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VBAC Birth Stories

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VBAC Birth Stories

Melissa Merino & Stephanie Cannavo

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A podcast featuring Australians sharing their journey of vaginal birth after caesarean. Through sharing and learning from each other's lived experiences the podcast is designed to empower and educate those whose VBAC journey may have just begun, help all expecting mums achieve a more natural birth if that is their intention, and better inform birth professionals about one's journey to a VBAC.
 
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VBAC Babes

1
VBAC Babes

Bethany Lotulelei

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This podcast was created to provide a community to cheer you on in your journey from VBAC hopeful to VBAC success. We are going to debunk the myths, quiet the naysayers, and equip you with everything you need for a healing, empowering birth. And positive postpartum experience. We are VBAC moms. We are fierce, go getters, women of action. You've got this, mama. And I'll be by your side, every step of the way.
 
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show series
 
“Let’s make every birth the best possible version of that birth that it can be.” Dr. Natalie Elphinstone is a true trailblazer! When one of her patients asked about the possibility of a maternal-assisted Cesarean, she listened intently, took the idea to heart, and advocated for change by creating a new hospital policy to allow this beautiful proced…
 
Ashley joins us today from Australia sharing her three birth stories and how she learned to truly trust herself. Driven out of the hospital due to discrimination and not being able to find support from home birth midwives, Ashley decided to go for a free birth. With a special scar, two previous Cesarean surgeries, a big baby, a high BMI, and a hist…
 
Here at The VBAC Link, we often talk about how to VBAC with a big baby, but what about the tiny ones? When Eve received an IUGR diagnosis with her first baby, she was no longer able to birth at her desired birth center. A medically necessary induction occurred soon after which then led to one unwanted intervention after another. Finally, her baby b…
 
*Trigger Warning: This episode contains sensitive discussion topics including infant loss, miscarriage, preterm delivery, and hemorrhaging.* Lizzy has a passion for all things birth and babies as reflected in her amazing 10 kiddos! Her birth stories in order are as follows: an emergency C-section, VBAC, RCS, VBAC, HBAC, VBAC, HBAC, RCS, and a twin …
 
Happy New Year! We are kicking off 2023 with a podcast filled with doulas. Meagan is joined by one of our VBAC Link-trained doulas, Sarah, to welcome our guest, Holly. Holly is a wife, mama, RN, doula, and placenta encapsulator. Holly’s first birth was a planned Cesarean due to breech presentation. Her second birth was a hospital VBAC with a long l…
 
It’s so hard to believe that 2022 is coming to a close. Today is our last episode of the year! We have had so many inspiring guests on the podcast in 2022 and are so thankful to all of our listeners. No topic is off-limits in today’s Q&A episode. Dr. Christine Sterling is a board-certified OBGYN and founder of Sterling Parents. Meagan is here today…
 
For our final holiday special podcast episode, we want to help you feel as physically prepared as possible when going for your VBAC! Stephanie of My Essential Birth joins Meagan to share her wisdom from her own two VBAC births as well as what she has helped women learn through her many years as a birth worker. You will hear tips on how to choose an…
 
Megan joins us today all the way from England! Megan planned for a home birth after a Cesarean with a wonderful team of midwives. She was well-prepared for any potential outcomes and made sure to secure continuity of care in the case of a hospital transfer. 27 hours after her waters broke with intense contractions and no sleep, Megan was devastated…
 
In this episode we chat to Sydney mum of two Rachel who experienced an unmedicated VBAC in a private hospital setting after going through 35 hours of labour. Following her caesarean Rachel went on to experience poor postpartum mental health and reflects how her first birth unfolding the way it did could have contributed to those feelings. Rachel re…
 
Meagan is joined today by the amazing Eyla Cuenca! Eyla’s many years of experience as a birth worker have led her to specialize in holistic birth guidance. She helps women process past birth experiences and prepare for the most optimal future birth experiences. Eyla has so much wisdom and such a beautiful way with words. You will definitely want to…
 
