It's been a while since I've posted anything here about my current pregnancy. Sorry about that! Good intentions, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, over the past week I began to think about what new information I could write about and, initially, I planned to share my reservations and fears about attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian) delivery. You see, I met with a doctor last week to go over the potential risks and to sign a waiver/consent form thing. It was quite unnerving. However, after my 36-week appointment (back with the midwifes!) yesterday, I am feeling SO much more secure in my decision and most of my fears have been put to rest. And as I thought about that for a moment, I realized just how remarkably at peace I am with everything that's about to happen in the next few weeks.
If you know me at all, you know that I am a Nervous Nelly. I worry. A lot. About all kinds of things. And I often have a very bad tendency to err on the negative side of life, which is something I make a conscious attempt to correct each and every day. I don't want to be that way. But I just am. Anyway, if you really know me (which most of my readers do), you'll also recall that I struggled all the way through the first few months of Owen's life. I don't love saying that. But I am confident enough in myself today that I am able to say it. And this... In the beginning, I was not very happy with my new role as a mother. Yes, Owen was a difficult baby. But I believe now that I also may have struggled with some post-partum depression issues. Fortunately, all were resolved in time and on their own, and I have since grown to LOVE being a mother and genuinely enjoy my time with Owen! But at first, it was a very big struggle for me.
And so when we started planning for baby #2, I immediately began to worry and fret that I would go through many of those same struggles all over again. The question, "why am I doing this to myself again?" kept running through my mind. Over the past 36 weeks, I honestly haven't dwelled on it or worried about it much, but that nagging fear was always buried somewhere in the back of my mind.
And it's still there. Somewhere. Buried. But today, I feel that God has granted me a refreshing sense of calm and a peace of mind about this new baby. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I'm downright excited to do it all over again!
I'm honestly looking forward to going through the experience of labor and delivery. Some friends have told me I'm crazy. Why would I want to put myself through that pain and torture when I have an "easy out?" (It used to be said that "once a cesarean, always a cesarean," but modern medicine indicates that's just not so anymore...hence the VBAC. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, just look it up!)
Rather than worrying and feeling anxious about what might go wrong (which I was assured at my appointment yesterday is a very low risk anyway), I am instead filled with an overpowering sense of gratitude that I have this opportunity!
Having a c-section with Owen was devastating. Crushing. Very, very saddening. It was probably one contributing factor for my PPD, actually. And I've always felt like I missed out on a certain "right of passage" into motherhood. But more than that, I just felt like things were taken out of my control (which for this self-proclaimed control freak was tough). Ironically, I now have a greater sense that my life is never actually in my control (I have surrendered it all to the Lord), however, having the opportunity to physically work this baby out into the world (as opposed to the doctors doing all of "my" work for me) is so powerful. I just feel tremendously blessed that God put this baby in the proper vertex (head down) position. (Owen was in the footling breech position, therefore, the c-section.) And, although many hospitals won't even attempt VBACs (either due to staffing issues or the fear of being sued), I found myself with access to one that does and a team of midwives who are extremely supportive and encouraging about my chances.
Yes, gratitude. That is what I am feeling. Gratitude for this opportunity. Thanks to a God who is blessing me with another child...another opportunity. And I'm so excited for it!
I'm also feeling more comfortable about the challenges that lie ahead in life with a newborn baby and a busy toddler in tow. I'm not gonna lie... I'm also still anxious and worried about how well I'll handle that stress. But this feeling of being so, so, so blessed carries with it an uncharted attitude of "don't sweat it, just rejoice in it!"
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18