Friday, May 21, 2010

You've Had How Many Cesareans?!

In August 1987, I lay in the recovery room fighting back tears. The anesthetic did little to dull the pain inflicted by the doctor's words. "Your left ovary was removed because of the large cyst. This decreases your chances of getting pregnant by 50%." This news was bad enough. But when I asked about the baby, he told me that a D and C had been performed prior to the discovery of the cyst. My baby had been aborted.

Because I had no medical insurance, there had been no ultrasound. The diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy the day before had been determined by the symptoms I was experiencing: a positive pregnancy test and severe pain in my lower left abdomen resulted in the death of a precious child.

I had never really wanted children. Growing up, I viewed them as bothersome and a hindrance to my independence and dreams of becoming a world renowned writer. Those who knew our family would say, "Tami (my younger sister) will probably have eight or nine. Cheryl might have one." My plans were thwarted however, when I discovered I was pregnant a few days after my 19th birthday. Believing I was doing the right thing, I married my baby's father. This stormy marriage lasted three years.

Terry and I met at the pizza place where I worked when he became the manager in 1986. He quickly became my best friend and a physical relationship followed. We married in December, a few months after the death of our unborn child. My 3-year-old daughter, Amanda was our flower girl. Six weeks later I presented my husband with a gift wrapped in Valentine's Day paper: a baby rattle. Our daughter Stephanie was born in October, via cesarean. My first child had been breach and though I wanted to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), my obstetrician said it was too risky.

I was content with two children. Terry however, desired to have a son. Emily was born in April 1992. Following a grueling miscarriage in 1994, I began to consider sterilization. I visited my OB in December for a pre-op check-up and discovered that I was pregnant again. Haley, my fourth child born via cesarean, was taken early because the doctor feared that my scar would rupture if I went into labor. Weighing 4 lbs 3 oz., she was our smallest baby.

My smallest baby and final cesarean, Haley Rose weighing 4 lbs 3 oz.

Deciding that my body had been through enough between the four cesareans, the surgery to remove my ovary and another invasive surgery to remove yet another cyst on my right ovary, I scheduled a sterilization procedure for Terry several different times. He always had a reason for missing those appointments.

In December 1996, two weeks after yet another positive pregnancy test, I discovered that my husband was having an affair. We were headed for a divorce, but the Lord miraculously intervened. (Read my testimony here)

As our Pastor began to counsel us, he asked that we attend a week-long IBLP Basic Seminar. Less than two weeks after accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior, we were sitting in an auditorium learning about seven non-optional Biblical principles that teach how to view life from an eternal perspective. Though this information was foreign to us, when Mr. Gothard suggested we give our fertility to the Lord, Terry and I both felt the Holy Spirit tugging at our hearts. I resisted at first, telling Terry, "We could end up with ten children!" I was facing yet another cesarean in August and wondered how much more my body could endure. By the end of the week however, the Lord had made His request clear to both of us, and we entered into this covenant with Him.

During my first prenatal appointment a few weeks later with an unfamiliar OB, the elderly doctor studied my obstetrical history and gruffly asked, "Why do you keep having cesareans? Is something wrong with you that prevents you from having your babies the normal way?" I was not prepared for his question. "The first was breech and the others were just repeats. I've had four..." He surely must've missed that. "I see. But I still think you should try." That was all that was said and I left there believing this man was a quack and if I listened to him, I would end up dead. After all, my last child had been taken early to prevent rupturing that fragile uterine scar.

Pastor's wife had driven me to my appointment and I discussed this with her on the drive home. She asked, "Have you ever considered it?" Then she patiently listened as I voiced my concerns. Finally she asked if I would be willing to look into it and offered to give me some information from IBLP regarding VBAC.

Terry and I poured over the information and began praying about this possibility. By the time I returned for my next appointment a month later, we were convinced that the Lord was directing our steps and I informed the doctor that we would indeed like to try a VBAC.

A few weeks before my due date, the obstetrician began to question this decision. Apparently he had discussed it with his colleagues and could find no support. They all agreed that it was too risky, considering I'd had four cesareans. Though we signed waivers releasing him, the hospital and staff from any obligation, he continued to pressure us into changing our minds. He told me that no one in Indiana had successfully delivered vaginally after four cesareans. His wording was meant to strike fear in me, but only instilled a sense of determination instead. I was looking forward to what the Lord was about to do in this situation.

