Baby Miller Update: Still Waiting

Sharon Parenting, Trust 16 Comments

Today I am 41 weeks pregnant. I took this photo a couple days ago because my belly has gotten so big that I feel just plain silly. To pass the time, I enjoy walking through shopping malls and giving sales women heart attacks when I tell them I was due a week ago. Most of them step away from me as if I might drop a baby on the store floor, and many of them ask, “Shouldn’t you be at the hospital?”

Until yesterday I took the waiting in relative stride. However, I went to the doctor yesterday morning and learned that I am not even dilated 2cm. We began the discussion of when to induce, and if the baby doesn’t come on his own I am scheduled for an August 30th induction.

Now all of this is pretty standard protocol. Most doctors won’t let you carry more than 2 weeks beyond your due date, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the conversation. Plus, the baby is healthy (fluid levels are normal, heart beat is strong!) so there is no immediate cause for concern. However my lack of dilation and the prospect of a mandatory induction really shook me up.

You see, Ike and I prepared for a particular kind of birth. We enrolled in a 10 week class and equipped ourselves with a LOT of information. We’ve spent the last couple months educating ourselves about the birth process, learning what questions to ask, how to advocate for ourselves in the hospital, and the pros and cons of various interventions. Although our birth plan was pretty flexible, we still had some basic expectations about how it all would go.

On top of that preparation, I have been doing EVERYTHING I can to induce this baby naturally. I go on two walks a day, practice my daily squats, ingest copious amounts of red raspberry leaf tea, and see a chiropractor regularly, among other things.

In short, I have done everything right. I’ve eaten healthy, exercised, and educated myself.

But in spite of all that, my body is not cooperating. In spite of all my preparations, I have been unable to make my body go into labor naturally.

With that backdrop in mind, yesterday’s meeting with the doctor has forced me to shift my expectations radically. And I didn’t take it well. I don’t know why I became so emotional about it, but following the appointment I wandered into Land of Nod to buy some crib sheets, and wound up crying with 3 women in the store. I felt out of control, I felt vulnerable, and I felt frustrated.

Although the waiting, has been difficult, that has not been the hardest part for me. For me, the hardest part has been the loss of control. I had expected to labor naturally for as long as possible. I do not want to be induced, and I do not want a C-section. And while those desires might still be met, yesterday I was confronted with the reality that they might not. When dealing with something as personal as your own body, and as urgent as your own child, that loss of control can feel overwhelming.

As I have processed this information, I have come to realize that God is teaching me 3 key things. I won’t pretend to have these down yet, but here is what I suspect God is up to right now:

1. God calls us only to prepare well.

After my doctor’s appointment I was thinking about all the hard work I had put into preparing for a natural labor, hard work that might very well go to waste. As I processed this reality, the strangest verse popped into my head:

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.” – Proverbs 21:31

At face value, this verse has nothing to do with labor and delivery. However the underlying principle behind it has implications for so many aspects of our lives.

In this particular instance, I did everything I could to prepare for this baby’s arrival. I was a good steward of the time and resources given me. Even so, the labor and delivery process is in God’s hands. I can prepare, yes, but it is up to God whether this baby is healthy. It is up to God how my body will respond to labor. I can’t control the “success” of my birth or even my child. I can only prepare well, and I suspect that is a lesson I will need to carry with me into parenthood. There is only so much I can, and am called, to do.

Which leads me to the second lesson…

2. Control is an illusion.

One of the tricky things about our birthing class, and the available information about childbirth in general, is that it can create an illusion of control. In an excellent article for Her.meneutics titled Bowing Down to the Birthing Ball: Dismantling the Idol of the Perfect Birth, the author confronted how thoroughly women have come to idolize a particular birthing experience, believing they can achieve/comtrol it themselves. I thought I wasn’t an idolater of this sort, but yesterday revealed that I was.

Again, it’s not that we shouldn’t educate ourselves, prepare with diligence, and steward the knowledge and resources we have. However, we should not mistake preparation for manipulation. Our efforts are not like puppet strings directing the hands of God. Stewardship and wisdom do not grant us a control that only God has. I am learning to make peace with that truth.

