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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

Birth Trial & Revelation
Claire & Riaan Pienaar - 05/06/2011

{2Co.12:9} And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for [my] power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

On May 6, 2011, at approximately 3:30 am, my water broke, three weeks before the due date. Micah Pienaar came into the world that day at 5:41 pm.

This would be our first child and while we had not done any tests on the baby while in my womb, we had made use of a doctor and a so-called midwife to monitor the pregnancy. From about the eighth week of the pregnancy, I had tried to rely solely on God's promises, even when the flesh was weak. I had received a warning that I was not to find out the sex of the baby before it arrived (I heard God's voice clearly in the early hours of one Sunday morning). I received confirmation of it through scripture, but failed to take note of which part of the Bible it was in.

I immediately woke up and woke my husband, and we were so excited! I had been praying that my body would align with the Word for 8 1/2 months. I prayed for a pain-free, quick delivery. None of this happened.

My husband and I (after showering and packing our bags) drove to the hospital. We were so excited and I had no signs of pain. We were praising the Lord all the way to the hospital (about 50 km away). When we arrived at the labour ward, everything changed. It was as though we had walked into the lion's den. The nurse on duty was grossly unfriendly and when my husband moved toward me (once I was lying on the bed for them to examine the manner of the contractions), she told him to "sit down in [my] exam room". She asked me about what birth I was planning. I explained that we had planned a natural birth - water birth. She then said, rather matter-of-factly, "You won't last". I was shocked by her negativity and immediately cast it down, but only in my mind.

We were then told that my doctor was out of town on a conference and that I'd be looked after by one specific nurse and an alternative doctor. I was taken to another room and waited patiently and excitedly for the doctor to arrive. I still had no pain and was praising the Lord continuously. My husband took out our Bible and was reading scripture. I had printed out faith statements and was reading those, too. The nurse seemed pleased with this show of Christianity and immediately warmed up to us.

The doctor arrived at 7:30 am. He walked straight into the room, failed to greet my husband and came straight over to me and he said, "I am possibly going to shatter your dreams today". He then performed an internal exam (the experience was similar to what people call "birth rape" - later confirmed by two different midwives) and told me I was not dilated and that water birth (if natural birth at all) was out of the question. I immediately started crying, more out of defiance than fear, and told him that we'd be having a natural birth that day, I was sure of it.

He made no eye contact with me and told the nurse that if I had not started contractions or dilation by 9:00 am, she was to induce me with oxytocin. He left the room. I started bleeding profusely and then became afraid. We (my husband and I) started praying and thanking God for aligning my body with the Word, and for opening my womb so that the baby would come out quickly and naturally. We prayed continuously for that hour and a half. I remembered David Eells' story about commanding the baby out of the womb and told Riaan he could do the same. He did this but still I felt nothing. By 9:00 am the nurse completed another exam and she hooked me up to the oxytocin. At this point, I was terrified that I had committed sin and that I was unable to bring glory to the Kingdom by natural birth. For the next three hours we read the Word and I confessed to Riaan my transgressions - mainly unforgiveness and judgment of family members and a few friends. I also called people during this time to confess my sins, even when the induced contractions were so heavy I could hardly breathe.

The trial did not end with the doctor's orders, however. The nurse who was so excited about us reading from the Bible came intermittently to "share" with us her "wisdom" about "God's will". She explained that sometimes He wanted a C-section and that the angels read out our future every morning just as the sun is coming up, and that whatever is going to happen that day has already been read by the angels. As she spoke like this, her mouth (to me) resembled a donkey more and more, and she made less and less sense until I kindly asked her to stop talking. Her false doctrine became a distraction for me from the pain at least and my husband and I prayed for her, too.

At 3:30 pm the doctor came back into the room and this time his opening lines were, "I am going to shatter your dreams". He explained that I had still not dilated and that he'd have to perform a C-section in the next 15 minutes. I was beside myself at this stage. I did not understand why, when we had confessed our sins, prayed fervently and truly believed in God's sovereignty, I was being put through this trial. In our country, women have 24 hours after their water has broken to give birth before an emergency C-section is done. In my case, only 12 hours had passed and when I made the doctor aware of this, pleading with him to give my body more time to respond, he explained that it was better to do it now, rather than him coming back later to do an emergency operation anyway. Within minutes, the theatre bed arrived, together with the anesthetist to prep me for the surgery. Riaan had been asking for time alone with me to pray from the minute the doctor made his second appearance, and no one had listened to him. Eventually, my normally pleasant-demeanoured husband asked rather loudly for everyone to leave us so that we could pray. This was done but not for long.

Eventually, my midwife arrived (she'd been unreachable all day) and when I told her that I did not agree with the doctor, she told us the "pros" for C-section delivery and that it really was the best choice at this stage, as I was still not dilated at all. At this point, Riaan's whole attitude changed and he became really excited at the fact that in a short while he was going to be a dad. I was still a wreck, though, and could not understand why, after almost nine months of praying and believing, that things would turn out like this.

