Our Birth History: Because I Know You’ll Pray…

**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.

You may be interested in reading:

Birth Story #1
Birth Story #2
Birth Story #3

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122 Responses to Our Birth History: Because I Know You’ll Pray…
  1. Cassie
    June 21, 2010 | 8:48 am

    When I was pregnant with my son, I wanted to badly to have a natural childbirth. However, God saw things a bit differently. Really long story short, I had to have an emergency C-section. While I was concerned for the safety and well-being of my son, I was confident in my doctor. The c-section itself was not bad, just remind yourself to relax. Also, I had heard terrifying tells of recovery from c-sections. Do not listen to these people! I was up and about almost immediately. I had very little, to no pain. I never even took the pain pills offered! I actually felt so good that I had to remind myself to take it a little easy! My son was perfectly healthy and the most handsome little boy I have ever seen!
    I do understand your anxiety as this is not the way you would like for your little girl to enter the world but rest easy in God’s perfect plan and we will be praying for you!


  2. Pamela
    June 21, 2010 | 8:49 am

    My last two were C-sections. Because of numerous infections I had, there was a chance of me passing them on to my daughters, causing blindness,etc. We chose to have them this way. On the first one I was terrified because she told us I would go in within 30 mintues to operating. I wasnt able to see my Pastor or family before I went in. I prayed the whole way to the room. My husband was with me. Since my first birth was natural, I had never had any medicine to totally numb. That scared me! The big sheet preventing me from seeing what was going on scared me. But seeing my husband and him praying with me I made it thru, and when my daughter was held up I was glad that we had made that decesion. She was a healthy baby girl! Healing up took longer that my first, my she was well worth it. My second C-section one year later, I knew what was going on. But the healing process was harder, because I had a one year old and a baby to take care of. You will do great and we will be praying for you. Have lots of help and God WILL be there for you!!!


  3. Stephanie
    June 21, 2010 | 8:51 am

    Hey! I am so sorry about your problems with births – for my first I was in (active)labor for 72 hours and ended in a c-section and have had 2 repeats since then – so I would like to share a few tips-

    1. Have a raised toilet seat if you dont have tall toilets – seriously. it will make things SO much easier getting up and down .

    2. Get up as soon as possible- it seems to me out of my 3 that the sooner i got up and moving (about 12 hours later) the better i felt, it was scary at first but it was so much easier as far as recovery goes – and keep getting up . the more you do (within reason of course) the better you will fill.

    3. make sure you have VERY high underwear (sorry to bring this up) but the last thing needed is something rubbing against your incision-

    4. Freeze as many meals as possible.Seriously. or have one of your older ones cook (We freezed bc my oldest was 27 months when my youngest was born,yes ive had 3 c sections in 3 years. the last being in March ’10)

    5. I *personally* couldnt lay flat after my 3 for a good 2 or 3 weeks- so i slept in my recliner- which i got specifically for my 2nd csection – its tall and hard – furniture that sinks in is very difficult to get in and out of without jarring your incision

    6. For the operating room – They had our radio station on a local christian station (I deliver at a Catholic hospitial ) and i cant tell you what a comfort it is to me to hear songs i know and listen to- that uplift the Lord- Also next time i think im going to have my husband quote some scripture to me, to help calm me( all my children have had breathing problems at birth-which is nerve wracking, and my last one was literally stuck)

    whew! sorry for the long post! these are just things that have helped me – and things i have learned! If you have any questions feel free to email me- My dr. calls me his pro 😀


  4. Tristan from the Crew
    June 21, 2010 | 8:52 am

    ((HUGS)) You’re a brave momma and I’m so proud of you for doing what is best for your baby, even if it isn’t the path you originally would have chosen. No advice on a c-section but I’m praying for you!


  5. Melodie
    June 21, 2010 | 8:53 am

    Bless you for all of the wonderful children you have brought into the world despite your complications! I can certainly understand ya’lls decision for a c-section. While I too love home birth I do know that there is a time when medical interventions are necessary, that God gave the Dr.’s that talent so that they can help. You have your child’s best interests at heart and that is usually what’s missing when decisions about interventions are made (in my opinion).
    We will pray for you in this joyous (although nervous) time! God Bless!


  6. Amanda Sikes
    June 21, 2010 | 9:05 am

    After almost 26hrs in labot with my first and still no progression I delivered her via c-section. After that, much to my hearts dismay, we have opted to have the rest all repeat c-sections. I will have my fifth this fall. While my heart still aches at the thought of having never experienced natural birth I am reminded to see my children as a blessing from God no matter how He has called me to birth them. Here is my advice –
    Ask for an epidural type med for surgery and after. I have had three without this and at the new hospital where I now deliver this is what they use. It is day and night difference in recovery. The extended pain med helped me to be able to get up and move faster and easier thus preventing the incision from “tightning”. I felt great by about day 5. It used to take about 2 weeks.

    Also, rest. Even at the hospital it is important to remember that you have just had MAJOR abdominal surgery and your body needs rest to heal quickly. Sleep when you can and keep visiting to a minimum so you can head home rested.

    I will be praying for peace for you in the upcoming weeks and that your heart would be filled with joy and blessing as you follow God’s will for this delivery.


  7. Charlotte
    June 21, 2010 | 9:09 am

    What a decision, good for you and the baby, I’ll keep you in my prayers. I totally agrees with Stephanie. Get up, move around, and walk as much as possible. Don’t lift anything heavier than a baby for 6 weeks and eat well; lots of proteine to advance healing. I’ve had 2 c-sections (first one emergency, second one planned) then 3 vaginal births (far better, especially with small ones around) and then another c-section (breech baby again).


  8. Kaitlin
    June 21, 2010 | 9:11 am

    Wow! I love it when the Lord gives us such specific answers. I’ve had one vaginal birth and 2 C-Sections (the first of which was an emergency – thank the Lord he was okay after a long heart de-cel). My latest was a planned C, and though I was a little nervous going in, once the spinal hits, everything is “great”! Recovery is somewhat slower than natural births, but I didn’t experience any problems. Just don’t try to do too much too soon (seriously – I felt great 2 days later, started vacuuming, and definitely felt it a few hours after!) So, take it easy and just enjoy your time with your new little one – you’ve got an excuse, now!


  9. Annie Harbert@ Beauty In The Surrender
    June 21, 2010 | 9:14 am

    All three of my children were born via c-section. My first child was born in Germany where the majority of hospitals and doctors are very much against medical intervention during the birth of a child. So to have a c-section was a big deal to my OB and the rest of the nursing staff.
    Since my first son was c-section I was doomed for the rest of my births to be the same. Our hospitals and those surrounding our county are not proponents of VBAC’s. I have asked my OB if she would do a VBAC for me and she stated that although she saw no problem with me having a natural child birth senerio, she could not do it because of hospital regulations.
    My last child, Samuel, was my biggest baby. Although he was born via c-section his size coupled with my petite frame ( I am 5’2″ and 115 lbs.) caused me to bleed so much that I was at blood transfusion level. I felt fine considering the amount of blood I had lost but my doctor and the surgery staff suggested a tubal ligation to prevent any future medical problems. I really struggled with this because she had previously suggested I have my tubes tied before Sam was even born. And I didn’t want to jump into a tubal and regret that decision later on in life with out serious prayer.
    So as I mentioned my doctor did the tubal and I will no longer be able to have children of my own. I feel as though I will have more children in the future but they will be in the form of a foster or adoption situation. God is not through with our family yet! ☺

    The residual problems I have faced as a result of having 3 c-sections are:
    -loss of all feeling on the right side of my stomach and the left side of my leg below the knee cap down to the two last toes on my left foot. The loss of feeling in my foot is because of the spinal and how the anesthesiologist administered it.
    -spinal headaches. I had this after the birth of my second child. It was equivalent to a migrane. I have never had that much pain before in my life and it lasted 2 weeks after the c-section. This is also due to the spinal I was given before sugery.
    -a sense of loss. That is best way I can describe not being able to have anymore children of my own, not being able to have a child grow inside me, not being able to see another child that looks like me and my husband.
    I hope I didn’t “talk” your “ear” off! I will keep you smothered in prayer because I know, to some degree, what you are going through and what you will face. God Bless you Kimberly. ♥


  10. Elizabeth
    June 21, 2010 | 9:14 am

    I have not had c-sections but I have two cents! I have a sister and a sister-in-law who needed cesareans and in their place they are wonderful gifts from our Lord. I truly believe you all have made the right choice and am glad that you have options for your precious baby’s birth. Praying with you all,


  11. chantelle
    June 21, 2010 | 9:17 am

    How amazing that God gave you confirmation on your decision, I had goosebumps. God is so good! We will all be praying for you. The advice that I have will echo some of the others. I ended up having to have a c-section after 26 hours of labor. I would freeze as many meals as possible, stock up on all grocery items that you can. Get up and move as soon as you can after surgery. Plan to rest, have friends and family in place to help as much as possible. This was mentioned above, but some sort of supportive underwear. I don’t know if you have this problem, but I have loose skin on my stomach after the baby is born. It caused pain with the incision. Hard to explain, but some sort of bandage or underwear to keep my stomach where it should be. Sorry kind of weird. And also mentioned above, it hurt to lie completely flat and then have to sit up, so a recliner is a good thing to have. I didn’t want a c-section and was afraid, but God took the decision out of my hands and I think it was a blessing and we had a healthy baby in the end. 🙂


  12. Sarah
    June 21, 2010 | 9:25 am

    Praying for you all. My sister-in-law was born with spina bifida, and as a result is unable to deliver vaginally. She now has four children, and each have been by c-section. The hardest part for her is always the recovery, but I know that they handle that by moving in with her parents for the first few weeks until she heals a little bit. I’m sure the recovery time for someone that doesn’t have a prior disability would be much shorter. But she looks at it like this. She has told me she believes that even if it killed her, it would be worth it, and that she leaves that in God’s most capable hands. She has to be put to sleep each time, so her husband couldn’t be in the room with her during hers, and so I think it’s actually been harder on my brother that way, but as long as you’re not put to sleep you can have your husband with you. God is with you, and He is able, and will be glorified in whatever the outcome, so let us rejoice in His sovereignty, wisdom, power, and love for us! “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”-1 Chronicles 16:11


  13. Helen
    June 21, 2010 | 9:44 am

    While you would certainly prefer not having a c-section, it sounds like you are making a wise decision. And it is YOU making the decision (with a little help from Above!), not the doctor.

    Sending prayers for an uneventful next 2 weeks!



