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.
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Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The Birth Partner
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Three Birth Stories
Tonya’s first pregnancy ended in a misscarriage at 10 weeks, which lead to a D&C, continuous bleeding, and a hysteroscopy.
After her miscarriage, Tonya had a rough second pregnancy, fighting with all-day and all-night (morning) sickness all the way until the 3rd trimester. Also, the baby continued to be on the smaller side which lead to many ultrasounds. After having a miscarriage, Tonya was relieved to be able to see her baby so often, but she was always in the breech position. Every ultrasound, from 20 weeks on, she was in the same position. Baby was monitored for fluid levels, growth, and head size. Because she continued to be breech, Tonya reluctantly started planning a scheduled c-section. Tonya had always hoped for a vaginal birth, but she quick;y realized things don’t always go as planned. The day they went to the c-section, they did an ultrasound to make sure she still hadn’t turned and, sure enough, she was still in the same position; so, they continued on with the c-section. Everything went smoothly and they met their firstborn, Teal.
Second Birth Story – VBAC with Epidural
With Tonya’s next birth, she was determined to have a VBAC, but at the same time, she just wanted her baby here safely, whatever way that was going to be. Tonya didn’t want to put so much pressure on herself that she would be disappointed in how her baby was birthed. She was very nervous about what was going to happen.
Tonya tried everything in the books to have the baby on time because her care providers encouraged having the baby around 40 weeks or shortly after for a VBAC. Tonya was walking, even running, trying to get the baby out after 39 weeks. It felt to her like it was never going to happen and she started feeling defeated at the end of 39 weeks. On the night of 39 weeks 4 days, she got a phone call that her grandmother had fallen and was life-flighted to the hospital. By 3 a.m., she got the call that she should drive down to Denver (about an hour away), to say her goodbyes. Tonya’s mother-in-law came to watch Teal as Tonya, her husband, and her brother headed down to Denver at 4 a.m., arriving at 5.
As soon as they pulled into the hospital, Tonya started having diarrhea with contractions beginning shortly after. They were spaced out 10-15 minutes, but throughout the rest of the morning the contractions grew closer and closer. By around 1 p.m., Tonya’s mother and husband told her it was time to get going to the hospital. Tonya was afraid it wasn’t really happening (she wasn’t in as much pain as she was expecting; she just felt uncomfortable), so she hesitated to go in. Finally, they headed to the hospital at about 2:30pm to get checked. She was dilated to 5 cm with contractions coming about every 5 minutes so was admitted.
She was asked about an epidural, and the nurse on hand highly recommended it, especially being a VBAC patient, so she went ahead with it. Immediately, the epidural caused her to get sick, lose her hearing, and get dizzy, but the anesthesiologist eventually got it balanced out to where Tonya regained her hearing and started feeling better again. At about 7:30pm it was push time. Tonya felt like she was struggling to push, asked for a mirror, and eventually got the baby out at around 9:00pm. And they met their 2nd daughter, Layne. Within a half-hour of Layne being born, Tonya’s grandmother passed away. It truly felt like she was holding on until she heard Tonya’s baby’s name, who was named after her. A very bittersweet day.
Unmedicated VBAC & Emergency Hysterectomy
With her next baby, again, Tonya was determined to have a VBAC and felt much more confident this time. But, she really hated everything about the epidural so she really wanted to have an unmedicated birth this time. She watched many youtube videos and listened to the Birth Hour daily to help her prepare. At 39 weeks 4 days, Tonya woke up at midnight with her first contraction. She tried to sleep through them, but they progressively got more painful and closer together. At about 3am, she decided she better eat something in case she wasn’t going to be able to eat again for awhile.
At 4am, she showered and her husband started getting up and packing, thinking they should head to the hospital soon. Shortly after the shower, the contractions seemed to taper off, so Tonya laid back down and encouraged her husband to head to work. Once her older children woke up, the contractions were anywhere from around 7 to 12 minutes apart, so she fed them breakfast and decided to take them on a walk. The walk seemed to pick the contractions back up so when her husband called around 10am to check up on her, he decided it was time to head back home. They went to the hospital at 11:30am and were admitted because she was 6 cm dilated with contractions coming about every 3-5 minutes by then.
