Alexandra Barretta is from Queens, NY. After struggling with infertility, she was able to get pregnant after several IUI’s and 2 IVF’s. Her son was born 6 weeks early due to a placental abruption via c-section. The C section recovery was very difficult, so she knew she definitely wanted to attempt a VBAC for her second pregnancy. She was told not to get her hopes up about having a VBAC by her high-risk doctors; but, she successfully delivered her daughter via VBAC after challenging the on call doctor at the hospital that morning. Connect with Alexandra on Instagram.
Essential Guide to Breastfeeding
Hospital Grade Breastpump
The Birth Hour podcast VBAC Stories
Get a Lactation Consultant
Local Infertility Forums
This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow helps new and pregnant moms to qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!
Preeclampsia leading to Family Centered Cesarean
When Megan Ray had her first baby, she was planning a water birth at home; but, she was overdue. She went in for a biophysical profile, and found out her blood pressure was through the roof and she was admitted for severe pre-eclampsia. They tried an induction, but her condition continued to deteriorate, so she had a c-section. It was family centered and very special, but she was very sick and doesn’t remember much of the actual birth.
Megan got pregnant again right away (breast feeding isn’t birth control!) when her son was just 3 months old. She wanted a VBAC with the same nurse midwife group that ended up being her care provider when she went to the hospital with her first. She came to her due date again, after spending several weeks on BP meds for high numbers, and had a bad 24 hr urine test result. They moved forward with another induction, but after 24 or so hours trying to get things going her labs were getting worse and baby was not coming down. They said it was possibly a positioning issue, or maybe even breech, so she moved forward with a second family centered c-section.
VBA2C with Gestational Diabetes
Megan and her husband waited a little longer to get pregnant a 3rd time so they’d have 18 months between births. Continuing care with her midwife, she changed some things about her pregnancy care, like different supplements and other care like scar tissue work with the C Section Recovery Center and lots of chiropractic care. She ended up with a gestational diabetes diagnosis that crushed her; but, with the support of her midwife she continued on her journey to a VBA2C. Since she needed medication to help control the GD, she moved forward with an induction at 39+2, this time with no signs of pre eclampsia! She had a cooks catheter placed the night before, pitocin started the next morning, and her baby girl, Jeanneva was born after only 15 minutes of pushing less than 12 hours later!
After Jeanneva was born, Megan had genetic blood testing done and found out she has a MTHFR mutation as well as another autoimmune clotting disorder, which most likely caused her pre eclampsia with her first 2 pregnancies and why taking a low dose aspirin with her 3rd kept it away. She says she will have to be on injected blood thinners if she has another baby. She recommends that anyone who’s had multiple pre eclampsia experiences should have genetic testing done.
Megan Ray Bio
Megan and her husband live on a small family farm with goats, horses, cows, dogs, cats, a parrot, and a fish aquarium. Oh yeah, and their 3 kiddos are aged three years and under! John Luke was born via unplanned c section in August 2013, Jessa in September 2014 by another unplanned c section, and Jeanneva was born March 2016 in a triumphant VBA2C! Megan is a lover of natural childbirth and a leader of a local cloth diapering mom’s group on Facebook. She is also pursuing becoming a leader of ICAN for North Texas.
Beco Baby Carriers
This episode is sponsored by Beco. Beco focuses on bringing you an ideal combination of comfort and style to power you through daily duties with your baby close. With the new release of the Beco 8 baby carrier, you now have more options than ever to carry your baby. Learn more about the Beco 8 at becobaby.com. We are giving away a Beco 8 to one lucky mama over on @thebirthhour Instagram.
Ellen Richards is English born, and is now an Australian citizen, living with her family in South East Queensland. She and her partner, Billy, have 4 children, aged 13 years, 11 years, 8 years and 9 months. She was 44 when her fourth child was born. All have been planned to be born at home, and two of them were. Each birth was an incredibly positive experience, and each was totally different: an elective cesarean birth at almost 43 weeks; an ecstatic birth after a 76 hour labour; an intense 50 minute labour after a patient 10 day wait (with broken waters); and, a chemical hospital induction (which was at the clear indication of her unborn child). She also had gestational diabetes during two of her pregnancies, including one of the homebirths. Each pregnancy and birth has required Ellen and Billy to make many choices, and it is these choices, with the support of their midwives, that have made each birth such a positive experience.
