Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Birth I Didn't Want Until I Realized It Was A Miracle

  My son was going to be my birth redemption. Not only was he my Rainbow Baby (baby after miscarriage or still birth. In my case a m/c), but I was bound and determined to have a VBAC. I am a big believer in doing things as naturally as possible but at the time I was militant. You could have called me a VBACtivist. I was convinced that my previous two births had been disasters. Despite the fact that all of my children were miracles even beyond the normal scope of how

miraculous having children is, I was convinced by others and by myself that the doctors had failed me. That I had failed. They had ripped me of the true birth experience and that I was somehow incomplete because of this.

 As soon as that stick turned pink, I started planning. I researched birth plans. I told my husband what I wanted as far as pain medication and made him swear that he would stand by my side. I knew I couldn't use a mid-wife because of my high risk history, but by golly I was going to have the birth I wanted and I was willing to stomp my feet to get it. I told my doctor early in and got irritated when he told me he would allow me to try but we needed to prepare for the possibility that it likely would end up in a c-section again. My militant friends encouraged me to stand my ground.

Yes, yes I am drugged but look at that sweet big sister!
I think this is a good place to tell you a bit about me and my reproductive system. My husband and I had infertility issues. When we went through the process of being examined it was descovered that I have a unicornuate uterus. This is a fairly rare uterine abnormality. So much so that my doctor told me he had never seen anything like it and asked me if I would be ok with interns and residents working with him for learning purposes. On top of my physical issues my husband had count issues. Statistically speaking, we should not have children and we were told that by many doctors. My first pregnancy was a shock. The fact that I have had 3 others is undeniably God's grace.  Because of my smaller than normal uterus, I was very prone to pre-term labor and fought long and hard to hold my babies in. Again, but for the grace of God, my babies all made it to 34-36 weeks. We had bumps but over all my babies here on earth are healthy. My first daughter was born vaginally with an epidural, but my second was breech and because of the nature of my uterus there was no turning her, especially as I went into pre-term labor at 36 weeks. She was taken by c-section.

This brings us to the story above. My son, began to make his arrival at 34 weeks. After more terbutaline shots than I care to remember we resigned ourselves to delivery that day. At this point I was still determined to VBAC. At my first ultrasound the tech noticed that he was slight transverse. In a woman with a normal uterus, this isn't a huge deal. The statistic I looked up gave me about a 2% chance of rupture. A 98% success rate isn't bad so I would have risked it, but I wasn't normal. Because my condition means I have a weak uterine wall on the side that didn't develop and I had already had a cesarean which further weakened the wall, my son's head was putting enormous amounts of pressure and stretching my uterine wall insanely thin every time I had a contraction. My uterus was an "if" it was a "when" The decision was made. I would fail. I would have a c-section.

 I spent the next several months secretly hating myself for not following through. I looked for reasons why my doctor would want to trick me into a VBAC. I villianized him for not supporting me more. As time passed, I thought less and less about it, but it still nagged at me every time a friend posted an article about the horrors of hospital birth, or posted about how they were so thankful they didn't have to use a doctor and each time it stabbed that little part of my heart. And then one day I stopped, I looked at my son and I kicked myself. My birth experiences were not failures. I was not a failure. My doctors were not out to get me. They were placed there in my life by the same grace that led to my the conception of my miracles. My doctors were part of my miracle. Instead of looking at my experience as a failure I started looking at it as an amazing work of God. I could have been born in a different century without our modern technology and my oldest would have surely died. I could have insisted on the VBAC and both my son and I could have died, but we listened to the wisdom of God through our medical team and instead of a tragedy we experienced more grace. MY BIRTH EXPERIENCE INVOLVED A HOSPITAL, DOCTORS AND A C-SECTION AND WAS STILL A MIRACLE!

My c-section miracle
So mama whose birth wasn't perfect. YES IT WAS. It may not have been easy, it may not have been what you hoped for, but it wasn't the failure that the VBACtivist movement wants to make it out to be. It was the grace of God that allowed you to get pregnant, it was the grace of God that sustained that pregnancy and it was the grace of God who put those doctors in your path. Your experience is a miracle and if anyone tries to tell you it wasn't, then they are the ones that are wrong, not you.

Of course, there were some decisions I would have made differently had I been older, wiser, and more experienced, but I wasn't. I was a young mother, going through a difficult pregnancy and dealing with premature labor. I am also not a fan of elective c-sections and induction. God has provided us some wonderful ways to welcome our babies into the world. For some that will include a midwife, a big bathtub and a room full of supporters, for others it will be a hospital an epidural and a c-section, but make no mistake, God is both the author of natural medicine and modern medicine!

 post signature

No comments: