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theVBACpodcast: Fear versus Intuition as I planned a homebirth after cesarean (HBAC)

husband wearing maroon shirt holds mama bear cup and offers laboring wife water during contractions at homebirth vbac
My husband offering me water between contractions during my first homebirth and second VBAC

In this Womanly Wisdom Wednesday episode of theVBACpodcast I share how I differentiated between fear and intuition as I planned a homebirth for my second VBAC.

Listen to theVBACpodcast here:



Hey mama bear was your last birth A C section and you have been dreaming of a vaginal birth ever since.

Maybe you are newly pregnant and planning of back 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 sake does not accept liability for any decisions that you make after listening to this podcast.

Hey mama bears on this womanly wisdom Wednesday.

I am going to talk to you about how I learned to surrender for my home birth.

So why I chose home birth,

how I came to that decision and kind of um how I finally learned that surrender is crucial to a positive birth experience.

So let me kind of start at the beginning of my story.

Um if you haven't heard my full birth story,

like the full full story of all of my birth.

So my vbac and like my C section and all,

I'm going to encourage you to hop over to the home birth after cesarean podcast because I totally broke it all down over there.


Um I will link that episode in the show notes for you.

So you can go listen to it over there.

But I wanted to talk to you guys about how I kind of came to the decision that I was gonna have a home birth.

Um and how I overcame the fears that kind of came with that.


this is kind of a funny story and I kind of process everything with this when I tell this because I just look back on this moment and in the moment I did not know how it was going to impact my life,

but here we are.

When I was in like,

010th grade,

ninth grade,

we took my grandmother on a road trip to her hometown and she wanted to take,

she wanted to go to the house that she grew up in and of course it was owned by somebody else.

But she just wanted to drive by and see it.


that was her dying wish,


Like she wanted to see this before she died.

So she wanted,

she wanted to go home.

So we went on a four hour road trip to her hometown and we stood in the street looking at the house she grew up in and she's telling us stories,

she points to a window and she said that room right there,

that's the room I was born in.

I just remember looking at her and I was like,

you were born here and she was just like,



they considered home birth the norm back then.

But that was because they were poor.

It wasn't because it was like the cool thing to do,


Like that was the resource that was available to them.

So babies were born at home and that's just how it was.

And so when she had her babies,

they were all born in the hospital.

It was not like even a question,


Like she wasn't gonna have a home birth.

And of course my parents,

this was my dad's mom,

but of course like her pick like my parents had,

there was never nothing like home birth.

Like I don't think it was even something thought about right.

Um but I just remember that and I always always remember it like I can close my eyes and be in that moment.

Clearest day I thought it was the craziest,

most insane thing I had ever heard.

But also the coolest see when I was growing up,

I always wanted to be a doctor and for awhile I wanted to be a cardiologist,

um cardiac surgeon and then there was a time where I wanted to deliver babies and then I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon again and it just kind of went back and forth.

Buy it.

I was just so like,

it was a moment where I thought to myself,


I've vaguely heard of people doing home birth.

That sounds like a crazy hippie thing,


isn't that so dangerous,

this and that,

but she did it all her siblings were born at home and they survive.

So like,




this is a thing,

Like a real thing in my mind,

home birth was something that only happened back in the 1700s,

to think of it happening in 1927 just seemed so recent and so much more real that I was actually talking to someone who was born at home and I found it amazing and I kind of,

I guess always just stuck with me.

I remember I was just like randomly remember that moment and be like,


she was like,

that's crazy that my great grandmother gave birth at home,


What a terrifying thing to do.

Brave tough woman,

but crazy,


And then I had my C section and I was dreaming of a home birth with my vbac and I had a hospital vbac.

It was good,

but there were some things that I was not happy about.

So when I got pregnant the third with my daughter,

I was like,

I really don't want to go in the hospital again,

every bit of me did not want to go into the hospital again.

And I just kept remembering that moment,

standing in the back yard of my grandmother's childhood home in Morgantown west Virginia looking at this window and hearing her say,

that's the bedroom I was born in.

