- Peace "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. " Phil. 4:6-8 Please pray that I will not become anxious! This is the most critical aspect of my preparation and participation in this birth. I need to trust God, bring my requests to Him, and trust Him again, no matter what is going on around me. I also need to meditate on good things--not let my mind go for a ride down worst case scenario lane over and over! I also need to be able to relax in a hospital setting, and think about things that are "lovely" and not focus on the beeping machines, plastic everywhere, etc.
- Protection Psalm 91 This may be the most obvious, but definitely worth mentioning. I love the words of this Psalm, and plan on reading them regularly as I pray. I'd love it if you join me.
- Partner Pray for Josiah. He has been so amazing throughout this journey we're on together. We've learned so much, and he has helped me so much--by saying the right thing at just the right time, or offering to help around the house just when I thought my energy might be completely depleted, or a hundred other things. Pray that he knows when to speak and when to hold back, and that He is led by the Holy Spirit. Most of all pray for supernatural strength for him, as I know labor is no walk in the park for daddies either.
- Progress If you've been following along, you know that I tend to have long labors with slow progress. So far, that has led to c-sections. As I'm trying for a more natural birth, making steady progress is critical. I think praying against fear and anxiety is part of this. Another part is praying for patience for myself and those involved in the process (midwives, hospital staff). The best case scenario would be steady progress during both stages of labor (quick would be fine, too). If I don't progress quickly enough, the medical personnel will encourage the use of pitocin to artificially speed things up. I am praying that God will supernaturally intervene, and allow my body to do something it hasn't done before. Please pray this with me.
- Professionals There will probably be more professionals than I can count who will have a part in this process. The ones I will be most closely involved with are the midwives at the hospital, my midwife, a doula and the nurses. I have a complicated history with the hospital setting, but still feel it is the safest option based on my history, and the option that gives me the most peace when I pray. Pray that I can put aside my own needs and minister to others when appropriate. Pray that my lack of fear, focus on Christ, and gentle spirit (I hope!) will be a shining light for the good news--that Jesus came to save us, and give us new life in Him.
There are two more things I'd ask of you. First, thank God with me as He has walked through this process with me and taught me more about Him, and truly has begun (in ways I can see) to work these things together for good, and for His glory. Second, if you'd like to, I'd love to add your comments/prayers/encouragement to a special "labor journal" I'm making to read while I'm in labor. Just send me a note and I'll add it in! It would mean so much to know that you are standing with me.