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Can you have a VBAC and get induced for cholestasis? Abby's VBAC Birth Story beats the odds!

New Episode of the Vbac podcast abby's birth story: precipitous homebirth, cesarean, and induced vbac with cholestasis abbythebirthworker family photo with American flag, Jaimie Zaki headshot

Let's all take a moment to congratulate Abby Williams on her VBAC!!!!

On today's #womanlywisdomwednesday episode of @thevbacpodcast we get to hear @abbythebirthworker 's VBAC story! Abby was a doula before ever giving birth, so she went into birth with a unique perspective, and planned her first birth as a homebirth. Abby planned a homebirth for her second pregnancy as well, until she found out her baby was breech. She worked hard to find support for a breech vaginal birth, but then some more curveballs were thrown. Eventually she had a cesarean due to cholestasis. For her third pregnancy she knew she wanted an out of hospital VBAC, but her cholestasis returned, limiting her options. Abby knew this meant having a VBAC could be harder, but could still be done. Abby shares her inspirational story of how she rocked her induced VBAC with Cholestasis with us on #thevbacpodcast. Make sure you go listen today then pop back over here and let us know your favorite part of Abby's story!

Be sure to subscribe to theVBACpodcast to catch a new episode every Tuesday and Wednesday! If you're loving the podcast, leaving a review on Apple Podcasts helps me know I'm doing a good job, how I can improve, and let's other MamaBears know theVBACpodcast is worth the listen! Wanna share your VBAC story on the VBAC podcast? We'd love to chat!

Have a quick question you want Jaimie to answer on the podcast? Submit here!


Jaimie Zaki IBCLC, Doula, Host of thevbacpodcast stands in beige room holding knit breast model teaching breastfeeding class

Jaimie Zaki is an Air Force Wife, Catholic Mom of Four Little Bears, Cesarean Mom, VBAC Momma, and Homebirth Mom. Jaimie is an LPN, Doula, and IBCLC and host of theVBACpodcast! Jaimie offers virtual prenatal, birth, and postpartum consulting for birth preparation and breastfeeding help. Jaimie also teaches private birth and breastfeeding classes local to Wichita Falls, Texas.


TheVBACpodcast Episode 8 Transcript:

VBAC BIRTH STORY: Abby's homebirth, cesarean, and induced VBAC with Cholestasis


Hey mama bear was your last birth A C.

Section and you have been dreaming of a vaginal birth ever since maybe you're newly pregnant and planning a VBAC but struggling to get straight answers and support if you're dreaming of a healing positive and peaceful vaginal birth after cesarean.

You're in the right place.

Welcome to the VBAC podcast.

I'm your host Jamie Zaki and I am a licensed practical nurse,

international Board certified lactation consultant and birth doula.

I'm also a mama to four little bears and a three time VBAC mama.

My mission is to help you cultivate confidence for a positive and peaceful VBAC

This is a disclaimer that any of the information,


opinions and stories told on this podcast are with the intention of inspiring educating and informing parents.

This information is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical conditions.

If you have questions,

you must consult your provider.

Jamie's Zaki does not accept liability for any decisions that you make after listening to this podcast.

Hey mama Bears on today's womanly wisdom Wednesday.

We are going to share our first interview.

I'm so excited to have Abby on the podcast.

Who is going to share her view back story with us and we're going to go through each of her birth stories.

She has a bit of a unique approach to birth because she was a doula before giving birth.

So I am so excited to share her story with you and I hope you are able to find inspiration.

Hey everybody we are here with my friend Abby.

She is a doula and childbirth educator,

she has a business called Abby.

The birth worker,


Do you want to introduce yourself?

Tell us a little bit about your work and about yourself as a mom.


Hi Jamie,

thanks for having me.

I am a doula.

I do birth doulaing as well as postpartum doula work and I'm also a childbirth educator.

So over my course of being a doula,

I never really envision myself being a childbirth educator but I was doing so much education prenatally just sort of happened and I had a good friend kind of helped mentor me on the childbirth education side and ended up giving me her power point.

I've edited and revamped it completely sense them but it was a really good starting point because getting started is really overwhelming and with birth work you do a little bit of time.

So I did my birth doula training and then a couple years later postpartum training and then childbirth education training and it's been really fun the last couple,

I've spent six years now since I've taken my doula training.

Isn't it?

Amazing how fast it goes?

It is.

So tell us a little bit about you as a mom and your own birth experiences because you were a doula for giving birth the first time,



I was I was drawn to birth work.

I read a book about a midwife and I was like I had no experience in the birth world.

My mom had 4C sections.

My sister had three.

Yeah birth the reason my family was just like,

yeah I had a C section like my mom genuinely um does not have trauma at all.

It was just like yeah,

it was really easy,

like I didn't,

you know,

she to her,

it was easier.

Um And I was like really?

So I that was just my experience with birth world and then when I had my doula training,

I was going into it thinking like whenever I have kids,

I'm gonna get the epidural,

like why go through pain unnecessarily and if I have a C section,

like honestly I'd probably be slightly relieved.

Uh and then seriously,

just the one weekend training learning about how birth work.

I was like,


like our bodies can do incredible things and like yes,

we have C sections which obviously I'm thankful for and everyone knows like when are medically necessary can be lifesaving,

but it was just like totally changed my viewpoint.

And then the first birth I attended a couple months later,

I was just like,

oh my gosh,

like seeing a baby exit someone's body is the coolest thing ever.

I totally cried and it was just,

it was life changing.

So I was thankfully a doula for about three,

almost three years before I had my first son and I'm grateful for that experience,

but I'm also really grateful for pregnancy and birth now that I'm a doula.

So I totally,

I encourage young women who do want to be doulas who don't have Children and I think they can't like,


it's not impossible,

but you will most likely get less clients is just in my experience,

I didn't get a lot of times because I didn't have kids,

which I,

that was totally valid.

And looking back now,

it's like I get it.


I'm thankful to those clients who hired me when I didn't have kids or any experience at all.


that's amazing.

I think it definitely helped you walk into birth with such a different perspective.

And I always,

I mean I'll be honest,

I have biases and opinions about doulas who don't have Children,

but I do think that there's a space for doulas who are not mothers.

It's just like I've had so many clients ask me like,

well you have had kids,


And I'm like,

oh honey.




And so I totally understand from a parent's perspective why that can be kind of,

you know,

important to them.

But I think I definitely think I'm always amazed by women who are doulas before giving birth because I feel like a lot of us come into birth work almost as a reaction to trauma or a reaction to like I should have had better support and I didn't.

So I find it amazing when women like you go into birth work in this,

like from this place of I just want to serve like isn't a trauma response like that.

I just I find that to be amazing.

It's true and I hear a lot of birth stories like not birth doula stories.

Yeah I had this terrible birth,

I had this so I had that and it makes me really sad just you know going in not having seen birth before and that's so common in our country.