  14. Heather
    June 21, 2010 | 10:05 am

    Hello:) I am glad that you have had confirmation. I had Emma by c-section because I just knew something was not right when my normally really active baby just stopped moving. The doctors tried to blow me off saying everything seemed fine. I called my husband from their office and he said God told him for me to stay there, and he came right over. He demanded an ultrasound for me and sure enough, the picture showed Emma was breech, with the cord so wrapped around her neck that it was very possible she would have died during childbirth. The doctors all apologized and scheduled an immediate c-section….all the while I was praising God that he showed us the problem with the baby! I did not have time to research anything, I had planned a very natural birth with the midwife, etc. But that all changed immediately. But, I had a beautiful healthy girl soon after:) Two titems that bothered me when i compare the c-section experience with the natural births:
    1. I was worried and in the unusual situation of the surgery, so I let the doctor/hospital staff control me more. During my c-section they allowed students in to watch the procedure (apparently this happened because I did not check the box to say no to this on my intake form)I had no idea it was going to happen and I was scared and embarassed and did not speak up to send them away. But, it made me angry.
    2. I did not get the baby immediately on my chest nursing, like my previous children. In fact, they took her away much longer and took forever cleaning her up, etc. There was no medical reason for this, aside from them being busy with my stitches or whatever. If I could do it again, I would have demanded they give her to my husband to hold with me and let her nurse/bond before all the rest.
    3. I did feel worse during the night, rolling over to pull her in with me to nurse, etc. With my natural childbirths, I do not remember feeling so bad, trying to get the baby! (This may have been specific to me and I know everyone says getting up etc quickly is good. But I did have to rest more and I thought the first night was awful. My husband stayed w/me in hospital, but he slept through some of the baby cries and someone pulled her crib away, so I had to get up and get to her. i found that hard!
    Sorry this is long. But maybe a heads-up for a couple of things to demand from hospital! I’ll be praying for all of you!!


  15. Amy @ Finer Things
    June 21, 2010 | 10:28 am

    Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby… that’s what’s most important in ALL deliveries. I’m with you, a believer in natural birth and I think c-sections are WAY overused (32% now!) BUT — there is a time and place and you are definitely doing the right thing!


  16. Dinah
    June 21, 2010 | 10:39 am

    I was so glad to live in this day and age, when I have have the c-section option available in case I had trouble giving birth… they do save lives and limbs.


  17. Jamie
    June 21, 2010 | 10:39 am

    Kimberly, you have all been in our prayers over this! I understand your agony. I am also very happy for you that God has given you such clear direction. It is amazing, isn’t it? Your baby girl will be born just the way God intended. When Shoshannah was born, God truly took over when I could not. Just like you, I knew we went the way He wanted (confirmed numerous times), but I STILL panicked! Why? I can’t logically give an answer. BUT, even in the seemingly small details (I mean, really, people are being tortured for their faith all over the world and I’m worried about giving birth?!?), God came in and took over for me, pushing that baby out. I am praying that he will do the same for you with this C-Section. That even when you worry and panic, He will “take over” for you and overwhelm you with His Presence!

    Love you and sending lots of hugs your way!!!


  18. Tracie
    June 21, 2010 | 10:42 am

    I have had 2 natural, drug free births, 1 emergency c-section and 1 VBAC. The recovery from each has been different. I will say that the c-section was not as bad as I expected!! I got up and started walking as soon as they would let me (for recovery and b/c our baby was in NICU and I wanted to be able to go see her with out having to wait on a nurse or anyone else). I will also say that I was calmest with that delivery–even though it was a 10PM emergency and 9 weeks early. God gave me a total sense of peace. For some reason they couldn’t get my spinal to take as “high” as they wanted. They offered to try again but I said no that as long as I was numb low enough not to feel the incision that I could deal with the tugging they might have to do. It was also the birth that we laugh the most about. After our daughter was born and my dh has followed her to NICU, the dr mentioned that he was ready to do my staples. I flipped out. I started crying and telling them that I didn’t have enough meds for that and really flipping out. They were asking me if I was feeling any pain (which I was not)!! They finally told me that the dr was almost finished and if I could just hold on another minute it would all be over. As I was waiting on them to finish I admitted to the nurse that all I could think of when they said “staples” was my dh staple gun and the sound that it makes!!! I just knew I didn’t have enough meds for that!!! Everybody got a good laugh out of it. Just take it easy and don’t over do it but do get up and walk when they will let you!!


  19. Courtney
    June 21, 2010 | 11:07 am

    I have been thinking about you all morning and here’s what I’ve got.
    Yes, natural is best, BUT for a small minority of people it is not best. Hence the reason we have modern medicine. I think modern medicine is so over used when it comes to having babies that it can get a bad rap. BUT, it is necessary for some people and it sounds like a C-section is definitely best for you!
    I have never had a c-section, but I have had other complications to which I am so grateful for medicine. I enjoy having babies the natural way- but in the end the most important thing is having a healthy baby.
    Best of luck- relax and your body will heal so much faster, let go of your anxiety and hand it over to the Lord.


  20. Glenda
    June 21, 2010 | 11:07 am

    You have a ton of comments so I will try to make mine short. I have had 3 c-sections. They were all mostly good experiences. Recovery was super easy all 3 times. I had baby with me almost immediately after being born, to start nursing – while they were still stitching me up. You are your best advocate. I spoke up (loudly!) when it came to the baby. I wanted baby with me at all times, so that’s what the hospital did. The hospital always claimed it was “policy” to take baby out while mom got stitched up. I spoke up about watching baby to be with me and they consented. The actual nursing has to wait until I am back in my room but not the skin to skin and cuddling. Side lying nursing is a comfy position when back at home in our big ol’ bed. The only major discomfort was a shooting pain in my shoulder. I finally mentioned it and the nurse said it was common. Gas gets trapped from not passing it via the normal way so it has to go somewhere. They gave me a shot and tums and it was all better. If you have a high bed at home, get a step stool to help you in and out of it. I also had a step stool in my toddler’s room to help them get out of the crib. It is sore for a few days but about a week after the c-section, I always felt back to normal.

    I honestly have felt guilty for having my children via a c-section (like it was taking the easy way out) but it worked out and they have all been born healthy.


  21. Glenda
    June 21, 2010 | 11:08 am

    and sorry for not keeping it short 🙂


  22. heather
    June 21, 2010 | 11:11 am

    I have had 2 c-sections and honestly they were a breeze. It seems to me the planned C-sections are very easy to heal from compared to the emergency ones. My recommendations are to get up and moving ASAP as they will let you and to walk, walk, walk as much as you can stand. You will heal faster and experience sooo much less painful gas. In all honesty the gas hurt me with mine waaay worse than the actual surgery..lol. get some yoga pants or some sort of snug spandex like shorts to wear under clothers for the first couple of days sfter, when you get home. You might feel as if your belly is coming out and this will help. God will take care of you and it will go smothely. I would chose a C-sec over anything else now that I have experienced 2. And I was whole heartedly against them before. Go figure. Good luck.


  23. Anita Chamblee
    June 21, 2010 | 11:23 am

    Isn’t it amazing that we moms put so much pressure on ourselves. We really think we are super moms and hate to do things the “easy” way. I am so thankful that you have found out all this info on your babies’ conditions so that you can make a wise choice at this time. And isn’t it amazing that you found this all out at this time in your lives…when you have two older daughters who can manage your home while you are recuperating? God is good!! I delivered my last baby at the age of 44. I had been in a mild labor for a few days, but was having contractions about 3 minutes apart. It was my seventh baby, so my thoughts were that the time had come. We got to the hospital only to be told the baby was still way up high (the ob had said just a few days earlier that he had dropped) and I was only 1 cm dilated (had been2 earlier in the week). I was tired….they told me I could just go home. I didn’t want to, though. My other 6 children were at home including my pregnant oldest daughter and her one year old. There would be no rest for me at home and I would only see things that I needed to do and would be up doing them. The doc told me I could stay and he put me on a mild sleeping pill. I rested for TWO whole days before delivering my baby. A few hours before delivery the nurses woke me up to give me my epidural (I delivered a 10 lb 7 ounce baby before this one without the help of an epidural and was really not wanting to go through that again!). Any way, labor was really calm and easy and I recovered very quickly and was running around as usual within a few short days. So much better than what I had anticipated as an older mom. The Lord has gently led you through this decision. Rest in His grace and peace! Praying for you and your family!!


  24. Jennifer Jordan
    June 21, 2010 | 11:36 am

    Yes, I will pray for you! I knew something was up last week because I noticed the dates on our baby tickers were all of a sudden different! I can imagine how hard this decision has been for your family. How great that God gave you a clear answer to confirm that you made the right decision. He is amazing! 🙂


  25. Brianah
    June 21, 2010 | 11:52 am

    I totally agree with all the women who said they couldn’t lay flat! I slept on the couch (was easier for me to get up from) with pillows under my knees to elevate my legs. SO MUCH BETTER!

    I had a c-section with my first after 2 1/2 days of induction (medically maxed out on Pitocin, foley bulb, water broken, prostaglandins, etc.) and never dilated past 4. It is a hard decision to make and I thank you so much for sharing your struggle!

    I am pregnant again (my son is 10 months) and am hoping for VBAC with this one, but prepared for another c-section. Thank you for sharing b/c this is my biggest struggle! I want so badly to experience natural childbirth and truly feel it is best, but I also recognize that God’s plan may be different than that for us. Thank you!

    Also….VERY IMPORTANT! 7 days after surgery is when you are MOST LIKELY to re-open your incision. My mom is a nurse and warned me about this. You will feel much better and may do too much. I did this, though barely opened one spot on the exterior incision, but it could be worse. Just remind yourself to continue taking it easy for at least 2-3 weeks…even if you feel like you are all better.

    Also, my midwife friend told me that you can request that they double-stitch your incision which makes it much stronger and can bode better for you with future births. Also make sure your doctor knows that you want a transverse incision as they are better for future births.


  26. Michelle B.
    June 21, 2010 | 12:05 pm

    I also wanted a natural birth with my child. My pregnancy was very complicated and (because of many reasons, too long to write!) due to that, we had a scheduled c-section. I struggled in the same way you do, but I am so happy I followed God’s direction. These are tips, that helped me:

    -I was not too thrilled about having to take pain medications. I REALLY didn’t want to, but took them anyway. Don’t fight the pain medication the first day. Take them every 4 hours whether you think you need them or not. You will realize you need them, at the 5 or 6 hour mark! (at least, I did.) I was able to not take much pain meds after the first day, because of my next tip:

    -Move as soon as you can. I started rolling to my sides and in my bed, as soon as the catheter was out. I continued to move throughout thew night. Getting up the next day was soo much easier. I felt my healing time was quicker, too.

    -Don’t let your bladder get full after they take the catheter out. Trust me!!! Getting up to walk to the toilet, with a full bladder is terrible. Get up (if you can) every so often and try to potty, it helps a lot.

    -Accept help! My husband had the week after birth off and the next week I took care of my son with no help. I had no shortage of help offered. I wish I would have taken my friends and family up on their offers.

    My family is praying for you!!


  27. tulip
    June 21, 2010 | 12:14 pm

    I have had 4 of my 5 children via C-section so here is my 2 cents worth.

    1) Make sure you tell them in surgery right away if you are even the slightest bit nauseous or think you might be itchy….these are side effects to the general anesthetic they give you and the anesthesiologist can give you meds in your IV to help with these.

