35 Weeks – Preparing versus Prepared

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Many of you have read my Birthing Journey.  While it does not include the last two babies, it does show where I come from and the struggles I have had to overcome pertaining to giving birth.  I have had everything from very medicated births to non-medicated births to C-Sections to VBACs.  In fact, I am a VBA2C, which means I have had a vaginal birth after 2 cesareans.

I am very aware of what it is like to have a birth not go as planned.

Once upon a time, I was told…

While this person was not against birth plans in any way, shape, or form, she was against being so set in stone on your plan that you end up with blinders on that do not allow you to see alternatives and options.  There is such a thing as being overprepared…especially when you don’t leave room for the unexpected.

Honestly, you can prepare for birth, but you’re never really PREPARED because giving birth to each child is as unique as the child you are giving birth to.

So, what am I doing to prepare here at 5 weeks out?

Well, first of all, I’m not making my due date an idol.  So many women get hung up on a specific date, they forget that babies come when babies come.  In fact, most doctors get hung up on a due date as well.  I am blessed with a doctor who doesn’t see my due date as set in stone.

I am drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea (at the end of pregnancy, you are supposed to be up to a quart per day…I haven’t managed this yet).  I am doing this to help my uterus be more efficient.  This is baby #8 and I figure it could use whatever help I can give.

I am practicing relaxing and breathing through the couple-a-day contractions I am having.  I typically dilate early and these contractions give me opportunity to work on my relaxation skills (something that held me back with my first 3 births).

I have most things ready at home Baby has a bed to sleep in and clothes and diapers.  I’ll get to the car seat soon, and eventually, I’ll pack a hospital bag.

I have a birth plan in mind, but I also have no set-in-stone expectations.  Things change constantly and I need to be flexible and able to think clearly.  I prefer non-medicated, I prefer my husband catch baby and cut the cord, I prefer my OB be there, and I prefer to have baby with me skin to skin as soon as possible.  I have a lot of other preferences as well and my husband is an amazing advocate for me, but we both know what it is like to have things change in a flash and all your preferences must go out the window.

It is because of this very fact, I decided to sit down and read through Mindy Brouse’s Make the Most of Your C-Section.

While I have no intentions of having another c-section, I’ve had two and I wanted to see what her take was on it since my first one was a nightmare and my second, while understandable, was not at all what I had hoped for.  Let me just say, this ebook is phenomenal!  In fact, there are a lot of tidbits of information that are quite useful to moms giving birth vaginally.  But, what I liked best about this book was how it advocates for family-centered c-sections.  I had never heard of such a thing, but after reading through her extensive definitions and ideas, I am a huge fan!

By the way, Mindy has had 6 C-Sections, so this woman knows her stuff and she knows how to advocate for herself when it comes to having the birth she wants, even when it includes surgery.

Today only, I am offering a quick giveaway of Mindy’s ebook

Making the Most of Your C-Section

And I’m making it easy to enter.  Just leave a comment telling me why you would like to win this book and then click the green button on the Rafflecoptor widget.  (Email readers, please click over to the post on my blog to enter!) I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!

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92 Comments on 35 Weeks – Preparing versus Prepared

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92 thoughts on “35 Weeks – Preparing versus Prepared

  1. I’ve had 2 c-sections.The first an emergency after a cord prolapse and the second one because it was hospital policy because of prior c-section. Very traumatic first one and second one was hard for me because I was already having pushing contractions when they prepped me for surgery.But praise the Lord through it all,He is holding our first one and let us raise the second one.I would like to see what this book has to say. And if the Lord blesses us with another baby I would like to try for v-bac.Blessings,Muffy

  2. Hey there:) Thanks for sharing:) The reason I’d love to win this book? I’ve had 5 C sections, and hadn’t ever heard of anyone as having 6! I’d love to read her perspective on things, as it would help me share and encourage others who ask me about mine:)
    Bless you and your family:)

    • I wanted to tell you my friend had 7 c-sections with no problems :) I am having my 5th in June and my other friend is having her 6th also in June :) My dr said she will do at least 6 for me