So we never have been to a birth,

not really talk about it or like you could be like me like I had seen birth before but as a nurse and it was super medicalized.

Like the first one I saw was an induction with an epidural like and the second one was a C.



it was a very matter of fact and sickening C section in my opinion.

Just the way the staff treated the mom as if it wasn't even like her birth,

like like it still needs to be treated as sacred in my opinion.

But um so tell us a little bit about your first birth and then since this is the VBAC podcast,

the reason we have you here is to also tell us about your C.

Section and then your VBAC.

So just kind of started at the beginning with your first birth and tell us the story.


so I think yes I was pregnant when I met my midwife who ended up caring for me during my first birth.

But way before I was even pregnant I had told my husband like okay um I'm sorry,

I'm just gonna backtrack a little bit.

I before I knew anything about birth said C section,

you know epidural great,

I do have rods in my back.

So I had scoliosis as a teenager,

I have rods put in my back and so upon further research into epidurals,

I found out that there's a high likelihood that I wouldn't be able to get one or that it would have a higher chance of not working because of the rods in my back.

So that spurred me to look into you know,

what can I do to have a more natural birth.

And because all the birth with my clients up until that point,

most of them had been epidurals,

I think one had been,

it was a car birth.

So she didn't want the epidural anyway.

But anyway,

so I was doing more research and I was like okay if I'm truly going to go,

you know,

quote unquote natural without any medication,

homework is the best option because you're not tempted,

you'd have to get in the car to drive to get an epidural and that's just a whole another decision process and it's quite a bit of effort as opposed to being like okay,

I tap out and call the sec all just down the hall.

I feel like that would have been a lot easier to get the epidural at that point.

So I was you know,

and I wanted to labor in water and with my medical history and my experience in the birth world,

even though I had been minimal at that point,

I was like okay if I had any sort of medical issue going on and I have several joint issues and I had my hips replaced at that point.

Um I did not want them to treat me differently and I didn't want them to set me up for potential interventions that weren't necessary just because of my medical history and I didn't know if they were going to do that.

Um So I just was like okay we're gonna go the safest route.

So I was looking into home birth midwifery and I didn't have a lot of resources at that point on who to contact.

I was out of range in New Jersey,


I don't know there were maybe like five in the entire state.

And so when I was looking up midwives,

I didn't know who to contact.

And I called the first one who came up on google and so I met with her And it wasn't a love at first sight relationship but I didn't have like this like instant connection and so I ended up going to a birth work,

meet and greet and there were a couple of kind of things that I wasn't comfortable with with the other midwife and so I ended up meeting another midwife when I was about 15 weeks.

And we had like that instant connection and I was like okay this is gonna be really awkward.

But I need to switch midwives like I tell people all the time to switch oh bs and switch lives if it's not the right fit.

And even though it's a home birth midwife,

I assumed that everyone would if you're choosing home birth that you get along with every home birth midwife.

But so I met this midwife instant connection.

I ended up making the switch around 20 weeks,

which was awkward and terrible.

But also the totally right call.

Looking back into how my birth unfolded.

If I had chosen that other midwife,

I would have ended up breathing alone.

It was just like and it was just yeah it was the right call.

So I chose a different midwife and she was based out of Philly and I was in New Jersey but it was about a 20 minute drive for her.

So that's common for Philly midwives to uh catch babies in New Jersey as well.

So I had a great pregnancy,

I did have some pretty mild gestational diabetes like the second I changed my diet and added more protein,

my numbers were great.

But any time I didn't have enough protein or my fasting I went too long without eating during the night than my numbers were too high.

So it was it was pretty mild.

I met with M.



And they were like,


your numbers are great.

Just keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine.

And then I was surprised at the last ultrasound was like,

maybe 35 weeks.

I was shocked that they weren't like,

you're gonna have a big baby,

you should go to the hospital.


no one here mongers me.

No one said anything insane because I was ready.

I like,

I was ready to fight.

Whoever told me I was going to have a baby to have an ultrasound at 35 weeks.


can you say that again?

What made you decide to have an ultrasound at 35 weeks?

Um It was just like a it was the M.




and they were like,

we just want to check and make sure.

I know,

and it's like one of those things I knew were just gonna check on baby size,

and I was like,

I at this point,


even if they told me baby is gonna be £15 I'm gonna try to have this baby at home anyway,

so I was like,

mine as well.

I've also kind of changed my perspective on ultrasound since then.

So I obviously try to,

I don't know,

I try to limit them as much as I can.

So back then,

I was kind of like,

it will be fun to see the baby.


I think with your first pregnancy to like,

you're just so excited and it's so cool like I mean how cool is it that we can see the baby?

Like like it was really cool.

So I totally I was just curious if there was a reason like if there was a red flag you got an ultrasound or.


Yeah I just in my midwife she was like it's really you know it's up to you if you want to get it but I m f.


Is going to suggest it and there is also that aspect where they had a little bit of control and if they all of a sudden said no I'm not safer or suitable for home birth then I was worried that my midwife wouldn't be able to attend two.

So I was kind of like just going to go with the flow.

And so there was that aspect as well.

So then at 39 weeks and one day my water broke.

I had been super cranky all day,

I couldn't sleep and it was one a.m. And I hadn't slept at all that night.

I was tossing and turning and finally my water broke and I was like I knew immediately like I just I didn't feel pop it was it was a very slow trickle but I knew the instant that it happened and I was so excited so I called uh Doula I called the midwife.

I woke up my husband this was after about an hour after my water had broken just to make sure that my water had broken and I didn't have any contractions,

so I was just like all right,

it's gonna be one of those,

I'm gonna,

it was july 3rd and I was super excited because I was like okay,

you know my contractions haven't started,

but my water broke,

so I bet contractions will be started by tomorrow and I'll have a july 4th baby.

I think that's like,

I was super excited about that um almost an hour on the dot.

It was a little over an hour after my water broke.

I had like a period cramp and then I started noticing the cramps in my back and I was like oh no,

I'm gonna have back labor.

And I was kind of like wigging out a little bit,

but I I was reading psalm 1 39 just,

that's one of my favorite songs like the song for pregnancy,

where it's you know,

I formed you and your mother's womb,

and so I read that and that kind of helped calm me down and I was just so excited to experience labor because I had been diverse at this point and I was just like,

I love that now is my time to it.


I was like,

I was so excited and then I had my first contraction,

I was like alright that was doable,

And it was just like what I knew,

it was like early labor,

it was like a 32nd-long contraction.

I was like I can do this,

this isn't like that bad an hour later.

I was like all right,

these are pretty intense but you know still doable.

So this is two hours after my water broke an hour after contractions started another hour passes,

it's like still doable.

You know my husband's up and where I was like frantically cleaning because like of course your house has to be spotless when you have a home birth,

the midwife totally cares.

