I had my 40 week checkup on November 5th (my due date) with no signs of oncoming labor in my near future. Dr. C told me that I would likely go past my due date and I was fine with that. I wasn't (and I learned one never is) prepared for this whole birth scenario just yet. At the end of the checkup she told me that she thought he had flipped. After an ultrasound to confirm that baby was indeed breech, I had a couple of choices. The first was to just schedule a C-Section, but the second option was worth trying- even at a less than 50% success rate this late in pregnancy. Option two was to schedule an external cephalic version with hopes that baby would take a head down position and I would go home to labor on my own. But the flip side of that would be to keep said C-Section appointment if baby was stubborn and sustained the breech position.
Side note: The external version HURTS LIKE HELL.
After trying clockwise and counterclockwise, I turned white, almost passed out, and left claw marks in my husbands hand. I told the doctor, no more. I wanted it to work, she wanted it to work, and I'm pretty sure that the other 6 medical professionals in the room (it's a pretty intense and risky procedure), were rooting for baby's flip as well.
Why was my baby breech? Well...
At 32 weeks pregnant, I was driving home after a great day of styling a magazine shoot, excited to get home to my husband and enjoy dinner. That plan was averted when an SUV headed in the opposite direction, crossed the median and hit me head on, then swung around to the drivers side after impact, eventually facing North, parallel to my vehicle (basically their vehicle and mine became one). On a daily basis I was driving a Ford Explorer, similar in size to the SUV that hit me. That particular day, after a string of "only God" events, I ended up driving my husband's pickup truck. Three times the size of the other vehicle. I NEVER drove that truck, it's way too big to maneuver and climb in and out of, especially being pregnant.
There's an amazing backstory to that truck. While I was single I had made a prayer list of what I wanted in a husband (Habakkuk 2:2 write down the vision). All the good Godly stuff and the fun stuff, but then for some reason I also wrote: drives a truck. WHAT? WHY? I don't even like trucks. But I still have that list that I wrote down and prayed over in 2013. And somehow, 4 years later, that truck I had prayed about- saved me and my unborn baby boy. The tow truck driver said it was in the top 10 of the accidents he's towed in his 35 year career as far as vehicle to vehicle damage. According to him, the amount of damage done to a truck that size was typically only seen after hitting a semi truck or cement wall.
Needless to say I didn't make it home to enjoy dinner. I ended up in an ambulance followed by a 36 hour hospital stay where they discovered that baby was now breech. I was having contractions and for the first hour- his little heartbeat was hard to detect. That was the night I discovered my mama instincts and what it feels like to have so much love and strength for a tiny human. For the next 8 weeks I saw a chiropractor who performed the Webster Technique on me routinely. I did what I could, but my little breech baby was cozy there I guess.
I digress. Back to the birth-
I believed it would all work out, that baby would flip, I would go home to labor on my own, and get what I wanted. Done. I didn't even bring my bags into the hospital. Wonder where baby got his stubborn start? But it didn't work and I was headed for surgery.
After being wheeled into the surgery room, stripped naked and laid out on a table, numb from the waist down, watching them scrub me but feeling nothing. They told Glen to wait outside until I was fully ready. But my goofy husband found a window where he insisted on watching the whole process anyway, so they let him in. It was like watching a kid peek into a forbidden room- he was making us all laugh and I needed that.
Since this was scheduled and not emergency, my experience was actually pretty pleasant. The doctor was unbelievably caring and personable, I trusted her decisions the entire pregnancy. She was relate-able and took her time with this new mama during every single appointment. She knew this wasn't the birth I hoped for but this was also why I never formed an actual birth plan. I decided early in my pregnancy to go with the flow of whatever needed to happen in order to deliver a healthy baby.
She allowed us to play worship music through the speakers and Glen brought essential oils to prevent me from smelling all the weird smells that come with a c-section. The room was peaceful and calm, we chatted and laughed until my body was ready for birth. Dr. C used a special curtain to make it all as close to a natural birth experience as possible. As long as baby came out healthy and breathing, she planned to pass him to me immediately just as in a natural birth.
Lincoln Maxwell Baker aka: Baby Max, made his debut at 4:36 PM on November 7th, 2017. He cried a big healthy cry and I was able to hold my brand new tiny human before they took him to be cleaned and weighed. Holding him for the first time felt as if the three of us were the only ones in the room and time stood still for just a few moments as we became a family. My little 7 pound 12.5 ounce, baby Max was full of more joy than I could have ever dreamed up. Tiny humans hold so much power for change, it's incredible.
Pregnancy and birth wrecked me to the core in the most beautiful ways. It is the most extreme and rewarding process- this whole growing and birthing a human situation. I was supposed to be too old, with a past too harsh, I was too late in the game, messed up too many times, right? How could I be deserving of this new precious life, this new family of three? I wasn't, I'm not, I never will be. But GOD IS GOOD. Max is my redemption story, my daily reminder of God's love for me. The most humbling, selfless job was now mine to walk out. It is by far the closest earthly example I have ever experienced in being able to comprehend how HE loves us.
I wasn't ready that day. I'm 3 months in and I'm still not ready, but I'm learning and adjusting. Finding my mama legs, I suppose. I love that little boy and all that he has taught me these past few months. I am so much better and stronger because of him. In the words of Carrie Underwood:
"I finally found what I never knew I always wanted"