My entire pregnancy went along without a single hitch – no high blood pressure, no morning sickness, no heartburn, etc. In fact, up until month 8, Nathan and I felt completely excited and confident in delivering this baby via the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth (something we'd been preparing since early in our pregnancy). However, at my 38 week appointment all of our plans to do a natural vaginal birth came to a halt when we found out Baby Boy was breech.
We had a few options: 1.) Have a version done (a risky procedure for me and baby, and one that might ultimately result in an emergency c-section), 2.) Visit a chiropractor and have them try the Webster Technique on me to get him to flip on his own (a non-risk procedure for me and baby, with an 85% success rate), or 2.) Schedule a c-section at 39 weeks and just get baby boy here.
After some discussion and prayer, Nathan and I decided we'd try the chiropractor. I went to two visits during week 38, and one visit during week 39. I also did tons of exercises at home in order to get William to stop standing on his head. :)
But, nevertheless, at my 39-week appointment, baby was still breech. At that point, the doctor explained that I could schedule a c-section for the latest possible date of June 26 (2 days past my due date), giving baby the best possible chance to flip. Of course, there was the risk that I could go into labor before then, but she felt pretty confident that wouldn't be happening, so we went ahead and scheduled the surgery for June 26.
I should add here that this was one of the biggest tests of faith I have ever had to go through. It required me submitting my plans and expectations to God, and trusting that somehow this new plan – although absolutely outside of what I wanted – was for the best. God kept impressing on my heart Proverbs 19:21 all weekend - "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD'S purpose that prevails." I spent a lot of time in tears and prayer, and tried to keep reminding myself that no matter how baby boy got here, as long as he was healthy, then that's all that mattered.
By the weekend of June 24, I was actually really excited and ready to meet William and had put to rest all of the fears of the c-section and surgery. It was like God had totally melted my anxious heart with His Peace.
We woke up on June 26, drove to the hospital and arrived around 6:30 AM for the surgery
that would start at 7:30 AM. They got me into a triage room, hooked me up to an IV and started explaining everything in detail with me. They also did one last ultrasound to make 100% sure that baby was still breech, and he was not only breech, but he had wiggled his way to being Frank Breech (one of the toughest positions for them to be in if you want them to flip back to head-first, according to my chiropractor).
The anesthesiologists came in and explained the spinal that I'd be getting and also went over all the risks and side effects. One of my major concerns about the surgery was that the anesthesia might knock me completely out or make me feel loopy, and I wouldn't be fully present for the delivery. (Which thankfully it didn't do!) One of the anesthesiologists even asked me what kind of music I'd like to play in the background during the surgery, and when I requested KLOVE (our local Christian radio station), she smiled and said: “That's what I listen to, too!”
Around 8:10 they were ready for me in the OR, and since it was scheduled Nathan and I were able to walk hand in hand down the hallway together. They made him wait outside while they took me in and gave me the spinal. It felt like someone was dipping my feet into a warm pool of water, and the warm water started working its way up just to about my chest. Once they laid me down, they had Nathan come in and he sat right by my head on the right side, while the anesthesiologists were at my left. After the surgery was over, Nathan even mentioned how alert and present I was when he came into the room. He also had concerns that the spinal would make me foggy, but our prayers were answered that I would be fully alert and present!
Immediately, the doctors started working and all I could feel was pressure – nothing extreme or painful, and that's when I started getting really excited. I couldn't wait until they pulled William out and showed his sweet face to me! The whole time, I was talking to Nathan and felt so alert, and I also was asking questions like: “Is he almost here?” “Is he cute?” (to which one of the doctor's sweetly replied, “I can't see his face, but his leg sure is cute!”)
Within 15 minutes (8:45 AM), they had him out and held him over the screen for Nathan and I to see. It completely took my breath away and I felt the tears sting my eyes. He was really here!
They took him over to the warming table, where Nathan joined them – they weighed him (7.0 lbs.), measured him (21 inches long), did his Apgar test, and got him all cleaned up. The whole time, I could hear him crying a sweet soft cry and my heart was instantly falling in love. I hadn't even held him yet, but I knew he held a special place in my heart.
While they were cleaning him, Nathan kept telling me about his features – he said, “Honey – he has YOUR hair! It's dark and there's a lot of it!” He also told me how much he weighed and how long he was, and how incredibly cute he was.
Once they had him all bundled up, Nathan brought him over to me and held him up to my face, and I knew right then that what everyone had said was true....it didn't matter if William chose to come vaginally, via c-section, or any other way....all that mattered was that he was here, he was healthy, and he was ours.
While the doctor's were stitching me up, I did ask if they could tell why he was breech and my doctor replied, “He had the cord wrapped around his neck so that could have been preventing him from turning.”
At that moment, I knew the c-section was God's plan. I even felt a little sorry for trying to fight that plan in the earlier days. But I was also glad that the weekend before his birth, I had come to accept those plans and trust God's hand.
Within 30 minutes after surgery, they had me in recovery with William laying on my chest. He smelled of pure baby bliss and we laid skin-to-skin for about an hour together. It was all so surreal for both Nathan and I and we kept looking at each other saying, “I can't believe he's here!”
We're so thankful OUR birth plan got trumped by God's plan for William's arrival, and that he's here and healthy!