Josh and Mindy Fleming after the birth of their youngest daughter, Caroline. All three of the children were born via Cesarean delivery.

Most of us don’t care about the icky stuff that goes along with babies. Some of us find it amusing. In fact, most of my conversations with friends and strangers alike is the bowel movements of my children. Boy, I need to get out more. Choosing to have a baby is your first step; second step is how you are going to accomplish this.

My personal journey to having a family was an easy one. I was lucky and blessed with conceiving my first two children just by “thinking” about it. However, my third child was more difficult and it took over a year. Mind you, we had stopped trying to have a third after several months of taking Clomid and other helpful drugs to get pregnant failed. And of course, wouldn’t you know it; we were pregnant a few months after we had “stopped trying.” Go figure. But now we are blessed with 3 wonderful children. Our story is one of many.

The Weidners welcome home Maria, their second child who was adopted from Guatemala.

Now the hard part – 9 months later. Yeah, you’re pregnant, but how are you going to have this baby? Some go into labor and deliver vaginally, and some have to have a cesarean delivery (c-section), some even plan them. Most women want to have their children the normal way, but the new normal is slowing moving towards the c-section route. I, unfortunately, had to have a c-section with my first child because she was breach. The doctor tried to turn her in a procedure called external version, but she wouldn’t budge, so off to the operating room we went. I was devastated and very sad. I just wanted to go through the laboring process like everyone else and truly “give birth.” But now I know that having a c-section is no less giving birth than a vaginal delivery. With my other two children, I planned c-sections. I was given the option to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean), but declined. Why not set the date and get all my help in place? Talk about convenient.

My good friend, on the other hand, way other hand, decided to take matters into the hands of a midwife with her third child. Homebirth is a growing trend in the United States and around the world. More and more women are choosing to give birth at home with the help of a midwife, rather than in a hospital setting. Homebirth allows women to give birth in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by loved ones, and supported by a midwife who provides personalized, holistic care. She did the totally opposite of what I did, and I praise her for that. She just let nature take its course. “I chose to do a homebirth because I had a huge laundry list of things I did not want the nurses and doctors to do in the hospital,” she explained. “Examples would include not cutting cord for an hour (there are many health benefits of not cutting the cord right away), not taking the baby away to be weighed and measured (I believe the baby should not be taken out of the mother’s arms for hours), no Pitocin before or after the baby is born, and the list goes on. I truly felt like all my requests would be an uphill battle in a hospital so I went for a more natural environment where I would be more in charge of my birth.”

Each of us has our own unique stories and situations. Carmel resident, Kate Weidner has a totally different one than me. “I was older when I got married,” Kate explained. “I knew we might have some issues getting pregnant, so I opened up the alternative of adoption to my future husband, Jeff, and he agreed.” After Kate had 5 failed pregnancies, they didn’t hesitate and quickly turned to adoption. “I would have liked the experience of having a child, but I didn’t really care. We just wanted a family, and there are plenty of children who need a home.” There are a lot of preparations to adopting a child, whether it is a domestic or international adoption, or even adoption through foster care. Kate and Jeff decided to adopt a child from Guatemala. They wanted to make sure their first child had a sibling with similar background, so they adopted a second child from Guatemala.

“Remember, there are a lot of ways to create a family and adoption is one of them,” Kate said. “Either way you go, your love for your child is no different than the rest.” Well put, Kate!

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