Second Unmedicated VBAC

Listener favorite, Caitlin Shrum, is back to share her second VBAC birth story. You can hear her first two birth stories (episodes 185 & 244) in our archives. Archives are accessible to listener supporters via Patreon!

Caitlin’s First Birth – Unwanted Cesarean

Cooper’s pregnancy was textbook, and like most eager first time parents, once labor started, Caitlin went to the hospital too quickly. Instead of being sent home, the doctor on-call told Caitlin she was too comfortable, and started unnecessarily intervening with her birth. After breaking her water and starting her on pitocin at 3 cm, it was clear her body and baby weren’t handling things well. After 24 hours of labor, Caitlin and her husband found themselves in the operating room having an unplanned cesarean birth and welcomed their first baby, Cooper Andrew, on August 10, 2015. He was 8 lbs 2 oz. Caitlin was over the moon in her new role as a mother, and knew that she wanted something different for her future birth(s).

Caitlin’s Second Birth – Unmedicated VBAC

vbac birth story

Before getting pregnant with her second baby, Caitlin had immersed herself in all things birth in order to prepare and educate herself for a different outcome. After about 4 months of trying, Caitlin and her husband, Andrew were expecting their second son. On New Year’s Day 2018, Caitlin was officially in labor. Having labored at home for 12 hours, Caitlin, her husband, and mother headed to the hospital. With the support of her family and doula, Caitlin managed through about 5 more hours of labor. After an hour and a half of pushing, Charlie Maxwell made his entrance on January 2, 2018! He weighed 9 lbs 3 oz and allowed Caitlin to have the healing experience she was hoping for.

Caitlin’s Third Birth – Second Unmedicated VBAC

While 10 months postpartum with her second, Charlie, Caitlin and her husband found themselves with a surprise pregnancy. It was a lot for Caitlin to wrap her head around as they were still adjusting to life as a family of four. All that said, Caitlin was thrilled and knew the kind of birth she wanted and hired the same doula. Thankfully she had an easy pregnancy, minus the aches and pains and after 2 weeks of prodromal labor, Caitlin finally went into labor on her own at exactly 41 weeks. She knew things would be relatively quick given how dilated she was at her previous doctor appointment. While in labor, Caitlin wrestled with the idea of pain medication after anxious thoughts about the pain of birth made her doubt herself. Thanks to a quick transitional phase and the support of her husband and doula, Caitlin and Andrew welcomed their third son, Liam Connor, in just two pushes weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs 3 oz.

vbac the birth hour

Caitlin Shrum Bio

Caitlin lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband Andrew and their three boys, Cooper (4), Charlie (2), and Liam (3 months). She has worked for Netflix for close to 9 years in their Talent organization, starting in recruiting and now human resources. Caitlin loves spending her time with her family, going to playgrounds, frequenting their local farmers market, and walking to get coffee for the adults and croissants for the boys (their favorite). You can connect with her on Instagram @caitshrum. 

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 motifmedical.com/birthhour

Cesarean Birth and Accepting a 2nd Cesarean after planning for a VBAC

After a cesarean section with her first child, Danielle couldn’t shake the desire for a vaginal birth experience. When she became pregnant with her second child she sought out a provider who was supportive of her wish to VBAC. She incorporated every “trick” and potion in the book to help her odds of success, especially as she neared the end of her pregnancy. But she never dilated or effaced. Once her due date came she had made no progress and she scheduled her second cesarean.

She slept well the night before and checked into the hospital that morning with very little fear. But as if her body had muscle memory, when it came time to walk into the operating room, she was shaking uncontrollably with fear. At the beginning of the surgery, her OBGYN found Danielle had a large uterine window. This condition would have made a VBAC very dangerous. The first words out of her OBGYN’s mouth when she got inside were, “Your body was looking out for you.” Danielle believes this to be true. She didn’t get the experience she had hoped for, but with her OBGYN’s guidance, she got to have a “Gentle c-section” which included many things she didn’t know were options her first time around. She rejects the term “failed VBAC” and believes her birth experience is better described as a “Successful c-section”.

Danielle Estrada Bio

Danielle is an LA native and recent Austin, Texas transplant. She is the mother to two girls, Olivia and Elle, a wife, and successful tech executive who moonlights as a swimwear designer. Her uniquely inclusive swimwear brand, Olivia + Ocean, is on a mission is to empower and support every Mom who has struggled getting in a swimsuit post-baby. Born out of her own challenges resonating with the swimwear brands on the market after becoming a mother for the first time. She designs specifically for the needs of the postpartum mother who wants something functional that doesn’t sacrifice fashion. Her swimwear collection embraces the mother in search of her new sense of self that often accompanies the transition into motherhood. Connect with her on Instagram @oliviaandocean.

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 motifmedical.com/birthhour

Cesarean Birth and VBAC Birth Stories

Before getting pregnant with her first child, Brittany had hoped and planned for an unmedicated birth. Due to an unnecessary induction and several interventions her first birth ended in a cesarean. Immediately following that birth, she began preparing for a VBAC.

