Wednesday, July 27

In A {Really} Good Place:

We're nearing the home stretch here folks! I'm 38-ish weeks this week! 
Thank God it's almost over! 
{I'm SO ready for it to be OVER!}

I thought I'd share where I am right now, where my heart is at this point before I have this baby
 and share a few photos....since I haven't posted a blog in a while.

Last week when my midwife checked me, I was already dilating, my cervix was feeling soft and she said she wouldn't be surprised if I had this baby early! I'm hoping to go into labor at 39 weeks but I'm prepared for 42 weeks, but praying for 39. Eeeekkk! We've been doing a ton of walking, stretching, squatting, birth ball sitting, raspberry leaf tea drinking, practicing relaxation daily and visualizing a peaceful, complication free birth. Mostly though, I'm just waiting on the Lord and prepared for whatever He's got in store for me. I've been going through a process of letting go of my desire to be in "control" and not putting any sort of expectations at all on myself or the baby's birth. I know I need to surrender to my birth and not hold so tightly onto any sort of expectations, knowing how unpredictable it can be. That being said, I am also expecting the Lord to do great things and I am VERY excited.
Through this  process of releasing my control, It seems as though the Lord is giving me one topic to ponder (infant mortality, a child with disabilities, a child with *my strong willed, opinionated personality! A repeat cesarean, trusting my husband to be able to comfort me & say the things that will help bring me encouragement in labor, and trusting my body). NO ONE ELSE is having this baby but me! I have to trust myself and have confidence. Each week I seem to be pondering a new topic or conquering a new fear. One by one, I'm handing them over to the Lord to deal with, to dissolve the fear, bring me peace, discipline me, heal me & show me His love. After one topic has been dealt with, tears have been shed and prayers have been prayed I get handed another "what if" to consider. Something new to learn to trust Jesus with.
He's also given me a ton of really great things to consider other than the scary "what if's".

At church a few weeks back during worship, i was praying for the birth and I felt as if he was saying to me, "Haven't I given you everything else you've asked? Chelsea. Trust me." Then during our walk today, I was also praying for the baby & birth again and noticed how gloomy it was out and how thankful I was to walk in gloomy weather rather than walking painfully up the hill as the hot Vegas weather beat on us! It started to rain and I remembered how Dustin said that he would love for it to thunder and storm during our birth (being that we're in monsoon season!) Then I started to giggle imagining God giving us rain on the baby's birthday and how sweet that would be of him. I was praying out loud and praising god saying, "Thank you Jesus for this rain! For this beautiful walk!" and when we got into the car, Conrad kept saying, "Dank you, Deezus for da yayn!" as it beat on the windshield. I just kept crying and laughing. They're like little parrots at this age, I swear. What a great gift that rain was.
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was still wrestling with how we were going to birth this baby as I was considering attempting a VBAC, I was really anxious about it. Will I rupture? Is it safe? What if this? what if that.... During a woman's worship service, in the beginning of it as we were singing, I was praying about uterine rupture and about this strong desire of mine to not be cut open again, and immediately I got this picture in my mind, an image of God's hands woven tightly around my uterus holding it securely, preventing it from rupturing. I immediately fell to pieces. Just at that moment my girlfriend Dotty put her hand on my stomach and leaned over towards me so I could hear as she prayed for our baby and birth. That affirmed to me that my heart was in alignment with God's and that's when I started getting really serious about delivering the baby at home. I realized that he cares about my desires. Dotty had no idea that the Lord had given me that little picture of his hands holding my uterus. She probably had no idea what I was praying for at that moment. That was another sweet reminder that he is in control. Not me. And He could be trusted.
Part of this process has actually been quite painful at times. It's painful to realize, when He, In his great love for me convicts me of my pride, my desire to take control and do it MY way and when he shows me my arrogance. When god holds up a mirror to me, showing me how ugly my sin is, how it grieves him, it's freeing when it's handed over and I'm no longer captive to it. I'm no longer a prisoner to it. That's the thing though, birth is SO unpredictable. If I don't lay down my desires before my god and my will, pursuing his greater plan, In the long run, I'll be disappointed with the outcome. His way is better than my way. And he cares about my heart being right. He also cares about my desires and has given me nothing but affirmation after affirmation to birth our baby at home. I have to rest in that.
There are greater things to be dealt with right now in my heart than the fear of baby being "too big to fit" or the pain being too much. My friend told me this week, "If you have to go to the hospital because it hurts too bad and you want the epidural, just get it! No one gets a purple heart for laboring naturally!" I know it will be too much to bare. On my own, the pain will be too much, but asking that my heart of stone would be replaced with a heart of flesh, having ears that are sensitive to God and being teachable through all of this is so vital, I'm realizing. I'm prepared for the pain. Another friend who delivered her baby at home told me that pain purifies the heart. Pain shouldn't be feared. She said that she kept repeating, "This pain brings life!" During her labor. I like that phrase.

