Essential Therapy

Designed for Wellness

The Rising of the Dawn

sunrise on a flower field

Nights of unrest and distress coupled with anticipation is the best way to describe waiting for a baby to arrive. The pressure rises as the date approaches,and yet, you don’t know the timing of the much awaited arrival, you only know it’s getting closer.

I can’t count the times people told me, “you are getting ready to pop” or “any day now”. My least favorite was always, “baby still in there, huh?” That’s when the hormones, heat, and extra 50 pounds of water weight make you want to punch everyone who dares tell you, “you are looking rather pregnant” or at least give them the eye roll and unenthusiastic, “yes, I’m still pregnant.”

Everyone, including the husband, won awards for worst things to say to a pregnant woman. After my 9 lb 4 oz baby no longer was pressing on my bladder and everything else I could finally stop handing out eye rolls.

Every night leading up to our precious daughter’s birth I would receive scripture from the Lord, so much scripture! That both encouraged me and fed my anticipation. Many of it was end times scripture about the coming of something promised, the of the end awaiting of the end of one journey and the beginning of an exciting event.

Last pregnancy I also reflected on similar scriptures. Especially this one: “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” Thessalonians 5:2-3

Its a little intimidating, reading scripture about agonizing child birthing before having a baby, but I always feel as if I’m in the “last days” as I wait. Its hard, and you even doubt if the day will ever get there, but you have the assurance based on the signs that it is getting closer. You have faith that the sweet day, with the best blessing, will indeed arrive. You know that you will have to endure for a while but that the reward will be great!

“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16:21 ESV

I woke up at 4 AM January 1st of this year, unable to sleep. I can’t remember why, but it was probably because the baby woke up in my belly and started moving around. It could also be because I had to pee or I was uncomfortable or I was just up for no reason. I went to sleep for 2 weeks with cramps, anticipating the arrival of a baby. I didn’t know much, only that this baby was from the Lord and he or she was coming soon. I have never wanted so badly to not be pregnant any longer. I actually craved those labor pains!

The Lord led me on a journey of letting go of my wants and desires and including Him on our baby journey. He gave me this scripture: “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.” Psalm 171:6-7 NIV It was very clear to me what He wanted. He began to reassure me that He was my midwife and that I could trust Him.

After my husband and I sat down to ask the Lord WHERE He wanted us to have the baby He gave us more scripture, “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.” Psalm 84:3-4 We both felt that it was safe and right to pursue a home birth after our time of prayer and reading.

My home is indeed the place I make a nest, right near the Lord’s altar. As I rest at His altar I am surrounded by my children. I love this picture and it gave me so much hope. He was beginning a new kind of quiet trust within me that I pray starts something in my kids and continues on. I had to let go of a few fears in choosing a homebirth. It was mostly fear of what others would think. God was really blunt with me on this one, “the fear of man will prove a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

So at 4 AM, I opened my Bible, hoping for one last scripture, and then a baby. I got the scripture, though i did have to wait one more day. The last scripture i received is truly special, although they all were, this one was a promise for me and for my little one. This is a part of a scripture I memorized as a little girl, one of the first, actually as a second grader. Little did I know, as the whole elementary school, said Psalm 46 out loud every morning at line up that this chapter would be defining for that year and my life!

My mom died that year. It was quick, heart wrenching, and I couldn’t handle it. I held onto this scripture because I was so afraid and felt so alone.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolation’s he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be Still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46 NIV

On January 1st the one that hit me was, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will HELP HER at the BREAK of DAY.” Somehow I felt each night as I went to bed, that the baby would come “like a thief in the night” but I also had this for hope, that God would deliver me “at the break of day”. I told the Lord I was going to hold Him to that and I kept reminding Him when I was in labor of the “swiftly” part in a verse our pastor kept honing in on: “in its time I will do it swiftly” Isaiah 60:22. I was really hoping for swiftly!

I looked in my bible after i had finished reading, just contemplating and absorbing all I had read over the past few months. I turned to the first page where there is an to and from section. I often look at it but I realized something for the first time. I had only started reading this version consistently during this pregnancy and this bible was the bible that my dad had given to my birth mom. I always knew that, but I looked more closely at the date it had been given: December 24, 1992. That was just a few months before I had been born.

