How the Lord used my repeat c-section to become more spiritually mature.
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WHAT I’M WEARING:
Sunglasses: FCSF ; Blazer: Zara ; Dress: FCSF ; Shoes: Zara
By the grace of God, I gave birth to my second child in March. Her name is Chrissy Nana Akua Konadu Nyame Kwarteng. Yes I know… very long. Yet, powerful. She has shown me that it’s possible to give all of yourself to more than one. To love so deeply for more than one. To live so fully, for more than one. I love her with the same overwhelming love that I love my husband and first born, Chloe. And that’s all I’ll say along those mushy lines…
My experience giving birth to Chrissy differs from the one with Chloe in many ways. For starters, I approached this pregnancy with more desires than I did with the first. Obviously, I knew a bit of what to expect since I had been pregnant before. But with this pregnancy, I knew I did not want ONE thing- and that was a cesarean section. I gave birth by way of c-section with Chloe; and while my recovery was significantly better than most mothers, the experience robbed me of so much like breastfeeding and taking care of my own child for the first few days. That was enough to know I’d never want to experience another c-section.
My second pregnancy, like my first, was planned. My husband and I wanted our kids back to back. So when I found out I was pregnant I was overjoyed. God had graced me to conceive yet again and that truly gave me all the good feels. I transferred to a local practice that came highly recommended by other mothers in my town. I wanted to go to this particular practice because I was told one of their OBGYNs specialized in VBACS (vaginal birth after cesarean).
Before my first appointment at the new practice, I did some research on how to prepare for my VBAC. It was during my research that I realized that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends waiting at least 18 months between births to ensure a successful VBAC. According to ACOG, “Interdelivery (from one delivery to the next) intervals of less than 18 months have been associated with increased risk of uterine rupture among women undergoing trials of labor after cesarean. (TOLAC).” Unfortunately for me, since I was not aware of the ACOG recommendations for TOLACs, I got pregnant a month sooner than they would have liked me to be. My children would be 17 months apart.
My first appointment with my new doctor didn’t go well. After listening to my case, she told me that I would not able to have a VBAC because I got pregnant too soon. Honestly, I was extremely disappointed. But I also wasn’t compelled to transfer practices upon hearing this news. I wanted to meet with and get treated by all the OBGYNs within the practice before making my decision to leave so I did just that. And to my surprise, they eventually agreed to let me TOLAC. I was made to sign a VBAC consent form, to which I did, and continued with my prenatal visits throughout my pregnancy.
My pregnancy was fairly smooth. No complications, no abnormal pain. By the grace of God, all was going well until 37 weeks. At just three weeks prior to my delivery date, I was told that the doctors would not allow me to TOLAC, and that I would have to schedule a repeat c-section two weeks later (at 39 weeks). I was completely devastated. I couldn’t believe that this practice would wait until so late within my pregnancy to change their decision, putting me in a very difficult situation. But trust and believe I wouldn’t let them have it their way.
I know most women would have given up and stayed with the practice. But I am not most women. My quest to find a provider who would not only accept me so late within my pregnancy, but also allow me to have a VBAC began. I called every practice, every midwife, every OBGYN within my county. Of course, most (over 12 but who is counting) practices told me no. Most practices advised I was too late in my pregnancy to transfer; and some even agreed to accept me but wouldn’t allow me to have a VBAC. At 38 weeks, I found a practice that not only agreed to accept me but actually requires only a year interdelivery.
My new practice and OBGYN was amazing. I felt welcomed, safe and supported. Things were truly looking good for me. I was happy and back on track to have my VBAC. And while in prayer one day, the Lord revealed to me (and confirmed the Word with 2 prophetesses) that I will give birth on my actual due date. I had more peace after hearing the Word of the Lord, and just knew that it was only left with one thing: the day I’d give birth.
The night before my due date around 11:30pm, I started getting very strong contractions. Because I knew that the baby was coming in a few hours, I started preparing my husband and I to leave. Shortly after midnight, the contractions became very intense so we made our way to the hospital. We arrived and I was told that I was 3cm dialated. While things were progressing, I wasn’t in active labor (5cm) so I was told to go back home and return later on when contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.
I went home and labored there for several hours. But eventually the pain from contractions intensified and I needed to go back. So we returned to the hospital around 3:30pm and to my surprise I was 5cm dilated and ready to be admitted. It was finally happening and both my husband and I were very excited! After being admitted, I was told that a partnering OBGYN on call would be delivering my child, as my doctor was not available on the day. I wasn’t impressed, but also wasn’t too concerned Although I really wanted an unmedicated birth, the pain was HITTING so I decided to get an epidural.
After receiving the epidural, I started feeling extremely cold and had shivers. Like unbearable shivers. It was concluded that I had an infection ( probably as a result of losing my mucus plug the day before. ) and I was given medication to bring the fever down. About two hours later, the midwife on call checked me and I was 7cm dilated!!! Can you imagine how excited I was! I remember her saying, “congratulations Christina, you’re going to have you’re VBAC in a few!” We! Were! Doing! It!! To the Glory of God!!!!!!!
