God Has Answered

by Kelly Crawford

After only a few short days, lots of tears, prayer and reading all the comments you precious ladies have taken the time to write, I felt it important to tell you about God’s tender mercies.

I had no idea when I came home that I would be in such need of processing Ellia’s birth; nor have I ever been this emotional (I think) after childbirth.  Let me say that even the processing itself has been a precious, unexpected time of growing in the Lord and watching His mystery unfold before me.

I have been able to better focus now on the many aspects of my experience, and to come to a complete peace about all the “surprises” and feelings of inadequacy.

And amazingly, lessons are beginning to unfold, little by little, small love-gifts from the Lord to accompany these roller-coaster days with a newborn.

Someone said that natural childbirth revealed a picture of our weakness as Christians; that we don’t always “get it right” or have our expectations fulfilled, and yet God is there, all the time, working out what is good and right according to His purposes.  I agree.

I have hugged my husband more…his tenderness being reciprocated back to me, the woman he stood beside and helplessly watched endure the most intense of suffering.  I am more in awe of him than I ever have been…to reflect back on his demonstration of the selfless love of Christ as he served me through labor.  Surely this is what love is.

I cherish a tenderness with my mother, I think, that is new, as she didn’t know how hard it could be to watch “her baby” suffer to such a degree.

My daughter embraces me every time she passes me in the house.  She says, “I never knew how good it would be to have you back home”.

And when I look at Ellia, I’m reminded of what it means to “present your bodies a living sacrifice”…the sacrifice of pain, both of pregnancy and delivery. The cleansing, if you will–the fresh calmness that comes after a storm.

I know better about the experience now.  I can’t say what I would choose again.  Not yet.  But it simply can’t go without saying that God has flooded me with a refreshed spirit; he has turned my sorrow to gladness, and has already begun to melt my fear into gratitude.

Interestingly enough, I just learned today, that when I originally looked up Ellia’s name meaning, we were going to spell it with one “l”.  That spelling meant “Jehovah is my God”.  But spelled with 2 “ll’s”, it is a short form of “Elliana” which means, “God has answered”.  And isn’t that fitting?  I cried out to Him all weekend, and indeed, He has answered.

You all were a part of that answering, and I will be forever grateful for these transforming days in my life.

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Luci July 20, 2009 - 4:43 pm

Kelly, I think I speak for most, if not all, of your readers in saying ~ thank you for sharing your heart with us. Not just on this topic, but on all topics. I am so glad to hear that the Lord is taking away your wrenching pain. God is so good. I have been thinking of Matthew 11:28-31 when reading your recent posts:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I’ll be praying that you continue to feel better…

Mrs W July 20, 2009 - 4:58 pm

So glad that you are starting to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is good to ask deep questions about many of our experiences in life, especially when we have felt deep disappointment.

Heather July 20, 2009 - 5:14 pm

God is faithful :o)

Ann July 20, 2009 - 5:27 pm

God is good! I have always compared God’s love and his tender mercies which He bestows upon us following any traumatic experience to be like a natural, sweet smelling balm applied to the skin… a healing, soothing balm which is absorbed deeply to do its good. Reading your post today it appears that balm has already been applied and your loving family are helping to rub it in through their kind actions and words and it is starting to work! By the way Ellia and Elia both appear in my baby names book as meaning ‘God has answered’.

Kim M July 20, 2009 - 5:28 pm

Oh I am so happy! I wouldn’t be surprised if you eventually try home-birth! (LOL… this coming from a mom who had 3 epidurals!)

I am sure that’s the last thing you want to talk about right now after all the pain you just experienced.

A friend July 20, 2009 - 5:38 pm

I have a brilliant idea! How about we all give Kelly a virtual BABY SHOWER?!!! Since it is easier to do things online, maybe we can just donate a little money to her family!
She has a button on the sidebar right above the “recent comments” that says “donate to Generation Cedar”.
There are several ways to pay, so check that out if you are able!!! Let’s bless Kelly since she has been such a blessing to us!

