4 August 2016

moses thames: a birth story

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our tiny son is three and a half weeks old. mothering a newborn is quite a bizarre time warp - time rushes and time drags, and time is so so sweet, and time is so so grueling. the past twenty six days have been more wonderful and more difficult than i possibly could have imagined (even though i very much expected a lot of happiness and a lot of challenges). i am sore and exhausted and sweaty and uncomfortable and haggard. but i am thrilled by the new height of joy that has been woven into my life, and most of all, i am absolutely in awe - astonished that this little boy is ours and that i can love this much.

the way our moses came into the world was miraculous and amazing and awesome, and also pretty traumatic. the experience was immensely powerful and beautiful - more than i could have ever expected or hoped for - and it was also quite harrowing and a bit heartbreaking. the sentiment of "all that matters is that you have a healthy baby" has been shared with me several times, and frankly, i disagree. of course the thing that matters most, by a gigantic margin, is that we have a healthy baby, but the way he came into the world is not inconsequential - it has affected all three of us in significant ways (both positive and negative). and i believe that it's perfectly okay - right even - to mourn the loss of the kind of birth i came to passionately believe in, that i zealously worked to prepare for, and that i ardently hoped for. both ian and i were so looking forward to birthing together without intervention, believing heartily that keeping things as natural as possible was what was best for our family.

indeed, we knew very clearly what our preferences were for our son's birth. we also knew that one of the most important ways to prepare for labour and delivery was to expect the unexpected and embrace that there was a good chance we wouldn't be able to see all (or any!) of our preferences through. as part of our conversations and preparations leading up my due date, we constantly referenced the need to be flexible, and talked often about how no matter how things played out, we would recognize and celebrate the miracle and the beauty of our son's birth. together, we created a document we called a "birth guide" (as opposed to a "birth plan," knowing that we couldn't really plan on anything), which included, in addition to our "ideal scenario" preferences, some notes on contingency measures should things happen to go differently than we hoped.

within ten minutes of arriving at the hospital on our baby boy's birth day, we had to profoundly petition that flexibility we'd discussed and worked on. we went on to experience some of the very things we were most hoping to avoid (and thought we were dodging by having a baby in england - where, in our experience, the culture around birth is much less interventionist and fear-driven than in the states - and in a hospital birth centre known to be very pro-natural). an hour or so after moses was born, the midwife that attended the birth came to my bedside and said, "so, i've just read your birth plan......sorry!" we all chuckled - because almost none of our preferences were seen through.

but!! just after our little laugh at the irony, we all straightaway agreed that we had experienced a miracle in how moses's entrance into the world unfolded. it was an incredible experience that was right for us. this birth story taught us valuable lessons and bonded us together as a husband and wife, and as parents, in a really beautiful way. and yes, most importantly, the story ends with a healthy baby, a perfect tiny boy straight from heaven who has expanded our hearts beyond what we could have ever planned.

{click through to read moses’s birth story}

five days before our little moses was born, my mom arrived from the states. the minute she got to our flat, i felt good and ready to have a baby. since she had to return across the pond less than two weeks later, i was really hoping baby boy would make his entrance soon after her arrival so we'd all have a good chunk of time with grammie around. mom and i gallivanted around london, trying to not get too obsessed with the hope of labour starting. we went to art exhibits and a west end play, on walks through the parks and out to eat at lovely places together, while ian put in some long hours at the office preparing for paternity leave. tuesday, wednesday, thursday and friday passed and ... no baby.

on friday evening, ian came home a little bit early and the two of us took a walk at golden hour through a favourite neighborhood route across and along the thames river. the city was glowing under the sunsetty sky, and we shared some tender moments of love and excitement. for the first time that week, my body was totally relaxed and my heart was absolutely at peace. that night, before we snuggled in to bed, i said an extra little prayer. i offered up a hope to heaven that our baby boy would be born the next day.

five hours later, i woke up to some cramping and soon after noticed a bloody show when i went to the bathroom. i laid in bed, with the soft light of early morning seeping in the room from the cracks in our window blind, and googled my symptoms on my phone. within an hour, the cramping started to feel more patterned - in waves rather than quite constant, and so i gently woke up ian and told him "i think we are having a baby today." it was about 7am, and before too long i went into the other room and knelt next to the air mattress my mom was sleeping on. she awoke, and when i told her i thought i was in labour, her face instantly lit up with excitement and she positively leapt out of bed!

for an hour or so, ian laid with me on our bed and helped me relax through contractions that quickly became more intense and more frequent. we called our doula and talked through some things to remember from our preparations. my mom made us breakfast and then ian gave me a priesthood blessing. as i look back on these morning hours in our flat as something so life changing and beautiful was beginning, it seems like the air around us was dewey and quiet and lovely, heavy with golden anticipation. it was a sweet slice of time. by 9am i was experiencing minute-long contractions every three minutes, so ian suggested we go to the hospital. we gathered things together and ian went down to the street to get a taxi. it seemed like all of a sudden we were driving down whitehall towards big ben in the back of one of those iconic london black cabs. this is when time started getting fragmented for me and it felt like i entered a different zone of reality (what some call "laborland"). the cab driver, a middle-aged british man with a kind face, told us he had two kids of his own, and he wouldn't let us pay a penny for the ride.

upon our arrival at the seventh floor of st. thomas's hospital, we were sent to triage so i could be checked and monitored before we headed to the birth centre. i was hooked up to a heart monitor, and pretty immediately the midwife informed us that the baby's heart rate was dipping at the end of each contraction. she said it could be a fluke, so she would keep the monitor on while she checked my cervix. she told us i was dilated only to just one centimeter, which caused us to be a bit crestfallen. she checked the heart monitor again and i saw her eyebrows raise in concern.

before we knew it, a doctor we had never seen before came hurriedly through the curtain surrounding the space where i was laying. he did not introduce himself or offer any type of greeting, he simply glanced at the monitor and then brazenly said "we need to deliver this baby by cesarean section."

ian, my mom and i were all totally shocked. in that very moment i knew, somewhere deep in my bones, that our baby wasn't going to be born via c-section. some intense intuition told me that not only was that route not what was best for our baby, but also that it just wouldn't happen. (this is not to say that c-sections are not the right delivery mode some babies - they certainly are, and are miraculous procedures that save lives and provide beautiful, safe birth stories! i just felt very strongly that our baby didn't need to be delivered with surgery, and that he would be born vaginally.) this assurance was crowded into a corner by the waves of pain rushing over my body and the talking and beeping around me. i can't remember exactly how the conversation unfolded (i was trying to focus on breathing through the continued contractions), but immediately ian began advocating for us - he was such a rockstar at doing this throughout our entire hospital experience. he asked the doctor if we could wait for a while, monitoring the baby's heart rate, and see how things progressed. the doctor reluctantly agreed. our doula arrived and supported us in our decision to not rush to the operating room.

we were moved to a room in the labor ward, and i was supported in the sweetest ways by my mom, our doula, and ian as the contractions kept surging and our hearts ardently prayed for our little boy's safety and the right decisions to help him be born best. the doctor was impatient and a bit rude. ian held my hand, leaned over the bed and whispered a fervent prayer in my ear as i continued to ride the swells of contractions. i absolutely felt divine power keeping me calm and allowing my body to surrender to the pain and begin opening up. when several other hospital staff began to prepare me to move into the operating room (even though we had requested to wait), ian took the doctor out in the hallway and boldly asserted our intention to act and not be acted upon.

after thirty minutes, the baby's heart rate had normalized quite a bit. still, the doctor professed that he was worried and acted very rushed. (our doula later told us that she overheard him telling other hospital personnel that he had a busy labor ward that day and so he wanted to get things moving.) he suggested that he manually break my waters to see if there was meconium in the sac with the baby, causing our little one distress. (meconium is newborn poop, which is meant to be passed only after birth but sometimes escapes in utero and can be dangerous if ingested by the baby.) we agreed that this was a good route forward, and that if there was meconium in the waters, we would go ahead and move forward with the cesarean immediately. the doctor felt that i was three centimeters dilated and then, after i felt a huge gush of fluid coming out of me, i heard him say "lots of meconium," and instantly everyone started prepping me for surgery.

somehow i still felt strongly that our baby would be born through the birth canal, but it was really hard in that moment to completely trust that feeling. while my body was working so hard to move through the crazy sensations of my uterus contracting, my spirit was reeling in an attempt to distinguish between my personal preferences (by far the least important factor, but definitely still present in my mind!), impressions from the spirit of god, and my strong mother's intuition teaching me how to best birth my baby. the whole world seemed to be buzzing around me, and there were so many people and voices and elements ... but somehow in the deepest part of myself i felt at peace. i absolutely attribute this to my practice with mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation during pregnancy, coupled with the priesthood blessing that ian gave me before we left home. the whole childbirth experience was hugely spiritual for me – but i will not share too many details of that part of the story, because it is very personal and sacred. but i will say that i am positive heaven was helping me - and ian and our baby - throughout the whole adventure.

as i was signing a consent form for the c-section and having an iv put in my arm (while my body was shaking uncontrollably), i heard my mom's voice above all the chatter and clatter around me. "i just have to tell you," she said to the doctor, "i have had nine babies, and every single time i dilated fully within thirty minutes of my water breaking. this could happen really fast." i caught a glimpse of the anesthesiologist (who had rushed in at some point) when she said this and he shook his head and flashed a "yeah right, not gonna happen" face at his colleagues. the doctor brushed it off. we had to say goodbye to my mom and our doula, as only ian and i were allowed in the operating room. they sent me off with so much love and helped me feel really safe. it was about 11:45am.

pretty much instantly after my waters gushed out (along with all that meconium!), the intensity of my contractions escalated greatly. it seemed like there was no break at all between the surges. everything was blurry around me in the operating room, but i always knew that ian was right by my side. there were so many people buzzing around, and i knew i had to be the eye of that storm and stay calm. i breathed deeply and let go. i felt a strong impression to vocalize everything i was feeling, and before long i was saying "i feel a lot of pressure in my bum." the anesthesiologist responded multiple times with "don’t worry, that's normal." he also said "i'm going to take away all that pain!" several times, which was ironic because that was exactly the opposite of what i wanted him to do! i wanted that pain so badly, and was sad that my unmedicated labor was about to end. i sat up and my back was cleaned so the anesthesiologist could administer a spinal injection in preparation for the surgery. at that point i said, "i feel a lot of pressure in my bum! a lot of pressure!" deep inside i knew i was in transition. i knew my body was wanting to push.

the spinal went in and out and the lower half of my body started to numb. i could still move my legs, which surprised the anesthesiologist. as he did several checks to determine where and how much i had numbed, the midwife - bless her forever and ever!! - suggested to the doctor that he perform a cervical check before beginning surgery. he seemed reluctant and a little annoyed, but agreed. with my gradually deadening legs in stirrups and ian holding my hand and strangers scurrying about, i heard the sweetest six words imaginable in that moment from the lips of the doctor: "the baby's coming out the bottom." i was fully dilated, baby was well on his way down the birth canal, and the surgery was off. it was about 12:15.
in preparation for giving birth, i learned a lot about the way that a woman’s cervix responds to different circumstance. stress, fear and lack of privacy fundamentally cause the cervix to close. in that chaotic cold operating room, when all things should have closed my body up, it opened. rapidly. fully. i went from three to ten centimeters dilated in less than a half an hour, in the midst of an incredibly stressful situation. i absolutely count this as a miracle and i am grateful every day that our baby boy was born vaginally (for many reasons, of which i won't go into here). i always knew this was the way he was intended to come into the world. our fervent prayers were answered and promised blessings from god were fulfilled.

the doctor insisted that he would need to perform an episiotomy and use forceps to get the baby out quickly. since i was numb (sure, there was pretty sweet relief from pain, but i absolutely hated that lack of feeling!), i needed help to know when a contraction was coming and when i should push. the midwife told me she would prompt me at the right time and i should push as hard as i could. the anesthesiologist told me it was "time to get angry." ian responded quickly - "no, no, wife, just send love down." i summoned power and love from the deepest part of me, and then i pushed twice as prompted. on the third push, i felt my baby's head come out of me - such a crazy sensation. one more push and i felt an exquisite slither, gasped and then exclaimed "is he here?! is he here?!"

the room was busy and loud, but ian's sublimely tender and sweetly teary voice cut through all the noise. "oh my gosh! he's here, wife. he's here!!!" all of a sudden i could see the back of a tiny, round head glossed in blood on my abdomen. there was our baby! it was the most insane moment. i've never felt anything like that, and will never be able to describe it. i birthed a baby boy! he was here!

the most difficult part of the whole ordeal came next, on the heels of that euphoria. within seconds, the baby was whisked away from me over to the corner of the operating room. i had been warned that this would happen, so they could make sure he hadn’t pulled any meconium into his little lungs. but nothing could have prepared me for how long and hard those five minutes were, as i was separated from my barely born child. i asked ian to stay close to the baby and as the doctor stitched me up (due to the force of the fast forceps delivery, i had a pretty large perennial tear in addition to the episiotomy cut) i repeatedly and desperately asked, “is he alright? can he come here with me??” i pleaded that they bring him to me and after what seemed like an eternity, i was at last skin-to-skin with my son.