I was given several stipulations regarding the birth. I would not be allowed to go even a few days past my due date. I would only be allowed so much time for each stage of labor. I would be monitored constantly during labor. Two days before my due date, I drank Castor Oil hoping to initiate labor. It didn't work and I only ended up with a severe case of diarrhea.

On August 7, 1997, my due date, I awoke with consistent contractions. My appointment was scheduled for that morning,. Terry and I were eager to see how I was progressing, but as the doctor examined me, he gruffly said, "You aren't in labor. You wouldn't even know what labor feels like!" I knew he was right about that as I'd been to the hospital twice the week before and was embarrassed that I didn't know the difference between false labor and the real thing. "You just need to have a cesarean. I can do it this afternoon..." He suggested. I was having a weak moment and looked at Terry. He shook his head. We drove home in silence as the "false labor" continued.

By four o'clock the pain had intensified and I began to blame the Castor Oil. I phoned the doctor's office when I began leaking liquid, but he refused to talk to me. He told the nurse to tell me it was caused from the examination and that he could still do the cesarean that evening. I thanked her and hung up.

The pain only increased. As I held a hot heating pad on my abdomen, I thought if I could just have one for my back, I would feel so much better. Terry became so concerned that he finally phoned the doctor at 8:00 P.M. then called Pastor and asked him to come get the children so he could take me to the hospital.

When we arrived, I wouldn't let Terry take in my bag or camera because I believed I only needed pain medication and I would be going home. I didn't even wear shoes. As we stepped off the elevator, the OB nurse met us and began asking questions. I quickly explained that I was not in labor and only needed pain medication. She informed me that she had been instructed to prep me for a cesarean. I firmly said, "I refuse to sign any papers. I only need pain medicine." She then told me that she couldn't prescribe anything until I had been examined.

The pain seemed almost constant. As the nurse began the examination she asked why I thought I wasn't in labor. "Because I saw the doctor this morning and talked to his nurse earlier and he said I wasn't!" The nurse smiled and said, "Honey, you're at eight centimeters; you're about to have a baby!"

An epidural was quickly ordered in hopes of buying the necessary time for the doctor to arrive. As he raced into the room, he began to prepare me for a forceps delivery. Terry told him he wouldn't allow that instrument to be used on his baby. As the two men argued, I looked at the nurse and pleaded, "Four times I've laid on a table and had my babies cut out of me. I want to push this one into the world." She grabbed my leg and whispered, "With the next contraction, PUSH!" I followed her instructions, then she said, "Excuse me, Doctor, did you want to catch this child?" I heard the clang of metal as the forceps hit the floor. Mackenzie was born after only two strong pushes. (Read the more in-depth story of Mackenzie's birth in "My 1st VBAC after 4 Cesareans with a Reluctant OB" here)

Our sixth child, Corrie Beth was born in another hospital with a Certified Nurse Midwife in 1999. She weighed 10 lbs 3 oz. Deciding that I didn’t enjoy the hospital experience, we planned to have our next baby at a birthing center. Isaac (our “long-awaited-for son”) was born in January 2001. He weighed 10 lbs 12 oz. Two years later his brother was born at the same facility. Eric Samuel (“Sam”) weighed 10 lbs 4 oz. Read Sam's birth story in the post For This Child I Prayed.

When I became pregnant with our ninth child, I was walking through the house one day and a thought came to my mind that this baby would be born at home. It wasn’t a decision, really; but rather a realization. I discussed this with Terry and he agreed. Later we discovered that the birthing center where the boys had been born was no longer allowing VBACs. This was a confirmation to us.

Two months before the baby was due, my midwife requested I get an ultrasound to rule out twins. The female obstetrician read my obstetrical history in disbelief. “Obviously, Someone..." She pointed and looked up,"...meant for you to have this many children.“ Though she agreed to be my back-up doctor in case of complications, she informed me that a trip to the hospital during labor would end in a definite cesarean. “Off the record,” she said, “You really are better off doing this at home.” Another confirmation.

