I’m not usually one to post about birth stories. Do people really want to read about someone else’s labor pains and all of the other less-than-lovely things that come along with bringing a baby into this world? Maybe? Maybe not. Either way I felt Naomi’s story was one deserving to be shared.
I have weird labors. I typically start Braxton Hicks contractions around 20 weeks. The contractions slowly increase in intensity and frequency as I get closer to my due date. They get so real feeling toward the end that I can’t tell the difference between them and actual labor. The only reason in the past I knew I was in labor was because my water broke.
I’m always terrified of going into the hospital only to be sent home not in labor. I know it doesn’t matter, but I’d like to be one of those “tough girls” who labor at home all day only to walk themselves into the hospital to deliver their baby one hour later (I can hear my husband laughing at reading that last sentence). But this time was different. My water didn’t break and I once again was having weird contractions but this wasn’t like my other babes. These contractions just felt odd. And even though I was really skeptical I was in actual labor, I felt like I had to go in.
I was planning my second VBAC. After an extremely successful VBAC with Sawyer, and a statistically less than one percent chance of uterine rupture, I felt fully confident I’d have a second without a problem. Once we arrived at the hospital, my fear was confirmed. I was 3cm and not in actual labor.
But after a couple hours on the monitor, it was clear something wasn’t quite right with Naomi. Her heartbeat was irregular and she had frequent dips that caused the monitor alarms to go off (scary stuff). The doctor didn’t feel comfortable sending us home and decided to do an ultrasound to check her out.
Much to my surprise, my perfectly normal, healthy baby the whole pregnancy didn’t look well on the screen. She wasn’t moving the way a 38 week old baby should and the doctor didn’t know why. All of the sudden we went from being sent home to being rushed into a c-section not knowing how our baby would be when she was born.
In what seemed like minutes she was born. It turns out I had an infection that was causing the problem, but miraculously we caught it before it had any affect on Naomi. She was a perfectly healthy 7lb 3oz, 19″ baby girl.
As for me, they pumped me full of antibiotics for the next few days that took care of the infection and had me feeling human again.
During the surgery they also discovered that my uterus was so thin, they could see through it. Despite my previously successful VBAC, I would have ruptured if I had attempted a VBAC with Naomi. This would have likely killed me. Crazy, and humbling to think about!
Throughout the whole thing Gods hand was so evident. The strong urge I had to go to the hospital, despite my serious doubts (and fear) that I was in actual labor 10 days before my due date. The irregular heartbeat that Naomi had just days after a perfectly normal check-up was a red flag and kept us there. The kind doctor who took the time to monitor my baby just for my peace of mind even though I wasn’t in labor. Catching the infection before it had any adverse affect on Naomi. The c-section, against my plans, that quite possibly saved my life.
Just days before all of this happened I was feeling really low. I wasn’t feeling well physically (likely because of the infection but I didn’t know it), I felt like I was lazy or somehow incapable of handling pregnancy as well as it seemed everyone else was. The whole pregnancy had been challenging for me. From sickness to irrational fears of miscarriage I’d not done great with the whole thing.
Reading through my Bible study homework in Hosea on March 2nd I felt very convicted that I needed to let go of all of my “plans”. That I was, through all of this, behaving much more like the stubborn calf being led (drug) along rather than embracing the freedom, like a sheep in broad pasture, willingly and happily being guided by the Shepard. (Hosea 4:16)
And there I was, two days later, delivering this miracle baby…against all of my plans, despite all of my fears, willingly in the hands of my Shepard who saved us both. I am forever changed.