Our perfectly beautiful baby boy was born at 04:15 on a Saturday morning. He screamed loudly just after he was born and was so beautifully pink that he scored an Apgar of 10 and 10 out of 10. It was the best moment of my life!
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”
― Mother Teresa
Let me backtrack a bit. I explained in Part 1 and Part 2 why I wanted to deliver our baby via a Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD). However, our story ended differently. It is still a little bit emotional for me to share, but in the end it really is a testimony of God’s grace.
At the 31week gestation check-up, our gynaecologist said that he was a bit worried as our little boy was still sitting head up. I was full of faith that he would still turn, because I knew that only 4% of babies are breech at term. At the 35week follow-up he was still upright. I started reading up on all the maneuvers that could help the baby to turn head-down in preparation for labour. Google is a scary place, but I found a great site “Spinning Babies” that had a lot of relevant advice. I spent many minutes lying head-down on my couch, in the swimming pool, and doing the “Breech Tilt” and “Open-knee-chest” maneuvers.
I sang songs about God “turning lives around”, read verses about situations “turning around” and did not want to tell anybody that he was still breech. I really believed that God would step in and turn him. I really badly wanted to deliver via NVD!
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s decree. “I’ll turn things around for you”. Jer 29:13 (MSG)
Seeing as he had not turned at our 37week follow-up, our gynecologist tried an External Cephalic Version (a quite painful procedure where he puts his hands on your abdomen and pushes the baby’s head down towards the pelvis, while at the same time lifting the bum). Our little boy would not budge.
Although I still confessed with my mouth that God will turn him, I realised in my heart that I have to find peace with any outcome. My will is not necessarily God’s will, and I had to surrender my hopes and dreams (especially about the delivery) to Him. I was very passionate about a normal delivery, but the evidence is overwhelming that delivering a breech baby like this would be very risky. It would have to be a C-section. I discussed it with my gyne, and he was very supportive to give me as much time as possible for things to change. I told him that I would at least want to wait until I go into labour spontaneously, so that I knew that baby was ready.
At 38weeks 5days I started getting random contractions early in the morning. I visited my gyne, who confirmed that nothing was really happening. That evening my husband and I went out for pizza and a movie (perfect timing as this would be the last date night for a while). When we climbed into bed the contractions started becoming more regular and more intense. At 2am we went to the hospital and the sister and CTG monitor confirmed… I was in labour! I was ecstatic and a little bit disappointed, because Mister Baby was still sitting upright. My husband said that it doesn’t matter if our baby comes with a plane or a train or a boat, as long as he gets here safe! I was very thankful for the 2 weeks I had to make peace with this outcome.
Everything happened very fast from there. The doula we organised for the NVD was replaced by a Midwife from Estherea who has rights to work in theatre and to assist with a “sensitive C-section”. She was so supportive and caring and helpful to everyone. I must admit it felt VERY awkward to be sitting on the bed. Usually I am next to the bed talking to the mommy, waiting for the baby. Everything was so familiar, yet so so different. The spinal worked well and my husband (being an anesthesiologist), could not help keeping an eye on my blood pressure.
And then I heard my baby cry. After a minute of delayed cord clamping, he was shown to me over the covers and then dried, and then the midwife wrapped him in the blanket that I have been sleeping on for the last few weeks and brought him straight to me. That moment was almost unreal. For a moment I thought, who are you? I don’t know you! But then the hormones kicked in and I could not stop smiling. This perfect little body was ours! The midwife pushed the screen back a little bit and baby stayed with me until they had to move me off of the theater bed. He stayed with my husband for a little bonding with daddy, but as soon as I was pushed into recovery he came back to me. The midwife helped him to latch and he had his first feed. Our bodies are so wonderfully designed! He stayed on my chest all the way back to my room and there the midwife weighed him and gave his Vitamin K and eye drops. Then we both slept a while.
So even though I did not have a NVD as I had hoped and dreamed about, God knew best. I am so thankful that I could go into labour naturally and that my own gyne was on duty the weekend when I needed to deliver. I am so grateful that the midwife was available, she really made the “sensitive C-section” very special and I was so thankful that my baby never had to stay in an incubator. The gyne told me afterwards that the umbilical cord was looped around our baby’s neck, and we would have had a lot of trouble if we had tried to deliver him via NVD. This was a journey that really stretched and grew my faith. To trust God even when it did not make sense to me. God certainly did not disappoint me! All glory to God for this healthy little boy that I can now cuddle in my arms every day, no matter how he came into this world…
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is 55:8-9