Sunday, October 18, 2009

"I Told You So..."

For those of you who blog...have you ever had the experience where a blog is just "gurgling" (for lack of a better word) around in your head and you know you're not going to have any peace until you type it all out? That's what this blog is...gurgle.

Fifteen years ago, about 15 minutes after Kirin was born I asked my midwife why more people don't know about homebirth. I found out that a lot of people have been afraid to talk about it because people would think that they were crazy or that they were endangering their children. I realize that homebirth is a deeply personal decision (and that it's not for everyone) but I told her that night that it was going to be my mission to tell as many people as possible about it and that everyone I knew from then on was going to know that it was a valid choice for most women.

As a result of that decision, I think that most people who know me KNOW that I've had 3 kids at home. I'm pretty up front about it and it comes up, or I bring it up, pretty quickly after meeting people. Let's get this straight though... I'm not telling people that I had my kids at home so that they'll think that I'm some sort of superwoman or because I think that I'm better than someone else who chose a more traditional hospital birth. I do it because I want people to know that homebirth is a choice that they (or their friends, or their daughters, or whomever) can make and that there is a support system out there for them. Most people tell me that they didn't know it was an option or that they wish they HAD known they could have done it.

I hear a lot of birth horror stories about how a person's baby would have died if they had tried to deliver at home. I spend a lot of valuable energy stressing out over whether or not to tell them that most of their problems were consequences of their choice of birth location. Mostly I tell them what I fully believe to be true... "I'm glad that hospitals and doctors are there for the women who need them." I also happen to believe however, that if more low-risk women chose alternative birthing options it would free up the medical system to take better care of the women who genuinely DO need medical care or surgical deliveries.

Okay all that being said.... I've known for a LONG time that I want to be a midwife. When Kirin and James were babies I got involved with the debate of Home vs. Hospital on the AOL debate boards. I started learning about birth in a more in depth way than I had when I had just read through What to Expect and The Birth Book while I was pregnant. I knew that I was heading down that path but with two little ones (and Kevan who was 9) I knew that this wasn't the right time.

One of my best friends was pregnant when James had just turned a year old and was having a tough time of it. As soon as she stopped taking her meds she immediately went into labor and I headed to Atlanta to pick up her son's father from the airport. By the time we got back to the hospital the baby had been born and all seemed well. Then I took the video home to transfer it to VHS so the dad could watch. What I saw sickened me and I cried for a long time. Thinking about it now still chokes me up. The way she was treated and the things that were done to her were horrendous. The staff didn't notice the camera because her sister is a nurse and was in scrubs. I won't go into detail but I can tell you that I will never sit idly by and let this happen to someone else that I love.

Three months later I lost my mom. I felt helpless and pretty much alone in the world. I kept going back to that birth though. I knew I still wasn't ready to become a midwife but I wanted to do SOMETHING about it so I went to doula training in FL. I learned SO much and felt like I could make a birth at a time. I spent the next few years attending births in Columbus (and Atlanta!) and teaching childbirth classes. It was a good thing. I felt like I was where I was supposed to be but still something was missing.

Circumstances changed. Life happened. Justin came along. I finally had to get a job working outside of the home that prohibited me from going to births. I spent five years working at a hospital but knowing that deep down this wasn't forever. I jokingly said that when I was 80 I was going to be catching babies finally but still the desire was there. I got back into school and every paper that needed to be written about my future always found it's way back to midwifery.

When I lost my job at St. Francis I thought my world had come to an end. I ended my engagement and moved back in with my ex husband for strictly financial reasons. For 18 months I've been looking for a permanent job that would allow me to have my independence back and searching for a way to keep myself from falling back into my old habits of relying on my ex for everything.

I found MyChurch on Facebook and a door hanger and thought that I'd give it a try. I was working at Hopegivers and I knew that God was trying to tell me something but I was still only hearing what I wanted to hear from Him. I kept on praying for what I wanted and not for what He wants for me. So I went to the tent and found part of what had been missing. My relationship with Him started to change and I saw people all around me that had that PEACE that I had been missing.

