Today, May, 29, 2018 our oldest son turns seven years old, and marks my healing birth! My how time flies! Joseph, our middle child and oldest son, was an unexpected blessing. After an extremely traumatic birth experience with our daughter Jacqueline (think general anesthesia and an emergency c-section) I had no plans to have any more children. But God had other plans for us, and just two years after giving birth to our precious baby girl, we found out we were expecting again.
VBAC (VAGINAL BIRTH AFTER CESAREAN)
The thought of undergoing major surgery again terrified me. I had a horrible time healing both physically AND mentally from Jac’s c-section, so I started researching VBACs and had a friend who recommended natural (unmedicated) child birth. We chose to do an unmedicated child birth in the beginning because we wanted as few medical interventions as possible. I knew medications would lead to other interventions and restrictions, and I wanted as much freedom as possible during childbirth. Joe and I attended Bradley Method birthing classes. It was very educational and I realized natural childbirth wasn’t just good for me, but for our baby!
HIGH RISK PREGNANCY
Because of the emergency at the end of my pregnancy with Jac, I was treated as a high-risk pregnancy. I saw a perinatoligist (or maternal-fetal doctor) every month on top of seeing my regular obstetrician. The pregnancy, though very uncomfortable toward the end, went smoothly. The last three weeks were the worst. Joseph was VERY low and it made going to the bathroom a very uncomfortable experience. I couldn’t empty the last three weeks which made me pretty miserable. He was a week overdue, and my doctor told me the Saturday before he was born that if he wasn’t coming by Monday, that she would schedule a repeat c-section. I was frustrated and miserable. I called my parents (who lived in North Carolina while we were in New York) the deal and they packed up the car and arrived that night.
MAY 28, 2018
I spent the day walking and pushing Jac up the hills near our house, and that evening went to a Memorial Day cookout at a friend’s house. (The same friend who recommended the Bradley Method along with the instructor from my class.) They could see that labor was beginning. Even though I felt different, I’d never been in labor before and had a hard time believing that. My parents arrived about 10 or 10:30 that evening and went straight to bed. I decided to sleep on the couch because I didn’t feel like climbing the stairs and honestly, I was so uncomfortable I knew I’d keep Joe up all night tossing and turning. Around mid-night, I woke up to pee and found myself having contractions. I knew it was time. I crawled (literally crawled) up the stairs to Joe to tell him it was time to go to the hospital.
THE LONGEST RIDE
The 45 minute drive to the hospital was the longest ever. It was intense and I’ve never felt such relief arriving at a destination. I waddled into the hospital where someone met me with a wheel chair took me up to labor and delivery. Joe didn’t even know where they’d taken me because he had dropped me off to park the car! When I got to the room the nurse handed me a gown and said, “You can go change in the bathroom.” I took my clothes off right there and put on the gown. She said, “Oh, wow!” (The now realized I was in serious labor.) They checked me and I was only five centimeters. I felt so defeated because I was in so much pain and just knew I couldn’t handle hours more of it. I told them I wanted the drugs, and they told me that they couldn’t do anything until my doctor arrived. (My husband also reminded me that I didn’t want any drugs…I was not happy with him.)
Fifteen minutes after they checked me my doctor walked in the room and I told her I felt like I needed to poop. She checked me and I was fully dilated and ready to push. (I was in transition which is why it had been so intense.) I pushed for about 30 minutes and at 4:34 a.m. on May 29, 2011 my sweet Joseph was born weighing 9 lbs 7oz and 21 inches long. It was the most euphoric experience of my life at that point. It was so incredibly healing and wonderful to experience everything in those moments. And I was able to try to nurse him right after birth. (Something I was denied after having Jac.)
LIFE AND LESSONS LEARNED
Waiting on his birth and experiencing his birth taught me so much about patiences and overwhelming love and joy. I know that every life has value and purpose. One of the many purposes of my special Joseph was to help me feel myself again and reassure me of my faith in God.
I always remember this sweet day with such fondness I hope to never forget. So today, Happy Birthday to a sweet, kind, loving, caring, hardheaded, strong willed, smart, and talented boy who melts my heart daily (and has given me a few gray hairs).
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Till next time…