      • That’s wonderful news!!!! In the smaller city we live in, it was rare for people to have more than two c sections, so I was quite an anomaly at having 5! I had no idea it was accepted past that:) I’ve had great success with mine, no infections, no issues with any of the pregnancies or healing afterwards. My body never went into labour on its own right from the very start( waited almost 11 months with the first one, even after being induced I never went into labour) Never found out why, so deep down, I guess I’ve always felt sort of broken, like I never worked the way I was supposed to?. All my children are healthy in so many ways, so I just figured it was the price I paid , but I really do wish I could have had one the regular way:)

  3. I have been wanting to read this book. I have had 5 vaginal births, and at this point we may or may not have any more children. But Mindy is a friend of mine, and I SO want to read her book! She is a wonderful person and a great writer!!!

  4. I have to have c-sections because of some problems I had giving birth to my oldest, so I would love to read her book!!! I have heard about family centered c-sections, and thought about it with my last baby (just 1 month ago). Unfortunately I was too nervous to discuss it with my doctor, but if I had more information I could 😉

  5. Oh I understand the plans idea – With my first I had a Plan and let me tell you EVERYTHING I planned on went out the window – 27 hours of HARD back labor, full pitocen, not being able to dialate , pushing for over 4 hours for really no reason and then a emergency c-sec made me understand Be Flexible 😉
    I would LOVE to read this book – I am having c-sec number 5 at the end of June. I am one who is very comfortable with this option and my Dr has always been very family oriented with my husband and I.
    Sometimes it is hard because my Husband gets to bond with the baby first But it is SO special for me to see him snuggling his Brand New Baby :)

  6. Would love to win this. First birth was vaginal, second unplanned c-section. Contemplating a third baby but another c-sec scares me so this would be perfect. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. I have two vaginal births, but it would be wonderful to know how to cope in case the unexpected happened. My first birth was almost a c-section but thankfully wasn’t.

  8. I would like to win this book for a dear friend. I met this Godly woman when I received the Lord several years ago and we where both pregnant with our fourth child at the time. I was struggling between going back to a hospital after having two tramatic births at two different hospitals and she was struggling with haveing two previous c-sections. My husband and I decided to speak with a midwife about doing a homebirth and invited her along just to hear options. I feel as if this inadvertantly opened a can of worms for her, she began to struggle greatly with a strong desire to give birth or listin to the doctors who flat out refused a VBAC. In the end she was present when my precious fourth gift came into this world in my home with my husband loving hands and the comfort of a midwife, all seemed so perfect. She went into labor the next day and consented to her husbands wishes that she have another c-section, (which I applaud greatly, what a strong woman.) we since have had our fifth child the same way, I can see the pain in her eyes when she attends my births, I of course cannot attend hers, but I want to encourage her, build her up, and see her at peace with this plot in her fruitful life. I was hoping that this book would be a gateway to a more beautifull birth experience for her, last week she gave birth to her sixth via c-section, praise the Lord! all is well.

    Hannah Joy

  9. I woud love to get this for my sister who is having paternal twins and even though she doessn’t want a c-section her chances of not are slim since she will probably have to deliver them by 36 weeks. so I would love for her to have the most information about it to help her out.

  10. With C-sections with numbers 1 and 4 and bad vaginal deliveries with 2 and 3, I’m planning on C-sections for any future children we may be blessed with (our one daughter has put in her request for twin sisters!). I have a great doctor who tries to make things as Mama and baby centered as possible but I’m always open to further ideas…K

  11. I’m expecting #6 and have never had a c-section. I pray that I will never have to have one, but understand that sometimes there is a good reason. I’d be interested in expanding my little knowledge of them.

  12. Thanks for the post. I’m 37 weeks tomorrow and not really prepared yet..I had 2 friends pregnant and due before me so I was in the mindset of “I still have time”..but now, suddenly I’m next and SOON! We (almost) have a place for baby to sleep..once we can find the hardware for the cradle..and we have clothes…still stored in a bin in the closet….I plan on packing my bag this weekend since I’m not sure if we’re going to do a hospital or home birth.I’m trying to prayerfully prepare myself for labour..labour is really what scares me most about having more kids, I think! I typically dilate early and a lot before actual labour starts so I’m hoping that these “braxton hicks contractions all day long for the last couple of months” are doing something….

