Birth | Lana Finlay
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” – James 1:17
The Finley family walked an amazing and inspiring journey, from dealing with the crushing news of infertility, to three perfect and unforced births. Their third child, daughter Lana, was born into a happy, loving family, completing her parents’ journey with a final sense of peace.
“As a young couple 10 years ago, we dreamt of having 3 children. But an ‘infertile’ diagnosis brought us back to reality many times. Little did we expect the journey we would embark on to finally having 3 perfectly healthy kids.
As a newlywed, all I could think of was having a baby.
We started trying and after a few months and no results, we started worrying that something was wrong. We began to see a fertility specialist, where round after round we failed. Until one fresh summer’s morning in February we got some great news – we had finally conceived. Unfortunately, that ended up in a miscarriage. I found peace of mind in dream after dream about her, knowing that one day we’ll be together.
We continued with treatments and eventually we were preparing for artificial insemination, just to find out that I had a major cyst in my womb and that it was too dangerous to continue. The doctor advised us to start contraceptives to kill the cyst. He told us it could take up to 12 weeks to go away, which is risky for conception. I didn’t feel comfortable with this and I decided to trust my instincts and stay off the pill.
We decided that if we are not meant to have kids, God will get us through it.
We didn’t take any meds and tried to continue with life as normally as we could, but there was an empty space in my heart and I couldn’t shake the idea of having a baby. It was stuck. Eventually I started showing signs of early pregnancy and visited my GP. The pregnancy test came up negative, but my GP insisted I go for a sonar to see if there was trouble with the cyst.
After hearing time and time again from doctors that I wouldn’t be able to have children, and that my ovaries don’t even show up on sonar, the radiologist doing the sonar said the most beautiful words I have ever heard:
“You have very photogenic reproductive system”.
I didn’t fully understand, but there everything was. Everything was perfectly in place and clear and there was no cyst! In a matter of four weeks the cyst cleared up by itself (a miracle, I call it).
A few months later we fell pregnant with Leila, our first born daughter, now 5 years old. No complications, balanced hormones, your perfect pregnancy.
After Leila we didn’t focus on getting pregnant, but we didn’t try to block it. 14 months later we found out I was pregnant again and we were over the moon. This time I was determined to have a VBAC and my mind was set. At 38 weeks I went into labour with Liam and it was a long 27 hours during which time I only managed to dilate to 4cm. After the third opinion recommended an emergency C section at 9am on a Sunday morning, I was crushed. It felt like a failure to me, but we welcomed a healthy 3.89 kg boy and I was in love. Now he is a busy 3-year-old.
After Liam my immediate thought was that we were done having kids. I had to find peace after my failed VBAC. Until one day, my husband Dale and I had a good heart to heart and both of us felt that there was a child waiting. We weren’t sure that it was the right time for another baby, but is it ever? We decided to wing it and without actively trying or focusing on falling pregnant, I had a positive test and a lot of tears of joy within a month. We were surprised and so thankful.
Although it was a difficult pregnancy with high blood pressure, trying to avoid pre-eclampsia, insulin resistance, flared ribs and being massive, we made it. I remember praying to just go into labour naturally when we found out I was pregnant, just so that the baby would know it’s time.
By 34 weeks things became drastically difficult and I was put on permanent bed rest.
But we made to 38 weeks, when my water broke naturally at 7pm Saturday evening. By 10pm we were in theatre and Lana Kristi Finlay was born at 10.24pm weighing 3.99 kg. Our prayers answered and it was a good experience through and through.
I do remember talking way too much, maybe because of the combined nerves and excitement. The relief I felt from the pregnancy was remarkable.
Each pregnancy and child brought on a unique journey of healing (Leila), redemption (Liam) and finally, peace (Lana). Our three miracles teach us new life lessons every day and we are so grateful to be chosen as their parents and to walk this incredible journey with them. God spoilt us with an amazing testimony, taking worldly impossible situations and turning them into supernatural possible opportunities.
Our hearts are full and our circle complete.”
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Why was I so desperate to have a natural birth?
Yes, it would have been a most empowering experience for me and yes my next one will be a VBAC, but was it really that important in the bigger scheme of things? At the end of it all we got what we set out to achieve – a human being that we could guide and mould and set free into the world for her to make her own impact. Maybe that trauma she and I both endured in getting her Earthside happened exactly how it was supposed to. That’s birth and even more so parenting – you set off on a course with big plans and that’s great, but there has to be flexibility and acceptance in changing course depending on whatever life (or your kid) throws at you.
After a minute or so we heard your first loud cry. It was glorious and we could finally breathe. Sr Lotter brought you to us and our hearts melted, my boy. You were beautiful. We checked for 10 fingers and 10 toes and we couldn’t stop looking at you. The happiest moment of our lives. You were born at 11:33 weighing 3.49kg and measuring 53cm.