After a long, but peaceful labor, Destiny Faith was born at home, weighing 11 lbs 15 oz; my biggest baby! I experienced shoulder dystocia during the delivery, as the baby came down with a hand on her head, but my competent Certified Professional Midwife knew how to handle the situation and the baby and I were both fine. Read the whole story of Destiny's birth in How the Baby Got Her Name.
My biggest baby: Destiny Faith born at home weighing 11 lbs 15 oz.

The year after Destiny was born, Amanda married a young man named Ryan. In September, we all rejoiced as she announced that she was expecting a baby. I took a pregnancy test the next day and discovered that we were due a week apart. We were pregnant together for several weeks, then I miscarried our baby in mid-October.

A little over a year after Aiden was born, Amanda was pregnant again. By this time I was 44 years old and had begun to think that we were done having babies ourselves. It was time to settle into my role as Grandma. I was a little sad, but content.

Right before Christmas I began experiencing stomach flu-like symptoms. I complained to Amanda, “Great! Everyone is going to be sick at Christmas.” She asked how long I’d had the nausea then gave her diagnosis; “Mom, you’re not sick; you’re pregnant!” I dismissed the thought but then asked Terry to pick up a test a few days later, “Just to rule out the possibility”. It was positive!

I visited my midwife’s back-up obstetrician, but he refused to be associated with this birth. He said he was glad that I’d had successful VBACs, but he believed that what I was doing was dangerous. To us, his assessment was simply a testament of what the Lord had done. Though some family members and friends expressed concern for my well-being, I was not afraid, “...For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” I truly believe He healed that cesarean scar when we made that covenant with Him in 1997.

On August 25, 2009 after a 28-hour labor, our third son was born at home as his three older sisters watched, sobbing and in awe. (Read the complete story "Michael Ray's BIRTH Day" here) He too had his arm up, so I once again experienced shoulder dystocia. He was also posterior, which made the delivery more painful and the cord was wrapped around his neck. Thank God for my wonderful midwife! Michael Ray weighed 11 lbs 2 oz and was 23” long. His three-month-old niece and two year old nephew were introduced to him within minutes of his birth, as were his other four sisters and 2 big brothers. We praise the Lord for one more opportunity to raise yet another Kingdom Warrior.

I’ve been asked if I would ever counsel another woman facing her fifth cesarean to refuse the surgery and give birth at home. Don’t simply follow my footsteps, I say; but follow after the Lord.

Read more encouraging VBAC articles from Above Rubies Magazine here

Recommended resources:
The Cesarean Myth

This post is linked with:

Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling


  1. I loved reading about your births! The Lord certainly keeps His promises! :-)

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring post.

  2. Uplifting!

    I’m following you now on Blog Hop Friday! Please follow me back on my blog “Inspire!”

    My latest inspirational postings are, “Pure Love,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Simple Gesture.”

  3. Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful story. Our God is truly awesome! I'm a doula and plan to share your story with a client trying for a VBA2C. I think she will find it inspiring! Congratulations on all of your wonderful births!

  4. "I followed her instructions, then she said, "Excuse me, Doctor, did you want to catch this child?" I heard the clang of metal as the forceps hit the floor. Mackenzie was born after only two strong pushes."

    Wow. He had so convinced himself that your were incapable of giving birth that he threatened you all with instruments. Unbelievable.

    Cute pics. :)

  5. Beautiful. So inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to write it and for sharing such intimate details.

  6. i'm so thankful a friend posted this link and i read it..i was moved to tears when i read you whispered to the nurse you wanted to push that baby out into the world...

    thank you!!!


  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I am pregnant with my 5th child and facing my 4th c-section. I've had one vbac and have never scheduled a c-section. I can't find any doctor willing to take me on with my history. Even the great medical practice that was willing to take me for a vbac after 2 is unwilling. I'm praying, trying to come to a decision that will bring me peace.

  8. Cheryl,
    What an amazing journey revealing the redemption and faithfulness of God!

    You are in good company - I've also had 6 c-sections and 5 vbac's. I never was able to have one at home, but our daughter is a 'Doula' and does midwifery, often helping others have a successful vbac. It thrills me to see her face pregnancy with courage and faith.

