Larissa shares two birth stories, what she describes as: a non-emergency c-section with a traumatic week of complications following birth; and, a redemptive, healing VBAC birth with zero complications.
Larissa Krutewicz Bio
Larissa is a self-proclaimed hat lady, babywearing enthusiast, wannabe yogi, and most importantly a mom to two beautiful girls, Gracie and Norah. She and her husband, Justin, currently reside in the Southwest. Prior to staying home with her girls, Larissa was a Kindergarten teacher – a job that she was and is still passionate about. She uses that passion and her new experiences as a mother to run a website called Living in Color. She writes about honest motherhood, affordable style, and attainable wellness. Larissa also considers herself a VBAC warrior; she enjoys talking with and encouraging other women but now, especially those who desire a natural birth, or a natural VBAC birth. You can learn more about Larissa at her site: livingincolorblog.com or follow along with her on Instagram @livingincolorblog or Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
How to Prepare for a Successful VBAC – blog post by Larissa
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Emergency Cesarean after Preeclampsia & Long Induction VBAC Birth Stories
On this episode, Amarachi shares her two birth stories. She had an uneventful pregnancy with her firstborn, but a very eventful emergency c-section at 32 and 6 due to severe preeclampsia, including: a 48 hour magnesium sulfate drip; a 26 day NICU stay for her baby; and, PPD upon arrival home. During her second pregnancy, which was considered high risk due to her previous delivery, Amarachi had morning sickness from weeks 5-28. At week 28, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (non-insulin-dependent). Amarachi was induced at 39 weeks; and, after a 43.5 hour labor, she had a successful VBAC delivery!
Amarachi Ukazim Bard Bio
Amarachi lives with her husband, Mike, and their two tenacious daughters – Auden (3) and Joona (1) in Central Connecticut. She spends her days taking care of her family, (most likely) eating tacos, being shop manager for a Christ-centered women’s magazine called Deeply Rooted Magazine, and blogging at simplyamarachi.com. She captures her everyday life on Instagram @amarachibard.
The Birth Hour podcast
Birth Without Fear Facebook group/instagram
Today’s episode was sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Rebecca about what makes them unique and the features of their newest sleeping bag. Use the coupon code “thebirthhour” to get 20% off any sleep product Ergobaby.com or ergobaby.ca for our Canadian listeners.
Three Births: Postdates Birth Center Birth, Cesarean Birth & Homebirth VBAC
For her first birth, Jessica and her husband chose an out of hospital birth center and they welcomed their daughter Josie after a 41 week and 6 day long pregnancy. Her second birth was with the same midwives; but, due to cord issues, their son Elliott was born in the hospital by c-section. After a cross country move half way through her third pregnancy, Jessica and Chris decided they wanted to attempt a homebirth VBAC. At 40 weeks and 6 days, and after a week of prodromal labor, Jessica finally went into active labor while out at a pizza place with her family! After a very intense 8 hours of back labor, she pushed for 8 minutes and her third baby, 10lb 7oz Ian, was born at home with the help of their amazing midwives.
Jessica Higgins Bio
Jessica has been married for 8 years to her husband, Chris, and is a busy mom of 3 who works as a statistical programmer. When not working or chasing around her wonderful and crazy kids, she is a Scottish highland dancer and enjoys knitting items for said crazy kids. You can find her on Instagram @jk_higgins.
This episode is sponsored by Ava Women. Wear the Ava bracelet while you sleep for effortless insight about your fertility, your cycle, and your health. Ava monitors nine physiological parameters and is clinically proven to detect the beginning of the fertile window in real time. You can use the promo code: BIRTHHOUR for $20 off each order at avawomen.com.
Gina Shares a bit about her Homebirth Cesarean and Homebirth VBAC below.
“Our wild Zelda Francis was born by a homebirth cesarean during one of the hottest summers in Austin. I was surrounded by my husband, sister (who was 6 weeks pregnant!), dear friend and my amazing midwife and friend. 17 days past my due date, it was breast pumping that convinced my body it was time to go into labor. It was a gentle beginning that turned into a hard, long haul. I labored for 36 hours at home. I walked, got in and out of the pool, took showers, changed positions many times and napped as much as I could. Then I stalled at 7cm and become tired and dehydrated. After trying everything we could at home, we made the call to go to the hospital. I immediately got an epidural and slept for 5 hours! I was excited to wake up fully dilated. I then pushed for 4 hours. Her head never came down past a certain point so we decided it was time for her to be born by cesarean at 331am. I remember looking into her dark eyes as soon as she was given to me and I knew she was going to grow up a persistent and loving creature. So far, I was right.
Our sweet Oona Rosemarie was born at home during a quiet spring morning. Surrounded by our wonderful birth team…my husband, our magical midwife GB, her assistant, and my bestie and doula (who made it all the way from San Fran!). Contractions started in the middle of the night and I immediately knew labor was happening. I was enjoying my alone time so I didn’t wake the family. After they got up, my husband took our oldest to school. During that time, I turned music on and let the contractions take over. During the day, my husband and I watched a movie, ate, walked and went to acupuncture. It wasn’t until that evening, when my water broke, that things became more intense. Worried that I was in for another long haul, I asked my midwife to check me. I was 9cm! Pretty quickly after, I started pushing and just a couple of hours later, she was born in our living room at 310am. I remember the room becoming very quiet when she came out. So peaceful and so intentional. It was just us taking her in and meeting her gentle spirit for the first time.”