    2) You WILL be very tired or tire easily. Don’t be tough and think you should stay awake to please whoever might be there. Don’t apologize as you go to sleep…and sleep often. Between the pain meds and the recovery process as all the layers are healing, it takes quite a bit from your body to heal. You could possibly be exhausted for weeks afterwards and that’s ok!

    3) If you didn’t have a Boppy or lots of pillows to support the baby before when you nursed, you must have one now. It will keep the baby off your incision and be much more comfortable.

    4) Keep a pad of paper and pencil in your hospital room. This is to keep track of what meds you are taking and when. Although the hospital staff is supposed to keep track of all that, sometimes things can happen (like the computer goes down) and they won’t know when you last had pain meds. Also, keep track of when they do assessments on you and the baby and when they want to take the baby out of the room (my dh always went with the baby, we always had the baby in our sight at all times) for testing and evaluations.

    4) Make a birth plan and stick to your guns if its something you want and you can control (like DH gives the first bath, etc.). However, be flexible to things that might be out of your control (like an emergency that might send your baby to the NICU). Keep the tone in the plan friendly, flexible and cordial and most likely the hospital staff will honor your wishes as much as they can. Make sure your Dr. has a copy in your chart at the office, at the hospital and you have a couple of copies with you when you go to the hospital, just in case.

    Our prayers are with you and your family as you welcome another wonderful baby to the clan!!
    God’s Blessings,


  28. Jenn
    June 21, 2010 | 12:27 pm

    Marveling with you at the goodness and gentleness of our God.


  29. Deb
    June 21, 2010 | 12:34 pm

    I agree with Amanda – children are a gift no matter how they get here.

    I had a very difficult experience with my first baby, which was a pretty standard birth until my placenta did not detach afterward. I essentially had to undergo a D&C with no pain meds because I was bleeding to death. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life – more painful than the birth, which resulted in a third degree episiotomy. Because of this, and the difficulty in recovering from the episiotomy (I had pain for about a year), I was pretty freaked out about the birth of my second baby.

    Frankly, I was relieved when the doctor told me that she was a 9 pound breach baby and I would need to schedule a c-section. So, here is my c-section story – it was a piece of cake. Piece of cake, Kimberly. The recovery was way easier than the vaginal birth I had the first time. I was up and feeling fantastic in no time. I had more energy (probably since I did not lose a lot of blood) and my incision healed with no problems. I had way less of an emotional roller-coaster after she was born than I did the first time (I think difficult births send your hormones into overdrive and I think it contributed to my emotional state after my first birth).

    Yes, take it easy with lifting – they will tell you nothing heavier than the baby. A way to make that more real to you is this: a gallon of milk weighs 8 pounds. Do not lift anything heavier than that.

    You are doing the right thing for your baby. You will be fine. All those little moments that there are to be nervous about are just that – little moments. Getting the spinal is no fun, but it’s quick. Getting the c-section is weird, but it’s quick. The baby will be in your arms probably in less than two hours from when they start prepping you. Your husband will be by your side, and your baby will have no broken bones.

    You will be fine. I read that the average c-section, from the first incision to the baby being out of the mom’s body is less than a minute. I agree with being your own advocate – making sure they don’t allow extraneous people in the operating room and making sure they give you the baby as soon as possible.

    You can do it!


  30. Laura R.
    June 21, 2010 | 12:42 pm

    Good luck!
    IMHO once you decide 100% on a c/s, stick with it. You would rather have a relaxed, slow paced c/s than a tense, hurried emergency c/s.

    My recovery time with my second child was easier because I got up & started moving around as soon as I could feel my feet! I had better experience with a spinal block…the epidural stopped working with my first c/s & I had to be put to sleep.


  31. Renee
    June 21, 2010 | 12:43 pm

    Our first was a C-section (she was transverse)
    our second was a VBAC (born at 34 weeks!!!)
    our third (born 3 weeks ago) emergency C-section (my placenta was detaching from my uterus)

    So my advice is

    * Get moving as soon as possible, this will make your recovery way faster.

    * drink plenty of fluids, and cranberry juice (pure kinds not the sweet one)to prevent UTI due to the catheter that will be in place during and for the next 24 hours after the section

    * take the painkillers that will be offer to you on a regular basis (for the first 3 days)this will help you to be more mobile and the more you move the better you feels

    * make sure to take deep breath and caught after the section to prevent lung problem.

    * Nurse as frequently as possible to help build your milk supply (your hormones after a section are not the same as via a natural birth so milk sometimes take longer to come)

    * have help ready at home after section (you will not be able to lift heavy toddlers or anything heavier then 10 lbs)

    * nap and rest as much as you can (this is a surgery after all)

    Praying that all goes well!


  32. Brianah
    June 21, 2010 | 1:04 pm

    One more thing…in the event that your little one has to go to NICU or something and you can’t breastfeed right away. Make sure you have a breast pump you can start with to get your milk going. The hospital I delivered at had one in all the rooms, but I didn’t ask for a lactation consultant right away and it was kind of hard to get started. My milk came in WONDERFULLY, but I fear it would have been very different if I hadn’t started pumping.


  33. Karen
    June 21, 2010 | 1:11 pm

    Precious story! God provides for our needs even before we know we have the need! Isaiah 65:24 “BEFORE they call, I will answer.” I have no advice, only prayers for you and baby.


  34. Morgan
    June 21, 2010 | 1:15 pm

    Kimberly, I will certainly be praying for you in the coming weeks and on July 6th. Although I have yet to have any children, I definitely would prefer the natural, home birth route, so I can understand the disappointment of not being able to deliver this way. I’m glad that God seems to have shown you that this was the right decision and I’ll pray that you have peace about this and the c-section itself.


  35. Kylee
    June 21, 2010 | 1:23 pm

    awww July 6th is the birthday of my sweet little foster sister. She’ll be 3 and is the biggest joy there is. She is so full of life and always happy. How fun that (if the Lord allows), your little girl will share the same birthday as a baby girl in my life that is so special to me!


  36. Melanie
    June 21, 2010 | 1:34 pm

    Hello! I love your post and will be praying for you and your family. I’ve only had 1 prior c section. I can tell you that when the nurse handed me an abdominal binder I was able to function better immediately. It gave me proper support and I didn’t need help to get up and down like I did before the binder. Also, the earlier that you get up and move around, the better you will be in the long run.


  37. Jama
    June 21, 2010 | 1:59 pm

    No c-section exepience, just lots of love and prayers!


    Jama Reply:

    oops, “experience”


  38. Amy @ Raising Arrows
    June 21, 2010 | 2:18 pm

    Risk factors for a mama who’s heart is in natural birthing is excruciating. I’ve been there…more than I care to admit. I’ve had to really let go of some things I didn’t think I could let go of.

    My humble opinion is that you ARE doing the right thing, and no matter how (or with what “conditions”) your baby is born, you are a good mommy even for the simple fact that is has been an agonizing decision.

    Praying for you. {hugs}


  39. Mistee
    June 21, 2010 | 2:20 pm

    I’ll be praying for you and it seems you’ve made a wise decision to have a C-section.

    One word of advice – make sure the baby gets probiotics after birth (he/she can suck a powdered one off your finger) since he/she will miss getting that beneficial bacteria in the birth canal. This is a prime factor for autism. Just a tip I would follow if I ever need a C-section.

    Praying all goes well!


  40. Janice
    June 21, 2010 | 2:21 pm

    Amanda was my c-section baby. She was under lots of stress with an extremely low heart rate with mild contractions. After about 12 hours of that, the doctor said it was time to intervene. Turns out the umbilical cord had a knot in it and was tight around her neck.

    I experienced extreme pain after the c-section and followed the advice of the nurse and asked for pain medication as often as I could take it. Could not lay down in bed for a full week so slept in our rocker/recliner. As others have said, “Get up and move.” I don’t think that will be a problem with others claiming your attention. I also had to use pillows for nursing to protect my incision. I’ve always had some kind of complication after the birth of my children. With the c-section baby it was a UTI which I didn’t realize I had due to the pain medication camouflaging the symptoms but also didn’t realize frequent trips to the bathroom was indication of a problem (but those frequent trips helped to get me up and moving). A high fever sent me back to the doctor for antibiotics which cleared up the UTI.

    I was extremely disappointed that I had to go the c-section route and that the recovery was longer, but I was thankful for that little girl and that she was doing fine.

    You will do great, Kimberly, and will be thankful for this option once you hold that baby without ANY broken bones, palsey issues, etc.


  41. Allyson
    June 21, 2010 | 2:21 pm

    Will be praying! I’ve had 3 C-sections. I can’t say I love them, but I am grateful for the healthy babies born because of them.

    Some advice for what it’s worth. I think most of it has been covered already too! 🙂

    1) MOVE as soon as they let you!
    2) Take the pain killers as needed and offered. This is no time to be a martyr.
    3) REST
    4) Especially for you with many kiddos at home, have ROUND THE CLOCK SUPPORT AND HELP AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    5) No heavy lifting
    6) Tummy support binder works great!
    7) Take it one day at a time. The pain doesn’t last forever. You will feel like your normal self before you know it.
    8) Oh, and give someone in the OR (for us it was our anesthesiologist) a camera so he can take a picture of you, your hubby and the baby as soon as they bring the baby to you on the OR table. I treasure those pictures!
    9) Something my hubby and I also did that we loved was when they were cutting me (doesn’t take very long once they start), my hubby was right at my head, whispering a continual prayer during the entire process. It was a wonderful worship experience for us (and can’t hurt to cover the docs and staff with a little extra prayer too, eh?)!


  42. Melanie
    June 21, 2010 | 2:52 pm

    I’ve had four c-sections and am so grateful that I have good doctors who see no issues with me having as many as I want, as long as my uterus doesn’t become dangerously thin.
    While I grieved never being able to have a “natural” birth, it is really a small thing in the grand scheme of motherhood. Some advantages for me are that I can plan ahead with a firm date in mind and I will never, ever go overdue or past 38 weeks for that matter (with a couple large babies at that point I can’t imagine how big they’d have been if I went four more weeks).
    In addition the to the above advice, some things that have really made some of my c-sections better than others are:
    1. Making every effort to communicate any discomfort, so that I am as comfortable as possible and can enjoy the birth process.
    2. Asking to have the drape as low as possible so I can see them pulling the baby out.
    3. My husband being allowed to cut the cord.
    4. Knowing my baby is with my husband in the nursery bonding with him and getting his or her first bath from dad.
    5. Our hospital is very pro-breastfeeding so every effort is made to get it established. As a result, the last two babies I’ve had have been brought into the recovery room for that first nursing, so they never have a bottle and get the breast ASAP. (A word of advice: be firm about NO BOTTLES if you want to breastfeed. My second baby received one because of the fears of sugar lows, etc…but because he was full it took a full 18 hours before he was interested in trying the breast and made the process difficult.)
    6. The baby roomed with me and nurses (if my husband couldn’t spend the night) would come when I called and bring the baby to me to nurse. Plus they allowed co-sleeping.
    7. Once home, I enter “feed mode” feed the baby, feed the family, feed the dishwasher, and feed the washer (added in that order as I get stronger over the first six weeks). That is plenty!!!! Husband can do the shopping and all else really can wait. Know (and I’m sure you know this already) you will get caught up.
    I’m sure all will go well and I’m looking forward to the post-birth story!