I just kept playing it over and over in my head and I just kind of dawned on me that like it's a thing that can be done and you know,

by this point,

I had heard a lot of home birth stories like home birth had been on my heart for a while by this point,

but it was just I just kind of kept going back to that moment and realizing like this has been written this has been written for a long time and I didn't know that that moment would actually just play in my head forever.

It was just that little moment of things kind of came full circle in a way.

So we decided we wanted to have a home birth after really realizing how stressed out the thought of going to the hospital made me and some people might say that choosing to birth at home was a fear based decision for me because I was afraid of the hospital,


And in a way that might be true,

but I think it was more of an intuition because something was telling me not to go to the hospital.

I mean to the point that I I would go to my midwife appointments and say things like,

well she's you know,

she's due at the end of january,

what happens if there's a snowstorm and I can't make it to the hospital,

like I really think she's going to be born during a snowstorm and I won't even be able to make it to the hospital.

What happens then?

And I just birth at home like,

but then kind of thing,


And lo and behold She was born on February one and when I first started contractions,

it was early in the morning and then the morning came and it was just a very gray day and then around 10 o'clock in the morning,

some flurries started and by the time that she was born There were about 3",

of snow on the ground.

By the time that I would have been like,


it's time to head to the hospital.

Like it wouldn't have even been a smart option probably because there was a bunch of snow on the ground.

So I definitely think again,

like talk about womanly wisdom,

talk about intuition.

Um but that's just a funny little side note,

how did I come too the decision to have a home birth?

How did I come to the decision?

Like how did I actually surrender and go over the fears that were associated with home birth is what I really want to be talking to you guys about.

So I'm gonna start my little tangents now,

thank you for bearing with me.

Um So like I said home birth was just,

it was on my heart for a long time and my husband got told he was going to be deploying and he would be deploying the week of my due date.

And I remember that phone call like it was yesterday,

I was in the Costco parking lot and he told me and I lost it because I was determined to have an unmedicated birth this time and I knew that my only option was going to the hospital.

That's how we felt at the time,

I didn't want to do it,

but that's what our plan was,

that's where we were going,


And I knew that the only way I would have a chance in hell reaching my goals of an unmedicated birth would be having my husband there to support me,

having him there to keep me feeling safe,

having him there too reel me in when my fears started to get out of control,

like he is my teammate and he is like he he was necessary and everybody can say like,

oh you didn't,

you don't need him,

like you can totally do it without him.


I couldn't,

I couldn't have,

I could not have and I will tell every mom every day that yeah,

you can totally do this without your husband because I mean,

I guess technically you can,

but there was no way that I was going to be able to control my anxiety without him because I had major anxiety going into the hospital um ahead,

just major anxiety um like even with blood draws,

like I can't even get my blood drawn without having him to bury my face into because of trauma during my first vbac with blood draws and I can tell that story in more detail another time,

but when he told me that he was going to be deploying,

I just,

I don't even know how I drove home because I just remember getting in the car and losing it and I can still feel that I can still feel it right now um every day I would be like,

it would be fine,

I'm like,

just you know,

doing life being a mom cooking and all of a sudden,


I'm like,

you know,

you got to get yourself into the mindset,


you've got to get over these fears,

you've got to get over these worries and I started thinking about it and just started hyperventilating and I would just,

he would come home and I would be sitting on the floor crying my eyes out while dinner is burning on the stove because I had no idea what I was going to do without him um and I was like,

I cannot go into a hospital without having you here,

so we decided that we were going to do whatever it took to have a home birth with support people and a team that I felt safe with because if he couldn't be here,

I needed to feel safe above all,

I needed to feel safe.

And you know,

we had kind of started to have the conversations about like,


well what if something happens and what if there's an emergency and this and that like you're not going to be so connected to this idea of a home birth,

that you risk your life and your baby's life,


And those are hard conversations to have.

Those are really hard conversations to have.

But they are important conversations to have because obviously I'm not going to be so so hell bent on the homebirth that I'm going to put us at risk.