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immediately he opened his big bright eyes and peered up at me. the first thing that came to my mind was “moses” – i knew that was his name - and my heart filled and filled and filled with wild love. someone in the operating room took the camera from ian and snapped some photos of us, but we couldn’t look at the lens because we couldn’t tear our eyes away from that little creature on my chest, in awe that he came out of me and that he was ours.

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it was so, so fun to see my mom and our doula right as we were wheeled out of the operating room, and to tell them triumphantly and jubilantly that the baby had “come out the bottom.” they were so excited. over the next couple of sweet, surreal hours, the baby was weighed and measured, we told my mom what we intended to call him and started using his name to make sure it fit, the baby latched onto my breast for his first feed, and both ian and i got to snuggle him skin-to-skin, left alone as a brand new family of three. i’ve never felt a high like that. i was completely oblivious to the numbness wearing out on my bottom half, or my bleeding, or my near nakedness, or anything at all besides the perfect face and features of our baby, the profound affection and tenderness radiating between the boy and i, and the huge amount of joy in my heart.

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things got a lot less dreamy as i began to react negatively to all the meds and threw up violently several times, and as our teeny little curtained-off corner of a random hospital room started to get crowded with different people poking and prodding me and asking questions – it just got really chaotic and tears were shed. finally we were brought downstairs to our bed in the postnatal ward.

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our space there was really cramped but our views were spectacular! and there was just so much love. the heavens opened to show off a stunning sunset – the best we’ve seen in london by far – over the river and westminster bridge and the houses of parliament. one of the new mums sharing the room with was playing vivaldi’s four seasons on her phone as i breastfed our little boy under that colourful sky. that night, after big ben had lit up and then the bells struck midnight, ian slept in a squishy maroon armchair next to my hospital bed, and baby moses slept on his daddy’s chest.

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i am so glad about and grateful for our baby boy’s birth story, despite it all or actually because of it all. the experience was miraculous – not only because my body opened so quickly despite the circumstances, but also because the ordeal taught us super valuable lessons, drew us closer to god and to heaven, bonded us as a family in really beautiful ways, and yielded a perfect tiny son.

167 comments :

  1. What a beautiful birth story Charity! Thank you for sharing so much of it. I love birth stories. And way to go Ian for being so supportive and assertive! I love that you pushed him out with power and love instead of anger - that's exactly as it should be. And you're right, there is just nothing like the overwhelming "wild" love felt with the birth of a newborn - love for baby and husband! It's truly heavenly. Congratulations on your beautiful baby Moses!!!

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  2. What a beautiful story! How much did he weigh??

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    1. he was 3.18 kilos - 7 pounds even!

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  3. I understand what you mean when you say that you disagree with people when they say "as long as the baby is healthy". My first birth was very unexpected and atypical and I had prepared so much, like you. I felt disappointed too and I (honestly) would get upset when people would talk about their typical birth stories after my son was born. I had a very long, drawn out labor that left me scarred emotionally. Not to mention that my baby was over 10 lbs--I had a healthy pregnancy and was confused why I had to have a giant baby. But that baby is almost 4 and I have a 2 year old also. Time does heal. I've learned also that is an excellent way to begin parenting. Very few things are as I expected them. I knew everything about parenting until I had my kids ;) I'm so lucky to learn from them.

    Make sure you find local mom friends! That was the most helpful thing for me. Best wishes and congratulations!

    (first time commenter here. You have a lovely blog--thank you for sharing it!)

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    1. Liz this is PERFECTLY said! " I've learned also that is an excellent way to begin parenting. Very few things are as I expected them. I knew everything about parenting until I had my kids ;) I'm so lucky to learn from them."

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    2. thank you, I love this comment.

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  4. Congratulations and thank-you for sharing all that you have chosen to share.

    Sounds like your body was really fast and ready to give birth; especially for a first baby. If it hadn't been for the meconium (which is a bit of bad luck) you would have had the birth of your dreams. Sounds like many things worked out EXACTLY as you had hoped: going into labor spontaneously while your mom was still there and had several days left in her trip, the sweet time you spent laboring at home with your mom and husband, deciding with Ian when it was time to go to the hospital, the ability for your and Ian to advocate thoughtfully and effectively because of all the prep you'd done, the early nursing and skin to skin contact etc.

    So sorry about the tearing and the episiotomy. I know you're sore and that's the last thing you need while getting little sleep, learning to breastfeed, and caring 24/7 for a newborn. When I gave birth I felt like if it was any other time and I got stitches there you'd be able to put myself to bed for a week to heal.

    A note to other perspective Mamas on C-section (since I know many of you who are reading here). Charity is really strongly opinioned about c section with the "cutting open/out" terminology and her intense gratitude for not having one (altough she chooses not to say why) etc. Please note that many moms and babies have positive experiences with c sections. I know a couple of different women who have had both and actually prefer the section. As for healing surgical cuts, as Charity's experience shows, giving birth vaginally does not exclude having cuts to heal. Many women prefer having a cut in their abdomen to cuts in perinium etc.

    again, Congratulations Charity! Wishing you, Ian, and Moses all things wonderful.

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    1. thank you so much - for your congratulations and sympathy and reminder of all that went how i desired - you are so right! also for your comment about c-sections. totally agree that they can be a positive experience and right for some women (i just don't think i am one of those women :) - although if i did have a section i would intend to learn from it and appreciate it).

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  5. I am a Mormon so I get the "spiritual " aspect you are trying to get over, but honestly, I found this whole thing so incredibly self absorbed, self indulgent and frankly, really distasteful.

    You and your child needed all the intervention you resented. Your doctor was right about the meconium.The idea that your husband felt it was his right to take the doctor aside.......you don't think maybe that doctor had the skills, intelligence and knowledge to deal with your sons birth. I hope you have sent a really fulsome thank you to the hospital who had to put up with your entire families obnoxious self indulgent entitled attitudes.

    Appalling, please don't have any more children in England if you are going to go into it with the attitude you've shown...........give thanks for your healthy baby.



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    1. Doctors are people too, and many are not of a non-interventionist mind set. Some doctors are really amazing, but many I have personally dealt with are dismissive of the mother's wishes, education level, the fact that this is a natural process that usually doesn't adhere to human's timetables of convenience. Patients absolutely have the right to a say in their care.
      But beside anything to do with the doctor, you comment on her personal, intimate, vulnerable and open birth story with adjectives like "self absorbed", "self indulgent", "obnoxious", "appalling"...seriously? That's gross. And rude. And judgemental. And self righteous. And I'm sad to hear it.

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    2. hi anon! i anticipated at least one comment like this. i am so sorry my post came across to you the way you've described. despite being treated with impatience and a lack of kindness by the doctor that attended our son's birth, i several times (amidst the worry and pain) expressed heartfelt gratitude to him for his help. of course we were thankful for the interventions that could have saved our baby from danger, but we were still sad that those measures had to be taken. i hope that helps clarify a little, but again i am sorry for the way you have interpreted my storytelling.

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    3. Charity, you weren't " treated with impatience and a lack of kindness by the doctor " who attended your sons birth, You were attended by a skilled doctor who was there for your baby and without him, you may not have had such a good outcome. Your husband actually wasting the doctors time taking the doctor into the corridor to harangue him ????? Utterly crass. As I said, I am Mormon and have a number of children and grandchildren and am grateful that my daughters and daughters in law treated the medical staff with respect recognising that the world does not revolve around them.

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    4. no, ian certainly did not "harangue" the doctor. he did advocate for his wife and baby, and yes, he did so outside the room where i was working incredibly hard to focus on processing the intensity of labor. those conversations (which i am sorry you are assuming were really hostile!) were best removed from my efforts to work with my body to safely and positively birth my son. although we felt we were not treated with a great deal of respect, we certainly endeavored to show respect and gratitude to the medical personnel that were helping us.

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    5. Hopefully your daughters and granddaughters have learned to speak more kindly to others. :( I wonder would you make this comment in person in Relief Society?

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    6. Congratulations Charity and Ian and welcome to parenthood. Baby Moses is a doll. I had an emergency c-section and it actually was a wonderful and fantastic experience. I'm happy that that wasn't the case for you, but I sort of feel as if your post makes it seem as if a c-section isn't "giving birth" it's having the baby "cut out of you" as you say. I was in labor for two days, unable to eat or drink and hadn't slept. My baby was in a position that made it dangerous for delivery and so I gave birth via c-section. I understand you wanting a vaginal birth over a c-section and that's fine, but reading this made me feel as if you think less of mothers who gave birth that way. I don't agree with your decision to have him vaginally, but of course it's your decision as my c-section was mine. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude to you in the least, the story just rubbed me the wrong way. I get you're not a c-section woman but I'm not a "risk my child's health for my birth plan" woman. Everyone is different.

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    7. thank you for sharing your perspective, and i am so sad that i gave the impression you describe. i have enormous respect for all birthing mothers, regardless of the mode of delivery. i did mention in the post that i believe c-sections are definitely good and right for some babies, but i should have been more clear and forthcoming on that note.

      also, i certainly wasn't intending to "risk my child's health for my birth plan"!! my birth preferences were made for the very purpose of preserving my child's health and helping him come into the world in the very best way possible. the points on our birth guide had very little to do with what would be most comfortable or exciting for me (i don't think anyone would chose to forgo pain relief in childbirth purely for their own sake!).

      again, i am sorry if anything here made you feel that i would value your (or my!) c-section birth any less than a vaginally birth. all birth is awesome. my iwn very personal experience was just that i felt strongly a c-section was not right for our circumstances, all things considered.

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    8. Saying a woman's experience and emotions during labor and delivery don't matter or that they have no place in the face of the doctor's orders is gaslighting, pure and simple.
      And it's medically irresponsible and potentially dangerous to prioritize the scheduling needs of the doctor/hospital over and above the health of individual mothers/babies, which it sounds like this doctor was prepared to do until Ian stepped in. High fives to Ian!

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    9. Oh my! These comments are intense! Just wondering why anon gives the doctor the benefit of the doubt over Charity? I agree that doctors and intervention can be a life saving grace. But I also believe that doctors are fallible humans too. Could it be that the doctor was acting in a self-indulgent, self-absorbed way? It's just as possible that he was in a hurry and ready to get on to other things as it is that Charity was too worried about following her "birth guide." There is no way for us, as outsiders, to really know. But I'd bet that Charity and Ian cared more intensely about the baby's safety and well being than the doctor did (no matter how competent and good hearted he might have been). Doctors have a lot of great expertise and education, but mothers also have an incredible ability to know what they need to do to bring a baby safety into the world. It's sad that we live in a society where mothers are not taught to trust this incredible instinct. And when they do try to trust this instinct they are often called out as being self absorbed.

      Just asking you to open your mind and consider this situation in another way. I hope that your daughters and daughters in law can also learn to reach deep within themselves to find that powerful birthing instinct too.

      Charity, this is an incredible story. I know it didn't go as planned, and I know that you must have felt like lots of your preparation was wasted, but I'm certain that all that mindfulness and learning and educating yourself about the process of birth and what was happening inside of your body and how to stay calm and open up was what allowed your body to experiencing that opening miracle....against all odds. The human body and mind is incredible. When that baby was born you were born a mother and this story and all the power contained in it is a pretty great way to start off the beautiful, crazy, unpredictable, hard and miraculous journey of mothering.