  13. I would like this because I too have had 5 C-sections and doing it again for some reason is worrying me. They seem to be getting tougher.

  14. I would love to read this book! I’ve had 3 natural births, a c section last fall, and I’m anticipating a second c section for baby #5 in February!

  15. This would be an awesome book to own. I am currently pregnant with my 4th child, and planning a VBA3C. While I am planning a natural birth, I have had 3 c/s and would LOVE more info on creating a family based c/s to discuss with my doctor. Thanks for this offering!

  16. I would LOVE this book! I had a vaginal delivery, an emergency c-section, and a planned c-section. We’ve now miscarried twice, but there is still hope for a 4th baby. I’d love to hear her take on things…both of my c-sections have been very different and if I need to have a third, I’d love for it to be as family centered as possible. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Wow! Where was this book 4 c-sections ago? I just got to nurse in recovery for the first time last c-section.

    Thanks for the give-away.

  18. Hi, thanks for offering this book in a giveaway! I would love to win this book as I am looking at another c-section in March, it will be my 3rd. First one was horrible (after 24 hours of labor -3 hours of pushing), second one at 34 weeks after going in for a check up and finding out I was 6 cm dilated but no contractions, now I’m “high risk” and my OB won’t consider VBAC. Which is OK, I was told after the first one that my tail bone is to close to my pelvis thus leaving no room for a head to fit through. Thanks again for the offer and keep up the wonderful posts!

  19. Wow! My mom had c-sections, but I chose the homebirth route and am planning my 5th in a couple of months. One time after a birth we ended up in the hospital for a couple of days. I wasn’t prepared and it turned into a terrible experience. Since then I’ve learned about how to stay calm and buy time and ask questions and CALL FOR HELP when that kind of unexpected thing happens. (It wasn’t an emergency, by the way.) On the side, I teach natural childbirth classes, and I’d love to help prepare myself and people who come to me for all kinds of unexpected outcomes because they do happen!

    • My first childbirth class did not prepare me for the possibility that I would have a c-section. Frankly, that first c-section traumatized me. I am so glad you explain to your classes that there is such a thing as unexpected outcomes! :)

  20. I have had three c-sections. The first was an emergency, the second because I was afraid if a VBAC, and the third, I had twins and it was complicated. We are hoping for another baby, and I would love to read this book. Delivery has always been what I fear the most about pregnancy.

  21. I would love this book because my first son was born by c-section and I would love the opportunity to read this before baby #2 comes in June 2013. It is very possible I will have a c-section again.

  22. I will be having my fifth csection in June (Lord willing), and I have never heard of family centered csections! After losing my precious Noel to cord problems, another pregnancy, not to mention surgery, is very scary. Thank you for posting the information to the book as I have never heard of it before!!

  23. I’m in the same position as you, getting ready to have our 3rd baby! I’m a bit behind, though, at almost 30 weeks. Have you ever taken evening primrose oil? I’ve taken it with my first two pregnancies and plan to take it again soon; it’s supposed to help soften the cervix. Whatever help I can get!

  24. I would like to win this book for our dear birthmom who is pregnant with baby #5, and her 5th c-section. She is terrified after a very brutal c-section with her last baby that left her bruised from ribs to back and the inside of her thighs. Her plan is for baby to come home with my husband and myself, and she wants me in there with her when baby is born <3 I think this book could set her mind at ease and help her make a positive birth plan without as much fear.

  25. My first two births were natural (albeit induced), and my last two were c-sections. My next one will probably be a c-section due to certain circumstances. I would love this e-book!

  26. Thank you for your kind words. It’s such an honor to help women advocate for the birth experience they want. Family Centered C-Sections are an answer to prayer for me.

    Can’t wait to give a copy away!

    Just FYI: The book is on sale until Christmas too, so you readers can get it at a discount.