It's just like so I was I was like vacuuming and um then the contractions are picking up even more at this point there are five minutes apart and I was like oh that's kind of interesting like you know they just started its then two hours and they're five minutes apart and I'm breathing pretty happily through them.

So at this point so 123 in the morning we called the midwife again so it's just a second time and just kind of let her know like hey things are kind of intense and she wasn't dismissive at all.

She was just like okay you know like keep doing what you're doing and call me again if things are ramping up but I'll start gathering my things because if you're hearing a first time mom who's had contractions for two hours like I'm sorry,

I you'd be like all right honey sit down,

you're fine.

It's probably just gonna fizzle out in a couple hours anyway and that's what I was thinking too.

So I was really like you know not doing super crazy comfort measures like I don't wanna you know?

And I didn't really need them at that point.

I was breathing through them.

So then it was around five in the morning and I was like starting to vocalize pretty like my husband calls it bowing like a couch and literally and this happened with my back,

I like bellow like a cow and he was like okay that's you know I feel like these are getting really intense and I was like no no it's fine.

Um You know it's supposed to be like this because I was expecting this to last like all day.

Um So I'm kind of just standing up doing hands and knees,

he's doing hip squeezes and we're going along and it's great.

But I just I didn't think that birth was going to happen quickly so then I was like alright I'm gonna get in the tub,

it's too early.

But if it slows down my contractions,

like my midwife will kick me out when she gets here.

So then it's like 5:30 and I am in the tub on my side and I'm grunting.

Uh and the midwife's on the phone because my husband kind of freaked out and called her and she was like is she pushing?

And I was like no I'm not and I was like literally pushing while I'm saying no and she was like oh my gosh she's like I'll be there really soon.

So she got there at six I believe or a little before six and he was born like 15 minutes later,

Oh my goodness,

so it was pretty quick start to finish about five hours but about four hours of contractions and I thought that was pretty crazy,

I actually felt a little freaked out by it.

It was not as it was not I would not call it an empowering birth,

I was actually kind of scared by how fast it was.

Yeah and I'm really thankful I had of course the people who weren't involved with birth and were like oh you're so lucky you know all these things and I just kind of was like yeah okay whatever,

but my midwife was the one if she was like no like you're allowed to say that your perfect home birth was a little scary,

like it's okay to say that so that was helpful that she validated that because I felt silly telling people that it was a little little scary uh and so gearing up for my second,

we say midwife,

same plan,

home birth and everything was going great and everything was fine until 27 weeks we noticed he was breached just typical you know pal pal painting at the appointment,

she was like don't worry about it,

you know,

don't she knows that like yeah,

not a big deal,

he was breached like the entire time.

So I of course,

you know everything that you can possibly google and do,

I did it and I had people that were like telling me all these things,

are you seeing a chiropractor?

I was like,

I swear to jesus if somewhere another person recommends a chiropractor,

like I'm going to punch them in the face.

Of course you're seeing a chiropractor of your baby's bridge,

I've seen a chiropractor,

my entire pregnancy and like my entire postpartum after my first anyway,

so I was like yes,

I'm seeing a chiropractor um and he was just breached and I was like okay,


so we tried to find a breach doctor,

we ended up traveling like a couple hours away and found someone who would do it and then at 38 weeks he was like,

I just want to check,

you know what kind of breach he's in,

and he's like,

oh well he's foot link breach,

so I don't do that kind of breach,

I just do frank breech,

I was like are you serious?

So we packed up,

we went home and I was just like alright I'm done,

like I can't supposedly have a breach home birth in New Jersey,

it's illegal um and it was just not working out to find someone who would catch him badly,

I wasn't feeling confident enough to have a free birth at home with breach.


especially feeling like,

you know,

I'm totally an advocate for breech birth,

but there's,

you know,

there's still a level of like was somebody supportive who knows what they're doing to be there just in case.


And it was with the precipitous first birth,

you know,

I was a little bit more nervous of having an even faster birth.

So I was just like,

alright fine,

you know what,

I'm stupid scheduled c section at 39 weeks.

Like I hate this,

this is really just annoying me,

but at this point we,

we exhausted so many different options and there just aren't a lot of resources for breech vaginal birth in New Jersey,

let alone anywhere.

So uh anyways,


we get home after,

we had gotten like an Airbnb in pennsylvania with this doctor and we're packed up,

we're home and I had been super itchy the whole last trimester and it was something I had brought up on several prenatal visits.

Like I'm really itchy and I was like,

oh you can take a Benadryl and you know,

you can take an oatmeal bath and I was like,


you know,

is your water intake?

Oh that was something I had really dark urine and they were like,

shut up your water intake.

And I was like,

I'm doing pretty good with water okay,

you know,

I lump it and you know,

they weren't dismissive,

but it just wasn't like a investigated further was just like,


you know,


sometimes you can be itchy during pregnancy.

So the past couple of weeks leading up to my son's birth.

Like we had been exhausting all these breech birth options.

And so when I was itchy,

it was just kind of like,

maybe it's from stress because I'm really stressed and I was like,

I don't know what's going on.

So I didn't look into it further.


the night we got home um from pennsylvania,

I was just like googling because I couldn't sleep that night and I was like,

I think I have this Cholestasis thing that keeps coming up on google and I know not to trust google.

I tell my clients like don't google things,

text me first,

but I was just like,

I don't know,

I have this weird feeling like that I have this thing and I didn't have any of the markers for it.

I didn't um you know,

your high risk,

if you have twins,

you're high risk if you're older or if you're indian and like all these things and I was like,


I don't know,

I don't have any of these markers,

but I was just so angry about scheduling the C section and I was so angry about being home and being itchy and not sleeping.

I woke up,

my husband at like two in the morning.

I was like,


we're just gonna go to labor and delivery and we're gonna get this blood test done and they're going to tell me if I have cholestasis or not.

So we went in,

it was January,

1st two in the morning,

New Year's,

no one was there and normally it takes a couple of days to get your bile acids back from blood work,

but there was no one there,

but the lab was still working so I got the test back and your levels are supposed to stay under 10 and my levels were 87 they were like,

yeah you do have cholestasis.

And I was like,

thank you because the midwife when I came in and said that she was like,

oh my gosh!

She kind of like half rolled her eyes and was like whatever,

no one gets cold and you know you're just paranoid and I was like and then she came in and told me that and she was like,

I knew you had Kolia stasis,

I had scratch marks all over me.

Um And so at this point when we were waiting for the blood test because there was several hours after they took it,

I was like this is stupid.

I packed up,

I took my gown off,

I like got into my clothes and was sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for them to come back because I was like again in a really bad mood.

Um my husband's like you know he's being really sweet,

and um you just kind of sitting there,

and anyways,

the midwife comes back and she like sits on the edge of the bed,

and I was like,

oh I think this is good news,

and she was like,

you do have cholestasis,

and I like burst into tears because I was so happy that not only had I googled something,

it was correct,

but the fact that I like,

went in and was,

you know,

said please give me this test,

and they had told me,

they're like,

you know,

they didn't want to give me the blood test,

it's a blood test.


all you have to do is draw my blood,

like that's that's all you have to do your anyways,

so I was so so happy that I got a diagnosis uh that I could have this baby.