A friend July 20, 2009 - 5:42 pm

P.S. She has several readers, so even a $1 donation by everyone could go a long way 🙂

Katie LaPierre July 20, 2009 - 6:18 pm

You are definitely loved Kelly. And appreciated. The other day I was like: “Kelly said…” and at this point my husband knows exactly who I am talking about. You are like a friend I have never met and yet often quote :0) You continue to make an impact in my life. Thank you for your willingness to be transparent and honest. You bless me and many others.

Annette July 20, 2009 - 7:23 pm

My heart went out to you last night as I read your birth story. I am sorry the processing took such a toll on you. I didn’t have time to comment or even read others’ (there were 75 at that point, so I am sure you received plenty of comfort and encouragement!)

Let me say that I had natural labor and delivery with 9 of my 11 children, and it was never a sentimental experience, or something I cherished! I ended up having a stat c-section with my last baby and believe it or not, I was actually relieved that I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of the intense contractions and delivery that time around. (However, I was disappointed that I was put under general anesthesia and didn’t meet my baby until a couple hours after he was born. The nurses were concerned because it potentially could have been a depression issue for me, but I really was ok with it.)

My thoughts are that for many women the experience probably becomes more sentimental as they look back on it 😉 After the memory of the pain is dimmed and the precious reward is their primary focus. Everyone has their preferences, but I might have recommended going for breaking the water sooner, as that normally allows the dilation to progress much faster, and in the middle of the night, who wouldn’t want to just get it over with? (my two cents)

Childbirth is a very personal and intense experience for a woman. It is extremely painful and difficult, yet one of the most rewarding experiences you can imagine: the culmination of nine months of waiting and bonding and expectation. Getting through childbirth itself is agonizing (and sometimes a really horrible!), but in combination with the reward (and retrospect, once that pain is a distant memory) you may come to see it in a different light.

Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe July 20, 2009 - 7:28 pm

I have a few times been disappointed in my Christian life when things did not turn out how I expected, but yes, God has been there all along. Blessings.

Bethany Hudson July 20, 2009 - 7:56 pm

Praises, Kelly! Thank you for sharing this; I am so grateful that God has blessed you with these epiphanies. He is so, so GOOD.

Mommaof10 July 20, 2009 - 8:02 pm

As my name above indicates, I have birthed 10 children. All were natural with no medications.

Yet, all my deliveries were so very different from the others. So, please do not base this one experience of natural childbirth as the only experience you might have if the Lord were to give you any more children to birth.

My 8th delivery was a breeze. I could talk through contractions, and I pushed 3-4 times and our newest and last daughter was here. My oldest two daughters were at the delivery in the hospital with my ob. He turned to them and said, “Don’t think that this is what labor is REALLY like!”

So with my 9th child, I thought my labor would be easy like my 8th. Not! This was an induction because of no amniotic fluid. This was also a new ob who would not break my almost non-existent water, which always gave me a fast labor and birth. She insisted upon pitocin….evil…evil….pitocin. Contractions that never ended and spiked off the chart….very slow progression….never again – pitocin!

My 10th baby was my one and only home birth. Labor was easy. In fact it never really hit an even pace. My contractions were all over the place timewise and not too hard to handle but I progressed quickly and easily. But his delivery was so different. I had no handles to hold when it came time to push. And the baby just wouldn’t descend. It just didn’t feel right. Turns out his head was cocked to the side so he wouldn’t descend. Once I rolled over and dislodged his head, he came right out, tinier than the rest of my babies and blue. After some cpr, he pinked up and is a blessing today.

Many more birth stories could I tell. Like delivering at 8 cm in excrutiating pain with a baby too far into delivery for a c section but needing to be delivered NOW!

I say all of this not to toot my own horn, but to give God the glory for getting me through the unbelievable pain of childbirth. God saw me through them all when I needed His help. Not before. Not after. But in my time of need.

