"You're crazy!" was the average response. "Why drive for well over an hour when you have a hospital thirty-five minutes away?"

Well, I had a dream! I wanted to give birth naturally, in a beautiful environment. At thirty-eight this could be my last opportunity to have a baby. I wanted it to be special.

I had been trying to become pregnant for over five long years. At the same time I was supporting my husband in his battle against advanced lung cancer. We were focused on living, and this baby was a confirmation of that fact.

I loved being pregnant and kept myself healthy and fit. I prepared for the birth every day by drinking herbs, and practicing squatting, visualization and positive affirmations.

I felt this labor was really uniqueA few hours after my water broke, we left for the hospital. My private midwife, Abigail, was waiting for us and helped us check into the natural birth unit. It was like a fancy hotel room filled with natural birth paraphernalia. There were baby essentials, a rocking chair, and a stock of natural medicine. Best of all was the view of the sea. I dreamed of sitting in that rocking chair holding my newborn baby.

Since it was so early in the labor my husband, Danni, and I walked to the beach— only five minutes away. It was a warm winter day, and the shore was deserted. I spent a few hours breathing and visualizing my body opening up. I could have stayed there all day but, still recovering from chemotherapy, Danni was tired and wanted to go back. While I felt this labor, in this gorgeous setting, was really unique, I did notice as time passed that there was no regular pattern to my contractions. They were coming at completely irregular intervals, and for completely irregular time durations.

Back in the birthing unit, an internal check showed that I was still only two and a half centimeters dilated. It was important to get labor going as the risk of infection was increasing as each hour passed. I spent the rest of the afternoon and night working hard, using every single natural method Abigail and I knew to open up my cervix, including vigorous walking, squatting, powerful visualization techniques, herbs, homeopathic medicine, various massages, and hot showers. Yet none of this did anything to regulate the contractions, which were sporadic and irregular.

The doctor said that she wouldn't induce me as the baby was doing well, I had dilated a little and the head was very low. She suggested that I go to sleep. I was working too hard, putting too much stress on my body. Perhaps if I totally relaxed, it would help the labor to advance. However, if nothing happened by the morning then she would induce me since it would be about thirty hours after my water had broken.

I just couldn't sleep. Although the contractions were totally irregular, when they came they were painful, and I couldn't lie down. I half sat, leaning on the cushions, and then when I had a contraction I would stand up, using my breathing techniques very quietly—since I was in a ward full of other women! I had not imagined my labor like this—what had happened to my dream?

I had so desperately wanted a birth with no medical interventions By early morning, there was no change in the status of my contractions. I felt very despondent, realizing that I would have to be induced. I had dreamed so long of this birth, so desperately wanted birth with no medical interventions. I had done everything I could, and now everything had gone wrong. In my initial focus and determination, and now at this moment of despair, I had forgotten one very important fact—there was Someone above me, watching and controlling.

With Danni fast asleep and me in need of some moral support, I called a wise and venerable friend. She gave me interesting advice: She told me to just let go! I had my mind fixed on a dream and obviously my Creator had other plans for me. She told me that this was probably a test about control, about how much I want to control the situation, and about how I just need to just let things be. Let G‑d be in charge.

I listened, said goodbye, and then thought about it. Was I trying to control the situation because of my strong views and adamant stance towards natural childbirth? Could He be testing me to see whether I was prepared to relinquish this control?

It was excruciatingly hard for me to let go of my dream. I battled and I succumbed! I told G‑d that I would completely submit myself to His will. I would accept anything and everything that happened, knowing it was His decision for me, and that that was what was meant to be—even if it did not suit my plans.

It was one of the toughest things I ever did, but in the end my faith triumphed; and with this cathartic feeling, I was ready when the doctor told me that they would be inducing me.

I moved to a dreary labor room. While waiting there for Abigail, I felt a sense of complacency, like I had truly given up on what I wanted, and had managed to totally submit myself to my Creator's will. When my cell phone rang I explained to the friend who was calling where I was and what was happening. "Have you said the 'psukim' (biblical verses)?" she asked. While I had said the special prayers for a woman in labor, I had no idea that there were specific verses that a woman can say at this time. My friend read them out and I repeated each verse, word by word.

Abigail brought in a big bag of pitocin. I felt sick, thinking of the artificial contractions it produced, almost always necessitating medical interventions—so far from my dream of natural birth. I closed my eyes and said again "G‑d, I love You, and accept everything You do for me".

Literally at that moment I felt a tremendous contraction coming on. I leaned over the bed, breathing into the pain. As Abigail smiled sympathetically and was about to open the bag of pitocin, I felt another contraction starting. It was another massive contraction. And then, believe it or not, came a third huge engulfment of pain.

"What's going on here?" asked Abigail, "I think I'll just check you". With a whoop of glee she shouted "You're seven centimeters dilated! We're going to the natural unit". I felt only shock and disbelief.

After those three major contractions, my uterus calmed down and returned to its previous pattern of irregular contractions – much the same as over the past day and night. I could feel the hand of G‑d allowing me, almost miraculously, to be able to return to the beautiful natural unit. I could barely breathe; I was numb in incredulous elation. If I had not had those three contractions in a row I would now be trussed up on the bed, attached to a monitor and an IV drip of pitocin.

Walking back to the natural unit I sensed G‑d next to me, His voice whispering that I had passed the test, that I would be OK.

He gave me back my dream My labor was really not that difficult. Every time I had a hard contraction, I had so much time until the next one (usually) that I would have enough energy and strength to deal with it. After a few more hours of irregular contractions, the intensity of the pressure became almost unbearable, and I felt the long awaited urge to push. As my baby's head came out Abigail said to me: "The gates of Heaven are open, let's pray for your husband." The intensity was so great I could barely think of anything, but I did manage to gasp his full Hebrew name and know how much I wanted him to be well.

When the baby's head and shoulders were out, the midwife suggested that I pull the body out myself. I reached down and bizarrely pulled out the most incredibly beautiful baby. When Abigail shouted "A boy", my heart nearly stopped, and then swelled to almost bursting point with bliss, and incredible appreciation to G‑d for blessing us with our first son and a natural birth. My husband was faint with joy. I have never seen him so emotional, so ecstatic. Abigail was also very moved and told us that this was one of the most special births she'd ever attended.

We gently wiped the baby and wrapped him up in a green sheet. I held my little boy in the rocking chair with my feet up, warmly covered with a blanket, and with a hot water bottle behind my back. All the stress and trauma of the past two days were completely forgotten as I stared at my exquisite baby—it was complete love at first sight.

That was one of the highest moments in my life. My dream had come true. G‑d had blessed us with a healthy boy with a completely natural, no medical-intervention birth. I could even see the sea. I felt incredible. We called our closest family and friends with the fantastic news. Everyone was ecstatic and overjoyed—sharing in our blissful happiness. There are no words to express my gratitude, my complete appreciation to G‑d for blessing me so powerfully.

I had managed to let go of my dream, I had submitted myself to G‑d's will, and in turn He gave me back my dream on a silver platter (or rather a green hospital sheet) in the incredible birth of my beloved son.

Author's Note: My husband is still fighting lung cancer. Please pray for a complete recovery for Daniel Rachamim ben Gemara Margalit.