The Birth of Luca James

This is a powerful story filled with deep, raw surrender. Brooke endured days of hard labor but gained a new level of strength, faith, and trust in the process.

“With each inhale, breath in hope, and each exhale let go of any control. Cause your story has already been written. So there’s nothing you can do to change the way the journey will be or how the end will look, and there never really was. You are much braver than you believe and you’re much stronger than you think. Dig deep and let your soul find the courage it needs in the waiting process.”

The Birth of Luca James
By Brooke Ganter

“The Lord is gracious and righteous. Our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearted. When I was in great need, He saved me. Be at rest once more oh my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you oh Lord have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living…” Psalm 116

Well, I’m ready. Ready to tell the story of how Jesus chose how my son would be brought into the world. It’s not just a birth story to me; maybe that’s why it’s taken this long to write. Because I’m not just going to tell you all the medical details of how my labor and delivery went. But I’m going to tell you a story of how heaven invaded my life on February 5th 2016. It’s a story of not just a birth of my son, but an encounter with the one who created him. It’s a story of suffering for joy, it’s a story of finding worth in sacrifice, and it’s a story of finding the beauty that lies when you surrender to your God, the king of all kings, the victorious one. Here’s my victory song…

Sunday January 31st my husband and I attended our very last birthing class. My due date was the following week but I was for certain I would be overdue. My educator at the end looked at me before I walked out and said “Brooke, get ready girl, he’s coming soon.” In that moment I didn’t just find that encouraging but when she said that every part of me knew that the one thing I had spent months and months preparing for, the one thing that consumed my mind for so many days, that it was going to be my reality any day now. She was right.

Tuesday Feb 2nd,

At around 5:00pm I went to go check the mail and sure enough a little package was in the mailbox and it was Luca’s take home hat that I had ordered on etsy. I remember worrying that it wasn’t going to be here in time, (the stuff a 40 week Prego woman worries about, haha) an hour later I had my first contraction. I had had Braxton hicks for a while and knew what those felt like, but this one was different. I just knew it was it. Just like I had learned in all my classes, I ignored them for a while. But they kept coming; they were consistent, and kept getting stronger. A couple hours after I lost my mucus plug, and that’s when I knew that this could be the real deal. I called my sisters and my mom who were 7 hours away, and I told them to come up cause I thought I would have the baby by the next morning or afternoon. Wow. I was wrong. Little did I know I had days of this ahead of me. I knew I needed to rests, but I laid in bed very nervous and very excited, and I just spent some time talking to Jesus and talking to my boy.

I kept telling Luca, “You’re safe my love, you and I know exactly what to do. I’m so excited to meet you. I’ll be brave for you, and you will need to be brave for me. We are a team my sweetheart; you were made for me, and I was made for you. You have nothing to fear.” I repeated that over and over in between contractions all night long. I remember saying in the post I wrote about my birth plan that pain was never my biggest fear about natural birth, cause I knew I could push passed pain; it’s such a temporary thing no matter how much it hurts. What I knew I couldn’t push past was being fearful the whole time. But I knew I had an amazing birth team who was going to champion me, and be near for every moment. Matt and I prayed about who we wanted to be a part of the birth, I was expecting him to want it to just be him and maybe my sisters who would stand in the back or something. But he said he had never done this before, and I’m the one carrying the baby and bringing him into the world. So it was up to me. And those of you who know me know that I love people, and I absolutely hate the feeling of being alone. I wanted a whole lot of support, all while still keeping the birth very sacred and intimate. So I had my twin photograph the journey, and of course she never left my side. I had my older sister there who had conquered a natural birth before, and is a complete birth champion. Oh I find so much strength in my sisters. I had my amazing doula Alexia Campbell who we hired to solely be by our side every minute of the process once I felt like I needed her, and boy she was my Godsend, my peacemaker throughout the entire journey. And I had my dear friend Stephanie Meek be my intercessor. I wanted someone to be praying and worshiping over the room and over my body the entire time, and she definitely did just that. I knew whichever midwife I would have they would be phenomenal and take such good care of me. So it was safe to say I was in goods hands and around some pretty powerful warrior spirits whom I truly couldn’t have done any of it without.