    • Thank you so much, Mindy, for reaching out to moms in this way! I realized this morning, I had forgotten to add that the book is on sale! I’ll try to remember to mention it later today via social media. :)

  27. We are having our second baby any day now (I’m all about holding that due date loosely!). The thought of having a c-section just seems so scary to me! I hated having a hosptial birth hooked up to an IV and everything the first time. I can’t imagine having to have surgery.

  28. After 20+ hours of hard labor, I almost had to have a C-section with my first (and so far, only) child. I was not prepared for that idea at all and would love to read this book!

  29. I would like to win, since we are due in 4-8 weeks-ish :) We also have had a c-section, and thankfully 3 VBACs as well. I am interested to hear what a family-centered c-section is, since it is always in the back of my mind, though not at all desirable, it is a reality.


  30. I would love to read this book! I am pregnant with baby #5 and i have had 3 previous c-sections. I would of loved to have had natural births but after my first emergency c-section every time i have asked i have been met with a resounding no! I still plan on asking and probably asking every doctor in driving range if i can pretty please give birth to my child. But if once again i am met with a no, a bit of encouragement would be appreciated!

    • Do research online about vbacs to be equipped with information as you ask the doctors or midwives in your area! There is so much information out there to give you encouragement to try for a vbac also! It’s been done, though I know dealing with the doctors is not fun or easy. Hoping the best for you!

    • I drive 2.5 hrs to a doctor and a hospital that will VBAC me. Sometimes it feels insane, but I know I am getting the very best care possible and I wouldn’t change it for the world because of that.

  31. I would love to read her book! I’ve had 3 c-sections with no chance of ever going vbac. Thank you for writing about this information!

  32. I’m pregnant with number 4. I have had three non- medicated vaginal births. I want this one to go the same way, but I see the wisdom in not having your plan set in stone. So since I know very little about any other birth method, I thought this ebook would be a good read for me.

  33. I’ve had six c-sections and would like to have another one. I thank God for his healing; at my last section the doctor said my uterus looked like it was my first c-section instead of the sixth.

  34. I would love this book! My 18 year old daughter-in-law just had an emergency C-section, was in the hospital for 4 days, was home for 6 days, and was back in the hospital for another 4 days with a uterine and bladder infection. She is struggling emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. It is hard enough to be such a young first-time mom, and when you add in the trauma of the above, it makes for a hard bonding relationship with her sweet boy. Thank the Lord, she is well now and her boy is healthy and amazing! I think this book would help her overcome some of the struggles she is dealing with! Thank you, God bless you, and good luck on your upcoming blessing!

    • My first c-section was traumatic as well. I was 21. I will be praying for her, and you might encourage her to read my birthing journey (link is in the post) because I talk about how I felt emotionally because of the c-section. It might help her to know she is not alone. (HUGS)

  35. I have also had a vbac after 2 c-sections and am currently 28 weeks pregnant with #6. I would love not to have a c-section with this one, but I am also prepared to have one if necessary. I would love to read this book to get as many tips as I can!

  36. I’ve had two c sections and am currently pregnant with#3. I hoped for a VBAC last time, but it didn’t work out, so I’m not very optimistic. My second was very family friendly-we did skin to skin and nursed right away. I hope we can do that again.

  37. I have had two successful vba2c, but like you, I also know that it is important to be flexible and prepared for anything! NONE of my births have been the same. In fact, I had my last baby before I could even turn in my birth plan. But my midwives & doctor knew what I wanted anyway. I have heard of family centered c-sections, but really don’t know much about them. Would love to know more!

  38. While, I prefer as natural as possible as well, I realize that there are many unpredictables in labor and delivery. I was close to having to have a c-section with my most recent birth since my water broke and labor was very slow in starting and progressing. This book would be a great way to prep mentally for the possibility of needing a c-section unexpectedly in the future.

  39. I am at the end of my 36th week, and this will be my 7th delivery. I have never had a c-section, but my last two births (boys, of course!) were not what I expected because I had placental abruptions during labor with both. With my first baby, I took Bradley childbirth classes which scared me to death about c-sections and medicated, intervention-filled births. There was no encouragement to learn about alternatives to unmedicated, vaginal births. Since having my last two be outside the realm of “normal” I am eager to learn about all of the possibilities, and would appreciate a copy of the ebook. Thank you!

