She’s one! An entire year has gone by since we welcomed our sweet Buttercup into the world. It seems like only last week that I was pacing the farm anticipating her birth, wondering when she’d arrive and what she’d be like. 9 months of praying constantly for her safe and healthy arrival and years of research after our first born arrived via unexpected c-section and our second arrived as a repeat c-section, because our dr no longer offered VBACs and I’d been diagnosed with cephalopelvic disproportion after a strenuous labor and failure to progress the first time.
I never shared my ‘birth stories’ before, because the bottom line was that we had 2 (now 3) healthy, amazing children. Regardless of how they were born or the years I struggled with shame and guilt of not feeling like a ‘real woman’ because the natural birth that we’d planned at a local birthing center ended up as a hospital transfer and life-saving cesarean section that completely rocked our world and made us thankful for modern medicine, because Andy could have lost his family that day, I just couldn’t bring myself to write about it all.
I’d read so many birth stories and I know women who have had every birth experience under the sun. I know women who have lost their children during labor and delivery-Women whose children never took their first breath. I know women who would give the world to be able to carry a child in their womb regardless of how that child is delivered. I know doulas and ICAN advocates and labor and delivery nurses and anesthesiologists. I know women who have had home births and water births and csections and vbacs and vba2cs and the list goes on…
I thought csections were unnecessary interventions-until I needed one to deliver my son. I thought epidurals were evil and dangerous, until I needed one. I thought I could give birth painlessly (even though I know it’s part of the fall for women to have pain in childbirth!), because of a book someone gave me and hearing of a first hand experience of painless childbirth, but that wasn’t my case. I thought doulas were some sort of waste-of-money-witch-doctors until we had one and she helped us get through our ‘trial of labor’ as we attempted a vba2c with our 3rd child!
We had some healthy and not so healthy criticism and a lot of skeptics for attempting a VBA2C. We knew the hospital would be the safest place for us to deliver, because of the response time in the event of a complication and we had an incredibly competent staff of doctors and nurses and residents working around the clock during the entire pregnancy, labor and delivery for which we are forever thankful. I remember so many of their names and faces and am so thankful for their hardwork and encouragement as we worked hard to bring our daughter into the world.
I can’t say that I was fully confident or optimistic or hopeful for a ‘successful’ vba2c. We struggled big time with knowing that we were doing the best thing for our family. It may seem contrary to some but, when it came down to it and our sweet baby arrived 10 days after her estimated due date, larger than both of the boys had been and without a c-section involved we knew that we’d been carried through. Despite the doubts and fears and struggles and unsolicited advice from loved ones and strangers, God carried us, protected us and provided for us and had mercy and grace enough to give us a safe, healthy delivery of a beautiful baby girl. Her name means ‘Pure, Bright and Bringer of Light’ and it’s my hope that she will live up to it all of her days.