Wednesday February 3rd.

The morning came, and my family was now here! It was such a relief when they walked in the door, cause I knew I wasn’t going to make it through without them, but I also think when they did come through the door my focus shifted, and my labor stalled. Contractions were still coming every 7-8 minutes lasting about 45 seconds but nothing progressed. So I decided to go to the chiropractor and get adjusted. At this point I could feel all of the contractions in my back, which let me tell you, I would take regular labor over back labor any day! Before I left the office he looked at me and said “He’s coming Brooke, he will be here tonight I’m sure of it.” At this point it was hard to stand up straight, and I definitely couldn’t ignore them. They were very much ones I had to really work through, and use all the breathing techniques I had learned. Hours and hours pasts and it was nighttime now, but still no progression. I wasn’t concerned, I knew the baby and I were okay; things were just taking a while. Was it nerves? Was it exhaustion? Was it fear? I think it was all of the three. That night I prayed with Matt and I asked Jesus, “If he’s not coming tonight, can you stop my labor so I can sleep?” I knew if I had lost another night sleep I probably wouldn’t have had the endurance for a natural birth. My prayer was answered. They didn’t go away by any means, but the contractions were spaced further apart giving me time to rest in between. Around 3:00am they started to really pick up and my coping mechanism wasn’t just breathing anymore, but I needed to be vocal. My sweet twin Cameron could hear my deep moaning, and my cries through the walls, so she came in and helped me labor so that Matt could rest. It was such a sweet time with her that I will never forget. We worshiped together and listened to “Lucas song” over and over and over again.

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“Your love is crashing over me, It’s searching like a raging sea,Immerse me in the wonders of your love…”

Thursday February 4th,

Hours had past and the sun was starting to rise. Contractions were now 4-5 minutes apart lasting about a minute. I kept in touch with my doula and she just reminded me to breathe, stay focused, but also relaxed and labor at home for as long as I can. Well it was the mid afternoon now, and they were still 5 minutes apart. So I decided it would be good to go walk around target to get things moving, and then go get adjusted again. This time heading into the chiro I needed help walking in the office. I was moaning, hunched over, tired, discouraged, and I just wanted him out soon. I looked at Dr. Ronson and told him my back felt broken and it had been rubbed raw from my sweet sisters and husband massaging it all night. I think he could see the pain in my eyes. He told me after this adjustment things should really pick up. He was right. I could barely walk in my house after that. I went straight to my room and labored in there with Matty. My sisters and mom took turns coming in laboring with me and helping me cope with the pain. It was about 6pm, and the pain started getting to me. The tears started to come and my sweet cam was behind me swaying with me, lifting up my tummy during contractions to relive the pain in my back. She said, “Brookie, its okay to be scared. It’s okay to feel nervous, but I want you to know there is no fear in love, and you are immersed in his love right now.” I broke. I realized that Jesus didn’t just want me to just show him and everyone else the brave in me. But he wanted me to know that it’s okay to feel weak, it’s okay to feel tired, and to feel scared, because ultimately He is the one in control. He’s the one who’s made me brave, and because of that all of the weight, and all of the burdens He will carry.

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn for me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

A few more hours past and it was now 9:00pm. Contractions were coming on every 3-4 minutes, but since I felt them all in my back I never really felt like they let up. Back labor is just like that. It’s terrible. So it was hard to time them out cause I just never felt relief anywhere on my body. So I got in the shower and sat on my birth ball and just let the hot water beat down on my back as I swayed my hips back and forth trying to breath through each contraction and take one wave at a time. I think everyone at my house including my husband and I  were all wondering when we should leave for the birth center. It had been days now and I didn’t want to get there and have them tell me I was only a 4. I remembered what I learned in the videos and in all my classes, and that was if I can talk in between them it’s too early. Well, I was definitely on the path to reaching that point.

