**My husband says that posting this post on a “Not Me Monday” is like opening up the paper to the comic section and finding the obituaries. So I apologize to those who were visiting for a chuckle.**
Last week when I posted my updated ‘To-do’ list of things to accomplish before the baby arrives. I was surprised and blessed by so many of you who took the time to comment or email and let me know that you are praying for me, for this baby, this birth and our family. Thank you! That outpouring of prayer support prompted me to write this post, because I know you’ll pray…
Our birth history is unusual. As a matter of fact, I’ve never heard of anyone who has experienced anything similar to us and I’ve asked. A lot.
Until after the birth of our last baby, we were told by every health care professional we spoke with that the complications that we experienced with our births were unrelated to each other. Each time we explained our history we were told we were not at risk for more trouble, that our history was simply a string of unexpected, unforeseeable complications.
It wasn’t until after our last child was fairly severely injured at birth and needed to be seen by specialists at Shriner’s Orthopedic in Philadelphia that Dr. K sat down with us and explained that while he didn’t know WHY these things were happening, he did strongly believe that all of these complications were related and that we had a very high risk of another Brachial Plexus Palsy or worse happening again.
I was hoping to get through more birth stories before I posted this, but since I’m a little extremely slow allow me to summarize for you the way that Dr. K did for us.
Out of 9 births:
- We’ve experienced 6 shoulder dystocias. (Until Dr. K pointed it out, we did not realize that we should count those babies who suffered from broken collar bones as a dystocia. Dr. K said, “If there wasn’t a problem with their shoulders being stuck, their bones wouldn’t break.” Um, yes, that makes sense. Why did no one tell us sooner??)
- 4 babies have suffered a broken collar bone or humerous during birth due to SD (shoulder Dystocia).
- 3 babies, because of SD, have suffered from a lack of oxygen to the point that the doctor/midwife was concerned about possible brain damage..
- 1 of our children suffered Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy – paralysis of his arm) because of SD.
There are risks factors for shoulder dystocia, but we don’t fit into those risks. We’ve experienced problems with small and large babies, difficulties when I was carrying no extra weight, we tried chiropractic care, stayed active during birth, avoided unnecessary interventions and had two home births (both resulted in SD with broken bones).
As a matter of fact, our most severe dystocias have come with completely natural child birth and the three births that there was no dystocia and no injury were the three births that I had an epidural. (Go figure)
The most severe injury (broken humerous and Brachial Plexus Palsy) was a homebirth where the midwife did everything “right” in dealing with a shoulder dystocia.
God has been very merciful to us. Nicholas (our Erb’s Palsy/Brachial Plexus Palsy baby) has had an amazing recovery and none of our children have been left with any brain damage.
However, when we found out that God had blessed us with the child that I’m now carrying, we knew we had a difficult decision to make.
It has been a decision that I’ve struggled with for the past 8 1/2 months. Mark and I are firm believers in natural childbirth and chose to have our last two children at home because of the unusually high c-section rate of the hospitals in our new city.
If someone could tell me that our child would be born uninjured, I would choose homebirth again. My heart is homebirth and I’m grateful that the Lord allowed me to experience the joy, peace and rightness of delivering two of our children at home.
However, this baby will be born via planned c-section on July 6 (unless I go into labor sooner).
Even though I KNOW that this is the best decision, even though God has shown me through my husband (who has no doubt whatsoever) that this is His plan for me, I struggle. I really am Gideon, I want my fleece dry and then wet and even with all of that I wonder and just as God was gracious to Gideon,
(T)he LORD said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” ~Judges 7:9-11
God is gracious to me.
For the last several weeks I have been praying that God would please confirm our decision by allowing the baby to be breech or transverse (something that we’ve never experienced before). Our babies have all been head down by 36 weeks and this was the ‘fleece’ that I set before God.
Last week at my OB appointment we found out that this baby is indeed breech. I know that we could try to flip her and I know that she may flip on her own, but for me this was God reaching down and reassuring me that we’re doing all right.
Each time I feel her tiny, little , gigantic head up under my ribs (ouch!) I’m reminded of God’s mercy and goodness to me in that even though He gave me clear direction through my husband, He was still willing to deal directly with my insecurity and fear.
I’ve never had a c-section before, so if you have any tips, suggestions or encouragement, I’m all ears.
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