But that doesn't mean that something couldn't happen right in the hospital was a 15 minute drive.

10 15 minute drive.

It would be much quicker by ambulance.

But how long would it have taken E.


S to get there if there was a problem?

I mean there's always the potential for an emergency,


And so we had to kind of really take,

take a good look at what God was telling us to do and I'm going to have to rewind now,

it wouldn't have made sense if I started with this point because it just wouldn't have made sense.

But before I got pregnant with her,

we went on a trip to Disney world In Florida.

We drove 19 hours.

It was a 19 hour drive to Florida and we stopped in ST Augustine at the shrine of our Lady of La Leche.

And I was so excited because obviously,

like La Leche league is named after our Lady of La.

Like I was the La Leche League leader,

lactation consultant,

birth doula,

It's our Lady of La Leche Ok,

and healthy delivery.

So there's just so much meaning behind that for me,


So I was so excited,

so excited to go there and there's a legend,

I guess you would call it that women who are dealing with infertility or women who are planning to get pregnant will go to the shrine of our Lady of la leche today and lady candle and say prayers and Be pregnant within a month or two month of visiting.

And I was like,


that's crazy.

Like I didn't know that when we went there,

um I learned that when we were there and I was not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon because we knew that my options for having the birth that I wanted would be very limited and difficult.

Um we just,

we just knew that it would be really hard.

So I didn't know what to do because we were in a spot where I was like,

I want another baby,

but I don't want to have to go through trying to find answers to these questions that I don't want to ask,


And we knew we really were not ready to have another baby right them.

But we practice natural family planning and my cycle hadn't returned yet.

And I'm like,

getting frustrated with that.

I'm like,

you know what?

Like God,


I need you to give me the surrender that mary had when the angel,

Gabriel came to mary and told her that she was going to give birth without even being married with being a virgin.


she could have completely lost her mind,

but she's like,

let your will be done.

She was ready to accept God's will and not question it and just accept it.

And that's all I wanted was that kind of peace.

And that kind of strength was like,

I don't know what your will is.

I'm tired of trying to figure it out.

I'm tired of,

I'm trying to figure out how to make my will be,

what happens if you want me to have another baby,

I am going to trust that you are going to have answers for how this baby is going to be born safely without causing me more freaking trauma,

because I don't have those answers right now and I'm scared.

And so when I did end up becoming pregnant,

I was so scared.

I actually,

I did find out I was pregnant a month after visiting the shrine and that was a huge sign to me,

a huge sign because we were not trying.

We were very actively not trying.

Um but we made a calculated decision,

took a calculated risk and we conceived and y'all like I know not everybody who listens to this podcast is shares of faith with me.

My faith at that point was not nearly as strong as it is now.

And let me tell you that moment,

that moment changed everything.

Knowing what I had prayed for that I had prayed not to get pregnant,

but if God you will it help me to find an answer,

I will trust that you will have an answer.

And then a month later I find out I'm pregnant.

Like whoa,

she was conceived a week after that visit.



two weeks maybe whatever.

It doesn't really matter.

You get my point like whoa!

So I didn't know what the heck was going to happen during this pregnancy and you let me tell you it was a bunch of ups and downs and I constantly just kept going back to like I asked you to let me surrender to you and I'm not surrendering.

Like I'm trying to surrender but it's not working because every time I try and just trust your will you give me this horrible,

horrible set of circumstances like,

oh we're going to go ahead and trust his will and I'm going to be birthing in the hospital by myself now,

that's what this is going to be and I was so angry.

I was so angry for so long and then we made the decision to just have the baby at home and pray that everything was going to be okay.

And I just kept coming back to the moment and realizing like that was the whole point.

That was the whole point was to just trust him.

He gave me exactly what I asked for and I just trusted him and stopped trying to control everything Now of course you have to make decisions,

you can't just sit there saying like,

oh I trust you God,

so things are just going to fall into place,

like you still have to make decisions,

you still have to take action to a degree right?