  43. Jennifer
    June 21, 2010 | 3:55 pm

    Oh, Dear One! I love reading your blog and you are such an inspiration to me! I have 4 precious children. I too wanted all natural child births. The first two girls were born naturally with midwives. They had SD and the med staff panicked when heart rates dropped and all. With #2, the attending Dr. shoved my daughter out with his fists on my belly (not pleasant)! Both have no problems.

    Girl#3 was breech and estimated to be quite large so we were “very encouraged” to have a planned C Section. I didn’t want that, but I’m sure it was for the best since she was almost 11 pounds! I really didn’t like being separated from my baby for recovery. I wanted to nurse her right away, but I didn’t get to even hold her for over 2 hours! Honestly, the experience was as good as it could be. I actually healed more quickly than with the first 2. The worst physical part was the opiate meds for pain that made my tummy sick for a few hours.
    I knew I wanted a VBAC with #4 and I elminated all sugar from my diet and exercised more and we had a 9 lb baby boy naturally and all was well – no SD this time!
    You’re in my prayers. I know everything will be fine for you and baby!


  44. Kacie
    June 21, 2010 | 3:59 pm

    Aw man! I’m all for natural birth, and I want to avoid a c-section as much as anyone. But I think if I were in your shoes, I’d do the same thing, too.

    And I love how God made this baby breech to just help you have more peace about it!

    Prayers for a smooth delivery and a speedy recovery.

    I don’t know if you know the gender of this baby, but one thing you could request (and make sure it is well known in the OR) is that you would like your husband to announce it.

    And, if at all possible, you would like immediate skin-to-skin contact and establish the first breastfeeding before all the vitals are taken and whatnot, if it can wait.

    Even though you’ll be in surgery, as long as you and baby are well, this is possible!

    So talk with your doc and see if those things could be possible for you.

    This is still a birth! A cesearan birth, and it’s just as blessed as the other way. 🙂


  45. Rachel
    June 21, 2010 | 5:04 pm

    Sleep in a recliner for a few days. : ) I think it is a good decision. We’ll be praying. How’s that for short and sweet!?


  46. Rachel K
    June 21, 2010 | 6:24 pm

    What a difficult decision for you, but I am so happy that God has given you the peace and confirmation needed! I was wondering from a few weeks ago what you had decided was the best course of action for the delivery of this baby. And how wonderful to have had so many babies vaginally already! God bless you and your family!


  47. Monica
    June 21, 2010 | 6:36 pm

    I’m just reading this and wanted to let you know that you will be in my prayers. My girls were born via emergency C-section and I’ve had two VBACs since then. I didn’t have a hard time recovering from my C-section, maybe because my focus was on my babies struggling to survive in the NICU, I don’t know, but I would be comfortable having a C-section again if it were necessary. I am thankful that God provided for you in comforting your insecurity in your decision. He is so very faithful to us!


  48. Suzanne
    June 21, 2010 | 7:56 pm

    I think you are making the right decision for you. Especially with your birth history. Good luck. I have never had a c section so I can’t comment there but I can pray for you and your family. July 6 is a great day! (its our 12th wedding anniversary!)


  49. Christy
    June 21, 2010 | 8:21 pm

    I have had 4 c-sections. First was breach when I got to the hospital, second was our choice but found out in delivery he had the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times so c-section was a good choice. Third planned c-section and 4th was twins and planned c-section. It is great if the baby can stay with you or come to you in recovery, but if that doesn’t happen don’t worry. My first was born on Jan 1st so short staffed in a smaller hospital and I had to recover in ICU. She has at least 2 hours before I got to hold her. Did touch her in OR after she was born. She also had to have a suger bottle, but she nursed fine.
    Number 2 had to stay in the nursery due to temp so he was 4 hours old before I got to see him again. Nursed him once and he was then taken to NICU. Ended up being fluid on the lungs which happens with c-section babies. He was fine and discharged with me. He also had a suger bottle and no problems with nursing.
    Number 3 was the first one that I got hold and nurse in recovery. I was surprised that I got her that early 🙂
    Numbers 4 & 5…I could not touch them after the birth in the OR room because I could not lift me arms, felt like dead weight, and I was shaking terribly. This is an adrenoline response, but I was disappointed I could not even touch them. I recovered in my room so I got them after I got back. I also nursed them fine.
    My suggestions..
    1. Stock up on anything you can at home including TP, laundry soap etc and any non-pearishible food.
    2. Freeze meals
    3. Accept help
    4. Move as much as you can without tiring or hurting.
    5. I slept in my bed on my side with pillows under my tummy (it hung to the side) and between my legs. Baby in cradle next to me.
    6. I used the nursery at the hospital at night the first night because my DH goes home (our choice) and I can’t get out of bed quickly enough to get baby if he starts coughing on mucus and it scares me so I feel safer having baby with nurses.
    7. Rest, rest, rest. I actually got flu like symptoms when I got tired with my twins. I would run a fever, ache all over and literally felt like I had hit the brick wall and couldn’t move the rest of the night (5pm and on). I would feel fine the next day.

    I also miss not having a vaginal delivery, but am so grateful c-sections are available.
    God Bless and will pray for you.


  50. Heather
    June 21, 2010 | 9:37 pm

    I think it is wonderful that you are continuing to do what you need to do to have more children even after the problems you’ve had. So many people quit having children because of sickness during the pregnancy or complications with the birth. I always admire anyone who has difficult times with pregancy and/or birth and still realizes that the babies are all blessings reguardless of what they had to go through for them. I know a few girls who have either had their tubes tied or at least considered it in thier early 20s because they didn’t want to have to go through another pregnancy. I greatly admire you and your husband both. I will be praying for both of you and your whole family.

    I have never had a c-section so I don’t have much advice to offer. But, I have a cousin who has had 4 of them. Since we were little she has been the wimpiest person I know and she was up and moving very soon after every one of her babies without problems. So, while I’m sure it isn’t always easy I have seen it be quite easy and I hope that yours is as well.


  51. Cathy
    June 21, 2010 | 10:03 pm

    God bless you! You are doing JUST FINE! Such a hard decision, but you are trusting the Lord and your husband! I am praying for you and your little one.


  52. Trish H
    June 21, 2010 | 10:08 pm

    You are in the last 2 weeks and I feel for you. My 4th is just 6 weeks old. I realized after she was 2 weeks that something must be wrong with her collar bone. I am so glad to learn about SD, I never knew. She is fine with full motion.

    I am thankful for your comfort on being breeched. I know that the idea of a c-section terrifies me compared to the fierce pain of vaginal delivery. But I know many mothers that are happy to do c-sections and would never want the vaginal experience.

    you are in my thoughts and prayers.


  53. Renata
    June 21, 2010 | 10:38 pm

    I will be praying for you – it certainly is a difficult choice, but you must keep your babies health in mind – youŕe making the right decision.
    I´ve had 3 C-sections so far & although they would definitely NOT be my first choice, I need to remind myself that all my children are healthy so makes it worth it.
    Tips – take your pain meds – this may seem basic, but I was one of these mums who didnt want anything going through to baby & so refused after a couple of days – bad decision – a few weeks of pain meds doesn´t hurt the baby & it sure eases your own pain.
    – Get up & walking around as soon as you are allowed – I´m not going to kid you – this HURTS, but I found that with my last pregnancy with the twins, I had to walk to another end of the hospital floor to visit them in NICU & I recovered so much quicker with much less pain than the others- once again don´t overdo it though
    – Get undies that don´t finish on your c scar area OR use clean san pads under the elastic to hold them off it – trust me it can hurt being rubbed in any way.
    – Practise with your littlies getting in & out of the car & doing everything around the house without you lifting them – Iknow you have older children who can help which I didn´t so found this very useful.
    -Use not being able to drive for a time as an excuse to stay home & love upon your beautiful baby & children.
    God bless you – will be praying


  54. jaymie
    June 21, 2010 | 10:43 pm

    awww…hang in there! I have had 2 csections. The first because he was breech and the second I tried to VBAC that was the plan but was having a lot of pain in my previous incision so I was told I had to have a second csection to prevent the incision from ripping open. I prayed..alot. It can be very overwhelming and scary but I have had no complications or problems with either. It doesn’t hurt either! Just alot of pressure. It makes me sad I’ve never and will never have the chance to have a natural birth but it’s ok my babies are healthy and happy 🙂 good luck!!!


  55. Jacquelin
    June 21, 2010 | 11:02 pm

    I will pray for you and your family through this time. All 5 of my daughters have been born through c-section. My best advice would be to move and walk as soon as you can as much as you can tolerate. If you have a two story house take a pain pill before you leave the hospital as it is a different motion of climbling stairs than walking on level ground. I personally only take pain meds on the first day and right before leaving the hospital, then I slowly wean myself down to Motrin for 2-3 days, then no more medicine. Again, I will be praying for you as you welcome your newest blessing!!!


  56. Sandpiper
    June 21, 2010 | 11:02 pm

    I’ve had one breech baby that needed a c-section delivery. God gave me a peace about it as well.
    As important as it is to get up and get moving afterwards, it’s also important to take it easy. It is major surgery & your body will need to recover, so accept any offers of help.
    Praying all goes well!


  57. Sharon
    June 21, 2010 | 11:04 pm

    The only c-section I had was an emergency one, so no advice to offer on that. However, I will be praying for you and for your little one. Praying that God will shower you with peace beyond understanding.


  58. valerie
    June 21, 2010 | 11:25 pm

    I have nothing to offer in form of advice (I have only two children, and both were medicated vaginal deliveries) but I can say I prayed for you tonight, and I KNOW our heavenly Father heard me 😉


  59. Maureen Dahl
    June 21, 2010 | 11:43 pm

    Please contact me to discuss your plan for a c -section for SD. I have a collegue you should talk to about this before having surgery. Never hurts to get a second opinion on SD. Lovely blog btw, and amazing family. Such a blessing!


    Marissa Reply:

    I just read your reply and I am interested in hearing what your collegue has to say about a c-sec after SD. I am due with my second in about a month. My first had SD, and now my OB is strongly recommending a c-sec for this second child. I don’t want one, but I also want to make an informed decision and do what’s safest and best for my baby.
    Thank you,


    Maureen Dahl Reply:

    Contact Gail Tully at spinningbabies.com to discuss the your shoulder dystocia history.


  60. Lori-Dawn
    June 22, 2010 | 12:13 am

    Hugs!! My first was a C-section, all I can say is make sure you have TONS of help! You need to have lots of meals premade as well as remember that this is major surgery, and you need to remember to treat it like that. For 6 wks you will need extra help…I have to say I don’t envy you right now, especially with many littles that need looked after as well. But I DO know that we serve a wonderful Elohim and He will supply your needs! Will be praying for HIS perfect will!


