4 weeks after 40

4 weeks ago today, we welcomed our little timothy milo into the world.

some of you read my post about birth and fear and know that we had hoped, planned for and prayed that my 2nd birth experience would result in a natural, vbac birth.

in our planning for the ultimately unknown (but hopefully vbac), there were a lot of scenarios that i had rehearsed in my mind; things that could happen that we would have to navigate through. yet somehow, what ended up happening was something i hadn't imagined.

my ob had wanted to have a post due date ultrasound along with a non-stress test at some point in-between my due date and the 2 week marker beyond it.  all along, my ob has been really supportive of trying for a vbac and was willing to let me wait 2 weeks beyond my due date before we would go for the back-up plan: a 2nd c-section.  and since induction raises the risk for uterine rupture, i knew i wouldn't be induced.  so, i thought i'd atleast have those full 2 weeks for things to happen naturally.  we'd scheduled a non-stress test and ultrasound within that 2 week time frame and i thought nothing of it.  and then, because of insurance stuff, we ended up having to reschedule the ultrasound part of the appointment and the only time and day we could arrange was the friday after my due date.  originally, it wouldn't have been so soon after my due date.

so at the appointment that friday morning, things seemed just fine and routine at first. then, the ultrasound tech kept looking at something on the screen and quietly made the comment, "your fluid is really low." and as much as we'd read and tried to prepare, i honestly didn't really know what that meant, other than it not being good. after the ultrasound, the tech said she needed to go ask the radiologist a few questions to make sure she got everything my ob had requested...she was gone for a long time.

then, when she came back, she said she had ended up calling my dr and that my dr wanted to see me right away. as we walked out of the room she said, "well, i guess you might be seeing this baby today." and as much as i wanted to see him, my heart sank a little bit and my mind started racing. i knew what that meant.

when we met up with my dr., she was visibly concerned. she said things like, "this is one of the reasons why we do tests/ultrasounds post due date...i'm glad we did this one when we did...and, i'd like to do the c-section today."

it was so strange to hear those last words come out of her mouth. first, i really believed that things wouldn't go down the path of a 2nd c-section, though i knew all along that God continually asked me to keep my hands open to whatever may transpire. and second, my dr had been so supportive of doing a vbac and my experience with her had been so different than my first ob experience. she never seemed eager to do a c-section. but, there we were and i found myself slightly shaking.  it was like surgery was chasing me down a dead-end street.  when i asked what would happen if we didn't do the c-section that day, she said she wouldn't let me leave the hospital at all.

the next thing i knew, i was scheduling a postpartum appointment for 6 weeks from that day and heading towards labor and delivery with my husband and son.  i kept wondering why things had happened they way they did. i kept asking myself if i should have done something differently to avoid being in this very situation...but then, i kept thinking about how everything had lined up the way it had. i thought about how much i liked and trusted my dr all throughout the pregnancy. i thought about the verses i had just posted at the end of my blog post the night before, on my due date.

all throughout the pregnancy, i had thought about how much courage and strength i would need from God to get through a natural vbac. instead, i found myself needing to be brave and have courage through yet another unexpected major surgery.  i found myself having to depend on God completely for the emotional and physical strength to receive the surgery i had hoped not to have for the past 9 months and to recover from it in the days that would follow.

my labor and delivery nurse just happened to be one of the kindest nurses i've ever had. and as she got us settled into our room and then prepped and prepared me for surgery, we ended up talking about our lives. she shared about how she and her husband had been married for some time and had been trying to get pregnant for 8 years, unsuccessfully. she shared about how much she loved what she did and how she loved her job and how thankful she was to be an aunt and have a niece, even though she longed for children of her own. i was so struck with her heart of gratitude and kind care, despite not having what she longed for. i couldn't help but think about how i needed to let go again of how much i had wanted a different birth experience and choose to be thankful for the baby that i was carrying and about to meet. i really think God put that sweet nurse and used her thankful, humble and soft heart to help me keep my fists unclenched and my heart trusting and thankful. later, very shortly after surgery, as my dr put timothy into my arms, i saw my labor and delivery nurse with tears in her eyes...

there are more instances throughout our stay at the hospital that point my heart towards softness, towards trust, humility and thankfulness in the midst of having another c-section...but this post is already long enough. i just wanted to share about the experience for those of you who were following what happened and were so kind to pray for us and care about it when there are much bigger things to care about. thank you so much!

a week after the birth, once we were home, i cried at the loss of not having what i had hoped for and envisioned.  i needed to do that. it felt good to cry. but, overall, i have had a peace about everything and it's not just a "healthy mama, healthy baby" pat-answer-peace (though that short phrase, however pat, is really a ton to be thankful for).  it is a peace that comes from God who knows me, inside and out. it is the peace that comes from knowing and believing in faith that he is sovereign, good and does everything according to his good plans and purposes.  and it is the peace that only he can graciously give as we surrender ourselves to him.  i really believe that God orchestrated what happpend for many reasons; mostly ones i'm unaware of.  and while i would still never be eager to choose a c-section, i am so thankful for my c-section babies and for a God who is intimately close and ultimately sovereign over all of our lives and how things happen within them.
shortly before surgery...


Nikki said…
Oh how I understand the myriad of emotions that go with this whole topic. Wish we could just talk about it over a cup of tea or something. I think the unexpected is what really gets you. It's not that you didn't think a c-section was possible but, just not in the way that it ended up happening. I think too, at this point in our lives as we bear children, everyone has their stories. And for some reason, c-section moms can feel "not good enough". Other moms don't mean to make us feel that way, we just do. I've gotten a lot of comments that were meant to be helpful that were just downright hurtful. Not because anyone was trying to be but because they were just ignorant of what it felt like to go through an unexpected c-section. And that's okay too. How can they know unless they've had one? But then, the guilt gets you too because you know, in your heart of hearts, you should just be thankful. Like I said, it's a whole myriad of conflicting emotions. And sometimes, it takes awhile to peel away all the layers to find out what lies at the center. I know you're thankful. I know you trusted God with the whole situation. You did everything. But still, it's hard. I'll continue to pray for your heart as God gently shows you, over time, His care and His comfort. He made you. He knows your frame and He loves you. I'm proud of you for being honest and sharing your story here. Know that I understand where you come from. xoxo Nikki
Elizabeth said…
Thanks for sharing such intimate thoughts. I was so worried about having a c-section with my past pregnancy.....I was fortunate that I didn't have to..I am so glad that everything worked out for you and that you have a healthy, beautiful new baby!!