S2E1: Enjoying the Gift of Birth with Brittany Arthur

Welcome to Season 2 of the Born Again Birth Podcast! We’re starting off with an episode incredibly precious to me, because I invited one of my very best friends in the world to be a guest! Brittany Arthur is a faithful follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother to four, and an accomplished professional who seeks to make much of Christ no matter the circumstance. In today’s show, she discusses the bittersweet calling of foster care, the pain of infertility and miscarriage – including how her family has incorporated the memory of their daughter Katherine into their life. She discusses her three very different hospital birth stories, including managing a Gestational Diabetes diagnosis, and how her approach to birth has changed over the years. We also discuss how her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis has given their family a new perspective on burnout and receiving help – words that all parents need to hear!

RESOURCES ||

One way Brittany’s family honors the life of her daughter is by donating to a charity in her name each year at Christmas. Though the Arthurs make it a point to include Katherine in their daily life, special occasions such as including her on Christmas and birthday cards are a particular way they honor their daughter.

S1 E10: My Birth Stories & Motherhood Journey + An Exciting Addition to Born Again Birth

As we round out Season 1, I wanted to close on a personal note. In this episode, I’ll share the birth stories of my three girls and talk about my journey into motherhood. As I recorded this episode, I was in so much awe of God’s faithfulness! Two of my favorite promises from Scripture are, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.” (Isaiah 42:3) And, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6) I believe my birth and motherhood stories have been testaments to the Lord’s steadfast love and the keeping of those promises.

Listen through to the end to hear about an exciting addition to Born Again Birth!

Learn more about the forthcoming Born Again Birth Membership: https://bornagainbirth.com/sneakpeek/

Follow on Instagram: @bornagainbirth

Email a Message: hello@bornagainbirth.com

BIRTH PHOTOS ||

S1 Ep 9: Let’s Study Psalm 127

Psalm 127 is a Psalms, or song, of Ascent. This collection of Psalms were sung by the people of Israel as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. Though we aren’t journeying to the temple in Jerusalem anymore, we do journey in life as pilgrims – making our way towards Heaven. The truths in these songs are meant to strengthen our steps. This Psalm teaches us that because we are loved by God, we can rest in the knowledge and trust of His care for us.

RESOURCES ||

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers*

Look at the Book – Part 1 – Psalm 127

Look at the Book  – Part 2 – Psalm 127

Ready to Launch: Psalm 127 – Pastor J.D. Greear 1/5/2014

Songs for the Road – She Reads Truth

*Amazon Affiliate Note: An asterisk by a product indicates that this is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and purchase the recommended product, Amazon will give me a percent of the sale – at no extra cost to you! – as a ‘thank you’. This income is a way to help cover the cost of producing the podcast. I promise to only share products I have direct experience using!

S1 Ep 8: What Does God say about Birth Trauma & Obstetric Violence with Pastor Ben

Today, we will be discussing a difficult topic: birth trauma and obstetric violence. Though we bear and reflect the image of God, that image is like a cracked mirror fragmented by the effects of sin. Because our world is under the curse of sin, image-bearers abuse other image-bearers. This leaves a path of destruction and heartache. How can a Christian grapple with sins and violence committed against them, especially during such a tender time as pregnancy and birth? Friend, we are not without hope. Listen to today’s episode to hear God’s heart for the suffering.

Pastor Ben (my husband!) joins the show again. Ben is part of the team behind Theology for You.

For questions or feedback about today’s show, please email hello@bornagainbirth.com or send a DM on Instagram @bornagainbirth.

TAKEAWAYS ||

“Trouble is the normal abnormal in our world.”

“Jesus gets it.”

We live in a world of trouble (John 16:33). All suffering happens because of sin; which means that you might suffer because someone has sinned against you. We face the effects of sin, whether that be sin running rampant in a fallen world, someone else’s sin against us, or our own sin.

For Christians who are united to Christ, indwelt with Holy Spirit, a sin against that person is as if it were also a sin against the body of Christ.

If we want to help others in their suffering, we need to be slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). There are not always answers. AFTER you have listened AND once you’re invited to speak into that person’s life: Give Them Jesus! It is Christ’s grace, peace, and love that someone who has suffered birth trauma and obstetric violence needs. There are no words we have to offer in of ourselves.

