Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hope In a Birthing Story

~Holly Elaine Wileman~

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.  No one whose HOPE is in you will ever be put to shame...  From Psalm 25

King David wrote that Psalm.  King David was a man who rose to very high power against all odds and had many, many enemies.  Was King David perfect? Was he flawless? Did he never offend, never have vain pride, never make bad choices?  He did ALL those things... and many more. The bible makes sure to let us know that. I like that a lot. But King David put his HOPE in the LORD.  As a matter of fact it says that ALL DAY his hope was in the Lord! Psalm 25:5

This story is about betrayal. Now, I know whenever you say "betrayal", instantly the listeners' guard goes up. Is anyone ever REALLY betrayed?  I mean, there are ALWAYS two sides to every story, right?  Right.  There are indeed two sides to every story (sometimes ten!) and betrayal really just means that the person telling the story... really FELT betrayed. It does not say what the heart or the motive of the supposed "betrayer" was. In all truth, there is no way one can know that, this side of Heaven. Sometimes, not even the person with the "motives" can understand the "motives". I guess I take comfort in that, too. I don't have to understand any of my "hidden motives"... I only have to do the best I can with what I  know and HOPE in the LORD.... and that, I know, I do.

People often don't like to hear your story of feeling betrayed.  It makes them uncomfortable and they may have some doubt in you (if they're being fair and balanced) and it might even make them have to have doubt about someone else. I mean, we don't want to feel bad things about other people, even if we are the story tellers friend. People don't like to be uncomfortable. I sure don't.

Jesus was betrayed. Just like King David, his Greeeeeeaaaaaat Grandpappy before Him, Jesus also knew what it was like to have people betray Him and yet His HOPE was also in God.  For He was God.
I wrote a list the other day of the feelings being betrayed can make us have.  Here is what I came up with... anger, pain, loss, rejection, self-doubt, worry, confusion... I bet I could add a bunch more.  But let me tell you that not ONE of those feelings are ones that I long to have, ever. But in all of this, my HOPE is in the LORD.

Okay, to start the story, I need to go back 10 years!  Pretty much 10 years to exactly this time.  February, when my first daughter was born. When I joyfully found out I was pregnant I knew right away that I wanted to have my baby at home in the most natural way possible. I have major phobias and fears of hospitals and do not agree with some of the over-the-top invasive and unnecessary procedures they make you partake in.
***Let me stop here and say, that if you are someone who feels strongly for or strongly against Home Births, you may want to choose to stop reading right now.***
I was hooked up with a midwife through a friend and we began meeting with her.  She told us she would take our birth.  We figured out I was due Feb 10 and even though she had vacation plans for around that time, she assured us that this would not be a problem.

I became a bookworm on the whole subject of Home Birth.  I ate up everything I could find. I even read many spiritual books which talked about how God's perfect plan for birth really did not involve pain but "pressure". They even explained how the interpretation of the wording "pain" in childbirth in Genesis 3:16 is a misinterpretation of the word pain!   Please don't think I read some lofty weird New Age books.. Oh no, I was with the solid "Christian Midwives."  The ones who "really" knew their stuff and really knew the Lord and lived for Him wholeheartedly. I was hooked. But in all of this, my HOPE was in the LORD.

Fast forward about 6-7 months.  We were meeting with the midwife, who was often late for appointments and, we found, not the best skilled person when it came to communication. I had begun to worry about what our game plan would be if her very important vacation she had planned came up during the time I went in labor.  I asked her about it.  I THOUGHT I asked her, I know I "WOULD HAVE" asked her because I was so worried about it, however, my husband doesn't really remember me asking her nor does he remember her response.  He would be the FIRST to admit, that doesn't mean much. 

Well, the answer I recall her giving me, is that she "just wouldn't go" if I haven't had the baby before she left. I do also remember her talking about her sister who was also a midwife would "probably" be able to step in. We were not working alongside a doctor at this time.  *insert gasps*  We did many of the sugar testing and other tests at home with our midwife. Please try to keep in mind that women have been having babies without doctors or hospitals for thousands of years, millions if you believe we've been around longer than that. Try not to judge me, I know it's hard. I do the same thing.

