God is so good! I can’t tell you how many prayers He answered in the delivery of our son. But I’ll try!
Here is the story of the birth of Ezekiel Smith and the many blessings the Lord poured out over my family:
***Warning! This is a long post, but for those of you who have been wanting them, I included lots of details!***
Blessing #1: Travis didn’t have to go to work
My hands down BIGGEST prayer throughout my pregnancy was that nothing would prevent Travis from being with me for the birth of our first son. He had just gotten a job about an hour away, so I had a fear that something crazy would happen and he wouldn’t make it.
At 2 am on August 30th, I woke up to go to the bathroom and noticed I was having contractions. I started timing them and was pleased that they were every 5 minutes! I told Travis who was skeptical that it was real labor. Sure, this may have happened one other time with no results… but come on! I was in labor! 🙂
Hours passed and the contractions didn’t let up, so I went ahead and informed my husband that he would not be going to work that day!After google searching signs of labor… he agreed! Ha. Praise the Lord, my husband would be with me EVERY step of the way for this birth! God is good. To be honest, I would have been completely satisfied if this was the only blessing we received for this delivery.
But there was more… SO MUCH MORE!
Blessing #2: I didn’t have to be induced
I was a week and a day overdue, and as far as I was concerned, pitocin was the enemy! Going into labor naturally was a huge victory!
Blessing #3: Travis had more time off work than we thought
When Travis called to let his work know he would not be coming in, he discovered that he had a whole extra week he could take off with pay. Woah! This was huge for us!
Blessing #4: My parents
My mom was off work that day! We called my mom. It was time! They traveled an hour and a half to come be with our daughter. Not only that, but my mom was able to get an extra day off of work. Oh how wonderful it was to not have to worry about Zariah. I knew she would be home – in an environment she was comfortable with and her beloved Nana and Papa who surely spoiled her! And they SPOILED us as well… but more about that later!
Blessing #5: Laboring at home
When my parents arrived, there was excitement in the air! I let them take over with Zariah while I busied myself around the house doing last minute preparation and keeping myself occupied. Leaving the house feeling like everything was taken care of felt amazing!
Blessing #6: LINK
Lol! I’m not ashamed to admit that we are in a season of needing some assistance. For the previous month we had not had that assistance… and let me tell you… we had a LOT of peanut butter sandwiches, beans and rice, and pancakes and eggs! But that day, Travis received a phone call that we would be receiving benefits. What a relief to know that when we got back from the hospital we would have a little extra money for food.
Blessing #7: One last date with my hubby
When contractions started getting a little closer together, we said our goodbyes and headed to the hospital. In the car I was chatting away with excitement, when all of a sudden I realized we had passed the hospital. Where were we going? “One final date”, he said! So sweet… frosty’s and fries and each other’s company one more time before our family became 4! This really blessed me.
Blessing #8: The labor tub
When we got to the hospital, there was only ONE room available… and guess which one it was! The one with the gigantic laboring tub of course! This was so important to me as I desperately wanted to labor naturally. There was only one of these tubs on the unit- and I got it! Usually they keep that room open so that more than one person can use the tub. We found out that if that had been the case, I wouldn’t have gotten to stay in it as long. But I got to stay in it as long as I wanted, and let me tell you… that warm water soothed me and took pressure off of my body all the way up until 9 and a half centimeters dilated!
Blessing #9: Our favorite midwife
We soo wanted our midwife Jen to be the one to deliver our baby, but the way that it works at my OB office is you get whichever doctor/midwife is on call. Well Jen was not only on call but already at the hospital delivering another baby. We were so excited to find that out! She was so great- such a calm presence during the delivery.
Blessing #10: 4 cm dilated
With Zariah, I had to be induced, and after multiple increases of pitocin, nothing happened… and after they broke my water the pain was unbearable… but I was only at 2 cm…. 2. I didn’t progress past 2 until they gave me an epidural. So to be 4 centimeters when we arrived at the hospital was so encouraging to me! It was one of the things that kept me focused during labor.
