Today we have an inspiring guest post by my dear friend Sarah Ventura from With a Merry Heart and also our Co-Founder of FWBC Postpartum Pals. Last year FWBC offered classes by licensed midwives to help pregnant ladies at our church to have a healthy pregnancy, prepare for their birth and postpartum expectations. How awesome! Have I mentioned that I LOVE our church!?! The classes were very helpful and informative. During those classes, particularly the one on Postpartum, was when Sarah desired to start a support group to help one another with the transition after giving birth. Sarah is going to share with us about her daughter Phebe’s birth into this world! This is her amazing story:
Phebe Grace’s Birth Story by Sarah Ventura
It’s 1:37 am, my little Phebe has been sleeping and nursing on and off for the last hour while I try to drift to sleep-after a busy afternoon, with coffee inspired productiveness, and hormone induced happiness, I can’t help but be so grateful to God for allowing me to give birth to my sweet girl, and entrusting to me the great responsibility of bringing her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
My due date came and went, no Phebe. I was sure she would come early, like her big brother, but God had other plans. I prepped meals, played with my son, worried about how life was going to change-that I would fall apart- that all my high expectations and ideals would bring me to my knees with crippling post partum depression, worries about finances, how my relationship with my husband and with my son would change, not doing enough, that I wouldn’t be “ready”…thankfully I had a lot of friends, and wonderful midwives, and my husband who were a great support and helped me to rationalize my fears, and overcome them.
So at 41 weeks and 2 days we had a lengthy listen to her heart to make sure she was responsive-everything checked out wonderfully. We discussed options including an herbal tincture to balance hormones, chiropractic adjustments, and a membrane sweep. My dear midwife also advised that I talk to my daughter, let her know we were ready for her to come, and to pray that she would come that weekend. I was teary eyed at that point in the appointment-realizing that I had been so fearful and mentally “not ready for her to come” but knew that they were on my side and didn’t want me to have to have a hospital birth-which after 42 weeks they would legally have to transfer me to have a hospital birth instead of my planned home birth.
I started taking the tincture, my husband agreed to the chiropractor for that weekend, and I prayed I wouldn’t have to do the sweep-but was trusting that God provided my midwives with the knowledge to help me-so I decided that I would do the sweep as a last resort only if it was a couple of days before I was 42 weeks. I talked with Phebe, confronted my fears and let her know I’d never be fully ready, that the house would never be perfectly clean, that there would still be messes to clean, but that we were ready to meet her, and that I wanted her to come this weekend. Our little family prayed together that she would come soon, I prayed alone that night that God would allow my water to break that night, and that I would be able to hold my baby girl in the morning-I had also been praying for awhile that my waters would break in the kitchen or bathroom where it is tiled, and not the bed or carpeting-I finally told God It didn’t matter where they broke, just please let me have my daughter soon.
Near 1am I woke up to a tiny little gush, and I knew that my water had broke. I quickly checked the bed and thankfully there was no evidence of a mess everywhere-thank you God for answering my prayers! I laid back down with no contractions for about an hour, I tried to tell my husband but he was very sleepy and I didn’t really think it was time yet. After awhile I was up and down trying to get comfortable, I became louder with my groanings and didn’t want to wake up my husband or son so I tried resting on the couch. The pain became unbearable and was very close together, so I called my mom who was going to help with my son. I told her that they were close to 5 minutes apart and getting stronger, still I didn’t think much of it. “Wake up Ramon, he’s not going to work today” was my instruction as I whimpered back “ok” I woke him and he times the contractions, it was looking like every 4 minutes, though some were back to back with no rest. We called the Midwives, through tears I told her I felt like pushing, and all the while I was convinced it was still not time. I realize now, I get rather crazy during labor, and need my husbands strength, guidance, and assurance. He lit candles, drew the bath tub to help ease the pain, my son woke up during the commotion and rubbed my back, and sweetly gave me his fire truck toy to play with. He is so sweet!
It had only been 20 minutes, maybe more, my concept for time is not very good. Anywhoo, I was rolling around in pain on the bed, feeling the need to push, questioning “where is everyone???” The first Midwife to arrive was Danielle, she got her things together quickly, and could tell that he delivery was imminent. “Danielle, it hurts so bad” was all I could muster. She held my leg while I nearly crushed her my husband said, so he assisted her. He ran out to let my mom in, my mom popped in to say hello and ran back out to get Ramon “the baby’s coming!” Danielle was telling me to push and I just thought to myself, “this is too fast, she’s not coming now, what are you fussing about!?? Ok, I guess I’ll push” and out comes my darling daughter.
It was a whirlwind, and I am always so happy when it’s done. No drugs, no drs, no complications. Just a little family, sleepy, filled with joy, and ready to tuck into bed. They monitored me for awhile because I bled a lot-apparently I did at my sons birth too, they considered sending me to the hospital and I am so glad that the second Midwife to arrive, Rachel, was confident that I would recover fine, seeing I was already improving during the time they were there, and had no signs of shock.
This has taken 4 months to complete, but it’s done. I can confidently say that it’s taken nearly 4 months to return to almost normal, and my daughter has encouraged me to make many positive changes in my life, I want her to have the best role model. I had postpartum depression this time around again, and even though it’s tough to go through it, reaching out for support has helped. Our church ladies started a group, Faithful Word Baptist Church Postpartum Pals to help with the transition after birth, and I am so grateful for them, and that it’s been a blessing to other ladies also. Even though I had and still have a hard time reaching out, their encouragement, especially from Mrs. Amanda Wright has been a life saver. Thank you!
Sarah Ventura, With a Merry Heart
Thank you Sarah for sharing your beautiful story with us! Readers please check out & subscribe to Sarah’s blog and her YouTube channel. She has a fantastic recipe on Elderberry Syrup you’re sure to love!
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