After months of debilitating morning sickness, I would rather go through labor and delivery than the first 4-5 months of pregnancy!

I never experienced euphoria after delivery. I did shake and feel cold. I did have a sense of extreme thankfulness and a wash of emotion that the baby was out and the labor and delivery over. Euphoria? No. Thankfulness and gratefulness? Yes.

So, why did I choose natural childbirth over an epidural? Because that was what was best for my baby. And also, because that was what I believe to be best for me. There can be many complications from an epidural gone wrong or medication reaction. I was 16 when my mom delivered my brother. She had headaches from the spinal block for a very long time. This caused me to research and research the pros and cons of medicated vs. natural childbirth at the age of 16. Natural won out all the way. I know others who have continual back problems from poorly administered epidurals.

And, God designed childbirth the way He did for a reason. Had we needed intervention, if we’d had a medical need, we would have used it as God has given us the gift of medicine in our day. But, if there was no medical need, I wanted to do it the way God designed it.

So, I encourage you to consider natural childbirth again should the Lord so bless you. Every delivery is unique and different.

Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! Jehovah Jireh…The God Who Provides!

In Him,

Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

Leslie from VA July 20, 2009 - 8:10 pm

Thanks for letting us hear your refreshed heart today! What a blessing you have in your husband, Aaron and your children!

We will continue to pray for you dear e-friend!

Quinn July 20, 2009 - 8:47 pm

As a girl who grew up hearing that the birth of their children brought my parents to the brink of divorce, it is so good to hear that there are others who are brought closer to their family, in particular their husbands, through the gift of a new life.

How wonderful that you can so quickly see how God worked this thing for your good!

Thank you for taking a moment from your precious time to update your concerned friends 🙂

Michelle July 20, 2009 - 9:15 pm

Kelly, I sent you an email, but forgot to mention how crazy beautiful you are after giving birth!! I think you might have done us a favor by posting that picture you say you looked a bit worn on 😉

I just love our God! So faithful!
Amazed by His grace,

She Looketh Well

Lucy T July 20, 2009 - 10:12 pm

My heart has been heavy these last few days thinking of all you are working through.I am happy to hear your sorrow has been turned to gladness.

Deanna July 20, 2009 - 11:55 pm

Kelly, Though your Baby is not quite a week old, this picture shows a very alert little girl that looks more like a month old baby. I mean this in a positive way that the lack of drugs during delivery shows up on your little ones alertness.
Praise the Lord, you’re alive and have this incredibly sweet baby.
In no way have you failed at being a woman delivering a soul. You are a “WINNER!” Number one, you became pregnant, carried the baby to term, went into labor and delivered a baby.
You and your husband created an ETERNAL BEING. In no way have you failed. You’ve succeeded!

Elizabeth July 20, 2009 - 11:56 pm

Kelly – All 3 of mine have been natural childbirths and over time, I forgot the pain. (Right now the youngest is 16 months and we’re ready for another one and hers was the most painful,I think, or just the freshest in memory, so I must have forgotten!). Each time I think I’m prepared and then labor hits and something new happens. I think God uses it to show me how much I need to lean on him. I will be praying for you!
P.S.- I’ve noticed and most of the moms I know, too, is that you tend to heal more quickly from natural childbirth, unless Ellia is like my Nico, then it might take a while. (He tore me very badly and broke my tail bone. Four years later, my back no longer aches all the time!) 🙂

To Ellia:
Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

EllaJac July 21, 2009 - 11:52 am

SO grateful to hear of God’s goodness in working in you this season! What good are the trials, the pain, the work, if not for our refinement! He is so good, and I’m SO blessed to hear your testimony on this.

~delivering #4 (at home, Lord willing) in 3 weeks or so.

