Nine days ago, on May 28th, 2009, our precious twin baby girls were born into this world via planned repeat Cesarean section. Because I was so strongly desiring an attempt at VBAC, we had thought to move this date back another week in hopes of buying more time for me to go into labor. But when my May 26th OB appointment revealed protein in my urine, my doctor ordered a 24-hour urinalysis to screen for preeclampsia. The deal was that if I passed the urinalysis, I could have another week. But if not, we would keep the May 28th Cesarean on the books.
Travis and I went home from that OB appointment praying that the results of the urinalysis would provide a clear indication of whether or not we should prolong the pregnancy. When the results came back the next day, we recognized that our prayer had been answered. I believe the doctor’s exact words were, “Angela, you have way way way way too much protein in your urine. These babies need to be delivered.” With a surprising amount of peace, I responded, “Okay, we’ll see you in the morning.”
With about 16 hours remaining before the time of my scheduled Cesarean, I continued to believe that God would cause my labor to start within that time if it was His will for me to avoid the surgery. Despite my fears about the surgery itself, I knew that I needed to trust in Him.
That night I managed to get about three hours of sleep. My restlessness wasn’t so much due to anxious thoughts as it was to the discomforts of being 37 weeks pregnant with twins. At 4:30 a.m. I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to get any more sleep and crawled out of bed to start my day. What a weird feeling it was to know that I was getting ready to go deliver my babies.
About four hours later I walked into the big and brightly lit operating room. Men and women all dressed in blue were scattered throughout the room preparing for the procedure at hand. When I saw the familiar face of my doctor I told him I was scared, and he stayed right by my side while the anesthesiologist administered my spinal. Once I was totally prepped for surgery, the anesthesiologist told my doctor to start making the incision before having my husband brought in. I felt the tugging at my abdomen begin, and moments later my husband’s loving eyes met mine.
The tugging continued as I tried not to think about what was happening to my body. Then came my doctor’s voice from the other side of the blue drape. “Angela! You have a hole in your uterus!”
“Yeah? I could feel the tugging,” I replied.
“No… you have a hole in your uterus before I made an incision. The only thing holding those babies in is the amniotic sac.” At once my husband and I knew what he was saying, and with tears streaming from my eyes, I looked up at him and whispered, “God knew. Praise God, because He knew.” Travis closed his eyes, and I could see the emotion on his face.
Not too much later we heard the cry of the first baby followed by that of the second a couple minutes later. My husband left my side to be with the babies and to take pictures while the doctor sewed me back up. When the doctor was finished, he came around to my side of the drape, eyes wide with an emotion I can’t describe, and said, “Your old scar was completely separated. If you would have labored or your water would have broken, we would have probably lost you all.” He went on to say, “That scar should not be tested again. There is virtually nothing left to the bottom of your uterus. The lining down there is as thin as cellophane. I repaired it and double stitched it, but that scar should not be tested again.”
Those of you who know me or who have been reading my blog know that I prayed for months that I would be able to avoid having a repeat Cesarean section. I never knew whether that was God’s will, but I did know that His purpose would prevail; and I prayed unceasingly that whatever the outcome, God would be glorified. Though I believe I had truly surrendered my desire for a VBAC to Him, I think it seemed from my human perspective that God would be best glorified by doing the impossible and answering my prayer. Instead, God has glorified Himself through what appears to be an unanswered prayer. He did not grant me my desire for a VBAC because He knew what the consequences of that would be. It is in this unanswered prayer that the extent of God’s mercy and love is more real to me than ever before.
Still, nine days later, all I can say is, “Praise God, because He knew….”