    Regarding pregnancy and delivery - I say, 'the end, justifies the means'. :)

    Your story is so heart warming and challenges the 'status quo'! Thank you for sharing it.

  9. Lovely, thank you for sharing your experience and I love what you said at the end.

    "Don’t simply follow my footsteps, I say; but follow after the Lord."

    That is so true!

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I've had 3 cesareans & always thought it was the only option for me - I have always longed for a natural birth, so find much encouragement in your story.
    God bless
    Renata:) I

  11. Thank-you so much for sharing your story with us, Mrs. Long! It's encouraging for me as a younger woman to read about your experiences! May God bless you...

    Jessica Lima

  12. You are incredible! I happened upon your blog while exploring circle of moms (I think that is it!) and what an opening blog for me! You have an amazing birth(ing!) story. I have four children and they were all c-sections. The last one came 7 weeks early (after 3 weeks of bedrest at the hospital!). We hope to have more if God wills it...just not from my body! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I have had one c-section and am praying to have a successful VBAC with twins in October! I have had such a hard time finding health care professionals that would even attempt a VBAC with twins-- but finally, I have found a medical group willing to support the cause. Thank you again for your amazing story... you and your family are truly blessed.

  14. What a testament to God's glory manifested!

    May God bless you and your precious family...

  15. wow soo uplifting!! i have had 2 c sections and am pregnant again.. they have told me that i HAVE to have a c section and get my tubes tied cause getting pregnant after 3 c sections is dangerious!!! i DO not want either.. im only 25!!! thanks for sharing your story i am definatly going to share this with my OB

  16. Wonderful story...I had my tubes tied after my 3rd child at age 35. I'm 39 now & wish I would have read things like this before making life altering decisions. Thanks for sharing.

  17. You stopped by my place and told me I might enjoy this post. You were right! I smiled. I cried. It's simply amazing to see what God has done in your life! On a sidenote, my biggest baby was 9.6 and I thought that he was big!

  18. I loved reading this! Ive had 3 sections and want 1 or 2 more kids and have been thinking about Vbac'ing but it terrifies me!

  19. Thank you for sharing your amazing story! I'm hoping to attempt my VBAC in a few weeks as long as little man turns head down. God has truly blessed your life & family!

  20. I have had 6 children, 5 via c-section. I was told with our last child that I had a "window" in my uterus and that they did not recommend for me to have any more children, but I also believe in trusting God in our family did you find a midwife willing to do VBAC's?? How did you handle it all???

  21. Thanks for sharing these triumphant birth stories with us all!

  22. an amazing story. how funny that you ended up with the amount of children you were afraid of! you have to watch what you say when you're talking to God. :)

  23. Wow - what a beautiful story and testimony of the great God we serve. I am in awe of Him even more after reading your story. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Beautiful story! Shows the power of putting your trust in God. I'm glad He has blessed you so much even while on this earth. :-)

  25. Amen Sister, you made me tear up when the nurse whispered push...

  26. This was such an amazing story, I was on the edge of my seat reading this. I have 5 children and have come pelvic organ prolapse and have been discouraged by doctors about having any more children. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

  27. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony! My husband and I also have a reconciled marriage. (We now co-facilitate a ministry called Marriage Reconciliation at our home church). We have two beautiful boys born by c-sections. We will be having a third child and our first girl in October. I will be having a VBAC. Thank you for your inspiring testimony. It was very encouraging.

  28. Excellent! What a wonderful post. I always say that where my experience and research leave off, my faith in the Lord begins. :) Isn't it amazing how God speaks to us if we only listen?

    What a wonderful testimony!

  29. I liked your story very much. I am facing a fifth c/s this August and I wish I could try for and succeed with a VBAC. I'm only 31 and would like more children. Pray for me!

  30. Amira, have you checked around for an OB or midwife (who can deliver in the hospital) to see if anyone would be willing to let you try? I am praying that the Lord will guide your steps and direct your path.

