Emotionally and spiritually - making it happen
From the time I started to talk with Fiona, I knew I had to work past a lot of the fear and the feelings I had about the three other births. She gave me some relaxation exercises to do and we agreed that I would write down the feelings and the thoughts that come up from them and send them to her.
I won't go into it all, but fear was a big thing as was a sense of failure that I hadn't managed to give birth naturally. Was there something wrong with me? How come women all over the world had been doing this for centuries and yet I couldn't manage it? Would I have a been a death statistic in the olden days because I couldn't do it, or was there something else going on?
One thing that she brought up for me was that she felt I had an ongoing need to 'be rescued' when I hit bumps in the road. As soon as she said it, I could see it operating all over the place. Even just being aware of it made a lot of it disappear fairly quickly.
So it was a useful exercise to think through the emotional blocks in my path. The personal growth I did is something I'll be able to take with me past the birth.
The other major part of making it all happen was thinking through what place God had in the whole process.
I realised that for some reason, even though I would say that God has an impact on every part of my life, I didn't let him in to the three previous births. It was a challenge to work out why not, and then to re-evaluate my expectations.
Something that was very helpful was reading the book 'Supernatural Childbirth' by Jackie Mize, and while it's certainly not the sort of book I'd normally read or applaud, I figured I had nothing to lose in this case! At the same time I was reading healing material by Canon Jim Glennon and found what he had to say in 'Your Healing is Within you' incredibly useful.
Both of these challenged me to talk to my body and dare I say it, claim healing from Christ. I started to tell my blood sugar levels to go down. They did. Instead of it becoming harder to control my diabetes with diet as the pregnancy progressed, it became easier. I was eating fairly normally by the end, and still maintaining figures below what I needed to have.
I also started to tell a rather red and raucous hormonal face rash to go away and heal up. Within two weeks it was gone, without the cortisone cream the doctor prescribed. I got rid of the SPD pelvic pain that had started in week 16 in the same way.
Call it coincidence if you want to, but I found it rather incredible that three troublesome problems in my pregnancy cleared up once I started talking to them about healing. After two fairly miserable trimesters, my third trimester was a bouncy time and I felt really well.
Another beautiful miracle was the fact that I didn't have Strep B when they tested me for it in Week 37. I was very concerned about having to be injected with antibiotics through the labour and its possible effects on my baby's gut flora. I prayed about it, and got my praying friends to join me - and I didn't have it. Two thirds of women do.
I also asked every person I knew who was a pray-er to ask that the baby came before 40 weeks, so that my chances of doing the VBAC would be higher, and I wouldn't have to start negotiations with doctors about c-sections. They did. She did. I didn't have to.
In the labour itself, I put my husband on prayer duty. His only jobs were to fetch and carry for the midwives, and to pray if anything started to look iffy. I believe his specific prayers helped me dilate quickly after the first examination.
I am so grateful to God for helping me on the journey through this birth. It occurred to me that hey, he designed the whole process in the first place anyway. Wouldn't he want it to work? And wouldn't he want to help me make it work the way it was supposed to?
The way I've seen God work in my life in the last three months has been really wonderful. I'm so thankful for all I've been given, and for all that I've learned!