Adah: adornment, to adore, and be adored.
Harbor: she is a harbor for His presence, called to ministry.
She was different from the beginning. We actually got to plan this one. I had time to ponder exactly how I wanted to give birth. It took five months to get pregnant, and for a woman who got pregnant on birth control twice, five months was long. I fought the constant lies I would never conceive again, that I couldn’t handle three children. Finally, I had a positive pregnancy test around Valentines day. I was thrilled. I was thrilled to have a third child, and really excited to fulfill a lifelong dream of giving birth in the water, in my own home. I sought out a midwife, called and asked around as it is not popular to use one in NC. That first phone call to the midwife I chose, I knew. I knew she was the one I wanted there with me, coaching me, praying for me along the way. It was important to me to have a private, spiritual birth. To have all of my prenatal care in my home. To develop a special bond with my midwife.
My first appointment with my midwife left me smiling, laughing, and thanking God I had found this woman. We had such an instant connection, with our beliefs in The Lord, and our humor. She made me laugh! The Lord knew I needed comic relief.
With every appointment I grew more fond of her. Had more admiration for her. I developed a trust in her that to this day is hard to explain. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase:” if she told you to jump off a cliff would you do it?!” . Yes, yes I would, because she has good reason for saying what she says. This woman is so intune with The Lord, and when she speaks it is truth. I knew I could trust her with my body, and my child.
It was such a joy having her come to my home, and check on the baby. Each visit included an examination of how the baby was doing, and how I was doing physically, but let me tell you it was more emotional. At every visit, we talked. Talked about life, ups and downs, how I was feeling that week.
A few months before I got pregnant The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and said : ” fast from meat for one year.” I shared this with her at the first visit, her response will forever stick with me, ” Then he has good reason, He knows what He is doing.” Many people asked if I would stop the fast when I got pregnant, but she was never one of them. She believed in obedience to The Lord, as I did. The pregnancy took my fast to a whole other level. I was exhausted. I craved meat more then than I ever have. But I also relied on my Father more than I ever have. It was difficult preparing meals for my family, then having to make myself something completely different. It taught me self control, and obedience to The Lord. He wasn’t punishing me, but preparing me. I know that now.
My pregnancy with her was blissful, as far as her growth, and my health. I never once felt nauseous. She grew at a perfect speed, and was such an active baby. At my 36 week visit, my midwife confirmed she was in fact head down. I borrowed a birthing ball from my Mom, and started diligently bouncing on it every chance I could. I started walking the neighborhood, in hopes of dilating. I had received my birth kit, and set it out on the counter in the laundry room. Every time I passed by it I smiled in anticipation of what was to come. I had dreams almost every night of birthing in the tub that was set up in my dining room. I dreamt of my peaceful labor, and how gracefully I would lift her to my chest and cry tears of joy! I dreamt about that first stare into her eyes, and how flooded with peace and fulfillment I would be. My whole identity was written in that moment, where I would do the most natural thing there is for a woman to do. Give birth, and connect with her child in those first few moments where nothing else matters but you and her.
At my 38 week appointment , my midwives apprentice came, whom I love!! The appointment was going great. She checked everything out, and wanted to have a listen at her heartbeat. I was watching her intently , as her facial expression changed. “Hmmmmmmm” she said , and my heart plummeted . She told me it sounded like Adah was breech. Breech? No she couldn’t be! That ruins everything. All I knew about breech was automatic c section. I held back my tears. I remained calm until she left . My midwife called a few minutes later after discussing the baby’s position with her, and indeed confirmed she was breech. I lost it. What was I supposed to do ? The thought of a c section made me sick to my stomach. Not for reasons that I didn’t want surgery, but that my homebirth dreams were shattered. We decided to call a local OB for an ultrasound, but I couldn’t get in touch with him before his office closed. I called Matt sobbing, pleading with him to help me fix this. He prayed with me over the phone that she would turn. In believed with every fiber of my being she would turn. She had to.
Many days after that were spent crying out to The Lord. Please turn her. Please make this right. Please help me.
So many women were praying for her to turn, believing with us. My midwife gave me her fetascope and taught me how to tell if she was still breech. I began doing very strange excersises, and caught Myself laughing because of how ridiculous I looked. I sought out a chiropractor , and went to appointments to be adjusted, praying that would turn her. Nothing worked.
Finally at 41 weeks and 5 days , The Lord decided it was time for her to be delivered. Better yet, he saved her.
I was cutting up apples that afternoon around 4 pm when I felt a strange tingling in my left hand. I thought it was carpel tunnel so I kept on. The tingling went up my arm, and into my face. I called my midwife, and she instructed me to go to the hospital. I called Matt, and he arranged for our sweet neighbors to watch the children.