Jackie’s first birth was a beautiful, well-informed, planned gentle Cesarean due to breech presentation. After putting everything in place for a VBAC, Jackie was ready for it all. However, after pushing for hours on end with limited support due to the newness of COVID, Jackie consented to another C-section. Surgery didn’t go as smoothly this time a…
 
“We named her Frankie because she was frank breech.” Guess what, Women of Strength? For the month of December, our gift to you is TWO weekly episodes! We are honored to kick off our Holiday Special episodes with our amazingly impressive friend, Olga. Olga shares her birth stories of an unplanned Cesarean, a frank breech VBAC, then ending full circl…
 
Michelle’s first birth began with an induction via an artificial rupture of membranes at 42 weeks per the recommendation of her midwives. Looking back, Michelle realizes that many factors contributed to what may have been a preventable Cesarean. Right after the first trimester of her second pregnancy and at the height of COVID, Michelle’s husband d…
 
You will NOT want to miss today’s episode! With her first pregnancy, Taylor was committed to having an unmedicated, vaginal birth. But after a 5-day induction at 37 weeks due to cholestasis and no cervical change or dilation, she knew it was time to consent to a C-section. Taylor knew she would fight for her VBAC even before she became pregnant aga…
 
After infertility and an initial C-section due to breech presentation, Julia knew that a VBAC was the redemption she needed. During her VBAC prep, she truly did it all. Julia labored hard, completely dilated, and pushed like a warrior. She was calling the shots and was fully supported every step of the way. But as she pushed, the radiating shoulder…
 
We are honored to have Dr. Hazel Keedle join us today all the way from Australia! Hazel is the author of Birth After Caesarean: Your Journey to a Better Birth. She has more than 25 years of experience as a clinician both in nursing and midwifery, an educator, and a published researcher. Her work remains rooted in her desire to strengthen and empowe…
 
“Trauma is anything that overwhelms your nervous system’s ability to cope.” On paper, Camden’s first birth went really well. It was an elective, scheduled C-section. There was no emergency. Her physical recovery was smooth. Yet Camden was later able to realize and admit that she was actually carrying significant emotional trauma from her birth. She…
 
In this episode we speak to Adelaide mum of two Rosalie about her two births. Rosalie underwent IVF and speaks about the unique challenges women in same sex relationships face when dealing with healthcare. Her first birth was an emergency caesarean which followed an induction for having a macrocosmic baby and being post-dates. Rosalie was very well…
 
For her first three births, doctors refused to allow Rachel to go into labor and pushed for scheduled C-sections. Rachel knew the risks involved with being plus-sized and potentially having large babies, but she just wanted someone to give her a chance. With her fourth pregnancy, Rachel knew she needed to pursue birth on her own terms. She found a …
 
When Ana found The VBAC Link podcast, it was Meagan’s VBA2C that inspired Ana to go for her own! Though VBA2C is thought to be possible only without medical interventions, Ana had a nice, gentle induction, an epidural, and only pushed for 20 minutes! Meagan and Ana discuss different VBA2C induction methods including some non-traditional ways that c…
 
“I decided to start listening to my body instead of the doctor…” In preparation for her VBAC, Zoei found a wonderful midwife and a VBAC Link-trained doula. She did her research and stayed patient as her pregnancy carried on past 41 weeks. Once labor started, she was in it for the long haul. Unfortunately, a hospital shift change brought a new, unsu…
 
We polled our social media followers asking what more you’d like to see from The VBAC Link. You asked for more stories about vaginal births after multiple Cesareans. Well, today is that day. We LOVE our VBAMC mamas! Sarah-Ann joins us from Canada to share her beautiful journey of healing and empowerment through her two Cesarean birth experiences, l…
 
“It was the most amazing moment of my life. I still get emotional just thinking about that feeling of pushing that baby out of me and being able to have that immediate skin-to-skin that I had wanted so badly and wasn’t able to have with my daughter. I had waited and waited so long to be able to have a brand new, fresh baby boy on my chest.” Kayana …
 