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  6. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy. He is precious! Thank you for sharing your story with your readers as I'm sure you're going to get some not-so-nice comments. I had a very traumatic first birth myself, and even though I prayed and prayed that a c-section wouldn't be the end result, it was, and I have a beautiful baby boy to show from it. Just so other readers know, who might be first time expectant moms, c-section births can be beautiful and spiritual as well. It might not be what you wanted, but the health of your baby is the truly the most important thing. I'm so happy that your story ended with what you wanted, but many women pray and pray, and a c-section is still necessary, and that's okay.

    I know you are already an amazing Mom because of all the amazing women in your life. Thanks again for sharing your heart. God bless.

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    1. I had a similar experience and felt like a 'failure' for having had a c-section. But as time passed and I healed physically, mentally, and spiritually I realized that even though we have all sorts of plans and ideas of how things should go, in the end it really doesn't matter. God has created modern medicine for good reason. I have prayed many times since that first c-section for gratitude for all the time doctors have spent learning how to care for their patients and that they have taken the very best care of me, even if it hasn't been my ideal plan.

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    2. i absolutely agree with the comments above. thanks for sharing your perspectives.

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  7. Congratulations! He is beautiful and wonderful. I wish you a speedy recovery and a love filled life as a new family.

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  8. SMH in disbelief4 August 2016 at 20:56

    I have to say - I agree with Anon above.

    There is nothing wrong with taking charge of your own medical care, but meconium is nothing to play with. Your childish clinging to your ideal of what you felt the birth should be could have killed your baby. The "blessing" and your "gut feelings" did not save your baby. The medical intervention did.

    So horribly self-indulgent, self-centered and selfish - this post made me cringe.

    Also, I almost threw up when I read that Ian calls you 'wife'. Wow.

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    1. hi!

      if you read the story closely, you'll see that as soon as we knew there was meconium in the waters, we headed straight to the operating room. we were of course grateful for intervention to help our little one in that circumstance! i also never said my instinct or prayers/blessing "saved" our baby. i said that they kept me calm and kept us from a c-section -- which certainly wouldn't be tragic but was not preferred.

      if you think i was being selfish, i frankly think you've misunderstood. i am so sorry for making you cringe!

      i love that ian calls me wife. sorry you don't like it. a cringe and a near throw-up - yikes! hope your day gets better :)

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    2. I feel being called "wife" is an honor. I love that role in my life. Another very sacred relationship to be cherished. The world seems to cheapen that these days. I love the love that you and Ian obviously share. It is beautiful. And what a beautiful baby boy you both created with that love. Such a lucky little man to have two wonderful, loving parents.

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    3. I don't understand why it's better for there be a tear and episiotomy and forceps and two extra halts from a quick delivery instead of a C section after its obvious the baby pooped before being delivered? Delivering by c section would not have harmed the baby. Is the LDS church like scientologists having birth plan guidelines like no screaming? Would you have cared about whether or not your mom had a csection or they needed to pull you out with forceps?

      It's natural for the baby to come out alive. No Zika virus to worry about. You delivered a baby less than two years from getting married. The baby was alive after to hold. Your spouse was present and not deployed. You wanted and had family in town. So much of what happened are most people's dream.

      If this is the biggest disappointment in your life that you had a doctor not go with your flow you will have been very blessed.

      Baby is very cute.

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    4. hi! there are several advantages for babies that come from being born vaginally, and c-sections can be quite rough on birthing mothers in several significant ways. this post is not intended to educate on these points, so i will let you educate yourself, if you are interested.

      there are no specific guidelines around birth from my church.

      i think yes i would be sad as a tiny baby to miss out on the benefits of a normal, natural birth (i say this lost in jest :)). birthing isn't just about babies and their health though. mothers are also born, and fathers too.

      i am very grateful for the things you mentioned, and i am sorry that did not come across for you in this post.

      this is definitely not the biggest disappointment of my life! and was about much more than a doctor "going with my flow."

      it's incredible the conclusions that can be drawn from what i write!

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    5. Same anon as just above, but not the one from way above..

      The "conclusions seem incredible", but remember we are not in your head.

      You became mother and father from the moment you have conceived a baby. You are just parenting differently now he is out.

      Good luck.

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  9. Congratulations Charity! He is such a beautiful, tiny little thing. I'm a total internet stranger, but I can practically feel the love and warmth you have for baby Moses oozing through my computer screen. Best wishes to you and your new little family.

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  10. Congratulations! He is a blessing.

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  11. Good for you Charity. I have been following your blog for a while and am so happy that this worked out your way! I, too, watched the "business of being born" and vowed I would never ever have my babies in a hospital...and what your doula overheard- sounds about right. These doctors want to play around with what is such a natural process. The baby knows when and how it needs to come out, doctors just make big bucks on turning all this into a medical procedure when it isn't, its a God thing and is gorgeous. I had all 4 of my kids at home, two of those kids were twins. I had them all naturally at home and no doctors were there to interfere. Don't know if mecomium got in the way, they were healthy and no issues. You did great and I love your story because it's yours. Don't let anyone tell differently or make you feel bad! You are a rockstar mama. Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. It's great that your babies were all fine and the births went smoothly. But I think it is a bad idea to have them at home with no doctors, equipment, etc around just in case something goes wrong.

      Your newborn doesn't know or care how or where he is born. So the whole "at home" thing is purely for the parents. And it's pretty foolhardy to depend on luck that nothing bad or dangerous will happen.

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    2. Nancy- having babies assisted by a doctor is mostly an American thing. the rest of the world does it the natural way, at home or at least in a facility where natural prevails. Sure my newborns cared about how they came into the world. Each knew exactly what to do and when to trigger my body into birthmode. Failure to understand that....well, I hope you aren't a parent. :) Good day sweet Nancy.

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    3. hi nancy. babies are affected by the way they are born. every preference i had for childbirth and everything we advocated for during our birthing experience was intended for the good of our baby. it's foolish to think that a baby is not influenced at all by the presence or lack of trauma, by the atmosphere surrounding his or her birth etc.

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    4. Hi Charity. Do you have any sources related to this? Based on the lack of credible sources from a few quick Google searches, I'm very skeptical about this statement, but I'd be interested in learning more. Congrats to you on your lovely baby boy!

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    5. thank you!

      a lot of what i learned about childbirth was in the book "ina may's guide to childbirth." i recommend it highly! there's quite a lot of literature out there about how babies respond physically and emotionally to their birthing circumstances.

      our moses was absolutely affected by the way he was born. he had bruises on his face and a large lump on his head from the forceps delivery. his body alignment is a bit off after such a rapid entry, and we are taking him to a cranial osteopath, which seems to be helping his disposition and feeding success. on the flip side, i believe he is appreciating the benefits of having been pushed into the world through the birth canal (stocked with all kinds of antibodies and other cool stuff!) with love and having skin to skin contact with his parents in his first hours.

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    6. Maybe he should have been delivered by csection?

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    7. Thanks Charity! Physical effects like bruises seem perfectly logical to me. There is also lots of evidence to suggest that c-section babies have less developed gut microbiomes because they don't encounter the bacteria in the birth canal. I'm mostly skeptical about the idea that the birth method and/or atmosphere during birth can have long lasting impacts on the baby's mental and emotional health. I'll have to check out the book you recommended.

      Also not responsible for the comment from a different anon just above!

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    8. I had premature twins by emergency c-section and later, while my babies were in the NICU, the doctors and nurses repeatedly told me of many of the negative side effects from c-section. A vaginal birth has many good things for the baby and is definitely worth educating yourself on. I'm soooo grateful for c-sections and doctors because my twins would not be alive today without them! They are thriving and doing well today. So I can't say enough how grateful I am that c-section is an option. However that doesn't change the fact that there are many benefits to babies in a vaginal birth. I wish I could have given them that but like Charity said, it's not always possible or best in every circumstance. And in my case vaginal birth was not possible or best. But I just thought some of you might be interested to know that it's not just in the book Charity read, but NICU doctors and nurses also know medically that babies who are born vaginally have an advantage and babies born c-section have to recover and deal with some negative consequences. No shame if a mom needs or prefers c-section but I hope this helps shed light on why some moms want vaginal birth so much!
      Also, in the 4 1/2 months we spent in the NICU I learned a lot about doctors and I LOVED most of them immensely. However I got to see them up close and learned how much of medicine is not so much science but an art and just how important a mothers/fathers intuition is. Good doctors get that and they often would ask me what I felt. Which was unnerving because I'm not a doctor but over the course of our stay there I came to see the wisdom in that. I'm proud of Ian and Charity for being in tune to that and having the courage to listen to their own intuition and feelings and stand up and be sure it was heard while at the same time carefully considering and listening to the doctors concerns and wisdom.

      Moses is perfect! Congratulations!!

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    9. Having babies assisted by a doctor is mostly American and the rest of the world has babies at home without any doctor???? Hello? I am European and know only a few people who prefer and decide to have a baby at home with only a doula and no doctor. A couple of years ago when I lived in South Africa - same there - almost no home births. So please...don't write things that you assume but that are definitely not true.

      Charity and Ian, congratulations to your precious baby boy. He is just beautiful. You did everything right, everything that happened was meant to be YOUR birth experience and was BEST for YOU.
      Sending lot of LOVE from Germany,
      Susanne

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  12. Thank you for sharing the story! I'm keeping this short because I don't think I can find better words than Jenny (also) already did.

    As for the critical comments - I didn't get the impression that you risked to endanger your child by selfishly delaying a c-section. I understood it exactly as you explained in another comment.
    And I had to laugh when I read that Ian calls you "wife". My husband calls me "wife", too (except the German term, since we're German). If people aren't used to it, they are always weirded out, while it feels perfectly normal to me.

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  13. Congrats on Moses!

    What a beautiful baby!

    Enjoy the time they grow fast!

    Thank you for sharing your birth story, it's a very personal courageous thing to do!

    My experience has been a section and a natural delivery. Both had joys and both had issues. I feel like too many times we put emphasis on the delivery and not the miraculous 9 months and the love after... We focus on that darn delivery (really!! Healthy, happy!?) that's all any mom wants!

    I feel like your post focused to much on the negative!! Come on!!! Let's try something refreshing!

    Congrats you had a beautiful baby! Congrats you carried a baby full term (I did not) congrats your mom was there ( mine has passed and I think that your mom was there should be celebrated) congrats you are a mom!!!

    So what you had a spinal! Who cares if a section would have happened!? You just experience the greatest love and that should be celebrated!!

    Best of luck and enjoy being a mom!! It's hard those first few weeks and months but you'll never regret how he was or would have been brought into the world!!

    All we can pray for is a heathy baby and a healthy mom... Intuition or not that is the goal... Good doctor or busy doctor or even a pushy Doctor... That is the goal.... Please give dr's more credit... You would have felt pretty terrible if baby had pneumonia or lack of oxygen because of a birthing plan that didn't go your way!!

    Celebrate Moses and have a wonderful journey!

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    1. i am sorry the negative seemed prevalent to you. i feel i wrote quite a lot about the beauty, love, joy, and wonder of the experience. and i intend to continue sharing how we celebrate this baby boy and his entrance into the world heartily every day.

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    2. Well said!

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  14. Thank you Charity for "choosing" to share that beautiful and very personal story. I loved reading every sentence and felt myself riding along because of your writing skills to relate in such a magnificent way! I do wish other readers would respect your story and keep their two cents to themselves! If you don'the have something nice to say then please keep negative comments to yourself ladies. We are not to negatively judge other ladies miracle birthday stories and be unified in our womanhood! This is Charity's story on her blog and if you don'the like it then do not read it or with decent respect keep your rude comments to yourself. Women need to unite in motherhood and all it's many many stories without critical judgement. Every birth story is different and every one deserves the right to their own story! Again, congrats to Ian and Charity and baby Moses and thank you for sharing *your* beautiful experience with all of us! I have anticipated with excitement reading your birth story and I am feeling quite joyful having done so!!!🖒👏💙👑

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  15. This is fabulous. My baby girl is turning 1 in 2 days! Her birth was different than what I planned as well but was still pretty awesome. I am so happy for you guys and am grateful you shared your story!

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  16. Congratulations! I teared up reading this, both because it was beautiful and because it reminded of the the very moment when my daughter was born and I asked if she was really here, in disbelief that such an incredible moment was really happening.

    I had planned for an intervention-free birth, too, but in the end I had pre-eclampsia and most of my plans had to change quickly and dramatically. The culture of "all that matters is a healthy baby" is so dangerous because it doesn't allow the space for women to process and react to something that very much involves them, too! I love what another commenter said about how well that prepares you for parenthood, though! In the end, we really have so little control, but I choose to see it as a powerful reminder of who is really in control and how grateful I am for a God who loves and guides me.

