I want to share with you my birth story, I have included a couple of these pictures just to give you an idea of the emotion of the experience, and the thankfulness that we felt to our creator God who gives life.

My due date was changed to June 28th.
On Saturday (June 12th) morning at 4:00 AM I thought my mucous plug came out… little did I know my water broke, so I called my midwife in the morning, not feeling well, and she said if it was just my mucous plug it could be a week or two until I have the baby, so as the day and night went on I was experiencing more and more contractions, then the next morning (Sunday) I was counting them, and timing them (while watching Bourne Supremecy), so when they started getting to be 3 to 5 minutes apart around 11 AM we loaded up the car, left for the birth center, and got there at 12 PM. When my midwife Jennie checked me I was dilated only 1 cm, and she then let me know my water HAD broken that early Saturday morning, and if we were to go by the rules it had already been 24 hours I was out of time to have this baby in a birth center. She gave me the option to take an antibiotic to prevent infection, and so that the doctor would be more likely to let me stay at the birth center to have my baby… so she gave me the antibiotic, and sent me to the mall to walk with a purpose through every contraction, so I walked… for 3 hours with TJ helping me through every one. We walked through one store, and the cashier said to my family who was with me in a joking voice, “she better not have that baby in the store”, and she freaked when she found out I was actually in labor, and started following us asking why we would do such a thing… I guess in this circumstance we would be classified as “crazy people”.

When I got back to the birth center, I was still only dilated 1 centimeter, and Jennie called the doctor, and he said if I didn’t make progress by 7 in the morning, I had to go to the hospital, TJ and I were in tears and forced to trust God. So I rested for the night… ie woke up every 10 min for a painful contraction the whole night… TJ helping me through every one, and at 6 AM I got up, let TJ sleep, went out side and walked with my sister in law Leah. I was feeling encouraged as my contractions were getting more and more difficult, and when Jennie checked me at 7 I was 3 centimeters, I was so excited!!!

I started doing everything I could to continue this pattern of strong contractions, I walked more, squatted through contractions, got in the birth pool. By 10 AM I was 9 centimeters, so I got in the tub to hopefully have the baby, and the contractions started getting farther apart, so I got out of the tub, and this uneven pattern continued… very frustrating. I was in tears when she told me I went back down to 6 cm, because it had already been such a long process, hope seemed to be lost and I thought I might have to go to the hospital… 🙁

Again Jennie told me to rest which was the last thing I wanted to do. At 5 pm she checked me, and said I was still only 6 to 7 cm, so she started manually initiating contractions, and said she would be continuing this until my baby came out. She caused contractions to come at least every 3 minutes, and man were they rough, she was stretching me, and initiating contractions for about 2 hours, and about 7PM I started pushing, and man was that hard. By the time the head started coming out, I had completely lost energy, and when the head really started coming out, they told me to take another breath, and hold it and push, and when I ran out of breath, they wanted me to do it at least 3 more times holding my breath for an eternity, and then finally the baby came out, and she laid her on my chest, and I couldn’t believe she was actually here in my arms… little baby Ava coming to meet me and her daddy. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the biggest emotional experience I have ever had.

I knew this was a gift from God, he gave her life! God gave me the strength to get that baby out to hold my breath for those last 3 breaths when I had nothing left in me.

Thank you to all of you who were praying for me, I could see God’s hand through it all, even when I didn’t know why the circumstances were the way they were.

Ava Lorraine Shropshire was born on Monday June 14th at 7:24 PM, she was 7lbs 2 1/2 oz, and 21 inches long.

Thank you Lord for this little life!

*the picture right above is my midwife Jennie Joseph, and Kendra (with red hair) is a student midwife, who I love and who helped my through my labor, and delivering the baby…
Thank you to these amazing people!