Broken Babies and The Glorious God

We made it out alive, both of us. She lived through the whole pregnancy and we both survived the birth. Both reasons to praise because neither felt guaranteed.

The birth was not easy. She was 12 days late (two of my other babies were that late, so it wasn't very concerning). I started showing signs of labor, so I went walking until I got some good contractions going. We went to the birthing center the next morning, but I wasn't really far enough along. We went walking again. Through an abandoned mall. Through a K-Mart. I think I shocked some people. One lady asked if I had knee problems, while I was bent over double having a contraction. Jeremy said, 'no, she's in labor.' 'She is?!? Oh my!' Others changed their direction when they saw me squatting behind my buggy, breathing hard.

We got back to the birthing center a little before lunch. I slept between contractions for a couple of hours. I breathed, Jeremy breathed, we held onto each other.

I bit him.

To be fair, I was trying to bite down on his sleeve, but I got a chunk of his arm. He let go of me at that point. Just for a minute though. He said he was going to find me a leather bit.

When I was far enough along, we started the pushing process. Labor up until then had been fine and dandy. We could laugh, we could breathe. But then she descended, she dropped, and my hips did not stretch that far.

Every time I pushed, my hip and leg tried to give out. I couldn't push myself apart like that. I couldn't find a good position. I couldn't figure out how I was going to get her out. I started panicking a bit.

Ok, a lot.

I tried to convince everyone to get me to the hospital to get an epidural. My hip felt like it was coming out of the socket. My whole leg would go numb. But it was time, my body wouldn't stop, and we had to just do it.

So we did. Two people on either side of me were pressing my hips in to keep them together. One midwife was behind me helping to pull her out. We flipped several times, trying not to break her on the way out. It didn't really help though, she did break.

And that breaks me.

She wasn't breathing either when she finally came out. Thankfully, the midwives were on fire and bagged her until she started on her own. And she quickly did. Jeremy and I didn't really notice all of this because we were both so shocked. She was put on my stomach so we could talk to each other. I was still a bit traumatized. I  couldn't believe how big she was. She was my biggest baby, even though I've already had an 11 lbs. 4 oz. baby.

Elinor Ruth was 11 lbs. 5 oz.

She was also an inch shorter than my first 11 pounder. So maybe she was a bit more round than Gideon? He didn't break when he came. But Elinor, her little collarbone, is broken.

Which is fairly common, and will heal perfectly because the Lord designed babies to be birthed. Birth is painful and can break you. And the Lord told us that we need to be born again. That's not necessarily a beautiful thought. It's pretty scary, actually.

We've been healing now for a week. I've been praying the Lord would knit us back together again. And He is. I've also been questioning Him. I've learned so much this pregnancy. I've had to trust Him, knowing that trusting Him doesn't mean that He would do as I wanted. That He could have ended her life or mine and I would still have to trust Him. What kind of God lets bad things happen?

The Glorious Kind, it turns out. His Glory is not like our glory. Our glory is dependent on power, fame, money. It is short-lived, it is not dependent on character or virtue or goodness, it is not a glory that changes things.

His Glory, the True kind of Glory, is Good. Think about all the horrors of our earth. The very pits of despair that humanity can fall into. Broken babies, as horrible as I think that is right now, are not the worst humans can do.

His Glory is not just the opposite of all those horrors. His Glory is so much more than those horrors that He undoes the horrors. He undoes death, He undoes brokenness. His is the Glory that is born in obscurity. That meets us in our extreme poverty. He doesn't just pity us, He joins us. He becomes one of us. Poor, pitiful, powerless, unglorified. He joins us even into our death.

But then His is a Glory that changes everything it meets. Even poverty, even sickness, even brokenness. Even death. Even humans. His Glory came once about 2000 years ago, and it changed the world. His Glory is coming again and is going to change all of history.

So, to Him be the Glory. Even the Glory of broken babies.


  1. This is beautiful, Jennifer!! Praise God you're both healing well.
    I had two homebirths and my second one was a painful long one too. Hadassah, my middle daughter was posterior and we didn't know. She wasn't a very big baby but she was in a posterior position making it all much harder.
    But truth is that even after the hardest labors, nothing is compared to the joy of birthing our babies - true gifts from God!

  2. Such a beautiful and powerful story!

  3. SO beautiful and your baby girl is so precious. Thank you for sharing your story and I pray you both continue to heal well. I know the glorious lesson well because our Glorious Lord is raising all 7 of my babies. God bless you all and may your New Year be filled with al His Love.


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