She had planned on walking, bouncing, and possibly sitting in the tub for labor, but the room they were admitted to did not have a tub. She also discussed with her doctor using the TENS unit and/or laughing gas for pain management before going to an epidural. Tonya tried the TENS unit, but within about 5 minutes of that, it was push time. She had about 5 big pushes and baby Eva was born. Tonya felt amazing after this birth! Like she could go run a marathon! She was in awe of her baby and the whole experience.
Then, the doctors started trying to get her placenta out. It was not coming out normally, so the doctors started kneading Tonya’s stomach. Still, it wasn’t coming, so they started pressing harder and harder. It got so painful, Tonya had to hand her baby off because she was in excruciating pain. Still, the placenta wouldn’t detach. Finally, after an hour of trying to manually extract the placenta, the doctor determined it was time for a D&C. Tonya was able to nurse her baby and introduce her to her sisters, mother, and mother-in-law and then they prepped her for what was supposed to be a 30 minute surgery. About 8 hours later, Tonya woke up on life support. Eventually she learned she had nearly bled to death and in order to stop the bleeding, the doctor had to perform a cesarean hysterectomy.
Tonya Trostel Bio
Tonya and her husband Evan have three beautiful daughters. Teal who is three, Layne who just turned 2, and Eva is her 4 month old. They reside in a small town in Colorado. Tonya is a former teacher and hair stylist but now is trying to keep up with her daughters as a stay at home mother. She has had three very different births, first was a c-section, second had an epidural VBAC and the last was a natural VBAC, followed by a cesarean hysterectomy due to placenta increta. Tonya is still recovering as she and her husband are adjusting to becoming a family of five.
The Birth Hour
This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.
Amy Morrison Bio
Amy Morrison is the founder of Pregnant Chicken, an online resource and blog for expectant and new parents featuring advice, information, and tips to keep your pregnancy fun.
In her former life she was a creative director at an ad agency but decided to quit and go freelance as an art director/graphic designer in 2004. She and her husband have two little boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and live in Toronto. She shares both birth stories in this episode—a cesarean birth and an Induction VBAC birth. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or PregnantChicken.com
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QUIZ! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality Type?
Earth Mama Organics
At the end of this episode I talked to Westley about her favorite products from Earth Mama Organics, today’s sponsor. I’m a HUGE fan of their bottom spray and bottom balm!
Jennifer Mason Bio
Jennifer documents births as a birth photographer and believes that birth stories are love stories. She is also the co-founder of Birth Becomes Her and mama to two feisty girls. Jennifer grew up in the Midwest, living on a lake and loves the water. She has birthed two babies and describes her labors as sensual, and brave. She is a VBAC mama, and says she relate well to those who are working to achieve a VBAC. You can connect with her on her website and Facebook.
Photo credits: Monet Nicole Birthing Stories
Listen to me chat with Amanda about today’s sponsor, BabyList, at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry for some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum!
In this episode January Harshe shares her first four birth stories: a cesarean, a homebirth transfer to cesarean, a hospital VBAC after being dropped from care by her homebirth midwife, and a very healing unassisted homebirth. You can hear her 5th and 6th birth stories on her podcast that she hosts with her husband, The Harshe Podcast.
January Harshe Bio
January owns Birth Without Fear where she blogs and runs its social media sites. She also blogs on Harshe.blog and recently started The Harshe Podcast. She also organizes MeetUps and Conferences, speaking at those and other events across the country. January has formula fed, pumped, breastfed, tandem nursed, used a crib, co-slept, homeschooled, and sent them all to school. Basically, she does what she can with what she has, learns from it, then does her best. No matter what she’s doing to survive the craziness of motherhood, she loves her children and knows she’s a good mother.
Quiz: Where Should You Give Birth?
Take this fun quiz and find out where you should give birth based on your daily preferences and personality type?
Earth Mama Angel Baby
At the end of this episode I talked to Jessey about her favorite products from Earth Mama Angel Baby, today’s sponsor.
Postpartum Herb Baths
Angel Baby Bottom Balm
Angel Baby Body Wash and Shampoo
Natural Nipple Butter