I was upset on the one hand that I would they wouldn't induce normally if he had been head down,

they would have wheeled me up and induced me because cholestasis isn't uh total freak out emergency if he's doing well,

But it is one of those things where they can be a little safer on the outside if they come a little earlier.

So a lot of times it's common to reduce around 37 weeks,

the research is changing.

So now there's sometimes depending on your levels,

pushing it all the way to 39 weeks,

but I was 38 and four days at that point and they were like,


we can take you up,

we want you to have this baby today.

And so I ended up having a B a C section a couple hours later.

It was not honestly a traumatizing experience for me.

I'm very thankful that not only had I been a part of C sections,

but my mom was flying out and she had experience with c sections and I was just like,

I wasn't scared of it,

I just didn't want to do it.

And I felt like I wanted a little bit more control with my second birth because I felt so out of control with my first and I was a little bummed,

I didn't get like that birth experience that I wanted,

but it really was still a magical moment when I heard him crying and it was really cool to meet him.

And so it really wasn't,

I'm thankful that I did not have a traumatic C section.

A lot of women have traumatic C sections and having to recover from a traumatic C section and then recovering from a C section itself.

I know it's just a whole nother level of intensity.


I'm thankful for that recovery was rough.

You know,

I've I've had a lot of surgeries,

like I mentioned before,

I had the rods in my back,

I've had hips replaced,

I've had other hip surgery.

So I'm familiar with surgery,

but taking care of a newborn and recovering from surgery is so different than challenging and breastfeeding is always I struggled with breastfeeding.

But um yeah,

so I we were happy with two,

we wanted two kids and I just was like,

you know,

if it happens,

it happens and we ended up moving to Wisconsin to be closer to family and it was a much more better work life balance for my husband,

this new job and I was having success in the dual world and teaching and we were just really happy and we're like,

why don't we talk about having a third?

And we're like,


so we're like,

all right,

we'll start talking about it in the next couple of months and then like my period never came and I was like,


so at least we were like open to it because he was coming anyways.

Um My third boy,

I didn't want to find out the sex of the baby and I was like,

you know what,

I'm just we're gonna find out because I want to know if it's a girl or not and we are very blessed with three boys.

They're they're a hoot.

But my I'm trying to think they were a little over two years apart.

So by the time I due date with my second,

he was due in March.

Um And my second baby had just turned two.

I know some of them worry about the gap in between and I would have attempted be back even if they had been closer.

But I know some some people get really nervous about that.

So the whole pregnancy,

I was just planning VBAC. A repeat C.


elective C section was never an option for me unless,

you know,


the elective C section wasn't an option,

it was medically necessary.

I was obviously open to the idea,

but I did not want that and I was like,

I really,

really want this VBAC.

We prayed about it a lot.

My husband prayed about it a lot.

You know,

we were just like,


if this is meant to be,

you know,

if if this is something that can happen,


please God let it happen.

Just I I just I think my work in the birth world,

I'm just so drawn to birth and I know women who aren't involved in the birth world still want backs,

but it was just something a part of me that I really wanted.

Um and I wanted it ever since my second son was born.

If if we had if we were going to have a third.

So I did,

you know,

the chiropractic care?

I did a handful of massages throughout pregnancy.

I don't I don't think I did a ton of prep necessarily because of my experience in the birthday.

So I feel like I knew I had a C section,

I wasn't recovering from,


I got induced,


I got,

you know,

this intervention and this intervention and the cascade of interventions led to my the C.


So I didn't have to kind of process through that.

I didn't have to process through a doctor telling me,

well this is too small.

You're going to see second life.

Um I had one prior vaginal,

so I was really lucky on that front that I didn't have to go through that extra level of processing during my pregnancy.

But I just knew like I was gonna have a back.

Um and so I was planning to birth at a birth center.

It's about four minutes away from our house and the midwives are,

it's amazing.

It's a beautiful bird center.

The midwives rock.

And they also do home birth as well.

But I was like,


I don't feel like doing cleanup and they have a big tub was like,

it's so close,

we'll just we'll pop over there was keeping a close eye on Kohli stasis.

I did work with an herbalist before I was pregnant and started a lot of supplements like on it.

I would not call it liver detox because that's not what it was.

It was helping like liver function.

I was taking dandelion root and she made her own blend and she's a certified herbalist.

She's incredible.


What an amazing resource to have.


she's absolutely incredible.

So I was very lucky to have that resource and she's actually only an hour away.

So she made my own capsules that were specific to my needs and that I was taking 1000 other supplements.

So I did not have any itching until like 32 weeks got my levels tested and they were fine.

They were within range and then itching started the dark urine started the pale stool started and I was like jeez so I got tested again and my levels had like tripled and they were still within the mild range but within like two weeks they had tripled.

And so I was just kind of at this point getting a little more anxious.

Um I was very careful to watch his movement because you do have a slightly higher risk of stillbirth with cholestasis.

So I the midwives here we're very open to talking to me about at 37 weeks on the dot starting a basically a home birth induction.

So they do have fully bulbs.

They have they called an oxytocin routine.

So you know pumping and then a bunch of herbs and herbs and so they have their own little induction there like and it works about 50% of the time.

We only had to do it a handful of times but it works about 50% of the time because it's it's not as strong as Pitocin.

So I was totally on board with that but then my numbers were slowly rising the last um I can't even remember what my last number was.

It was never as severe as it was with my second.

But I met with an M.



Doctor to kind of lay a ground plan for if I did need to be induced.

The plan of the birth center was if it doesn't work,

if their induction doesn't work after they say 12 hours,

like if contractions aren't rolling at that point then they send me home,

they give me melatonin,

I sleep for the night and then the next morning I go for a medical induction class and that was the plan the hospital here that's five minutes away is they don't do be back and it's silly.

So I have to drive an hour and a half to the hospital and that was the plan.

I was like alright fine.

So we drove an hour and a half to the M.



Doctor and I I asked for a cervical check at this 50.36 32 days and I asked for a cervical check just to kind of see where I'm at.

I know that whatever your cervix is doing in that moment isn't indicative of when labor is gonna start but when you're planning a possible induction it's good information to have.

Yeah and I felt a ton of pressure and I have been doing evening primrose oil and every time I did that like I felt a lot of twinges in my cervix and I was like I swear I'm dilating and I was three centimeters so I was like,


And of course I did like red raspberry leaf tea and dates and like all that fun stuff because I am,

I am a big believer in that.

So I say I didn't do a lot of prep,

but that was just kind of like a natural part of my pregnancy.

I did.

And I asked him,

I was like,

I'm his movement,

I've been tracking really carefully,

but I feel like it's been on the slower side.

