I realize as I sit down to write this that I never wrote Pacey Claire’s birth story, even though I totally intended to, just for myself. If that’s not the epitome of motherhood, right? It can be summed up fairly simply: her due date came and went (that’s always a fun day), and 3 days later we induced. I had gestational diabetes with the Pacers, and my doctor was a little worried about her getting too big. All good. I know we both barely slept from excitement, got to the hospital around 4, & started the pitocin. Going into her birth, med-free was the plan. Going into September 22, it was obvious meds were going to be involved, but I was hoping for no epidural. 6 hours into pitocin-level contractions (which, come to find out, are regular contractions on steroids), I went ahead and got the epidural. She was born and hour and a half later. All together in labor for 8 hours, pretty sure I pushed all of 4 times. I remember through the haze my darling OB mentioning something about my body being “made to make babies”.
Fast forward to now. Pregnant with baby girl Guichet number two, all prepped and ready to go for med-free birth, attempt two. The books are read, the playlist is made, the essential oils/diffuser/bluetooth speaker/birthing affirmations are packed. The postpartum necessities are bought. I am ready. I’m even thinking if for some reason we have to induce again, even though I’m GD free this time, we can just take the pitocin a little more slowly and I should be able to get through it. The 35 week ultrasound rolls around, and we’re all super excited to get to see baby sister. The ultrasound tech nonchalantly mentions “and she’s breech”. I’m fairly certain I blacked out. Not really, but I definitely tuned out. I could feel the oh crap vibes pulsating off of my poor husband sitting next to me. When the tech walked out of the room, he quietly asked if I was okay, and I answered with a simple and short no. I was very not okay.
Sitting on the table in a room, waiting for my doctor, I feel the tears starting to well and am doing my damnedest to fight them off. Jeremy keeps trying to remind me that she could still flip, you know? And that if not, it’ll be okay. And my brain knows it’ll be okay, but my expectations are shattered all over that ultrasound room floor. What’re the odds that I’d be 0/2 on the birth I wanted? My OB talked to us about our options, things I can do at home, a procedure called an external cephalic version (ECV) – which involves being admitted to the hospital and the doctor attempting to physically turn the baby from the outside, and of course, a scheduled cesarean.
We weren’t even to the car before I was googling how to make a breech baby flip, and what my odds of that happening were. From the moment the ECV was mentioned, something in my gut said no, but I was open to praying. I wanted the answer to be yes because it was my best shot at having her the way I had always dreamed, outside of her flipping on her own. I made a very long list of the things I could do at home, and started doing them religiously. And looking ridiculous while doing it (it’s hard to not when you’re laying upside down on an ironing board leaned up against your couch). A week went by, my next check up came, she’s still breech. Very breech. I was feeling pretty miffed with the Lord for this crappy birth hand I seemed to have been dealt, and very out of control, which is not exactly my favorite feeling. I couldn’t find peace about whether the ECV was right for us or not, and I was just hella conflicted across the board. I was praying about it, but more…annoyed praying than surrendered praying. Am I the only one that prays annoyed prayers? I hope not.
Somewhere between weeks 36 and 37 (which is when a final decision about the ECV has to be made), I decided to stop being so upset and feeling so robbed of what I so desperately wanted, and to start focusing on joy and thankfulness. Jesus handed me those two words on a silver platter during one of my more annoyed conversations with him. I decided against the ECV (& felt instant peace), and started getting on board with the c-section. I started reading and researching the same way I had for my med-free birth. And I found myself coming around to it. Even finding positive things about a c-section to focus on. Maybe even getting excited about it, which sounds weird, but I’m thankful.
So no, this isn’t the birth I wanted, but my body can sustain the growth of human beings. No, this isn’t the birth I wanted, but thank Jesus for the medical advances that allow us to know so far in advance that your baby is trying to come out butt first. This isn’t the birth I wanted, but you know what? It’s her birth. And His birth. Not just mine. Surrendering my “birth plan” and accepting the c-section suddenly made me feel really brave. I personally think all births take bravery, but yeah – go ahead and cut me open and take my baby out so she’s safe. Uh…where’s my Wonder Woman shield? Once I surrendered it, and started thinking of it that way, it became really beautiful too. Just as beautiful as the med-free, essential oil infused, Hillsong-in-the-background, water birth I had always dreamed of. And no one can take that from me, because it’s mine and its hers and it’s His. A miracle could still happen. Babies rarely flip past the 37 week mark, but it could happen. But if it doesn’t, my girl will get here safely through the beauty of modern medicine, & I’m thankful to be out of mourning and celebrating in the light about it.