Today we have the honour and pleasure of chatting to Hazel Keedle once again on the podcast. Hazel is a lecturer at Western Sydney University and midwifery researcher who has primarily focused on women’s experiences of vaginal birth after caesarean and is now a lead researcher in the Birth Experience Study- the largest study on women’s experiences …
 
“It was just the most amazing experience. I have never felt so strong.” Meet Katie, the newest member of The VBAC Link team! You will be in awe after hearing about her 39-hour HBAC journey (not including a week of prodromal labor!). Find out how Katie was able to bounce back after being told she was complete, pushed for hours, then learned she was …
 
After a less-than ideal first vaginal birth Alysa wanted a different experience for next time. But she was diagnosed with placenta previa and had a C-section with her second. For her third baby, Alysa finally got the unmedicated birth of her dreams! -Induced vaginal birth -Normalizing struggling bonding with baby at first -History of placenta previ…
 
Big babies can come out of vaginas! During her first pregnancy, Lucy was told that she had a macrosomic baby. She was pressured into an induction which ultimately led to a C-section. Her baby was just over 8 pounds. Lucy later learned she was closed up with internal staples and only glue on the outside. Her incision popped open not long after surge…
 
With Veronica's first two C-sections, she pushed for hours and ended up with C-sections. Then she had a repeat C-section with her third baby. When she got pregnant with baby number four she decided to go for a VBAC. She shares her faith journey, and how she prayed for clarity in deciding what to do. Even after she decided to VBAC, her provider sche…
 
Meagan welcomes Julie back today to celebrate 200 episodes of The VBAC Link podcast! They celebrate this milestone with a special live Q&A podcast recording session joined by followers of The VBAC Link Facebook community. Topics include: how to talk to your provider, all about Spinning Babies, adhesions, managing sciatica pain, induction, nipple st…
 
“I hope I give you some hope.” All around, Lauren’s stories are different. Her birthing journey includes Asherman’s syndrome, infertility for over 10 years, two rounds of IVF treatments (each with only one viable embryo), a miscarriage, placenta accreta, and significant hemorrhaging after her first Cesarean delivery. Lauren miraculously got pregnan…
 
In this episode we chat to Shelley, a mum of two from Adelaide. Shelley reached out to us shortly after having her baby because she wanted to share the unique circumstances surrounding her first birth and VBAC. Shelley lives with Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Genital, it is classified as a type of STI, and because of the stigma this carries Shelley could …
 
Is it possible to have a VBAC 14 months after your C-section? YES! Is it possible to have a breech VBAC 14 months after your C-section? YES YES! Today, Catie joins us on the show to tell us how she did it, and how you can too! Topics covered in this episode: Cascade of interventions 14 months between csection and vbac Growth scans Scar checks Breec…
 
“Being pregnant in general is the biggest musculoskeletal change of your entire life.” Having a baby changes your life in the best ways. It also takes a huge toll on your body. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, Dr. Betty DeLass, tells us how her treatments help women resolve issues like leaking, prolapse, movement restriction, adhesions, endometrios…
 
Is it possible to have a VBA3C in the hospital?? YES! Nicholette is on the show today sharing her VBA3C hospital birth story as well as her 2VBA3C birth at home. This is a must listen! Topics covered in this show: Traumatic postpartum VBA3C in the hospital Hospital VBAC vs HBAC NICU baby “I hope I can empower whoever wants to have a VBAC to do that…
 
“Your story is 50% yours and 50% your baby’s.” After having a crash C-section under general anesthesia, Jennifer planned to have a peaceful and redemptive vaginal birth at home. Jennifer shares how she still found peace and redemption through her VBAC, even though things didn’t go exactly as planned. If for some reason, your home or birth center bi…
 
Crystalee, the creator of the Mama Ladder, is on the show today sharing her four birth stories! Crystalee said: “It took me four tries to get that natural, unmedicated birth I wanted from the start.” She compares epidural VBACs to med-free VBACs. She has a lot of insight! Topics covered in the show today: Frank breech C-section 18 Months between C-…
 