  61. RLR
    June 22, 2010 | 12:18 am

    Both of my children were born via c-section, and I really did not find the recovery to be as bad as everyone will tell you. Walking around as soon as you can is important, as is taking pain medication before you *need* it. I took it on schedule the first 3 days, and began weaning off of the prescription meds once I was home. We lived in a 2-story after our 2nd child arrived, and my dr limited me to 2 round-trips on the stairs each day. It was VERY good advice, and I could tell a difference the day I took a 3rd trip. I packed some snacks and drinks into a cooler on my morning trip downstairs, refilled it on my 2nd trip.
    I could use any nursing position after my c-section, though I had to get someone to bring the baby to me to do side-lying for the first few days. Getting up out of bed (from laying flat) can be challenging for several days, too.
    Don’t know if this is anything new from all of the earlier comments (I haven’t read them all), but I hope you find something useful.

    Best wishes for a safe delivery and happy and healthy mom and baby!


  62. RLR
    June 22, 2010 | 12:34 am

    Oh – and one more thing! I got a shot of duramorph in my spinal for my 2nd c-section. Way better than the demerol I had after my first (I don’t react to it very well). The duramorph lasts about 24 hours – it just made my nose itchy (a normal side effect) – and you don’t have to use the little button to self-administer the dose.


  63. karen
    June 22, 2010 | 1:03 am

    God WILL indeed supply your needs, no matter what.

    As for a C-Section, might the Lord have given you this opportunity to help other women who feel like “inadequate” moms because they were unable to deliver at home/deliver naturally/deliver vaginally? The mother-guilt had a field day with me on this one. And every “perfect” mother I knew had done it naturally…I was a failure. I might have felt such comfort from you – a mom that’s obviously got convictions on this issue – doing it in a different way than planned or previously done.

    Anyways, I’ll be praying for you on July 6th.

    Grace in Him,


  64. Natalie
    June 22, 2010 | 2:17 am

    I am expecting our 8th baby in a few weeks and I had to have a C-section with our third as she was breech. I will be honest and say I found it very difficult, because you cannot just get up and go like when you had natural birth. You need to do things slower and you are sore from the surgery. I had no extra help aside from hubby and the 2 older children where too small to be of help.if you can get someone to help around the house the first 6 weeks or so it would help a lot. You will however recover and feel normal after a while, it just takes longer than when having natural birth. Blessings to you. Natalie.


  65. Sara @ Saving For Someday
    June 22, 2010 | 3:57 am


    I can’t speak from experience about a c-section, but I’ve read all the comments and it looks like you’ve got some very good and very consistent advice.

    The decision to have the c-section might be difficult but know that G-D helped doctors to create this procedure so HIS children will survive. You and your new daughter are both HIS children and HE wants both of you to praise him. HE needs you both. And while it may not be your first choice, know that you are still able to make choices about your care and that of your daughter.

    HE made you a smart woman!

    May you be blessed with a speedy recovery and minimal pain. Don’t overdo it and as others have said, remember that a C-section is a major surgery. You will heal, but you need time. Something that a mom with even just one child, let along the loving bunch you have, doesn’t have.

    Don’t forget to speak up at the hospital and ask questions or make noise if you have to (even if it’s not your nature!).

    Blessing to you and your family. Can’t wait to see the pictures!



  66. Wendy
    June 22, 2010 | 8:02 am

    My advice is different than all the rest. I do agree with everything everyone else has already said though. My three points of advice:
    1) eat very light the night before, something easy to digest, that will be gone by morning, just trust me on this one. Even if it is your favorite meal it will be forever scared if it decides it doesn’t appreciaate all that pushing going on in your belly.
    2) Get a Shick Intuition Razor so you don’t have to use shaving cream when you shave until you heal.
    3) Make sure that whatever you plan to wear after doesn’t have a maternity panel with a seam in the area of the incision.


  67. Taya
    June 22, 2010 | 8:11 am

    I will be praying for you. Just wanted to let you know I have had three c-sections so that is all I know. This baby (due in Sept.) will also have to be delivered via c-section. Someone already mentioned but it is so worth repeating. Get up and walk as soon as you can. It helps to heal quicker. My first doctor told me that and I have always found that I am better by two weeks. I stay on the couch for the first two days home because it is easier for me to get up and down from the couch then the bed (the mattress makes it harder to push up off of)
    By the time I get home I am just taking Tylenol for the pain but I do it on schedule to beat the pain. (I have never liked taking pain medicines when nursing a baby)
    Make sure you have one of the syringe bulbs for the baby. Since they don’t get squeezed out in the birth canal their tends to be more of the mucus stuff to clean out of their nose and back of throat the first few days.
    I hope you have a wonderful birth though it will be different than the others.


  68. Ashley Stubbs
    June 22, 2010 | 8:25 am

    Will be praying for you! The best thing about it is no matter HOW she is born, at the end of the day (or night 🙂 you will be cuddling another sweet blessing from the Lord! Praying that all goes well!


  69. Jennifer
    June 22, 2010 | 10:53 am

    I just had my 4th kiddo via c-section. It was the best birth experience ever. The doctor did a new kind of suture that is done in cosmetic surgery. A zipper type thing. Due to a horrible prior c-section done in another city/hospital, this doc managed my pain great – no morphine pumps- don’t reccommend. Just pain pills. He sealed the suture with surgical glue- the stitches were internal dissolving. I was up walking that day. After @ 10 days rubbed with vaseline and glue one day just pulled off. No pain or infection at site. I have all my feeling back. My husband and I elected to do C’s after 2nd son was an 11 lb Shoulder distocia kiddo. His collar bone was broken and he turned blue but no long term affects. Yes, God is merciful. Now if we could just magically make babies sleep all night from birth and not have mommy be loopy and sleep-deprived:)


  70. Chick Hatchers
    June 22, 2010 | 12:00 pm

    I don’t have a situation that relates, so I will simply let you know that you, your family, and this dear baby are in my prayers. God is so great and He knows how to speak to each one of us individually so that we will hear Him. You are blessed to have the wisdom to set out your fleece and have the Great Physician himself reply.



  71. Mama Mirage
    June 22, 2010 | 1:19 pm

    I don’t have any advice or anything to offer regarding the c-section- sorry. 🙁 I’ve never had one and after seeing my sister forced into one with her first and how horrible the hospital staff was, full of lies and blackmail, the whole thing frankly scares me to death. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing though – I would too in your case. Though I’d still be scared to death I think. I’ll be thinking of you! **HUGS**


  72. Kristina
    June 22, 2010 | 2:16 pm


    I have been a follower of your blog for a while. I am a homeschooling mom and a labor and delivery nurse. I can totally understand the struggle you are having with your birth decision. Reading your birth history is somewhat frightening to me, since I know the high risk associated with shoulder dystocias. I commend you for leaving this decision up to the Lord and I praise God for giving you such a wonderful sign. I have had one c-section of my 4 babies, my second son was an emergency c-section delivery due to some pretty heavy duty bleeding during labor and some scary heart rate tracings. It was totally unexpected, but I tell ya, it did not rob any joy out of his birth. I encourage you to seek out the joys that await you as you welcome your new one into your arms.

    When I am tending to a laboring mom who is suddenly faced with a c-section, sometimes they feel like they have failed, but their job (and ours) is to have a healthy baby and a healthy mom. Praise the Lord that you have options, and that God has clearly stated which option He has for you at this time.

    My c-section was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had a medicine called duramorph placed when they did the anesthesia and it kept me quite comfortable for 24 hours. I am always anxious to get out of the hospital after deliveries . . . My son was born at 1pm on Sunday and I went home Tuesday morning.

    You will need to take it easy, watch what you lift afterwards (they say don’t lift anything heavier than your baby). Tell the hospital staff that you want to hold your baby as soon as possible and I will pray that happens for you. I don’t know much about what hospital you are delivering at, but most have bedside care of infants these days, and the babies aren’t whisked away to a nursery for hours after they are born.

    I hope I have been of some encouragement to you, you will definitely be in my prayers and I eagerly await pictures and stories of this precious child’s arrival.

    In Christ,


  73. Stephanie
    June 22, 2010 | 2:24 pm

    Having my children all under two years apart, wearing is a must. Much easier to chase toddlers and my children have always been so content to watch the world from their carriers and slings. I have tried a new one with each child – never this one. Sounds great!


  74. Rebecca
    June 22, 2010 | 4:07 pm

    praying for you! may God bring you peace and a healthy delivery/baby!


  75. Cherees
    June 22, 2010 | 6:23 pm

    I will keep you in my prayers. You have already gotten some really good advice. Mine would be to shave your own bikini area so that when they go to do it too nothing is missed. I wont go into details why just when I go to have another baby We will make sure my tummy is shaved before going to the hospital.


  76. Brandy Strouse
    June 23, 2010 | 12:16 am

    I have had 3 C sections and the things that I recommend the most are stitches not staples, I agree w/ another post, take your pain meds. Your body can not heal if you are in pain. But most of all, MOVE MOVE MOVE. Even if you can’t get out of bed, (catheter will keep you in bed) turn every 2 hours. Just moving from side to side will make a world of difference. Move every time you nurse, that is a good way to remember to move. If you don’t think you have the will power to do it, (I am a baby when it comes to pain – my mother spent the first 24 hours in the hospital w/ me with all 3 of my children) Have someone there to insist, oh I mean remind and encourage you to turn and to be your cheerleader to get up and move as soon as possible.
    With all that being said, God will be there w/ you the whole time. I dealt w/ the whole c section thing by reminding myself that God gave the Dr.’s the wisdom to know how to do this, to help us be able to have healthy children.



  77. Ashley
    June 23, 2010 | 8:57 pm

    I had a c-section last year and it was a completely wonderful experience. I got to hold my daughter right away and recovered very quickly. Take your pain meds and don’t overdue it. Give yourself two weeks ater the birth to rest and heal. Move around and just know that a healthy and wonderful birth can come from a c-section.


  78. EL
    June 24, 2010 | 4:15 am

    My BFF had twins via C-sect. She felt this book helped her. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=book+on+c+sect&hl=en&cid=17047924644909061013&ei=nxMjTIHdMZ6wiwTw_KCmBQ&sa=title&ved=0CAwQ8wIwATgA#p

    The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back, and Everything Else You Need to Know about a Cesarean Birth [Book] by Maureen Connolly, Dana Sullivan in Books


  79. char
    June 24, 2010 | 9:28 pm

    I haven’t had time to read through all your comments so sorry if this a repeat. I have has 3 c sections and found a few things that definately made a difference (My sister has also had 3 and her experiences were similar so she agrees with my tips). First of all-ask for stiches and not staples!!! I have had both and with staples I could not stand up straight for a few weeks because it felt like it was pulling. Also my sister and I both got infections in the scar when we had staples. Also-having a planned c section was so much easier. The first one I was in labor for several hours beforehand and cutting the muscles that had already been working so hard made me really sore and have to have every dose of my pain med. My one planned-no labor-stiches c-section was virtually pain free and I did not even need pain med unless I had a very active day with lots of walking.I did not even use 1/2 my prescription. I also had a spinal block that had a 24 hr pain blocker. During the first 24 hours I felt no pain but was able to walk around and sit cross legged on my bed within a few hours of the birth. By the time the blocker wore off I had “worked” off the soreness. I went grocery shopping the day I got out of the hospital! Good Luck!! I will say a prayer for you and your new baby!