11:00pm and I was laboring on my toilet, moaning, crying, shaking, and I was no longer coherent during them. My sisters described it as if I was trying to crawl out of my own skin. My older sister having experienced this before knew I was going to be entering transition soon. I could see my sisters getting my things together and for some reason that scared me. WHY?! I had been praying for things to pick up for days now, and now that they were, I wanted everything to stop. I realized in these moments of getting ready to head to the birth center that the pain was just going to get worse. There were still mountains ahead of me, heights that i’d never seen or thought to climb. But I was on my way up, and there was no looking back. I also knew that once I left my house I wouldn’t come back the same Brooke I’ve always been. I’d be different; I’d be a mama. And even though I was heading to welcome new life, I was having to say bye to the one I’ve always known.

Matt called my doula Alexia and put the phone up to my ear. I barely had the strength in me behind my pain in the moment to tell her it was time to meet me at the birth center. I got in the car with my sisters and Matty, and we made our way on to baby and co. Everyone had always told me about their birth stories and how terrible the car ride was for them. But for me, it was peaceful…hard, but peaceful. We played worship the whole way and I remember just being focused on my breathing and praying over Luca. I was just excited to get to where he was going to be born. We pulled up to baby and co. and the clock turned midnight. We arrived exactly on his due date! How amazing is that?! In that moment I could feel Gods hand in every detail of the journey ahead.

Friday February 5th

The birth suite was a breath of fresh air for me. I had been laboring for 52 hours now and finally being in that atmosphere with my midwife and my doula really lifted my spirit. Margaret was my midwife and she was absolutely the one I was meant to have when we arrived. She was so calm and so collected. She made me feel as if we were just about to have lunch together or something, haha. That’s what I love about birth centers. You don’t enter those doors having to defend your “plan” cause my plan was to do things naturally, and because of where I was, there was no other route. So I never felt questioned or doubted. I didn’t have a million people staring at me like I was crazy for wanting an unmedicated birth, or nurses coming in asking me if I was sure I didn’t want the epidural. I was only encouraged and championed by Margaret the whole time. There was never this sense of “is she going to do this thing?” but there was this confidence of “she IS doing this, and she’s totally capable of it.” And I loved that. Margaret asked me if I wanted her to check me to see where I was dilated to. Gosh I was nervous. Had all these hours actually been doing anything? Whelp I was about to find out. She checked me and smiled and said, “you want to know?” And by the look on her face I knew it was going to encourage me. She said, “Mama, you’re a 7!” The whole room bursted into tears of Joy. My body had been working. The pain that I had been feeling every few minutes for days now was all working in my favor, and Luca was making his way down. It was a proud moment for sure. Margaret was almost certain he would be here within a couple hours. So she just told me to rest when my body felt like it needed rest, and move when it feels like I need to move. Gosh I love how they so trust a laboring woman.

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I remember laboring on all fours on the bed surrounded by my doula, my sisters, my prayer warrior and my midwife, and they all prayed over me. Stephanie started reading some scripture over me. I was definitely in labor world so I cant remember everything that was said, but I remember Stephanie reading John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In thus word you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” At that time Matt was running his fingers through my hair and he whispered softly in my ear, “honey, your hair is covered in gold dusts, Jesus is here. You’re about to have a supernatural childbirth.” Cam then started running her fingers through and she was amazed at the gold glitter that was in my hair. I heard her chuckle a little bit and it made me so joyful that everyone too, was encountering the Holy Spirit in such a tangible way along with me.

As amazing as that moment was, it confused me a little. Was this really going to be supernatural? Was Jesus about to take all the pain away? Was Luca about to come in a few more contractions and two minutes of pushing? Wow, I had it all wrong in my head. See before this day when I thought of “Supernatural childbirth” I thought to myself, “that means pain free.” But the Lord wanted to teach me something during these wondering moments. Supernatural doesn’t always mean pain free, but sometimes it means experiencing the strength of God in you when you’ve reached your max capacity of pain. Supernatural is when all odds are against you, but you choose to stand on the truth that He is for you and you keep going. Supernatural is when you hit new heights, and walk through the darkest valleys. You think each new height is the last one you will have to climb. But then Jesus takes you even higher, and higher, and higher. And then He tells you, “you’re strong enough for it, keep climbing.”

