Monday, March 11, 2013

A Sure Decision We Are Unsure Of

I have been super nervous about writing this post. Partly because I am embarrassed. Partly because I am still wrestling with things. And, to be honest, partly because I don't want anyone's opinion on the overall decision. But I do need advice on all the things surrounding our decision so I figure I'd fill y'all in.

When we had Reese, it was seriously the most beautiful labor & delivery experience. In my mind, it was literally perfect. Throughout my pregnancy with Kendall I have been hoping and praying for an equally as awesome experience. A few months ago I opened up a really special piece of my heart and got super intimate about how I knew that all God has for us is Grace upon Grace. I think the nudging I felt on my heart to share that story was just as much for me as it was for y'all. God was reminding me "Ashley, you are not ever going to be punished. Jesus is enough." right before I got some pretty hard news about my future L&D's.


During a routine appointment my doctor brought up Reese's birth. He told me he was looking back through his notes and that we needed to talk about some options because of Reese's shoulder dystocia. I vaguely remember them mentioning she had shoulder dystocia when she was born- and I knew that meant her shoulder had been stuck which is why the nurse had to press on my pelvic bone- but she had been totally fine when they handed her to us and in the haze of early motherhood I just didn't think twice about it. I didn't realize shoulder dystocia was such a big deal.

Well, I was wrong. Way wrong. Apparently its a super duper dangerous situation (I think it's the most dangerous thing that can happen during a standard birth). Apparently, once the head is delivered there is only a 4 minute window to completely deliver the baby before there is brain damage. Apparently, there is a 20% chance of either injury (a broken clavicle, a broken arm, Brachial Plexus Injury, Erb's palsy) or death to the baby and a risk of injury to the mother. Apparently, 7lbs 12 oz is pretty small to get stuck. Apparently, there are 4 maneuvers to get the baby out once its stuck and we had to go to maneuver #2. Apparently, if we had done maneuver #3 my doctor would be super sure we should have a c-section. Apparently, this happening categorizes my perfect birth as a traumatic birth.

Apparently, its now our decision if we want to try the regular way or schedule a c-section for Kendall's birth. This is a big decision that affects every subsequent birth. The option for VBAC is non-existent because the problem is my hip bones being too small, not anything to do with the baby which, I gotta say, kinda makes me feel like a failure as a woman. This will obviously limit the amount of children we will have not that we want to have 20 kids or anything. This means more days in the hospital. This means a longer recovery time, which means more time off work for Hubby. This means I won't be able to do as much with Reese. Selfishly, I want to try the regular way (and I know that is within my medical rights). Reese was perfectly fine in the end and this birth could be the same.

But what if it's not.

Even if the risk was only 1% that something would happen- that risk is too high when it comes to our daughter. I know that in my brain and in my heart. But this is something I have been having to remind myself over and over and over. I think if the doctor just told me "You have to have a c-section" it would feel easier... because it wouldn't be our decision. And you guys, this has been a hard one. I have cried and cried about it. Hubby and I have talked about it  over and over. We have prayed and prayed about it. We have sought wisdom. And we have made a decision.

Kendall will be born via c-section on April 23, 2013. 


That is both super exciting and super terrifying at the same time. I am still a little unsure of this decision. But Hubby (who more than acknowledges the difficulty that will come with it) is 100% sure that this is the right decision. And I trust that man.. with my life, with our daughter's lives, and with our family. Wholly and completely. And honestly, I know that if it was HIM having the c-section instead of me, I would be sure it was the right decision. I think.. no, I know.. I'm just scared. And I have to remind myself that God is in control of this.

And, to tell you the truth, there are some benefits for our family. We can schedule when Hubby will need to leave work ahead of time which will be easier on his job. We can stagger our families trip's out here and ensure there is someone here to watch and love on Reese while we are at the hospital, as well as people to help us with the transition at home. We can make sure that our doctor (who we seriously adore) is the one performing the surgery. And we already know the day we will meet our daughter (as long as she doesn't come early) which is so crazy special.

So, there it is. I know I'm going to have a million and one questions about what to bring to the hospital, what to do for the recovery, and how to prepare ourselves later. But this is where we are today. Scared, kinda feeling like a failure, sure and unsure of the decision we've already made. But totally confident that this is all in God's hands anyways. So, maybe pray for peace for us? But don't feel too badly... because as nervous as we are about the surgery itself, our whole family is SO thrilled to meet our teeny tiniest little addition!


