Two Unplanned Cesarean Births, Navigating Emotional Challenges and Redemptive 2nd Birth

Planning for an intervention free hospital birth in the Summer of 2020, Ananda dealt with several curveballs to the first pregnancy experience she always dreamed she would have. These include a risk for a genetic condition identified during NIPT screening, a global pandemic, switching care at 34 weeks, and stubborn breech positioning. After going to almost 42 weeks, labor stalled and for a variety of reasons ended in an unplanned c-section that felt traumatic. All of these factors during her pregnancy led to some prenatal anxiety/depression that carried through her postpartum experience. 

With her second pregnancy in 2023, Ananda chose to prepare for a VBAC and made changes to her care team and hospital to support that. Gestational Diabetes led to a marathon induction at 39 weeks that lasted almost 5 days but ended in a positive and redemptive repeat c-section. 

Ananda DeMaio Bio 

My name is Ananda, I’m 36 years old and I live in Providence, RI with my husband Jason, our three year old daughter Ramona, and our seven week old son Laszlo. I am a therapist and have  a private practice and Jason is a Chef and used to own a restaurant here but switched careers after our daughter was born and is now an apprentice electrician. Connect with her on Facebook: Ananda Hegedus or Instagram: @Aday8787

two cesarean birth stories



Today’s episode is sponsored by Needed. Needed is the leading women’s health supplement brand recommended by nutritionally-trained practitioners. While most perinatal supplements include the bare minimum of the nutrients needed during pregnancy, Needed’s products are based on the latest clinical research and in-practice experience of nearly 4000 practitioners. Needed has all your needs covered, from your prenatal vitamin to pregnancy-specific Pre/ and Probiotics, to egg quality support, sleep, stress, immune and hydration support, as well as your protein needs for blood sugar balance and postpartum healing. Needed’s Complete Plan delivers unparalleled nourishment for every phase — whether you’re trying to conceive, pregnant, or postpartum! Instead of having to pair 6 different products together to meet your needs, I love that Needed has simplified things by bundling together four core products you need, in an easy and flexible monthly plan. Save 20% off your first order of Needed’s Complete Plan or any of their other perinatal nutrition products at with code BIRTHHOUR.

Navigating 2 Births Stationed Overseas in Japan

After several years of infertility, Alexandria and her husband had become pregnant abroad in Okinawa, Japan. Her first birth was a planned induction due health complications. But when intervention takes place, she is left to navigate Postpartum Depression at the start of the Covid lockdown abroad in Japan in 2020.

Her experience leads her on a search to understand what had happened and sparks an interest in birth work. As a result, she and her husband seek support for a second pregnancy on island. However, navigating the military and local landscape is difficult at its best and something else entirely when international relations are experiencing a sudden healthcare crisis.

Her second birth starts as a home birth on base through a local clinic and culminates in a voluntary transfer during the push phase to a local clinic against her team’s advice. An action that ultimately saves her and her child’s life.

Alexandria Parks Bio

Alexandria currently lives in New Mexico with her husband and two daughters. She is an english teacher by trade but currently a stay at home mom to their one and three year old girls. They are a military family and were stationed in Okinawa, Japan when Alexandria gave birth. If you’d like to connect, you can leave a comment for Alexandria here and we will make sure she sees it.

birth center in japan


Motif Medical

This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at

Positive Unplanned Cesarean Birth after Successful ECV

Sarah and her husband were thrilled to learn that she was pregnant on New Year’s Day after a few months of trying. After an initial appointment to confirm the pregnancy, she continued normal patterns of life but noticed intermittent spotting. While she knew this was possible early in pregnancy, it made her anxious and she was very aware of the bleeding every day. Around 7 weeks, there was one day of heavier bleeding that caused concern and led her to follow up with her doctor, fearing a possible miscarriage, but her hCG levels were still rising. At her first ultrasound a few days later, the tech identified a subchorionic hematoma. Thankfully the hematoma resolved around the end of her first trimester.