I'm just getting really anxious.

Like the,

the itching is keeping me up at night,

but also just me worrying that I'm gonna wake up and he's not moving is keeping me more awake at night knowing now that I have cholestasis,

I'm getting more and more anxious every day.

And he was like,

well if you're open to induction today we can do that.

He's like,

you're three centimeters.

He's like,

your can't remember,

it's like 70% of faced and he was like,

you're a great candidate for a VBAC induction.

He was like,

we do VBAC induction all the time.

Um he was,

he actually apologized that I had a C section for breech.

He's like,

that is such a stupid reason for women to have C section n


00:33:09,440 --> 00:33:09,830


he was awesome.

He was like so laid back and so he sent me off to labor and delivery and it was a really great experience.

Honestly it was it was a great experience.

The nurses were really supportive.

No one ever questioned me having a VBAC,

they were just like okay that's the plan.

And they were like what's and I gave him my birth plan.

My birth plan was not against epidurals uh Knowing that I was able to have a successful spinal with my son with the c.


I knew that I would most likely be able to have an epidural.

So before I didn't know if I would be able to get one,

but then I had a successful spinal and so I knew like okay I probably could get an epidural if I wanted one,

knowing what I know about inductions.

It's a lot harder to go without the epidural,

like Pitocin can be pretty nasty and pretty rough.

So I was pretty nervous about the Pitocin side and they hooked up the courtesy and the fluids and all that in about an hour and a half past.

And with all my clients have been induced.

It's the hour and a half mark that they start to feel the contractions that are two minutes apart and they start to work through them and an hour and a half past and two hours passed and three hours passed and I wasn't feeling any crazy contractions,

I could tell that I was contracting but it felt like what I had been feeling for the last month and a half where it was more kind of Braxton hicks.

E I could feel it in my cervix like I could feel my cervix kind of tightening during a contraction.

It was yeah but it wasn't horrific like I didn't call my doula because I was like I don't need you here yet you know I'll call you when things get really intense.

So I was able to take a couple naps throughout the night because they didn't get the pit started till like 4:30 p.


And it was pretty chill like I kept eating and drinking like you're not supposed to and I just kind of like chill like yeah my air quotes for everyone and they were like oh yeah well you know the drill?

You're a doula you know you're not supposed to eat and drink.

I was like yeah I know you're not supposed to and then my husband ordered a meal because he could order a meal and I ate the whole thing so I was like I know you're not supposed to but you should anyway let's move on.

Yes when I said suppose I was being sarcastic but I guess this is no one can see my face so the Pitocin they start like continuing to crank it up at this point like I'd seen two different doctors and but the same nurse and so that was something to that if I I wasn't expecting that would be a little shocked by but it was just every single time a doctor came and checked on me it was a different doctor which was a little annoying but I didn't care it.

But if that's something to to just keep in mind that if you are birthing in the hospital too,

if you want one specific doctor the chance of that happening is pretty low.

So I kept seeing different doctors.

They all had different plans of attack for this induction and I was just like I ignored all of them was like we're just gonna do pit and keep my waters intact until he's in a better position.

That's the other thing I had just taken the week before a fetal positioning webinar with Brittany McCullum and she had talked about like okay you know when babies are O.


And O.


And blah blah blah and that always confused me.

But taking her webinar really helped kind of like explain it a little bit better.

So my son,

his spine was facing my right hip.

So I knew that he needed to rotate so that his spine was along my belly button for in order for him to have the easiest way out of my pelvis at this point my waters were still intact.

They kept asking me if I wanted to break my water and I said no I was like I'm just waiting for him to get in a better position.

So we did a couple of things crazy but a couple of positions to help him turn and once he did I got his spine on my belly button,

so he was away.

Uh he was pretty low in my pelvis.

Then I said okay you can break my water at this point.

Like I was not needing comfort measures through my contractions,

it was pretty doable.

The first contraction after they broke my water,

I was like this was a mistake,

I should not have had them break my water,

But it was an induction,

it had been 12 hours since they had started pit and things were like fine,

I was five centimeters and I was like okay I've progressed two centimeters in 12 hours,

like that's early labor,

so that's not freaking me out.

But it is an induction.

So we are trying to get things kind of moving around moving in the right direction.

So I was okay at that point,

once he was in a good position,

I was okay with him breaking my water well and I think it's important for people to understand to people who might not be as medically inclined or experienced with this conversation,

like the time clock starts once your water is broken,

so pushing that off as long as you can is really important.

But also like understanding there's a balance because being on Pitocin too long and increasing um Pitocin too much also increases other risks.

So like you have to kind of find this balance between letting your body really kick in naturally and managing labor naturally while still trying to manage it medically and not like going too much in one direction.


Yeah and there is a fine balance with that and I am very thankful for my experience with inductions before to kind of give me an idea of how things might go obviously different and every baby is different.

But my biggest thing with artificially breaking the water because I hate that that's such a casual intervention proposed.

It's like let's just on board let's break your water,

that's how it usually comes off like let's let's do something and um so I knew it wasn't that but the biggest thing with breaking the water is babies.

Their position is usually not noted like where their head is like what station they're at um especially where their spine is facing because that makes a huge difference on them rotating your pelvis and if that cushion is gone it can take a lot longer to get them rotated into the right position.

So like I said he was in a good head down position.

He was like you know straight as a rocket and they broke my water and then my contractions got super intense and after the first couple of contractions my husband was doing hip squeeze,

every single one.

Um They got the birth tub ready.

They even had wireless monitoring always ask if they wireless monitoring because they're not going to offer it,

you have to ask.

And they were like,

yeah let me get that set up and it was getting pretty pretty intense.

So I was vocalizing a lot more and my husband was doing hip squeezes every single contraction.

And then after about an hour and a half in the tub,

the tub wasn't cutting it anymore,

I was doing hands and knees in the tub.

And it just,

that was another thing that really I felt like God played over my labor.

That was the last labor and delivery room,

which is why I was kind of shocked that they signed me up for an induction because it was the only room left and like if someone walked in here in labor they would have put them in triage.

So it was the last room left and it was the only tub room and yeah it was pretty fantastic.

So I was in the tub and then I got out,

I am the nurse,

I was like,


I don't want the epidural but I also really do um if I get it right now,

could would you think it would wear off in time before I was pushing?

I just I just like this is really intense like my hurt so bad during the contractions and I'm like talking after every single contraction and then I would change my mind by the,

by the time like my break had worn off and I was like,





no it's not.

And then the contraction would start and I'd be like no,

I changed my mind.

I want the epidural.

So during every single contraction I was like I want the epidural and the nurse would be like okay,

like you know,

they were kind of listening to me but also knew that I ultimately,

if I could do without that was my preference.

So they were like,


you know,

we can go,

you're already hooked up the fluids,

we can go call the anesthesiologist.

And I was like,


well I want to get checked first and if I haven't made any progress at all,

then I want the epidural.

