've ever seen! I spent one night in the hospital and was discharged the next day.
When they asked me on a scale from 0 to 10 what your pain is, I said a 1...because I felt like I had done a whole body workout. I never needed a single pain pill.
I still can’t even quite put into words everything I learned from all of this. This feels like one of the biggest miracles I’ve ever experienced with God. To most it sounds like just another birth story, but to me it feels like a huge victory over fear, doubt, and the devil. The way everything worked out, the prayers that were answered throughout all this, it just overwhelms me every time. I feel like it deserves a whole other blog post. But, I may be able to sum it up into this.
I felt and can still feel the truth of this verse ringing in my mind:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Because, there is not a single thing about this entire experience that I caused based on my own strength or will, good planning, birthing class training, or breathing techniques. But really just relying on God. And even then I didn’t do it all perfectly, but his grace is sufficient.
There’s so much more I could say but with that I will leave you here until part two comes out...because there’s more to this story that involves a little bit more back story, a little bit more after the birth, and how the devil is always trying to resist us. Stay tuned!