The rest of pregnancy was generally smooth outside of a bad stomach bug in the second trimester. However, around 35 weeks, after a day of not feeling as much movement, Sarah called into her doctor’s office with concern and was told to come in for an ultrasound. The imaging showed a healthy baby, but a breech one, which was a surprise. It was late in the game to be discovering this and Sarah was concerned that all of her planning for a vaginal birth would now be for nothing. She tried all of the more immediate options for trying to flip the baby – acupuncture and different poses from Spinning Babies – but at 37 weeks it hadn’t worked. She then decided to try an external cephalic version, determining that she would ultimately look back with regret if she didn’t do everything possible to try for a vaginal birth.

Sarah and her husband went into the hospital the morning of Aug 25 for the ECV when she was 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant. After a delay in the initial procedure, Sarah received an epidural and the doctors began. 10 minutes later they were successful in flipping the baby and two hours of monitoring contractions and the baby’s heart rate began. Sarah was thrilled to finally be able to make plans for the spontaneous labor and vaginal birth she had hoped for. Towards the very end of the two hours of monitoring, the care team noticed a concerning pattern of decelerations in the baby’s heart rate that did not align with contractions. Sarah and her husband waited patiently through some extra monitoring to see what would happen, but pretty soon after that discovery the doctor decided to proceed with a caesarean, fearing placental abruption. The caesarean experience ended up being wonderful – the team was kind, thoughtful to ask about preferences right before the procedure, and Sarah’s husband was able to be with her in the OR the entire time and announce that the baby was a girl when she was pulled out. From the time they were told that they would go into the procedure to the birth of Avery was almost exactly 30 minutes – a quick turnaround to prepare emotionally for the arrival of your child! Thankfully Avery was healthy and they were able to confirm the placental abruption in the OR, meaning that if they hadn’t caught the signs at the end of the monitoring period it could have been a much more traumatic and dangerous experience. Overall, Sarah was incredibly thankful for an unexpected and smooth caesarean experience!

Sarah May Bio

Sarah lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Darrell, her daughter Avery, and their dog Cash, and currently cares for Avery full time. She loves a good cup of coffee, a long walk on Capitol Hill, and their church community there in D.C.


SNP Therapeutics

Today’s episode is sponsored by SNP Therapeutics, makers of the Genate Test. Based on over 16 million dollars in NIH grants, and more than 30 years of nutrition and genetic research, SNP Therapeutics is leading the charge in the field of prenatal, precision-nutrition genetic testing.

SNP Therapeutics is committed to providing accurate and usable information to help mothers provide the best possible nutrition to their babies through The Genate Test: a prenatal, precision-nutrition, genetic test that offers personalized dietary adjustments and supplement recommendations based on your DNA. 

You can rest easy knowing that your prenatal nutrition has been optimized by tailoring it to your genetic code. Find peace of mind about your prenatal nutrition with the Genate Test by SNP Therapeutics. Learn more at and Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your order.

Planned C-section for Breech and 3 VBACs, 1 Medicated and 2 Unmedicated

Kacey has experienced a wide range of births including a planned C-section for a Breech presentation and three VBACs, 1 medicated and 2 unmedicated. 

Kacey’s first pregnancy was smooth and uneventful up until the 32 week mark when they discovered that her son was in the breech position. The next 7 weeks were spent researching at-home ways to encourage a breech baby to flip as well as conversations with her husband and doctor to weigh their options on delivery. Her and her husband finally settled on a planned C-section as the best option forward for them with the expectation that any future births would be able to be born vaginally if in a better presentation. Her son was born safely into the world on March 15th, 2012 via C-Section. Everything was smoother than she could have imagined. She was able to hold her son in the delivery room while she was closed up, but she didn’t get a chance for skin to skin or an attempt to nurse until a few hours later after she spent some time in post-op recovery. Other than that, everything was very smooth and her recovery, although longer than her vaginal deliveries, was pretty straight forward and smooth.