  31. We had our 6th child (a girl)on June 5 2009. I had had two previous c-sections (one of which I am now convinced was unnecessary) and my doctor was very adamant that I have another c-section and diagnosed me with "uterine atropy" saying that I likely would be unable to birth any more babies naturally. But before I made any decisions, I did some homework and some praying. I found tons of encouragement from other women's stories of successful vbacs after even having more c-sections than I had. As I was seeking the Lord's direction in how to deliver, I just continually felt lead to leave it in His hands and insist on a natural delivery. As I was reading my bible I came across this verse..."Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?" says the Lord. (Isaiah 66:9) This verse struck me in the very core of my being. I knew the Lord had spoken. I was going to deliver naturally. From that day on, we prayed for a safe delivery with as little medical intervention as possible. On June 5, right on our due date, Chloe Lynn Fann was born right at home quite by suprise! No time to get to doctors which was actually an answer to our prayer for least amount of medical intervention!!! Praise the Lord!

  32. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am praying and trusting the Lord that in Feb we will have a VBA3C and your story was a blessed reminder that our Father still hears and answers prayers and gives us the desires of our hearts =). I also have the hymn I Know Whom I have Believed stuck in my head one of my favorite songs =)

  33. This post made me cry like a baby! Emotional mama over here LOL! Praise God for his protection and healing!

    Our first was transverse after a short labor and 4 hours of pushing trying to move her we end up with a c-section!

    Our second was born 6 weeks early natural birth, very short labor 2 hours

    our third was via c-section cause I had severe abd pain, we were not sure if it was my placenta detaching it self or gallbladder plain, end up it was both!

    Now this post give me encouragement that I can have another VBAC

    Thanks for writing this post!

  34. Wow - thank you for sharing. My first two were c-sections. We felt led to have a vbac with the third - he came so fast that he wound up being an unassisted homebirth (daddy listed as both father and attending physician on birth certificate ;)
    the next was home with a mid wife
    the next was a water birth with a mid wife
    the most recent (I never say "last" lol)
    was an outside water birth with just dad and sister present (too fast for the midwife to make it :)lol)
    Our family is now 6 kids and two parents (who remarkably have an almost mirror story to your marriage)
    I think some days the Lord knows we feel like the only one in the world who has gone through certain he leads us to a certain person or in this case.... blog :)
    Again - thank you for sharing :)

  35. I am 33 weeks pregnant and My husband and I feel that the Lord is leading us to have a vba4c. This will be our 6th child. Our first was natural, then 4 c-sections. I planned a vbac last time but the midwife that was helping had way more fear than belief that I could do it and I just gave up. This time I am standing on James 1:12 and with the Jesus, My loving Husband, and a new midwife, I will have a vbac at home. There is a hospital 2 hours away that will do vbacs if you fight with them, but I feel 100% that we are supposed to do this at home. Thank you for your story. I feel that the more the Truth is spoken the stronger we become. God Bless you.

  36. Please write back after the birth and let me know how it all goes. I'll be praying for you!

  37. Praise God! We had a vba4c at home! December 22, 2010 our beautiful girl, Madison Jon, was born. She was 7lb 21.25 in. long. I was the anonymous post in November who wrote about wanting a vbac. First I want to give praise to the Lord for the full-term pregnancy, I was only 2 days away from my due date and that really is a miracle for us, since all the other children were weeks early. Here is a short description about the birth: The last two weeks of my pregnancy I labored off and on and was dilated to a 5. Contraction would would stop and start and didn't really seem to ever take off completely. My water broke the night before she was born but no real contractions. On the day that I had her, I started to feel crampy and I knew this was different so I called the midwife and my Mom, both live 2 hours away, and my Grandmother, who lives only a few minutes away to picked up the other children. From start to finish it was a 2 hour labor. I really couldn't believe inside of 1.75 hours I felt my body bearing down and pushing on its own. 18 minutes later our baby girl was delivered by her Dad in the most peaceful way. It just happened. It wasn't an emergency, it was so quiet, natural and peaceful. The midwife made it about 40 minutes later. The birth was so amazing. It really is hard to come up with the words to express the overwelming feelings we experienced. I remember feeling a warmth surrounding us, we truly believe it was the peace of God that enveloped everyone in the room. I remember it was quiet in the room and we really felt so connected to Jesus at that point. We prayed and thanked the Lord and felt this amazing love for my Husband. I know that this has strengthened the relationship between him and I. I am so thankful that I was able to share this day with him. He stayed calm during the birth and he was my rock. I am so proud of him. What a blessed day for us. We give the glory to Jesus. I know that it is ONLY through Him, that I have accomplished something so amazing...
    I wouldn't have been able to with out Him.
    Jerene B.