Jesus draws closest to us in our suffering. Jesus never leaves his own.

If you are suffering in the aftermath of birth trauma and obstetric violence:

Call upon the Holy Spirit for help, if He dwells inside of you.

Give yourself grace – you are loved with an everlasting love. Christ does not condemn you, don’t condemn yourself.

You might study characters in Scripture who were mistreated. (i.e. Joseph, David, Hannah, Leah, Paul – and even Christ Himself)

Press into community, particularly your local church community.

Choose select counselors to help you process and move through this time.

SCRIPTURES REFERENCED ||

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (ESV)

“But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” Exodus 17:12 (ESV)

CHRISTIAN RESOURCES ||

Romans VIII (album) from Immanuel Worship, Nashville

None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing)*

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers*

PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES ||

This podcast addresses the spiritual implications of birth trauma and violence. If you are unsure about the definitions of birth trauma or obstetric violence or have questions, please email hello@bornagainbirth.com or send a DM on Instagram @bornagainbirth.

The World Health Organization says, “Across the world many women experience disrespectful, abusive, or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. These practices can violate women’s rights, deter women from seeking and using maternal health care services and can have implications for their health and well-being.”

Birth & Trauma Support Center
This peer support group is not a faith-based resource, but I wanted to include it as it is a professional resource I use for my birth doula clients who have experienced a traumatic birth. As with any resource from a secular perspective, please use with wisdom and discernment.

*Amazon Affiliate Note: An asterisk by a product indicates that this is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and purchase the recommended product, Amazon will give me a percent of the sale – at no extra cost to you! – as a ‘thank you’. This income is a way to help cover the cost of producing the podcast. I promise to only share products I have direct experience using!

S1 E6 & S1 E7: Infant Loss, Gratitude, and God’s Faithfulness with Abigail Eades

Part 1

Part 2

I encourage you to be undistracted and open when you listen to this episode. It is a powerful and emotional one. Today’s show begins the story of Abigail Eades. She is a wife and mom of three baby girls – two of her girls live with Abigail and her husband, and one lives in Heaven with Jesus. Part 1 covers Abigail’s infertility journey, the pregnancy and birth of her firstborn, and the pregnancy, life, and death of her second daughter Sarabeth. Part 2 covers events immediately following the passing of Sarabeth to present day, and includes a brief question and answer with Abigail to close the episode. 

FOLLOW ABIGAIL ||

The microblog account Abigail runs to commemorate her daughter is on Instagram @ahealinggratitude and on Facebook.

Abigail’s essential oils business can be found on Instagram @joyessential and on Facebook.

Hope Mommies dot org is an online resource for Christian families experiencing miscarriage, pregnancy, and infant loss. (You can read Abigail’s story here.)

Bible teacher and author Nancy Guthrie, herself a mom who has experienced infant loss, runs a Respite Retreat for grieving parents.

S1 Ep 5: Let’s Study Romans 8:22

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” Romans 8:22 In today’s show, let’s dive into a verse from one of the most well-known chapters of the Bible! Together, we will learn that while there is much groaning and waiting in our lives and labors, we are not without hope and help in the process. Tune in to hear how our pain points to a greater reality.

OUTLINE ||

1) The Great 8

I am really excited to talk about Romans 8:22 with you today!  Before we get to Romans 8:22 we need to get the context of Romans 8 – called ‘The Great 8’ by Pastor John Piper and often held by theologians as the ‘greatest chapter in the Bible’. So hang in there, we’re going to go through an introduction so that when we get to the verse it will make sense.

2) Life in the Flesh vs. Life in the Spirit

LIFE IN THE FLESHLIFE IN THE SPIRIT
Hostile to GodHas a dying body but an alive/living forever soul
Does not Submit to God’s lawIn Christ
Cannot Please GodBelongs to Christ
 Has a spirit of adoption
 Heirs of God à we will see later that as heirs, we receive an inheritance of suffering and glorification

3) We are Children & Heirs of God

What does it mean to be ‘sons & daughters of God’? *Bible study notes frequently mention that the Greek word can be translated sons and/or daughters. It’s meant to be a universal term for any person, man or woman, in God’s family.