While I was working on a project for one of my last classes, I had to create a business that I would like to own and it was completely pregnancy and birth related. I was missing a person from my plan. I needed someone who wanted to work as a post partum doula and go into the home and help mom get accustomed to motherhood. Out of the blue I got an email from Imani. She introduced herself and said she was interested (even though she didn't know that I had this plan!) and when we talked I found out she was expecting her fifth child. She is this amazing Godly woman and she and I kept in touch over the months of her pregnancy.

I graduated in September and I had this plan to start grad school in November and keep going til I got my masters degree in Business Management. Keep in mind that this is all part of the plan to be able to handle the business side of my midwifery practice when I'm 80. Being a midwife is not lucrative and without the support of a full time job or a supportive husband I just didn't think I was ever going to be able to do it.

I kept praying and praying for God to help me find a job and to help me get out of this living situation. Then we started the Detours series at church. The first week Jeff talked about how if we stay between the lines of God's providential will (what we know to be true...that He loves us...that He died for us...) and God's moral will (things we know are right and good for us) that He will be able to show us and guide us to what He wants for us.

A couple of things happened that morning. First of all I wrote on my communication card that I wanted God to show me what He wants for me because I'm tired of struggling with decisions about whether to move to Atlanta for a better job or to stay here and work for less to be near my kids. And second, God told me to put $5 in the collection plate. Here's how the conversation went:

God: Kim I want you to put $5 in the plate.
Kim: Seriously? That's ALL I have!!
God: Just trust me.
Kim: But I'm hungry and I want to be able to get something to eat after church!
God: Just trust me.
Kim: Fine. Where's my wallet. (looking for wallet) Hey! There's a $1 in here! How about I put THAT in the plate?
God: Seriously? What did I tell you? Just TRUST me!!
Kim: Fine. Here you go. :::grumble grumble:::
God: You'll see...

I was probably a little more cheerful than that but not much more. But I decided to trust Him. I know that He provides. Heck He's been keeping me fed for the better part of 2 years now!! But to completely give it ALL to Him was a struggle...symbolic that there was money involved but it was more than that. I gave Him ALL my trust when I put that $5 in that plate.

Fast forward to 11PM. I'm snuggled under the covers watching House on Hulu because I'm behind on this season already. The phone rings and it is Imani. She is in labor and wants me to come sit with her until the midwife gets there. I get up all excited to be going to not just a birth but to a HOMEBIRTH!! WOO HOO!! The ex of course wants to know why I'm up and moving around and disturbing him and he grumbles that it's not my responsibility to go to this birth and that I need to be home as soon as possible. I told him that it was my priviledge to be able to attend and that I really want to get back into doing births and that I'll be home as soon as possible.

On the way over God and I had some more quality time. I asked Him to please give me the knowledge and the calmness to get through this labor. I asked Him for a safe and easy delivery for Imani since I imagined that she, and certainly her husband, were nervous about their first homebirth. I prayed for the midwife to have safe travels on the way from Auburn. And I prayed that the baby would be blessed and that God would favor him throughout his life. I just kept asking God to keep me between the lines. All day and all night...I kept asking that over and over.

There was a peace in the house and I knew that we were under His protection. Good thing because three contractions after I got there the show was on and on the fourth contraction dad and I helped baby boy into this world!

Amazing... AMAZING!!! Not only did things go smoothly but God was in my ear saying, "I TOLD YOU SO!!" He asked for my trust and I gave it to Him and He blessed me in ways I had never imagined!! All these years I've been putting it off and putting it off but I knew deep down that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Now I know WHY though... The thing that was missing was my trust in God. Knowing that the reason that I'm going to do this is because it is what HE wants for me and not what I want for me has made a huge difference. I have that piece and that peace that has been missing!!

On Wednesday I started a temp assignment that came up out of the blue which will carry through to the first of the year. I also found a midwifery program in SC that I can do as a distance learning thing and it won't break my bank. AND... the midwife is going to let me use her distance learning VHS tapes to get my doula certification back through CAPPA and she wants to take a year off so she said she'd send me some doula business.

Oh!!! And the $5!? So Tuesday report cards came home and James is NOT doing well in a couple of his classes so the ex and I went to the school for a Freshman parents thing. I registered for a door prize and won a $50 Visa gift card. You know what God said?

"I told you so..."