  40. Wow…this would be an excellent read for me. My fifth son was a scheduled c-section because he was going to be simply huge according to the ultrasound…between 10 lbs 7 oz and 11 lbs 3 oz….AND he was breech…the combo no OB ever wants to touch. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when they told me he was only 9 lbs 15 oz. I know that sounds huge to a lot of moms, but my easiest vag delivery was 9 lbs 8 oz so 9-15 didn’t scare me at all! ANYHOW…my second c-section was an emergency one so I was under general. I’m expecting my third c-section in March, but I have a very understanding OB who will allow me a TOLAC if everything is perfect and in place. I’m praying for the Lord’s will, but selfishly would LOVE to avoid a third c-section. I’d love to know how to “plan” for a c-section…since all my previous stubborn kiddos point to this one coming via surgery as well!

  41. This book is right up my alley. I had a c-section and then 4 vbacs and then another c-section. It is likely that if we have more children that they will be delivered via c-section due to the doctor’s “rules.” I think this book would be a good perspective on handling multiple c-sections and possibly give me encouragement for the future.

  42. This is just a response to you – yeah Amy! Yes, it is good to be prepared, but at the end of your pregnancy/labor experience, the most important outcome is a baby to hold and a safe mama. I have an essential oil recipe I used, um, to make some skin more elastic that needs to be more elastic during birth (is that delicate enough?) and I have an essential oil recipe for back massage and belly massage during labor (ONLY used once labor has STARTED) and I too drank tons of raspberry leaf tea. Other than that we prayed a lot, I packed our bag, and communicated preferences to our OB. Ended up my labor lasted less than 30 minutes: My water broke 10 minutes into it, the baby was born 20 minutes later and our OB was 5 minutes late :) The staff OB delivered. And all was wonderful… Was it all according to plan? Nope. Did we have a wonderful chubby baby to bring home with a healthy happy mama? Yep. Done and Done.

  43. Thanks for sharing about all of the different kinds of births you have had! I am planning to have a home birth this time around (my guess date is a few days before yours actually) with baby number two. But the one thing that my watching my midwife’s other clients go before me has taught me is to be prepared for anything! I would like to think that I have prepared myself mentally for every eventuality, but I know that in my innermost thoughts I am still resistant to the idea of a C-section, no matter the reason. I have done so very little reading on C-sections that I think a good place to start would be a book like this. Thank you for the recommendation, and I may just buy the book even if I don’t win it!

  44. I’d love to win this b/c I’ve had 3 c-sections already. My OBs say any future babies will definetly be sections as well. I’d love to know how to make those future ones(God-willing) more family centered!

  45. This book would be a blessing for me because I am 6 months pregnant with my second child and we are having a planned c-section due to previous birth injuries. I would like to know everything I can to make it the most positive experience possible! Thankyou so much and have a blessed day!

  46. I’ve had 9 c-sections and I hear from women all the time who desire to have more children when they’ve been told they could only have 2 or 3. This book might have some other great advice and help that I would be able to share with the women who write me.

  47. I have had 2 C-sections and while I would love a Vba2c, but if that is not possible, I think this book would’ve really beneficial

  48. OH! We are hoping that I might be able to get pregnant again soonish. :-) I had 2 home births, then one emergency c-section (which was really awful, in a 3rd world country, and they kept my baby away from me for almost 24 hours, even though he was fine, so I could “recover”!) and since then we had a vasectomy, a change of heart and minds, a vasectomy reversal, and 2 more home births, VBACs! Praise God!! But I know how quickly the best laid birthing plans can change! I have heard family centered c-sections mentioned before but I would love to know more about them… just in case!

  49. Wow, this sounds like a great book to have, whether or not someone has had a c-section! My first baby was an unplanned c-section, but praise the Lord, I’ve been able to have 3 successful VBAC’s. As we hope for another baby, this is a book that would be a great resource of information to prepare for another blessing. Thanks for sharing!