Gina Giordano Bio
Gina Giordano is a doula and a creator. Originally from Miami Florida, she grew up in a close family unit. As the oldest of five children, she was taught how to support and nurture at a very young age. After studying fine arts in college, she moved to New York City where she was introduced to the idea of doula work. Just after one training, her passion for working in pregnancy, childbirth and beyond was ignited. In 2005 she started a business, offering birth and postpartum doula services and education to families. Through her work she learned how to offer compassionate, dignified care for ALL families during childbirth and the postpartum time, no matter their choices. She also saw a need for more doulas. Driven to serve that need, she co-founded Doula Training International (DTI) in 2010 with her business partner Tara Brooke. DTI is a mission based community that trains and certifies birth professionals unified in reproductive health and justice for all bodies. By working as the creative director of DTI, Gina’s mission is to bring awareness to all birth and reproductive options through innovative and curated design. She is the honored mother to two wild girls, married to her lifelong sweetheart and lives in Austin, TX. Connect with her on Instagram via @ginamgiordano or @DoulaTrainingsInt!
Born Into This Conference
The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Course
We just re-launched the course in honor of Mother’s Day! Go here to enroll, and hurry because the first 25 new students will be getting some amazing goodies from Earth Mama Organics ($40 value!).
Aeroflow Breastpumps helps new and expecting moms qualify for a free, top-brand breast pump through insurance. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and more. Visit Aeroflow’s website today to get started on receiving your free breast pump through insurance! From dealing with insurance, getting a prescription, and handling all paperwork – your dedicated Breastpump Specialist will take care of everything for you. Go here and they will know I sent you!
Emergency Cesarean followed by Three VBACs & an Adoption
Rachel’s first birth was an emergency c-section, due to baby’s dropping heart rate and failure to progress after many long hours of labor. He ended up being a large baby (9 lbs, 8 oz) with a huge head. Her 2nd birth was a successful VBAC 18 months later to a smaller, healthy boy (8 lbs even). It was another long labor, but it went smoothly. Her 3rd birth was a VBAC birth to a baby girl, a much quicker and easier labor lasting only 6 hours. Baby weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz. Her 4th and last birth was a VBAC birth to a baby girl. Labor was a bit longer than the previous birth (12 hours) due to her water breaking and labor taking a while to get started but it was a smooth and relatively easy delivery. Baby weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz. She and her husband fostered a little boy 2 separate times (once during her 4th pregnancy, and again when that baby was a few months old) and his adoption was finalized last summer.
Rachel Bausili Bio
Rachel is from Oklahoma, and is a mom of 5 children ages 2 through 9. Her first baby was a c-section, and she has had 3 VBAC births and has adopted a child through the foster care system. She teaches fitness classes part time at the local Y, and loves hiking and adventuring with her family, traveling, baking, running, following the Oklahoma Thunder basketball team, and coffee dates with her husband. Connect with her on Instagram @befitandeatchocolate or on Facebook at Rachel Green Bausili.
Earth Mama Organics
Today’s episode is sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mama makes effective organic and natural herbal products for the whole journey of motherhood: pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care. They’ve been safely nurturing mamas this way since 2002 — and they wouldn’t do it any other way.
Cooper’s Unplanned Cesarean Birth
Caitlin’s birth experience with Cooper was not what she had hoped for; but, looking back she wouldn’t change a thing as it’s really impacted her passions and mindset. Caitlin made the common choice of going into the hospital too early, and the doctor on call starting intervening before it made sense. Though Caitlin was at 3 cm and healthy, the doctor decided it was time to break her water and start pitocin. This intervention propelled her into a day that wasn’t at all what she had envisioned. Her progress slowed and her son was no longer handling labor well; and, after about 24 hours, Caitlin had a c-section. Thankfully, all went well with the c-section and Cooper Andrew was born a healthy 8 lbs. 2 oz. She knew for her next experience that she wanted something different. She craved a birth experience that was empowering and what she had envisioned birth to be.
Charlie’s VBAC Birth
Given Caitlin’s birth experience the first time, she knew she wanted to do whatever she could to have an unmedicated VBAC. She spent her pregnancy doing research and exploring her options, and chose care providers that would set her up for success. She went into labor in her own home on New Year’s Day and continued to labor there for about 12 hours with the support of her husband. Once she could no longer manage at home, she left for the hospital with her husband and mom. Her doula and birth photographer met her at the hospital where she continued to labor for about 5 hours. She experienced an amazingly progressive and supportive hospital environment, which really let her doula lead the way. And after an hour-and-a-half of pushing, her 9 lb. 3 oz VBAC baby, Charlie Maxwell, was here!
Caitlin Shrum Bio
Caitlin lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Andrew. They have their hands full with two boys, Cooper (2.5) and newborn Charlie. Caitlin works in human resources for Netflix, but on the side finds herself immersed in all things birth. She is excited to return to The Birth Hour after sharing her unplanned/unwanted c-section story, and to provide support and information to any moms looking for a different birth experience.
The Shrums are frequent farmer’s market visitors and playground enthusiasts, always with coffee in tow. Caitlin would love to connect with other moms via Instagram @caitshrum or Facebook.
ICAN Facebook Page
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The Birth Partner
Today’s sponsor, Aeroflow Breastpumps, helps new and expecting moms qualify for a free, top-brand breast pump through insurance. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and more. Visit Aeroflow’s website today to get started on receiving your free breast pump through insurance! From dealing with insurance, getting a prescription and handling all paperwork – your dedicated Breastpump Specialist will take care of everything for you. Go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour and they will know I sent you!