That was just something that I made up in my mind.

And they were like okay,

you're seven.

And I was like okay,

I've made progress but I still want the epidural and they were like,

all right,

my husband's like babe,

you know,

you're doing a really good job.

You know,

it's just something that you really want to do is like yes.

And he's like okay fine.

So at this point my doula had come,

she was being doula and photographer and she was like abby,

I think that you're getting pretty close like you're throwing up,

you're vocalizing really loudly during these contractions and you're feeling like you can't do it anymore,

you know what that means?

And I was like I don't care.

And I started like turning into this monster and so during,

at the height of every contraction,

like I would start off with like a low moan,

which is what I teach in my classes,

like doing low moans and then it would turn into a full out like bellow and I won't do it for you guys.

But I was getting really loud and my husband knew that's exactly what I sounded like before our first son was born.

So he just was like,

they like you're almost done,

like you're getting pretty close.

And I was like I'm only a seven and I'm like grunting at this point and they're like,

are you pushing?

And I was like,


same thing,

I'm not pushing,

you know?

So third time mom's second vaginal birth,

they still,

even though I'm grunting,

the fetal ejection reflex is starting to take over,

like we need to check you to make sure your 10.

And they were like,

oh you're only 9.5 you can't push.

And so I said don't tell me that not being pushed or something like that.

I was like embarrassed after,

I was like I'm sorry that I said that,

but I was like don't be embarrassed.

Oh man,

the doctor was like so quiet.

So I was seven and then all of a sudden I'm pushing Um they had put the peanut ball between my legs,

it was like not even 10 minutes.

So then I hear them scrambling because they didn't think I was going to have the baby that soon and I hear them yell out in the hallway,

we need a doctor.

So this like really young resident comes in and he's the one who told me I couldn't push yet And then he seriously was born two pushes later and I was laying on my side,

I didn't,

I ended up rolling to my back with the last push and he came flying out.

Like I did not feel the ring of fire that came out,

it was crazy.

So he came flying out and he was put on my chest and it was just like so cool.

I was like this is this is what I wanted,

I wanted this baby on my chest immediately.

Um even though giving birth vaginally,

uh you know if your epidurals worn off or you don't have an epidural at all,

you feel pretty raw and tender immediately,

at least I did.

But even then I was like this was awesome.

Like I am so excited that I just had this baby vaginally and I seriously like my husband,

I was like,

I want to do this again.

Like that was so cool,

It was awesome and I was super excited and then at 60 seconds you're like,

oh the cords done pulsing and I reached down and felt it,

I was like no it's not and I was like let's just wait a couple more minutes,

and they were like,


so they were pretty laid back overall.


it was just,

it was really great.

The postpartum experience has been a lot better.

I definitely struggled with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety with my first two and I was super prepared to combat that if needed.

So I met with a therapist beforehand.

So I had someone that I kind of had a relationship with beforehand if I need to call her,

I ended up encapsulating my placenta this time around,

but I had a lot more support with my mom.

My husband actually had paternity leave and it was just,

it was a totally different postpartum experience.

I'm almost four months out and I'm not feeling um like I did the first two times.

So this was,


it was totally different.

I obviously wanted a birth center births.

I had a great relationship with my midwives that would have caught the baby,

but this was the best case scenario for an induction VBAC.

My favorite thing about your story is I talk a lot about three pillars of confidence and that's womanly wisdom,

self advocacy and surrender.

And you hit all of those because you listen to your intuition,

especially with your C section,

like you listen to your intuition to go and like something's not right.

I know something's not right,

we're going to go to the hospital and you advocated for yourself to get this test.

They didn't think you needed.

And so how did you kind of surrender to the fact that you were going to have to have a C section that you really didn't want.


I felt like we truly exhausted all options to pursue a vaginal breech birth and he wasn't turning.

So I,


I didn't even mention I had an external version and that didn't work.


So we did that at 36 weeks with my second,

that that didn't work.


but yeah,

so it's just,

I kind of surrender to the fact that he's not turning for whatever reason,

like this is how he's going to be.

And I didn't want to have a surgical birth mainly because I've just had so many surgeries and I was like,

I don't want this sacred moment to be in an O.


Even though you can truly make birth sacred no matter where it is.


even if it isn't an O.


I just thought like,

I just don't want to try to do that.

And I knew that recovery was going to be different.

So I,


that was another reason I didn't want to pursue that,

but I just,

I don't know,

I felt like at this moment he,

I felt like he needed to come out sooner than later.


And I think that's so important when you can just,


listen to that messaging and listening.


basically you look around at what's happening and you're like,


God's trying to tell me something.

So I just need to abide by it.

And it's not like it's not always what you want,

but I always tell moms like you have to control what you can and release the rest.

Sometimes there are things that you cannot control and when you kind of find that balance,

I think just brings a lot more peace to the experience,

even if it is disappointing.


and and that's exactly how it was.

It's like,


we're in New Jersey.

They have silly laws about birth and home birth and they like to control everything.

Um and it's,

it's interesting like if I had been in Wisconsin where we are now,

like I could have attempted a vaginal breech birth,

like they would have wheeled me up for an induction.

So it's just interesting to me that depending on where you live,

you can have a different birth outcome,

but that goes for different hospitals.

Like there's one hospital down the street that has a 50% episiotomy,


Like you're gonna choose,

Oh no,



not here.

I was saying like you would choose different,


I was like,

oh my God,

that would be awful.

But no,

just that you do have a choice where you birth and where you are geographically can make a difference,

but there are some cases where you don't have an option and you get what you get.

So that's I don't know if that answered the question well,

but I did have a peace about it in a way or just like,

well you know this is how he wants to be born.

And I do,

I do think that having him breached the whole last trimester really did make me earlier come to peace with the possibility it would be a shock at the last minute.


I was like didn't want one the whole last trimester,

which is why we tried so hard to flip them and I was just like,


there's a higher possibility I'll have a C section because she's breech and because we live in New Jersey,

but so that I think did help as well.

So with your VBAC,

you're like in a new state,

you have all these new options.

Like I love your backstory because everybody who's listening like what's the big thing you got induced?

Everyone says you can't get induced as of back and you did and it was safe and you still did it without an epidural,

like you still had so much control and I know like you have had a previous unmedicated birth,

you have experience with birth,

like you had a quote proven pelvis,

none of that actually matters.

Like the fact of the matter is you had the mindset stuff in place and I know you said you didn't do like a whole lot of preparation for your VBAC,

what do you feel like,

oh gosh,

how do I put this?

Because I always hear mom's asking me like what do I need to do to prepare for VBAC?

And my response is kind of the same,

like you don't have to do anything to prepare for a VBAC.

Like you just have to be informed and ready to advocate for yourself.

And I don't I don't look at VABC as being so different from any other vaginal birth,

but after your experiences as a doula and a vbac mom,

what advice do you have for other moms dreaming of a VBAC to kind of help them prepare?

