My first baby’s birth did not go as planned. In fact, it went as opposite as we ever could have imagined.
We had planned for a full-term, natural birth with a midwife attending. We hoped it would be the first of a number of children that God would give us.
Instead, I landed an emergency classical c-section attended by a gaggle of doctors, and gave birth to a 2-pound preterm baby who was struggling to breathe. Just before the birth, someone came in to prepare me for the fact that he could be blind and have many other health issues.
After the c-section several doctors sternly told me:
- “You can never have a natural birth. Your scar would most likely rupture, endangering your life and the baby’s.”
- “And by the way…you should only have three c-sections at most. Any more could compromise your health and endanger the baby’s life.”
Tears. Dead dreams. Fears and sorrows.
A cleaning lady entered my hospital room while I was recovering from the c-section and subsequent infection. She stopped sweeping, looked at me and said:
“I would never let them cut me open.”
More tears, coupled with doses of indignation plus hormones.
The doctors sent me home with a thick pack of official papers that described my scar and the classical c-section. These papers earnestly affirmed that I could never-ever-no-never have anything but a c-section. Home birth was definitely out of the question.
After three months of daily visits to the hospital, my preemie baby boy finally arrived home. While enjoying my new baby, I still was preoccupied with my perceived “damaged and scarred” state. I remember actually looking at and envying other pregnant moms while thinking, “SHE will probably have a natural birth, but I never will.” Then, a good friend suddenly encouraged me with the fact that:
“Scar tissue is actually stronger than the original tissue.”
Was that true? I wondered if other moms had safe, natural births after a c-section. I started reading and researching about the
heresy possibility that the doctors might have been wrong?
Digging for Answers
There was no internet available to me in 1992, so I just went to the library and looked up birth stories. I also talked and wrote to people that had healthy VBACs. I found a lot of evidence that it would be possible for me to have a natural birth after all. But a doctor wouldn’t be able to help; it would have to be a home birth and it would have to be a midwife willing to take me on, BIG UGLY SCAR and all.
In February of 1993, I became pregnant and after calling a long list of midwives, I finally found midwives Jan and Jeanne. They didn’t seem to mind about my scar, my history and all the doctor warnings. So I threw away all of those official papers and knew I had only one more thing to acquire before I was ready.
One Missing Thing
I had godly cheerleader-type friends in my life who encouraged me. They reminded me that God can take care of me and my baby whether I am at home or at the hospital. My husband (who has limited respect for doctors) told me I’d be way better off having a home birth, with no doctors interfering with the natural birth process, trying to give me things I don’t need! :0
I assembled my home birth supplies and the only other thing I needed for my first home birth was… FAITH. I needed to trust my loving, sovereign, omnipotent, Heavenly Father. The passage I found most encouraging was this, which became my life verses:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2
The Rest of the Story
God’s will for each of us is played out differently, but this is my story. It’s the story of a scar, dead dreams, and a harvest of faith bigger than I could have imagined. I don’t give myself credit for the faith, though. Any faith I have comes from Him, because even faith is a gift.
After that first home birth, I had nine more home births. Most of these involved an attending midwife or two, and none involved pain meds (but if they were available I probably would have said yes!) The last home birth brought complications, but God was sovereign in that one too, and it had nothing to do with the scar as predicted.
Speaking of scars, if you too have a scar (physical or emotional or both), please consider my story. Our loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God can make a “scar story” build our faith and even work out better than the original plan. He can take dead dreams and breathe life into them.