41 comments:

  1. First of all - you are a beautiful preggo. Just have to start with that! Second - you are a GREAT mama! You are giving of yourself to have surgery, in order to put your little one first. That is awesome. I'll be praying for your body to heal well, for your little one, and for your whole family. I haven't had a c-section with another kiddo running around, but I have had a c-section. So expect an email soon with a list of thing that were helpful to have in & out of the hospital :) It does take a bit more recovery time, but you will do awesome Ashley!

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  2. I think this sounds like absolutely the right decision for your family! I pray that God give you continuous peace about it, and fill you with joy at knowing when your little one will grace this world with her presence!!

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  3. Ashley, I'm sure you didn't come to this decision lightly, but it'll all work out okay! I delivered all 3 of my children via c-section, and especially after the 1st, it was nice to be able to plan the trip to the hospital and have someone there to take care of your older one(s). Bring the same stuff to the hospital that you normally would... but consider nightgowns because pants typically hit right on your incision :) Best of luck in the next month and 1/2!

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  5. As I read this, all I see is a mom sacrificing her own desires to make sure her little girl is brought into this world without any harm. Don't beat yourself up about it! My mother in law had a very similar issue - her tailbone made her first birth extremely scary, and knew that the only way she'd be able to safely deliver future children would be via c-section. I'll be praying for you, Ashley. You're a great mama!

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  6. Such a hard decision! Praying for lots and lots of peace as the date approaches. I cannot wait to see her sweet face!

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  7. Prayers for you for peace regarding your decision. Thanks for being vulnerable with your anxiety here. It's good that you have a community to lift you up. Also, congrats on looking so adorable while very very pregnant. xo, ab

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  8. How gorgeous are you in these pictures!!! And I 100% agree with what Moriah said :)

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  9. Prayers going your way! I KNOW how hard of a decision it is to make, I was in your shoes almost 10 years ago myself (yikes my baby is old!) I know how scary it is with the unknown as far as recovery time, etc. But please trust me that a scheduled c-section is 100 times earier to recover from than an emergency c-section after your body has gone through the trauma of labor. I had an emergency c-section after 22 hours of labor with my first who didn't fit through my "narrow pelvis". When I was pregnant again I struggled with the decision to VBAC or have another c-section. My son was in there breach so the decision was made for me...I got lucky. :) Feel free to ask any questions!

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  10. I had what they would call a super traumatic birth as well and was sort of pushed into having a c-section this second time AND my c-section was scheduled for April 23rd 2012 (had an April 29th due date) but Tindra had other plans and was born via c-section April 21st. Having had both a traumatic birth and a c-section, they were both hard recoveries. The c-section recovery was probably tougher, but it all ends up fine and I still would (and wilL!) do it again in a heartbeat! I was still able to hold her minutes after birth and was breast feeding within 40 minutes of her birth. It will all go fine! Either way you get to hold your baby at the end of the day :)

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  11. I had the same thing in my last labor and had no idea how serious it was!

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  12. This very same thing happened to me except my first son was 11 pounds! My doctor opted for me to have the C-Section with my second son. He kind of gave me a choice but was pretty convincing that it would be the best,safest way to bring Sam into the world. So that is what we did. Best.Decision.Ever. Hands down. I honestly can say the C-Section was the easier of my two deliveries. I was terrified and nervous but it really was nothing! I know that is easy to say now but I promise...you will be fine! How exciting!!!

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  13. ohh Ashley, you do pregnancy so well! you're beautiful!
    Moriah also stole the words right out of my mouth. :)
    what a BLESSED little girl you are bringing into this world, having you for a mama!

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  14. First of all . . . you look freaking GORGEOUS. Especially the first picture. Downright stunning, I tell ya.

    Second of all . . . I think you are doing the courageous thing, not the opposite. :)

    xoxo,
    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

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  15. I think you are making a fine decision. My sister and best friend both had c-sections. They were fine. Not too much time in the hospital. C-section friends stayed maybe a day or so more than girls with regular births. And you are young. You will bounce back! Just rely on all your family and friends. And seriously - which friends and family will NOT want to come help out with babies?!