Well, Feb 10 came and went. No baby. I know, that is really odd that a baby doesn't come by it's due date! Haha.  The next meeting that we had with the midwife, she began to tell us about her vacation and how excited she was to be leaving.  I was in shock. I did not know until this time that she was even planning on leaving. She told us that she will get in touch with her sister and try to arrange for her sister, whom we've never met, to meet us and also be able to cover in case I did go in labor while she was gone. A day or more passed and I hadn't heard from her at all.  I often wonder if she would have even called me at all, if I had not called her.

We had a VERY difficult phone conversation.  She basically told me that her sister was not willing to midwife me but that there were other people she could look into.  I was upset that she had left me hanging for a couple days without letting me know this. I brought up the fact that I remembered her saying that if I did not have the baby that she wasn't going to go.  She flatly denied saying that.  (It's on my list of questions to ask God when I get to Heaven!) The conversation got a little heated as I begun telling her some of the things I thought weren't very consistent or professional in the way she dealt with us first-time parents. 

  She instantly turned the phone conversation into a "well, if you want to get rid of me" type of thing... I remember thinking, we've paid this lady over $1,000... she's not getting out of this because "I fired her" ... no way!!  Please know that I am indeed a NON-confrontational, easy going, peace maker kind of person generally.  I THINK that is what most people would say about me... (you never know, lol) I asked if she would come over and talk to me and help me get a game plan together.  She agreed.
While we talked at my place, I DO remember her PROMISING me that if I went into labor while she was gone, she would COME BACK.  I know that I know that I know that she DID say that.  She was only four hours away. We prayed together and left on good terms.

It's 3am on Feb.14th, Valentines Day!!!  My water broke in the middle of the night!!! No real contractions at this point other than the Braxton Hicks kind that I was quite used to already. Too excited to sleep that night. We were going to have a baby on Valentines Day!!  We called our midwife on her vacation about 7am that morning.  She told us the things to do while we waited.  I asked my husband, who called her, if she was on her way, and he said it didn't really sound like it.

By that evening and a few phone calls later, we found out  she had NO INTENTION of coming back until her vacation was over. Her excuse was that she drove up with some other people and didn't have a way to get back. She did apologize and reassured us that we would be receiving a huge refund in what we had paid her already. Which we never did by the way. We were on our own. But not really. For our HOPE was in the LORD.

I knew of a local Midwife who was known for many successful home births. I had met her once. I talked on the phone with one of the friends from church who knew a lot about Midwifery and had been counseling me. I mentioned I might call this woman. The friend told me that this lady "embraces whatever god is worshiped in the home", and said to me emphatically, "You should not be inviting this evil into your home."... in hindsight, I laughingly think I had already "invited the evil" into my home! That was why I was needing to find a new midwife! I did call the local  "New Age" Midwife.  She actually wouldn't take me because of the fact that I did not see a doctor through my pregnancy.  She was VERY kind to me and very professional. I could tell she had a huge heart to want to help me, but could not, in good conscience, do so.

I wish I could remember all the details.  Much of the days to follow are a bit of blur.  We did receive help with some Midwives we found, who graciously came to our home and were willing to try to help us in our Home Birth.  There were actually three that came in shifts to try to help us.

I do remember a lot of contractions coming and going.  I remember taking this horrible stuff called Blue Cohosh to help the labor to progress. You had to drink it every four hours.  That was NASTY stuff. Nasty! I remember the contractions being closer together and stronger... and then they were farther apart.  I remember sleeping very little. I remember my tender husband being by my side and showing me more love than I ever thought him capable of, and he had already proven he was capable of a lot! I labored all through Wednesday, all through Thursday and by Friday Frank and I were starting to realize we would have to go to the hospital. The very thing I did NOT want to happen.

It was Friday very early afternoon.  I was in tears over my fears of what would happen at the hospital.  Would they be mean to me and rebuke me for my lack of prenatal judgment? Maybe they would bring in counseling to help us unwise parents and have us under the watchful eye of social workers for the rest of our parenting career?  Would they instantly hook me up to tubes and wires and begin labor inducing medicine that I had heard so many horror stories about?
I was paralyzed with fear but I knew we had no choice. But in all of this, our HOPE was in the LORD.

My sister, Maxeen, came to talk with me before I left for the hospital. If any one knew paralyzing fear of hospitals and procedures, it was MY sister. I wish I could remember exactly what she said to me.  But what she said, spoke this amazing peace over my heart.  I can't even describe what happened for it is too holy of a thing...  Basically, she reminded me of what I already knew to the core of my being. What do we have to fear?? If God is for us, who can be against us?? Really.  And God IS for us!  ALL of us.