And like we did that and then another miracle happened,

Not only did we have this home birth planned and figured out now that we didn't tell anybody about until the last minute,

um he ended up not deploying the week that he was supposed to,

his deployment ended up getting pushed back a month so he ended up deploying when she was three weeks old,

which was still absolutely awful.

But it was everything I could have asked for because he was there.

So now we had planned a home birth for the simple fact that he wouldn't be there and now he was going to be there and I was,

I knew,

I knew at that point that it would be an amazing birth because I knew that God was trying to show me something,

he was trying to teach me something and this time it wasn't a hard lesson,

My first couple of words.

He taught me some really hard lessons that I did not want this time.

He was teaching me a lesson that I wanted and I was so grateful and we had an amazing birth because I was able to fully surrender because I fully trusted that he brought me here.

I was going to protect me now.

I know that there are many,



many stories of home birth transfers.

There are many home births that do not go as planned and I don't want to take away from that reality at all.

I am not trying to romanticized home birth as a God's will for everybody at every time or for every birth.

But it was his will for that birth and I knew it,

I knew it on a very deep level and that allowed me to completely surrender because I was,

I was able to completely trust him now.

I am not going to lie to you.

There were times at the very end of my labor where I was suddenly afraid that I was rupturing.

Like I totally had this panic in my mind,

I didn't even tell anybody that I was like,

oh my gosh,

am I rupturing right now?

I think I'm rupturing and it was just fear trying to creep in um there was a moment right at the end where I was like yelling that I wanted to go to the hospital and get the epidural and my husband's like we wouldn't even make it if you wanted to,

like even if you were serious,

we're not going to make it to the hospital,

it's 45 minutes like,


You know it's snowing outside,

this is what you asked for,

remember um and looking back,

it all played out exactly how it was supposed to because I'm going to tell you that with every fiber of my being I know I have full 100 faith and belief that if I had gone to the hospital to give birth to her,

I would have had another c-sectionn because you're probably like Jamie,

you don't know that why,

why are you going to say that?

Um because I felt so strongly that I was not supposed to be in the hospital for that birth To the point it felt like fear.

Um and you know,

it is very hard to tell the difference between fear and intuition sometimes,

but my vbac was hard and there were things I didn't like about it,

the hospital vbac,

there were things I didn't like about it.

But to be honest,

I don't,

I don't think looking back at this point in my life,

after the experiences I've had now I don't think that there was a good reason for me to be so traumatized to the point that I would hyperventilate walking into a hospital and that the thought of giving birth in the hospital again just triggered me to the point that I like thought I was going to die,

but I actually think that something terrible would have happened if I was in the hospital and that's why I was having those feelings to tell me to get away from there.

That's not where this baby is supposed to be born because her labor pattern was so weird.


like I never hit a normal labor pattern with her until right towards the end when I was in the pushy stages,

I would contract 3-4 contractions,

You know,

every 3-5 minutes like you would in active labor and then nothing would happen for like a half hour and I would repeat that cycle.

It would be like a handful of contractions and then nothing would happen.

If I had been in the hospital having a pattern like that,

I would have eventually been encouraged to use Pitocin,

they would have at some point tried to take control of that and speed it up.

Nobody would have just sat there like letting that happen for 10 hours,

eight hours,

however many hours it was,

nobody would have just sat there and let that happen.

But I felt very confident that each set of contractions was becoming stronger and progress was being made,

baby was healthy,

I was healthy so I was not in a fear mindset,

I was comfortable at home.

If I had been in the hospital,

I do believe that I would have been very easily influenced into a fear mindset with those contractions and I would have gotten frustrated and very easily been swayed to say like yeah,

that's probably a great idea,

you're right and here's,

here's the reason that I think that would have been a problem because sometimes it can,

it can be a good tool.

My daughter was so big,

She was 10 lb four oz and 22" long and when I was pushing I didn't consciously,

I think oh this baby feels big,


But I did consciously kind of have that,

I can't do this feeling right,

I could not find a position that was,

I was able to push in.

