A friend asked me what helped my focus during pregnancy and labor. What I did to maximize the potential for a pain-free birth. I don’t presume to know how everyone should give birth. All I can share is what I did, what worked for me, and that it DID work for me.
Genesis 3:16 says:
16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (NIV)
16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow1 and thy conception; in sorrow2 thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (KJV)
Sorrow1 is translated from the Hebrew word itstsabown (its-tsaw-bone’) which is from from atsab(aw-tsab’); worrisomeness, i.e. Labor or pain — sorrow, toil. Atsab is a primitive root; properly, to carve, i.e. Fabricate or fashion; hence (in a bad sense) to worry, pain or anger — displease, grieve, hurt, make, be sorry, vex, worship, wrest.
Sorrow2 is translated from the Hebrew etseb (eh’-tseb) which also comes from atsab; meaning an earthen vessel; usually (painful) toil; also a pang (whether of body or mind): grievous, idol, labor, sorrow.
With these, I chose to remove the opportunity for fear to reside:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Instead when I felt the anxiousness that the anticipation of labor brought, I broke it down to determine whether it was a noteworthy concern or if I was “fabricating” or worrying. I reminded myself that God would not tell me there was a concern through fear. I focused my mind on the restoration that ensued by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. I reminded myself that what was lost in the garden -clarity and perception, communion and fellowship, and ability and power- were restored to me. I reminded myself that I was given authority in Christ’s name because He sent His Spirit.
Because of my long labor, of on-again/off-again contractions, by recommendation, I meditated on:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3
I reminded myself to trust in Him and His perfect timing and that God was “doing a work” in me (Philippians 1:6). He in fact was creating and developing a precious baby!!
I also trusted that my body was designed to have babies! God created me and His own Word says:
“Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God. Isaiah 66:9
As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. Ecclesiastes 11:5
We experience pain as a warning sign that something is wrong. When we’re experiencing pain during labor, we should take it as a sign that something is wrong – whether it is our position, our health, our fear -it could be one of several different reasons. For me, my labor was pain-free as long as I was relaxed and calm and did as my body wanted. When I fought it, whether to hold baby in to move my position, my fear of what it would feel like, or not staying focused on God’s promise, I experienced pain. This, for me, was a warning to stop those things and continue in following His lead.
Again, I don’t presume to know everything about giving birth. I do know that I had faith in God, trusted Him, believed with all my heart, and let Him do His thing. I took care of myself during my pregnancy – I ate a lot of protein, drank teas to prepare my uterus for labor, stretched, and rested throughout.
For me, my faith carried out into my physical when I refused to allow murk and mire to creep into my mind. I didn’t allow the doubt of others to cloud my view, nor discourage me from the path He had me on. Sometimes we’ll be led down a path that doesn’t make a lot of sense to many – but we can always trust that the end is a great one and the journey to get there is entirely worth it.
I know in my journey of pregnancy and delivery, I enjoyed nearly every moment. Those I struggled with, I had friends there to hold me accountable and keep my focus right, which resulted in that moment of weakness, fear, or exhaustion to be but a blink of an eye.
Having a baby is so glorious. I pray to experience what I did again in all pregnancies and deliveries to come that may.
I’d like to say that a pain-free labor is for everyone, but as I said, I don’t presume to know everything about giving birth. But God does. No this is not me suggesting that if you experience pain that God was not your focus. I’m simply sharing my story in the hopes that someone can benefit and experience something more than doctors and ourselves can deliver. God is more grand than we can even imagine. I know because I had a taste of it!