The Final Stretch: Surrender & Embrace

wood pregnancy-22

(photo by Katie Reich)

I was hoping in the final weeks of my pregnancy I would have been able to write and share more of what God has been doing in my heart through this pregnancy, but fatigue and general preparation for baby Wood  have stalled my writing habits.

This final stretch of my pregnancy has been the hardest party of my pregnancy journey…for ways I didn’t expect. If any of you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you know I found out baby Wood was breech at my 36 week ultrasound. For the past two weeks I did everything humanly possible to make her flip on her own. Imagine handstands in the pool, breech tilt (look it up), inversions, homeopathic supplements, chiropractor, acupuncture, yoga, and the list could go on…yet she never budged.

I had been told if she didn’t flip before 38 weeks we would schedule an external version (when a doctor manually flips the baby). I really did not want to have to go through that, but I was also dead set on not having a csection. There were many, many tears over the past two weeks as I prayed and asked God continually to flip this little girl so that I could have the birthing experience that I wanted. I was holding on to my natural birthing plan with a vice grip. 

I remember telling my husband through tears last week, “This just isn’t fair. I know I have no control over the hurdles in our adoption and no power to make things happen with bringing the girls home, I get that. But why can’t I control the situation for my daughter who is literally as close to me as humanly possible? Why can’t I give her the birth that will be best for her?” I was so frustrated with the situation that I wasn’t seeing how God was drawing me to Him.

The next day, after my pity party I was reading my blogs and came across a post that struck my heart. My adoptive, blogger friend was sharing about a huge trial she had recently walked through (brain surgery…that’s pretty intense) and how God had used that to point out an area she wasn’t surrendering to him. Here is what Natalie said:

“That thing you’re clutching to so tightly? That part of your life you won’t let God touch? He’s going to challenge it. He’s going to take it away. For me, that thing wasn’t T+E’s adoption or motherhood or my marriage… but my health. I didn’t want Him near it. I want it protected and perfect and private.

I thought that my natural birthing plan was perfect. I didn’t see it necessary to keep open hands about it because it was natural, as in, the way God intended birth to be. So of course God was going to bless it and give me that desire right? And if He wasn’t, well then, I would do my darndest to make happen because I’m a doer and a go-getter. And very prideful…

As I read Natalie’s words, I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. It wasn’t a struggle to surrender my marriage, our adoption process, or my future role as a mother to God. I knew that I could not control any of that, but it was my birthing experience that I wanted to keep to myself. I had dreamed for years of pushing a baby out vaginally and had talked about it openly and excitedly with others. When we found out that we had conceived a little miracle 9 months ago, I started preparing myself for giving birth naturally, occasionally shooting up an obligatory prayer of “God, may this birth be smooth. Amen”. I didn’t bring Him into my equation at all…probably because I was afraid He would mess it up for me. 

But He knew better and still messed with my heart. Because He loves me.

I was convicted that I needed to surrender my desires and dreams to my Heavenly Father and embrace (note my word for the year?) the plan that He had laid out for me and for my daughter. I needed to let this go and trust that my Daddy knew what was best and He was working all of this out for my good and His glory. So if  I ended up needing to have a csection, I knew that God had allowed it and deemed it good.

There was such freedom as I laid down my control at the feet of Jesus. The end of last week was such a gift and a breath of fresh air. I finally believed God was going to do what He was going to do and it would be good. He was only asking me to walk faithfully with Him.

This past Monday morning I was scheduled for an external cephalic version (ECV) as the last attempt to move her into birthing position. I knew the chances of her flipping were about 50-50, but I also knew that God was the one in control. I was nervous and excited to see what God had in store.

Long story short, the version was successful after some intense maneuvering by a very skilled OB! Our baby girl was finally head down and I still had a chance to give birth vaginally!

But even after the successful version, I continuously have to hand over my desires and fears to God. I’m nervous she will flip back (even though it’s been confirmed she’s deep in my pelvis) and we will have to deliver her via csection, but I’m not overcome with worry anymore. Something has changed in my heart.

I am still learning that my plans are not His plans and even in this teeny tiny part of my life, He wants to show me that He is Lord over all of it and He wants me to lay all of my life down in front of Him. Trusting that He will care for me and my family in the best way imaginable.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9


  1. Sarah, I love this post and what God has taught you through something that you had held close with exact expectations. I’ve been there and totally understand. After 5 natural, fast, hospital deliveries, I had my dream come true with a home birth on number 6. It was anything but ideal and I had to be hospitalized. It crushed me, but I clearly saw (after my huge disappointment initially) that God had His hand so clearly in it and His plan was not my plan…but so much better! Looking forward to hearing of a healthy delivery! Cassie

  2. oh, Sarah, I’m glad sharing my experience resonated with you in some way. it’s a hard lesson to learn, and I’m certain I have not fully learned it. I am praying for you and baby on a regular basis! can’t wait to hear your story — however God decides to write it!

  3. so beautiful, friend!!!

  4. Ruthie Johnson says:

    I’ve been following you on Facebook 🙂 and reading your blog posts and praying for you and your girls and a healthy pregnancy and natural delivery. My heart has identified with yours even though we don’t know one another well.
    I read this blog in tears as God spoke to me again through your words and experience! He took me through a similar lesson after a c-section with my first and a miscarriage in Nov with our second. I was so busy searching out midwives and birthing centers and OB’s who would do a VBAC (full of pride and self determination that I WOULD do this my way and I WOULD not have another unplanned c section) that it took the loss of our child for God to show me He is in control and I needed to surrender (a lot of things) and that HE loved me despite of it all.
    I’m so blessed by you Sarah and will continue to be in prayer for your family!

  5. Megan Hines says:

    Beautiful post and something he continues to teach me this past year. As much of a struggle it can be at times, I have found great delight and peace knowing he cares so intimately about the big and small parts of my life! Thankful for a personal savior, daddy and friend. Many blessings and prayers for your family in the weeks ahead!

  6. I’m so glad you were able to learn this prior to birthing your baby. For me (as you know) with my son coming 3 months early I learned quite dramatically that pregnancy and birthing do not always go as planned. This does not mean you don’t plan, but ultimately we have no control. Things can happen we never even dreamed of (like suddenly having a 27 weeker preemie with zero inclination of preterm labor before it was too far to stop it). It is so hard for us to realize we have no control or power in a world that is all about getting as much control and power as you can (however that may look for everyone). The best thing for us to do (and the hardest) is surrender ourselves at the foot of the cross, lean on Christ’s saving work and God’s great knowledge and power.

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