Through the Free Jinger forums, I was recently introduced to a blog by a quiverfull woman named Carrie who holds to a lot of the same lifestyle beliefs which our family subscribed to back in our “quivering days.” I was immediately interested because at the time that I first started reading her blog, Carrie was overdue with twins (she thought) ~ planning an unassisted home birth.
This so reminded me of my own experience ~ with Hazelle (whom I attempted to have at home after 3 c-sections), Andrew (who was born at home after 4 c-sections ~ with the assistance of a not-exactly competent midwife), and then again with my youngest Wesley. By the time I got pregnant with Wesley, I felt that my birthing choices were so limited ~ couldn’t go to the hospital because they’d changed their policy regarding VBACs ~ didn’t trust the midwife due to her incompetence and outright assault during my home birth ~ so, in desperation, I did a bunch of research on the internet and then planned for an unassisted home birth.
I was not at all confident that things would go well ~ in fact, I’d had a “premonition” early in the pregnancy that 1) the baby would be born by c-section (this despite the fact that I’d already had two VBACs ~ the second, Lydia Jean, being born at the hospital quickly and with no complications), 2) there would be something wrong with the baby, and 3) this would be my last pregnancy.
“That’s just Satan trying to scare me,” I told myself. “I’m not going to listen to his lies.”
Still, the feeling wouldn’t go away no matter how much I prayed, trusted and tried my best to overcome the fear and dread.
I did consider all my birthing options ~ and I really couldn’t come up with anything that I felt really comfortable with. Finally, I concluded that when labor began, I’d know what to do ~ in the meantime, I would just relax and plan to deliver my baby myself at home.
Late one evening, not long after my due date, I started feeling seriously awful. I felt like I was in transition ~ shaky and anxious ~ and although I hadn’t had any contractions, I could tell that I was in labor and I was dilating. “What to do?!”
After not-too-long of debating with myself, I decided to go to the hospital. I called my neighbor and asked her to drive me. When I arrived, the CNM checked my dilation ~ I was at 8 cm. Weird, since I hadn’t had a single contraction. Considering how quickly Lydia Jean had been born (5 cm to delivered in 29 minutes ~ yikes!) ~ we all expected that I’d be having a baby any minute.
But nothing happened. After a few hours, the doctor told me that something was not right and I needed to have a c-section. I cried and cussed ~ but I knew he was right. After the surgery, I learned that I had suffered a partial uterine rupture ~ the baby and I had both been in a life-threatening situation.
Thankfully, I was at the hospital ~ things could have turned out very differently for us if I’d have felt as “convicted” about unassisted birth as I had during my attempted home birth with Hazelle. My wavering about whether to have the baby at home or go to the hospital was mostly because I couldn’t shake off the thought that I’d received a “warning” early on. (BTW, Wesley was born with mild hypospadias ~ so the second part of that “premonition” also came true.)
Anyway ~ what brings all this back to my memory now ~ and has me so upset that I’m shaking ~ is that I just read that Carri’s attempted unassisted home birth has ended tragically ~ her baby, Benaiah is dead and she is in critical condition.
Absolute insanity. This is what it really comes down to ~ the quiverfull mindset leads women to risk their lives for an impossible ideal. Every time that I cheated death in my own life-threatening pregnancies and deliveries, I felt like God was protecting me ~ He was blessing my obedience to Him. I was starting to feel invincible so long as I was in the will of God. This news about Carri and her baby boy is a startling reminder of how utterly foolish ~ how warped and misguided my thinking had become.
I feel sick. I don’t know what more to say.