    All the best to you and your family!

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm so glad little Moses made it safely into the world and into your heart. I love reading birth stories, and I'm in tears after reading yours. You shared your thoughts and emotions so beautifully, and I completely agree that labor and birth is the most spiritual experience. I too have never felt the veil so thin as during the labor and birth of each of my sons.

    You wrote how people have said that all that matters is that you have a healthy boy, and that you disagree. I'm glad you had the courage to say that- and I agree with you completely. It's totally natural and okay to be disappointed in how it all happened, and at the same time still grateful and blessed to have a healthy baby. Hopefully good will come from it all- obviously you have learned from it but it's possible the doctor, nurses, etc (even just one) have learned from your experience as well (and will change things for another mom).. It's perfectly fine though to feel sadness for something hoped for but not realized.

    Enjoy these days and weeks with baby Moses! As I'm sure everyone tells you, they go by far too quickly. Love & hugs to you.
    Jennifer

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  18. I love the name Moses! We are expecting a girl in a few weeks and are having the hardest time coming up with a name!?

    What did you guys plan on naming Moses if he was a girl!?

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  19. The "culture" of "let's do this our way, no matter what the doctor says because we are so blessed and God is in control" is negligent.

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    1. If this was a response to my earlier comment, you have completely misunderstood me. Doctors and interventions are important of course and save countless lives. That doesn't negate the need for space for a mother to process emotions around things going so differently from what she had expected. Of course, health for baby is one of the most important things, but health of the mother is important, too, and that includes her mental health. Birth can be beautiful and amazing AND traumatic, and it's dangerous to ignore the effect of the birth on the mother and tell her that how she feels isn't valid and important.

      It doesn't have to be an either/or here. That's what my comment was trying to convey.

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  20. Sad to see all the anonymous hate comments.

    You should know Charity that there is an army of commenting trolls working the web paid by pharma, dumping on moms who want and desire natural births.

    I have been dueling them for many years.

    Bless you and your little family.

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

    The queen of all that negativity is Dr. Amy and the 33 guys who play her on the web.

    Please ignore them...

    I confront her occasionally, like when she recently published her book Push Back:

    https://jennyhatch.com/2016/04/23/book-review-push-back-by-dr-amy-a-few-thoughts-from-birth-activist-jenny-hatch/

    But mostly it is good to ignore.

    Based on what was typed above, I can 100% assure you those comments were paid agitators

    Jenny Hatch
    www.JennyHatch.com

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    1. Oh come on Jenny - it is possible for people to have contrary opinions without them being "paid agitators" - says Pol, who was raised on my mother's tales of delivering hundreds of babies in their own homes when she was a district midwife in the 60's.

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    2. Agree.

      But I would like to see a name, photograph, and just to be sure, a picture of the many children and grandchildren of Anonymous above who claims to be a mormon.

      She could also share the name of her home ward and Bishop for verification of her "mormon" identity.

      I loathe those who spew hate at new Moms anonymously.

      If you do not have the courage to attach your name to your opinions, the internet does not need your voice.

      And yes. There is an ARMY of paid agitators who use social media, blogs, and comment sections/chat rooms to further Medical Slavery.

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  21. Congrats on getting some of the birth story you wanted. I totally understand what you mean about saying you disagree with the "only want a healthy baby". Its ok to want a healthy baby AND your desired plan to work out. And I'm glad you got both :)

    Does Ian really refer to you as "wife"? Thats so formal!

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    1. yes, he calls me wife. it just stuck! i find it endearing personally :)

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    2. Well, since you called him The Boy for a while on this blog
      (I don't know if in person also) I think that matches perfectly :) Congratulations on your beautiful baby!

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    3. That makes sense, its kinda cute.

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  22. This is such a beautiful birth story. I love your descriptive writing and how you are able to express certain feelings that I can't seem to put into words. I was in tears reading this--from those quiet morning moments with your husband and mom at home when you first started going into labor-- to your miracle in the operating room when you fully dilated-- and your wise husband's quick reply to send love (and not anger, as suggested by the anesthesiologist). I do not know how anyone can say a negative word about an experience this sacred. These are seriously some of the greatest photos I've seen. LA in WA

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  23. he's really quite adorable!! and what a view! i'm in london visiting with my family and we just saw big ben today. how special for you to have such a beautiful big ben sunset with your adorable little guy! congratulations, he really is so cute!

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  24. Wow, I'm bawling over here. With my most recent delivery, I felt so many of the same emotions you expressed when I was told I should have a bunch of interventions that I didn't want. I was ultimately able to deliver naturally, but felt like I should be ashamed for wanting to direct my birth experience. Your amazing story really helped me process feelings I've tried to shove down inside, thank you so much for sharing it.

    Funny side note, I've tried to explain to my husband how wonderful it is when the shoulders and torso are delivered, and you gave me just the right words. "Exquisite slither" is the perfect description! Best of wishes with that adorable baby boy. :-)

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    1. Yes! I have never been able to find the words to describe that feeling (head, shoulders...). I loved how Charity described it. So accurate. I am grateful she was still able to feel that sensation with the numbing drugs they gave. Very fortunate. So many blessings.

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  25. Thank you for sharing your story in the raw! Know that you've touched at least one person and inspired one person to feel and hope and speak of their feelings for how they want to birth a baby. It's not always an easy topic, and we should be blessed that you have the courage to share your feelings that so many women go through. Your story was beautiful and touching and amazing, and most importantly yours. Best wishes to you in the months to come.

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  26. I think your birth story is beautiful and you told it honestly. I have had 5 children and the births that have been unexpected or difficult are also the most beautiful and memorable. Best of luck to you- I know you are and will be an amazing Mommy!

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  27. Thank you for sharing! I am so happy for your miracles--those you experienced and the one in your arms. I've logged more than my fair share of hospital time with my own little miracles, and I can say from experience that care and caregivers vary so very, very widely depending on who happens to be on your shift, what their personality is like, what their fear/confidence/fatigue level is. Who knows, what happened in that operating room may help that doctor be a better caregiver to someone else in the future. Best wishes!

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  28. So beautiful, Charity. What a lucky little guy Moses is to have such wonderful parents.

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  29. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! I'm so glad you are all well. I wish you all the best in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead. All of which will be challenging and delightful!

    As far as, "all that matters is that you have a healthy baby" goes, I have to vehemently disagree with you. Many people fail to realize that many mothers do not have a healthy or even a live baby at the end of their labor. One of my babies was born an angel. He did not survive his birth, despite all the available medical interventions.

    My next baby was born via an emergency c section which I had to be under general anesthesia for. Neither of us were expected to come out of surgery alive. My husband was not allowed in the room. Our baby was born 8 weeks early. Our baby spent some time in the NICU which was a challenge for our family. But we felt so blessed and grateful through all of it. I wish his birth could have been different. But I know that all that matters is that I had a healthy baby in the end.

    Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. I really enjoyed reading it. I hope my comment doesn't come off too harsh, I only mean to offer another perspective that maybe hadn't been considered.

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  30. Such a beautiful birth story. Thank you for sharing your "little family" with us. :-)

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  31. I, like so many others, love reading birth stories. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment with us. (I've found as time marches on the details get fuzzy, so it's such a treasure to have them written down.)

    After two natural births I've often joked that the only time I've wanted an epidural is for the post-episiotomy and tearing stitching up. Local anesthesia did not touch it. I hope you take good care of yourself and that the healing goes well. It is hard to feel like so many other women get up and go so soon after delivery and you're still feeling tender months later. Take care of yourself and enjoy that sweet baby.

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  32. Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on a successful and healthy delivery. Moses is absolutely adorable! And I really admire the way you respond to these harsh commenters, given that you just had a baby and are on an emotional rollercoaster. I had a my first baby (boy too!) earlier this year and my emotions/hormones were so out of whack, I would probably burst into tears at some of these mean comments. :( I hope you are not doing so in private but I am sure you are not. Thanks for being an inspiration to other moms and soon-to-be moms who have a specific birth plan in mind. Looking forward to keeping up on your blog especially now as we have little ones only months apart.

    ps- i also thought it sounded really weird that Ian calls you 'wife' but as the other commenter said, probably because I just never heard that before. But there are worse things to be called- "oh my gosh, he's here, sugarplum, he's here!!"

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  33. Even when we think we've got it all figured out we're all still learning and growing. Remember when you wrote about your friend inducing her labor so she could make it to you wedding reception? I'm guessing you have a different perspective on the wisdom of that now that you have learned about, and experienced, child birth.

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  34. i had to chuckle a little when you talked about your birth plan. I was a labor and delivery nurse for many years and we nurses always groaned a little when we saw a birth plan because, almost invariably, those were the births where things definitely did NOT go as planned. Reminds me of a quote I love: "Man plans and God laughs" meaning He has the big picture and things happen the way they should in spite of all our planning. Enjoy your little one!

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  35. There is so much I want to say. I think we could have a fabulous lunch talking birth. But I won't write alot other then. You are so brave. Brave to share your sacred birth story with all of us. I have been checking everyday dying to hear it. But especially brave with sharing wuthering the mean comments. I would be a mess. But honestly it is brave pepole like you that helped me on my birth journey. I'm having my second one at home in a few weeks. (Seriously with how fast you go you are an awesome candidate for home birth). I just want to say how amazing you are. Thanks for being raw,and honest. And truly an example to all future mothers and father's. Loads of hugs, prayers, and momma loves coming your way during your 4th trimester!
    Oh and the book birthing from within might help you with the traumatic parts of your birth! ♡ ♡ ♡

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  36. Congrats on your beautiful baby Moses. I appreciate you sharing your story, even if you may have opinions and thoughts that are not necessarily popular.

    I'm a nurse and I sit on a patient and family centered care committee in my hospital and it is interesting how you CAN combine respecting the person while still providing medical care. I think there is still a lot of work to be done in working together to deal with issues as they arise.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with Ian advocating for what you were wanting. I think a lot of people in hospital would benefit from family acting as an advocate. Nurses and Physicians sometimes forget that we are given a lot of power by just walking into the room. We might know a lot about the science but we are not the experts on each individual person.

    I wish that your Physician could have spent more time understanding your wishes and drawing up new goals. It sounds like you had a bit of that (breaking the water to see if there was mec and if there was ... off to the OR) but perhaps there should have been more communication.

    I'm in the developed world and we have so many wonderful advances that help improve maternal and child outcomes. Those advances don't mean that there is no room for negotiation or slowing things down to really think about what we are doing.

    You can feel anything you want to about the story of Moses' birth. I think it is important to identify those feelings and let them play out. I think that when we don't take the time to understand what we are feeling and actually feel things, those emotions will turn into other emotions that may not be genuine.

    Enjoy all your cuddles and snuggles with your Moses.

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    1. I really hope more hospitals embrace the attitude you share. I gave birth at one such hospital in the US and although there were some concerns, the nurses and doctors did an INCREDIBLE job of listening to us about where we were and what we wanted to do for the health of our baby. And yes my husband did much of the discussion in the hallway so I could focus on labor - nothing wrong with that kind of "taking the doctor aside"!

      I hope a lot of the nastiness in comments above will fade away as hospital culture around labor and birth starts to change. I love your balanced take on it, CNE! Thanks for sharing.

      PS Charity, thank you for sharing a beautiful story knowing it would make you vulnerable to unpleasant comments - I know some moms who were treated abysmally or traumatically during their labors, and who would feel so empowered and validated by your and Ian's examples of respectfully sticking up for the well-being of your Moses. He's gorgeous!

      The taxi driver not letting you pay made me tear up. :)

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    2. Hi Charity, I am so pleased you and Moses are safe. I am sorry everything did not go as planned. Especially after all of the work that you did towards a natural labour.

      I just want to point out that this was I presume an NHS hospital, where maybe people who havent grown up with it, do not understand how most births are facilitated solely by midwives here in the UK. Doctors/consultants are only involved when it is feared for the baby and mother and medical intervention is taken or advised. Intervention is the last resort and most mothers have babies naturally or with very little medication. That doctor may have been the only one for the whole of the ward and not as in the US where you have your dedicated doctor/gynae that you have been with from the beginning, from what I understand to be more normal in the US. in the UK on the day of your birth you may not even have your midwife that has been with you from the beginning either. So all the hate messages out there, this was probably really scary for Charity and her family. It was not the norm for her family, with all of her nieces and nephews that have been birthed, I am sure she really did know what was going to happen and tried to have a plan for all of them. She has mentioned many times on her blog that she has spoken to her sisters about all of this.