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  16. Ashley I commend you for opening up about this because you are NOT a failure!!!!! We are having our first in August and as much as I would love to have a perfect vaginal birth, I have come to be OK with the fact that I may have a C section, most likely will have an epidural, etc...God has a plan for this birth and the only thing that matters is 1. His name be glorified 2. baby is safe. My sister had a C section with her first in October and it scared the heck out of us... at 37 weeks they found extra fluid in her uterus and turns out baby had hydrocephelus (water on the brain) and they discovered my sister had a blood clot in her leg... pretty much the most dangerous thing that a pregnant woman could have. Watching her go through all of this...the tears, the pain, the worry.. and seeing my beautiful 5 month old niece now, I know that God ultimately had a plan for my niece's birth. I will be praying for peace for you for the next few weeks before baby's birth! One thing my sister liked about having a scheduled C section (she was sooo ready for it, had to stay in the hospital from 37 weeks- birth) was that she could emotionally, mentally, physically prepare for the birth (as much as you can!)

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  17. Hi! I just stumbled on your blog from EatLiveRun and feel led to leave you some encouragement. BLESS YOU! Your whole comment about your hips and feeling less like a woman? Yah. I can 100% relate (though for different reasons). When I was going through infertility treatment I just felt...so...broken...and like less of a woman because my body couldn't do something that seemed so fundamental to being a woman (ovulate). But those are all lies the enemy tells us! It is always so hard when our expectations don't align with reality. But there is so much beauty and joy and goodness to be found in the path and plans God has set out for us.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I didn't get the choice whether to have my first baby by c-section or not and while it was nice someone made the decision for me, I too felt like a failure for not being able to try. I commend you for your decision to do what's best for you & your family and pray everything goes great for you both during & after the delivery.

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  19. That first photo.. gorgeous!!! Not that you aren't just as beautiful in the second one ;)
    I know your heart on this one. You know I'm praying with you and your family for peace. It's a good thing to follow the leading of your husband. The Lord will bless you for that. And your family.
    And I can relate 10000000% about feeling like a failure as a woman. With Eli's birth I was feeling the same exact way. I was SO disappointed in myself. And when I think about future children, I worry the same thing, or worse will happen. And I feel like I'm letting down my husband, my kids and myself. But in the end, that's just life. We are not all dealt the same cards. But the great thing is that we have a God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and serve Him and desire to see Him glorified in the midst of it all. And I know you do. And He is faithful in that.

    ps- I think you need to re-schedule for April 25 so she can be born on my birthday. Just sayin, it's a good day :P

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  20. both my kiddos were born via c-section because they were too big (my 2 month old was 10lbs 1oz at birth).

    Best advice accept it and cherish the remaining part of your pregnancy. A lot of women have a hard time coping with it and it sucks that c-sections are so frowned upon. Those of us that have to have them for whatever reason are made to feel ashamed. I didn't want to schedule my section I wanted a natural birth and for a long time I felt robbed of it. Now I'm stuck never knowing what a natural birth will feel like because I have had two c-sections i'll never get the option of a vbac. :(

    I only stayed in the hospital 2.5 days. Delivery, extra day, home by mid afternoon the following.

    If you don't take any advice take this, MOVE. Get up as soon as you can. Don't lay in bed. The more you move the better the recovery!! It was the best advice given to me and I think it helped with pain in the long run.

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  21. hey there, i ended up with a c-section with our 1st after 18 hrs of labor b/c my hips were too small to deliver a 7lb 6oz baby too :) we opted to schedule a repeat with our 2nd and now i'm expecting our 3rd in june with another section scheduled. i know it's a hard decision but i think it is a wise one. i was so surprised to find that taking care of my almost 2 yr old daughter after my son's birth via c-section was not nearly as hard as i thought. in fact, my husband ended up getting an awful stomach virus the day after after we got home from the hospital and i survived with 2 kids 4 days post birth which was amazing. the first few days will be the hardest as far as recovery but by the time you get home you will likely be feeling a lot less pain and just general soreness. you can do it! just keep praying for peace and He will provide it for you.

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  22. Praying peace for you guys. Once your precious baby girl is in your arms, it won't matter how she got here. I induced with my 2nd and 3rd and I didn't get any sleep the night before, I was so anxious and nervous. You are in God's hands!

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  23. You are NOT a failure. You're doing what's best for your health & your baby's health. No one NO ONE should fault you for that. Thanks for sharing your heart! Can't wait to see that beautiful baby!

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  24. I'm not going to say anything more than... YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.

    ...and okay I'll say one more thing. You are beautiful.

    Praying peace over you, because it sounds like that's really all you need. :)

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  25. I can't imagine having to make that decision, but you are so not a failure. Thank God our worth is not found in what way our babies come into the world! You are a brave, beautiful mama. Praying for you!!

