When I was pregnant with my first child, my mother-in-law had a dream that the baby was a girl and she looked like one of my husband's cousins (who has the same hair color and complexion as I do.) From this dream, we presumed the baby I was carrying was going to be a girl and my husband and I picked out what we thought her name should be. However, when he was born five weeks early, we realized God was actually telling us his birthday (he was born on that cousin's birthday) and his birth weight (they both weighed four pounds and a few ounces). Thankfully, God also gave us a name because I heard the name "Paul" three times when he was being born and, fittingly, the name means "humble, little one."

The dream is one of my favorite parts of my son's birth. His birth was unique and beautiful but it did not happen exactly as I had hoped. At 35 weeks, my water broke, I went into labor, and, after going to the hospital, we learned the baby was sideways and would have to be delivered by a c-section. Though I was thankful for modern medicine that made the birth possible with both Paul and I surviving, I longed to have a different experience for my future  children.

One key to my next pregnancy was prayer. From early on in the pregnancy, I asked for a vaginal, natural delivery, full-term pregnancy, and no complications. I felt a need to ask the Lord every day for this "daily bread" and, sometime around the 28th week, I felt a release from the Holy Spirit that this time around it would be different. My husband ,Christopher and I also did a lot of research on medical interventions, hospital policies, and talked extensively with each other about possible scenarios and what we hoped to experience. This helped us to be prepared at my weekly appointments to communicate more openly with the doctors, especially since we want to have more children and did not want to be "limited" by the number of c-sections.

God answered mightily. Once again, my water broke, but this time, not until 40 weeks and a few days. I had been praying for supportive doctors and nurses at the hospital and God answered this prayer in a great way. The doctor on duty that weekend had personal experience with VBACs because his wife also had one. Both of the delivery nurses were helpful with natural ways to relax during contractions and alternative positions for pushing. This time around, the baby had been in the right position for weeks and, after less than four hours of strong active labor, transition, and pushing, Anna Christina was born vaginally. This was the answer to another prayer for the grace and quickness of a second labor, since this was our second child but first one born vaginally.

I was thrilled to have a VBAC and keep my healthy baby girl with me, instead of in the neonatal intensive care unit for a week (as Paul had been). My husband and I both enjoyed experiencing the beautiful, fascinating process of "the birth pains" that Jesus mentions in Matthew 24. The recovery, physically, was much easier with a vaginal birth. I was able to use more energy caring for two children. I look forward to having more children and "asking" for their specific needs for the pregnancy and delivery each time.

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