This is my story.

I thank the Lord for this wonderful experience of pregnancy I had for Elikrenn.

For me it was all about my journey with God. It was all about seeing how I could trust him.

All my pregnancies have been a failure for me. I was feeling unable to give a right start to my babies as each time they were pre-term and I had to fight to get what was supposed to be normal, the comfort of my presence, of my milk and so much more.

I always wanted to give birth at home. For my first baby when I talked about it people laughed at me. “Why did I want a home birth, as everybody else is giving birth safely in a hospital?” I also experienced a very unhappy pregnancy, complaining and fussing. Result at 33 weeks I lost my waters. The doctor told me “now you should put away the sweep and broom and rest” but I was not told why. I was feeling strong and determined. What a pity!

For my second baby we planned a home birth with the only midwife in my country who was practising it. She must have assumed that I knew everything, because I didn’t get any support or real advice. Only one thing I knew, I needed to be 36 weeks at least for a home birth. At 35 weeks I lost my water. And I cried so much when I realized that all my plans were ruined. The midwife told my husband that he could help with the birth himself if he wanted and then call the ambulance. But he was too scared, he panicked and told me that I should go to hospital. Another failure for me.

For the third baby I decided that I would have this home birth whatever the cost, pre-term or not. We didn’t have money for a private midwife, I then booked a doula and went on my journey. But our circumstances were so hard that I was not this happy mum-to-be. I was constantly frustrated “hoping the worst”. Fearing every day to lose my waters, tired and stressed. I lost my waters at 33 weeks or 34. And it was my worst experience ever. This one almost killed me morally and I was at my lowest point. What a failure!

Fortunately the Lord lifted me up and I’ve found back my smile, my peace, accepting the situation. I didn’t want to have any more children on the outside, but on the inside my heart, my body, I know it was crying out to bring life. But too much fear…

God knows our feelings, he knows when we need healing and restoration, he knows our battle and when I got pregnant for this fourth time I did cry because I say “Oh no, not another pre-term…” I did ask the Lord to don’t let it happen if he knows the end will be the same, but in the same time deep, inside of me I felt so happy for this new chance of giving my very best from the beginning to the end, and for this opportunity to see God’s power working in my life in a wonderful way.

I had read many books about babies before. I had thought a lot about how to have the best pregnancy, I am in fact passionate about “women”, their struggles, their abilities as mothers. But this time more than any other time I understood that it was time to do more than to read. I needed to practise it. I needed to surrender myself to the Lord to be moulded under his divine influence and thus, the child to be as well.

This time more than ever my husband as well engaged himself to be more active, more present, more committed. It became a family business to make this pregnancy the best ever in my experience. He took great care of the children, did gardening to provide good quality vegetables, bought the best food he could find, allowed me to spend most of my time in bed singing and praying, reading about my baby, loving him, talking to him. Yes, I discovered that it was more than having a home birth, it was all about being in tune with oneself and the baby to come and stay under God’s loving influence, recognizing my power as much as my weakness and dependency.

I thank God for the commitment of my midwife, her support and determination to help me keep this baby the longest possible. She provided me lots of support and made it real for my other children. They too, were expecting with mummy.

When I felt some signs of baby wanted to come at a very early stage I prayed harder than ever, we prayed and really consecrated the baby to God.

I also decided to comfort myself deeply in the word of God and search about his promises and discovered how “his hands” could perform great miracles. I prayed that his hands hold my belly, my womb like a belt to keep this baby. My midwife did give me a pregnancy belt. I liked it a lot, but I was persuaded that God’s hands were holding everything. I prayed for more faith, more strength for my loving husband to keep working, babysitting, gardening, cooking. I loved him more for taking great care of me.

Each day became a miracle, each week a victory. Baby seemed so well inside, my mum, so anxious that he wouldn’t be born before she leaves. She had not expected so long pregnancy for me. I know that she prayed to ask God to let her see this baby before she leaves. I think God granted this request!

At “38” weeks, like an earthquake, violent and sudden contractions told me that it was time. Fears and joy seized me at the same time. Fears about the intensity of the pain and the frequency of the contractions, joy because the Lord has been faithful and was giving me like a reward, a victory a beautiful gift of his love and care. By this grace I did it!

It has been a long night of pain, but my dear husband never left me alone, he has

been a wonderful midwife, and the presence, the calm of my main midwife has been a real comfort for me too. The contractions started at 11am and I gave birth at about 6 o’clock.

Few things I will always remember as they were so new for me:

• I couldn’t control my body as I had thought I would. I just found myself shaking without being cold as if I was in a second “state”.

• Seeing the bag of waters popping out was quite amazing!

• Feeling so exhausted that I had to go and lie down in my bed. I remember the wonderful music about God’s love, care, peace and coming soon that if I listened at this particular time. Though I could feel the powerful pain, this music just quite all my fears, and transported me in heaven. I remember falling in a kind of sleep when I could hear, feel and still snore! I just felt like being in God’s hands. When I woke up from this state the calm faces of my midwives reminded me that I could do it.

• I thank my wonderful husband for his commitment and so active participation by putting hot towels on my back to relieve the pain until the end and for his encouragement to take an appropriate position to help our baby to be born.

• I loved holding my baby and being about to look at him face to face without any pressure to “go quick”, and to tell him how I loved him. His hot body against mine…not cutting the cord before long…All this was so wonderful to me.

I loved all my babies but this one helped me experiencing so many wonderful changes in my body and in my mind. By God’s grace I’ve been healed from my inability (incapacity) to conceive normally and experience all the stages.

I felt for the first time that I just wanted to be a mummy not a housewife, a teacher but a mummy, able to take time for my baby without aggression and anger against anybody.

There is so much more to remember and share but time is short. I can conclude by saying that being a midwife is wonderful. We need more midwives to help women fulfil their deepest dreams, and needs as pregnant. But as well we need people, organisations, volunteers ready to support a mum to be, or young women willing to have babies, to be prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, to start this wonderful journey. Being pregnant is an amazing experience to live in couple as well…

Thanks to Liz, Meg, my husband and my wonderful amazing God!