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It was about 3:00am and I noticed everyone was starting to fade a little, my sisters were napping on the floor, and while the room was almost pitch dark and quiet, I continued to labor all over that birth suite. I moved from the bed, to the tub, to the shower, to the toilet, and then back to the tub and back to the shower I can’t tell you how many times. At this point walking was almost impossible, sitting was beyond painful, standing took too much strength, and laying down was so uncomfortable. I was just all around hurting, really, really, really hurting. Up to this point I never asked for the other way out, I didn’t have a moment yet of “I’m done here, take me to the hospital, give me the drugs and get this baby out.” But I had a moment of “I’ll do this now, but never again.” I was sitting on the toilet laboring and my forehead rests up against my husband and I just cried, and cried and said “not again Matty, we are done, this is it, I’m not doing this again, you have to promise me you wont let me do this again!” As sweet as he was, he laughed a little. He said he remembers watching all those videos of women saying the same stuff when entering transition. And once you enter transition you are really arms reach from the finish line. So he was almost encouraged that I was having those feelings. He knew I wouldn’t mean them after Luca arrived.

I remember it was 6:00am, I was laboring in the shower, and squatting when a contraction would come. Matt was behind me with the shower head, making sure the hot water was beating on my back. We did this for about an hour. The clock turned 7:00 and my midwife Margaret came in and said, “Sweetheart, my shift is up, I really wanted to be the one to deliver Luca, but you are in such good hands. Taneesha is your midwife now and Abbey is your nurse. I’m so beyond proud of you Brooke. Luca sounds great and you’re doing a beautiful job. I believe in you, stay strong, you got this mama.” Tears started to fill my eyes. I had been there so long, that my first midwifes shift was over? How could this be? I came in at a 7?!!! I was nervous that having a new team in there might stall me even more, but oh this is when Jesus made himself the most clear to me, and made His plans seem perfect in the midst’s of my confusion. While Margaret was my calm safe place during the night, Taneesha came in at sunrise like a fresh wild fire. She sparked something new in the room, something I needed. She brought a fresh presence of power and strength and belief in me. And it didn’t take but a couple of sweet moments of relying on her fully to know that she was absolutely the one who was suppose to deliver Luca.

She let me labor in the shower some more, but then told me she wanted me to rest on the bed. I think she could tell I was reaching my capacity of exhaustion. My moans sounded tired, my voice was horse, my eyes had dark circles under them, my lips were very chapped, and my legs couldn’t stop shaking. I rested with my husband on the bed and by this point the room was completely bright with the morning light beaming through the windows. “The sun is rising my love, it’s a new day, a new hour, let this morning light refresh you. You got this.” Those are the words my sweet twin spoke to me while I was resting on the bed.

Taneesha wanted to check me to see how much I had progressed and when she did she told me I was stuck at an 8.5. The room got very quiet. Everyone started making eye contact with each other, but not with me. I had been there laboring all night long, having contractions right on top of one another and I was only an 8.5? Taneesha told me if I didn’t progress soon that we would need to discuss the possibility of starting Pitocin, which may lead to heading over to Vanderbilt. Tears streamed down my face again. That wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t make it this far to have to go to the hospital and be cut open. Cause lets be honest, had I gone there and told them I had been in labor for 60 hours they wouldn’t have let me labor any longer, and I would have been sent straight to the OR.