Like what is your big tip to like help them get the birth they're dreaming of.


My biggest advice if you're thinking about a VBAC is to find out like get to the root of why you have a C section was time constraint um you know,

failure to progress.

Like diving into why maybe your body wasn't dilating.

Where were there a ton of strangers in the room?

You know,

was your partner not supportive?

You know,

was your mother in law there?

Like find out maybe your body stopped dilating and sometimes your body just needs time.

Like were you not given that time?

Were you also like diving into that with somebody other than the doctor who managed your labor is really important because so often moms come to me and they're like well my doctor said this,

my doctor said this and that and this and that and this and not that I want to tell people don't trust your doctor,

your doctor stupid and doesn't know anything.

But like the fact of the matter is doctors will label something a certain way.

That's just how it is in their mind.

Not all doctors that some doctors,

they'll just label it a certain way.

That's how it is in their mind.

As far as they're concerned,

it didn't work out the way they wanted,

they controlled it the way they saw fit and it was your body that was broken and not them,

that was the problem and they don't have the capacity to acknowledge that.

And sometimes that's their own protective mechanisms so that they can keep doing this work.

Um and I like to kind of acknowledge that like we're all human,

they're human too,

this is their own coping mechanism.

But that doesn't excuse it anyway.

I just think it's really important to dive into those reasons with somebody other than that specific provider.

What what are your thoughts on that?


I think you know,

if hiring a doula isn't in your,

you know financial option or there isn't one in your area that works for you.

Um a lot of doulas do you know video chats and like I've done that with someone where we she um it was just she lived in Virginia and we facetime for two hours and she processed her birth and I wasn't giving her advice,

she just was telling me the birth story and asking me like I was this normal and be like,

you know,

first off I wasn't there.

So that's like my disclaimer,


you know,

of course I wasn't their first hand.

But yeah,

maybe this could have gone differently if you know this happened or this happened and that for her was what she needed to hear was like,


I'm not doomed my next because something happened like it really truly in a lot of cases is based on where you are your provider.

And even like,

the nurses,

they have a lot of power and the nurses,

I felt like in my back were so helpful.

Um at one point a doctor had come in and she was like,

let's crank up the pit to 20 and the nurse looked at her and was like,

well she's trying for a VBAC,


We kind of like,

limit the pit.

And she's like,

it doesn't matter.

And so that that's like so funny.

It's like the total opposite of these doctors who are like,

we can't even do a pit.


but it was so funny because the nurse like looked at me,

she's like,

I'm not gonna crank up your pit.

So she didn't and so I would say like,

processing maybe why you had to be back and sometimes you really don't know um and do alors,

you know,

we've seen a lot of crap in the hospital.

And so if a first time mom has had her baby,

she had a C section and she tells me straight up that she was induced at 41 weeks,

I'm gonna automatically be like,


that's why you had your C section,

but there's and that can be a little too uh it can be a little too jaded for people.

So I don't obviously say that,

but there's a lot of reasons why inductions,

even post term do lead to C sections.

And so I do think processing why you had a C section and you can do everything right and still end up with a C section.


I think it's important for moms to just understand that even though so much could have gone different and like,

maybe you could have advocated for yourself better or something.


I know that's what moms are going to tell themselves at the end of the day.


you're in a vulnerable space,

you're in labor,


you shouldn't have to be fighting for your birth.

But I know some of my favorite clients are the ones where we're like processing their C section and it's like,

it's so emotional,

but I usually do it over a course of like,

three video.


it sounds like it's so long,

but it's like,

it's a lot to process because you're talking about like,


what happened during your birth story,

How did that make you feel and you kind of go through all that and then it's like not so much like I'm never gonna tell mom like well you should have done this and your doctor should have done that,

but I will say is like I if I was there I might have recommended this.

Did you guys try that?

Like okay,

so maybe all the options were not exhausted and they can kind of,

when I educate them a little more about birth,

they start to put the pieces together.

Like this could have gone differently and then I always encourage them to bring their partner in on that conversation to like,

like I tell them like listen tonight,

I want you to talk to your husband about your birth and how he experienced it because a lot of people,

I mean like I am definitely empowering moms but it's such a team effort and it impacts like it's a family,

it impacts your spouse too.

And too often we're like,

so we either don't focus on mom enough or we focus on her too much.


I know that sounds like like that sounds crazy,

but we're not like treating the couple as a unit in this experience and it really did affect both of them and they're both going to take that to the next mom wants the back and the dad's like,


did you see what happened last time?

I haven't processed any of this,

like it creates a whole another layer to the challenges of VBAC.

So how how did your husband feel?

Going into the VBAC?

It sounds like he was very supportive.

Oh he knew that that was like non negotiable.

Like he never fought me on the home birth,

he didn't fight me on anything,

he was just like whatever this is your wheelhouse,

I'll just let you in the same with babies.

He's like you know he doesn't question anything,

he's just like okay whatever it's like this is what you do so I'm not gonna,

yeah he's awesome.

Um If he had been scared you know if if I had had a more traumatic you know experience with my C.


I think maybe he would have had questions but and he did ask like okay VBAC safe,


Um And I was like yeah I'm gonna talk to him about because he turned me ranting and raving about um does it the higher rate of a repeat C.

Section when it's not an emergency just because of the lack of education around rupture and things like that.

And so he knew the stats and and he was the one saying with like encouraging me to eat during my induction and he's a good doula dad.

So um but yeah I guess my advice is to really like dive into maybe why you have a C.

Section if you don't know like that's okay and if you or maybe an example,

you know doing all the right things.

So maybe you were planning it out of hospital birth,

you had a doula,

you had like we're feeling educated and prepared and you still ended up with a C.

Section like you know whether that was the case or you did all of the things that do increase your chances of a cesarean,

like you didn't do anything wrong either way.

So releasing yourself of blame,

no matter how you ended up with a C.

Section is a big one too,

like letting go of that guilt and just being like that's how my baby was born and yeah maybe you don't know anything more about birth than you did when you had a C.


But either way um processing the birth and and then really I think finding a good team and making sure if you are going into a birth where you know your doctor is not supportive because I'm shocked by how many doctors just crap all over VBAC.

I'm in a group and it's horrifying what these women are told and like oh my goodness.

So it really makes you think like how did you get out of medical school?

Have you ever critically thought about anything in your life?

Do you even I'm not the biggest fan of ACOG but can you can you read the VBAC guidelines.

Like at a bare minimum,

can you read ACOG guidelines?

Because there's nothing there that says the doctor should tell anybody that they are not allowed to have a VBAC even if they're the worst candidate.


I know it's wild to me,

so it's just you know and if you know your doctor is going to be like that and say that's the only doctor in a four hour radius because in Wisconsin,

it's pretty rural,

like there are some places where you are driving three hours to the closest hospital that has been delivery.