We ARE IN the family of God, and as such are *in* Christ and heirs with Christ. Being ‘in Christ’ is also called ‘union with Christ’.

“The best blessing we receive in union with Christ, by being in Christ, is Christ Himself. We are in a living and vital relationship with our Lord and Savior. (John 15:15 , Philippians 3:8 , 1 John 1:3)” – Pastor Ben’s Study Notes

One benefit of being in Christ is to be an heir with Christ. Our inheritance as sons of God is both of suffering (now) and glorification (to come).

a. Our Future Glory

“[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [19] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” (ESV) Romans 8:18–19

b. Revealing of the Sons/Daughters of God

This refers to that future glorification being complete. When the new Heaven and new Earth have come and we are like Christ.

1 John 3:2 [2] Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (ESV)

SO, WHAT ABOUT RIGHT NOW?

4) Creation is Groaning

This brings us to why you downloaded this episode, let’s talk about the visceral image Paul uses to describe the waiting we currently endure: groaning with the pains of childbirth.

The text is describing actual nature groaning. When I hear this, the image that comes to mind is a huge oak tree, bending and swaying under the weight of a strong wind – you can hear the wood crackle and almost moan under the force. Or think about natural disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes. Those are very real pictures of a creation that is tormented, groaning because the world is not as it should be. I believe this ‘groaning’ of creation also applies to us as creatures. How often have we ourselves sighed or groaned at a life circumstance, longing for Christ to return? Think about that feeling in your gut when a news headline hits you with sorrow or you’re going through a broken season of life you just wish would be made whole again. Whether for creation or creatures, that’s the feeling Paul is capturing here.

So, I want to talk to my birthy folks for a moment. It may be hard for some of us to take this ‘groaning’ image of childbirth as it is intended. Especially for the birth positive/painless childbirth movement, but remember that the Bible has this image for a reason.

When a baby is being born, the mother DOES groan that deep, low, throaty moan. She is laboring hard. She is often in pain. Even for birth professionals, it can be normal to feel ‘this baby will never come!’ ‘How long will we keep doing this!? Someone get this lady relief from her pain!’

But why do mothers do the work? Because the HOPE that the baby is coming and the knowledge that the glory of the birth of her baby far outweigh the pain of the process. What are we to do in the groaning? Wait and work in the place God has called us. As a doula I often remind mothers to take it ‘one contraction at a time’, ‘be right where you are’. This is very much an illustration of living by the spirit in a world that’s groaning.

And – there is good news!

5) Hope and Help

We are not without hope or help in our suffering.

HOPE: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

HELP: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. John 14:16

To apply this to birth, we know there is a great amount of hope and help to mothers in labor. Whether encouraging words of a support person, the presence of a doula, pain relief measures ranging from changing position and jumping in a tub to an epidural or cesarean – these things remind us we are not without help in times of need, pointing us to our greatest hope and help: living in Christ by power of the Holy Spirit.

RESOURCES ||

10 Things You Should Know about Union with Christ

S1 Ep 4: Birth In Christ with Pastor Ben

In today’s episode my husband, Pastor Ben, makes his debut on the Born Again Birth Podcast! Are you feeling unsure about birth? Are you worried you’re not cut out to be a great parent? Are you conflicted about what your new role of ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ will do to the rest of your existence? Listen in to what feels like an impromptu counseling session with *my* pastor and husband, Ben!

Let’s Discuss!

Engage with the discussion questions for this episode on Instagram, follow along @bornagainbirth.

RESOURCES ||

The Jesus Storybook Bible* I’m not sure there’s any other way to talk about this book than in terms of ‘classic’. Sally Lloyd-Jones has done the remarkable and created a children’s book that is just as edifying for parents as it is little ones. We absolutely love this book!

*Amazon Affiliate Note: An asterisk by a product indicates that this is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and purchase the recommended product, Amazon will give me a percent of the sale – at no extra cost to you! – as a ‘thank you’. This income is a way to help cover the cost of producing the podcast. I promise to only share products I have direct experience using!