  38. Wow Jerene, what an amazing birth story! Praise the Lord for such an awesome testimony. I am a bit envious of your speed of labor (lol); mine last anywhere from 15-28 hours from start to baby in my arms. I tell women that your body really does know what to do, if only you let it. So cool that the midwife didn't make it in time. You now have a bond with your husband that didn't exist before. I'm so very happy for you and your husband. :)

  39. wow! God has used you to encourage me tonight. My first child is almost 8mns old and I had to have a csection with her because of thick meconium, heart rate not doing good with contractions and also she wasn't moving down into my pelvis. I felt pressure on my left hip and even though it was never discovered, I do believe that maybe was shoulder dystocia. I really have been struggling with bits of depression as I hear the birth stories of my friends who got to have vaginal births. I so badly want to be able to experience a vbac with the rest of all our children. God has used your birth stories to show me that all things are possible for those who believe! Even though my husband would like to wait a little while yet before our next child, I am so excited to go through labor again and have a vbac! Thank you and God bless!

  40. I have five children myself. My first was natural, then my Dr. was too busy at the hospital with my second, after i was induced she decided that I wasn't progressing enough and broke my water when i was at 3 cm. Well (after i had already told her the baby wasn't in the right position) she checked and forced me into a csection. I was 19 and scared and thought the dr knew best. I should have pushed him out breech trusting myself and my instincts. He wasn't even 7 pounds, smaller then my firstborn. Baby #3 three comes along and I decided to get a midwife and have the baby at home (was a surprise, I didn't know the sex of "her") and she did the same as the dr before. I ended up transporting to hospital for another cs. My fourth baby came along, I woke up 2 weeks before my scheduled cs and was in labor, we got to the hospital and i was at a 6 cm already. The attending Dr was furious because my Dr wouldn't let me try a vba2c. He was my smallest baby, weighing only 6 pounds and 3 ounces. I think back now and wish I would have stayed home to have him. Baby #5, by this time I figure that I will always have to have cs's. But i firmly believe that the fear of a cs is worse than going through labor. I've decided that if I miss my period next week I am insisting on a vba4c. I live five minutes from a hospital and I know in my heart that I am more capable knowing what my body is doing than anyone else. Thank you for your story, I had already made the decision, but now I have the courage to stick to it no matter what.

  41. I am so encouraged by vba4c stories! I will be trying one myself sometime in July. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for sharing your story. Jen

  42. What an awesome story! And I'm very glad to hear your shoulder dystocias didn't end up in aworse way. We had a homebirth with our first with a severe s/d and while the midwife was able to save his life by pulling (and with God's intervention), he did end up suffering from a severe birth injury (called Brachial Plexus which is a lifelong disability) along with some other issues from his lack of oxygen. He's 3 and has had 2 major surgeries and therapies 3x a week since he was 3 weeks old. He's in splints, tape, etc. He was only 9lbs8oz, but had really broad shoulders. While I thank God for intervening and saving my son's life, we trust God in His will when not intervening with our son's injury. With our 2nd pregnancy, We found a doc who was willing to let us have a trial of labor and if any signs of a s/d popped up we'd go in for surgery. I had prayed that if me trying a vaginal birth was not right for my baby, then to shut EVERY door and window that would lead to it. 5 days before my second was born, he turned breech! The doc tried to externally turn him (ECV) 5x with no avail. I was in early labor and we prayed and I felt a peace when a c/s was the conclusion. I couldn't even pass a 9pounder normally and we knew this one was bigger and breech. He was 10lbs.3oz. Our 3rd, I was in labor 2-1/2 days (4 min. apart) because of a silly hospital protocol that said we had to be in active labor to do an emergency c/s before a scheduled date and I could not get passed 1 cm with him! I knew he was getting stuck on my pelvic bone because I knew what it felt like. When they finally took pity on me and did the c/s, my 12lbs.2oz son came out with a slight conehead and a white pelvic impression on his forehead. It stayed there 3 days! I was like, "I told you I was in real labor!" haha. I'm just glad he was healthy.
    I'm pregnant with our 4th in 4 years and though I truly believe VBACS are wonderful and should be more supported and encouraged; I'm also thankful for the needed c-sections. I am mostly at peace with my need of c-sections, though sometimes I wish I could have birthed all my babies healthy and vaginally. Sometimes things don't work out how we expect and I've learned that God uses that in amazing ways! I get to talk and share with other families at our children's hospital and be a support and am part of a world I never knew existed. While it's hard, I am thankful for the purpose God has even in rough situations.
    I LOVE your VBAC testimony though and what an awesome encouragement it must be for moms who've undergone unnecessary c-sections or ones that may not need to be repeated again and want to try it a different way!