  80. sarah
    June 24, 2010 | 10:59 pm

    Isn’t God wonderful, the way He comes through and lets us know if we ask and listen?
    I’ve had two c-sections, and they were two very different experiences (the first was wonderful- I actually have always told people it was “spa-like” because it was so relaxing! The second… well, let’s just say I now know what to demand to make it a positive experience.)
    Here are my tips for your own “spa-like” c-section:
    -Ask for dimmed lighting in the room. With my first c/s, the lights in the room were dark, and just the table area (that the doc needed to see and work) were lit.
    -I had a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL anesthesiologist, who sat at my head and massaged my shoulders throughout the entire c/s. Wonderful? check! Spa-like? Check!
    – At some point, you will probably feel like you are having trouble breathing. This is the medication, it is normal. Tell the doctor so that you aren’t missing something important, but keep it in mind so if it happens, you don’t completely panic. I had a friend who mentioned this the night before my c/s, and had she not told me, I would have thought something was going terribly wrong, because sure enough, I “struggled” to breathe for awhile (not painful, and no actual oxygen depletion. Just strange to feel.)
    – God is in control! Prayers that He keeps His loving, healing hands holding onto this baby and keeping everything safe.


  81. Kym
    June 26, 2010 | 12:19 am

    You have been given much wonderful advice so far… I’ve had 4 c-sections and 1 vaginal birth. My first c-section was a horrible disappointment and I didn’t get to see my son for 9 HOURS. Doctor didn’t even show him to me over the drape. Never saw him on the actual day he was born… for NO reason at all. He was perfectly healthy. So when I had to have a c-section for #3, I was devastated… BUT 🙂 due to wonderful communication with my midwife, she made absolute certain that I saw my baby and it was a wonderful experience. My advice is for you and your husband to speak up… loudly if necessary! Keep asking if the baby is ok and if she is, then keep pressing them to bring her to you so you can nurse during that first awake time. Sometimes the nurse will want to prolong YOUR recovery time, but as long as you are ok… again keep your voice heard!! Some hospitals and nurses may be more lenient on these issues, but know ahead of time what your wishes are.
    Do take things slowwwww at home. You will feel better and begin to do too much and with many other children, this lead me to an incision infection (staples or stitches… had trouble with both)and breast infection. Accept help!! I know this sounds negative as I’ve not had very good experiences with nurses, but I never want a woman to go through a bad c-section experience… it’s just not necessary. And do take the medication before you think you need it!! Blessings!


  82. ambre
    June 27, 2010 | 5:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing! You’ll be in my prayers!
    I didn’t see this mentioned, but ask the nurses for a support band to wrap around your middle during recovery. They probably won’t offer (though they should!) so you will need to ask. Feel free to do soe research on belly binding. It’s all good! You could also just buy one yourself like the Bella Band. The added support is A.Ma.Zing!
    God bless!


  83. Eve
    July 1, 2010 | 5:12 pm

    May blessings flow to you on the upcoming birth of your baby.

    I’m really sorry to hear about the shoulder dystocia history with your babies’ births.

    It’s too bad the doctors who assisted in your children’s births were not aware of the “Gaskin Maneuver”.

    For anyone else reading this who are concerned about baby’s shoulders not having enough space to fit through their pelvis and through the canal for birth, it would be wrong of me not to share this link. Make sure to share it with your doc! For the sake of future babies and Moms’ health.



    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Eve for the link.

    However, our most severely injured baby was delivered using the “Gaskin Maneuver”. We delivered a much larger (by more than half a pound) baby who was seriously stuck without injury using other maneuvers.

    While I do wish that more doctors would add the Gaskin Maneuver to their ‘resume’, I do not think that it is the solution that it is touted to be. One of the reasons we tried a homebirth after our complications was that our midwife told us that our severe shoulder dystocia would not have been a problem if the doctors had tried the Gaskin Maneuver.

    I am passionate about this issue because one of our children sustained a life-long injury because of someone’s unquestioning faith in the Gaskin Maneuver and it’s superiority over other methods.


  84. Jennifer Dewing
    July 2, 2010 | 10:18 am

    Hello Kim.
    Sorry that I’m a bit late to add my comment about a c-section. I too, am a bit slow. :0)
    I had a c-section with our first born, a little over 9 years ago. She was in the breech position and we didn’t know this until she was 8 days overdue. Before and during the surgery, there’s not much to say. ~ They, of course, will give you an epidural so that you can’t feel from the waist down. ~ They will put up a “curtain” above your ribs, so that you can’t see anything.
    ~ Don’t be surprised if it becomes a little harder to breathe during the procedure (I remember it was like someone was sitting on my chest). Apparently, this is normal.
    ~ You won’t be able to sit up for about the next 5 hours or so after the birth.
    ~ Ask for the pain medication as soon as you feel pain. I don’t like taking medications of any sort, and I waited to long to ask for anything. Because of this, it took a long time to get the pain under control.
    ~ The nurses will do things for you, including changing your pad and perhaps helping you wipe after using the bathroom. It is a little uncomfortable (okay, A LOT!) but it is needed, for you won’t be able to do it. :0)
    ~ Once you get home, DO NOT OVERDUE IT!! I know this is difficult. But you have older children: USE THEM. I’m really serious about this one. I overdid it and the incision became infected (I was told the incision “popped” open because of overdoing it. I’m not sure if this is true or not.) I had to go back to the doctor where they opened up the incision and it had to heal from the inside out. It was not pleasant.
    I do know how you feel on the side of where you want to birth your baby and where you must birth your baby. I would really like to have a home birth, but all of our 6 children have been born with meconium in the amniotic fluid, and 3 of them have had serious breathing problems (1 that needed to be in a little oxygen “bubble” for the 1st 24 hrs, 1 that had to be incubated because of Pulmonary Hypertension and the other because he had a stroke in utero due to a pinch in his cord. This resulted to him having some brain damage). Neither my husband or I am sure if having a home birth is right for us.
    My prayers are with you Kim!
    Jennifer D


  85. Mary
    July 5, 2010 | 9:59 am

    Have been and am continuing to pray for your whole family. May Jesus bless you greatly. Love you sister.


  86. Jennifer A
    July 5, 2010 | 11:47 am

    Hi! I have had 1 natural birth and 3 C-sections. C-sections are a breeze! Of course the first one was a little harder to recover from, but now I love me a good C-section. You know when the baby will be born and it is much easier to make arrangements for the other kids! My one tip would be to use a hair dryer on your incision after you get out of the shower (not too close to the incision of course) and this will help keep it dry and it will heal faster. Blessings to you on this day. Jennifer


  87. Gage
    January 18, 2011 | 3:19 pm

    I just started crying reading this! I am an Erb’s Palsy mom and we see Dr. K in Philly at the Shriner’s Hospital. I have so much I could share with you-Dr. K is a wonderful doctor! God bless you and your family-I know how heartbreaking it is to go through Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    {{hugs}} from one Erb’s Palsy mom to another. Thank you. How is your child doing now?

    After Bella (our baby born via c-section) came home from the hospital, one of our younger children was watching her and suddenly looked up at me and said, “Look Mommy, her arm works.” I will not take two working arms for granted again.


  88. Lendsey
    February 26, 2011 | 11:22 pm

    This story is the first I’ve read on your blog, which I was directed to by a friend. All I can say is that I relate to your birth history all too well. I am one of those very few people in your situation, only not quite as many case studies 🙂 . I have 2 children, both injured at birth. My first, a girl, also had brachial plexus along with a broken collar bone. As soon as her collar bone healed she was fine, no permanent damage, PTL! Then came our second, a boy, with brachial plexus too. No broken collar bone for him, but his is severe enough to the point where we are looking at having muscle tranfer surgery before he’s 2. A heartbreaking thing to watch your babies struggle to do the ‘simple’ things of life, like reach out and grab something at 90 degrees. Thank you for your stories, I fully intend on reading any other posts you have in this dept. The other thing I found quite interesting, or maybe just coincidence, is the fact that you referenced the story of Gideon. Our little boy’s name is Gideon, and I’ve never seen a little baby (he’s one today) that is a fighter like him. Happy to his core and doesn’t let anything stand in his way. Judges 6:12


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Lendsey,
    When we saw Dr. K he told us that he couldn’t believe that we hadn’t already had a serious injury and that cases like yours are most common, a slightly injured first baby and then severely injured second.

    I’m curious if after your first child was injured your doctor told you about your increased risk of a more serious injury. I’d never heard of Erb’s until Nicholas was injured, despite my risk.

    I’m so sorry and pray that Gideon will have a wonderful recovery.


    Lendsey Reply:

    When I was pregnant with Gideon, the doctor did tell us that the chances this would happen again were higher. We told him that if possible, we wanted to avoid a c-section. Our doc was never very pushy about trying to get me to do a c-section, so we go back and forth between being upset with our doctor for not pushing us to make a different choice (my husband) and frustrated with my body (me). So, getting to a place to know that God can bring something good out of any situation has taken a while to come around to. Thanks for your kind words and prayers for Gideon. I will continue to pray and read about Nicholas and his recovery efforts. It is an encouragement knowing I’m not the only mom working my way through this relatively unknown injury. God Bless!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank Lendsey. Yes, getting to that point of peace in knowing that this also is God’s good will and not a mistake on our part was a struggle. Thank you for your prayers!


  89. Amber
    June 26, 2011 | 4:46 pm

    This is much after you’ve delivered number 10, but it is an encouragement to me. I’m only on number three (in three years time), but haven’t had typical deliveries. Number one was natural and in the hospital. I made sure I had the doctor who had the lowest bruising/tearing/episiotomy/c-section rate in town. He even had the endorsement of the local homebirthing midwives! However, due to some pre-existing problems we knew could complicate things both my daughter and I suffered from her traumatic birth. Number two was a c-section, and baby and I both recovered much, much faster. This will be a c-section as well. Though I’ve had much pressure for those in the “natural” camp to try again despite the advice of my doctors we’ve done much praying and are at peace with this. There’s only so much we can do, and after that, we must trust ourselves and our children to God.