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  26. Hugs lady. You made the right decision for your family, since it was the decision you made together! Skip and I were given the choice to induce with Charlotte since I was so sick. We went back and forth for awhile and finally decided to do it. When she was delivered, the doctor was so glad I had induced early because she had already had a bowel movement in the womb and there were two huge knots in her ambilical cord.

    I will also say it was SO much easier knowing what day to go to the hospital to have everyone ready. My thoughts and prayers will be with you guys during this time!

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  27. I had a semi-traumatic post-birth hemorrhage with my little girl that is making me consider hospital birth for #2, due this summer. Of course, I'd love to stick with homebirth, but am praying hard about the decision because I don't want anything to go wrong, but at the same time don't want fear to factor into my baby's birth. I'm sure you'll be at ease with the C-section. Glad you were able to make this tough decision with peace.

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  28. ashley,

    you are anything but a failure! you are heroic and selfless! i can't say i understand what you're going through since we don't have any kiddos yet.. but i have a feeling i will be placed in a similar situation because of my hip problems and small frame.

    praying for strength and peace during this last month before your sweet little lady arrives!

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  29. You are not a failure at all. I know the feeling though because I had to have my little one via c-section too. I don't know why but in this day and age it has become such a stigma to have csections and I still have moments when I feel less of a woman because I can't have my big head babies with my small hips. But, you are really doing what is best for you and your baby. I know can look back and a look forward knowing that c-sections are what is best for me and my baby and future babies.

    I will definitely be praying for you over the next month, thru delivery, and recovery. If you have any questions...please email me. I am by all means no expert on csections, but I totally 100% get what you are going through girl after reading this post.

    Blessings to you!

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  30. I can only imagine how hard of a decision it was to make, but now you can be at peace! Just like you said, you can plan everything a little easier and know what to expect, versus being surprised and unprepared. I hope you can rest easier and look forward to meeting your beautiful, healthy baby!

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  31. When my son was born, he wouldn't dilate so I had to have a C Section. First of all- It was not that bad at all. Make sure you have a boppy pillow for nursing if you choose too, and also it comes in handy if you have to cough, sneeze, or laugh. Second of all, FAR wouldn't dilate because my hips are too small so all of my deliveries will have to be c-sections, and I'm okay with that. Just thought I'd share my experience. If you have any questions, please ask!

    PS- Because you can't have anything to eat/drink before surgery make sure you have gum to keep your mouth moist. That was my biggest issue pre-surgery! :)

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  32. Good for you for choosing your BABY's health over what YOU want. I think so many mothers in the natural birth movement forget that (even though I support unnecessary medical intervention).

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  33. Good for you for putting you BABY's health before YOUR preference. I think so many mothers in the natural birth movement forget that (even though I support unnecessary medical intervention).

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  34. proud of you friend, you need to do what you feel is best in your heart. excited for April 23rd! love you...

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  35. You are going to do GREAT!!! I just had my first baby four months ago via emergency c-section :)

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  36. You are beautiful friend, inside and out, and I'm praying for you and proud of you. The Lord's got this :) Here for you!

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  37. You are so beautiful and a terrific mother. It shows in the amount of time and effort and heart-filled emotion you put into making such a big decision!

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  38. Let me say, I can only imagine how difficult this decision has been. You are a beautiful preggie and look amazing and I can tell from your post that this has been tough for your family. To me, you did the best thing-you prayed and are still praying and you are trusting God. I will pray for peace for you and your family. I will pray that you will feel Gods' presence and joy from now until you meet your sweet new baby girl.

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  39. Ashley!! Dont know how I missed this post friend! Absolutely...I think you guys did a great job deciding and trusting God with the rest. It DOES NOT mean you have failed because you guys choose to have a cesarean. Having a baby is about having a baby, not the process :)
    You are a wonderful mama to your little girls and I know that because you are just such an awesome person and I look up to you so much! It won't matter how 5ohlittle got here, it will just be a blessing that shes here friend! =)
    Love you so much friend!!!

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  40. I cannot imagine being in the position with five-oh-big's birth. Thank goodness it all turned out ok. Congrats (? what's the best way to wish you well on your decision here?) on the c-section. It does make things easier when you have it scheduled. My mom had both my younger sister via c-sectiona and it was nice to know when the girls were arriving (as an older sister) prayers for a good end of pregnancy and delivery :)

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  41. Praying for you & your entire family!

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