      It was unfortunate that it didnt pan out as they wished. The NHS is stretched to its limits and is free to all patients, and many Doctors stay on later than their 12 hours, to help out as do nurses as we just dont have the staff over here. This does not mean that he should have been rude. But maybe English wasnt his first language and with the heightened urgency it did not come out as well as it could? It was therefore good that Ian felt, that with his MIL experience and that Charity is very in tune with her own body, that he felt he could speak up for them and be the voice of the moment. Good for Ian for being man enough to say, please wait my Wife says its happening naturally. Maybe that little moment, really was the key.

      Many congratulations to the Wright family. He is a little Cracker and I hope he has many blessings in his future and for all of you.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us all.

      P.S I loved the pictures with Big Ben, and the lovely one with you all on the bed, you can feel the pure love radiating from you and the one with your mum and Moses is lovely. Precious memories caught on camera!

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  37. This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it and the special feelings that came with it. Also, I am amazed at your grace and kindness to everyone in answering comments. Thank you for your example.

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  38. I love birth stories,the miracles seen in them, and the miracle of birth. I loved when Ian said "send love down." Beautiful words, and a beautiful way to help your son enter the outside world. I also loved that Daddy had skin to skin contact. Best wishes to your little family and thank you for sharing a very personal and sacred experience.

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  39. Charity!
    Congratulations on your reunion with your sweet baby boy. I enjoyed your labor story and was waiting eagerly to read it! It was, as always, beautifully written. You have a talent! I whole heartedly disagree with the negative comments! You are fabulous for standing up for what you believe in. You are a powerhouse mom who wants the best for your sweet baby! There is nothing wrong with that! Congrats, happy healing and enjoy those baby snuggles... they grow so fast!
    <3 Kirsten

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  40. Your birth story was so touching! Thank you for sharing. I love his name and I love transparency. I have three children and I fully understand the desire for a peaceful birth. I'm sorry for so many negative commenters, but don't let them ruffle you. You're Moses's mama and this is your story. Never apologize for being you. Your story was so touching.

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story! Just wanted to comment that I really resonated with your feelings about having a healthy baby and yet...

    I have five children (currently pregnant with my sixth) and the birth of my fifth was incredibly difficult for me emotionally as a result of my midwife's attitude and comments. I felt very much that I was not considered an active partner and that my judgement and opinions about my body were not valued or considered, despite the fact that I had given birth four times previously and knew much more about how my own unique body proceeded through the process of labor than an unfamiliar midwife! (Very akin to your mother's comment about having 9 babies and giving birth within 30 minutes of the amniotic sac rupture.)

    Anyway, what I want to say is this: please take all the time you need to heal emotionally as well as physically. I think that we too often think that if someone is fine physically that they shouldn't have any corollary emotional or mental distress, which puts an unfair burden on new mothers who are coping with a giant realm of emotions on zero sleep! For me personally, I felt SO validated when another midwife told me at my 6-week appointment that she thought I should see a therapist specializing in traumatic birth. It was so important for me to feel that someone else in the healthcare profession could look at my file, see my obvious distress even six weeks later, and just say, "This was traumatic and this other midwife did not treat you appropriately with respect for your wishes, preferences, and feelings. It's okay to feel upset about this."

    Anyway--best wishes. :-)

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    1. ^^ This! I think it's important to take into consideration that a traumatic birth, even when ending in a healthy mama and child, can deeply affect you afterwards and make it harder to deal with the rollercoaster of parenting a newborn. That right there is reason enough to advocate to be a partner and to be respected in your labor & birth, because no matter how things turn out, it makes a positive difference to feel like you were part of the decision-making process - as Charity said acting, not acted upon.

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  42. I replied to a comment above but also wanted to say more that wasn't relevant to that comment. I completely understand how you can have a beautiful and also traumatic birth at the same time and how you can be grateful for parts and disappointed about other parts; those things don't contradict each other. I actually had a somewhat opposite situation that resulted in similar feelings. My first baby (I have three now) was a planned home birth that ended up being 61 hours and I delivered at the hospital. The whole story is too long to recount, but I also clashed with my medical provider (my midwife) and had to scream and fight to be "allowed" to go to the hospital after 52 hours of labor and 4 hours of unsuccessful pushing. I was so relieved that I still had a vaginal delivery with a healthy baby at the hospital because of the other intervention that I received there. However everyone I talked to afterwards either told me it was my own fault for choosing a home birth in the first place or told me it was so sad that my perfect home birth had been stolen from me. When I said I actually preferred the hospital for my particular situation, a specific person argued with me and told me that the doctor must have brainwashed me into thinking that! It is so frustrating to be told that your feelings, whatever they are, aren't valid or real. Sorry for the novel, I just wanted to tell you that I understand how complicated something like this can feel emotionally. I still get so angry about it that I can't speak sometimes and my son is 5 now! But I am so happy that he is here and healthy. Whatever you are feeling is what is acceptable to feel :) Congratulations! I love Thames as a middle name, how special for you and Ian to share that with your baby.

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  43. Oh my gosh, some of these comments! Charity, thank you for sharing your amazing birth story. It is 100% ok to feel like you did not get the experience you planned and hoped for. I had a baby 10 months ago and have been absolutely floored by the judging of new moms and moms in general. To each his/her own. You did a great job and your family is adorable. Thank you for putting yourself out there on the internet. -Jennifer

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  44. WOW!!! All this negativity just proves there is opposition in all things and when the adversary see's a glimmer of light in someones life, as I did by reading your birth story, he see's an opportunity to try to bring darkness and discouragement. It reminds me of why Sister Stephens (General Relief Society 1st Counselor) said what she said at a meeting I recently attended with her. She said she wished that women could be kinder to one another. She wished that we could rid our lives of the comparison and judgements that divide us. She referred to these as the "ites" (as in our Book of Mormon scripture). She specifically mentioned the divorc"ites" widow"ites", single"ites, stay at home "ites", and working mom "ites." In this situation it might be homebirth"ites", csection "ites", natural birth "ites", epideral "ites", etc. Let's all just put our energy into embracing our own story as well as Charity's and anyone elses that might differ from our own. This isn't a contest. We are all on the same team wearing the same jersey. We just want to be the best mom's we can be. This was Charity's story guided by her own PERSONAL REVELATION. She and her husband and her mom were entitled to that gift. We as readers only have a small peak into that day and Charity so unselfishly shared the view with us. We have heard of her love and excitement to be a mom long before she was married. Let's just support each other in our individual attempts at walking the journey God has in store for us instead of ridiculing others for their best attempts in their personal journey.

    I dont know Charity but her responses to the negativity have proven her character to be very Christ-like even while in her postpartum state (not a small feat). haha Reminds me of a scripture...I am sure you have never had it quoted to you in the past (haha)...And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [Moroni 7:45]

    Enjoy that baby and YOUR journey!!! SMILE ONE!!!

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    1. So well said! I feel like applauding you for spreading light, love, and encouragement to Charity. I don't know her personally but Im sending a virtual hug through the screen and across the ocean.

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    2. Satan? Really? It is out of charity we want her get over thinking so elitist and entitled about vagina birth. I hope she doesn't think a direct communication with on High is what will get her her way in future and worry about her own soul if it doesn't work next time. She can feel as she likes about the Doctor, but thank goodness for him. The monitor said the baby was not tolerating it well and there was a chance of aspiration, time is a factor and he wasn't being ludicrous. Most ask God to get pregnant, for the Doctor to be clever, the baby to be okay, mama to recover and the family to be calm for this baby to be delivered in whatever method will get the baby out quick if something is going on. Not that the baby come out the vagina. This intrusion by family is why family used to be excluded from the action for such a long time. Obviously it wasn't desitined as the baby was pulled out and mama was cut and tore. None of that matters. It's not a character flaw how the baby comes out. What does this do to women facing a c section? Will they delay longer and end up with life long consequences from a doctor who read Ina's book and completed medical school? She wasn't even in a anti midwife environment.

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    3. I didn't read Charity's story that way at all - she couldn't have been clearer that what they prayed for was flexibility, openness, love - not to "get her way." The baby's heart rate stabilized, then they agreed with the doctor that they'd have a c-section if there was meconium present, which there was, and so they went forward with that plan until Moses had other plans.

      FWIW I don't think the doctor was being ludicrous either. I think he was just following his training based on an outdated model of care - the physician-centered model, which for decades has prioritized an assembly-line attitude towards L&D instead of a patient-centered care model, which is what it sounds like Charity & Ian wanted and worked toward. Promoted by the Royal College of Midwives (http://bit.ly/2azuKDt) and advocated in the US by several major medical organizations (http://bit.ly/2aDOzLt):

      “ 'Patient-centered' means that health care providers, and the system they practice within, accept that the values, culture, choices, and preferences of a woman and her family are relevant within the context of promoting optimal health outcomes. The overarching principles involved include treating all childbearing women with kindness, respect, dignity, and cultural sensitivity, throughout their maternity care experiences. Patient-centered care is enhanced when women are provided supportive resources such as education and skilled attendants. Specifically, patient-centered care requires the balance between maternal-child safety and well being with the woman’s needs and desires." (ibid)

      It most definitely includes family involvement:
      "The childbirth experience is dynamic and includes not only the woman and her family, but also a host of other members of the healthcare team. Effective communication between the caregiver and the laboring woman and her family, as well as among the members of the care team, is critical to ensuring safety" (ibid)

      It does NOT involve prioritizing a busy schedule over an individual patient’s wellbeing, speaking shortly or rudely to the patient, or foregoing best practices (like checking to see how far she was dilated before initiating surgery).

      Quit picking on Charity for advocating for a practice that promotes patient safety and “optimal maternal outcomes” (ibid) and is slowly but surely becoming the standard in hospitals.

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  45. Yes, I too am a little shocked that others feel the need to tell you that you didn't have the right to feel the way you did. I am not sure what motivate others to leave nasty comments. Unfortunately, the one thing you will discover in becoming a mom is that everyone seems to have an opinion on how to raise your children and moms are some of the worst at judging you on how it should be done. One of the things I wish I had learned 17 years ago when I had my first child was to listen more to my own intuition and not the voice of others. You are a smart woman surrounded by many amazing woman and I am sure you have been gathering all the wisdom up over the years. And no doctors are not Gods and can mistakes and have anterior motives on how they treat their patients. I have had 4 children biologically and now two adopted, but of the 4 two of the children were born naturally, and the other two were born through C-section. Each was born in the way they were suppose to come. though I have to admit that the c-section was easier than the class 4 tear episiotomy I had from pushing out a 9 pound baby. Though, I am glad that my doctor allowed that to happen as opposed to rushing a c-section on that birth because then I would have been bound to have all the other births in the same manor. I believe it was truly a miracle because normal when drugs are given it slows down the labor and in your case you went a lightning speed. Adore his name! Congratulations!

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  46. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story. You are a blessing and a light. So many of your posts have provided me with encouragement and even an example of how a life can be lived. I am so saddened when reading negative comments. Sending prayers of love to build you up. Please know that you have a very positive influence, far greater than those negative and hurtful comments. I am especially protective of new mothers as I feel they should be showered with encouragement and love as they are transitioning to their new role. I really wish women would be more gentle and nurturing to one another!
    On another note, I completely understand and agree with your birthing decisions. I feel so fortunate to have also read Ina May's books which helped to empower my birthing experiences. I worked as a health care professional in a hospital setting, and I firmly believe family and patients need to advocate their beliefs and wishes. So well done! Enjoy your beautiful baby boy!

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  47. Thank you for sharing. He is beautiful and I loved reading the birth story and your feelings. 4 out of 5 of my kids had meconium but they did fine after being checked out. It was never even suggested that I have a c-section because of that. Our female body is amazing and you are a wonderful mom. These first few months are an adjustment. Shake off the critical comments. You are a rockstar!

