Finding out I was pregnant with my 4th child was a bittersweet moment for me. What should have been a joyous occasion was quickly overcome by fear and uncertainty. It was the trauma of my last pregnancy...it had left a mental, emotional, and physical scar that clung desperately to me. Long story short, I ended up having an emergency c-section that, by the grace of God, saved both my life and the life of my unborn son. The experience was so traumatic that I seriously contemplated whether I was going to have any more children. So, when we got the news that I was pregnant again, I was terrified. The enemy began bombarding my mind with fear, doubt, and an endless barrage of negative thoughts.
The majority of my pregnancy was rather uneventful for the most part. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to have a V.B.A.C. (vaginal birth after cesarean) and my doctor was supportive of my decision. I was considered a favorable candidate being that it would've been almost 2 years since my cesarean at the time of the birth. Once we got into month 7, the doctor noted that the baby was rather large in size, which was supposedly bad news for someone trying to have a V.B.A.C. Of course, the enemy took this all to convenient opportunity to discourage me. But, women have successfully delivered V.B.A.C. babies close to 10 lbs! I was not going to take his bait. Admittedly, I was putting my faith in the wrong place, which is probably what led to the event that followed.
My husband surprised me for my birthday and I went to have a 3-D ultrasound done. We found out at that appointment that the baby was breech. The ultrasound tech made it clear that if the baby didn't turn head down then I would most likely have to have a cesarean.
Now, I didn't react at the time, but it felt like my heart literally shattered. The moment we left the office, I broke down into tears. I felt defeated! And without even being given a chance! Of course my husband tried to reassure me and my O.B. even called to assure me that there was still plenty of time left for the baby to turn. But for some reason, I couldn't shake what the tech had said and it infected my mind like a plague. I started doing all the exercises that are supposed to encourage the baby to turn. About 3 days later, we returned to the doctor and got the news that the baby was head down. A seemingly large victory. But the fear I experienced during that time lingered. I was so paranoid that she was going to flip again. I was constantly trying to feel for her feet, I was monitoring her hiccups, and trying to determine the position of her head. I was doing everything conceivable to ensure that she was staying head down. I'm pretty sure I drove my husband mad with my paranoid antics.
As it got closer to my due date, I started to worry less about her turning and more about going into labor naturally. I had been induced with my first two pregnancies as a result of being overdue with little to no progress. I had only gone into labor naturally once, and it ended in my emergency cesarean. So, induction certainly looked more appealing at that point in time. But because of the cesarean, induction was no longer an option due to the increased risk associated with being induced after a cesarean. Because of the baby's size my doctor insisted it was best to get her our sooner than later. So, at 38-weeks, she offered to schedule the cesarean...I declined. I was determined to have this baby vaginally. I was fully convinced that my body was capable of doing what God had created it to do. Wait...GOD! It was then that I had realized that for nearly my entire pregnancy I had been putting my trust in all the wrong places. I had allowed fear and doubt to steal my joy. I wasn't trusting the Father to take care of us and I had to repent! I decided at that moment to trust Him...to place it completely in His hands. I made the desire of my heart known and left it alone.
My doctor continued to offer to schedule a repeat cesarean and I politely declined each time. She was respectful of my decision but by week 41 she made it clear that at our next appointment she would have to schedule the surgery. She would not allow me to go past 42 weeks. At this point, I was walking everyday and doing all of the self induction methods I could find. Though I was having contractions, they were irregular and never stayed for more than a few hours.
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 was the day I was scheduled to go back to my doctor for the final time. I was not giving up. After a long walk and hours of bouncing on a birthing ball with little progress, I decided to take a bath and then get some rest. I woke up around 4 am that morning because I had noticed my contractions were more consistent and growing in intensity. So, I got up and decided to bounce on the birthing ball some more. Within the hour, my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and becoming more painful. My husband and I decided it was time to go into labor and delivery.
Because of how far along I was and because of my previous birth, we were admitted upon arrival. Also, I had to me consistently monitored because I was trying for a V.B.A.C. I was 3 cm dilated when we arrived at the hospital. Though it wasn't much, it was encouraging to see some kind of progress! The nurses agreed to let us walk the halls to get things moving along. After 30 minutes of walking, the nurse checked me again and I was at 5 cm. Woohoo! You have no idea how relieved I was that it wasn't a fluke! I don't know why but some part of me expected them to tell me that as some cruel act of nature, my cervix had retracted. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I got a small sense of victory when my doctor walked into my hospital room with a look of pleasant shock and awe on her face. "I thought for sure I was going to have to schedule you for surgery today. This baby waited until the last possible minute."
Once I reached 6 cm, my doctor decided to break my water to help things progress. It was at this point I agreed to get an epidural. One thing I have learned about epidurals is that they don't work on me. At least, not like you would think. It doesn't dull the pain for me at all. But what it does do is it relaxes my cervix just enough to allow it to dilate to a complete 10 cm and it happens FAST! It has worked this way in the 3 of my 4 pregnancies that I have had it administered. My husband told the doctor and the nurses to stay close because I would be ready very soon. The nurses all insisted that I had quite a bit of time before I would be complete and the doctor agreed so she headed back to her clinic. He tried to tell them...
It hadn't even been 10 minutes when I felt that all to familiar pressure. It was time! I told my husband to grab the nurse because I'm pushing...NOW! They checked me and sure enough, I was complete. My doctor had just made it back to her office when she got the call that I was ready to deliver. I don't know how long it was but it seemed like she made it back in less than 5 minutes. Good thing too because I had literally started without her. She walked in and was like " Brittany, I need you to stop pushing or your going to have this baby without me." All I could muster was, "I HAVE TO PUSH!" And I was not kidding. The pressure was so bad that I literally could not stop. It was almost like the baby was pushing herself out. The doctor assumed her position and I got the official OK to push. Apparently, the baby's head was already showing because the doctor said "Ohh the baby has lots of hair!" 3 pushes later, our little Khylah Rachelle was born. 8 lbs 5 oz 21 1/2 inches long.
I couldn't believe it...I did it! But I did believe it because my God! To say that I was happy would be a gross understatement. I was on top of the world! I was over the moon! I literally felt like I could do anything at that moment in time! It probably seems overly dramatic to most but this one moment was the pinnacle of a 10 month battle within myself. It was the moment I had fought, hoped, believed and prayed for. I held onto hope to the last possible second and the Father saw fit to grant me my hearts desire! The gratefulness I felt was insurmountable. All I could do was praise and thank Him! I am fully convinced that through my repentance and faith in the Father, I was able to successfully deliver a baby vaginally after having a cesarean. I am extremely grateful for this experience. I learned a lot about myself and more importantly it brought me closer to God. I am still learning to put my trust in Him and I still fall short. But in those moments when I am tempted to put my trust in other things, I think back to this moment in time, when my faith in Him moved mountains!
Do you have an encouraging birth story you would like to share? Comment or link your post below! I would love to read them!
If you are trying for a V.B.A.C. and are looking for some encouragement, feel free to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you!
Until next time, blessings to you and yours,