I recalled then the story of my birth mom, told by my Nana some years before, in which the Lord gave my birth mom my name the night before I was born. They had another name picked out but as she was reading, possibly from that same bible, she received a different name: Esther. I put the bible down, gnawing on this revelation and felt a slight pull in my spirit that the baby’s name was to be my mother’s name: Elizabeth Dawn. I waived it off because I didn’t think it was right. I didn’t even know for sure that we were having a girl, although I had a feeling, and my son had been praying specifically for a sister a few months before we became pregnant.

The Next morning, 4 AM, I woke up after having a dream of (TMI) loosing my mucus plug. I got up, feeling some tightness, and the middle of the night pregnant prayer meeting that seemed to becoming more regular, started again, except this time was different. I waited for a while lighting candles and sitting on the balance ball, because everyone was sleeping, and the pain wasn’t too bad. OKAY it WAS hurting and thirty minutes later I was texting my midwife, who thought my contractions weren’t very long but was still getting ready to come. I knew though, it was hard and fast. It was nice and quiet in that time although not without pain. I kept thinking of my birth mom and there was a sweetness there. Thirty more minutes I was waking up my husband and then 5 minutes later i was calling my mom (my step-mom). Then the pain was almost unbearable, okay unbearable. I hopped in the shower to ease off the pain. The midwife was on the way but I knew it was going faster and I reminded the Lord again, “you said fast and I cant go long this time.” This HURT! This was everything at once. This was it! I remember praying that the boys would be taken care of and wouldn’t even wake up.

My husband pops his head in and asks innocently, “So….what now.” To which I reply, “Trust the Lord.” I knew He told us to do this. I knew the baby was going to come out one way or another and I didn’t need anything fancy. I really didn’t think that deeply about what to do. God took care of the details too. My mom comes in and immediately goes into action. There was no hesitation in her. She put some sheets on the ground. She gets me out of the shower, rips the shower curtain off and places that on top of the sheets, and gets me onto it. I had really been thinking earlier in the week that I needed a new shower curtain because it was coming undone and now I have one.

Then the three of us plus two of my best friends/sister-in-laws embarked on something new for all of us. Doing labor in a simple space, the only guidance prayer, and a mom who has seen it all before. It was groans, a few cries to Jesus, some pushing, then standing, then a baby falling into my mother’s arms (the director of the birth), and my husband who is claiming between 10-30% of the catching of the baby lol. I looked down, didn’t even think of the gender and thought that’s one BIG baby!

My mom is crying out: “its a girl”! We newbies, aka me, ask if she is okay and wondering why she wasn’t crying as much a my boys did. She was perfectly healthy, just a quiet crier and in the environment of our cozy house, it was not quite such a shock into the world. Another thirty minutes later a shocked midwife came in to cut the chord and weigh our 9 lb 4 oz baby girl. She had never missed a birth but we like to make firsts. I have no doubt that it went the way it was meant to go. It was even sweeter this way watching my mom, teary eyed and happy hold her grand baby girl, having delivered her herself, and that girl was named after my birth mom. She also was born the morning of my grandfather’s (poppops) birthday. He got to hear first thing in the morning the cries of his daughter’s name sake as we called to tell them the news, My nana and he were speeches and then teary.

Holding my baby, I looked down at her and said, she isn’t a Danielle, she is an Elizabeth Dawn, “Daniel, this may be a bad time to do this (with everyone watching) but…her name isn’t Danielle.” He was in agreement. Its possible he was still in shock and agreed under pressure, haha, but he never felt quite right about Danielle. Now Lizzie Bear or Lizzie the Grizzly (that’s daniel’s fault) has stuck. Its the cutest name ever because she is so adorable. We are all so taken by her. My oldest calls her the queen of the castle…of which i am only slightly put off by because I am Queen Esther and I might have to share my queenly title soon.

My husband stepped out in the next minutes proceeding, to check on our boys, who had just woken up, and saw the sun just coming in through the window over the horizon. Just as the dawn broke, He answered me. He always delivers on His promises. Every scripture He gave me came true and some are still in the process of coming true.

“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. ” Isaiah 58:8

“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Proverbs 4: 18

Lizzie Bear and mommy

One response to “The Rising of the Dawn”

  1. Esther, that is a beautiful story and a beautiful mom and daughter. Thanks for sharing.

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