An Impossible Dream?
...Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.(Matt 7:7)
We found out we were expecting baby #4 in October and I went to see my OB in late November. I didn't mention to her that I thought I should have this baby vaginally... what was the point, she would never go for it. In my mind, the only way this vaginal birth would happen was if the baby was early and my labour was very quick.. you know, one of those "I had the baby in the car on the way to the hospital" kind of births. My OB scheduled my c-sec for June 21st... 8 days before my due date. I left that first appointment feeling like I was facing a huge mountain but I kept reminding myself that God was in control. I was asking God for it to happen but looking back, I was so limiting God and not trusting that he could do the impossible. The impossible in my mind being having the birth I wanted with the full support of my OB and the hospital staff. Instead of trusting God to be in control, I tried to figure out how it would work and then praying that it would happen that way. So my prayer as I left was "God please help me to go in to labour before June 21st."
I was going to learn so much on this journey...
My OB was on maternity leave for part of my pregnancy and in her absence she had another OB covering for her. This OB happened to be the sister of my best friend! Having known her since we were teens, I felt comfortable enough sharing with her my desire to have a vaginal birth. Of course her first response was exactly what I expected..."No one is going to let you have a vaginal birth after 3 c-sections". I had been researching VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and more specifically VBA3C's. I told her I knew what the risks were. I asked some questions, but most importantly I shared from my heart that I felt that this was something God had placed in my heart and that if it was of him, He could do the impossible. I left there feeling that although she was not in agreement, she could see my heart and understood where the desire was coming from. It wasn't her decision to make though as my OB would be back from maternity leave a couple months before my due date. I continued to pray that I would go in to labour before June 21st.
At my next appointment the nurse informed me that my c-section date needed to be changed because the 21st was a public holiday. I saw this as a major door being opened because I was able to have it rescheduled for June 28th... the day before my due date... giving me more time to go into labour and thus a better chance of having a vaginal birth.
At that point I decided to call a doula that I knew... a Christian... I wanted to talk to someone who would understand from a spiritual perspective where I was coming from, but also who would give me good advice about whether pursuing this was a good idea or not. Her response was much like my friend the OB... that it was highly unlikely that I would be allowed to do that... she herself wasn't sure how she felt about it but she did tell me that she would pray about this for me, that God would give me wisdom. I was a bit discouraged after talking to her but I continued to bring it before the Lord.
Around the same time a new father at our church was telling the church one Sunday morning about the miracle of his daughter's birth... the doctors said that his wife would not be able to conceive. He said that after he had been praying and begging the Lord for a child for months, he felt the Lord say to him , "Stop begging me and believe that I will do this." That really struck me and gave me a new perspective in prayer. I started thanking God for how he was going to answer my prayer. I had my days that I doubted and got discouraged but I never stopped praying and thanking God that his will would be done.
Some time went by and it seemed that God was silent on the matter... my OB was not back yet so I could not discuss it with her.. I continued to research and read about other successful vba3cs and I started to feel myself getting obsessed with the subject. I prayed for God to give me enough peace to let go and leave it in his hands. After a few weeks a lady I knew stopped by to bring an invitation for her son's birthday party. We got to chatting about kids and my pregnancy and I found myself telling her about my dream and the journey I was on to have this baby vaginally but that it seemed that I was up against a huge mountain. Without hesitating she asked if she could pray for me.. right then and there... she laid her hands on my head and prayed with such strength and authority... I was so encouraged by the time she left my house.
The very NEXT day I got a call from the doula I had spoken to previously. She was calling to tell me that she would be emailing me the link to an article that had just been published in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It was a commentary on new research that was soon to be published and was titled " Do we need to revisit VBAC guidelines for women with three or more prior caesareans? "
so what did the article say??
“These data suggest that women with three or more prior caesareans who attempt VBAC have similar rates of success and risk for maternal morbidity as those with one or two prior caesareans, and along with other publications, suggest that perhaps it is time to revisit the current recommendations for VBAC attempts for women with more than one prior caesarean”.
“Many have proposed a ‘conservative’ approach to VBAC attempts, which we agree is prudent. But our evidence does not suggest that a conservative approach, which we interpret as one that aims to reduce morbidity - and specifically the risk of uterine rupture - is necessarily achieved by allowing VBAC attempts only in women with one prior caesarean. Given appropriate patient selection, VBAC following two or even three previous caesareans in certain cases may be reasonably safe.”Talk about doors being opened! The doula was encouraged by this as well and told me that if I could get my OB to agree to let me do this she wanted to be my doula... she could see God's hand at work.
I was so encouraged, but I knew I still faced a major hurdle... my OB would be back from maternity in a few weeks and I had to prepare myself to talk to her... I still couldn't imagine that she would agree but I was convinced that God was going to continue to open doors.
Stay tuned for Part 3... Believing the Dream.
Please note that the purpose of me sharing my story is to encourage others to trust God in seemingly impossible situations. Having a VBA3C did involve some risk and I am in no way encouraging anyone to go against the advice of medical personnel. This was a personal decision and one that I wanted to make with the support of my OB... God made that possible. If you are desiring a VBAC after 2 or more c-sections, my advice would be to become fully informed of the risks, educate yourself, openly communicate with your OB or midwife and seek the face of God, being open to the dierction he leads you. Feel free to email me at rusheika at gmail dot com if you want to talk to me further about my preparation for a VBA3C .