S1 Ep 3: Trust Your Body? Trust Birth? Trust Medicine? Or Trust God?

Where should a pregnant woman place her trust when preparing for birth? Does ‘trust your body’ or ‘trust birth’ really work? Or should you simply ‘show up and do what the doctor tells you’? Is science and medicine an effective place to put our trust? Listen in to find out!

“Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:25 ESV

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls.” 1 Peter 1:24 ESV

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15 ESV

Let’s Discuss!

Engage with the discussion questions for this episode on Instagram, follow along @bornagainbirth.

RESOURCES ||

10 Convictions About Labor and Birth from a Christian Worldview

Labor with Hope: Gospel Meditations on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood* – I cannot say enough good things about Gloria Furman’s body of work on the topic of pregnancy and birth. She has been hugely instructive to me, and I highly recommend her writing!

*Amazon Affiliate Note: An asterisk by a product indicates that this is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and purchase the recommended product, Amazon will give me a percent of the sale – at no extra cost to you! – as a ‘thank you’. This income is a way to help cover the cost of producing the podcast. I promise to only share products I have direct experience using!

S1 Ep 2: The Storyline of the Bible & Birth

Pastor Alistair Begg says, “The main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things.” Grab your earbuds and let’s review the main things! In this show, we’ll define The Gospel and take a 1,000 foot view of the Big Story of the Bible. And, because this is The Born Again Birth Podcast, we’ll view that Big Story through the framework of birth!

The Gospel

God is holy and we are not.

This is a problem because God requires holiness of us. We cannot meet the standard of God’s law on our own. The good news (The Gospel!) is that we have an intercessor for our sinful selves before Holy God. This mediator is a person named is Jesus. Jesus lived the life we could not live and died the death we deserved to give us a right relationship with God.

We freely accept this gift of grace from Jesus by believing and following him.

CREATION
The Mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply.” (Gen 1:28)

By God’s design and purpose, Adam and Eve had sexual reproductive organs meant for fruitful multiplication.

Thus, both sex and childbirth was part of God’s original design in creation that He deemed ‘good’.

FALL
The Curse: “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing…” (Gen. 3:16)

Childbirth – and by extension, child rearing – would now be difficult for the woman.

And also, through a woman would an offspring to defeat Satan be delivered: “…and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:15)

REDEMPTION
The Promise: “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

Bringing forth life from death is a picture of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross. 

New birth in Christ is the best birth! There is both the assurance of new life now and eternal life forever.

RESTORATION
The Hope: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)

There will be no need for birth in Heaven because ‘the former things have passed away’. Death will be no more because life will be forever. And we will be in perfect relationship with The Ultimate Life Giver.

Let’s Discuss!

Engage with the discussion questions for this episode on Instagram, follow along @bornagainbirth.

RESOURCES ||

The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

The Bible’s Big Story by Nancy Guthrie from Desiring God 2014 National Conference

The Big Picture Bible* – Our kids love this storybook Bible! It’s a frequent favorite in our house.

The Bible’s Big Story* – Another great book for kids, written by a professor from the seminary where Ben got his degree.

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden* – Yep! Another book for kids, helping you get the big story of the Bible. This one is especially visually appealing.

*Amazon Affiliate Note: An asterisk by a product indicates that this is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and purchase the recommended product, Amazon will give me a percent of the sale – at no extra cost to you! – as a ‘thank you’. This income is a way to help cover the cost of producing the podcast. I promise to only share products I have direct experience using!

S1 Ep 1: The Point of This Podcast

Christian mom, do you wish you had a better way to prepare for birth? This podcast was launched with the goal of helping you to understand and apply the Bible to birth. I’m Victoria, your host. I’m a Christian, a pastor’s wife, a mom of three girls, and a birth doula since 2015. In my years of working in the birth space, I saw a gap in birth prep resources for Christian women. This podcast, I pray, will be a tool used by God to help close that gap. May you see and savor Christ, the One who makes us born again.

“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3-5 (ESV)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)

RESOURCES |

Jen Wilkin – Bible Teacher & Author (she helped me love theology and what it means to have a thinking faith)

Gloria Furman – Missionary & Author (she will be heavily, heavily footnoted in all things Born Again Birth!)