When I first became pregnant with Kezia Joy I spent a lot of time researching a new doctor that would be willing to deliver a VBAC and would walk through my previous pregnancy risks. I now look back and am so thankful I took the time to do that given my health issues this pregnancy, even though I didn’t get to have my VBAC.
My very first doctor appointment with the Kezia, around 8 weeks I was told I already had high blood pressure, this would be the theme of this pregnancy and eventually lead to her early arrival. ( I should note I do NOT have high blood pressure outside of pregnancy, this is pregnancy induced. If you are familiar with it, globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death.)
With the twins I had severe preeclampsia and felt that my previous doctor pushed my health to the brink for the sake of the babies. Early on I requested I not be pushed so hard and we agreed on a 39 week induction to hopefully avoid developing severe preeclampsia again. I was monitored extra close through the pregnancy and carried a blood pressure cuff around the house always checking my numbers. I had to fight a lot of fear this pregnancy as my blood pressure was constantly high and often sent me to triage for monitoring, especially in the last trimester.
At my 35 and 36 week appointment my blood pressure had spiked again and my doctor suggested that we move her induction to 37 weeks for my and the babies health. At those 2 appointments I was checked for an induction and that is when I learned my body was not cooperating. I was closed and needed at least be dilated to a 1. I spent 2 weeks eating so many dates, drinking red raspberry tea, bouncing on a birthing ball… and doing allll the things to hopefully be able to have a safe VBAC induction.
4 days before her new induction date I was checked and sure enough nothing had changed. I was devastated. So a C-section for February 17th was scheduled, but I was offered one more check right before the C-section and if things had changed I would have the option to cancel the C-Section and move forward with my natural birth.
I mentally struggled with knowing I was about to have a C-Section. I did not want one, it filled me with fear and I grieved losing out on a natural birth experience I longed for. With my past experiences with hospitals and losing my Aunt in a dramatic way at a hospital, a surgery truly scared me.
I spent the weekend in prayer and mentally preparing for a C-Section. In my prayers I kept asking God for a divine supernatural C-Section. For a peace through surgery that would be full of his power. This saying was laid on my heart, His presence is my power. And I spent 3 days leading to her birth meditating and asking for the power of God’s presence to be overwhelmingly evident on February 17th.
Through the weekend I listened on my Dwell app to Psalms 23 on repeat as I would fall asleep, I was wanting to memorize it so I had it to speak over myself through surgery. I also created a playlist on my phone called, Kezia’s Birthday Playlist. It has worship songs that had meaning to me through the pregnancy or songs that I wanted to remind me of her birth.
The morning of February 17 I woke around 7am and just laid quietly in my bed. I turned on Kezia’s Birthday playlist and held my belly one last time. I sensed God’s peace wash over me. I talked to Kezia, said a prayer and hopped out of bed ready to meet my baby girl. We got the girls ready and headed out the door to drop them off with my sister.
We walked into triage around 10am and immediately the C-Section prep began. There was no waiting… they were moving swiftly. I placed my earphones in and had worship playing in my ears the entire time. Around noon my doctor walked in to talk with me and once again gave me the option for a natural birth… which I was SO thankful for. He assured me this was my birth and my decision. The freedom I was given made me feel like I wasn’t forced to have a surgery against my will… but that I could have a choice in the matter. He offered to check me and let me know if anything had changed I could cancel the C-Section and begin an induction. I was minutes away from surgery and I was so conflicted what to do. Branden and I looked at one another and Branden told me it was all my choice. In that moment I decided to decline being checked and move forward with the C-Section. I had a peace in my heart that this was best, even though it was not what I desired, I knew it was best.
I was then wheeled into the OR and prepped for surgery. I remember with the twins shaking uncontrollably on the OR table and being so filled with fear. This time it was different and I kept thanking God for carrying me one moment at a time. The nurse held me close as they placed the spinal in. Thankfully they let me take my phone into the OR and I kept earphones in the entire time so I could drown out the medical talk that induces anxiety in me.
Soon the doctor was in, Branden was seated by my head and surgery began. Kezia Joy was born at 12:59pm 7 Ib 6oz and 20inches long.
When they pulled her out she was blue and was immediately put on a CPAP machine. With my head turned to the left I kept watching and asking what was going on. Before the C-Section I had requested for immediate skin-to-skin which I didn’t get with the twins and something I desperately wanted. The nurses began talking about taking her up to NICU and I pleaded, could I please have her on my chest. Her oxygen was low and she was struggling to breathe a bit but one of the nurses looked me in the eye and knew I needed my baby. So she brought her over and placed her on my chest with the oxygen meter still hooked on her. Within seconds of her being placed on my chest her breathing and oxygen were normalized…. everyone kept commenting how amazed they were at her improvements once we were together. In that moment I could finally relax and soak in the moment, Kezia was cozied up on my chest and we were together for the remainder of the surgery.
Recovery in the hospital with this surgery was so much better than with the twins. We were able to enjoy our few days in the hospital and soak up Kezia all to ourselves. Initially I was terrified to have another C-Section but by God’s grace I can look at her birth in the OR as beautiful. In the cold sterile white room there was the warmth of God’s presence and beauty filling the room. The Spirit changed the atmosphere in the room that day in a way I had prayed. Though I didn’t get the dream natural birth I prayed for, I did get a peaceful Spirit-filled birth. He also placed incredible nurses around me to walk me through every step of the day which was such an answer to prayer too.
Kezia’s Birth felt like the end of a marathon. The pregnancy was exceptionally hard with more tears than smiles, so when she was placed on my chest I felt a weight lift off of me that I had carried the entire pregnancy. It was if I could finally take a deep breath again and simply enjoy the wonder of new life.
My PostPartum Story with PostPartum Pre-eclampsia