A pregnant friend of mine recently emailed me and asked about my birthing experience with the Happy Buddy. Would I do it again? What were my thoughts on the birthing process and did I have any advice for her?
Her questions awakened a bunch of thoughts in my heart that I felt the need to share here…
All through my pregnancy I was determined to have an all-natural, no meds, poop-my-baby-out-like-an-Amazon-woman kind of birth. I envisioned this super worshipful labor where I read Scriptures while enduring contractions, lovingly prayed with the Happy Hubby through the pain, and shared the Gospel with the nurses in between “hees” and “hoos”. And there would be absolutely NO mention of a C-section. No siree-bob.
For 9 months I clung to my plan like a kid to his lollipop.
Everywhere I went, people would ask me if I was carrying twins. My stomach had grown so large that I started to think that maybe there were twins in there and the three super 3D ultrasounds I had had just happened to miss an entire other little person in there.
When my due date came and went and the doctor said that nothing was going on down there to help a head squeeze out, I was referred for yet another ultrasound. This one was like the ultimate ultra-sound and would take about an hour to complete.
I was nervous. Why wasn’t I dilating? Where were those contractions I had so clearly envisioned?? What would the ultrasound reveal???
Well, that ultrasound revealed A LOT. 10 POUNDS OF A LOT! The Happy Buddy was measuring at 9 lbs 15 oz! The doctor took us to his office and quickly explained that unless I wanted to risk pushing out a watermelon on steroids, then I’d better go with a C-section. It was the best option for me and for baby.
No sooner were the words out of his mouth then my cheeks were covered with tears. I had this wall of expectations built around my heart as strong and tall as the Wall of Jericho. I had heard enough about C-sections to know that I didn’t want one. I’d never been admitted to a hospital before – let alone to have major abdominal surgery! There was no way this was happening! Where was the Lord and why wasn’t He making me dilate?!?
The Happy Hubby took me in the hall and prayed with me. I cried and cried through the whole prayer – the “What-ifs” bouncing around in my head like lottery balls. What if the anesthesia doesn’t work? What if they don’t sew me up right? What if they put one of my organs back in the wrong place? Or worse, what if one of the nurse’s contacts falls out and into the gaping hole of my uterus where it will forever grow and mutate into something that will prevent me from ever having any other kids? (I am a very imaginative person.)
Then I remembered something that one of my second grade students had prayed for me just a few weeks before school had let out and I was about 8 months pregnant. He prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let Mrs. B. feel any pain when her baby comes out.”
At the time I first heard that prayer, I had thought, “That is a C-section prayer, Lord. Please ignore it. I want the pain. Bring on the pain.”
But that little boy’s words came back to me like the sound of the trumpets before the Wall of Jericho came tumbling down. I was being stubborn and holding onto something that God clearly wanted me to release. In truth, it was fear. I was really afraid of all the unknowns about a procedure that I’d heard plenty of women in my life speak of as if it were the most horrible thing ever invented. But most of all I was afraid of feeling like a failure of a woman for not being “strong” enough to deliver our baby naturally.
“This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17
My emphasis – who teaches you what is best for you. God knew that I needed that procedure – not just to protect my female parts from the excruciating pain of delivering a 10 pound Amazon baby, but also as a way to increase my faith – to cause me to truly rest in the ONE who does indeed know what is best for me. I had made such an idol out of my “birth plan” that when God called me to His plan, I crumbled like feta cheese. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my reasons for wanting a natural birth were selfish – I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to be able to tell people that I survived childbirth and led a nurse to Christ at the same time. In His amazing way, God was actually blessing me by removing the things that would have actually caused more sin in my life, and replaced it with something that would actually draw me deeper in my trust of Him.
That C-section was one of my favorite days ever. I finally got to meet my Hulk Baby – who really was 9 lbs 15 oz exactly as the ultrasound predicted! I got to experience the most incredible peace of God like never before – seriously, as they rolled me into the surgery room I passed by the hospital bulletin board which had a poster on it that read Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And my husband and I spoke Psalm 34:5, “I sought the Lord and He answered me, He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to the Lord are radiant, their faces are never covered in shame,” right up until they placed the Happy Buddy in my arms.
I was covered in God’s Word and in the truth that His will was being done.
When I wrote my friend’s email, I told her that the most important thing in the “birth process” is to be completely surrendered to the Lord our God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. It’s good to have a plan, but ultimately the best plan is a heart surrendered to His good and perfect will.