  90. Sara S.
    August 29, 2011 | 6:29 pm

    Just came across this following links related to doing grammar on the late side (which we do), strangely enough. Just wanted to say, to share stories – we’ve had two SDs in ten deliveries (#3 and #8) Our number 3 was a natural delivery and his collar bone broke quickly. The cord was also around his neck and pushing was very forced due to that, the dystocia did not last long, yet she still had time to hit the STAT button on the wall and everyone came running just as his bone broke and he was able to come out. He was born blue and needing assistance to breath (cord, I think, rather than the short time of SD) – but has been fine (now 12 years old). I never ever heard the term SD or any worries about future deliveries. (Actually they didn’t find the collar bone break, I found it after it healed at 12 days with a big lump). In fact after that 9 pound 9 ounce baby, they were not concerned letting me go a full two weeks late with another huge baby – fortunately it was OK. Another late and very big baby but Ok. Then two mid sized babies, with easy deliveries. Then with number 8 I had a very comfortable epidural labor, easy day, that went perfectly with no prolonged pushing and suddenly after the head delivered, SD (I really didn’t know things were so dangerous especially since I was 100 percent pain free) – my midwife did all the maneuvers and the second time trying McRoberts, out she came with no injuries. She was pink as could be. I think it was only about one minute. This time, I heard about it. My midwife was so shaky afterwards (veteran of maybe 2000 births?) and I peaceful, not really understanding the danger, actually very happy with the birth! When I asked how often she had a delivery like that (after she explained what had happened) she said she might have to do serious maneuvers once a year, but that mine was the worst ever! I was shocked. The next pregnancy, we agonized and prayed. I did not feel peace about a c-section and my mid-wive seemed nervous. She said she wasn’t pushing a c-section, but it almost seemed so. Though I had mentioned my baby with the broken collar bone when I first met her (before delivering my 7th), she was not at all concerned about it until she experienced the emergency with me. In the end, after about 8 months, we decided against the c-section, party because the baby seemed on the small size, partly just through prayer. My mid-wife was unable to be at this birth due to an emergency and my family practice MD did the delivery with a lot of confidence. In God’s providence that was my smallest baby and the delivery was very smooth and he came out so very quickly everyone was surprised (and with 6 extra people in the room just in case). In fact his delivery was so fast that his lungs were still wet and he ended up hospitalized for a pneumothorax and labored breathing. He was completely recovered after a week in NICU. Our 10th delivery also went quickly and with no complications after we again considered a c-section, but without peace- he was a mid-sized baby, this time again with my mid-wife. Always in hospitals due to our experience with number 3 needing assistance with breathing, glad to be at the hospital. The c-section decision is so hard each time as I/we do now know about the extra risk. There are also risks with having many deliveries by c-section, and some erb’s palsy injuries during c-sections (which seems crazy). Your history beats mine, I haven’t met anyone who has had even two SDs. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing your story! I thought you might be interested in mine. If we are blessed with another baby, we’ll have to make that decision again. Sorry I ended up rambling there and went back to add details which probably made it worse! (ps. I’m 42, married 22 years, kids aged 17 down to 9 months). Blessings!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I love hearing about other people’s stories. Thank you!


  91. Crystal
    October 24, 2011 | 7:41 pm

    i am in this same place right now, my 4th is due in 6 weeks, and my 3rd (who is 1 today!) suffered a brachial plexus birth injury. He had botox injections at 5 months and tendon transfer surgery at 6.5 months because his shoulder wouldn’t stay in socket. My first child was breech, and a scheduled c/s, my 2nd was a difficult vbac delivery,although shoulder dystocia was never mentioned and my issues with him started early in my labor, and then my 3rd which was actually my easier labor and delivery, other than the bpi. Everything in me from preparing for VBAC is cringing at the thought of a scheduled c-section, yet i look at my little guy, and feel like i would be foolish to attempt vaginal birth again. i have been praying for peace for this decision and just relying on god’s grace and sovereignty. your story is such an inspiration to me.


  92. Jamie
    February 9, 2012 | 11:13 am

    Oh Kimberly, I am crying as I write this. I have been following your blog for a while now and thank the Lord for you and your family and all your encouraging and uplifting and funny and troubling posts. I have recommmended your site to many of my dear friends that I know will be blessed as well. But this post has dug deep into my heart and I pray that my words may be uplifting to you.

    I know exactly what you are going through and I wish we could talk instead of write for I have so much to say. My heart is in non-medicated, non-invasive natural childbirth and homebirth if at all possible. I have read and studied and prayed about this issue A LOT.

    My backgroud is in the medical field where I spend 10 years at a hospital working with children, new born infants and post-partum care. The whole time I was there I saw so much intervention in childbirth that just disturbed me to no end and I swore that I would never be one of the statistics. I just knew that I would be able to get pregnant, have a “normal” pregnancy and a “normal” delivery “just the way God designed it” without any “help” from the medical “professionals”. I wanted / desired / longed for going into labor on my own, delivering my baby wihout instruments, just God’s help and then resting comfortably after hugging on my little one.

    Well, I got pregnant for the first time 4 months after I got married and it all started. My OB, one of the best in the area that I knew and trusted told me at one of my appointments that my pelvis was kinda small and that a c-section might have to be a possibility, but I refused to hear any of it. Long story short, against ALL my wishes and I believe b/c of circumstances that lead up to it, I ended up with an epidural. However, I only had to push for 20 minutes and she was out w/o any complications, praise God. But I swore that I would never have anoter epidural.

    Well, the next time towards the end of my pregnancy we were told that the baby had a double nucal cord, the umbilical cord was wrapped pretty tight around her neck and she could be strangled at any time. So, I went back to the office MANY times to be evaluated. AFter prayer and advice from the doctor, we decided to be induced. Well, that was NOT on my radar screen or anything that I EVER thought would happen to me. But after prayer and wise councel we decided that we should listen. So, we induced, well long story short after a very rough process,, I was in labor and at the end, all of a sudden the doctor said somethign to the nurses and one of them rushed a stool over to me, and almost jumped on my belly as I was pushing. It ends up that she has SD and that we were very blessed to have no complications.

    So, now we were pregnant a third time and I just knew thingngs wouldd be different. But once again, around teh middle of the pregnancy, the docotor says, “the baby was
    “looking big” and that we should induce to avoid another SD. I was so disturbed, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want toto have the recommended c-section, NO WAY, that was the WORST possible cenario in my mind and my husband and docotor knew it. So, once again, against all my mind said to me, we scheduled an induction. Well, that was the worst time of my life. The medications were driving my crazy and made me feel horrible. But finally the time came to deliver. Long story short … his heart rate dipped dangeroustly low and 4 -5 nurses RUSHED into the room and flipped me over onto my numb knees and hands which helped, so I stayed that way for 45 minutes. Then back over I went only to have his heart rate skyrocket into the 200s while pushing. I pushed and pushed and pushed and NOTHING. His head was NOT coming out. So, the doctor looked at my husband and he looked at me and I started crying and got so mad at myself and almost hysterical b/c I knew what the looks meant … c-section. They couldn’t get me numb enough with the epidural , so out I went under general anesthesia. I woke up feeling like a Mac truck hit me , TWICE and worse, my baby was in teh NICU for 12 hours before I got to see him at all. That was a very difficult delivery to say the least for me , the baby, and mostly my husband.

    So, when we got pregnant the 4th time, I prayed like never before. I read up on V-BACs and read “Christ Centered Childbirth” and was prepared for the best, Christ Centered childbirth anyone has ever had, we had a doula set up, support ready, music, scripture verses, you name it, I was ready for the best delivery of my life.

    Well, it didn’t happen. I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart for several days with no cervical change and the doctor had already said prior that the baby was once again “looking big” and suggested another c-section. I refused. I couldn’t imagine that God would want this for me. He put this baby inside me, surely it should be able to come out w/o complications, right???? Well, He had some teaching for me, that things don’t alawys go my way, I suppose, still learning.

    We prayed, spoke with our Pastors and friends and ended up deciding to have another c-section. I was A MESS and so upset. But in the end, thankful for a healthy baby, for sure.

    So, I’m not sure if I have encouraged you at all,but I do believe that God is soverign and in control no matter what decisions we make. Your story has encouraged me b/c so many of my friends and family members have had such wonderful natural childbirth that I have felt left out, and I suppose a bit jealous. But when I sit and really pray about it, I need to be thankful for healthy chilren and the medical resoureces to help us have health babies. I still long for that dreamed about natural childbirth, but I dont’ know if it is even possible for me.

    Be encouraged that God has given you the wisdom to make decisions and that no matter what He is in control and you can trust Him. This baby is a blessing and gift and He will deliver that gift in the way He wants to, Vag or C-section, but now matter what the wrapping looks like, it is still a gift from the Lord above.

    I am still strruglling with the issue, but know that I will be praying for you and know that you are NOT ALONE. I know how you feel!

    In Christ,

    Thank you for all your words of wisdom, please keep the blog going , God is using you and your precious family to bless me and my friends.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is nice to know that we are not alone. Blessings.


  93. Holly Morrison
    February 24, 2012 | 10:19 am

    Hi Kimberly,

    My name is Holly. I am the mother of 4…one is in heaven with Jesus. I had a friend turn me on to your blog/website yesterday and have been reading about your precious family. I just read this post and wanted to encourage you a bit. I had a shoulder dystocia with my middle child. I understand the trauma and sorrow of all of that. I do believe this is a quality decision you are making to have a scheduled c-section. I am a labor and delivery nurse by experience and training. Have delivered several babies too as an RN in low-risk births. I worked in a high risk labor and delivery unit…a long time ago, but for 8 years. Just to take away any anxiety…scheduled c/sections are really very peaceful too. I love homebirths, and if the Lord see fits to give us any more kiddos, that will be what I will do, but just know this will be peaceful.

    Specifics…you will have a drape from your chest to the two iv poles to your left and right…your hubby will most likely be positoned on a chair to your left…the anesthesia doc will most likely be to your right. You shouldnt feel any pain during delivery. You will feel much pressure once the delivery the baby through your belly. You will hear lots of suction…loud, just before the baby’s birth….this will replace a normal water breaking and the gush that comes. It is loud and startling and the docs often forget to let you know what is going on…they will lay baby on your belly and suction the nose and mouth really well…they didn’t come through births canal to squish it all out. if the baby is screaming, which is good, then if you dicuss it with the docs in your birth plan, the little one should be able to be wrapped well and brought to you for a moment to say hello…only if all is well…then to warmer to be assessed by peds.

    nice things about a c-section…you will have very little bleeding over the next week…they manually clean what would happen naturally…the baby’s head will be perfectly round…no squeezing…and the baby didn’t work hard to be born, so they often are the pinkest little things you have ever seen.

    I hope this is helpful…I am lifting a prayer that your morning sickness relents quickly. God bless your beautiful family.

    His riches blessings,


  94. Pamela
    March 9, 2012 | 11:00 pm

    I am the mother of 8 children & I too have faced your dilemma about having a c/s due to SD in previous babies. my babies are all born “sunny side up” even my c/s baby! some drs have said this contributes to the incidence of SD during my deliveries. I had peace in my last pregnancy about delivering unmedicated and as a VBAC (vaginal birth after c/s-2 yrs & 5 days to the day from my c/s). by the grace of GOD i did it & had a healthy 9lb 3oz baby girl BUT her shoulders stuck during delivery and she was VERY PURPLE at birth (none of my other SDs were that purple)- super scary! I am the only person i knew with this kind of birth history until now and i think you can NEVER go wrong by trusting God to tell you the right path. i will keep you in my prayers.