  50. I would love to win this because I am going in for my fourth c-section on February 13th. The first two deliveries I was expecting to deliver vaginally, but neither worked out. The third was a scheduled c-section, but I still feel that I could be more prepared. Our doctor has been wonderful in advocating for my husband being with me during the c-section even when other hospital staff have been against it. I would love to read more about the family-centered c-section.

  51. I will be having my 6th c-section in February and am really intrigued about this book! I would love the opportunity to read it before delivery!

  52. I have had two C-sections and am pregnant with #3. While I’d LOVE to have a VBA2C this time around, I’m come to terms with the fact that I will most likely have to have another C-section. We’ll see. I’d love to read this ebook and get any ideas for making the whole process more comfortable and family-centered!

  53. I just found your site through a friend, and am so excited about this book! My hubby and I have 4 children (all thru emergency c-sections) and thought we were done. Well, God had other plans for us and we found out we were not only pregnant again, but having twins! My babies are due in March, and I will be having a c-section, and would love to read this book!

  54. I have had 3 c-sections by 3 different doctors at 3 different hospitals in the same town, I would love to learn more about a family centered c-section.

  55. I would love to win this book. Even though I’ve never had to have a C-section, you never know if and when you will. I would love to have some wisdom “just in case” the need ever arose. Thanks for the giveaway.

  56. I’ve had 2 c-sections and when I get pregnant again I’ll probably have to have a third, I would love to have this book to prepare for that.

  57. Wow! This sounds like a phenomenal book! I have not had a c-section, and hope to avoid them unless medically necessary, but my last birth still ended up being traumatic. I had 2 great homebirths and a not so great homebirth. I would love some tips on healing from a negative experience. And anything else on the topic of birth should be helpful as we would like to have as many more children as God gives us. Thank you for this giveaway and sharing about this book!

  58. I would love to win this book because I am pregnant with our fifth child, and have already had 4 c-sections. It is very difficult to find a doctor willing to VBAC in our area, and after 4, it probably would be a bad idea anyway. I don’t have any birth experiences to compare to c-sections, but have always felt a little regretful of “missing out.” I would love to read this book by someone who has had more c-sections than me! Thank you!

  59. Im pregnant with our 3rd and got so excited to see this post. This will be my 3rd csection but 1st planned csection. I’m hesitant, nervous, excited and trying to make the most of it! This book sounds like just what I need to read. My husband and I always wanted natural births and a big family. We felt like those two things were taken for us but now I’m realizing they aren’t! Even though it’s still a csection it can be family centered, beautiful, peaceful and memorable. And I can’t have more than 3 which is the limit my first doctor gave me! Thanks for this post! Love your stuff :)

  60. I would love to win this book because just over a year ago my twin girls had to be delivered prematurely by c-section even though my preferance was a natural birth. I definately want to try for a vbac if the Lord wills that I get pregnant again:)

  61. This is my first time on your site. I love the name of your blog. If I win the book, I would read it and share it. I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren and consider myself “an older woman” and look for opportunities to minister and help younger women. This would be helpful information to know and then to recommend or share the book with expectant mothers.

  62. I always enjoy your pregnancy updates. We are expecting baby #10 in June. We have had a little bit of a rough start this time a round. Not really sure how everything will turn out. I just wanted to say what an encouragement your baby updates are. Thanks for sharing. You look so nice. I always feel I am falling a part at about that point in my pregnancy this time I am already looking like I am falling a part. :) I think I am going to order myself a scarf. Yours looks beautiful!!

  63. My ob/gyn told me I had the most extensive birth plan he’d ever seen haha but my labor was only 5 hrs from water breaking to baby. I had a labor plan, postpartum plan for me and baby and an emergency plan. I had it posted on my door and gave copies to my nurses. I didn’t want to have to answer a bunch of questions mid-labor but it also helped because me and my partner made them together. So we talked about all of the decisions we would have to make and were super prepared for labor. Of course my plan was mostly preferences, I stated at the top that the only real goal was a healthy baby.