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  48. Thank you for sharing the story of baby Moses' arrival - I love a good birth story! It's 18 years since I birthed my first, and I absolutely understand your feelings. I had such plans, but Megs got herself wedged spine to spine, and was finally delivered by forceps. Seeing the moulding bruising on little Moses' head really brought that back. It took me quite some time to work through my feelings about it all - and I'm sure I wouldn't have been brave enough to publish on the web (though I did write it all down.) I do think that you are allowed your feelings and reactions to the birth - and in these early weeks when your body is still recovering - you need love and support and it's not helpful to critise, lecture or harangue.

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  49. This is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing. Moses is lucky to have you and Ian for parents.

    Marguerite xxx

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    1. And yeeeesh the negative comments! One of the things I really like about you is the way you deal with those with grace and love. You're a wonder. x

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  50. Charity I have always really enjoyed your posts and passion for life however I feel this time I just cannot agree. I feel I need the opportunity to say my opinion and really if you don't want comments then please don't allow people to comment. Maybe it's the way you came across but I was saddened by your refusal to take medical advice and believe that your mothers intuition was right. I just think you were so very lucky it turned out positive as (being a nurse ) I know not listening to advice often ends in a very devastating way. As a mother of 5 children 3 vaginally and 2 by emergency c section I think you are quite narrow mindedly thinking a c section is horrible and as for affecting children all 5 children are very happy well adjusted people. I understand you are passionate by please be respectful of others beliefs especially when you haven't experienced a c section. I too have had nearly instant skin on skin contact with all births even c sections

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    1. hi kylie! thanks for sharing your thoughts. i am sad and sorry you've interpreted my writing the way you have. i certainly never said c-sections are horrible, and i absolutely don't believe that! they are amazing! we definitely listened to medical advice (didn't refuse it!) and did our best to combine that guidance, for which we were very grateful, with our intuition and our prayers. we are so thankful to those who helped moses arrive safely, and we also believe that parents should advocate for what they feel is best for their child in conjunction with medical advice.

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    2. Kylie- But isn't it interesting that in this case the doctor was pushing for a c-section that didn't need to happen and her mother's intuition was correct. Charity is going off of her experience not someone else. Doctors can be very pushy sometimes. You can't just dismiss the facts. And you can't compare it to your own or someone else's.

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  51. Beautiful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing such a personal story. My husband just finished medical school and I've had lots of encounters with doctors as of recently. I must say there are times where they see the risks above the preferences of the patient. That's because they've been there when it doesn't work out so they do all they can to avoid a bad outcome. It would definitely be a hard thing to balance, giving the patient the experience they want and minimizing risks when you see what could go wrong. I'm sorry that your doctor was so inpatient! It really does set the atmosphere in the room. I was lucky to have an amazing, gentle, kind doctor so I have a hard time realizing why people wouldn't want a doctor present. That's just because it was a positive in my experience. I hope your getting some sleep and enjoying London with Moses in tow. He really is an adorable newborn. Congratulations!!

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  52. Charity, Thank you for sharing your story. Giving birth is such a powerful and vulnerable experience. I cringe reading about you going through transition while they were administering your epidural--that would be pure agony! Because of the intensity of the experience, a lot of feelings can kind of imprint into our psyche. It can time time to thoroughly process and heal from a "blessed" trauma. I wish you well in this pursuit.(My sister found Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to be particularly helpful in processing a particularly traumatic birth experience with her first child.) Please take care.

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  55. Moses is beautiful and his story brought tears to my eyes. Those pictures of the three of you are priceless, and the pure love that you share for each other is palpable. Congrats to all three of you!

    I think the sentiment that "all that matters is that you have a healthy baby" is true for some people and not true for other people. For women who have lost or nearly lost babies, then it is absolutely true. For women who mourn post birth for other reasons (as in Charity's case) then it is not true. It is like how some women experience incredible and real emotional pain because they CANNOT have babies (due to infertility, illness, absence of a partner, or a host of other reasons) and some women experience incredible and real emotional pain because they CAN have babies (due to depression, disability, or a host of other reasons). My hope is that we can make space for each other's pain without feeling like doing so threatens the validity of our own pain, simply because it stems from a different (and sometime completely opposite) source.

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  56. Reading this is the first time I felt "less than" for having a :-)section with my son. When my doctor said I need this, my only thought was to have my child arrive in the safest way possible. I too bad a birth plan, but it went out the window as soon as my highly experienced physician said this is what needed to be done. Consequently, my child is as healthy, smart and wonderful as any child born vaginally. I am happy hour son is well. Beautiful boy. Bout this really changed my mind about the tone of this blog.

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  57. Good for you for advocating for yourself and a non-intervention birth. I was surprised at the doctors actions - England has a better record than the USA for more natural births. So sorry that you had the epidural and didn't need it. Sometimes all the technology that helps, can also impede. There is evidence (I don't have the primary resource at hand) that infants can sleep during birth.. thus the heart rate drop. Meconium in the fluid is not always bad. It's a bit more common on over-due babies because their guts are that much more mature. And of the rare cases where babies do get Meconium Aspiration Syndrome... it can happen with a C-section. I was really surprised that the Doctor began talking about C-section when you had not been in labor that long, and your water hadn't broke. And what your mother indicated should have been taken in consideration. I believe the practice in Irish hospitals is to assign a woman a midwife, and then to walk... walk until the urge to push. Let gravity help. So next time around, you will know a bit more about how to assess the birth center practices. As for the nay-sayers about knowing your body.... I didn't get the idea that you were romanticizing the vaginal birth thing. But I did feel that you were being marginalized by the system and not listened to. Sometimes you know what your body is capable of. Pushing that baby out was the right thing for you and you knew it. Bravo.

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  58. Reading this is the first time I felt "less than" for having a :-)section with my son. When my doctor said I need this, my only thought was to have my child arrive in the safest way possible. I too bad a birth plan, but it went out the window as soon as my highly experienced physician said this is what needed to be done. Consequently, my child is as healthy, smart and wonderful as any child born vaginally. I am happy hour son is well. Beautiful boy. Bout this really changed my mind about the tone of this blog.

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    1. I totally agree! For the first time, I felt a sense of guilt for having a c-section :(

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    2. i am so sorry and sad about this. i can't control any readers' interpretation or response, but i probably could have been more emphatic in writing this that i believe c-sections are incredible and are definitely right and good for some mums and babies.

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    3. I totally agree with the above comments, but I also see that you weren't trying to criticize or belittle people who have had c-sections. I just wanted to say that I don't necessarily agree that the sadness/guilt stems solely from our own interpretation of what you wrote, simply because I feel some of the language used was a bit harsh. For example, "cut out." For someone who has HAD a c-section, that stings a little. I know it seems silly, because that IS actually what happens, but it just hurts to hear it described that way. Especially because for many of us, the c-section was a result of a traumatic pregnancy, or a traumatic event itself. I think it's similar to using "gave up" instead of "placed" with adoption. Please know that I am totally not trying to criticize you - I can't even imagine trying to write a post when people are nit-picky about every little word you use! :) I am just trying to explain how it comes across to someone who has a different perspective. My third birth was a c-section, and I would have much preferred a vaginal birth, but I am grateful that a c-section was an option for us. Had I not had a c-section, my baby and I both would have died.

      I think this is a beautiful story of Moses' birth, and personally LOVE that you guys spoke up about your desires, and wishes for the benefit of both you and your baby. I think the best thing you can do is trust your intuition and follow the promptings you receive. It seems that you are off to a great start with this mothering thing! I hope you are healing well and adjusting to life with your sweet little one!

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    4. thank you for your well wishes and for sharing your perspective. this makes sense, and i should have been more careful in my word choice. (maybe I can blame it a tiny bit on my frazzled, sleep-deprived, hormonal postpartum state? :))

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    5. Oh, you can definitely blame that! :)

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    6. Congratulations on your precious baby boy! I love his name! I am a long time reader of your blog and for the first time ever I had to close the screen before I finished reading, I sat on my couch and I felt sad. I thought about my emotions and why I felt this way and I came to this conclusion. I had an emergency c-section with my daughter. The c- section was not what we had planned and because of a mistake made by doctors during it, I spend the first month of my daughter life in the hospital in a coma, and I cannot have anymore children. My daughter was born healthy and now is an incredible little girl. I think what made me sad was the words you use pd to describe a c-section. "Cut out" made me feel like a c-section was a horrible thing, a term you would hear in scary story on the news Or a horror movie. When I explain to my daughter on how she was born I tell her she came out my tummy. Because she did. I know people can mis read what you write, but changing the term "cut out" may help others not to feel like their c-section delivery was less meaningful then those who had a vagina birth.
      To read my birth story and how things happened during my c-section you can find my story here.
      http://www.sepsis.org/faces/heidi_ottilie/
      I feel it is my plight to educate others about advocating for yourself or a loved when you feel something is not right with your body.

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  59. Charity- As someone who has a very "different" life than you do, I LOVE reading your blog and seeing your perspective on the world. Who wants to only read about people who are exactly the same as they are? BORING! I cannot fathom why anyone would write anything negative in the comments section of a blog. If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

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  60. Thank you for sharing! Our personalities and way that we see the world couldn't be more different. Just the name of your blog describes how you function and like to see the world. If readers weren't expecting an emotional post which included your beliefs, I'm confused why they would expect anything less from you. That's what you do, at least from my perspective as a non-flowery, non-fluff kind of person. I'm grateful the world has people like you to express you ideals, beliefs, and values from your heart. I disagree with you sometimes but wish I knew you in real life so we could have meaningful conversations.

    My kids are 20, 17, and 15. My first childbirth experience wasn't all I expected either. I had an incredibly rude nurse that I kicked out of the room while pushing my baby out. I also viewed this same childbirth through the eyes of a childless, 50 year old woman studying to be an EMT who needed to observe a birth. The wonder and tears in this stranger's eyes as my little baby came into view still makes me smile today.

    Childbirth is a miracle. Thank you for sharing so many details of your family's miracle.

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  61. A gripping and real story. You are brave to write and publish it -and your son is glorious.

    I will hold my own opinions on your experience because birth, like all other deeply intimate subjects (sex, marriage, love, money, religion, etc.) is so intensely personal. So within.

    What I will share is that one of the most powerful things that I learned after the challenging birth of my first son was some advice from a lactation nurse who told me..."the most powerful thing you can do is own your birth story, spend months or even years getting it straight in your head."

    Narrative ownership of these experiences is incredibly healthy. Keep reading this story that you wrote, maybe write it again in six months or a year. Or tomorrow.

    I hope you heal and learn and thrive in your motherhood. Namaste, darling.

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  62. I always find it so interesting how birthing stories bring up such controversy. I loved the way this story was told and written. I do not think there was anything arrogant or self absorbed about it. I DO think when you have your first baby there tends to be much more time spent on "birth plans", and how you would like things to go. I do not think there could possibly be one negative thing associated with all that "planning" and book reading. I would also say, when baby number two comes around there is not nearly enough time for such things. I think we could all agree, the more babies you have, the more relaxed you become in certain areas. I myself have had three babies, all very different. My first being born at 32 weeks....for no apparent reason my water broke. I do not think because he and I had ZERO contact for about a hour (as he was whisked to the NICU) that it has negatively affected him in ANY way. We still had HOURS of skin on skin kangaroo care. In fact, that 32 week old baby boy rallied like nothing that Children's Hospital had seen. I dare say he was my best nurser out of all three. Every birth and every baby is a miracle, no matter how they get here. NO ONE should think anything less of a woman who has a c-section, gives birth at home, gives birth with an epidural, gives birth in a bath tub, or how ever it is that they arrive. What you think about, you bring about, and all this negativity is not what a new Mama needs. Charity, wonderful job....keep doing what your doing, I think you're fabulous!!!

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  63. Charity - congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!! He is truly beautiful and the pictures of the three of you in your hospital room are so sweet (and with such an awesome view)!

    Thank you also for sharing the story of your birth. I am very sorry that your birth did not play out as you would have hoped because I know how hard you prepared to avoid intervention. When the birth of my first son went wildly off track from what I had hoped for, I had such a hard time getting past my disappointment/anger/guilt/sadness (mine did end in a c-section). I felt robbed of an experience I really wanted to have and felt I hadn't given my baby the best possible start in life. Similar to what Whitney said above, my mom's advice was the most helpful to me in coming to a place of acceptance - it's not the birth story you wanted, but it's YOUR story and that alone is precious.