Taneesha then asked me if she could break my water. She explained that that would progress things and get things moving. So she did, and it was a massive gush of water. I felt some relief from it, but she was right, things started picking up even more than they already had. She encouraged me to walk around and start working in trying to move in down. The pressure I was feeling at this point was so intense I could barely walk. But I needed to keep standing so that gravity could work in my favor. So my doula Alexia got her scarf thing, wrapped it under my belly and lifted it up so I could feel some relief in my back and be able to stand even a little bit so that Luca could move down. At this point my back was rubbed raw, my legs would not stop shaking and it truly felt at any moment it was going to snap in half. It was so beyond painful. The tears just started streaming down my face as I swayed back and forth in my husbands arms. I made eye contact with my nurse Abbey and I kept saying in a low deep and shaky moan, “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.” She was so focused in on me in that moment; I remember her beaming smile and her peaceful eyes that were filled with so much hope for me, and after every time I said, “I can do this.” She nodded her head and said back, “Yes you can, and you are.”

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The pressure after standing for a bit, got so intense it felt unbearable at this point. So I got in the tub. And in these moments in the tub is when i reached a new height. The heat of transition, when my body was dilating from a 9-10. I remember thinking the pain felt too much. It was such an outer body experience because i’ve never experienced that kind of pain before, but yet i was still so present and so in tune with what was happening. It was incredible. I was feeling the pressure of Lucas body moving down and I started to feel the need to bear down. So Taneesha checked me one more time and I was a 10!! It was time to push.

For some reason when she said that, what I prayed wouldn’t happen, happened. Fear overtook me in that moment. I realized I was so afraid of pushing. I think the pressure just felt way too intense for my little body and I literally didn’t know if he was going to fit through my tiny little self. I looked my doula in the eyes and told her I was scared. She grabbed my face and our eyes locked, and she said “everything your feeling is normal, he’s coming, your at the top of the mountain, it’s time to climb down. We are all here with you. Take each wave at a time, you got this Mama.” I looked at my midwife in front of me and told her I didn’t know how to push. She was so kind in that moment and said she will help guide me. So she stuck her fingers in me and told me to push her fingers out. That helped immensely. Cause instead of me picturing Luca’s head coming through, I was just focused on pushing her fingers out; and that seemed way more doable to me. About 3 or 4 pushes in she felt something she didn’t like. She got me out of the tub and checked me to see what it was. It was confirmed, I had a cervical lip. It was blocking Luca’s head, making it very hard for him to move down. Which explains why I stayed in transition for 9 hours.

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“He knows your suffering right now, He carried the cross for us Brookie, He is right here, you are not alone. What an amazing sacrifice you are giving right now. Just surrender and let jesus take over.” 

This is what my sweet older sister was saying to me in these moments.

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My midwife then asked me to get out of the tub and back on the bed. Y’all, words will never be able to describe my pain level at this point. She told me that I had two hours to push past this lip. At the two hour mark if it was softer and had moved out of the way just enough for his head to come through, than I could stay at the birth center. But if the two hours were up and the lip was still there, it was going to be a transfer and most likely a C-section. I was thankful she gave me a time frame, cause it for sure put a fire under my butt to labor HARD! But it also made me so nervous cause two hours was nothing compared to what I had been doing, two hours felt like 20 minutes. I gave it everything I had even though it felt like I had nothing left to give. My body truly felt like it was shutting down, but my spirit during this time refused to break. Everyone gathered around me and held hands in a circle and prayed.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2nd Corinthians 12:9

  This was the scripture my midwife was declaring over me during this time. It was such a powerful moment in that birth suite.  I pushed on the bed for a while, on my back, on my side, on all fours, but where I felt most comfortable was leaning up against my husband’s chest on the bed.During these hours are what I called my “surrender” moments. Where I had no choice but to surrender to the pain and push past it, I had no time to waste, and no time to search for the strength in me, but rather just believe with all that I had that it was there. Two hours pasts and things were looking up, my cervical lip was soft and Taneesha felt like he could get past it. I so loved and admired not only her belief in me but her belief in herself, and her belief in what a woman’s body is capable of doing in times like these. Taneesha said, “Next push, I can tell you what color hair he has.” As Luca started to move down, it was still in my heart and in my head to have a water birth. So I asked if I could move back to the tub so that I could have him in there. So my sweet twin and husband grabbed my arms and placed them over their shoulders. We somehow someway managed to walk across the room, lift up my legs, and place myself in the tub being 10cm dilated, all while feeling every part of my baby moving down my body. Pain had reached another height after that moment. I thought I was walking towards the finish line. What I didn’t know was I still had over 4 hours of pushing, and hours of pain left to endure.

