Laura and I met via the internet when we both did the annual 31 Day Challenge. Both of our husbands are in the military and although they are doing very different things in very different branches we had an instant connection. I am excited to share her birth story of her second son, a cesarean birth. As with many birth stories, things don’t often go as planned, but God is in the midst of everything.
When Amanda asked for friends to share birth stories, I knew that my son William’s story would be perfect to share.
Every labor and every baby is different. I knew this going into my second pregnancy. Even our circumstances were completely different with our second baby – when I was six months pregnant, my husband, Braum, moved to Virginia for six months of training with the Marine Corps, and I stayed behind in Seattle with my one-year-old, living temporarily with my parents.
I took it for granted that the Marine Corps would be able to work with us to get my husband home for the birth, and if not, well, I’d done this before. I’d had a long labor and difficult delivery with my first baby, and been just fine. I could do it on my own if I needed to. I had a plan. My plan. God had a plan, too. His plan.
“Something doesn’t feel quite right; let me go get the ultrasound machine.”
Those weren’t the words I wanted to hear from my OB at my 38-week appointment. But the ultrasound confirmed what my doctor had suspected: my sweet baby boy was no longer head down. Um, what? This wasn’t part of my plan…it wasn’t even on my radar of things to be concerned about. What now? My OB wanted to give him the weekend, and then try to flip him before I went into labor (external version), and then, if that failed, go immediately to the OR for a Cesarean Section.
Braum could only fly out once from Virginia, so I had to be sure I was in labor. If he came out for the version and it succeeded, they would let me go home, no baby. I had to explain to my doctor who was extremely unfamiliar with anything military that I needed to know whether or not I was having the baby that day in order for my husband to fly out. So she agreed if the version failed and there was no medical emergency, we could delay the C-Section 24 hours so he could catch a plane.
But I didn’t want the C-Section at all. That wasn’t what happened last time, and I had been fine then. Who knew what would happen this time. Surgery would throw a huge kink in everything. That weekend I prayed in turmoil. “Lord, what are You doing here? I know I can handle labor, but surgery? I can’t do that. You can move mountains and the winds and seas obey You; can’t You flip a baby? It would take two seconds, tops.”
My wonderful mama came with me to the hospital for the version, and held my hand during the very intense and painful procedure. It failed. William just wouldn’t budge. I called Braum’s cell phone three times in a row (our prearranged signal) so he would know to catch the next flight out of Virginia.
Then came the waiting game: wait to be cleared to leave the hospital, wait for my husband to fly in, wait for the surgery that was scheduled for 5 the next morning. It was rough.
Finally, late that evening, Braum flew in. It had been 3 months since we’d seen each other. We went to bed as soon as we got home from the airport, since we had to be at the hospital early to meet our son.
I woke up at 2 am, knowing something was off. Then the contractions started, and they were really close together. I woke up my husband, who had been in Seattle all of 4 hours, and we drove to the hospital. They bumped my surgery up 3 hours, and started prep.
It was scary, even with Braum holding my hand. The biggest surgery I’d had before this was wisdom teeth removal. I didn’t know what to expect at all.
But it went well. It truly did. There were some minor issues, and they watched William for 24-hours in the NICU, but he was fine and I was fine, and Braum got to be there for the whole experience.
It wasn’t the labor and delivery I had planned on; it didn’t look anything like I had planned, but looking back, it was incredible. It was exactly what our family needed to ensure that Braum was there for the birth of his second son. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Hi! I’m a Pacific Northwest girl living in the South with my husband, two sweet boys, and a darling girl. We are living the wonderful craziness of an active duty military family – definitely the adventure of a lifetime!