Read Part 1 The Dream
Read Part 2 The Impossible Dream?
Read Part 3 Believing the Dream
The Dream Fulfilled
...Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time (Habakkuk 2: 2-3a)
Once I knew that I had the support of my OB we started praying for some specific things for a successful vaginal birth. Through this process I learned to pray specifically... and it was exciting to watch God answer each request one by one. Even when the answer was no, watching God answer in a way beyond my imagination increased my faith.
On June 24th around 4pm I started having contractions. I started to get excited, figuring that I would be holding my little bundle later that night but the contractions never became regular and by 11pm they fizzled out.
I woke up at 6am Friday morning with contractions again.
We got the kids organized and JDF took them to his parents house... surely the baby was on the way and we would be introducing them to their new brother by the end of the day... thankfully I didn't promise them that because although the contractions persisted they never became regular. I'd have them 5 or 6 minutes apart for 30 - 45 mins and then nothing for an hour or so.
JDF went in to work for a couple hours but came home before lunch. We went for a walk on the beach, took a drive and then stopped and picked up lunch before heading home. With the kids out of the house I felt like we were on vacation.. it was a much needed break. I felt rested, and ready to have this baby. By 3 pm I knew that my hopes to have my OB present for the birth were not going to be realized. The on call OB would be on at 5pm. I called the office just to let my OB know that I was in pre labour (just in case she decided she did want to be there) The on call OB was the OB who I saw when my OB was on maternity leave... my best friend's sister!!
By Friday evening the contractions fizzled off again and I woke up on Saturday morning still there. I was starting to get discouraged and disappointed. I started having doubts that I would have the birth that I wanted.
The pain intensified for a brief period on Saturday morning but by lunch time they were only mild and very sporadic contractions. JDF went to hang out with the kids who were still at his parents house (thank God for grandparents!) so I tried to rest as best I could. I couldn't believe I was still at home but I knew God was in control and I continued to pray and thank him that his timing was perfect.
I kept in touch with the doula all day.. she stopped by in the morning for a while (even folded a basket of laundry while she was there!!) and was a real encouragement throughout the day with her phone calls.
By early evening I we decided to go and see the kids and get them ready for bed. On the way home around 8:30, the pain intensified and the contractions seemed like the were getting more regular... 6 or 7 minutes. At 10:15 I told JDF that I was going to start timing the contractions and I would let him know in a half hour what was going on... 15 minutes later I was telling him it was time to leave the house!
We were on the maternity ward with the doula by 11pm and met the midwives that would be assisting us. When they checked my cervix I was at 4cm so they moved me to the birthing room. The next few hours went by... the contractions continued and intensified... I prayed through each contraction. I remember them checking me again and I was at 7 cm... this was great, we were making progress. I lost track of time... minutes seemed like hours... we had praise music playing, I made myself focus on the words through each contraction... during each one I thought I was going to need something for the pain but God seemed to be giving me this inner strength to get me through. As long as I focused on Him, I was able to manage.
The next time the midwife came to check me I was still at 7 cms and now my cervix had gotten "spongy". I remember asking what that meant because that didn't sound good. The midwife told me she was going to call the OB in and she would decide if I would need to go up for a C-section... at that point I lost it. I couldn't accept that we had come this far to end in a c-section. My dear husband calmed me down and prayed... I felt a new wave of determination...I got up off the bed to move around and let gravity help out the situation. When the mid wife came back to check I had progressed to 8 cm and by the time the OB arrived I was almost fully dilated!
I had been worried about stage 2... the pushing stage, as I had never reached this point before. The OB, doula, midwife and JDF were great as the encouraged me through each contraction. I was exhausted but motivated by the fact that I was going to see my baby really soon. And soon it was... after 29 minutes of pushing Marcus Samuel entered the world.
I remember saying over and over.. "I did it! I did it!" I couldn't believe the journey was finally over! I praised God for his faithfulness!!
Here are some of the specific prayer items we prayed for and how God answered them:
· That I would start labour with a soft, stretchy cervix that may also be slightly dilated - I was about 2 cm at my final OB appointment. It was an encouragement to be told that.. I knew that my body was doing what it was designed to do! God is faithful!
· That we have a very supportive midwife. I couldn't have asked for a better midwife. She was so encouraging and supportive. My one concern was that her shift would end midway through my labour and delivery and I would get someone new that wasn't as helpful ( as was the case when I had Micaiah). I asked her when I went in at 11 if her shift would be ending soon.. she said "No I'll be here until 8 tomorrow morning.. you will have this baby by then!" I remember seeing the clock at 6am and thinking that she was going to leave before the baby was here... Marcus was born at 8:01am... she was there with me through the whole thing! God is faithful!
· That my water would not release (break) prior to contractions starting. It did not. God is faithful!
· That I have a short second stage (the pushing stage). I was told this pushing stage for the first time could be 2 to 3 hours long. I knew when I started pushing that I didn't have 2 hours left in me. After 29 minutes of pushing Marcus "flew" out! God is faithful!
.That the doula would be available as she had 3 other births scheduled and 2 were over due. (She also didn't want to miss seeing her son off to his highschool prom on Saturday evening- and I didn't want her to miss that either :) The other babies were all born by Thursday giving her a couple days break. AND by the time we had to go to the hospital she had been able to go one daughter's ballet recital, another one's music recital and then able to see her son dressed in a tux ready for the prom... HIS timing is perfect! God is faithful!
. That I would go into labour on a weekday so I would have my OB there... as it turned out, to have my friend as OB was amazing! She was so encouraging and knowing that she believed that this was the hand of God made it that much more special... so in this case God's answer was no because he had something better! God is faithful!
If you are still reading... thank you for sharing this journey with me! I wrote this to encourage others to believe God when he tells you something.. even when it seems impossible. My faith has grown and even though I still sometimes struggle with periods of doubt and discouragement in other areas of my life, I have this experience to draw on and remind me how much God is in control and that I can totally trust him!
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 direction 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 .