  95. Sonya Newton
    April 5, 2012 | 5:20 pm

    Hi thank you so much for sharing this, I hope this sharing may assist you too sorrry if its a bit long, since the birth of my first child by c section 12 years ago i have had to debate and research and question my births, my first c esction was at 10 cm for fetal distress, so second time round 2 and half years ago doctors saw no reason for me not to attempt vbac in hospital fully monitired etc, ended with c section after 16 hours and at 8cm being told time was up, felt very confused laid out a zillion fleeces etc and next birth 9 months ago felt determined not to go near a hospital at all, stayed home with midwives (took alot to get that to happen here in uk) everything fell in place had no cash but local doula gave us very cheap classes and loaned us free pool etc. on the day went into labour finally without fear…. without pain relief or anything, got pool, had freind with us was really fun!!!pushing at noon for two hours nothing happening coudnt understand why and transfered in nothing wrong just didnt feel right, agreed to a third section, when they opened me up baby was face up head stuck in pelvis perfectly happy sitting there wieghed 2lb more than others. I was elated felt like i’d done it all?!? apparently i had a need to fully labour (i had never pushed) why did I end up with another c section? not a clue. the only thing i know now is that I can do it I’m not broken and i think God gave me a whole day to find that out, regardless of how any future children are born, i think ive come to a place now where it doesnt really matter how, ut before i felt broke and i didnt even know it. Praise God for the wonderful births you have been able to have and the wonderful ones to come, God Bless You x


  96. Gina, book dragon
    June 13, 2012 | 11:04 am

    wow, 105 comments! I haven’t read them all, don’t even remember if I posted already. I just wanted to add my support for your decision. Prayers winging your way.


  97. Danielle
    June 13, 2012 | 10:37 pm

    I have had 3 c-sections and each one of them have been very unique. I would agree to wait as long as possible with a boy, but I did have my son planned at 38 weeks and he had no complications. He was healthy and beautiful. For you with having all your other children it seems like a plan would be very beneficial and a great way to keep you from having (prayerfully) another injury during birth. All of my recoveries have been different too. Just take it easy and pay attention to when you took your pain meds. It is important that you aren’t in pain while nursing, etc. I feel like yes God did ordain natural childbirth for women, but many of us would have died without the opportunity for a c-section. I would have probably not been able to naturally birth my children. So I am thankful for the wisdom of doctors.


  98. Mellissa
    July 13, 2012 | 2:39 pm

    Was this posted before baby#10? Could you share or direct me to the stories of your births since? Thank you!


  99. Jasmine
    July 25, 2012 | 5:50 pm

    I just started reading your website and wandered over to this post out of curiosity for why you are having a cesarean section. I am due in December and am trying for my first vaginal birth after four cesareans, which is a little (understatement) nervewracking.

    I am glad that there are good, talented doctors when we need them. It sounds like you know what needs to be done. I completely understand your decision. Our birth choices are very personal and I hope everyone around you understands that and is supportive.
    Word of advice, eat lots of greens until delivery day. It helps a lot with vitamin K.


  100. Mom as Doctor
    July 26, 2012 | 10:42 am

    You are doing what is BEST for your baby! That is more important than anything else, truly.

    I haven’t had many of my births go the way I wanted but in the end the outcome was more important than the process.

    I think the fact that your baby is breech is a little hug from God that you are doing the right thing!


  101. Meghan Wilson
    August 2, 2012 | 4:45 pm

    I had a c section on #6 of 7 children. It was a hard thing for me to accept as I never wanted to have one! Things aren’t always as we want, though. It had to be done. I just tried to focus on the end result, which was a healthy baby! Very great reward, indeed! 🙂


  102. Melissa
    August 3, 2012 | 7:00 pm

    I had my first c-section with my last baby #5. We are very much for natural birth as well. Two of our children were born at home and it was beautiful experience. Our C-section was not planned and it was a horrific emergency situation but through it all I am so thankful that the Lord has provided the knowledge for c-sections, it truly saved mine and our son’s life. Our sweet little boy has cerebral palsy from lack of oxygen at birth and has suffered a great deal of brain damage. He was flown to a Children’s hospital right after birth. We were told he was already gone, we were headed to the Children’s hospital to say goodbye before the machines were removed but he hadn’t had any brain activity in 24 hours so there was no hope. We told them that any activity at all and we would not give up on our son and will not consent to machines being removed. We called on the body of Christ to storm the gates of heaven with prayer for mercy. God in all His mercy granted our request, 2 hours before we arrived, while we were stuck in traffic trying to get to him, I got a text from my sister in law, who miraculously was in the area when this all happened, saying that his EEG machine has started jumping with activity! They told us he would never be anything more than a complete assist in a vegetative state. We told them his life has value no matter how God chooses for his body to work. You are welcome to read my blog to see how incredibly wrong they were. Augustus Rapha (Comes from the Hebrew text, Jehovah Rapha, meaning “God Who Heals”) has much work to do for everything he learns but the Lord has blessed us with a son who knows how loved he is and he is far more than a “vegetable”! So I didn’t set out to share that story but my point was that we have c-sections only because God has granted us the knowledge. Rest easy in knowing that when they are necessary to protect, they are a wonderful gift. May the Lord bless you and give you peace in your decision.

    Living In His Mercy,


  103. Rebecca
    August 14, 2012 | 8:48 am

    Sounds like you have made a much prayed about and wise decision. The Lord gives us these options so we can use them when needed. I will be praying that all goes well. He will be with you through this. It is scary, but once you see that precious little one, it is worth it. Congratulations to you on this new blessed olive!
    Love in Christ,


  104. tara quinn
    August 14, 2012 | 1:10 pm

    I had c-sections with my first two and I would say don’t over do it but do as much as you can. The more your up and walking the less stiffness and pain from the gas that gets trapped inside affects you. You get horrid pains up near your chest and shoulders and get so stiff you hunch if you dont. Well in my experiences. Dont lift things to early but otherwise do as much as you can. I was 24 and 25 but I imagine it gets all the more important with each year. I hope and pray the best for you and I am so glad your c-section will be family friendly. God bless.


  105. Carol
    August 26, 2012 | 9:36 pm

    I love knowing that God still works through all the “unnatural” doctor methods available, he knows that because of sin there are complications with birthing, but He also wants each of these lives here, so He reassures us and sends us into the care of the practitioners…my first c-section was an emergency with my first child, and all I felt was peace as God had brought in a doctor who prayed with my husband, sang He’s got the whole world in His hands, and prayed with the staff before the surgery! God is so good! Take it extremely easy as life long pain can become an issue if you don’t heal well!


  106. Christine
    February 17, 2013 | 9:28 pm

    I’ve spent some time browsing through your wonderful blog tonight and as a mom of many myself I found the birth stories section. 🙂 I have 7 children and have never heard about anyone having shoulder dystocias more than once either. My first 3 babies had SD with broken collar bones too. Thankfully, they’ve not experienced any long term issues. With my last 4 my dr was willing to induce me at 36-37 weeks. It worked for us and have not had a problem ever since. We still cover all pregnancies with prayer and know that a c-section might be needed in the future.


  107. Krista
    November 5, 2013 | 4:16 pm

    Did any of your dr.’s ever say you had a low pelvic bone? My sister is 39weeks w/her first baby and that’s what they are telling her. I read somewhere about shoulder dystocia being possibly related to a low pelvic bone. Have you heard anything like this?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Krista,

    No, none of my doctors mentioned that, although my first OB did say that my pubic bone does not have the typical curve, but he never said that would cause problems (and he delivered our first 7 babies).

    However, I visited a couple chiropractors and none of them saw anything that would indicate that I would have difficulties with childbirth.

    In my research, I haven’t seen anything about bone structure being related to shoulder dystocia, but it certainly makes sense that it could.

    Hope things go well for your sister.


  108. Anna
    March 5, 2014 | 6:13 pm

    I’m curious as to why neither your OB or midwife ever tried the gaskin maneuver with shoulder dystocia. Ina May says that in all the cases they had on The Farm they were able to deliver baby without problems.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Your assumption that the Gaskin maneuver was never tried is incorrect. In fact, both times the baby was actually stuck (most of the injuries occurred when the baby was stuck for a very short period of time or not stuck at all) the Gaskin maneuver was attempted.

    The Gaskin maneuver was attempted twice. The first time it was completely unsuccessful and my son ended up being delivered by a combination of McRobert’s maneuver and Wood’s maneuver. He was uninjured.

    Nick, who suffered both a broken humerus and a bracial plexus injury ( the most severely injured of our children) was delivered via the Gaskin maneuver.

    Having the history that I have, it is interesting to me how many people assume (and feel free to tell us) that we didn’t do something right (like trying the Gaskin maneuver) because, I suppose they think, that if we had done the ‘right’ thing then we would certainly not need to be having ‘unnecessary’ c-sections.


  109. Rosie
    March 22, 2014 | 3:06 am

    Pondering this because it is interesting. Also a huge advocate of natural birth, but have seen enough to know it sometimes needs a medical helping hand.
    Do you think perhaps, that it may be the shape of your pelvis? There is a saying that “a TOL (trial of labor) is the true test [of the baby fitting through the diameter of the pelvis). There are 4 (?) main female pelvis shapes, some being more “favorable to birth than others. The clincher is the work of the hormone relaxin upon the pelvic ligaments. Typically these will loosen everything enough to allow baby easy passage, unless the pelvic shape is very unfavorable (or deformed). If the pelvis had an issue, the presiding OB at the Cesarean would be able to positively ID it. I do not thing a chiropractor could assess that particular aspect from the outside.

    I have another possible theory 🙂 birth depends upon the vessel and the passenger. Babies make seven cardinal movements to get from womb to stateside. Perhaps, whether by shape of your body or the cleverness of your wee ones, they were not sufficiently rotating enough to avoid getting hung up.

    Whatever the case, the success with the epidural a is quite telling. The relaxation offered by the pain relief is sufficient to open the channels enough to let vessel and passenger complete the birth.

    Shoulder dystocia falls in to a “rare” category for birth complications. They are scary and extremely painful. That you have had so many with no “fetal demise” is a true gift from God.

    I have read this story through and know it had a very happy ending. You made an excellent and informed decision.


  110. devonshire
    June 8, 2014 | 4:01 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    I have a story similar to yours, 3 SD births out of 4 kids so far. No one ever explained anything until number 4 was born and now has life long erb’s palsy. We also saw Dr. K and helped my son with one surgery. I’m expecting number 5 and I believe the safest way to get him/her out is via c-section. Like you, if someone would assure me the baby would be born ok even if birthed naturally, I would be all for it. I just feel like I cannot take that chance into my own hands. I found your blog when my last baby was born, about 3.5 years ago. I came back to it today just so I could reread the process of acceptance you’ve gone thru as I need to do the same. I don’t know how I’ll ever do this. I like your comparison to Gideon (funny, that’s actually my husband’s name!) and I know I have to be strong and trust G-d. Thanks for sharing your experience.


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