Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grace for mamas

I was thrilled and humbled to write a post for What To Expect giving the short story on Ford's birth and talking about my expectations and emotions around the experience. Earlier this week it was featured on AOL and I got lots of texts, emails, and tweets congratulating me but also apologizing for the comments some readers left. I hadn't ever thought to read them but I spent some time going through them and all I have to say is... grace!!

I am not hurt or offended by some of the comments but more in shock and saddened that women (and men!) view labor and birth as a competitive sport (took that from one of the comments!). At the mere mention of induction, people all the sudden become medical professionals, get on their soap boxes, and rip apart people who didn't have the ideal birth story. Would I have preferred an easy, pain free, vaginal birth... probably.... but that was NOT my story. From the beginning of time the Lord knew my body would hit 41 weeks and have yet to show signs of labor. He knew pitocin would do nothing to progress me and that my blood levels wouldn't allow for an epidural. He knew I would endure pain but come out on the other side praising His name. And I love that! I love that I have an unconventional story to tell. Looking back on life, things have gone pretty good. I broke my back 10 years ago and that's a fun story to tell but other than that, this was my Jesus is real experience. God formed Ford in my womb, God created pitocin, God formed the hands of my wonderful doctor that somehow pulled a 9lb baby out of a tiny incision. 

A huge part of me wanted to retaliate with harsh words but honestly what would that do? I did respond to some of the comments but in a way that I hope shows my strength and kind heart. I know everything happens for a divine reason and I won't be ashamed to share it. Now I don't need anyone to feel sorry for me or shower me with praise, what I need is grace. If you push a baby out your lady parts in your bathtub with a midwife or party it up with the nurses while clicking your little epidural...you are a woman who has done an amazing thing. A planned C section or an emergency one...your body is incredible. Blindly making judgment on such a precious event in someone's life isn't doing anything but harden your heart. 

Thank you to everyone who did leave little notes and comments that built me up... we are in this together. As women (and parents and humans) we should want nothing but to love each other despite differences in sex, race, religion, birth story.... and respect those differences. Don't be afraid to tell me your awesome birth story, girl you rock!! And please email me if you need a shoulder to cry on because your ideal birth ended in a C section, I'll cry with you. 

Grace like rain, friends.

*To clear anything up, lots of comments were made about my choice to induce and ending in a C section. In the state of Texas it is illegal to carry a baby past 42 weeks under doctor's care and y'all saw my belly...there wasn't anywhere else for my 9lb baby to go. Going too much past term brings risks of placenta calcification and loss of amniotic fluid and I would much rather have ended in a C section than risk my son's health. And as far as induction goes... my body did not respond to Pitocin like it should have. I went in at a 4 and was on the highest dose of Pitocin (without an epidural) and 8 hours later was still at a 4. 

P.S. someone commented that they saw me out in town when I was pregnant and assumed I was about to have triplets!! LOL!

35 comments:

P!nky said...

Oh sweet girl, you are so kind and wonderful. Grace like rain for you sweetie!

So horrible people are so mean and rude and unloving. growing a baby in a body and giving birth to healthy child is a miracle, no matter how it happens.

Your story was amazing to read! SO brave of you to share something so personal!

Sarah said...

Ruthie,
Bless your heart! Way to have class and grace, you are a beautiful mama and Ford is so lucky to have such an awesome role model of how a woman should act. You are so courageous and brave and your birth story is something no one can take from you. People can be down right rotten. You are amazing. Don't ever forget it.

xox

Kim said...

I completely agree with you. We should build one another up not tear them down. We chose to induce as well and it was the right choice for us. My epidural made me numb from my shoulders down so they had to stop the medicine when I was at an 8. I only thought that was the worst pain of my life, it wasn't. One of the side effects from the epidural was a spinal headache. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. I had to get a blood patch done to correct it. I wasn't able to sit up for a week so that meant I couldn't hold my baby or change her or do any of the things a new mom should.

You have an amazing story. Thanks for sharing!

Lauren H Edmondson said...

I got so angry while I was reading the comments about your story on AOL that I had to close the page. You are so right, God knew your story before it happened and it is YOUR story to tell. I struggle with how so many people feel the need to compete and "one up" each other over pregnancy battles and birth stories, as if one is better than the other. You are are such a strong lady to handle the comments with the grace and dignity that you did!

Mrs. Kee said...

I just read through the comments and good night, some of those women were just ridiculous. I think you handled it beautifully and your replies to comments were well thought out and respectful. And you're right, birth, no matter how it happens is amazing and a miracle. It's all about having a healthy baby, no matter how it happens.

Sarah Emmert said...

I enjoyed reading your story and I'm surprised there were any negative comments in response to it! Thank you for being so open.