    Anyway, I really appreciate the way you reflect on every experience and always look for the good and miraculous. I have to admit that I felt a little emotional reading your story because I would have given anything to have been able to choose not to have a c-section, but I guess that wasn't my destiny. (I did go on to have a VBAC with my second son and that was a very healing experience for me.) Anyway, thank you for sharing your story and I hope that you feel the support of your readers as you embark on your motherhood journey!

    I wish you and Ian and baby Moses all the best as you heal and settle in as a family of three. I can't wait to see what adventures you'll have!! Congratulations again!!!!

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  64. Hi Charity! CONGRATULATIONS! I so love reading your blog and I was anxiously awaiting this story. As I anticipate the birth of my first child, I absolutely love reading birth stories. There's so much for me to absorb and to learn. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. It's this authenticity that keeps me hooked as a reader. It's so disheartening that many mothers read negativity and personal attacks where there are none. As women, I firmly believe that we ought to continually build one another up and I think you've done that so well by always respecting that your choices and preferences and experiences are not universal. Yet you're continually attacked with such vitriol. I can't imagine how frustrating that is, so I hope you know that many more of us (probably many, like me, who comment very infrequently if at all) read your words because you're an inspiration. I'm so glad to learn of Moses' miraculous birth and am excited to follow your family from afar! xoxo

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  65. Beautiful. All of it. I had stop and clear my eyes of tears so I could continue reading. Xoxo

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  66. Motherhood is incredible! I'm so happy for you! As for the negative comments, get used to it-it's a shark tank here haha. For some reason mothers can have a tendency to judge other mothers and criticize every choice and viewpoint. I never realized it until I became a mother. Hold strong to your beliefs and experiences. You have every right to feel all you felt and express it. "The business of birthing" look it up all you people who think doctors have our best interest in birthing rather than their own schedule. That's all I'm going to say!

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    2. A shark tank?!?!? "judge other mothers and criticize every choice and viewpoint." You much be hanging out with the wrong mamas!

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    3. Thankfully I don't. I've got a great circle of friends. It's more the Internet shark tank. I should have clarified!

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  67. Sorry the documentary is called "the business of being born".

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  68. Charity! Thank you for writing this down--I love reading birth stories, and I know it takes courage to share it for all the world to read when you could have just kept it for you and Ian. Each birth story is so unique, and I was fascinated reading yours! What an experience to have! I'm also sorry people feel so entitled to criticize your birthing experience and the way you feel about it. I know there are a number of mindbogglingly nasty comments up above, but obviously the overwhelming majority are wonderful and supportive! Bless your adorable little Wright family :)

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  69. Charity, thank you for sharing your very intimate and beautiful experience (especially when the price of openness seems to be some pretty harsh comments). You did an amazing job of articulating the profound and sacred nature of this experience and humanizing it also. This post was incredible to read, thank you!

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  70. First congratulations on your healthy baby boy!
    As a mom who had a birth plan and ended up with a c-section I found your post to be negative and make moms who had c-sections feel badly. Even the terminology of being "cut out" makes the whole experience of c-sections sound ugly.
    I also think it sounds really unthoughtful and ignorant to say a healthy baby is not the most important thing. Just a ask a mom who has lost a baby or delivered a sick one. I bet they would trade spots with you in a heartbeat. "Every good and perfect gift is from Him."
    Blessings

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    1. Chiming in to thank Nicole for her sentiments. My first baby was born at 27 weeks and spent over 60 days in the NICU. The birth was extremely traumatic, and yes he was "cut out." I agree that that term should be done away with! My second baby came even earlier and passed away after fighting for her life for 40 days due to prematurity.

      I feel like women who feel robbed by their experience of having a perfect birth (but still took a healthy baby home from the hospital) should put theirselves in my shoes. I watched my babies fight so hard for their lives and it was horrible. I am very grateful to have brought home my son who is now a thriving 3 year old, but I would do ANYTHING to have brought home my second baby.

      Charity, I know you were coming from a good place and I congratulate you on bringing home your beautiful son. I really hope that you don't have an experience like i've had, because I don't think you would handle it well.

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  71. I join the many well-wishers who've been checking regularly for this update. You definitely are a gifted writer, and your gift of expression extends to photography. I teared up over reading about the sweet cabbie, the dedication and protectiveness of your "security team", and the frustration of a deeply personal experience becoming one of clinical expedience, only to refill with Moses's arrival and connection with his family.

    Tears continued, for good and ill, as I read through the comments. I find it unimaginable that anyone would replace one second of your joy with criticism, lectures, mockery, or belittlement - yet I see all of that in many of these comments. It breaks my heart to see such "advice", and to realize that it is widespread in our world - many are too skilled at verbally scratching, pulling, and shoving instead of wrapping up in kindness, well wishes, and love.

    The photos also brought home for me this reality: NO ONE really understands your pregnancy or Moses's birth except you. For every other person, there is an element of viewing it as a photo or video. Even Iain is an external participant, along with countless friends and family - even if mothers themselves, or have endured traumatic births. Only you have passed through every moment from conception to delivery with this little one from the inside. YOU HAVE FELT IT ALL. "I think that...", "you should have..." - invalid. Even medical teams, however brilliant or educated, are analyzing data and making intellectual decisions. Of course that is important, but not the only factors - and the very best physicians, nurses, etc. know that. No, "ALL that matters is a healthy baby" is not accurate. Those who believe it might struggle to define what "healthy" is, and would fall short. Ponder the spectrum of emotional issues that children suffer with in these times, and a desire for a nurturing, uplifting, parent-guided birth isn't such a ridiculous thing.

    Through this experience you fostered hopes - how could you not? Every one of us has hopes, motherhood or otherwise, and all have had hopes dashed. As for me, a 50+ childless singleton, my hopes on that front have been "dashed" in a decades-long quietness of "not to be", and I am grateful for being let down gently. Jarring let-downs are much harder for me to endure; I feel for you in the turbulent delivery. But both leave emptiness to fill, sorrow to soothe. Moses and Iain will help you refill.

    You were well-named by your parents, and well "nicknamed" by Iain too. It is charming that he has made a word that others perceive as formal so very, very personal. My grandpa called my grandma "mother" for most of their life, as in "mother of our children", and it was so touching to hear him say it to her.

    Very best wishes to you, Iain, and Moses Thames.

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    1. P.S. I can't resist one "you should": You should frame that sunset picture from the postnatal room and hang it in Moses's space! Very Peter Pan-esque. :)

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  72. I just wanted to send my love, your thoughts are always so sweet & tender which is a beautiful thing. I'm so sorry for the mean comments, you don't deserve them, especially in these first beautiful days with your baby. Everyone's story is their own which is a wonderful thing, there's no one way, thank you for sharing yours! Much much love! I've loved following your marriage & now birth, it's all been so so lovely!! CONGRATS!!

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  73. I cried reading this. You capture it all so beautifully. I too had my plans thrown out the window. I'm a mom of 4 via 4 c-sections. I simultaneously feel so grateful for modern medicine (that saved mine and my daughter's live in a very scary situation) and a little bit sad that I never even got to experience any contractions in my deliveries. It's OK to be both. And I didn't fell demeaned at all by your words. I think too often on the internet (and in real life) we take offense where certainly none was intended. One article I really love about this is here: http://momastery.com/blog/2013/06/21/quit-pointing-your-avocado-at-me/

    Thank you for your vulnerability and strength in sharing your life as you do, especially this birth story. I love your blog and your words bring light and goodness into the world!

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  74. I enjoyed reading your story, I even read it out loud to my Mother as we were driving in town. I got choked up a little bit as I read. My Mother was actually surprised that someone had shared such personal insights, she doesn't ever do that, but I do. Anyway, with my first child I admit I wasn't very prepared when I went in to have her. I was induced because I was 41 weeks. The Dr. broke my water and there was merconium and little did we know then she had already aspirated some of it. But he let me labor on for 24 hours. After being fully dialted and pushing, she was stuck. So, I had a c-section and she ended up being way to big for me do deliver 10 lbs 6oz. I have had people ask if I felt bad for not being able to give birth, "naturally". I hadn't felt bad until they asked that question. I am actually extremely grateful for having lived through what would have otherwise killed us both. She couldn't have been born vaginally. Having the c-section saved my life and hers as well. Having a c-sections available enabled me to have three more healthy beautiful children after her. I don't know you and don't understand all of your feelings. However, I don't feel that in any way c-sections are less than a vaginal birth. All births are a miracle. I too have never felt as close to God and Heaven as when I had my children. The only thing that comes close is being in the room when my Father passed away. The spirit is thick and the air is so calming and sweet. I do think what are bodies are able to do is nothing less than amazing. Even with C-sections. We pass through the valley of death with God to give life and new generations. I admire your strength and admire your husband for advocating for you and your family (loved that you used advocated in that context). The bond that was created by two but now shared by three and will grow, is amazing, truly. Much love to you and your eternal adventure. Your family is beautiful!

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  75. I understand completely feeling like the doctor is rushing to get through a labor and delivery. In fact, I actually had a mid-wife (at a hospital) who was to deliver my second child. She told me she had 2 or 3 other ladies in labor and I was the closest to delivering, so she was not going to do what I had asked for my birthing plan. It was rush, rush, rush! I am proud of your mother and husband being an advocate for you. I loved your story so much. Thank you for sharing it. Gorgeous family pictures too. Oh, and that sunset! Amazing!

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  76. Charity congrats! Thats all! You dont need all these negative comments in your post-partum state and maybe single parenting while Ian is away. You are amazing to have even found the time to write and respond sensitively to comments. Just let the blog world be and enjoy precious mindful time with your baby. Like it or not blog thoughts will linger and so not worth it at this special time to document publically and have to respond to everything! Congrats. Be!

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  77. Just want to send a little love your way. Your Moses is one of the cutest little babies I've ever seen and I'm so happy for you. I'm glad to know you have confidence in yourself and positive people in your real life so that you are able to so graciously respond to people who, honestly, have no right to pass judgement on your feelings and thoughts. I think you try very hard not to pass judgement on people who think differently from you and I'm sorry you were misinterpreted. Just keep on being you and know that I appreciate your unique insights and perspective.

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  78. When I first saw how many comments there were I thought "uh oh". I've been waiting to read your birth story - and I don't even know you. Ha! - because each experience is so different and unique, just like us as women. Our bodies are incredible and modern medicine is a blessing. I must applaude you in your kind remarks back to commenters who are so attacking. It's remarkable and I see you trying to be like the savior in how you treat others. You are an example! Thank you for being brave enough to take the negative that comes with sharing your life in a public place.

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  79. Hi Charity,
    Thank you for sharing your birth story with us.

    Even tho I don't have children, (How I wish I did) it was really interesting to read about this.

    Just curious, how are you managing to keep cool in your flat during the hot weather? Does it get quite hot, if so have you got any fans to help cool things down a bit?

    Wow, Moses is 4 weeks old today & exactly a month old on Tuesday - altho you already know that:)

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  80. Congratulations Charity :) Lots of love and warmth for your new role. Soak in each day. They grow too quick!
    P.S. You are doing awesome!!!!

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  81. What a wonderful story. It is amazing that your body was able to open up under that pressure and stress like that, a brilliant example of the power of the mind.
    I too had a first birth that didn't go quite to plan, although I didn't have much of a plan, truth be told. I was induced by my midwife as she was going on holiday (yes she said that!) and me being a young 22 and not knowing any better I thought it was a good idea. Thus started a myriad of interventions almost leading to c-section which I managed to just avoid, but it was a powerful learning experience for me. My next two births were in a birthing pool (in hospital) with not a needle touching my body and I found them to be very emotionally healing and empowering. Well done and best of luck to you and your family xoxo

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  82. Those pictures are AMAZING and show the love and joy of your family. Thank you for sharing your birth story. I love it! Truly a miracle. Births are often very traumatic for the mother, for different reasons. It's by sharing them that healing occurs. Best wishes for you and baby Moses.

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  83. I LOVE that Ian told you to focus on love and not anger when it was time to push. Love is always the answer- of course a girl named Charity probably knows that already. As for the discussions about the birth story. I was born in 1968, just before the age of elightenment with reagrds to women having a natural childbirth- my mother's L&D story was pretty awful. I am very happy for the way we give birth today. However, I cannot imagine what it would be like to experience the intense pain of childbirth all the while having a huge question mark about the outcome like our great grandmothers did. No matter how painful of difficult childirth is today, we are reasonably sure that neither the mother or the child will perish as a result of L&D. I am very grateful for all the advances in medicine making it possible to focus on the beauty of childbirth without much worry. And, no, I am not paid by any medical group for my comments :-)

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  84. PS I am the same Anon as above- I didn't say thank you for your wonderful blog, your courage in opening up so much of your life to strangers- I am amazed at how generous you are with your readers. Plus I didn't say CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of your angelic son. And as for having your mom with you in L&D- awesome!! Me too- it was great.

