Four years ago, at this moment, I was finally sleeping after receiving my epidural. 34 hours of induced labor had exhausted me. I didn't know it at the time, I was so clueless and naive, but I was two hours away from being wheeled into the OR for surgery.
I remember at one point that night, a friend of mine asked if I thought I might need a c-section. I responded very confidently - NO WAY! This induction would work ... The doctor said so!!! It had to!
And I will always regret that unnecessary decision to induce labor at 41 weeks - because for the rest of my childbearing years, it will affect me; doctors will deny my care, insurance companies will refuse my coverage, and every birth will face extraordinary opposition no matter what option I choose. And for the rest of my life, it will leave me physically scarred.
Yet in the midst of the anger, resentment, sadness, and regret - I feel gratitude as well. Not only for the healthy, perfect, and beautiful little girl who turns four in two hours ... But also for the journey that began that night.
While motherhood does not define me - it has certainly shaped me to be the woman I am today. It has created in me a beautiful mix of passion and love that I never imagined could exist in me before.
The night Phoenix was born also gave me the gift of later becoming a "VBAC mom". To passionately study child birth and educate myself, and then to conquer the nearly impossible and successfully birth vaginally with a scarred uterus - to defy the uneducated voices who would try to convince me day after day throughout my pregnancy that I was endangering my baby, people who tried to steal my gift from me - is an awesome and empowering feeling that I will always be grateful for.
My hope is that as I share my story, other women will also find themselves empowered. That I can share my knowledge and help to educate other women , offering them the wonderful experience of redeeming their God-given right and ability to give birth. That someday I can stand by the bed of a woman who needs my support and cheer her on as she cries out in passion, delivering her newborn into the world, and say "You did it!".
And most of all, that ALL of the glory would go to the One True, Most High God, for creating our bodies so flawlessly and lovingly.
That women would learn to trust in HIM again... Despite what their doctors, or anybody else, might say.