The “What-ifs” are no longer bouncing around in my brain causing me to fear what’s ahead (will God even give us another baby? Will we try for a VBAC or another C-section??). I am confident in God’s hand of direction. I wouldn’t change a thing about the Happy Buddy’s birth because it taught me more about His love than anything else I’ve ever experienced.
And seriously, the Happy Buddy is here and he’s amazing and in light of eternity, thank you Jesus for a pain-free birth!P.S. The surgery went great – all of my organs are right where they are supposed to be and no one lost a contact. 🙂
Julie, thanks for sharing this powerful story, so full of God’s truth. I pray it will speak clearly to the hearts of those with whom it is shared through all the mysterious networking possibilities of internet communication. I’m only interested in enjoying grandbabies these days, not giving birth :o), but your story can apply to so many of the plans we concoct and then hold onto too tightly.
Thanks for sharing Julie! You have a gift for writing! I love you dear friend!
Julie, I loved reading your words and hearing your message. Thank you for sharing it with me. P.S. I’m glad about the contact situation.
What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing…God gave you such a great gift of writing; I LOVE your blogs, even though I don’t have any kids yet 🙂
I know what a huge deal this was for you and how you wrestled with such a tangled web of emotions over this issue. God surely did work it all together for good and I’m so glad you were able to write about the lessons God taught you through this experience. Isn’t it funny how so many times in our lives the very things that seem like gigantic trials to us are really the precious gemstones God is setting in our crowns? Love you, Dear Friend!
Oh Julie—I SOOOOO relate to this story!!! I have a VERY similar birth story. Thank you SO much for putting into words many of the feelings I was having and still struggle with today even 5 years later!! You continue to bless me in so many ways!! 🙂
Same here, with TWINS!! 🙏💞
What a beautiful picture of how God works in our lives to gently point out things (things we may not even be aware of) that are coming between Him and us. How great is the Father’s love for us!! I know many will be blessed by your c-section trauma!
In our book club on Tuesday, we were discussing this exact same thing…”It’s good to have a plan, but ultimately the best plan is a heart surrendered to His good and perfect will.” I think you said it better! Love your post and am excited to read more…you are awesome! Love you, Beth
Oh Julie, I just love this! I went through almost exactly the same thing…I was determined to have Jessica MY way, naturally, “poop out like an Amazon woman,” and ended up with an emergency c-section as well, only it was due to not dilating more than one centimeter at more than 24 hours after my water broke, even WITH pitocin. I hadn’t done ANY research on c-sections and had no clue what to expect. But I prayed my heart out (through the tears) and all was well! Thanks for this reminder of God’s hand in ALL things! 🙂
I know this is a little late, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post especially, although I love them all. Even though, I cannot relate to having children and probably won’t for a while, I can relate to be fearful and having certain events in life so planned out that I can envision them just perfectly! As I quickly approach graduating in December, I have found myself with quite the anxious heart as I am such a little planner! However, there are 2 pieces of scripture that are helping me tame this oh so anxious heart of mine…one is Philippians 4:6-7 as you mentioned and the other is one of my favorites….Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” What peace it brings to know that our Savior has so intentionally planned out every step we take in every stage of life, PRAISE THE LORD!!
Take care girl!
Hi Julie! My name is Joanna, I’m Polish, married to a wonderful Scot. We are missionaries in small town in Ukraine working towards fostering and adopting Ukrainian needy kids I’m also mom of one beautiful girl!I only today discovered your amazing blog but I already love it! Your story about birthing experience is SO similar to mine! My little girl (11 months yesterday!) had to be born by planned C-Section due to breech position. I was SO much wanting to have home birth and didn’t even wanted to think about anything else! I don’t like hospitals and I’m afraid of needles so when the doctors said that I will need to have C-Section I was scared! I was crying and praying asking God to turn around my baby girl! He said: No, and on the 25th of February 2010 I went to the hospital! But… I have wonderful memories from that day! God gave me peace and send wonderful nurses and doctors to look after me! I recovered very quickly and I learnt to trust God, cos He REALLY knows what is best for us 🙂
Happy Home Fairy
Joanna – I am so blessed that you found out about my little blog! And I’m amazed at the power of God’s work in your life! It’s clear that He has given you some serious STRENGTH as a missionary wife and mommy. I have no doubt that your Home is a Happy one. God bless you and keep stopping by! 🙂
