Ten Children-Nine C-sections!
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus, concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18.
Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mommy. I dreamed of having lots of children and living in the country. I was so happy when I married my sweetheart, Justin at 19 years in June 1987. We were excited to be expecting our first child in June 1988.
My due date came and went. My doctor decided to induce labor when I was eleven days overdue. After 14 hours of back labor, dilating only to 3 cm, I was sent home. A failed induction. I went back to the hospital two days and dilated to 4 cm, but no further. I was hooked up to monitors and machines, and put to bed like a sick woman. There was no encouragement to walk around, no herbs to help, and no midwife to assist me. My doctor suggested a c-section, based on failure to progress in labor. Our beautiful daughter, Emilee was born that evening by c-section, weighing 9 lbs. She was perfectly healthy with a 9-10 Apgar score. I recovered well and fell totally in love with my daughter, being a mother, and breastfeeding.
I was excited to learn I was pregnant again when Emilee was a year old, but that pregnancy was cut short when I found out it was a molar pregnancy. I was devastated to learn that I should not get pregnant again for one year to reduce the chances of it reoccurring. One year later, I got pregnant again and planned to have a VBAC. My hopes were dashed by my doctor who gave me all of the negative reasons why NOT to try for a vaginal birth. I reluctantly gave in, giving birth by c-section in August 1991 to another beautiful healthy girl, Kailee, weighing 8# 3 oz.
When I became pregnant again, I was really concerned about having multiple c-sections. I thought to myself, "This time I will do it! I will have a natural birth." I went past my due date, hoping to go into labor on my own. However, my doctor predicted a large baby again and was so concerned that I gave in to another c-section! Our first son was born in January 1994. Colt was 10 lbs. 5 oz. and I thought I had broken a record, at least in our large church! I found out the following week that my friend gave birth to an 11 lb. son the day before mine!
The pattern continued although I was still determined to change the course. After all, Justin and I were catching a vision to allow God to determine our family size. I'd conceived easily so far, so we could end up with a lot of children! How many c-sections could a woman have? I was determined to have a VBAC with the next one!
As my fourth pregnancy progressed in 1996, they discovered the baby was breech. Ugh. I allowed the doctor to schedule a c-section for November 1st, but went into labor the night before that date. I was excited. I vividly remember praying on my knees in our living room while my husband was getting ready to go to the hospital with me. I prayed that the baby would turn! While on my knees, she DID turn from breech to a head down position! It was the most awesome experience to have God answer prayer p in the midst of asking Him!
I labored all night, and, as usual, did not dilate past 3 cm. My husband and I decided that the Lord was leading me to another c-section. Rebekah was 9 lbs. She had meconium staining and needed extensive suctioning to remove all traces from her airways. With a few extra days in NICU she recovered and was able to come home.
I still longed for a natural birth, even a home birth, but I began to understand that "God's ways are higher than my ways. And His thoughts are higher than my thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9) I looked for ways to minister to those I met at the hospital and opportunities fell into my lap. One sweet nurse had lost a baby in miscarriage and was discouraged and grieving. I encouraged her to not be afraid to try again. A cleaning lady told me she was a single mom and was trying to raise two teenage sons alone. My heart went out to her and I encouraged her to lean on God for strength. Both of these women remembered me when I came to the hospital for future births.
I began seeing a new doctor and he did not discourage me from having more children. He dutifully gave me the medical warnings regarding multiple cesareans but told me that my uterus was as strong as he could expect after four c-sections.
I had four boys in the next seven years, all by c-section. Bret weighed 9 lbs. 5 oz (September 1998), Titus, 9 lbs. 2 oz. (April 2001), Seth, 11 lbs. 11 oz. (January 2003), and Levi, 10 lbs.15 oz (April 2005). During these years, I learned about homeopathic medicine, essential oils, and herbs. My favorite discovery was red raspberry leaf, which is very beneficial to pregnant and nursing moms. It strengthens the womb, and I drank gallons of it in tea form. All of this fascinated me! My family's life and health changed. I studied every spare moment, and always practiced what I learned on myself and my family. We stayed away from the doctor's offices, and I was thrilled to learn that I could treat nearly everything my family needed with inexpensive herbs that God created for our healing! We'd already been eating whole foods, our own honey, and of course planted a large garden every year.
When our eighth child, Levi was a year old, my life was busy with home schooling and running a household of ten people. But, can you believe it? I found myself longing for another baby! I began specifically asking God for a girl. My three daughters were growing up and the house was busy and loud with all of the little boys. I told God that if He would bless me with just one more baby I would be so thankful.
I found out I was pregnant just after Mother's Day, 2007 when Levi was two years old. I rolled over in bed one morning and sleepily declared to my husband I was going to have twins. I do not know why I said that! God had given me two beautiful girl names but I never really thought I would use them both. Although I was armed with this "head's up" from God, I still couldn't believe my eyes when I had an ultrasound a week later and saw my twins! I knew that I was looking at the precious girls that God had already named (even though it was too early to tell the sex on the ultrasound).
This pregnancy was truly a journey of faith as my uterus eventually held 15 pounds of babies. I remained healthy, although by about 28 weeks, my older daughters were running the house while I drank my red raspberry leaf tea and shuffled around. Lilliana Joy Krista and Shoshana Faith Anne Elizabeth were born January 16, 2008, weighing 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 7 lbs. 4 oz., my ninth c-section. They were perfectly healthy, my uterus held up to the weight of over 15 pounds of babies and placentas, and I have not stopped praising God for my little treasures!
My heart and arms are full. God answered my prayers to have a lot of children, no matter how they came into this world. I love to be home and I still don't like to be in the hospital, but I have allowed God to move me out of my comfort zone and hopefully use me for His glory. "I will praise Thee, Oh Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify Thy Name for evermore." (Psalm 86:12).
Pickneyville, Illinois, USA
Justin and Krista's children are Emilee (22), Kailee (19 married to Jared in June 2010), Colt (16), Rebekah (14), Bret (12), Titus (9), Seth (7), Levi (5) and her twins which she calls her "treasures"--Lilliana and Shoshana (2-as at October 2010.