Consider the lilies how they grow : they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27
It was very difficult living without my husband all those months. I was very ill, suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum for the second time in my life. At my lowest point I was hospitalized for a week, having lost 25 lbs at 13 weeks. In the hospital I was given three very strong nausea medications in my iv, and when I was discharged I was given a prescription for one of them, Zofran, which is a drug commonly given to chemotherapy patients to help combat their nausea. My husband and I were uncomfortable with me taking the medicine though. We knew it couldn't be good for baby Anna and we wanted to just trust the Lord to allow me not to need it. We prayed, and less than a week after leaving the hospital I was able to make it through the day, keeping food and water down without the medicine.
Because I was a VBAC mother, I was required by the practice to have a consultation with one of their obstetricians. The premise of this "consultation" is for the obstetrician to make sure I understand the risks and benefits of both a VBAC and an elective repeat cesarean. It really was a joke though. He only discussed the risks of a VBAC and the benefits of the elective repeat cesarean. Then, he said to me, "well, we can try a VBAC if you really want to, but you only have a 50% chance of it being successful." I reminded him that I'd already had a successful VBAC, and my husband told him we were Christians and that we were trusting the Lord for a safe VBAC. After that the doctor didn't have much to say. He signed my consultation form and left the room.
[Now, since we're almost to Anna's birth, I want to share with you everything we'd prayed for the birth. I have a history of small for gestational age babies. My first was 3lbs 10oz at 37 weeks and my second was 5lbs 2oz at 41 weeks. It seemed I just couldn't grow a "normal size" baby. We prayed that Anna would be a good, normal, healthy weight at birth. I struggled with having faith in this throughout my pregnancy. It didn't help when people would tell me that I didn't even look pregnant, or that I "looked so good" (when what they meant was I looked so small). "Where's the baby", people would ask. With each of those comments my faith was weakened a little bit more. I was thankful to have my husband's faith to carry me.
Since Caleb's birth was so long and exhausting, we prayed for a quick, easy birth with Anna. My husband even said he didn't mind if it was so fast we didn't have time to get to the hospital first.
We prayed for a painless labor. We'd read the book Supernatural Childbirth and we knew that with the Lord, all things are possible.
I had a painful second degree tear when Caleb was born (all 5lbs of him). We prayed that I wouldn't have any tearing with Anna.
I also have a history of "failed" breastfeeding attempts. We prayed that baby Anna and I would have no trouble breastfeeding, right from the start.
Then there was my birth plan. I didn't want an iv or an epidural. I wanted to be up and moving. I wanted to be free to push on my hands and knees. I didn't want to be guided in "purple pushing" (I wanted to push when I felt the urge, for as long as I felt I needed to). I didn't want Anna's cord cut until it stopped pulsing. I wanted to hold her for awhile before she was taken from me to be weighed and measured. I had this list written out, but never talked with the midwife about it. I was afraid she wouldn't be agreeable, and I just wasn't up for the "fight". Thankfully, the Lord was!]
On Saturday, June 27th I felt the need to get my hair cut. It had grown very long and I don't like to have long hair and a baby at the same time. My husband, the children and I went to his friend's hair salon for my haircut. We stayed and visited for awhile, then decided to visit some other friends who lived in the area. There, I was served a wonderful meal of fresh, homegrown tomatoes with salt and steamed, homegrown squash and onions. I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last "meal" before Anna was born. We were very late getting home. I think it was 11 o'clock. My husband put the children to bed and then he went to bed. I tried lying down for awhile, but I was having contractions that were uncomfortable if I was lying down, but I could hardly notice them if I was sitting up.
So, 4 days past Anna Lily's due date, I was up at 2 am chatting on facebook with one of my sisters. I had been timing what seemed to me like "braxton hicks" contractions (have you tried contractionmaster.com? it's great!) and just mentioned to my sister that they seemed to average at about 4 minutes apart, but I wasn't sure. "They just don't hurt", I told my sister. Since my husband and the kids and I didn't get in until late that night and I felt bad about dragging them all down to the hospital for a false alarm, so my sister offered to drive me down to Baptist "just to get checked." I told her I wanted to take a bath first, and shave my legs. What I had hoped would be a nice, relaxing bath that would, of course, help these "braxton hicks contractions" subside, turned into a fiasco. Sitting in the tub, I couldn't reach my legs that well to shave them. I did the best I could, shaving almost to my knees, and then determined to lie back and soak for awhile. Nope. Then I see a huge palmetto bug crawling on the shower tile. Ordinarily I'm scared to death of these flying monsters, but I was not going to let a bug ruin my relaxing bath. Or, was I? I got a large envelope and a clear cup from the kitchen and chased that awful bug all around the bathroom.
I never did catch him. I put the cup and the envelope down and got dressed. I decided to take my bag with me, but I was sure I wouldn't need it. "I'm not going to stay", I'd convinced myself. I had my sister pick me up on the street with her headlights off because I didn't want to wake my husband or the children.
click here for part three