  43. Wow I have just read your amazing story!

    I have had 4 C sections and was told there would be NO more. This was back when I was 34 years old. I am now 48 so too late for me, but I would have dearly loved to have more children...Wish this information was around back then!

    I have a grandson now and I was privileged to see him born, will never forget the experience, I cried my eyes out lol...

    Thank you for this fantastic post!


  44. I'm getting married in October, we plan on starting a family right away. I was wondering if (of course considering a healthy pregnancy) we should go straight into home births. I want to experience that. I want to have a good, or as good as it can get, labor. Please let me know what you think.

  45. Abbi, considering I have had no real positive experiences with hospital birth, I am more than a bit biased. If I were starting over, with the knowledge that I have now, I would definitely do the research, find a wonderful local midwife (ask around), and plan to birth at home. I look back on both home births with loving memories. I don't think I would have changed anything (well, maybe they wouldn't have been "Amazon babies"- weighing over 11lbs each!). Home birth creates a sense of normalcy, whereas hospital birth feels more like a medical condition. Keep in touch!

  46. This made me grin from ear-to-ear. Thanks for posting your encouraging comment on my blog. I am nervous because the doctor I am seeing won't let me do a VBAC if baby too big, posterior, labour too slow, etc. etc. I read your story and am greatly encouraged. I am praying, praying, praying for the Lord's will to be done and wisdom and courage in this pregnancy. Praising the Lord with you for all your miracle arrow blessings!

  47. Hi there,
    Your story is such an encouragement to me. I have 4 children and all have been delivered by c-section. First baby was induced early and c-section was done for "failure to progress" (of course, my body was not ready!)..I had a repeat c-section after baby #2 as I was afraid to Vbac. My sister had died in childbirth only 2 short years before. After our daughter (baby #2) my husband had a vasectomy. Three years later I greatly mourned the loss of our fertility and had a strong desire for more children. After reading Nancy Campbell's "Be Fruitful and Multiply" book I knew this was what God was calling me to. In March 2007 my husband had his vasectomy reversed and 4 short months later I was expecting! This time around I was determined to vbac. I was determined, but no midwife around would even see me. I ended up finding an OB who was open to the idea, but then when he met with me was very discouraging and gave us all the scary statistics. He said because I am petite ( I am only 4 foot 8 inches tall) that he didn't think I was a good candidate for vbac. I stupidly listened even though my own great grandma was my size and had 10 babies at home! I didn't want to risk my baby dying and he acted like this was the case if I tried. I ended up with another c-section and then another 1 1/2 years later in 2009.
    Yesterday I found out I am expecting baby #5!!! It took me a year to conceive and I am overjoyed!
    This time again...I want to VBAC. The rules in my state for homebirth midwifery are no more than 2 c-sections unless a previous vaginal birth has occurred. I feel very much pushed in corner. I know in my heart I can do this. This is what God created our bodies to do! It has been 2 years since my last cesarean, my uterus has never been thin, and I have no previous reasons why I couldn't deliver vaginally. Do you have any tips for me on this? What info. should I have when interviewing doctors. I am worried they will fill me with fear again. I am worried they will not hear me out or even give me a chance. I don't want to do anything crazy or risky, but I also want to be obedient to God with my womb and feel the risk of more c-sections is almost greater than any risk of VBAC.
    Anyway, I could certainly use some encouragement and guidance on the situation. If you want to reply to this in email, you can reach me at

    God bless you and thank you for sharing your amazing story!


