The discovery of being pregnant came with mixed feelings. A lot of fears of the unknown as well as disappointments from the previous birth arose and took me by surprise. I thought I had dealt with them all at the time but I guess the reality of being pregnant and the inevitability of giving birth reawakened them. Despite being told that a natural birth was most likely not going to be possible I began researching about VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans) out of curiosity. I came across some positive stories and found some information that made it sound like it could be possible. This gave me some hope that I tucked away for a later stage in my pregnancy when I would need to make some decisions about my birth plan. I found a lovely midwife and when I mentioned my thoughts of shooting for a VBA2C to her she didn't dismiss the idea either. I found this both encouraging and alarming at the same time. On the one hand I had this desire to try for a natural birth, but then on the other hand I wondered if I just wanted someone to say it wasn't possible and to shut that door since going after that meant that I would be opening the door to possible disappointment, failure and fear of the unknown. I continued forward in the pregnancy aiming for a natural birth and doing everything on my end to work towards that while at the same time trying to hold the outcome loosely knowing that there is a lot of "unknowns" with any birth. I had already experienced disappointment with Hudson's birth so I wanted to make sure I guarded myself this time round. The lead up to my due date was a little bumpy especially as I approached the end, but the main thing was that I could give it all to God and trust Him with it all. Some days I felt peace and other days I battled with fears in all shapes and sizes. One verse that I felt God had given to me was "I will go before you and make the crooked places straight". Don't get me wrong, my past two births were not entirely negative at all, God used them for good and I was given two beautiful healthy baby boys. But in terms of my desire for a natural birth, I couldn't shake this and I felt there were some areas that I longed to see redeemed. A song called "Take Courage" by Kristene DiMarco (YouTube it cos its amazing) encouraged me so much during these moments of fear. I don't feel like I'm naturally a courageous person so this song was perfect. It is also about God being in the "waiting" seasons of life which was so helpful to be reminded of. I felt so impatient at times and just wanted to take control and get the birth over and done with.
Preparations for a natural birth:
Once I hit 30 weeks the reality of what was ahead was that much more real. Based on what I had been researching, I started to form a plan. I can be a bit of an "all or nothing" person and I threw myself into trying all sorts of things if it meant it could help the outcome. Some of these things I'm sure I would have judged as ridiculous in the past, but I was up for anything. I had researched a bit about Hypnobabies and Hynobirthing but knew it was going to be too difficult to find a time to go to classes with two other children to think about. I ended up purchasing a Hypnobabies course online which I did in my own time. For 6 weeks I took time to practise this most nights once the boys were in bed. I wrote out verses to meditate on during my Hypnobabies practise and these were helpful to have on hand whenever doubts and fears would creep in. During labour I didn't actually end up using the specific techniques that I had practised but I don't regret doing the course since it gave me something positive to focus on as I got closer to the due date. There was an educational component to the course which was helpful as I learnt more about common birth interventions and why they are used so that if I was in a situation where doctors were giving me options for things then I would already have a background knowledge. Most nights while watching a show or a movie with Cody I'd be on all fours to encourage the baby to get into a good position. When I think about all those nights doing this and the sore wrists I got its a little funny, but I was determined to avoid a posterior baby. I wanted to look back and know I had done everything I could to set myself up for a natural birth. I am thankful that Cody was always supportive of this and wouldn't get annoyed or make me feel silly cos he easily could have. I became used to sitting upright or leaning my body forward whenever I could to encourage a good position, this included while driving since that can be one of the worse angles. I read and watched positive birth stories. From about 34 or 35 weeks on, I included many dates in my diet since I read some articles about the possible affect dates can have on preparing the uterus for birth. By the end I was definitely over the taste and texture of them. I bought some homeopathic 'Birthmix' (see here http://ohnatural.co.nz/product/qbaby-birthmix/ ) to take which was supposed to also help prepare the uterus for birth. I drank a ton of red raspberry leaf tea. I bought some essential oils that I wanted to have on hand in case they were needed during labour. I'm not saying that any of these things definitely contributed to having a natural birth but I can't say that they didn't either, at the end of the day, who knows.
In part two, I will write the details of the day of the birth and the birth itself.