Amelie’s Birth Story, Part 4: Finally.

Amelie’s Birth Story, Part 4: Finally.

It’s interesting to me the fascination we {as humans} have with the “Why?” of things.
A life is cut short, a dream is lost, there’s a deviation from what’s good, right, “supposed to happen,” and suddenly everyone’s whispering or at least wondering, “Why?”
“I just don’t get it. What happened?”
Because things don’t just happen for no reason. Somewhere, someone made a mistake.
And I need to know who so I know who to blame.
So I know who to be angry with.
So I later know who to forgive.
{Which, ultimately, inevitably, leads me to needing to forgive myself… Something about this little blame game often leads me back to blaming myself.}

I remember a parable in the Bible {which I’ll probably butcher, so bear with me…} about a blind man.
A blind man who’s surrounded by people that are asking who’s fault it is that he’s blind.
Who sinned that this man would be blind? Him? His parents?

WHO screwed up?!
Because THAT person needs to be punished.

OR, just as frequently…

Because the person wanting to find the answer to the Why question wants to be reassured that things work a certain way.. That things that are “supposed to happen” do. {Unless, of course someone gets in the way.}

Unfortunately,
it
JUST
does not
always
work that way.

So.
I know you’re wondering..
How?
Why?
What happened?
What went wrong?
Whose fault is it?
What could have been done differently?

And you might even be wondering what reason I’m choosing to tell myself as to why I had to have a caesarean section.

Around 6am on Wednesday, December 15th {50+ hours into my labor} we chose to break my water.
More than 8 hours later, I was still only 8cm dilated.
Fluid had been leaking this whole time, and my contractions spread out A LOT.
The fluid was getting darker, which meant meconium was starting to come out of the baby & mix with the fluid.

None of these things equal danger, necessarily.

I’ve been over the story 1,000 times in my head.
I’ve recalled the facts that were written by other people.
I’ve talked about it with people who were there.
I’ve closed my eyes & seen everything I could remember in my mind’s eye.
I’ve replayed over & over every little thing that I imagine could have possibly influenced the outcome.
I’ve wondered about what could’ve been done differently.
I’ve asked every question that I’ve talked about here… And then some.

When I arrived at the hospital, my heart rate, blood pressure, everything was stable.
Same for Amelie.
The only reason either of us were worse for the wear was the intense pain in my lower back & the hours & hours that she & I had been working together to try to get her out of me.

What I remember is the seemingly endless wheelchair ride from the parking garage to Triage.
We didn’t take an ambulance. It wasn’t an emergency. Everyone was fine.
I remember the Triage room. Straps around my belly, so tight, so painful.
I remember being forced to sit in the most uncomfortable position possible for my back pain.
And questions. Oh, the questions.
They must have written my name down 800 times. And my date of birth.
All the while, I was breathing, focusing, pointing to John to answer their endless questions.

I remember speaking twice before the c-section conclusion:

“Can you take these straps off of me, right now?”
{I would like to think I said please, but I highly doubt it. We’ll have to ask John.}

And, when the OB {who is, mind you, a SURGEON} came into the room to consult.
She told me how long I’d been in labor – as if I didn’t know it’d been a long time, as if she even knew.
She told me there MUST be something wrong. My baby must be too big. My body just isn’t made to do this. Blah, blah, blah.
Bullshit.
I remember thinking it. BS! I screamed in my mind.
She did her best to pretend she was giving me two options.
My baby wasn’t coming, and I needed a c-section. So she says.

I don’t recall at which point exactly I interrupted to tell her, firmly:
“I am NOT having a c-section.”

I didn’t have a hospital bag packed. I hadn’t printed a birth plan just in case we ended up at the hospital.
Though, I had filled one out a few months prior.
So, we printed it out.
And I took it in.
It was as anti-intervention as possible.

And she used it against me.
She told me I had two options:
Have a low-key c-section right now.
OR
Immediately push Pitocin to ramp up the contractions & get things going, inevitably leading to an emergency c-section in a few hours. Where, much to my chagrine, NONE of my birth plan stuff would even matter, at all.

Essentially, she said:
“Choose: Birth or Baby.”

I told her to leave.
We needed time to talk about it & make a decision.
Mind you, it was about 5 pm.

Oh, tears.
Oh, emotion.
Oh, ache.
And, anger.

I couldn’t make a decision.
I was exhausted. I was ready to give up, but not willing to.

I don’t remember what was said in the next moments.
Only that the decision was made to do our best to protect the baby once she arrived, which meant, according to this doctor, that I had to have a c-section. Right then.

Contractions still came. Fluid still leaked.
My baby & I were both still stable.
They checked me again, I was still 8 cm.