So with new courage, off my husband and I went to the hospital with my REAL midwife... my Momma! Let me tell you that I have always wondered about that bible verse that talks about meeting angels unaware here on Earth.  But I think I have a better idea of it after meeting Dr. Steven Goedderz. He was the doctor that was assigned to us. He sat down and LISTENED to our story. I have never had a doctor listen to me that well. He did try (on many occasions) to get the name of the midwife who was working with us and ditched us.  He told me he just wanted to write her "a nice letter". I did not give her name.

Dr. Goedderz checked me out, took some blood and then came back to let me know that if I wanted to, we would continue to try to pursue as natural a birth as possible at good ole Riverside Hospital in Waupaca.  No IV, no wire up me attached to my baby's scalp... just, the little monitor wrapped around me to detect contractions and baby's heartbeat and even that didn't stay on the whole time. I couldn't believe it! It seemed too good to be true.

I labored all through the night on Friday into Saturday and had finally dilated the whole 10 centimeters. I was finally able to start pushing. So I did...I pushed for FIVE hours!  I have a very stubborn baby!  Baby was seeming to be fine, Daddy was in tears and heartbroken with fear and worry for his bride, but Momma had about enough! Doctor Goedderz told us that a C-section would probably be the way we needed to go.  At that point, after three days of labor and five hours of pushing, I couldn't agree more!  Give me the knife, I'll do it myself!!

In all of this though, I could not believe the amazing peace I had.  Of course I was worried, but I was not in utter fear to where it owned me. That was NOT me! As a matter of fact, I was even encouraging my husband who was more emotional than I think I have ever seen him! I had to be strong for Him and it was a beautiful thing!

We delivered a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby girl via C-section on February 17, 2001 8lbs 10oz. and 21" 
Holly Elaine (Elaine is my Mother's name) Wileman
~After all that, the rest was easy!

Yes, I feel that I was betrayed in this experience. More than just by a person who failed us... but also because I started to believe that I needed to "buy into" a certain belief system to make things go well for me (in this case, having a natural childbirth) and to be pleasing to God. I allowed myself to believe things that just weren't Jesus' voice for me.  But He showed me that He is faithful when I trust in Him instead people or belief systems. That is where my Hope is.
I believe I truly forgave (even though I never received an apology of any kind nor any return of payment). I did not seek revenge. I did not share the details of the story with many people (until now) 10 years later.

I remember one of the midwives who had helped us out came to visit Holly and I.  She asked me tons of questions about my labor and as she did so, I increasingly I felt as though I were "being grilled" as to what I might possibly have done wrong to inhibit a natural birth as God truly intends. This can make you feel so insignificant and unworthy.  I told the woman that I believed that God planned for me to go through everything I had to go through and that He was in charge of every detail for a good purpose.  The Midwife could not wrap her brain around "God had planned a C-section".  Well, she doesn't have to! 

Two years later I was pregnant with my second child. I KNEW that I wanted Dr. Goedderz to help us have our baby, but to have a baby at Waupaca hospital and having a "pre-existing condition" of C-section... their policy was that I would have to have a scheduled C-section with my second birth. We agonized over it for quite awhile and finally decided on Dr. Goedderz and Waupaca and a C-section. 

We ended up having our Noah Franklin May 8, 2003.  We would find out three months after his birth that he was born with a Chromosome Abnormality that caused him significant disability. I found out many months later that children with Noah's condition often have severe problems during a natural birth because of their vulnerable condition. He had an almost perfect apgar score. I have to wonder how differently things would have gone if I attempted a natural birth.

PS. I STILL believe that Home Birth is a beautiful thing and wish that it could have been me to be able to do it!! I still have times that I feel so sad that I was not able to deliver a baby naturally.  This is not in any way to cut down Natural and Home Births.  Just make sure you get a really good midwife! And.. don't let your fears of hospitals overtake you! Be an advocate for yourself. (and perhaps look into anti-anxiety medication... that's what finally turned my whole world around!!)  

  To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 

No one whose HOPE is in you will ever be put to shame...





  1. This is an old story for me, but I never realized there was so much money involved too! Yeah, life if not about money, but that makes it SO much worse!
    At least Holly is more than worth it all :-)

  2. All that comes to mind is that God protected you from this twit cause she probably would have killed both you and Holly!


We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19