Wow! I’m 3 days pre op before my c-section. I have been the same as you my entire pregnancy I have wanted this wonderful natural birth (the same as my first). Fast painless wonderful experience that I had with my first (who will be 12yrs old next Sat) but from constant 5mins apart contractions to her being out was 4hr, pushing 3 times, it was this amazing feeling and I was so happy to experience it again. While early in the pregnancy the diagnosed me with gestational diabetes, my first thought was the same as yours an Amazon Baby. Well from the very beginning I have be able to tame my sugars so well that I was able to lose 30lbs over my whole pregnancy. I was bound and determined to have that natural birth til about 34 weeks when I found out our beautiful healthy baby girl is breech. They kept telling me every visit “oh she will turn”. My Dr is still convinced that she could still turn. I was very upset why and how can God do this to me, take this magical experience and make me doped up and painful afterwards. And just one day it hit me like a 8lb brick, this is Gods plan, this was his plan all along. This is a reason she hasn’t turn, that only him and my daughter will only ever know. I have been trying to read up on c-section so I can be familiar with everything that goes on. When I read your blog, it really struck my heart, this is actually how I feel. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this. I am in the same boat right now – planned on a natural birth and instead will be having a c-section to deliver my giant boy. It has been hard news to swallow. I am actively working on giving it over to God and this post has been a huge help with that 🙂
Happy Home Fairy
Noelle – I’m so happy you found this post! I will pray for your baby’s delivery and for your heart to have His perfect peace. He is with you and He loves you. xoxo
Thanks so much for posting this and for allowing God to use you to tell your story! I found this blog post (and encouragement) days before my scheduled c-section to deliver my son. At nearly 42 weeks he hadn’t dropped yet and we were expecting a big baby. So on a Tuesday I was scheduled for a c-section that Friday. My son was born weighing a whopping 10 lbs 1 oz measuring 22 inches long!!! We had no idea how big he’d be but God knew! I am once again reminded that:
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
I am now the blessed mother of a healthy baby boy who is 10 days old… and loves to eat 😉 All that matters is that The Lord brought him safely into this world and continues to watch over us. God is Good!!
I found you blog through Doorposts…
Loved this story. It made me laugh out loud (contact part) and cry (your student praying, God is so amazing!). I have read some of your posts and I appreciate the honest way you share how God is working in your life.
I have a blog in Finnish and this is what I am hoping to share with my writing too.
btw. I gave birth to a 10 pound baby and survived. Really, it was fine. But I didn’t run for three years after his birth! 🙂
I really pray that God will bless you for this post. I’ve been up since the wee hours of the morning trying to fund an encouraging word today because the doctor just scheduled me for a c section because my baby is breech. I’ve been angry at the choice to have my “supernatural childbirth” and Hebrew woman childbirth taken away from me. My husband had been trying to convince me that God’s will Will still be done but I couldn’t help but feel like a failure….or that I must not have had enough faith and was being “punished” by God.
Your post has me crying buckets now because I realize I must surrender to his will above all and yes, I really did have selfish reasons for wanting the natural birth and I did have fear of c sections.
Thank you very very much for sharing
Thank you so much for this post…. I’m having my first csection this Wednesday, September 14th, 2016…and am pretty nervous…I still experience morning sickness so I’m afraid of the fasting…but your post truly encourages me…as well as the verses…
Thank you again,
“It’s good to have a plan, but ultimately the best plan is a heart surrendered to His good and perfect will.“
This is so true! I’m in a similar situation- I had to be induced early with my son, and was REALLY hoping for a natural birth this time around…but I found out this week (I’m 33 weeks pregnant) that I’ll need a c section due to the location of my placenta. Your post was exactly what I needed to read! Thank you for sharing your story!
Hi Julie, Thank you for sharing… God’s plans for us are the best. He knows what’s best for us indeed.
Somehow I needed this. I also had a plan…I wanted the whole natural birth experience too. I had planned everything too…I had all the right Bible verses and prayed for it from the day I knew I was pregnant. Being an African woman from Africa, giving birth by C-section is a no no! Some consider it as a really really really bad thing…my mom has 6 children with no c-section, same with all my aunties and all my friends (somehow we were all pregnant around the same time). So yes, I didn’t want to hear anything about c-section.
Anyway, it’s been 18 months since MD (his initials) came in our lives, and all I can say is thank you Jesus! He is such a blessing! Every time i look at him I know God loves us.
Thank you so much for sharing…my sister is about to give birth and although I am not with her right now, I trust God for His perfect plan.
Tonight I received news that our baby is pretty big as well :,(.. I’ll be notified tomorrow if I will be needing a cesarean birth. Thank you for sharing this post because it is exactly what I am going through, and I realize that it has been about me wanting to prove that I am strong by having an unmedicated birth. I am so scared of having a csection but I am putting it in God’s hands. May his will be done.