Hey there! Today I want to share a post about my second birth, which was a c-section. I saw a good response to the post about my first birth story, so I thought I’d go ahead and keep sharing! I’ll recap my pregnancy, what worked, what didn’t, and what I learned.
Fourteen months after I had my first child, I was pregnant again. This time, I wasn’t as concerned about the birth process like I was with my first baby. I had been through it successfully, recovered beautifully, and I was prepared to do it again.
A month or so before I found out I was pregnant, I had a sense in my spirit that I was about to have another child. I just knew. My husband knew it too. And so almost as soon as we started trying, we found out we were pregnant again.
This was the only pregnancy that I didn’t have morning sickness with, so I was thankful!
My pregnancy went very, very well. In my fifth month, I got a hold of this book and decided pretty much overnight that I was going to revamp my whole diet. So I did, and I lost several inches (yes, while pregnant!) and my energy levels went through the roof.
All in all, it was an awesome pregnancy.
I stayed in shape as much as possible by going walking and doing pilates. I highly recommend these exercises, or exercise of some sort consistently, during pregnancy. Staying strong and fit definitely affects your labor and recovery!
So needless to say, I was ready for delivery.
And I clearly remember where I was when I went into labor.
I had gone to bed and started having contractions. Only they were kind of…on top of each other. Like there was no way I could time them because it seemed like I was having one contraction on top of the other, nonstop.
So I wasn’t really sure what to do. Was it possible that I could be well into labor? I had no idea.
So we went to the hospital, which was about 30 minutes away. I got checked in, and then the nurse checked me. And that’s when things went south.
She said, “Have you ever had any issues with your placenta?”
“No, not at all,” I said.
She looked concerned. She then told me that she wasn’t feeling a head, and wasn’t feeling a bottom, but was feeling “something rough.” And shortly after she did the exam, I felt like my water broke. So I said, “Oh, I think my water just broke!”
And she was silent, staring at the bed.
So I said, “Did my water not break?”
She skirted around my question by saying, “well, you’re just bleeding a little more than we’d like you to,”. So then I knew something was really wrong. Because after that, they called for the doctor and he came and told me that I’d have to have a c-section.
It definitely wasn’t what I wanted, but I trusted the Lord and I trusted my doctor. So they wheeled me up to the operating room.
I didn’t actually realize how serious of a condition I was in until they put me on the stretcher. They actually ran me up to the OR and were shouting instructions to one another. They didn’t even give me an epidural; they put an oxygen mask on me and put me under. So I was completely asleep when my second daughter was delivered.
I remember, in the faint distance even while I was drugged, hearing a baby’s cry. But that’s all I remember of her birth. By the time I woke up, I was back in my hospital room, stitched up from the surgery.
I look back at videos from that time and I look highly drugged. My eyes are very dilated and you can tell I’m not my normal self. And I think, why did nobody tell me how crazy I looked? I can’t believe I even had visitors!
So here’s the best part of this story, because God stepped in.
I had apparently lost a lot of blood during the whole thing, so they wanted to keep me in the hospital for several days. They also wanted to give me a blood transfusion. I spoke to my friend’s mom, who had been a nurse, and she highly suggested that I not get one (due to things that could be in blood that they can’t detect).
But the doctor and nurses kept making it seem like it was necessary and the best route to take. So I knew I’d have to make a serious decision.
I asked if I could put the decision off for another day, and the hospital agreed. I researched high-iron foods and my friend went to get me some (dried apricots and baby spinach is all I can remember right now). And I ate them…almost a whole bag of spinach and a whole bag of dried apricots. I was determined. Most importantly, I prayed and asked God to supernaturally restore my blood count so that I wouldn’t have to have a blood transfusion.
The next morning, the nurse came in with good news. “Your numbers look great! You don’t have to have a transfusion and we’re gonna go ahead and release you.”
I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled! My friend’s mom (the nurse) asked me to write down my numbers: what they were the day before and what they were then. So I did and I told her. And she said that it can take months before someone’s blood count numbers are restored like that.
And I wept, because God is so good. I was weeping when my OB walked in and he was a little startled. But when I told him that I knew God had done a miracle, even he agreed!
So even though things didn’t happen according to my birth plan, I am thankful that my life and my baby’s life were spared. Now I’ll recap what worked and what didn’t.
Going to the hospital immediately
Because my contractions were so weird, I went to the hospital right away. And in fact, they said that if I had waited even another hour, that I could have lost the baby or even lost my own life! That’s definitely sobering, but I know that God would have intervened if we had to get to that point.
I know that there are a lot of natural birth mamas out there, and I’m one of them (I’ve had two natural births since this c-section). A lot of you desire to labor outside of the hospital as long as possible. I’m not here to say you should or shouldn’t do this. But I do encourage you to get to the hospital (or birth center) at least to get checked and see where you are, especially if something about your labor seems off.
This was the pregnancy that I was the most fit. I knew it was due to cutting out processed food and sugar and adding lots more veggies and fruit. From my fifth month on, I felt and looked amazing, and many others around me noticed.
Eating healthy not only helped me lose unnecessary inches (I wasn’t even trying to lose them, they just fell off) and ramped up my energy, but I just felt good. I was able to bustle about taking care of the home and my toddler, with plenty of energy to exercise after my hubby got home.
For inspiration to have your own fit pregnancy, I highly recommend Tosca Reno’s Just the Rules!
When they told me I’d have to have a c-section, I could have fallen apart. When they were running me up to the OR shouting orders at each other, I could have freaked out. And when they told me I had to have a blood transfusion, I could have given in to fear.
Instead, I chose to put my trust in the Lord.
He is my Father, and He is faithful. Instead of trying to make decisions without Him, I took everything as it came, laid it at His feet, and just trusted Him. And I was not disappointed! This birth, that could have been a nightmare story, is now a testimony of his faithfulness.
What didn’t work:
Not taking quality supplements
Even though I was highly energized and my body felt really good, I don’t think I was taking any prenatals at all. I’ve learned since then that nursing can be hard on a mama’s mouth (I ended up with cavities while nursing this baby. I’ve never had cavities in my life.).
If I could go back, I would add high quality prenatals to what I was already eating and I can only imagine how awesome that would have been. If you are looking to be well-nourished during your pregnancy, I highly recommend the following set of vitamins:
- Garden of Life RAW Prenatals
- Garden of Life Oceans Mom Omega
- Garden of Life Women’s RAW Probiotics
- Garden of Life RAW Greens
Trying to come back too soon
For as in shape as I was during pregnancy, I know I would have bounced back really quickly if my birth had been vaginal. But it wasn’t….and I treated it like it was.
I tried to do too much too quickly after my daughter’s birth and that was not good. I would be vacuuming and making dinner when I should have just been resting and recovering. I even ended up injuring my knee when I started exercising again because I forgot that I had very weak abs.
Regardless of what kind of birth you have, I’ve learned the hard way that you have to respect the postpartum recovery process. To learn more about things you should do for a smooth postpartum recovery, read this post!
So there you have it! No matter what pregnancy you are in, I hope this gives you both some practical tips and encouragement to lean on the Lord in your pregnancy, labor and birth.