On the way to the hospital I knew. I knew this was over, they would section me. I didn’t fully admit it, as I didn’t even bring any belongings with me. When we got there, my mother in law was there waiting for us. They admitted me into a room, and monitored the baby. A doctor came in and checked my cervix, no dialation. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been having regular contractions for weeks! With the help of an ultrasound we learned she was close to 9 lbs, and the cord was wrapped around her neck.
After the OB told us the facts, my midwife lovingly placed her hand on my shoulder. With that simple touch of affection I was flooded with the Holy Spirits presence in that room. I could feel it, and Matt could feel it. We knew it was time for a c section. The doctor left us alone so we could pray. My mother, mother I law, and father I law laid hands on me. Try prayed for peace, and safety. My mother in laws prayer, ill never forget. She prayed for a bond between me and Adah that would be special. That I would feel such a connection with her . She knew how much that meant to me to have skin to skin as soon as she was born. The doctor came back in and Matt asked him about immediate contact with Adah for me as soon as she was born, and he agreed. I was wheeled off in a quite stylish outfit and hat to meet my baby girl.
The spinal took a few tries, as it was shocking me everytime he tried to administer it. I was crying in pain. When it finally took, the sweet nurses laid me down and I began to dry heave, over and over. I felt loopy and out of control. It took me a minute, but I regained control of my thoughts. I would still praise Him in this. This is not a punishment.
Matt came in and held my hand as he cut me and pulled her out. I remember her first cry, that first touch as they laid her on my chest . She was wailing. Not happy about her entrance. “8’6 !!” They said! I couldn’t believe a big ole baby came out of my body.
As they were sewing me up , I began to have intense shoulder pain. They gave me morphine. I remember telling Matt :” go with her! Don’t leave her alone! Talk to her! Touch her!”
The first person I saw as they were wheeling me out of the operating room was my sweet sweet midwife. She stayed with me rubbing my hair, praying aloud, and thanking Jesus Adah was healthy. I’ve never been so blessed by someone’s love for me as I was in that moment of what I felt was self defeat. Self pity. God had forgotten me, so I thought. He forgot my dreams. Wasn’t it important to him? Didn’t he love me?
The hospital stay was better than other experiences. The staff was so sweet to me. Adah latched on , and nursed beautifully. I was on so much pain medication , I barely remember our first glances, our first exchanges of mother and daughter connection. But in all of this, I was thankful she was there, in my arms. After all that waiting.
The doctor let us go home after 48 hours. I was reluctant to leave the hospital because of my pain. I’ve never experienced pain like that before. I tried to be strong when Matt would ask how I was feeling. I didn’t want to appear needy, or that I needed anyone’s help. Stubborn much!?
The weeks following her birth I became very angry. Angry at God . Angry at my body. Angry at my children. But never angry at my husband. In fact my love for him grew stronger as I watched him care for me, take up my duties with the children, and love on Adah. My sister came almost everyday all the way from Winston to help put the kids to bed, and with household chores. I am forever grateful for her unselfishness. My whole family stepped in and helped.
Finally around the one month old mark, at an appointment with my midwife I admitted it. As I was changing her diaper in front of my midwife she says, ” It’s ok you know. It’s ok you haven’t bonded yet.” I began to cry tears of frustration, or disappointment in myself. How could I not bond with my child? She grabbed me in an embrace that was so strong I could feel her grief for me. I could feel her hurt for my broken dream. She told me I would have to work at bonding with her. Wear her, sleep with her, nurse her offen, talk to her, ect. So that I did. For the next for weeks I made special times to bond with her. Stare into her eyes, kiss her , smell her skin. It worked. I remember the night The Lord redeemed her birth, he brought me to my knees. I was rocking her to sleep, as I had done in a way to bond with her, when the Holy Spirit fell on me so strong I began to weep. I wept for what could have been. He began to show me the fast was for her life. I fasted for her. I fasted for her destiny in Him. The calling that’s on her life. The enemy wanted nothing more than for her to die in my womb, in my body . So what did he ask of me? To take control of my body. To trust him , even when I didn’t understand. I held her close, kissed her, and wept for a better part of two hours. He was healing me. Showing me plans for my precious daughter. I will be forever grateful for His presence that night. I can say now that we have bonded, that my love for her is so strong. I’m grateful I’m her mother, grateful I get to be the one to teach her about The Lord. In reality, she is teaching me.
2 thoughts on “Adah Harbors birth story”
So sweet. Our Lord is a redeemer, Alleluia!
Beautiful Rachel!!!! Thank you for sharing!