And I will give them a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in them; and I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19 

It's funny the things people say to you before you're about to have a baby. OR before you're about to attempt a home birth. They think It's so crazy to opt out of drugs, but woman have been birthing babies  without drugs for how long now? I certainly have nothing against epidurals. They often help a mother rest who is exhausted, epidurals can help her dilate and relax when they're done properly and she still has sensation, the use of forceps and vacuums don't need to be used when they're done properly. So epidurals aren't "bad" but the whole thought of being numb and not feeling my butt and only knowing when I'm having a contractions by looking at a monitor to tell me seems counterproductive (for me). Another friend recently told me that she's not a "big fan of pain." She's not a masochist like me. (Her words.) But does experiencing natural child birth and being able to feel what your baby is doing, being able to responding to your baby mean that you're a masochist? I certainly don't enjoy pain. I pop a Tylenol at the first sign of a head ache, believe me, I'm no fan of pain. 

Someone recently said to me, "Wow, you're SO brave for doing what you're doing." I wrestled with that statement for a moment and thought, "You know what? I AM brave!" There is no fear attached to my birth this time, there is no one to blame or be responsible for having this baby, it's all me. No one will force me to go against my intuition or instincts. I'll listen to my body, to my baby, to my god, to my midwife, follow the lead of my husband and as a team, we will work together to bring this baby into the world as gently and peacefully as possible. I like that definition of bravery. I trust that if we have to go to the hospital for whatever reason, it will be a great experience either way. I've come to peace about this topic as well.
I've really come to peace with this whole thing. It feels good. I feel like I'm at a really comfortable, confident place and I'm ready to surrender my will fully. There's nothing I want more than to give this baby the gift of a peaceful entrance into this world.


  1. Totally random, but... where did you get that fab striped dress?!! And is it maternity?

  2. The pictures are awesome and I can't believe how close you are!!! Exciting!

  3. Jenn, it belongs to my mom! She got it at Gap. They still have it, I believe. I think it's on sale too... they have it in a pink and red stripe too. It's not maternity. The size I have on is an xs. It's super comfy and stretchy!


  4. these pictures are so adorable! :) that's fun that you're going to have your baby soon!! You guys are the cutest family :)

    Notes She Wrote

  5. I LOVE this post - I NEEDED this post! I, too, am nearly there - 39wks on Friday!! As a first-timer, I've definitely been struggling with letting go and not being afraid of the whole unpredictable experience. I've had a really great, easy pregnancy so far but am now having fluctuating high blood pressure and my doctor is talking induction, which was not ever in my plans! For the last week, I've been trying to wrap my mind around not going into labor naturally and the increased possible pain, etc. etc., and have been trying to just let go of my need to control the when and how, knowing that a healthy baby is the ultimate end result. Just like you, all throughout this pregnancy, God has been showing me that i can TRUST Him, with anything and everything, and that He answers prayers in huge, awesome ways. I like your friend's quote about this pain bringing LIFE. I'm gonna use that too, if you don't mind :) Thanks for sharing all of this!

  6. these pictures are so beautiful! you have the most beautiful family darling and this post is so lovely. May God bless you and your family always :)

  7. I LOVE this post! You are so beautiful!

  8. Karen, I certainly wouldn't suggest that you go against your doctor's orders for your birth, but I would however consider really listening to your gut and instincts. Not getting induced will really help you prevent an unnecessary cesarean birth (which is so much harder to recover from, you don't get to bond with baby right away and much harder to breast feed... among many other reasons to try your best to prevent it!)

    If you and baby are still doing ok around 40 weeks and you haven't gone into labor spontaneously, I'd really try to ask the doctor if he will allow you to go til 41 weeks and see if the baby will come on it's own.

    Again, go with your gut and listen to your dr. I'd try my best to stay pregnant as long as possible without interventions.

    Someone told me when i first got pregnant, "It's your body, your birth, why can't you decide how it goes? Do it your way!" If I had heard this before Conrad's birth, I might have questioned what was being done to me during labor more and said NO to more of the interventions.

    You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. Remember that. You can say NO to any intervention that is presented to you. (as long as you and baby are safe!)

    Congrats on your 39th week! How exciting! You can do it! It will be an awesome birth! I know that just like mine, it will be unpredictable and totally not like you picture, but it will be perfect because God is laying it out just how it's supposed to be. He will go ahead of you and place caring, respectful nurses around you and make it possible for you to have the birth you want.