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It was in these next two and a half hours that I hit the thin place. The place where you no longer feel capable, your not coherent, the pain feels too much, the pressure feels too strong, and you don’t see the end in sight. It’s the thin place where the world around you stops. The voices you once heard loudly cheering you on, now sound faded in the background, and you enter a place of desperation but also determination like you’ve never felt before. And you have a choice that you have to make when you reach this point. You can fight the pain and run from it, or as if i always say, “you can let the tide pull you in.”  Or you can fully surrender to it and conquer each wave, no matter how strong or how high they all seem.

My thin place happened for me when I had moved back into the tub after already pushing for 2.5 hours. It was 12:30pm, I was now falling asleep in between contractions, and after a push I would lay back on my husbands chest and fall asleep. Then when I would feel one coming, I would then turn on the cold water next to me, put it all over my face so that I would wake up, and then I would somehow find the inner strength to bear down and push. I remember thinking, “this isn’t how it should be.” I mean I have a babies head poking in and out as i’m pushing, I can feel every part of him inside of me and yet, i’m falling asleep? Yup, that’s exhaustion at it’s finest. I remember looking up at my birth team and every single person had their head down and tears falling from their faces. “Was I going to make it? Is he really not coming?” those are all the thoughts I had when I saw how defeated everyone looked. The people who had been my anchor and my strength for 66 hours, the people who never lost energy or hope, or fight for me, they were crashing too. So I decided to just lock eyes with my midwife, cause I knew she couldn’t bail. She’s the one delivering him and she has to stay strong. But when I looked up at her, her head was down also and I could hear her praying out loud. “Lord, give her strength Jesus, we need you Jesus, come Lord. Your power is made perfect here.” These were the words that my midwife was praying over me. I didn’t know if I should have felt encouraged or scared shitless that the woman delivering my child was crying out to God for strength. At that moment I laid back and I remember feeling like I was rolling backwards, I wasn’t climbing anymore, the mountain just seemed too steep. But I heard Jesus say “Not now my Brookie, not now are you going to give in to fear. I am with you. I know your weary, I know your tired, but I am here.” I told him “I can’t do this Jesus.” And then he replied to me with these words that sent me back up hill, “My grace is sufficient for you, now let me make my power perfect in your weakness.” And in that moment the Holy Spirit came over me and I started praying in tongues. A heavenly language was being spoken through me and out into the atmosphere. As I was praying, everyone’s head stated to lift. I could see smiles on my sister’s faces, and I could feel hopeful and joyful tears on the back of my neck that was falling from my husband’s eyes.

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I turned my cants into I cans. I turned my “I don’t want to do this” to “I am doing it” I turned my pain over to Jesus and let him take over. I pushed a few more times in the tub and I could tell I just needed gravity to help. My husband could tell my body was crashing physically and I wasn’t pushing effectively anymore. So he told me to get out of the tub and said I needed to squat. I remember being mad at him in that moment. I thought to myself, “Oh cause you know exactly what it’s like to push out a baby?” But he was right. I somehow managed to get out of the tub and walk over to the squat rack all while feeling my baby boy’s head and body moving down, he was practically crowning. It was the most painful few steps I think I’ll ever take in my whole life and getting in that squatting position was NOT fun, but it was working. I could feel more and more every single part of him. My midwife was affirming me and telling me that with each push she could see him… “Keep pushing” she said. I gave it one more push and then felt the ring of fire. That term had been used throughout my pregnancy and I have heard it many times, so when I felt that burning sensation I knew exactly what it was. And oh my wow, it really did feel like fire. I started crying saying,“it burns, someone help, it burns! My older sister looked at me as I was saying that and she said “honey, that burn is your son, your right there…keep pushing.”