Two years after her first son was born, Kacey got pregnant with her first daughter. She was hopeful that she would be able to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Although she was hopeful, her and her husband did not do much preparation for the birth as they had taken a hospital birth course when pregnant with their son and felt like it hadn’t prepared them much more than they already knew in regard to birth. Kacey hoped for an unmedicated VBAC with her daughter. Her daughter was head down at their 32 week ultrasound, so the plan was to move forward with a VBAC. She went into labor 2 days before her due date, but due to a high incidence of Braxton’s Hicks contractions, it wasn’t until active labor that night that she was confident it was labor and her and her husband headed to the hospital. Her water broke in her husband’s truck on the way to the hospital and that is when contractions became closer together and more intense. She arrived at the hospital at 3 cm and labored for a few hours. The contractions alternated between manageable and unmanageable and after being checked again and told she was 4 cm, she opted for the epidural. Looking back on her labor afterward, she realized that although she knew what to expect regarding the stages of labor, she was not prepared on how to handle the pain of contractions. She was very much in fear of the pain and tensed up again the intensity of the contraction, rather than relaxing into them and letting her body use the contraction to help her body dilate. After her epidural, she was able to relax and dilated quickly to a 10 within an hour or two. Her daughter was born early in the morning on December 11, 2014. Her recovery was much smoother and shorter than her C-section delivery and she loved the fact that she was able to have the skin-to-skin time after delivery that she missed out on with her son.

Kacey became pregnant with surprise baby #3 (a girl!) when her daughter was just over a year old. After the shock wore off, she saw this birth as an opportunity to redeem her attempt at an unmedicated birth and conquer the fear she experienced during her last labor. Her and her husband took preparation for this birth more seriously and decided that the only way to successfully have an unmedicated birth was to bring their faith in God into every aspect of their life, including the delivery room. They took a faith-based childbirth course through First Birth Ministries and hired a Sister-in-Christ, Shelley Williams (The Salty Doula), as their doula. They not only learned more about how God perfectly created the female body to birth babies, but they were able to see how even in the pain, there was purpose to the pain and that due to this perfect design there was nothing to fear. Kacey went into labor at around 39 weeks pregnant, and once again was in early labor most of the day before realizing it was actual labor getting started. On the evening of January 10th, 2017, her in laws came over to help take care of her older two children (as contractions were becoming stronger), and it was while prepping lunches for the next day in the kitchen that her water broke. She knew she wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but after her husband rushed home from work she was convinced to head into the hospital as the contractions were quickly intensifying. Contractions picked up quickly in duration and intensity on the way to the hospital and she was confident she was pretty far along when she arrived at the hospital. After getting settled and getting checked for dilation she found out she was 3-4cm and was very discouraged based on the intensity level of the contractions. She started to doubt her ability to have the unmedicated birth she desired. Her husband turned on her worship music playlist and read Bible verses from their birth aloud to her between contractions. With his support and the steady presence of their doula, she was able to relax into the contractions and within 30-45 minutes felt her daughter descending the birth canal. Her nurse checked her and realized she was already at 10 cm. Her doctor was able to just get into the room and everything prepped just in time for her daughter to be born a few contractions later. She was able to have extended skin to skin time and her daughter caught onto nursing right away. It was such a change from her last delivery, and even though it was hectic at parts due to how fast everything progressed, she was so thankful she had the unmedicated birth she always wanted. 

Kacey’s final pregnancy came during 2020 after the COVID lockdowns allowed her and her husband to reflect and determine that maybe their family wasn’t complete. After getting pregnant with her final son, she knew what it was like to have a redeeming birth free of the fear of labor and knew that this time around she wanted the same. Knowing that it was going to be her last birth, she hoped and prayed that this birth would be a little slower than her fast and furious birth with her daughter so that she could truly soak in the entire experience. After a rough first half of her pregnancy with illness, the second half of her pregnancy was smooth sailing. The morning of March 5, 2021, she woke up in the early hours with what felt like Braxton Hicks contractions and the urge to use the restroom. She was able to fall back to sleep, and when she woke in the morning, she was having what felt like more steady Braxton Hicks contractions. She reached out to her doula and went for a walk, drank some raspberry leaf tea, and while her daughter settled down for her afternoon nap, she did the Miles Circuit (per her doula’s suggestion as she was having some back pain with contractions). On the third round of the circuit, while sitting on top of a birthing ball, she had a very intense contraction and felt her water begin to leak. She called her husband home, let her doula know the situation and jumped in the shower. By the time her mom arrived to watch their other kids, contractions were every 5 minutes and lasting around a minute long. This time around they headed straight into the hospital due to Kacey’s fast previous labor and the fact that this time around she was Strep B positive and wanted to give as much time as possible at the hospital for IV antibiotics. After getting set up at the hospital and informing the nurses that they would not be needing an epidural, Kacey and her husband labored together until their doula arrived an hour or two later. Labor was slower this time around (just as she prayed it would be!), and after alternating between riding the waves of contractions while standing and holding onto her husband, squatting at the foot of the bed, and leaning over the bed, she felt the familiar urge to push a few hours later. She got settled in the bed and continued to labor on all fours (she hates laboring on her back!) until her doctor was ready and her son was about to be born. He was born after a few contractions, and she can still vividly remember every moment. It was truly a dream birth and an answer to prayer. She had some retained placenta after birth that required her doctor to have to manually extract, but other than that, it was a smooth recovery. 

