I NEEDED TO CHANGE MY THINKING

I birthed my first child 14 years ago. I was induced at almost 42 weeks. I didn't know anything but blindly following what the doctor said. Although I was able to give birth naturally, it was a very difficult birth and I pushed for almost three hours, the maximum allowed before doing a c-section.  Shortly after this daughter was born, I was born again. What joy!

My second child came 20 months later. This time I started contracting on my

own, but after a few trips to the hospital in the middle of the night with false labor the doctor said, "We're doing a c-section." Who was I to question a Yale-educated doctor?

My third child was born two years later. We lived in a new state by this time and so I had different health providers. I saw a midwife through the hospital because I wanted a VBAC. But this was not to be. It was a difficult pregnancy.  I went into early labor at 30 weeks and had four weeks of bed rest (not easy with two children under four) and medication to stop the contractions.

Ironically, at 40 weeks, the midwife said, "We can induce you if you want." I didn't know any better. I found out later that when you are trying for a VBAC, you do not want to induce. She induced me and gave an epidural. That was mistake number two. I found out later that epidurals drastically reduce the chance of successful VBACs. Ah, hindsight! So after a long day of labor, we found out my son was stuck "sunny side up". I had a c-section and delivered a 9 lb boy. Spencer (now 11) is in recovery from Asperger's (High Functioning Autism), which we recently found out was due to mercury poisoning from his vaccines. When I went in for my followup care, the midwife said that because I had now had two c-sections, any other babies would have to born the same way. This terrified me as the recoveries were difficult, and we had no family living anywhere close to help out.  My husband did not want to see me go through that again. Yet, I still longed for more babies.

Several years later, we moved across the country. I still had the desire for more children, but I couldn't get past what the midwife said. I prayed for the Lord to take the desire away for more children if it was not His will, but the desire only grew stronger.

I met a wonderful godly woman, Lilian, who became my Titus 2 Mentor Mom. One day I was at her home visiting and told her about my desire for more children, but that it could not be because I didn't want another c-section. She said words which changed my life. "Have you asked the Lord to give you a normal birth? He can do it despite what the professionals say." I was so convicted at that instant. Although I had of course prayed for my other births to be "normal", I had not thought to ask the Lord another time. This was the beginning of Him renewing my mind and changing my thinking that professionals have all the answers.

Soon I was pregnant again and determined to have a normal birth. My husband said he supported me if I wanted to try again for a VBAC, but he was worried about it.  I read all I could on VBACs and had others praying for me. The health provider doctor was not at all in agreement with me. He tried to scare me from even trying.

One day, this regular doctor was out so I saw another doctor. I told him my desire for VBAC even though the other doctor did not support it. He said "No one can force you to have a c-section". This was so encouraging to me. Even though this other doctor was not supportive of VBAC either, this was exactly what I needed to hear. At 26 weeks, I switched over to one of the midwives in the same practice, after finding one that was pro-VBAC. I had to sign scary papers that said I was taking my life in my own hands and that they would not be held responsible for any death of either me or the baby. Thankfully, I knew that the Lord held me in HIS hands, not the doctor or anyone else.

My friend, Lilian had a daughter, Natalie, who had graduated from homeschooling and was committed to serving the Lord through her single years while waiting for courtship. She was trained as a doula (birth assistant) and agreed to be my doula for free! This was such an answer to prayer, as I had read that having a doula greatly increases the chance of VBAC. But I had no idea where to find a doula, and I didn't want a stranger or a non- Christian. Little did I know the Lord already had that one covered. Natalie encouraged me to write helpful encouraging verses on index cards and pray through them each day.

I went into labor a few days after the midwife stripped the membranes. Since this was not full blown induction and it was a gentle method, I was okay with it.

When we arrived at the hospital, I got the very last room. There were too many women having babies that night, and not enough rooms. Some mothers had to give birth in the doctor's lounge! I was thankful that the Lord had made a way for me, as I was trying to remain calm. Natalie was so helpful. She prayed over me, read the verses from the cards and sang beautiful hymns. The nurses kept coming into my room to listen to the singing and said that my room was like the "calm in the midst of the storm." The rest of the floor was crazy with so many women in labor at once. My husband also told me jokes to make me laugh, which helped keep me calm. The Lord's peace was over everything.

I delivered my almost 9 lb daughter completely naturally! It was a truly beautiful experience and I finally understood the amazingly empowering feeling of a truly natural birth. I had a second successful completely natural VBAC three years later and look forward to having another baby with natural birth.

NANCI SMITH
Graham, Washington, USA
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* The symptoms of autism and mercury poisoning are remarkably similar. We are currently doing a special chelation (which means pulling out the metals slowly). Here is information on the safe, low dose chelation protocol we are using: http://livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/

There is also a yahoo group called Recovery from Autism that helps parents with this protocol.

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