I REGAINED MY WOMANHOOD

At 20 years old I was married to a wonderful Christian man and we were expecting our first child within weeks of our wedding day.  I had a perfect pregnancy had my birth all planned out.  It was going to be a natural birth, no epidurals and no interference.  However, I was very uneducated in the child birth department and my doctor said that I needed to be induced because I was past due date.  He induced me three days after my due date! Of course, my body was not ready to give birth and they kept increasing the pitocin.

Finally I dilated to only two! The doctor broke my water and talked me into an epidural.  After many hours I was finally dilated to a 10 and they told me it was time to push. I pushed for two hours! The doctor determined I was too tired and I couldn't birth my baby so he gave me an emergency c-section. I was crushed. I felt like God had taken my life away! To add to the c-section, I couldn't successfully nurse because I was told my baby was growing too slowly. I couldn't understand why God even made me a woman. I prayed a lot and asked God to help me to change my attitude.

One year after my sweet little boy was born I found myself pregnant again. At four weeks' gestation I experienced lots of bleeding and felt like God was going to take my sweet little girl from me.  At 12 weeks gestation I was still pregnant and finally off bed rest! I asked my doctor about a VBAC because I still longed for a natural birth. She told me it was definitely not a possibility because my uterus would rupture and my baby and I would die. I followed her advice and had an elective repeat c-section.  I wasn't happy with my decision but I felt like it was my only choice, and to make matters worse, I once again couldn't nurse my baby.

After her birth, the doctor told me that because of the amount of scar tissue on my uterus and because my uterus was so thin I would be lucky to have more babies. This was a crushing blow to my husband and me as we had always dreamed of having a big family. One year later, I was pregnant again but couldn't bring myself to contact the doctor. I began to research my options for a VBAC. I learned that it was totally possible and that the risks of VBAC were way less than the risks of c-sections. So I decided I was going to have a VBAC, but I had to figure out how, because my local hospital and doctors were not VBAC friendly. I found that in the state of Kansas I had no options of VBAC! I couldn't believe it so I started researching midwives.

I found a midwife who claimed to specialize in VBACs. I called her, expecting to hear that I was crazy and that it wasn't possible. My doctor had diagnosed me with CPD (basically my pelvis was too small to birth babies) and from what I read you could not birth a baby if you had CPD. But the midwife said yes! I was ecstatic and started to plan my "all natural" homebirth. On July 25, 2009 I had my first vaginal birth. I felt like I was having my first baby all over again! I felt like God gave me my womanhood back. God healed me emotionally in a tremendous way through that birth.  My sweet Alexis was bigger than my first baby and born with her hand on the side of her head. God protected me through the labor, delivery and recovery. I didn't tear, and my uterus didn't rupture, and my baby and I are still living! God is so good.

RACHEL CRAWLEY

David and Rachel live in Rushville, Missouri, USA

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