Kacey Ratcliff Bio

Kacey is a mom of 4, ages 2-11 years old. Her and her husband, Reagan, have been married for 14 years and raise their family together in their hometown south of Houston. Kacey is a stay at home mom while her husband owns his own Optometry business (Twenty20 Vision Center). 


Baby Tula

This episode is sponsored by Baby Tula. Baby Tula creates unique and expressive carriers that help parents keep doing what they love while connecting with their little ones. Baby carriers are so much more than a parenting tool! When you wear your baby, you support the emotional, social, and physical well-being of your baby as well as your own! With a variety of unique prints, small batch and handwoven fabrics, inclusive sizing, and carriers for older babies too, you can find a carrier that’s distinctly you! You can use the code BIRTHHOUR at and BabyTula.Co.UK.

Two Unmedicated Hospital Births, Vaginal Footling Breech Delivery and Vanishing Twin Syndrome

Katy and her husband Andy welcomed their first daughter in February 2020, just before the world shut down. An uncomplicated and mostly unremarkable pregnancy, followed by a dreamy 3+ weeks early, mild, precipitous labor and unmedicated birth, led Katy to believe her story wasn’t “birth hour” worthy! That all changed when she got pregnant for the second time and experienced a vanishing twin and the surviving twin flipped between breach to head down throughout the pregnancy. Confirmed head down by the OB that morning, they arrived at the hospital an hour after contractions began (and less than 30 minutes before baby Lena arrived) when the OB resident said there were feet hanging out of the vagina. Lena’s head was stuck in the birth canal for 5-7 minutes and was pulled out by the OB not breathing and with a dangerously low heart rate. Miraculously she only spent 2 days in the NICU and came home as perfect as could be. Connect with Katy @carolglawrence on Instagram.


SNP Therapeutics

Today’s episode is sponsored by SNP Therapeutics, makers of the Genate Test. Based on over 16 million dollars in NIH grants, and more than 30 years of nutrition and genetic research, SNP Therapeutics is leading the charge in the field of prenatal, precision-nutrition genetic testing.

SNP Therapeutics is committed to providing accurate and usable information to help mothers provide the best possible nutrition to their babies through The Genate Test: a prenatal, precision-nutrition, genetic test that offers personalized dietary adjustments and supplement recommendations based on your DNA. 

You can rest easy knowing that your prenatal nutrition has been optimized by tailoring it to your genetic code. Find peace of mind about your prenatal nutrition with the Genate Test by SNP Therapeutics. Learn more at and Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your order.

Surprise Footling Breech Homebirth Birth Story

Alyssa planned a home birth and shares her fairly easy experience being pregnant. After only 6.5 hours of labor, Alyssa gives birth to her first baby boy who was unexpectedly born breech… at home! 

Connect with Alyssa on Instagram at @alyssa_p2020 or @healthy2wholesomemeals.

breech homebirth


Oath Care

This episode is sponsored by Oath Care – a welcoming community to connect with fellow moms, find judgement-free support, and get personalized expert advice from pediatricians, marriage and family therapists, lactation and sleep consultants, pelvic floor therapists and more. Download the free to use Oath Care app from or in the App Store or Google Play.

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