Claire Beeks said...

Ruthie, you are an AMAZING mother and were, I have to say, the cutest pregnant woman I've ever seen. The positivity in everything you do is something that we could all learn a little lesson from :-) Every woman's decision is just that...their OWN, and you did what was right for you and for Ford. You don't need to defend it in the slightest! The mother you are to him, in my opinion, is WAY more important than any birth story ever will be. That was one day and you have MANY years to help educate him in Christ, and to more importantly shape the child and man he becomes. I just love you to pieces and want to hurt anyone who talked badly of you! Love you girl!

Carly said...

I'm SO glad you shared your story…..it was so helpful to me to read it before our c section! It's amazing to me how people are so attached to a certain birth ideal or plan…….I was just happy our little one was healthy!

Carly
www.lipglossandcrayons.com

Bec74 said...

Hey Ruthie..I so love your blog. Feel sad that you got thrown under the bus by so many people over your birth. It was YOUR birth. Not anyone else's. I'll admit the first time I read your birth story, I felt sad for you(I'm sorry). I felt like you missed out because you had to be put under. I am built like you and had a huge 9lbs 7 oz baby.. Naturally. But then I stoped and thought about it, I planned for a natural birth. My God, if I had planned for a epidural and it didn't work. No way, could I have handled that. No way. We, as women, need to stop the madness. Stop the judging. You are NO less a mom then someone who didn't have a c-section, and anyone who thinks they are superior because they went all natural.. Please. Just stop. I had four natural births.. And if I had another one.. Bring on the epidural :)
Ford is adorable, so are you .. Haters are going to hate, nothing you can so about that! Keep your head high.. And birth your babies anyway you want!!!

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

Good for you Ruthie! I think it's really brave and amazing of you to put something personal like your birth story out there to encourage others, and I'm sad that people in this world have to be so negative. One of the things I love about you and your blog is that no matter the circumstances you always try to turn it back to Christ and genuinely show love, which is such a great example!

Don't let the haters get you down girl! :)

Mariel Collins said...

This was so perfectly said! Thank you for sharing your story and being open, us mammas to be appreciate every word. And more than anything we appreciate GRACE!

Caitlyn {Home Sweet Ruby} said...

Amen! I am SO sorry you had to endure such terrible comments, you are truly responding with grace and I just felt that i had to commend you for it! It is sad that people think they know everything, or every situation, and I really hope that their judgmental, ignorant comments do not get to you! You're a great mama, both you and baby are healthy, and you are so right... God helped create those things and the use of them should not be judged!

Brianne Bracco said...

I had to go read some of the comments. I can't believe some of them. You're absolutely right, birthing a child does not make them an expert and every. single. woman is different. I have already set NO expectations on labor when I become a mamma. Because you never know what is going to work best for you and the baby. This post is the perfect "retaliation" so to speak. I hold you in the highest respect always my sweet friend and even though you had to write a follow up post like this, congrats on the article. What an amazing privilege and thank you for being nothing but honest about labor and post pardum. You have no idea how much that helps future mammas like me who don't really know what to expect :)

jen said...

Ruthie-

I have followed your blog for a few years now. I am pregnant now and the one thing I dislike about it, is that it has turned into a competition! Everything from what we are naming our child to my plans to have an epidural (if I am able) to how sick I have or haven't been. It is crazy that we are torn down for this stuff. Your story is your story because that was God's plans. Please keep being real and honest about your story and know that it gives us pregnant girls hope. Even if it doesn't go the way we planned, it will all work out in the end! Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Lauren Elliott said...

Ruthie, thanks for bravely sharing your story and praising Him a midst your pain and joy! Eshet Chayil!

Curly Girl Confessions said...

I'm just shocked over some of those comments! I wish I could bite my tongue like you, dear one. Sometimes I wish I was a man because they don't do this to one another. Great story that I could read over and over especially because we are inducing next Friday! :)

Jess said...

I am so shocked at most of the things those comments said. I honestly couldn't believe some of the things I was reading. But Ruthie, can I just say, this is why I admire you SO much. You responded with love and grace and never to hurt others with your words even though they said harsh things. I am so thankful that you chose to share your story & be an encouragement for anyone else who may have gone through something similar. You're doing such a good job at sharing God's love through becoming Ford's mommy. Love you!

Whitney M. @ The Married Me said...

Why people waste time commenting and chastising something that is already said and done is beyond me. Its not like you could rebirth Ford with a clearer mind! Birth and labor is so personal. People should worry about their own!

If you want to suffer through a drug free labor, more power to you!

If you want that epidural and some drugs, get 'em!

