Sarah is Six!
My youngest child, Sarah, turned six this week. I really can't believe she is six already! Her birth marked a huge step towards the Lord for me. I had already had three children before her and each hospital experience made me never want to go back to a hospital again. When I had Tracy, in 1993, it took me 2&1/2weeks to be released because of the infections I developed after an emergency C-section. When I had Jennifer, in 1997, they were bugging me day and night about my decision not to have her immunized against Hepatitis. When I had Robert, in 1999, the anesthesia for his C-section did not work like it was supposed to work. So needless to say, going back to a hospital was the last thing I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to raise more children, just not deliver them in a hospital. I thought the hospital was my only option.
Then in 2002 Michael, Tracy and I went on a ministry trip to Australia. There we stayed with a family that had had a homebirth. I had never heard of this in my life! Of course, after 3 C-sections this was not going to be a typical homebirth. I really felt that the Lord was testing my trust in Him again. In 1998, I quit my job at an IVF lab. That was a huge step for me. Deep down I knew I had to quit but it is easier said than done. I was still very fooled by the world and its ideas of what women should be doing. "Go to college, graduate, get a job, and then you can work AND be a mom(and maybe get married too)!" More money = more happiness. I finally let go of that security blanket. Now the idea of having a homebirth after 3 C-sections!
The first challenge: convincing a professional midwife to help me in this endeavor. I felt like the Lord opened this door for me. The first midwife I tried I had found online. She had mentioned she was a Christian and that is why I contacted her first. This was a huge blessing since many midwives out there are in to new age or some other non-Christian philosophy. When I first contacted her she said she was going to pray and fast about it. About a week later she came out to meet Michael and me. It was actually while we were getting ready for for the first ever Bunkfest(aka Ranchfest now). She had not yet agreed to take my case. We met then and talked. She had question after question for me. I gave her a copy of my medical records for her to look over. After that meeting, I think we talked on the phone 4-5 more times. She had obviously done her own research on homebirths after 3 C-sections. She finally called and told me that I had given her all the right answers to her questions. In other words, I think she was asking me so many questions waiting for me to give her a reason to backout. She agreed to take me as a patient! The Lord was providing a way.
She agreed to take my case in March. After that I was on the computer constantly researching homebirth. I found an online group that proved to be priceless. It was through Yahoo and it was called HBAC, Home Birth After C-section. I read and read and read some more. So many stories about homebirths after 1 or 2 C-sections but not many after 3 C-sections. It had been done though! I knew that if it had been done I could do it too with the Lord's help. I would soon be labeled a hopeful HBACx3. I read every single birth story I could get. The good ones and the bad ones, although the bad ones were a small fraction of all stories. The Lord was teaching me and showing me how to FULLY trust EVERYTHING to Him. If the worst happened, uterine rupture, I could die but I really was not afraid of dying. I was doing what I KNEW the Lord was wanting me to do.
I got a mixed reaction from my friends and family. I remember talking to my brother. His wife is a nurse so I am sure he got all the details of what could happen. I remember telling him during the conversation, "IF I die trying this know that I died fulfilling the Lord's will for my life." Of course these warnings were coming from a man that raced cars at high speeds around a track every Friday night, and he was good at it too. Still, everytime I watched him race I knew he could die anytime on that track but I would never try make him stop racing. I told him that I was fulfilling a calling and a hospital birth was out of the question. A few others called and talked to Michael including my uncle Bob. He is a doctor and had all the medical "facts" about homebirth too. My friends were a bit better. Many of them were in the fellowship that met at our house. They understood better why I had to do this. However, my homeschool friends were a little more mixed. They ranged from supportive to looks that you would give a crazy woman.
My pregnancy was fairly uneventful. I always gained alot of weight when I got pregnant. I think I gained about 55 pounds. I did have lots of swelling towards the end of the pregnancy but Sarah was due in August and it was hot! Some of my swelling went away when I finally propped up my feet and sat still for most of a day. I did have our ministry group praying for Sarah. She kept flipping into a breech position. My midwife had me sitting in funny positions to help position Sarah the right way. She flipped positions daily, if not hourly! Sarah was born 9 days early on August 2nd, 2003. She was a tiny baby, 5 and 1/2 pounds. Kelly, my midwife, had never delivered a baby that small! I do have a birth story written but will spare the details unless you really want them. Let me know and I will send her birth story to you.
What a huge step this was for me. Trust the Lord. Do you really TRUST Him with EVERYTHING? If you are struggling with this one important lesson, I learned He never fully takes away the fear but He is always there to comfort your fears and strengthen you for any challenges He may have put in your path. A little fear can be good for you. Just know that He is in control and whatever happens, it is all good! "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps 27:1 What a blessing Sarah has been in my times of trouble since her birth. Many times when God had me in the valleys of life teaching me His ways, she was always there to bring a smile to my face.