3. Waiting is a spiritual discipline.

Although the waiting has been tough at times, God has used this time to teach me about more than impatience. As Christians we are a waiting people. We are waiting for the return of our Savior, but it is easy to forget that we live in such an in-between state. Instead we settle here on earth, we get comfortable, and we forget that this world is not our home.

However waiting for this baby has reminded me that waiting is not a passive activity. Part of waiting is preparing, a lesson we learn from Scriptural passages such as the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25). In the same way that I have spent the last 9 months anxiously getting ready for this little boy, Christians are to prepare for Christ’s return with the same amount of anticipation and preparation. In this way, God has used this time to teach me HOW to wait for Him.

Those are just the three of the many things God has been teaching me. I still hope our son will come naturally and I would appreciate your prayers for that, but I am letting go of any control I mistakenly thought I had over this situation. This labor and this baby are in His hands, and I want to rest in that. I would appreciate prayers for that peace as well.

Thanks, friends!

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Comments 16

  1. Tim

    Continuing to pray for you and Ike and baby Miller, Sharon. thoise three lessons you shared were great too. How you can write so well and so cogently at this time just shows how talented you truly are. You’re going to be a great mom, too.

    Tim

  2. Judy

    Sharon,
    Praise God that you can give this labor and this baby directly to Him. How sad it would be to not know our God and be able to accept His grace and His peace.
    Love and hugs to you, Ike, and baby Miller.
    PS What are you going to name him???

  3. Helen Lee

    They say the longer the baby is in the womb, the better! I know how hard it is to wait but clearly God still has work in utero to do. =) Prayers for you during this time of waiting and expectation, and I can’t wait to hear about Baby Miller’s arrival!

  4. Nancy

    Went through this myself and was not as wise as you seem to be…I was so upset at being told I would need a c-section. Looking back (My “baby” is now 28), God was preparing me for the many more times I would have to give up my sense of control as a mother and a wife. It really is just a sense of control. God is sovereign, and I often need reminders.

  5. emu

    Great post! I love your honesty and that you’re using these hard days of waiting to learn from God. Your wait is not being wasted, which is a beautiful thing and will only make you a better mother.

    It is quite possible you’ll be induced, but you still have 6 whole days until the 30th. Your baby could be born 10+ times over in that amount of time! So don’t be discouraged. Know your body IS cooperating…maybe not with your personal desires, but with God’s best for your little man.

    Can’t wait to see pictures soon!

  6. Katie Baker

    Its amazing what you learn at the end of pregnancy, through childbirth, and having a newborn. I wanted to share a little bit of our story to help encourage you and any other mothers out there who find themselves overdue and wondering what the heck is going on. I, too, hoped for an all natural delivery with my first baby, even deciding to go to a birth center instead of the hospital (despite working as a labor and delivery nurse in a wonderful hospital). I did the classes, drank the tea, used the Evening Primrose, walked myself to pieces, and still, at 41 weeks and 3 days, no baby…and not even dilated to 1 cm. It was awful. My water broke that day, and I labored off and on for 36 hours, dilating to a whopping 2cm. At that point, I ended up in the hospital, exhausted, emotionally drained, and with the beginnings of an infection. When my LO’s heart rate begin to indicate distress, we made the hard, but very necessary, decision to do a c-section. Out she came, sweet and healthy, and a new chapter began. I remember being very sad for a few days about having had a c-section…wondering why? Why didn’t I dilate? Why was she distressed? Why couldn’t I have the labor and delivery experience that so many of my friends did? Why couldn’t I deal with the pain of it? The questions plagued me…on and on and on. But God, in His great mercy, began to gently remind me of His goodness, while rocking my little girl at night, while nursing her throughout the day, while looking at her sweet face, knowing she was such a gift from Him. And I began to see His hand in the whole process. If I had been pregnant 100 years ago, we both would have probably died during labor…so a c-section began to look pretty good from that perspective. God gave me 2 wonderful, believing doctors who did the surgery and rejoiced with me at the birth of our daughter. I had next to no problems breast feeding, which was such a blessing, and an “easy” baby who brought so much joy into our home. I began to be thankful for my midwife, who made the right decisions for us. I was thankful for my doctors, who brought our daughter into the world safely and quickly. I was thankful for my husband, who remained strong and patient throughout a very trying 2 days. I was thankful for my daughter, who I couldn’t stop holding. And I was thankful that the Lord was with me, even in the valley of the shadow of death…because without all that medical intervention, that would have been the end of our story.