At the end of both paths you will be gifted a baby.

shelleystursma said...

Isn't the end result (healthy mama and healthy baby) the most important thing? I've had three children, and not one of their births went as I thought it might--each was so different. Thanks so much for taking a ton of flak with maturity and kindness!

Liz said...

LOVE you friend :) and umm yea you're pretty incredible!

Megan C said...

Well said! We have a similar birth story and although I would like to say I would've handled the comments like you, I probably wouldn't have. You are such an inspiration and I'm glad you express your views like you do! Every birth story is different because every person is different. There is no right or wrong way to bring one of God's special creations into this world.

Sarah said...

you are just a breath of fresh air my dear.
you tell them!

Eileen said...

You are an amazing mom and a wonderful person and I'm so sorry people had to criticize you and your article! Unbelievable. You handled this so well! I really admire you Ruthie. Hugs to Ford!

Ellen Burnett said...

A thousand times amen!

Emilie said...

Wow just wow. I made the mistake of scrolling through the comments.. What is wrong with people? Something about the anonymity of the internet plus the inherent need to turn labor and delivery into a competitive sport makes for some craziness! Women should be supporting each other instead of tearing each other down.

I admire your class and composure. Grace indeed!! One of the reasons why I love your blog is that it is a place without all of that negativity and competition.

Keep up the good work!! :)

Mel said...

yowzahs! Some of those women were nasty!!! I think they call the kind of people that make those nasty comments online "Keyboard Warriors" because they would never have the nerve to say it to your face.

It's a beautiful story Ruthie....because it's all yours!!!

Kari said...

Ruthie- I'm good friends with Kristin (& Carolyn) here in MN and when I saw your post on AOL this week- I was excited to read it!

Let me say- AMEN and congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! What a blessing and a gift from above. I have seen your blog in a few places before- you are a busy blogging lady. You bless many people and touch lives all over. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. You are light for Jesus!

I just had a little boy, Colin in October so I could relate to so much of your post. Regardless of how that baby is delivered, it is a gift and simply amazing! It is incredible to see what the human body can endure and it is also amazing to see the love in a marriage and how incredible its strength is.

May you and your new family have a beautiful Christmas! Know the blessing you are to your husband, your son, and your family as well as so many in the blog-world. I'm looking forward to following you more often now :)

Blessings,
Kari

Katie McKenzie said...

Come check out my blog! You might see someone familiar!

godslittlegrace.blogspot.com

lady bee said...

Ruthie- I love your blog, and I love you. Thank you for this amazing post...for every post. I understand completely what it means to have a birth story that did not match your expectations. God knows what He's doing. I don't think I've ever commented on any of the many blogs I read...but honestly, your story and your posts really make my day! Tuck that away for a rainy (negative post) day! :)

Jessica Whitman-Horton said...

Ruthie you are such an awesome mama and Ford is just the cutest! I loved your article and love how you give all of the glory to God in your birth story, I just love your heart! I read of some of the comments and am in shock at how judgemental some women can be, it really is so sad. I think you handled yourself with grace and kindness. Love ya girl! Xo!

Voices of NLD said...

people love to complain. We're completely different yet ever since I saw you on House Hunters, a show I love too much, I've been reading your blog.

It's hard not to read and be affected by negative comments yet somehow I think after awhile they'll roll off you as you chose to see the sunny side of the street and that means everything!

http://courtingdestiny.com

Alesha Osburn said...

You are so right. I pray for people who bully others online with vile comments. Your suggestion of grace is so appropriate. Thank you for sharing your story and life with us. I appreciate it.

Kato Pandorah's Box said...

Wow Ruthie. I am sorry you had to deal with that. People are so quick to judge and it is because they are unkind people. You my dear, are amazing, and strong, and a wonderful person. And hey, I hold you to the moon for your birth story. It is never easy, but you were tested more than most, so good for you for coming out on the other side an even better, more understanding person.

xoxoxo

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, and Dylan Too! said...

Oh, girl, when these posts go public, people lash out. I experienced the same thing after I wrote about my son being born with Down Syndrome. Some of the comments were so hurtful, but I realized that those people couldn't take my happiness away. More good came out of my post being featured, though. So many people reached out and shared their stories and offered support. Overall, it was a great experience. Don't pay any mind to miserable people trying to bring you down!!!

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, and Dylan Too! said...

Oh, girl, when these posts go public, people lash out. I experienced the same thing after I wrote about my son being born with Down Syndrome. Some of the comments were so hurtful, but I realized that those people couldn't take my happiness away. More good came out of my post being featured, though. So many people reached out and shared their stories and offered support. Overall, it was a great experience. Don't pay any mind to miserable people trying to bring you down!!!

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