My first pregnancy, with twins, was scary. At 18 weeks, doctors suspected the possibility of TTTS (Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome). I was put on a strict bed rest, and was only able to leave the house for twice-weekly ultrasounds. Long story short, Baby A’s diastolic blood flow ended up reversing at 31 weeks which resulted in an emergency c-section, 2 and 3 lb babies, a 2 month NICU stay, multiple surgeries, and a roller coaster of emotions.
Despite the hardships we faced with preemies, my c-section experience was not bad. In fact, I thought it was relatively easy. Of course, the recovery was slow, but I certainly did not have a traumatic surgery experience. I had thought if I ever had another baby, that I would definitely opt for another section. But, when I became pregnant again with baby #3, the idea of a VBAC was something that I began to consider. This was likely the last time I would ever be pregnant- I would hate to regret not experiencing labor and delivery the “normal” way. So, I made the decision to attempt a VBAC.
This pregnancy was smooth. Oh, what a difference there was between a twin pregnancy and a singleton pregnancy! I felt great, exercised regularly and ate healthy. Baby measured perfect at every appointment and I easily made it full term. It was a dream pregnancy, really! I was worried about how labor might go- I had never felt a contraction with my twin pregnancy since they were delivered so prematurely. But, people told me I would “know” when it was time. And, boy, did I ever! I labored at home for a few hours and finally decided it was time to go in. When I got there, I was shocked to hear that I was fully dilated! It was time to break my water and push! That also meant there was no time for an epidural. Wait… what?! I had certainly planned on getting one! I immediately thought I couldn’t handle it and the thought of just opting for the c-section crossed my mind briefly. But the pain was so intense, I couldn’t even care. My husband, mom, sisters and mother-in-law were at my side. My doctor arrived shortly after, broke my water, and I began to push.
I wish I could tell you that the rest of the story was calm and relaxed; that I simply listened to my body and gently delivered a beautiful baby. But… that wasn’t quite the case! My experience was beautiful… but it wasn’t calm. There is really no way to describe it. It was the most intense thing I have ever gone through. I may have used some colorful language and called my doctor a liar when she told me I was doing good. I may have even begged to stop and go home a few times. But, an hour and a half of pushing later, our baby girl was born. The memory of the pain just a few short minutes before completely disappeared. I had done it. I not only achieved a VBAC, but I did it completely unmedicated and naturally. I didn’t even have so much of an IV. I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, full-term baby. I was in love and in awe. I was proud and empowered. Giving birth is a truly amazing experience.
Today, my shape might not be what it once was. My stomach isn’t quite as flat, and traces of the deep stretch marks I once had still linger. But, I LOVE my shape. I love what my body was able to create, the pain it was able to endure, and the miracles it produced. While those miracles may have been what was responsible for stretching my body as far as it could go, it is also responsible for getting it to the shape it is now. Yes, I have three children. Yes, I have stretch marks. Yes, I exercise daily. Yes, health and fitness is a priority to me. And that is FOR my children, not BECAUSE of them. I don’t care what the number on the scale says- I just want to be here, healthy and active, running around the playground, coaching softball teams, playing tag, cuddling, carrying, and loving my babies for a long, long time to come!
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 3 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 years old and 5 months old (5 months postpartum)