I looked at John, he was beginning to cry.
The decision was made & I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t think about it or face it right then, I just had to get it over with.
Otherwise, I feared, I would crumble into a million pieces.
I told him no tears. I told him we had to be strong.

{My sweet husband, who I have seen cry maybe 5 times. And I had to hush his heart. I hate that.}

I don’t know what would’ve happened if we hadn’t gone to the hospital.
Or if we hadn’t broken my water.
Or if we hadn’t gotten THIS doctor.

All I have is what actually happened.

James says to, Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness take its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I’m not experiencing it as joy. It is loss. It feels that way. It hurts. It pains. It angers.
But, I’m trying to count it as joy.
This is my account of Amelie’s birth.

Birth still seems a foreign word to me. I didn’t give birth. I had surgery.
I struggle to say that word: birth. Born.
I say things like, ‘since Amelie arrived/came/got here.’

I have to choose to believe that there’s no one to blame in any of this.
And that everyone that I’m unreasonably angry with gets forgiveness.

And when my heart inevitably asks why again & again over the coming days, I must answer it truthfully.
Because our world is broken. Because trials are a when & not an if. Because things just don’t always happen the way that they’re supposed to.

I still believe in birth. I still believe that God designed our bodies with that purpose.
And next time we are pregnant, I will still pursue the opportunity to welcome our next baby into the world the way he or she was created to be.

15 thoughts on “Amelie’s Birth Story, Part 4: Finally.”

  1. BIRTH
    –noun
    1. an act or instance of being born: the day of his birth.
    2. the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring; childbirth; parturition: a difficult birth.
    3. any coming into existence; origin; beginning: the birth of Protestantism; the birth of an idea.

    I know you are disappointed with how Amelie entered this world, but she was BORN – you did give BIRTH. You did what you had to do to make sure you were both safe. I hope you’ll soon find peace.

    Love ya, sis!

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  2. Lee Anne – you made me cry! Beautiful story despite it not going as “planned”. You were amazing and so strong through such an intense time. Amelie will be proud to know this story one day.

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  3. I really appreciate you chronicling and sharing your experience with us. Birth and motherhood is so full of emotions, some that will make your heart break out of sadness. Some that will make your heart break out of love. I love the Scripture verse/song that says “The sorrow may last for the night, but His joy comes in the morning.” Amelie is your morning. 🙂

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  4. OH Lee Anne, my heart aches for you, tears are pouring down my face, big hugs to you my friend!! ❤ thanks for sharing and remember everything happens for a reason!! She is a beautiful little girl!!!

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  5. Hi Lee Anne. Your story is beautiful, despite everything not going the way that you wanted it to. I just had one question out of curiosity about your story that wasn’t quite explained… and I hope that you don’t mind me asking. Reading over Amelie’s birth story, you mention options, but you never explained how you thought that it should have gone once you got to the hospital. Did you want the hospital to allow your labor to continue until your body was “ready” to deliver Amelie w/o any intervention?

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    1. Yeah, I guess I left that detail out.
      My first response when the midwife said it’s time to go to the hospital was: “I am not having a c-section.”
      She said I didn’t need one… Simply that my body was too tired to do any more work, and that if I went to the hospital & got an epidural, it should slow things down enough for me to rest. And if I got some rest, there’s a good chance I would pick back up a little later in the day & we could get her out. So, I hoped for that. Or even that + induction later if my labor wouldn’t start back up on its own. Of course, once at the hospital, I wasn’t given any option besides c-section, really. :/
      Thanks for reading & thanks for feedback. 😀

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      1. Also, I knew once we were headed for the hospital, the no-intervention route was out the window, but I was hopeful for some options for a vaginal birth, still.

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      2. Oh okay,thanks for sharing that part of your story, I was just curious. I’m sorry that you didn’t get the birth that you wanted. I also had a no-intervention natural birth plan (although not a home birth) and ended up being induced and then subsequently with an emergency c-section after the challenging non-medicated labor, so I can relate to the birth plan falling through. Everything happens for a reason, although we may not understand it at the time. Amelie is so beautiful and you have been blessed tremendously. Hopefully you can find a midwife willing to do VBAC for your next birth if and when you plan to have more children in the future. I know there are few and far between but ICAN is a great resource. I enjoy reading your blog from time to time, thanks for sharing your story!

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      3. Thanks for sharing! I am hopeful for a VBAC – maybe even a HBAC next time. I do know some incredible midwives. 🙂 I keep meaning to make it out to the ICAN meeting in Tampa. I must do that soon!

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  6. i loved my doctor and midwife if it was not for them and the Lord my son and I both may not be here. i had an emergency c-section. his daddy was the first to hold and feed him. i couldnt get out of bed for 24 hours. he was in the nicu and i was in my room on like 2 different kind of meds and being monotoried very closely, (my blood pressure was at stroke level)

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