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  85. I don't know if anyone is still talking here. But I wanted to share another perspective. I had the "dream, natural" labor (a full 18 hours of it) and still felt quite disappointed, even sad that first night after birth. Who knows what predicts how a mother feels after her labor--too much to say. I think every mom wants their baby to be as healthy and possible, and most moms want to be respected and care for in their labor. It's emotional, scary, vulnerable, and shocking no matter what.

    Congrats to Charity and baby Moses.

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  86. The biggest example of all to me is how you treat others. You are always respectful and kind and who cares if I agree or disagree with anything you write - you still inspire me to be a better person. After reading these comments it makes me want to be known, like you are, as someone who is nice.

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  87. Hi Charity. My favorite paragraph was the second one, where you spoke about "the best thing is a healthy baby". You could not have said it better! I this concept could be discussed more openly and honestly, but I have found that women who have already had difficult birth circumstances feel very defensive (I understand that, who wants to know that the interventions they had may not have really been needed, but we're completely explained as life or death by this person in "authority") and it feels almost impossible to start the conversation as a whole in our current society. I was so encouraged by reading what you wrote.

    Second, I started to read the comments but was so frustrated some of the responses, that I couldn't continue and feel quite frustrated that you have had to read them all and respond. I am really sorry for the type of treatment you received and that you had to fight tooth and nail for what was already on paper while you were trying to navigate labor as a first time mom.

    Lastly, not knowing you, I am still really proud of you, both for what you made it through and that you were willing to share it. I am very hopeful that your next birth, Lord willing, will go so much smoother.

    I have been trying to type this as all 3 of my home birth boys are waking, so I hope my points get across here. :) I wish there was some way to have both a home birth and more medical back up where we live. Here, it feels like the least scary option! Thankful to at least have a choice.

    You are an awesome mom! Keep listening to that mom voice!

    Melissa

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  88. Wow, so many opinionated comments! Thank you for being willing to share your heart and feelings so openly. So few people in our world today do. So many comments telling you how they feel about what you wrote, or how they perceived what you were sharing. But i'm grateful that there are still just people in the world who will truly share themselves with others so that we can all learn from it. Even if it's different from how we feel. Thank you, again for sharing your deepest feelings with us. I appreciate it so much. I love birth and birth stories and after having had two traumatic births in hospitals and two beautiful mid-wife assisted home births, I've learned two things. One is that birth touches us deeper than I think any of us really understand. I've replayed and dreamed over and over again about births that happened 8 and 9 years ago. They changed me, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The second; the reason i think that we all have such strong opinions and emotions when people talk about how we all choose to bring our babies into the world is because of the love that we have for our children. To someone who views Dr.'s as people with the most intellect and the best capability of bringing a baby safely into this world, the thought of asking them to change their game plan is out of this world. Because they love their babies with the fiercest love possible. And that person could never understand how i could choose to want something different for my child. And because I love my babies with the fiercest love possible, it's hard for me to understand someone who may choose to have an elected c-section. It's mama bear syndrome. We each do what we feel like is best, and we each do it with the feeling that our children's lives at our stake. And sometimes i think that darn Mama Bear instinct cuts us of from one another. Leaves us cold and unwilling to be understanding to one another, when really that's what we need. Thank you for being willing to be open. Thank you for your honesty. So many of us are afraid to share our feelings for fear that others won't agree. If only we could all be a little bit more kind, and understanding of where those intense feelings that we have surrounding childbirth come from. The deep love we have for our children. Take care, and good luck with your sweet boy!
    Lesli

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  89. I feel more passionate about life and motherhood from just reading your story! you have a talent for words and writing! Blessed baby boy to come into your family! Love your family and all the Eyres!

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  90. wow, you are something else.... selfish girl

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  91. Congratulations on the birth of your sweet boy. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  92. Charity thank you for your heartfelt and beautiful birth story . Moses is truly adorable and precious and you and your boys look so happy .
    I personally had mixed emotions of your birth story , on one hand felt so real and beautiful and yours and on another hand made it seem as though people who had c sections were less blessed or prayed less or did less where I think that is not at all true . It had a flavour somewhat similar to saying " I am so so happy my prayers were answered and I did not need to adopt and had my own real baby" I believe it was this tone that offended many as I don't think your prayers had anything to do with it . Everyone has their own birth stories and babies are born in the best way for their circumstance . A birth plan is great to have. It is totally secondary to anything else . What is far more important is having the baby born and healthy as so many people have said .

    I felt bad for you during this time of sheer joy and happiness and also harsh be pen times to have this added pain form you sharing your birth story so personal to you . That being said you must have expected that by using words like cut out and c sections right for other babies but no mine - that you would have hurt and offended many people along the way who would also have liked to think that their own birth stories were precious and not the result of anything less or not praying hard enough

    I wish you nothing but the best with little Moses and hopefully soon you will be back to blogging more regularly. Like so many other commenters I think the way you handle the comments is admirable and very gracious

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    1. I agree. Charity needs to choose her words more carefully. I did not like this post, but I do appreciate her honesty.

      My opinion is that Mormon girls are raised to strive to become mothers. They are taught early it is their most important role. Imagine the pressure you would feel to have children. You would also have to hear every birth story imaginable, so you would form very strong opinions about the right and wrong way to have a baby. I think a lot of people commenting here may not appreciate the life long indoctrination Mormon girls are subjected to.
      I do find Charity's perspective quite narrow, but I also admire her conviction. If little Moses was in immediate danger there would have been no discussion and she wold have been given an emergency C-section if they saw fit.
      I would however be more concerned over the use of forceps than a c-section any day.
      Good luck to the three of them, he's a gorgeous little thing and they look so happy!
      Remember when your first born was new and you wanted everything to be perfect for them...I do. He's almost 15 now and they should enjoy every second of this special time, it doesn't last long.

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  94. Wow! Welcome to the club! You had a baby only a couple weeks ago and you are already being dragged through the muddy battlefields of the mommy wars. Take it as a badge of honor, I guess. Ha!

    I don't always agree with every post bloggers write, whether it is you or any one else but I'm really sad to see so many people tearing you down for the story you have shared of the birth of your first child. The way women birth is a very personal and often times controversial topic. I fully understand that every person on here has their own battle stories of birth that helps weave their opinions. A person can only reflect into the world the experiences they have absorbed into their minds and I respect each one for their own story. However, that does not make it any easier to read the words that people have written about the fragile and beautiful birth of your baby boy. I hope you are only able to absorb the goodness and positive energy that is being sent your way. People can be overly opinionated about how others birth and even though their opinions may come out as harsh and rude, I know their comments are coming from a place of worry and concern. That being said, I believe above anything else that a mother knows best. A mother's heart knows when it is time to let go of the control and accept intervention, even if it is heartbreaking. You were a champion and did the absolute best you could. The story of his birth belongs to you and Ian and baby Moses. Please don't allow anyone to take that away from you. The first year is hard and rewarding and challenging and blissful and a whole lot of other adjectives. Always remember that you are your child's warrior and you know what is best.

    Good luck!

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  95. I have almost the SAME birth story with my first! It was a long recovery but my next 3 kiddos were better. Best of luck to you!

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  96. I think your story drew me closer to God. Thank you for sharing!

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  97. Can I please tell you how marvelous and inspiring this was for me to read?? You have no idea who I am, but I want you to know this had me in tears. I have delivered three now and let me tell you - you are amazing!! I started my births wanting natural, and like you, didn't get my intent with my first. With each birth it got progressively better.... And my last was born at home in May. each was special because it brought my children to me, but this more recent was profoundly spiritual for me and I am so so so impressed that you were able to feel that in the circumstances you did. Im leaping inside to be able to read someone had a similar experience. Thank you for being strong, vulnerable, and in tune with the spirit. The Lord speaks in those moments if we listen, and clearly you were. Oh I'm so excited for you!! So much greatness ahead!! May you continue to see what the Lord has in store for you with faithful eyes.

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  98. i like comments on my blog, so i will go ahead and comment in case it brightens your day :)
    first of all, its so hard having a blog and sharing your heart and feelings in the truest way only to have them criticized. thanks for being brave and being true to yourself and sharing your story regardless of the outcome. i love being able to go back in my blog and reread how i felt during earlier years and even when i disagree with myself now, i recognize and remember those raw feelings. i think you will always be glad you have this written down.
    second of all, you have so much to be proud of- so i hope you pat yourself on the back for being educated, courageous, forgiving, and positive when things were so tumultuous! you look so calm and beautiful and magestic. no doubt Ian and you are a wonderful team and Moses is one very blessed little boy to join your family! he is in a home where he is valued and strengthened and cared for in the most wonderful way.
    third of all (can you tell i like lists?) i totally understand disappointment, especially during birth and i am shocked that some of your readers are unsympathetic to the feeling of being disappointed. its a horrible feeling and i'm sorry that things didn't go as you hoped and prepared. i have no doubt that the Lord truly gave you a tender mercy by helping that baby come vaginally- what a blessing and gift that was. cesareans truly scare me and i was relieved for you that you didn't have go through that.
    fourth, aren't medical professionals so intriguing? i'm married to one and sometimes his bold and brash manners can be the worst and other times life savers. it sounds like you and Ian handled the whole thing marvelously and with more grace than i think we would have. no doubt the Lord was with you and thank heaven that your mother was there and your doula advocated for you. you totally rocked it :)
    fifth and finally, i think you all have a beautiful life ahead of you and more wonder and glory to follow, especially because of the life you have created together. i wish you the very best and thank you again for your blog and example. God bless you and yours :) xxx

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  99. I've had 3 c-sections and it took me until the 3rd to make peace with it. Thanks for sharing your story. It was wonderful to read! I understand and appreciate all the thoughts you shared. Your family is beautiful!

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  100. I loved this post. I've been following you and your family's blogs for quite a long time. Before blogs, I bought your parents' books and attended lectures your dad gave at education week in Southern California (many years ago!). You've been blessed with a wonderful family and you are well on your way to passing those blessings down to the next generation. The only thing that bothered me about your experience was the attitude of the doctors when you told them you felt an urge to push! I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that they paid little heed to what your body was telling you: "This baby's on his way"! I had a similar experience in the '80s...my doctor wanted to give me pitocin "to speed up my labor". After all, I had already been in the labor room almost four hours! My husband and I told him we didn't want the drug yet. The next time he came in to check on me he said he was going to start the pitocin as I was still only dilated to three. He started to walk out of the room and I told him I felt like pushing. He said "no you don't". I said YES, I do!" He rolled his eyes and came back, I'm sure to humor me, and said: "you're still only dilated to three"...his eyes got bigger as he continued..."four, five, six, seven, eight...get her to the delivery room now!" LOL. Doctors are wonderful. I am thankful for their knowledge and training. However, they are not infallible.

    I think it's great your husband calls you "wife". You're his, and no one else on earth can call you that!

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  101. This is such a beautiful and honest birth story. I have felt many of the same feelings having had 2 babies (one unnecessary c section and one natural vbac). It is sad to me the way your story has been recieved, but thank you for sharing it none the less.

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  102. I'm just a random who has read your blog a couple of times, but I wanted to say congratulations on the birth of a perfectly beautiful baby boy! There's nothing in the world that brings so much joy, and it gets better, every. single. day!!

    I felt like commenting mostly because people seem so mad at you, and I just feel like you should not have to justify feeling a little disappointed at the things that didn't go to plan (so you know, #teamCharity)! It sounds like you and your husband worked so hard to bring your little man into the world in the safest, most peaceful loving way and it would be crazy if you were happy that it turned out so differently. It sounds like your support team were wonderful, and your husband did so great at supporting you. Like a boss. Birth is extremely personal, and I fully believe in Mum-tuition. You did great. Sounds like you and hubby are already wonderful parents working hard to look after him, what a lucky little boy to come to a home full of so much love.

    You've been a saint as you've replied so kindly to all the comments on here, despite all those hormones and sleepless nights!! - as someone suffering from the same symptoms I'm extremely impressed lol ;)

    Sending well wishes for all of you from Australia :)

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