So if you are knowing that going in,

you know make bringing people with you who are going to be on your team,

so making sure your spouse is on board and educated,

make sure that you retake a childbirth class if you feel like they need a little bit more education.

Um take a comfort measures class and if you can,

it's great if you can hire a doula because they they're not only another advocate for you,

but then also just with education and helping you make those decisions in the moment and so that's my biggest advice but ideally if you can,

it is safe to birth out of the hospital as well.

So if a possibility as well,

that's completely safe.

Um Yeah,

I'm gonna have to,

I'm gonna have to do an episode on that because I know there are so many conflicting voices on,

out of hospital birth in general and then out of hospital and VBAC,

it's like the boogie man.


but vbac alone.

It's like,

oh my goodness.

And then out of the hospital,

like an extra layer of controversy to it,


And that's what it was funny that Mfn doctor is like,

I don't know,

he's like,

you're playing in this birth center births.

What happened?

He was kind of like,

I don't,

it makes me nervous and I was like,

whatever ended up like,

you make me nervous.


and he was great,

but it was just like,



and I think that's important too,

is like,

sometimes you have to take things with a grain of salt and it is possible to disagree with your provider and still work as an amazing team.

I think so often,


as doulas and people who have had home births and work with midwives,

I will be the first to admit,

I have biases,

I have preferences,

but as much as I might sound like I'm generally crapping on doctors all the time,


there are really good ones out there and you can work really well with them.


And it's like,

I don't want moms to be,

I feel like we kind of like dance a fine line of don't be afraid of VBAC,

don't be afraid of this and that.

And then we like start almost fearmongering in the opposite direction.

Like be afraid of the hospital.


you don't have like,

you have to acknowledge that there are risks that people are not talking about with the hospital and sometimes it can increase your risk of a repeat C section.

I will swear until my dying day that my daughter who was born at home,

if I was in the hospital,

I would have had a C section with her.

I believe it with every fiber of my being.

Um but that's not always the case and sometimes you need to be in the hospital and that's okay too.

You don't have to be afraid of that if you can advocate for yourself and have a supportive team.



And I like I said like plan A and I told this with my midwives throughout my pregnancy was like Plan A is no cholestasis going to term and going into labor naturally and having this baby at the birth center and not tearing.

That was my plan A.

Plan B was induction at the birth center with,

you know,

with cholestasis and plan C was back at the hospital and then Plan D was a C section.

So you can have different tiers and those weren't bad things.

It was just what I would prefer.



it's important.

I think like so many people get hung up on the idea of a birth plan and birth plans are important.

But I like the idea of the roadmap better because you're like,

you're mapping out what you want.

You map out the most direct route to where you want to be.

And yes,

the goal is a healthy mom,

healthy baby,

everyone's alive.

But there's so many different ways to get there.

And sometimes like you have a live mom and baby but not necessarily healthy.


Mentally and physically like emotionally all around.

And I think it's so important during pregnancy,

especially after a C.

Section to navigate all of those options.

Like acknowledge them,

Look at what different situations you might be in,

how you plan to handle those that way.

If it happens,

it's not a total shock and you can handle it with grace instead of being panicked.



And it's it's for me fun to do that research and like dive into things and it can seem super overwhelming for those who aren't familiar with the birth world.

But like that's why there are birth workers around like we want to help you and we want to make you feel empowered and make the best decisions for you.

And that can be a repeat C section,

whether that's planned or not.

I do see a lot of times like VBAC or attempted VBACs that end up in a repeat C section and they say that it's a healing experience.

Like that's completely possible too.

But it's obviously well and I think it's really important to go into your back not and this is gonna sound so hypocritical because I looked at my VBAC as my redemption birth,

like it was that healing birth right?

But I think it's really important to try and do that healing work before your birth.

That way you're not putting too much pressure on your VBAC to be the magic pill because what if it isn't then what?


I don't I was genuinely nervous about that.

I was like what if you know I do end up with a C section,

am I gonna get super psycho and want 1 more kid just to have a vbac after two cesareans

Like I don't want that for me,

I didn't and that's not why we had a third.

It's just like I didn't want that um and I didn't want to put that pressure on my birth because I was worried that that would yeah increase my chance of getting a head.

So I was very I think blessed with like a combo of you know,

great nursing staff.

Um My husband was super awesome,

my doula was there and she was great.

Um and then just being kind of stubborn about like yeah this isn't an option.

And then I was also another aspect is I didn't have to fight,

I was ready for a fight and I was ready to like kick a doctor in the face and just kidding but you know I was ready,

you just schooled him by pushing out a baby in his face.

Yeah you can't push yet.

So I was ready to put up a fight during prenatal visits and I never had to.

So I do truly applaud those women that have to put up a fight because that's exhausting and you shouldn't have to.


thank you so much for sharing your story with us and I really hope it inspires somebody out there.

I know it will.

I know somebody's going to hear your story and just be like that is so inspiring.

Just thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that with us today.

Thank you so much for asking me.

I was so excited.

So thank you so much for having me.

Come on.

If people want to follow you on social media,

where can they find you?

Um at Abbey,

the birth worker awesome.

And that's on instagram facebook.

Both Yes,


Thank you Jamie.

I'm so glad you're doing this podcast.

Thank you.


thank you so much to Abby for coming on the show and sharing her story.

I just love hearing from other moms about their experiences because it is so inspiring.

It is so hope filled and I hope that you found inspiration as well.

If you have any questions about planning your VBAC

I want to remind you that you can reach out anytime.

I am happy to help you and on that note I wanted to let y'all know that I do have space to work with three mama bears in a private capacity to help you break down that c section,

understand why your c section happened just like we talked about with Abby and then go ahead and start building you up from there,

preparing for your vbac,

creating a vbac birth plan and really making sure that you and your partner are ready for this vbac so that instead of being controlled by fear,

you are controlled by intuition,

you are controlled by faith and you feel confident,

positive and peaceful going into your vbac.

If that is something you are looking forward to go ahead and reach out,

let me know that you would like to work together 1 to 1 and I will email you back and set up a time for us to chat and learn how to get started.

Or you can go to little bear lactation dot com slash contact and get in touch with me there and if you have a vbac birth story that you would like to share on the show or you are another birth worker or perinatal professional who works specifically with vbac moms,

please reach out.

I would love to have you on the show,

I would love to share your story.

I would love to share your expertise,

your insight and help inspire other mamas to have a more positive birth after cesarean,

Thank you for joining me on today's episode of the podcast.

I hope you feel seen,

supported and inspired if you haven't already make sure to check out the free I said free combatting fear during class at Little Bear lactation dot com slash links.

That's Little Bear lactation dot com slash l I N k s.

And real quick.

If you could take a moment to leave a review of the podcast,

I would so appreciate it.

Reviewing the podcast.

Can let more VBAC mamas to be know that I can help them the same way I'm helping you.

Can't wait to hang out with you again soon.

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