Delivery: a word with so very many meanings.

This pregnancy has taught me and changed me in a way that I don’t think I will ever be able to fully describe.

I will never forget the moment I found out I was pregnant with this newest little one…rather than the usual feelings of joy mixed with disbelief, there was a sudden infusion of light into my soul.  I laughed and cried out loud. I felt so clearly that this child was meant to be with us.

That light was something I had to hold on tightly to, to get me through the months of illness and then, at the end, the months of a body truly breaking down.

I knew I was approaching this delivery in a very weak state.  All day before I went into labor, I felt it coming.  I was truly afraid.  I didn’t know if I could do it.  I was so tired.

I wanted to hold her.  To finally have her here.

I prayed that I would somehow deliver her safely.

I’ve had some very hard labors, but never have I gone through one when I was so broken and tired.  It’s not something I could have even comprehended before, even knowing what I knew about what birth could be like.

Halfway through, it was like my body just gave up.  It stopped dilating, even though the contractions were back-breaking.  The baby was stuck too high and couldn’t move down any further.  There was nothing but constant, searing pain.

I went through some of the darkest, most terrifying times I have ever experienced.  Moments when I knew I could not possibly live through this.

But incredibly, I also felt some of the brightest, most hopeful moments that night.  Moments where I knew I was not alone, and where the help was so close I could touch it, when I could feel the way being eased.

Near the end, it was so bad I couldn’t see anything anymore.  Just dark spots mixed with bright, floating in front of my eyes.  I couldn’t make out what voices were saying, just the constant heartbeat monitor, somewhere far away, but all around me.

Finally, after more hours and lifetimes, I felt her come down, and I had to push.  But all I could say was, “I’m so tired,” over and over again.

That was the time I will never forget, as long as I live.  I couldn’t see, I couldn’t hear.  I could feel my baby, needing me to push her down, but I just couldn’t.

I closed my eyes and prayed with everything, everything, I had left.

I opened my eyes and there was Matt.  All I could see was him.  All I could feel, swaddled in all of that pain in my body, was my little one.

That moment taught me more about Christ’s love than any moment in my life.  I literally had no power left of my own.  And yet, He had the power to make up what I lacked.  And He did.

I pushed as hard as I could, but it was probably equivalent to a 1-year-old blowing her nose.  Truly.  Yet somehow, something else pushed for me when I couldn’t any more.  I felt it.  She was stuck, I was writhing.  But then somehow, she came.  It was truly not me, and one of the greatest miracles of my life.

Nothing compared to the joy of that moment.  I looked down in disbelief.  There was my beautiful daughter, brought here by power far beyond my own.  There was my life…my husband, crying.

I wish that I had words to describe what this pregnancy and birth have taught me.  I learned more about the Savior, faith, and love than I have ever learned.

I have never held a baby with more joy than I held her.  Without so much pain and darkness, I don’t think I could have felt that corresponding depth of joy and deep, deep gratitude.

Now, here she is, and though my heart is aching over other things in my life too personal to share right now, she is a reminder to me of light, help, and hope.

She is a reminder of miracles and mercy, of gifts given that I have never deserved.

She is a constant reminder of a Love and and Power that have never left me alone.

She is a reminder that weeping may endure for the night,

But joy cometh in the morning.


12 Responses

  1. Rachel B.

    Yeah!! She is absolutely beautiful! I have Elodie in my class this year and she told me that you had her (she is the sweetest thing, by the way). Your pictures are amazing and what an incredible story. After having Everett, I was convinced that the things in life that are the absolute best often come with the absolute worst. Labor is exactly that….there is nothing so insanely awful yet so insanely awesome and perfect at the same time. Congratulations!

    January 2, 2012 at 6:20 am

  2. Libby Ipson

    She is beautiful!

    January 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

  3. She’s perfect. Congratulations!

    January 2, 2012 at 9:46 am

  4. Jessie

    It is amazing, what joy comes from all that pain. The months before of unbearable phsycial and emotional pain, and the during. But the sweet tender mercy and joy you feel holding your perfect baby is incomparable.

    She is absolutely perfect. I am so happy for you all.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

  5. Sarah Burgoyne

    What a beautiful story Ann. You brought tears to my eyes, you are just a wonderful example. Thank you for sharing and may I say you make some very lovely little girls :)

    January 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

  6. She’s perfect :) I’m glad you’re ok!

    January 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

  7. Debbie Domenici


    You have a wonderful way of writing and drawing the reader into your story. For one that will never be able to experience the carrying of a precious little one in her womb or ever delivering a little one, I could feel your struggles, pain and love for your little one. You brought tears to my eyes for the pain and suffering you went through to bring this beautiful daughter into this world. Thank you so much for sharing your story and family with us. We wish we lived closer together so that we could help you when you need it and learn and grow even more from your example. We love you and miss you so much! We can’t wait to see you again and to meet all of your beautiful girls!

    January 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

  8. oh my goodness!!!!!!! i am calling you right now!!!

    January 3, 2012 at 10:04 am

  9. Liesel

    Oh heavens! I had hoped you would at least get an easy delivery after such a rough pregnancy. I’m so sorry it was such a difficult delivery. I’m grateful that you and Emma are okay. I hope that beautiful little girl can help soothe some of the heart aches you are having. I’ll have to bring you a meal when I’m back in town. Love you Ann! You are an incredible woman.

    January 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

  10. What a sweet and tender story. And she is a beautiful baby. I am thankful that it all ended so well and you are home now with all those beautiful daughters.

    January 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm

  11. Krista

    Oh, Ann! I didn’t realize this post was up until today; I’m so sorry for my delay!

    And you are amazing. Reading this beautiful post and your unimaginable struggles, I have no words… just sending endless hugs and light and peace and love your way.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

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