Approximately 30 minutes later, the OBGYN on call comes in requesting to have a chat with the midwife outside of my hospital room. Immediately I knew something was wrong. When they returned the midwife advised that the OB (who was standing right next to her) was in her office for the last 40 minutes reviewing my charts and my baby’s vitals and baby Chrissy’s heart rate was dropping consistently. Her heart rate would go down and come back up and then go back down. And they were extremely alarmed. They said they didn’t think Chrissy was reacting well to my fever and they needed to intervene immediately or something very bad could happen.
I was pretty speechless. Actually I wasn’t speechless. I just refused to speak. They told me they could give me some time alone to discuss with my husband… which I did and we used that alone time to pray in tongues. Personally, I wasn’t surprised by this attack. I knew it was spiritual and I knew the enemy would do anything to frustrate my goal to give birth vaginally. However while we were praying, my husband was staring at baby’s heart rate on the monitor and he noticed it dropping down to as low as 50.
I never once looked at the screen, but I did see my husband’s face and I knew immediately that I had to have a c-section. To be honest, I truly believed that I could have a vaginal birth, and that both me and baby would be fine. But I also knew I would never forgive myself in the case that something happened to Chrissy if I did not have a c-section. It wasn’t something I had the capacity to undergo… So we had an emergency c-section.
This time around I prepared myself mentally for the c-section. There was no way I would go through what I did with Chloe. So I encouraged myself in the Lord and did what I had to do. But after leaving the hospital and adjusting to life having underwent major surgery, it reality hit me. I had failed yet again. I was angry, to say the least… So angry I couldn’t really discuss my delivery with anyone. I did not want anyone asking me about it and I did not want to talk to anyone about my experience. I was heart broken and angry.
Never once was I angry or disappointed in God or my baby, but I was angry with everyone else, including myself. What did I do wrong this Time around? Did I not pray and fast enough? Did I not advocate for myself? Did I lack faith in God to do what I thought I knew He could do? What exactly went wrong. Well one day while in worship, the Lord answered my questions and calmed my concerns. He said to me “vanity. All vanity.”
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 1: 2
God told me that all that I was complaining about, All that I was angry for was vanity. You may be asking yourself, what is vanity. Vanity as described in the book of Ecclesiastes comes from the Hebrew word hevel, which means “more breath.” And what hevel means is that something is insubstantial. It does not mean absurd or unrealistic. It simply means its not worth becoming attached to. I was attached to the disappointment of not having a VBAC instead of being grateful for the life and health of my child and of myself.
The Lord revealed to me that my disappointment in not having a VBAC (not to be mistaken for my desire to have a VBAC) was insubstantial and not worth being disappointed about. I let my thoughts be consumed with insubstantial things instead of it being consumed with spiritual things. I was crying and boohoo’n about something that came and went instead of pressing towards what was ahead. In doing so, I couldn’t see what God was doing with my situation. I couldn’t see that, although having a repeat c-section wasn’t God’s perfect will for my life, He in His Sovereignty knew that I would need to have one in order to do what I am doing at this very moment: testifying that sometimes we are concerning with vanity instead of spirituality.
God used my repeat c-section as a lesson on spiritual maturity. For a long time, I held the mentality that I deserved everything that I prayed and believed God for, as long as it was in the will of God. But a wise man named Archbishop Duncan Williams once said, “life does not give you what you deserve, it gives you what you demand.” Could I have ‘demanded’ the OBGYN deliver my baby vaginally? Sure I could have, and that would probably have gotten me a VBAC and a healthy baby. But that was not my reality so I needed to move on.
God also showed me that my desire for a VBAC, while a good one, came from some twisted idea that a c-section was an illegitimate way to bring forth life. That if you didn’t have a vaginal birth, you were not equal to those that did. On the one end, I never tolerated people discrediting the way bring forth life; but on the other end, I entertained thoughts from the devil that said I failed by having a cesarean. Its a mindset I needed deliverance from.
And last but not least, God allowed me to have another c-section to show people that sometimes disappointments will come. But it shouldn’t make you lose hope or faith in what God is capable of doing and is still able to do. Yes I had two c-sections. But should I have more children in the future, I will approach it believing God for a vaginal birth, Not wavering in my faith for it. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly all that I can think or ask for. And I will always maintain that the reports of the doctors will NEVER trump the report of God.
Wherever you are in life, whatever disappointment you’ve experienced, MOVE ON. Its all vanity. Move on to maturity in Christ. Belief God for the unimaginable. Hope against hope. God is able. If you stay in disappointment, you’ll miss the lesson. You’ll miss what God is saying and doing, and you’ll grow in bitterness and hatred. And those two can produce depression and greater!
If you’ve gone through anything in life that has left you feeling like a total failure, I am here to tell you that you are NOT a failure. That is a lie from the devil, who is the father of all lies. You become a failure when you refuse to move forward and press on towards what is ahead. So MOVE ON. And not prematurely. Let the Lord lead you, and show you what He needs to show you.