3.5 years later she was able to have a successful, unmedicated, intervention free VBAC. Unfortunately, it was not the redemptive dream-birth she had envisioned due to the treatment she received from the on-call OB. She shares her journey of processing and healing from two very different traumatic births.

cesarean birth

Brittany DuValle Bio

Brittany is a nurse who lives in Northern California with her husband of 10 years and their two daughters, Josephine who is 4, and Wilhelmina who is 9 months. Connect with her on Instagram: @broseduvalle or Facebook: Brittany Rose DuValle.

Resources

  • ICAN
  • Birthinginsticts.com – Dr. Stu
  • Dr. Stu’s Podcast
  • VBACFACTS.org
  • Informed Pregnancy Podcast

Crane

This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH19 at www.crane-usa.com.

Cesarean Birth for Fibroid Followed by VBAC Birth Story

When Mia found out that she was pregnant with her first child, her hope was to have a peaceful unmedicated birth. However, at an early ultrasound, she discovered that she had a fibroid above her cervix possibly obstructing her birth canal. After the fibroid continued to grow, her medical team told her that she would need to undergo a cesarean birth, or she and her baby would be in danger. After being told that she would likely not go into labor, Mia and her fiancé, James, scheduled a Monday morning surgery. So, naturally, Mia was shocked when she went into labor on the preceding Thursday night and had her daughter via peaceful, uncomplicated c-section early Friday morning. 

17 months later, Mia became pregnant with baby number two and, despite what her previous doctor’s told her, she decided to switch doctors and try for a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). After being diagnosed with gestational diabetes and months of close monitoring, it seemed that her fibroid had grown to a hefty 8cm and under doctor’s advice, she scheduled a repeat c-section. When an ultrasound revealed that the baby’s head had moved below the fibroid, Mia and James decided to cancel the c-section and let nature take its course. With the support of her new obgyn, she went into labor at 40 weeks after a membrane sweep, and gave birth to her son via an amazing unexpected vbac at 40+1.

vbac after fibroids

Mia Burton Bio

Mia is a 29 year old government worker by day. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her fiancé, James and their 2 year old daughter, Jovie and their 3 month old son Marley. She aspires to become a birth doula and an advocate for Black women’s maternal health. 

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. All you have to do is go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you!

Empowering VBAC After Fearful C-Section

Mari became pregnant with her second child in September of 2018. After an anxiety-ridden fearful c-section 2 years prior, due to failure to descend, she was determined to have a VBAC!  She experienced a lot of push back from doctors, family, and her partner. Ultimately after facing her anxiety, getting her partner on board and breaking down all her VBAC fears, she was successful in birthing her son via VBAC in May of 2019. She shares the journey of her healing birth, including breaking up with two doctors in her both her second and third trimester and her empowered labor and delivery with a full female staff.

Marilys Vega Bio

Mari Vega, a Motherhood Advocate, believes in nurturing women navigating motherhood, whether they are looking for support with breastfeeding or trying to balance life at home and in the workplace. Being a mother of two small children and having over 9 years of experience in Human Resources, Mari understands first hand the hurdles that present themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and unconsciously during the postpartum period and thereafter, ie re-entering the workforce. Her experiences have given her tremendous insight on how to coach women on nurturing their motherly instinct, confidently breastfeeding and manifesting a work-life balance that showcases their strengths. 
She can be contacted at or on Instagram @mari_vega. Her website is www.marivega.me

vbac birth team

Resources

  • International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)
  • The Birth Hour
  • VBAC Link
  • Spinning Babies

Avawomen

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. Use code BIRTH to get $20 off at avawomen.com!

A Healing VBAC with a Surprise Guest

VBAC after Traumatic Cesarean Birth

After a traumatic c-section, Allison knew she wanted to try for a VBAC. During her pregnancy she did everything she could to stay healthy, both mentally and physically She found the online birth community and learned everything she could about birth. After 42 weeks, she was induced at the hospital and had the most empowering and healing VBAC while surrounded by her incredible birth team of women and her supportive husband.

january harshe at birth

Allison Lynch Bio

Allison lives in Madison, WI with her husband Jesse and their two children. She is a research administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Allison and her family love spending as much time as they can outdoors, even in the cold Wisconsin winters. Although her first birth ended up in a traumatic emergency c-section, she is an advocate for natural birth and is very passionate about postpartum support and finding help when you need it. She is active in her local birth and new mother communities, so if you are local she can connect you. Connect with Allison on Instagram @AlliLynch14, on Facebook at Allison Lynch or via email: Allisonglynch@gmail.com.

vbac redemptive

Resources

Birth Without Fear by January Harshe
Fearless Birthing by Alexia Leachman
ICAN closed Facebook group
The Birth Hour Mamas Facebook group (join via Patreon)
Podcasts: The VBAC Link, Fear Free Childbirth, The Birth Hour
The GentleBirth app

Babylist

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