Sheila July 21, 2009 - 1:38 pm

What a blessing to hear the perspective God has given you on this! May He continue to heal your body and bless your family immensely. What a precious new little girl!
Expecting #7 in November, and hoping THIS time I don’t need Pitocin…sigh

Word Warrior July 21, 2009 - 2:08 pm


Thanks! “Just say NO” 😉 Hoping you don’t need it as well! If I had it to do over, I would have labored at home a LOT longer (are you planning a home birth? I forgot if you said!) The doctors always scare me into thinking I’m going to deliver in the car, but I apparently have long labors…(I’ll probably be eating those words next time around 😉

Jess in Peru July 21, 2009 - 10:34 pm

God truly does “work ALL things for His good.” This disappointing situation is evidence of that. You had two choices: keep your eyes on Him and see how you can praise Him in it or wallow in self pity. I am so glad you chose the latter! He cares for you so much!

Mommy Reg July 22, 2009 - 3:00 am

Thank you so much Kelly for sharing your journey. I read your birth story and cried for you. I only successfully pushed out one of my four babies and I tore so bad that the last thing I remember before passing out from the demoral they gave me was the doctor saying it was the worst tear he had ever seen. I was out for about 3 hours. I didn’t get to actually hold my daughter until then and she was the hardest to bond with. I had two emergency c-sections and the last one was scheduled. I say that to tell you that I so longed for the beautiful birth story. And I have actually grieved the fact that I physically cannot safely give birth naturally. (I am too small and my babies are too big. My smallest was the one I tore with and she was 9lbs 3oz) I read the ebook about a non violent birth and then watched a documentary about home births and the birthing experience. I was so sad that none of my stories were like that. They all included trauma. Reading your birth story and this post has been so encouraging to me. Thank you so much for your transparency.
I am so glad that God is so faithful to you. He does answer prayer.

Caren July 25, 2009 - 4:09 pm

I am on my 8th birth too (in a few weeks), and I have had an epidural and pictocin with all 7. One of the anesthesiologist (on birth 5) injured my back with the epidural, and the last 2 epidurals seemed more painful to have than the actual birth. Although the epidurals have not worked for 2 of the births, I am very scared about going without the epidural. I have asked for a local and possibly pain meds through my iv, but I have been experiencing so many painful braxton hicks that I am just not sure I can do it. I am hoping that reading your post, I will have the courage and patience to get through the labor without the epidural. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Susi July 28, 2009 - 11:45 am