The nurse told me that this was "just as God wanted it" and that's when my spirit got really angry. I told her that God's plan is perfect and that He does not rely on men's ways for His servants to birth. I said, "This is so far from God's will". I received a spinal block, which numbed my body but also my senses and I can honestly say that it was the most terrible experience I have ever had. I was not in control. I could not express my love for the baby once she was born because my body could not work with the commands my brain was giving it, due to all the drugs coursing through my veins. When Micah was taken out of my womb, her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. This gave everyone the excuse for the C-section, in that "only God could have known" and that "He was protecting her". I do not believe that for a second. I believe in a sovereign God, One Who can perform miracles without the hands of men. I believe that if God's will was perfectly realised, He would have unwrapped the cord in my womb and I would have had a natural delivery.

My husband was so excited and I was in shock, so much so that I did not stop shivering for four hours after surgery. I knew that I was supposed to love this child, but how could I love her when she was brought into the world by men when I had relied on God to bring her in as He intended?

The real trial came only after this ordeal. Once I was taken to the maternity ward, I received a room right next to the nurses' station. The noise from that area kept me awake for the first night, as well as the second night. The first night my husband stayed over in the hospital with me, but the second night he went home to get a good night's rest. That night was the biggest onslaught I have ever experienced.

My baby was put in the nursery until she needed to nurse. They took her at 10:00 pm and at the same time the night nurse gave me painkillers (even though I was hooked up to a pain management IV), as well as sleeping tablets. I took them (because she stood in front of me like a drill sergeant). At 12:30 I had still not slept and they brought my baby to me to be fed. She was not latching properly and when I called for a nurse to help me, no one came. At 1:30 am I maneuvered out of the bed with my baby and headed to the front desk to ask where the nursery was, as I wanted help with the baby. The night nurse pointed to the left in a jeering way and said, "That way". Two other nurses were standing with her and they started laughing as I made my way in that direction. They called out, "No, it's this way", and pointed in the opposite direction. They thought this was entertaining, to see a distressed new mother in pain after surgery trying to calm her baby.

In the nursery, the nurses were asleep and not willing to help me. I went back to my room and prayed. At 2:00 pm the night nurse came around and asked me how I was doing. I explained that I had not yet slept due to my baby being distressed. She immediately suggested that I put Micah on formula, as my breast milk "clearly" was not enough; and she handed me two more sleeping tablets and two more pain pills with water and made me drink it for sleep. At this point, I knew I was under spiritual attack once more and I prayed that the pills would have no effect on me. I texted my husband and asked that he pray the same. By 6:00 am I had still not slept and my child was nursing properly - PRAISE THE LORD!

We were moved to a better room the next day, one out of earshot of the unruly nurses' station. I was able to rest peacefully with my baby and we were discharged the next day. On this day, we were asked to go to the nursery, where we'd get a newborn photo of our baby. When we got there, we were lined up and Micah was immunised, without us consenting to it. I was too drugged to take note of what was happening and Riaan and I repented immediately.

I stopped the pain medication two days after being at home. After three weeks, the place where Micah was injected with the immunisations became swollen and red, and we prayed and believed that the Lord would ensure that those drugs would not be absorbed by her body. My husband and I gave her arm a gentle squeeze and a lump of pus was expelled from her arm. God is so good!

I prayed that the Lord would show me what we had done wrong to cause me to have a C-section. It took six weeks and then it came to me: We had been preparing for this for three years. We were covered by medical aid and the total cost of the procedure was the amount that we had saved and that the medical aid would cover. It was lessons (a terrible one) that if we do not rely solely on God, we will need to rely on man - a painful experience at the best of times. We in no way advocate that everyone should stop their medical aid coverage or life insurance, but our Father spoke to us directly and used a birth that was imperfect to reveal His perfect plan to us. However, we have stopped our medical aid and God has blessed us with a completely healthy child. We have not made one visit to the paediatrician, midwife or gynaecologist for a follow-up. This is not because we are "stingy" or scared, but because we now completely rest in the Lord to provide us with health (and food and covering).

Furthermore, this ordeal taught me that it is by God's Grace that a pain-free natural birth can be expected. It is not something that one can prep for or aim for in one's own will. It is God's will for His sons and daughters to inherit the riches of His Kingdom, not for us to use man's perverted means to spring forth life. If we had been blessed with a natural birth with Micah, we would have been arrogant and proud of our works by memorising our faith statements and we would have thought that we "deserved" this for being good Christians. Instead, we were brought to our knees, we were both chastised and sanctified through this trial, and we are humbled by God's love. He needed us to be so weak so that His power was made perfect. He also needs us to be role models, through having faith, for our daughter, especially in the time to come.

However, Micah will be one year old in three weeks and we have just found out on April 11th that I am pregnant with our second child. The haunting images of the first birth scene feel like distant memories that belong to someone else. I look at the C-section scar and I believe that it is already perfectly healed and does not exist anymore. I have forgiven the doctor who took charge on that day; he was performing a worldly job in a worldly place.

We are at God's mercy with this second child. We are trusting that the Lord will provide us with a believing midwife who will have our best interests at heart and we look forward to sharing the next birth testimony with you.

God's grace is abundant and His love for the saints is unfathomable. Praise the Lord! Blessings in Christ.

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