    When I got pregnant a second time, 11 months after having our first, I desired greatly to TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean), but I also knew the risks involved with that process. I went back and forth in my mind, talking to Chris, my midwives/physicians, and praying for wisdom in this decision. I really felt like the Lord impressed on me that He would make it very clear, at the end of my pregnancy, what needed to happen–whether I should try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or have a repeat c-section. On my due date, I was still pregnant and only a fingertip dilated. They did an ultrasound (per protocol) and discovered that our little one had turned breech (after being head down for months) and had a BPP of 4/10, which basically means she wasn’t moving much and needed to be delivered asap. So that night, I found myself back in the OR, ready to meet baby girl #2, trusting fully that this was God’s plan for us. I could’t have gotten a much clearer answer to my VBAC question than a breech baby.

    So now I have two amazing little girls. While sometimes I am saddened by the fact that I will probably never experience a vaginal delivery, I look at them and am reminded that they probably wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for medical intervention, and it puts everything else in perspective. I definitely didn’t get the labor I wanted and hoped for…but I have my girls, which is certainly more than I deserve.

  7. kelli trujillo

    I really love your observations, especially #2 & #3. I can sympathize with you b/c I had a somewhat similar experience. Those were some LOOOOONG days. I am excited for the ways God is refining you through this process — it will make baby’s arrival all the more sweet. Blessings!

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    Sharon

    Judy, we have a name but haven’t announced it yet!

    And thanks for all the encouragement from everyone! I love the Body of Christ–lifting me up when I need it!

  9. Pingback: Baby Miller, Mommy and Daddy are waiting patiently! | Literally Nursing

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  11. Mariana

    You are so beautiful, strong, and wise Sharon. I applaud you also for sharing everything so…..raw. You give me hope and happiness that one day too I will be that close with the Lord and with my family to be. Whenever I’m struggling, I always seem to come across one of your posts and it makes me feel so grateful and motivated. Your son will soon know how awesome you and Ike are! God bless and you’re going to do just fine because all is in His hands do there is nothing to fear. It’s relaxing and reassuring when knowing this 🙂 much love, Mariana

  12. Mae Lynn Ziglar

    Sharon,
    I admire your willingness and openness to ponder what God is teaching you DURING this time versus AFTER. I was only able to see and accept what God was teaching me after the birth of my 2 children. Thank you for your beautiful writing and how you always relate our struggles in life biblically and point us to the Savior. You are a blessing.
    BTW, you look beautiful carrying that little boy!

  13. Seble

    Three great lessons. Thank you Sharon. Praying with you, Ike and the family.

    You and Ike are great parents.
    Blessings on Baby Miller!

  14. trisha

    Praying for all of you-this will be a lifechanging week! Your wisdom was just what I needed as today we returned home from dropping our youngest off for college-1400 miles away. No control here-just cried off and on as we came home and couldn’t figure out how to turn my mind off from all the possible terrible things that could happen. Today, in our final leg of trip, we drove through magnificant mountains in northern Arizona with beautiful meadows, and sharp crags of ravines. My heart worshiped my Creator and once again, I turned over control over my child. It won’t stop with just birth but everyday of their lives. He is their God.

  15. Tim

    “Introducing Isaac Xavier Miller born August 28 at 5:19am weighing in at 5lbs 12oz! God is good!”

    Yay! Praying for you all right now!

    Tim

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