In 1984, I was born by cesarean birth into a wonderful family of doctors and nurses. In 2005, I had my first child via cesarean birth after a failed induction for pre-eclampsia. The birth was uncomplicated and considering cesarean was the norm for my family, I felt no regret and considered myself and my story “normal”.
When I got pregnant in 2006, I asked my doctor what kind of birth I was supposed to plan. He responded with this rotten tomato response: “Let me put it to you this way. Its safer for you to have a vaginal birth but it’s safer for your baby to be born by cesarean…….most Moms do what’s best for their baby.”
Naturally I signed all the cesarean risk consent forms without hesitation or even a second glance. When this doctor moved my due date up by three weeks because my baby was “big”, I never questioned it. And when he asked if I wanted to come in a little early at 37 weeks and 4 days, I was over-joyed that I got to meet my baby almost a week early.
When my son was born via scheduled repeat cesarean, he couldn’t breathe on his own. As it turns out, the NICU pediatrician estimated my baby to be about 35-36 weeks gestation and he was 6lbs.
My son spent over a week in the NICU, and almost had to be evacuated by helicopter to the nearest children’s hospital. Not a thing was wrong with him, he was just meant to be still in my womb. This experience was the moment I understood that I needed to be more involved in the decisions that my doctors ask me to make. I lost my confidence in the OB system.
5 years later; I got pregnant again. Sadly, that baby was growing in the wrong spot and I had to have a medically required abortion at 7 weeks to save my life. That sweet baby was growing out of my falopian tube and I was actively bleeding into my abdomen.
Only one cycle later I was pregnant again. I went into this pregnant with serious control issues. Not only was I grieving my ectopic baby, but I was doubting my body’s ability to do what it needed to and dealing with an uphill battle to make decisions for my own body and birth after two previous cesareans.
In 2012, I had my fourth child by VBA2C. It was truly difficult from the moment I knew I wanted a VBA2C until the moment childbirth was over. You can see my incredulous face in my first photos after that birth. I had prepared myself, rather armed myself with my rights and all the facts about VBAC safety but I hadn’t done any inner work to deal with my birth trauma, or proactive work to normalize vaginal birth and the big - BIG - feelings and sensations that come with it.
In 2012 I started attending a local cesarean support group, and it was the foundation of my confidence to VBA2C.
In 2013, I volunteered to be the chapter leader for three years I led monthly meetings on every VBAC, Cesarean and birth topic you can imagine. In that time, I observed what I found to be the secret of childbirth; we don’t have to be afraid. We can even enjoy it.
In 2015, I had a second VBA2C and it was transcendent. I had applied everything I learned from my own experiences and the local VBAC community and from leading the support group and was able to enter birth feeling excited and ready. As birth got harder, I felt grateful that I was in the thick of it and ready to meet my baby. And on a Monday in September, I started labor at 4:30am and roared my baby out at 8:08am. I never felt fear, only appreciation.
After that, I knew I wanted to help other VBAC parents plan VBAC births they could enjoy. I started to support doula clients and supported over a hundred births between 2015-2018. In that time, I made tweaks and learned more about specializing in VBAC support and wanted to take my message further.
In 2017, I started teaching local VBAC classes at OB offices, pediatrician offices and chiropractor offices. After that got established, I set my sights on training birth professionals.
In 2020, I pulled all of my experience and research together to make VBAC Academy. It’s been a labor of love and a soul-fulfilling journey as I meet with parents and birth providers across the world and have the honor of giving them VBAC support and education.
Outside of the birth track, I’m your average 30-something Mom of five awesome kids. I’ve been married over 10 years to my best friend. We live in Phoenix, AZ and enjoy traveling and spending time as a family.
Thank you for your support and welcome to my site!