I Will Not Die

Today’s #IKnowHim story was submitted by Lauren Clark, a young mother of three who experienced God in powerful ways during one of the most difficult seasons of her life. Read her story to see how God saved the life of her and her son, and her relationship with God was forever changed. 

I have always wanted to be a mom. After graduating high school I went to Texas Tech University for one year and three days to get my MRS. degree and after realizing that cutting classes the first day of my sophomore year was probably a bad sign I dropped out and began putting more effort into my photography career that I began at 17. Three months after I quit going to college I met my husband and we were married seven months later at the ripe ages of 19 and 21. I was raised in a deeply spiritual and giving family and I dreamed of the day that I would be a stay at home mom, cook homemade meals in the kitchen and have water balloon fights with my kids in the backyard. Fast forward to year seven of our marriage. Within the previous three years we had gone through two careers, three towns, two states and had our first two sons. I was exhausted in every way possible. Back to back pregnancies almost did me in! After finally loosing all 60 pounds of my pregnancy weight and feeling like I was finally getting ownership of my body back from my toddlers for the first time in four years, I had made a strong pledge to not get pregnant again for a long, long time.

One month into my pledge I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test.

I was fearful, depressed and a little bit angry. We had been through so many transitions and struggles in those years and this was not a convenient time for me to be sick for months, taking a maternity leave from my home based business again and trying to save up cash for another home birth.

Around the turn of my first trimester I had a very vivid dream that I delivered a still born baby around 20 weeks. God had used dreams in my life in the past to show me very real things that were about to happen in my life and so I woke up with an eery feeling that I may possibly miscarry the baby as I had seen in my dream. I blamed myself for my own feelings of rejecting the pregnancy from the start. I felt guilt and relief and fear all at once. How did I get here? How did I go from wishing to be where I was in life as a mom to wishing that precious life away? Shame, hopelessness and ambivalence stirred around in my heart.

At 16 weeks I began to show signs of miscarriage and immediately came crashing into a wall of fear as I remembered my dream. I thought for sure that God was going to be just and take my baby because I hadn’t wanted to be pregnant. I needed to be punished by a just God, taught a lesson to never stumble again in my faith. This was the theology that I grew up believing. My husband was out with friends that night and the children were already in bed. I was alone in the bathroom and the emotions finally burst through the door of my heart with desperation. “Oh God! I want the baby, I WANT THE BABY! Please don’t take my baby. Let him live.” I wept for thirty minutes and prayed. How could my heart have gone to that place of apathy about a life inside of me? That moment turned my heart around. I was in a place of deep brokenness and repentance before God and I began to speak life over my baby.

I quit complaining, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and I continued on my journey of pregnancy with renewed hope that God would sustain me. He would have to, He was my only hope.

I had chosen to do a home birth with my second son because it was a more frugal option, and after going through it once and not dying I thought that it would be a good idea to just do that again. I hired the best midwife in all of Kansas City. She had more than 20 years of experience and was one of those ladies that you would consider your humorous and blunt mom. As my son’s due date came and went I was starting to feel the anxiety of the home birthing process. I always joked about home birthing and would say things like, “I won’t die… most likely”, but this time I needed something more than sarcasm and endurance to tether my wavering soul to. My doula told me that the verse that she focused on during her five home births was Psalm 118:17:

“I will not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.”

That was it. I wrote it on a notecard and it became the verse that I would re-read when I would begin to falter in my fear.

11 days went by and still no baby. I had tried labor dances, jumping, castor oil, spicy foods, and everything else the internet tells you to try and nothing happened. Finally almost two weeks after my due date my water broke and I went into my home birthing beast mode. My face would not give away any pain that was going on in my body. I had trained myself through trials in my life to be a warrior and never let myself look weak. After 7 hours of labor I gave birth to a beautiful son, Samuel James Clark. I looked like death for a minute after I had him, but then the joy of not being pregnant shocked me back to life and I was so ecstatic that it was all over! Sam was healthy, perfect, and my biggest baby yet.

I was enjoying the rush of it all and didn’t notice that the midwife assistants had called my midwife into the bathroom for a few minutes and when she came back out she looked surprisingly shocked. Nothing ever worried or surprised this lady, she had seen it all and made it through it all. She began to try to explain that I had a placenta malformation called a Velamentous Cord Insertion and it was the worst one she had ever seen in her 20 years of midwifery. She said that it was a miracle that my baby and I were both alive and began showing us where the water broke and how it was torn right next to a huge blood vessel that was in the wrong place. She said that if it had been a hair to the left then we would have both died. It should have been spotted on the 20 week ultrasound, but was overlooked, and would have mandated a 36 weeks c-section at a hospital. She also began to explain that if I had gone in without previously knowing about this situation to a hospital for a 41 week induction and they would have broken my water manually with an amnio hook that we both would have died. She told me that having an unmedicated home birth actually saved our lives.

The severity of the situation wouldn’t become a reality to me until she came back for my two day checkup and this very strong and experienced midwife began to cry and just kept saying, “You just don’t understand.”

This was probably one of the most shameful times in my life as a Christian and a mother because I didn’t have the faith that God would provide for me emotionally, financially and spiritually during this pregnancy, yet He came through with a miracle story for an unworthy mother.

My view of God’s love and care for us in our unfaithfulness and fear was forever deepened by the birth of my third son, Samuel. Not surprisingly, the name Samuel means “God has heard”, a name that my husband chose at 16 weeks.

“I will not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord!”

Psalm 118:17

Lauren's #IKnowHim Story

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