I am now 17 weeks along and doing well. I am glad to be out of that first trimester as it was a killer. I felt like I was on a spinning tea cup ride all day! Now I feel just fine. I have gained 3 pounds so far and the only food craving I have had is oranges. I started to feel the baby move on the exact same day we took the below picture! He/she seems to be pretty active as I have never felt any of my babies this soon. The baby was very active at my 11 week ultrasound too.
We get to find out the baby's gender on December 29th and I can't wait! I hope we are able to tell because not knowing is killing me! My sons of course all think it's a boy and my daughter really wants a sister, but is a little doubtful that it's a girl since it is so active. Kinda my thoughts too! I am trying not to get my hopes up for a girl either and focus on the fact that this baby is a blessing no matter what.
No names yet, we had a girl one picked out but are having second thoughts as it's meaning isn't the best. I think the meaning of our names are so important. We have always picked our children's names according to their meanings and I want it to be the same for this little one.
The biggest news with my pregnancy is that I have decided to have a VBAC birth with time around. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, VBAC means Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. Not just any VBAC, a VBA4C. Yes, I have had 4 previous c-section births and know I am treading on unknown territory. Can I assure you I have absolute peace about this decision? Much thought, research and prayer have gone into this decision and I believe it to be the best thing for me and my baby. There are so many risks involved with cesareans and with each one your risk factor rises. At number 5, I can't believe this to be a safe option at all. Yes, a VBAC birth poses risk for uterine rupture, but I have no past complications with my scar tissue on my uterus, I have the right type of cut for a safer delivery and I am healthy. A lot of ruptures occur with woman who are not in the best of health or because of induction or augmentation of labor. I know I have to do this 100% natural with no induction and no drugs. I am prepared for this.
I have a lot of support for this birth. I have found an awesome Christian Doula who specializes in natural childbirth and also have a small team of friends who are going to be at the hospital to help and support me. Let's not forget my husband either...he is 100% supportive of my choice in this and ready to do whatever needs to be done.
You are probably all wondering how on earth I found a doctor to agree to this? I won't say it was easy because it was not. I searched for several weeks and it was stressful. I looked into homebirth midwives, regular hospital midwives, and called nearly every OB in town only to be turned down by them all. Of course, not one of them could give me reason why I shouldn't do this or why they thought a c-section was safer. It was all about liability and insurance. Certainly not a good enough reason for me to want to get major abdominal surgery again. Actually, the homebirth midwives were the most supportive of all, but they cannot deliver me because of the state laws.
Just when I was about to throw in the towel, I finally was given the opportunity to interview a new OB whom 3 other OB's and Midwives recommended. She is fresh out of school, but has also learned all the latest medical information. They all thought if any one was willing to take on the risk of doing a VBA4C delivery that it would be her. Sure enough, she agreed. Now, she didn't agree without hesitation but felt I was educated enough about the risks (on both sides) that this should be my decision. I nearly fell out of my chair! God is so good! I really have felt this has been his leading all along and he has been opening doors right and left for this to happen.
So, I will be having a my very first vaginal birth this May! In so many ways it feels like the first time to ever have a baby. There is so much I need to learn and so much more preparation then before. I am excited though. It is hard to explain how I am feeling. Unless your birth experiences had been robbed as mine were, no one can possibly understand what this means to me. Now don't get me wrong...I am so thankful my children were born and all were safe. I had good experiences with each birth on top of the bad. But having your baby surgically removed to be born and having doctors and nurses chit chat over you as if they are on their lunch break, kind of takes away that special moment when the baby is born. Also, when you have a ceseran you don't get to hold your baby for sometimes a whole hour. Then there is the drugs from the surgery and that absolute horrid feeling of being a failure. It has never been easy for me knowing I haven't birthed my babies. It has left me with a feeling of uncompletness. Can any of you relate to that?
I would appreciate all your prayers and support in this matter. I know some of you will think I am crazy for attempting this. Believe me, I have heard all the horror stories. I am choosing to trust God in this matter and know if it any time I feel it is unsafe, I will know it is from him because I am listening to him. I will continue to keep you all updated and will let you know how my ultrasound turns out on the 29th.
A little history for you: I never chose to go the cesarean route to deliver my babies. With my first baby I was very inexperienced and young (21). I went to an OB whom I later found out is nicknamed a "C-section Doctor". He induced me 2 weeks early because he thought the baby was too big for me. At my induction he broke my water right away and was very rude to me saying things such as, "You know your gonna have a c-section don't you?". I ended up having a horrible nurse on top of that. Despite having the labor pains from hell that piggybacked for nearly 10 hours, I only dilated to a 4. At this point the doctor comes in telling me I can get relief from all this pain if I just get the c-section. I hadn't eaten in nearly 24 hours, was weak, in so much pain I was losing my vision (seriously, it was tunneling). So, we ended up getting the c-section.
Six days after my son was born, my sister Cindy died in childbirth. This created a huge fear about birth in me and so with my 2nd baby (my daughter) my husband and I opted for the c-section again. On top of this we had decided this would be our last child and that my husband would get a vasectomy (so it didn't matter, right?). Well, he did get the vasectomy but a change of heart came 5 years later (I will post this story soon) and we had his vasectomy reversed.
With my third baby (Little E) I despretly wanted to do a VBAC birth. I called every midwife and OB in town and everyone said no. The OB I ended up going to said he would consider it but then when I met with him made it sound like I would end up with a dead baby. He said the uterine rupture rate for a VBAC after 2 c-sections is 8% (which is a total lie, it is under 1% which I did not find out until recently). I tearfully agreed to another c-section not wanting to bring harm to my baby.
So, with baby #4 it was again a repeat c-section. I never considered doing a VBAC at that point. It wasn't until recently that I read at least 10 success stories of woman who had given birth successfully after having 4, 5, 6, and even 7 c-sections!!!! I also did a lot of research and found what the doctor quoted me was so wrong! Even after 4 c-sections my rupture rate is probably under 5%.