    Fight for what your instinct tells you is right for you and your baby!

    And please let me know when your baby comes! I'm so excited for you!!!

    our babies will be only a week or so apart! How fun!

  9. A beautiful post Chelsea...thank you for all these posts that you have done on your upcoming birth. I'll be holding you in my thoughts and prayers as you get closer to the birth of your baby.
    Lovely pictures btw.

  10. what a beautiful post! you have such a beautiful family, really you do. i'm praying that He gives you much peace as the day draws closer. i'm excited to see if it's a girl or boy! :)

  11. Chelsea...whatever your ever he/she enters into this world...will be unbelievable! I cannot wait to hear about your journey. I hope that we can actually meet one day soon and share stories.

  12. seriously this makes me excited to have a child one day!
    so beautiful, the photos and the words :)

  13. You are brave! Any woman who goes through pregnancy, delivering a baby, and going on to have more kids is brave. :) I can't wait to see your lovely new addition. Praying for you to have a blessed week!

  14. i am thinking about you every day as it draws closer!! keeping you in my prayers, friend. surrendering it all to God and letting go of expectations is the BEST thing you can do <3

  15. Chelsea,

    I have been such a fan of your blog for a long time. I am so excited for you and your family! This birth is going to be amazing and I can't wait to read all about it.

    I am pregnant with my second child as well. I come to your blog frequently and have been reading what you have been so passionate about lately. Your desire for a VBAC delivery and all the research you have done along your journey to get where you are. I kept thinking, "wow she is such a strong woman to want to do it this way" but never went beyond that and reflecting on my own upcoming birth. Then something clicked in my brain a few weeks ago and I suddenly cannot stop obsessing about this birth! I didn't have the issues that you had with Conrad's birth, I had a pleasant experience in a hospital with an epidural and friendly nurses and doctors so why am I stressing over this? I should be a pro, right?

    I was in labor for 28 hours, pushed for 2 of them. Stuck to a bed for 20 hours and PUSHING for 2 HOURS! Not going to happen again. I have been researching like crazy. I even bought a birthing tub even though I do not plan on actually birthing in it. My husband is looking at me like I'm insane but for some reason I know this time that I can handle things differently. I can manage the pain with a new mind set. Like your friend said, "pain brings life."

    With inspirational stories like yours and so many other women I have come across in the past few weeks, I am actually EXCITED about this labor and delivery! Thank you so much for being so open and honest with your feelings and your relationship with God.

    Good luck and many blessings in the next few weeks!

  16. GirlyGrl183: what an encouraging comment to wake up to! Thank you so much! ;) That's so exciting that you're pregnant again! And it's exciting that you had a pleasant birth experience the first time around. *Maybe you can stay home as long as possible and labor in your tub with your hubby and then head to the hospital when your contractions are 3 mins apart (bradley method's opinion of when you should head to hospital! check that book out! It's amazing!) I wish more woman I knew had great hospital experiences like you did. That's so wonderful!

    Other great books that have been so helpful to me this time around, that I bet you would love are: "She Births" "Ina May's guide to childbirth" and "Ina May's guide to breastfeeding" Get them for cheap on amazon! They're really great, fast reads with a ton of information that I didn't know the first time around! ;)

    Again, thank you for your comment! I so appreciate your encouragement and sweet words! Congrats on your 2nd baby and I hope this next birth is even more empowering and pleasant!

  17. I really, really enjoyed reading this. Though you're talking about your very specific situation, the ideas resonate very strongly with what I'm struggling with right now... giving it to God, resting in the affirmations he DOES give (and recognizing them when they come), using pain as a refining tool, not something to flee from when it's necessary.
    Those photos are absolutely gorgeous. Your whole family is. I really love Conrad's splayed little legs sticking up in the air when you're all three lying down. It's so little kid-ish. And I love every single time you write something adorable he said. It melts my whole being.

  18. Thanks Rachael! You're SO so sweet! You put a big smile on my face!


  19. I LOVE those last two pictures! And I'm glad I found your blog! My husband is in school for civil engineering too! Thanks for sharing your life!

  20. Chelsea, never cease to amazing me :) Your writing needs to be printed! I absolutely soaked up every bit of this post...i've been missing ya here in blog world!

    favorite/most inspiring parts :)
    - "Dank you, Deezus for da yayn!" so sweet!
    - Your powerful yet humble testimony of your love for God. Your trust in Him and His ultimate plan for you is awe-inspiring :)
    - The way you are so dedicated to this birth being a positive experience! I know too many women who have the mind set of "let's get this thing done and over with"'ll do an amazing job of bringing your little babe into the world. i just know it. prayers for you!

  21. You're going to rock labor and your maternity photos are just amazing!!