  48. I just love this! I'll be having my second VBAC (baby #5) next year, and I have seriously considered pretending not to notice I'm in labor until it's "too late" and I have it in the bathtub. I am, of course, kidding...a little. I'm nervous about another trial of labor at the hospital, because I'm concerned that they'll find excuses to try to make me have a cesarean. My midwife is fantastic, and I doubt she'd ever do that, but this is an unfamiliar hospital to me. What if some of their rules are different from the wonderful place I gave birth last time?

    Congratulations on your marvelous family. What a moving and precious story you have!

  49. I need encouragement from you, but you have already given a lot of it just by posting this story. I am pregnant with my fourth hoping for a VBA3C. I have times when I wish someone else would make this important decision for me, whether or not to even try again naturally after trying two times. I have labored with all three, had a cesarean with all three, and still want to try again. It is often in my prayers.

  50. Thank you so much for your beautiful testimony. I've had 4 c-sections and would LOVE to have a "natural" delivery. (Unfortunately, doctors/hospital insurance in OK makes it extremely difficult - if not impossible - to do this.) Your testimony brings tears of JOY to my eyes. Congratulations on your beautiful family!!!
    Blessings to you,

  51. I have four children and 3 were delivered by c-section and the third was a failed VBAC. I wish I had known what I know now. I ended up scheduling a c-section for my last one and I went into early labor and labored for 6 hours before they gave me a c-section because there was a scheduled one being done at the time. It was absolutely ridiculous that they didn't give me an option of having a natural birth. I was in labor for 6 hours with no pain meds just to wait to have a c-section. I didn't know that I had a right to have a natural birth, I really thought they were going to ask me. Thank you for your story it gives me courage if I have anymore. I would want to have a natural birth and not another c-section. Thanks again!

  52. i guess i just dont understand why you keep having children. i know they are "gods gift", but isnt enough enough? why not adoption? or ministry?

    1. Thank you for leaving this comment! I'm going to answer your question in a blog post next week.

  53. Dear Cheryl,
    I am so happy to announce that we had our 2nd "God-Given" vba4c (at Home) this April. It was so wonderful & peaceful. The recovery is such a blessing. This time the midwife made it for the birth and everything went to beautifully. I would just encourage other mothers to pray and the Lord for guidance in a vbac. Take some classes. We took classes on vbacs with a doula. See if non-licensed midwives are legal in your State. Usually unlicensed midwives are MW who used to be licensed but let their license go so they could do high rish births. You can find these kinds of MW by calling other midwives and asking them. God is Amazing & He is Love. Pray and ask Him to direct your steps.
    Blessings and Hope to All of You,
    (ps: I don't know if this info will bless anyone but here goes: 1 of my c-sections my uterus was cut vertically. My 1st vbac was 15 months after my last c-section and my 2nd vbac was 15 months after that. Both vbacs were planbed and at home. The midwife didn't make it time for the 1st vbac so my husband delivered the baby. That is why we took classes on childbirth just incase. We sought the Lord during the pregnancy until the day of the birth. Blessings to ya)

  54. I wish i would of read all of these stories before I listened to my Dr i wanted to do a vbac with my 2 nd baby and he said I wouldnt survive cause it was to much strain. So when I got pregnant with my 3 baby he right away scheduled a c section and told me i needed to get a Tubel so like a big dummy I listened I have a daughter and two boys and I am blessed to have them buy really in my heart I still wanted one more baby girl. ;(

  55. Oh thank you for sharing. We are an ATI family too, and I am so sick at the thought of the two c-sections I was "forced" to have - and I know now that I did not need either one! They had me so scared that I had my tubes tied during the 2nd c-section. Now, at 45, I've had a reversal of that. And I praise God even if He doesn't give me more children. But I do pray for more. And I WILL try to have any others the right way. Praise God that you did it!!

  56. How wonderful. Giving you life to God is a wonderful thing. He showers blessings on those who listen to him.

  57. Oh goodness, your story has me tearing up! What a beautiful testament of God's faithfulness. I love that you counsel women to follow His guidance in each situation. My heart breaks for your losses, but I can only imagine the reunion you have in store with those precious little ones in Heaven. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment; this is very encouraging to me! As I realize that not everyone will agree with the way we choose to live our lives, I will allow negative comments, as long as they are respectful.

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