I moved positions while pushing,

only pushed for 30 minutes,

2030 minutes and I moved positions so many times I was on all fours on the side of the bed,

I was in the tub,

I was out of the tub,

I was squatting,

I was pulling,

I was standing like I moved positions so many times and that is Like,

I will tell you 100%,,

that was because of her size.

I am not a big person,

she was huge.

The only way she was going to get out was if I listened to what she was telling me and she was telling me I needed to move.

Okay mom,

I'm in this position now,

so I need you to move a different way,

okay mom,

thank you.

Like now I've moved again and now I need you to move again so I can move again.

If I had gotten Pitocin,

I am telling you I would have gotten an epidural and I would not have listened to my body.

I would not have moved the way she needed me to move and she would not have come out,

she would not have come out safely,

vaginally would not have happened because the only way I could get her out with being upright and while upright birth might have been supported by the practice that I was with.

I believe it would have been,

I do believe I would have ended up with Pitocin and an epidural.

Therefore I would not have ended up upright and you do not always have to be upright to successfully birth your baby.

But I did.

I I needed to be,

that's what I needed.

And so I will believe to this day that everything that happened during that pregnancy,

every difficult valley that I found myself in was telling me Jamie,

you need to make this decision,

you know what you need to do.

Find a way to make it happen.

And we did.

And so we had no fear going into that birth.



Um and that's not actually true for my,

my fourth birth of my second home birth,

there was actually a lot more fear going into that one and I'll tell you that story another time.

But I just wanted to kind of talk to you guys about how listening to that inner wisdom differentiating it from fear and surrendering to your faith to your body.

All plays a part in overcoming those fears.

I hope that this story inspired you today.

If it did inspire you and make you feel like you know what like things do happen for a reason.

I feel that I am being called to something specific.

I need to make that decision and just do it and stop finding excuses.

Then then I'm doing my job right?

Because that's what I want to do.

I want to inspire you and that does not mean that I have to inspire you to have a home birth.

I want to inspire you to go ahead and choose the vbac because repeat C section is scaring the crap out of you and you feel like it's your only option because that's what people are telling you and that's the only support you seem to have.

But you know inside of you that's not right,

choose the vbac if you want to vbac really bad.

But you know inside of you it's not right and your intuition is telling you to get a repeat C section,

choose the repeat C section.

Listen to your intuition.

I just always want to remind you guys to make your decisions from a place of faith,

not fear.

And sometimes when we start analyzing that process and we say,

oh I'm making a decision from fear.

Let me make it from faith.

We can start to tell ourselves well,


now you're making it from fear because you're afraid of that other thing and maybe that's true.

Maybe you are afraid of that.

But are you so afraid of it that you're making a dangerous decision against your intuition?

Or are you having the positive fear reaction of protection?

The protective fear reaction of I'm being like my body is reacting in a way that's telling me this isn't right.

I need to listen to that and differentiating that fear and intuition is so hard and I am so happy to help you do that.

If you feel like you are stuck in a spot where you are having big feelings and big fears and big desires and none of it's adding up and you cannot differentiate between your fear and your intuition.

I want to I want to chat with you,

I want to talk with you and I want to help you through that.

Because when you are able to get very clear on what is fear and what is your intuition,

you are going to be able to surrender to your birth so much stronger.

You are going to be able to have such a more positive birth experience.

If you have full faith that you are not making decisions based in fear.

So I'm going to go ahead and leave you all with that today,

That is the end of my ramblings for this womanly wisdom Wednesday.

I hope that you found something here inspirational and inspiring.

And if you did make sure to share this podcast with other mommies,

you know who are planning a vbac because it's going to help them,

it's going to help them feel more confident and it's going to help me complete my mission of serving women like you better have a great womanly wisdom Wednesday.

I actually said womanly wisdom Wednesday right this time in case you didn't notice,

I'm proud of myself and you should be proud of me too.

Mhm All right,

I'm done.

Being silly now.

Have a great day.

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 vbac 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.


image of pregnant woman looking down at belly contemplating vbac decision text says how to tell the difference between fear and intuition when planning your vbac homebirth after cesarean story

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