Blessing #11: Progress
Not only was I dilated, but I was continuing to dilate pretty quickly. Every hour or hour and a half they checked me, and I had progressed each time. When the contractions got more intense I headed to the tub to labor until it was time to push.
Blessing #12: My husband
My husband was with me through the whole process. I could NOT have done it without him- especially at the end. The nurse checked me one final time, and when she did so, my waters broke… then came the real pain and the real work. I got on my knees and leaned on a birthing ball. Extremely painful contractions flooded my body with very little breaks in between. Travis could see them coming on the monitor, and would quickly come to me squeeze my hips as that was the only bit of relief I could find.
When we told our nurse that we wanted to labor naturally, she told us that not many people do that anymore. I said, “oh, that’s why it’s so quiet here!” We all chuckled, but when I got to this part of the labor, I was ANYTHING but quiet! I think I scared the other women on the unit!
Blessing #13: A natural labor
The nurse came in several times and asked if I felt like pushing. I was in so much pain and I desperately wanted to be at the pushing stage, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was feeling pressure or not. One time the nurse told me I could push to see what happened. I did… and it was all over after that! Lol.
My body just took over, and I literally couldn’t stop pushing. Jen was not in the room yet, so the nurses told me to stop pushing. I remember yelling, “I’m pushing, I’m pushing!” Haha. I really couldn’t stop.
My husband said at that point there was a flood of nurses getting things ready and running to get Jen. Just as they got me turned over, Jen arrived and told me I could push. I did, and I am pretty sure I pushed twice, and our son was here!! My husband says I pushed for less than 2 minutes.
I did it! With the Lord’s help and my husband’s support, I was able to have a labor with no drugs!
Blessing #14: A healthy baby
At 12:13am August 31st, Ezekiel was born. He weighed 7lbs 13 oz and measured 20 inches long. A healthy boy with a healthy set of lungs. 😉 But of course, as soon as daddy spoke to him, he quieted… mmm… what precious moments those first ones are.
Blessing #15: Smooth breastfeeding
Right away Zeke did great with breastfeeding! All you mamas know that this is a true blessing as sometimes nursing is not easy. It was pretty frustrating and unsuccessful with Zariah, so it was such a relief for it to be so smooth with Ezekiel!
Blessing #16: A visit from the chaplain
The morning after our son was born, we heard a prayer over the intercom from the hospital’s chaplain. Travis and I talked about what a blessing it was to be at a catholic hospital that allows praying over the intercom and scriptures on the walls.
Later, the chaplain came to visit us and we had sweet sweet fellowship. She blessed us with encouragement for our marriage and family. She prayed over us and brought us Zeke’s first bible. The spirit of this woman was so joyful and filled with God’s Spirit. It was very refreshing!
Blessing # 17: Family and friends
To be honest, this part of the blog could be an entirely other post. We had so many family and friends step in to help us and bless us. Visitors brought my husband food at the hospital. Friends helped with Zariah. My sister came into town from Grand Rapids and stayed with Zariah after my parents had to leave. Family bought us groceries and made us meals. Our church family brought us meals every day for our first week home. Friends ran errands for us. My parents brought us two lazy boy recliners.
People kept asking us what we needed. Even strangers blessed us… people from my mom’s work gave us milk storage bags and offered an expensive unused pump. A woman in the community met my pastor’s wife at her garage sale and asked if she knew of anyone who was having a boy and proceeded to give her 3 bags of baby boy clothes for free- all for us. Texts of congratulations. Sweet phone calls and sweet visits. Cards in the mail. Even our neighbor stopped by with a gift. I’m so serious when I say there are many more details I could include. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who blessed us and continues to bless us!!!
Hopefully I got the details right and didn’t leave anything out. To be honest, since we have been home, the blessings have just kept on coming. We are truly humbled. We don’t deserve any of these blessings, but God, for whatever reason decided to over-abundantly provide for not only our needs, but our desires. Honestly I don’t know why He decided to give us all of this and more. But what I do know is that He is good. God is so good! I’m still counting my blessings…