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Elaine Sinnott shares how trusting God with her baby's birth this past Holy Thursday resulted in the most fruitful birth experience. 

An Uneasy Heart  

“That spinal headache was worse than labor and delivery itself.” My sister-in-law’s words echoed in my mind as I thought about my upcoming birth. She'd had a horrible experience after delivering her daughter and was unable to sit up for a week straight because of a spinal headache from the epidural. I knew every time I had an epidural in the past, I risked that. I really did not want to risk it this time and wanted to stay far away from the drugs, no matter how painful a drug-free birth was.  

My previous six babies had all been born in a hospital, and with those births came many of the pain drugs and interventions without consent.  

With this newest babe, little number seven, I began researching more about hospital births around 30 weeks. I was unsettled about another hospital birth. I loved my hospital midwife, but I wasn’t even guaranteed to have her when the time came. 


Hospital versus Homebirth 

After researching hospital births and listening to homebirth podcasts (like Happy Homebirth and Birthing Instincts), suddenly an entirely new world was opened to me. I watched The Business of Being Born and Born Free, two documentaries on hospital and home births. I definitely recommend all mothers-to-be to watch these and inform yourselves. 

Most helpful of all, I read Made for This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth by Mary Haseltine, which I highly recommend! She gives every woman the gift of the truth that we are made for birth and we should not be afraid! God created us and knows what He is doing! 

I suddenly longed to give birth in my own home; I wasn’t afraid anymore.  

Most of all, I wanted to give a full offering of this labor and delivery to my Lord. How great and intimate that offering could be! Soon I realized I was due the day after Easter, which seemed like beautifully perfect timing.  

I began praying for a Holy Week birth, asking the Lord to pave a way for us to somehow make a homebirth happen. We didn’t have enough money saved because it was such a last-minute decision, and our insurance did not cover such an event. My husband was hesitantly on board. (And afterwards, said it was one of the proudest moments of his life.)  

“Lord, if it’s your will that a homebirth actually happens, I know you’ll make it happen. I give this to you. Until then, I’ll continue seeing my regular midwife at the hospital.” 




God Provides! 

A couple weeks later, I got a text from a person who wished to remain anonymous and they said they wanted to pay for our homebirth. That God had put it on their hearts. They asked how much it would be and after I told them, they gasped … that was the exact amount they had on hand. 


I. Couldn’t. Believe. It.

I couldn’t believe this person was offering such an incredibly generous gift and I couldn’t believe God made it happen, that it was in His will for me! I was also instantly aware of my Heavenly Mama’s work in all of this. I knew she had a lot to do with it! Suddenly, Elizabeth’s words in Scripture inspired my heart’s response: 

“How is it that the Mother of my Lord hears and answers me? You gave birth in a cold stable, yet you set up a beautiful homebirth to be possible for me, to bring my sweet Gabriel John into this world. I don’t feel deserving of this, Mother. Not at all. But it brings such peace to my soul. THANK YOU for your great intercession! What a gentle, compassionate Mother you are!” 

Around 36 weeks, I officially switched to a planned homebirth. I found a wonderful homebirth midwife and my husband and her clicked right away! And we hired an amazing Catholic doula as well. The spiritual support and guidance were extremely important to me, equally as important as the physical support. 


A Holy Thursday Birth 

12:45 AM on Holy Thursday, I was awakened by contractions. They were very different than the prodromal labor I’d been having for a couple weeks. It was a deeper pain, almost a clamping feeling.  

I quietly waddled downstairs to the living room to allow my husband to sleep in case it was true labor. Contractions were quickly ramping up, two minutes apart if I was standing and six minutes apart if I was on my hands and knees. I grabbed my rosary and draped myself over my exercise ball, opening up the Sorrowful Mysteries on the Hallow app, beginning with the Agony in the Garden.   


Click to tweet:
I thanked Jesus for the gift to share in this holy suffering with Him. #CatholicMom


How beautifully intimate that time with Jesus was, suffering in the darkness of early Holy Thursday morning along with Him. I hoped I was a drop of consolation to His suffering. And I thanked Him for the gift to share in this holy suffering with Him.   

I called in the birth team around 2:20 AM, first my doula, then my midwife. My midwife then called her assistant midwife as well. Things progressed quickly!  

As I labored, my husband and doula prayed the Rosary over me and my husband would hold me and pray in my ear through the even tougher contractions when I was lying on the bed, the last place I labored. What a beautiful experience with him! I will always treasure that time!  

Gabriel John was born Holy Thursday morning at 6:59 AM, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz. What a GIFT from the Lord above! 



Copyright 2023 Elaine Sinnott
Images: Canva