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s good you’re processing. God will be faithful to show you His insights. Birth can be glorious or it can be tramatic. But it’s all birth and birth compared to the life after is very short. So, keep things in perspective. I have had 8. All at home except for the last one. I’ve had the perfect birth with number 5. It was 4 hours of labor and she was born just after breakfast time. My husband and I were alone and it really was glorious. The previous 4 deliveries were good too. I only had 5 hours labor with my first and 30 min. pushing. My second only 2 hrs labor and no pushing. The 2 hr labors are tough though because you go the whole distance in 2 hrs. My 3rd, we had a midwife and she didn’t make it in time because I sounded too calm (I stay calm), so my husband delivered much to my chagrin!! He was 9.5lbs and came out with his shoulder tucked up with his head. Talk about burning!!!! I was absolutely exhausted after his birth. Then number 4 was only 2 hrs, but the midwife made it and she was born at night and it was all very peaceful. Number 5 was the easiest because it was longer. Then number 6 was fast too and we were alone. With number 7 I had 12 hours labor. I actually almost doubled my total labor and delivery time with him!! It mad me realize how ‘normal’ labor is. I had breaks between contractions, took a drive and a walk around the block. Only the last hour was hard. Then number 8. I had double the fluid (and then some) for the whole preg. I was able to feel what it’s like to carry twins with no actual twins. I was miserable size wise and sick (I have continuous sever sickness my entire pregnancies and just try to stay hydrated!!). We had an unassisted homebirth planned. I had a friend who’s a midwife tell me I wouldn’t make it to my due date because the uterus can only grow so big. Well, I went overdue just like always. I had my first ultrasound a week before he was born, just to really really rule out twins. The ob/gyn goes to our church and we’d had issues years ago because we homebirth. He did the ultrasound and didn’t ask about our birth plan or anything. I went into labor just before midnight about a week later and had the worst back labor I’ve ever had. My water broke right away, but I had a ton of water, so I kept leaking (gushing??). I figured I’d deliver within 4 hrs as I started at 4cm and mostly effaced. So we carried on with timing and walking and breathing. Finally 5 hrs later I said, something must be wrong. We had my midwife friend come over and she checked me. It turned out he had moved from having the top of his head down to a facial presentatioin. Facial presentations are undeliverable. So, we tried moving him by pushing him way up inside. Unfortunately I was molded to him and him to me and he came down in the same position. At that point my moral dropped and I looked her in the face and said, you’re saying we have to have a c-section and she said yes. So my husband called the ob/gyn at home and explained and asked him to meet us at the hosp. He did. By now it’s about 6:15am and I’m just done. The short drive to the hosp. was awful because of the back labor. I laid on the seat of the van on all fours with rear up to keep him in a good position and to avoid the cord getting pinched. At the hosp. things went well, but because I’ve always homebirthed, I kinda called the shots (I realized that later) and had some strange looks from the nurses. The Dr. was great and didn’t put pressure. I had dialated to an 8 just because of having had so many babies. I told him I wanted to nurse right after the birth and my husband said we didn’t want him taken out of the room after the birth. The delivery went well. He had called a friend of ours to be his assistant Dr. and she went to bat for us regarding all the things like drops in the eyes, etc. They handed him to me after he was breathing and checked by the ped. and I tried to nurse him (impossible for me on an operating table. He stayed with me in recovery (unheard of here), he was never checked again and was released an hour later (so we wouldn’t have to pay extra). I was released the following morning. The whole way was made straight for us and this is a hosp who isn’t kind towards homebirthers. I was so blessed. I went in uninsured and came out with owing $100 for the pediatrician. The Dr. told me when he came to release me that he wouldn’t be charging us. The assistant Dr. never sent a bill, the hosp. wrote it off and the anesthesiologist wrote us a letter saying how incredible it was to be at our birth and that she wouldn’t be charging us. I was shocked and overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity. I was so temped to see it all as a disappointment and failure, but God totally blessed us. I found out later that our Dr. called the assistants he thought we’d want there. Considering his views of homebirth, this was over the top. I say all this to say that God works and his will is done. I’ll never know the impact of our birth at that hosp. I hope I was able to improve the reputation of homebirthers. I wouldn’t choose to have a c-section again, but it has given me a unique place to speak from since I’ve had it both ways. I have had 8 births and 8 miscarriages. Birth is better even when it’s traumatic. And birth is the beginning and some new beginnings are harder than others. I’m guessing you were finishing dilating and effacing while pushing and therefore the pain was intense. I’ve had that because of precipitous labor and it’s awful. And there’s no way out and you just want to escape somehow because it’s crazy. That’s hard. Just plain hard, Thanks again for sharing your story. Continue to ask and God will show you things. Birth always brings more than just a baby!!!

Word Warrior July 28, 2009 - 12:07 pm


WOW…what stories!!! I am curious to know if what you said about not being quite dilated/effaced had something to do with the agonizing pain…I’m prone to think I tried to push early because I just wanted it to be over. Maybe if I had waited until I felt the “uncontrollable urge” which I don’t think I had quite yet???

Thanks for sharing your story–what a blessing.

Mrs W July 28, 2009 - 12:25 pm

This is my second baby presenting face first and the first one I delivered naturally at home with no medicine. He was 8 lbs 2 oz. I am curious what kind of midwife says you need a c-section for a posterior baby. Yes it hurts MUCH more and is much more uncomfortable, and I broke my tailbone, but delivered naturally. I can see why someone would WANT a c-section for that kind of birth, but don’t see why someone would say it’s “necessary”.

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Word Warrior May 23, 2011 - 12:07 pm

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