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I pushed again and after that everything started to go blurry. I knew if I didn’t get more oxygen, I was going to faint. It had been over four hours of pushing now and I didn’t have much left in me. So they gave me an oxygen mask to breath into in between the next pushes. My nurse Abbey was checking his heart rate during and after each push, and right at the end, right when I was so close, his heart rate dropped. This part is the part that is such a blur to me. I just heard my midwife say “Get her on bed, we gotta move, now.” Matt and her basically threw me on the bed cause Lucas head was right there, and she looked me and said “I need you to look at me Brooke, you need to push and do NOT stop pushing okay?” The cord was wrapped around Lucas neck and his heart rate was dropping fast. It hit me in that moment that this isn’t about me trying to cope with the pain anymore, my son needs to come out… NOW! One more push and his head was out, but his shoulder then was stuck. My amazing midwife was able to respond so quickly and pushed down on his shoulder as hard has she could, and that’s when I knew I tore. I don’t know where, but somehow, someway I found the strength to push and push and push with all that I had and it then my victory moment came. The moment I heard “Brooke, look up and grab your son.”

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That was it, my triumph moment. The moment that made me, Mom. It was the moment that changed my life forever. I pulled my son on my chest and to be honest I didn’t even look at his face for about three minutes. I just held him tight, and with my eyes closed, I took deep breaths in and let the overwhelming amount of love I was feeling crash over me. It was over. “I did it, I did it, I can’t believe I did it.” Those are the words I kept repeating over and over again. My baby, who I had been carrying for nine months, who I’d been dreaming of and talking to and feeling him move, he was now in my arms after I conquered the hardest battle ill ever face. And in that moment time stood still, the pain was gone, the noises around me were faded, the room almost looked blurry, and it was just me and Jesus. He was in front of me and with his piercing eyes, and soft smile he looked right at me and said, “Oh I’m so happy he’s yours and I’m so happy y’all are mine, well done my faithful one”

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All of the sudden the words we had been signing for four days now, the words we had been crying through, and relying on, the words that had been my hope in my lowest places, and the strength in my weakest moments, we were now experiencing the glory on the other side of them. The song became the reality on which I was living in. The reality of which I met my son, and became his mama forever.

“The Lord is gracious and righteous. Our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearted. When I was in great need, He saved me. Be at rest once more oh my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you oh Lord have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living…” Psalm 116

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My luca James. Born February 5th 2016 at 2:34pm.  9.lbs 1.oz, 21″ long 

So to whoever reading this, if you’re a mama to be, or you just gave birth, or maybe your not expecting a baby but you stumbled across this story and decided to read the birth of Luca, I have some words that are on my heart to share to you….

Rest in the promise that you’re never alone. Drop your weights and your burdens at his feet. With each inhale, breath in hope, and each exhale let go of any control. Cause your story has already been written. So there’s nothing you can do to change the way the journey will be or how the end will look, and there never really was. You are much braver than you believe and you’re much stronger than you think. Dig deep and let your soul find the courage it needs in the waiting process; Jesus is in it with you. And even when your whole body is tense and your fists want to clinch up, turn your palms up to Jesus and fully surrender. Surrender to the pain and surrender to the unknown. Sometimes the greatest things in life are the ones that were brought out of pain. How amazing it is that as painful as this process was, it was all designed to bring forth life. So count it as the greatest privilege to suffer through the pain, so that the life He solely created for you to have, and for you to raise can be birthed.

It truly was the greatest honor being able to experience my body doing exactly what it was made to do, even when I doubted that it could. In my weakest and most vulnerable moments my body was powerfully working to bring my son into the world. And knowing it was capable to do so was the most empowering truth for me to embrace. Lucas birth changed me forever. What I accomplished physically and mentally amazed me, but the spiritual encounters I had through his birth is truly what was the most life altering part. Life is a gift and the giver is good. Thank you Jesus for being good to me, for being good to us. Thank you for writing this story and for choosing me to live it. May my story and my song be all for your glory.

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