“Once I knew what it was, that helped. It’s a physiological thing. There’s nothing actually wrong with me. My experience with it was pretty extreme. Our bodies are so amazing and they serve us so well, but there are differences for everybody.” Brenda’s six births include a medicated hospital birth, a crash Cesarean, an unmedicated VBAC, an HBAC, an…
 
“Every baby, every delivery, and every birth is so different.” Rebecca’s first birth was a smooth, textbook experience. Less than 12 months later, Rebecca arrived at the hospital ready to deliver her second baby girl. However, after four hours of pushing, unmedicated manual rotation, and scary heart rate readings, Rebecca knew she needed to consent…
 
This episode is exclusively with Meagan and Julie, here to answer your burning questions! Topics include due dates, induction, membrane sweeping, diastasis recti, scar tissue, pelvis size, and head size. We also have a sad announcement to share. Thank you, VBAC Link Community, for being with us through all of our seasons of change and growth. We fe…
 
We are so happy to be joined by Lindsay on the podcast today who is sharing her birth stories and her chiropractic expertise. Lindsay is a beautiful example of how to create a healing birth experience after a traumatic one. We discuss how making empowered decisions can help you feel more in control in the birth room. Also, as the owner of her own c…
 
Show notes “Whenever I see someone that I know who has had a C-section, I’m like, ‘Did you know you don’t have to have another C-section? You can do something else!’” Mama, you have options! Carolyn shares her Cesarean and VBAC stories with us today about how she explored all the birth options available to her and made informed decisions along the …
 
Wow, do I have a couple amazing stories for you! Nichole is on the show today sharing her three C-section stories, as well as her induced VBA2C, spontaneous VBA2C born accidentally at home, and then her VBA3C born in the hospital! Nichole believes if she can VBAC then any mama can, because she has a complicated medical history. A must listen! Topic…
 
Amielia is a 21 year old Djab Wurrung woman and this week we would like to share her birth stories in celebration of NAIDOC week. Amielia only found out about the details of her indigenous ancestry when she was 12 and who her family were related to. She grew up learning about her cultural practices and a part of the disappointment in her first birt…
 
Thinking there was no way she would go into labor with her VBAC baby at 37 weeks, Emily and her husband traveled to a family wedding. It was only a four-hour drive away from her birthing place. It was just for one night. She’d be laboring for the first time. Even if labor started, she’d have plenty of time to get back home. Right? Thanks to her phy…
 
Today on the podcast we have one of Meagan’s local doula clients, Aubree. Aubree’s unexpected HBAC story is one of overcoming fears and digging deep when birth moves much faster than planned! We also discuss the risks and benefits surrounding home birth. Julie mentions criteria you can use to help you decide if HBAC is right for you. However and wh…
 
On the show today we have Brenda Stearns from the Instagram account @she_plusfive. I first discovered Brenda on Insta when a picture was circulating of her family with all her kiddos lined up in a row. She had put a caption above each kiddo based on how they were delivered. Her first was an emergency cesarean, second was a scheduled cesaerean and t…
 
“I don’t have anybody that I can use as a resource or as a reference, but I know that I am not an anomaly. I also know that I am not asking for too much. I am not asking for a vaginal birth. I’m asking for support. I’m asking you to hear me. I’m asking you to give me time. I’m asking you to let my body do the work. Let my body do the work instead o…
 
Lindsay’s first birth was a planned home birth which ultimately resulted in a hospital transfer and emergency C-section. She was left feeling unprepared, unheard, and committed to fighting for a VBAC next time. Lindsay worked for months preparing for a VBAC both physically and emotionally. Once labor started, she was coping extremely well with her …
 
Today we meet Tina a registered nurse and mum of two who lives with her husband in Melbourne. She shares her two very different birth and postpartum experiences with us. After Tina's son was born via an emergency caesarean he experienced what is called TTN (Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn). Babies with TTN have extra fluid in their lungs or the …
 
The only predictable thing about birth is its unpredictability! When Carly felt the urge to push at home, she realized that there wasn’t enough time to make it to her hospital of choice. She would have to have to fight for her VBAC at the closest hospital– the same hospital where she had her traumatic C-section. Though she wasn’t treated with the r…
 
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