Ellen used Hypnobirthing
during her 76 hour labour, and as a result of this positive experience, she became a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Ellen is passionate about birth (in particular homebirth) and has been involved with Homebirth
Queensland (a voluntary organization
supporting families who choose to birth at home), for over a decade. She loves to share her positive birth experiences, and believes that other women can and will be more likely to have a positive birth if they know about other women’s wonderful experiences. Connect with Ellen on Facebook
Birth stories on Birth Without Fear
Dr Rachel Reed’s blog, midwifethinking.com
, (a research based blog written by a homebirth
midwife, who is also a University lecturer)
blog at sarawickham.com
(another research based midwife blog).
Plus Size Birth
Plus size Pregnancy Guide
Plus Size Mommy Memoirs Group
What is a B Belly?
What is an Apron Belly?
Elizabeth Quinn is married to Percy and they are raising their children in Jackson, Mississippi. Her daughters are Chesley Cox, 7 years old, Anderson Lillian ‘Anders’ 5 years old, and Adella Calhoon 2.5 years old and they just had baby number four — a son, Sims McCallum! Elizabeth Quinn returns to The Birth Hour to share her most recent birth story with baby Sims. Elizabeth had two cesareans and then a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and is really involved in the birth community in Jackson. She is super passionate about being educated about birth and helping women who have had c sections to know their options.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Products Mentioned
New Mama Bottom Balm
New Mama Bottom Spray
Postpartum Bath Herbs
Monthly Comfort Tea
You can check out a long list of resources (many specifically helpful for VBAC) from Elizabeth on her original birth story page.
In this episode she mentions:
Spinning Babies Daily Essentials Dvd
The Miles Circuit
What it’s like to have a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean
In today’s birth story episode, Barbara Demske shares her experience having a cesarean and then a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with her next baby. Her cesarean was a really traumatic experience which she feared for her life during and after suffering through that, she knew she wanted to have a VBAC.
Barbara Demske Bio
Today’s guest is Barbara Demske who is a mother to three little boys (Liam-4.5, Nolan-2, and Finn-6 months). She is a wife, a pediatric RN, and is currently studying to become a lactation consultant (IBCLC). She is the co-host of the All Things Breastfeeding Podcast with Barbara Robertson, IBCLC at the Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor.
You can connect with Barb on Instagram @barbdemske or @firstlatch where she has a created a community for celebrating baby’s first milestone of breastfeeding. You can also read about her family at www.cultivatingmotherhood.com, and you can listen to her podcast on iTunes.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth,
The Belly Mapping workbook
The Business of Being Born
More Business of Being Born – VBAC’s
ICAN: International Cesarean Awareness Network – for preparing for a VBAC or to find help coping after a traumatic cesarean birth.
Reading/Listening to other VBAC Stories
Here are several previous VBAC Birth Story Episdoes of The Birth Hour: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six
The amniotic sac is still on the baby’s head here which is why its head is so shiny – born partially en caul.
Erica Fleischer’s Birth Stories
Erica Fleischer lives in Chicago and is a mom to two girls ages 4.5 and 21 months. Her first daughter was born via c-section and Erica had a difficult emotional recovery from it. She quickly found ICAN and 3 years later had a successful unmedicated VBAC. With both babies she suffered from low milk supply but found different ways of handling it with each baby. In this episode she shares both of her birth experiences and how they affected her both physically and emotionally.
Erica’s day job is as government policy analyst but she truly enjoys helping other moms as a co-leader of ICAN of Chicago and through writing. You can see links to Erica’s published writing on her website ericafleischer.com
IGT and Low Milk Supply Support Group on Facebook