Sometimes I have no idea how to start writing a blog post. This is one of them. Anyway... almost 2 years ago I had an emergency C-section with Ellie, and let me tell you, I was SO not prepared for that. We went to prenatal classes to learn all about labour techniques and all the basics about birth, and when the part came to learn about C-sections, I totally tuned out. I NEVER thought I would have a C-section. The possibility didn't even cross my mind. Of course, I should have realized that it was a possibility, but for some reason I was absolutely convinced that I would not have to have one. I suppose then it shouldn't come as a shock to me when I feel a very strange sense of disappointment and even a tiny bit of anger when it comes to thinking about having a C-section. I know, I know... I should just be thankful everything turned out okay, and I am. Believe me, I am very thankful mama and baby ended up being all right. And I completely understand that had I not had a C-section, things could have possibly turned out much worse. I also understand that my C-section may have been unnecessary. Then again, it may have been completely necessary, and had I been living in a time when medicine was not as advanced, perhaps mama and/or baby would not have been all right. In hindsight I wish I would have asked a few more questions before agreeing to the C-section. I wish I would have stuck it out a bit more rather than getting an epidural when things weren't progressing during active labour. Yes, all the could have's, should have's, wish-I-would-have's, and might-have-been's. I will never know what would have happened otherwise, and I probably do not want to know. What I'm trying to say is when things don't turn out according to our expectations, we shouldn't be surprised to feel some disappointment. Part of me feels guilty and selfish for feeling disappointed when everything turned out okay in the end (other than the implications a c-section has on future pregnancies and births), but the other part of me feels like it's really quite normal given my unmet expectations. I should have not been so caught up in my expectations while pregnant because it set me up for feelings of disappointment. Of course having a c-section is not the end of the world, but this does not negate my feelings about the experience and the implications for future pregnancies and births. I hope I don't sound bitter or ungrateful. I truly am grateful for the miracle our little Ellie is. And in the end...whether a person has C-sections, natural labours, homebirths, etc. don't really matter if we are seeking the Lord in our decisions. I mean...look at our precious baby!
Do you want to know the biggest reason I am disappointed in having a c-section? It's because the number of biological children we can have might now be limited. The general consensus among most doctors is a maximum of 3 c-sections, although you might come across a doctor here or there who will say it totally depends on the person. As I was going through my discharge papers with the nurse before we left the hospital with our newborn, I asked, "Does this mean I have to always have c-sections from now on?" The answer I got was a sympathetic "yes, probably" from a nurse who had to have c-sections herself.
Before my husband and I got married, we discussed the common question, "How many children would you like to have?" Neither of us really had a concrete answer. We still don't have a concrete answer. We don't know. Maybe we would only have 3 even without having to have c-sections. Then again, maybe we'd have 4 or 5 or even more. We're trying to seek God as to how many children He would like us to have. The fact that having another c-section pretty much guarantees a maximum of 3 is what is disappointing for me.
Now here is where a lot of you might really think I've got issues...and I do (have issues, I mean. But really, who doesn't?) These days most people choose to have only 2 or 3 kids even though they could easily have more. As long as they are seeking the Lord's will, following Him, and do not have selfish motives, this is fine in my opinion. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to have a certain number of children. I realize that many fellow believers disagree with all forms of natural family planning and instead choose to trust the Lord's sovereignty over the womb, meaning taking no action to prevent pregnancy. I respect their convictions but do not necessarily believe it is sinful or showing a lack of faith to practice some forms of natural family planning. My husband and I personally believe we should seek the Lord's direction as to how many children He would like us to have, but we do not believe this means all forms of child planning are banned. I disagree with most forms of birth control, but I'm not going to get into that right now. The key is to ask ourselves if we are deciding this based on our own selfish desires or because we believe it's the Lord's will. Nowadays, many people view children as an inconvenience instead of a blessing. Now I'm going off on a tangent. Anyway, what I mean to say is that I find it difficult that here I am wanting the option of having more than 3 children when most people with the option to have more never choose to have more than 2 or 3. I know that sounds and is ridiculous, but it's kind of how I feel at times.
The irony is that in trusting the Lord to lead us in the number of children He wants to give us, I ought to realize that perhaps having to have c-sections IS the Lord's way of showing us His will. As in, it is possible that His will for us would be to have only 3 biological children should I end up needing all c-sections.
I should add that even if I do end up having all c-sections, it does not necessarily mean 3 is all God would like us to have. I heard of one lady who safely 9 safe C-sections! Besides, there is always adoption.
Okay, I need to wrap this up. Here's the thing. I am planning and praying for a VBAC this time around. I desperately tried to get on with the only midwife here and called the same day I found out I was pregnant, but she was already booked for that month. I have found a doctor here who is willing to let me try but is a bit apprehensive about VBACs. (When Ellie was born there was no one who was willing to do VBACs here.). Update: Our region hired a new midwife recently, so I was able to get on with the midwifery program when I was around 20 weeks pregnant, praise the Lord!
Notice I said "I" am planning a VBAC. The Lord may have other plans. And you know what? I am okay with that. After all, His plans are ALWAYS better than our own.
This is where I just need to trust Him.