Uba5c Birth Story (Talana)

Hi you all. Here is my birth story… I want you to understand how I got to the decision of homebirth and the feelings I had prior to it. I might bore some of you so please be warned that it’s a long story. Also, if there’s any spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar then I apologise in advance.

A bit of history:
Baby 1 30-05-1995 3.3kg elective caesarean. Doc said she was breach
Baby 2 21-01-2000 4.1kg repeat cs
Baby 3 23-06-2003 3.2kg same story
Baby 4 08-12-2010 3.5kg cs
Baby 5 28-04-2012 3.4kg cs trying for a UB but ended up having cs being 8cm dilated
Baby 6 23-03-2014 3.4kg Unassisted Home Birth

Ok so here goes…

My birth story UBA5C took 18 years in the making. Every one of my beautiful children’s births brought me a little closer to my dream birth. Starting with my first pregnancy…I was young and naïve…believed every word the doctors said…went for every check-up etc. and when they told me I needed a cs I just went along with it.

with my second pregnancy the thought of a natural birth came up but yet again I believed the “trained professionals”…”once a Caesar, always a Caesar”

By nr 3 I had given up on the idea of a natural birth…

Eight years later I met my true love and when we found out I was preggies we were overjoyed. Early on in my fourth pregnancy I decided to try hb. By the first couple of contractions I decided to go to hospital. Stupid hey? Maybe. I don’t know why I didn’t even try harder but maybe I know now that I wasn’t prepared enough. I got a lot of negative feedback from the hospital staff for even getting pregnant after 3cs. Good idea to make someone feel bad when they are vulnerable. I hated every minute being in that hospital.

I got pregnant with baby no 5 and decided to learn as much as I can about vbamc. I went into labour around 07:00 the morning of 27 April 2012. I just knew something was happening. Not to mention the show I had since a week prior. Waiting and wandering when I was going into labour. I actually went for a long brisk walk the day before. Buy now I was 41 weeks and ready to meet this little man.

I didn’t tell anyone that I was in labour and went on with my normal day. I took a nap with my little one and decided to do my shopping trip after our nap…when I woke up something just told me that there’s no way I’m going to be able to do a shopping trip now! Ok so we are low on sugar, low on milk, low on cereal… whatever! It can wait!

Long story short… by midnight the pain was more than I could take (or thought I could take) so hubby and I went to hospital.

At the hospital I was told to “lie down and wait”. Lie down? Are u insane?! Well I listened and lied on my back too scared to move. The contractions were unbearable and I was about 8cm when my waters ruptured. Lol they still made me sign a form to give them permission to insert the loop. Lucky for me I was too far dilated, they said. Oh and not to have ANY more babies…go figure…

July of 2013 I found out I was pregnant…again…yes..you would think we were going at it like rabbits but that’s not so…remember…it only takes once. And oh boy! Once was spot on!!! It was quite a pleasant shock. Hubby said it was an old test and I said: “feel it, it’s wet, I just peed on it!” that was like the 3rd test I did that night lol!

I KNEW I was going to have my HB. I did LOTS of research, (not that there was much info on uba5c/hba5c/vba5c). I spoke to, emailed and “facebooked” lots of people. Majority of them telling me it’s too high risk. (Even a well-known doctor told me it’s too high risk…imagine I listened to him. Note so self: email him my birth story…)

I came in contact with an awesome doula (Heidi). The first time I spoke to her her voice was peaceful and reassuring. I think by that time she had more faith in me and my body than what I had. We kept in contact all through my pregnancy and tried on a couple of occasions to meet up. 8 days before Kydans birth we eventually got to meet…and come to think of it we almost postponed that appointment too!

In the last couple of weeks the fear of uterine rupture stuck its ugly head out again. I was starting to doubt that my body was able to birth this baby. Maybe it was also due to the fact that I had to bury both my parents within 42 days of each other…

I had a difficult time enjoying the last 2 months of my pregnancy because of this loss and an impending move.I prayed that things would work out…not the way I wanted it to work out but the way it God wanted it to be. When I did that I started to feel more at peace and I felt more positive that my body would do what it was designed to do.

Fears will always be in the back of your mind. But you deal with them and make peace with it. Then and only then I was ready for this beautiful birth.

Because we were moving I sent all my baby goodies to the new house with hubby…he still made a joke that I’m sending all the stuff to the other house…”what if baby comes at the old house?” I told him not to worry and that baby will only come mid-April. Haha!

Friday 21 march was the beginning of a long weekend. My doula still asked whether it would be okay if she went away for the weekend and I said “Sure” …she had nothing to worry about…
I woke up 11:59pm Friday night with a huge pee. Wiped off and saw what I thought was too much blood. Hubby walked passed and I told him I was in labour. His response: “ye right, don’t joke now”. I phoned Heidi and she said not to worry it’s just a show. She told me to get some rest and thank heavens I listened to her. She phoned me early the next morning and said she was making the 5 hour trip back home and I should rest. I do apologise again for cutting her family’s long weekend short. Xxx

I had contractions most of the morning and early afternoon, trying to relax and watch TV. Everything was now on hold(remember this was our moving weekend). Thinking that baby will come quickly I just lounged around. When Heidi came over around late afternoon the contractions were still far apart. We went for a long walk with pram in tow. We walked passed a car with a little sicker saying “don’t push” on the window…funny!

After the walk we contemplated whether she should go home and come back later. That thought didn’t last long as things started kicking up a notch. Heidi and my 10 year old son were timing contractions and later on I got a bit fed up telling them when contractions started and stop. So I stopped doing it. Hubby was handling the move and the two little ones.
I didn’t want to see how long and far apart the contractions were as I was worried that I would lose focus. PS. Dirty spot on tile floor is good to focus on when in contraction. Lol. Note to self: floors needs a wash.

Late evening I decided to lean on the side of my bed when a contraction came. That only helped for a little while and I got into the shower…Oh boy! The water felt amazing. It took the pain away in an instant. Some counter pressure also helped quite a bit. Not wanting to waste the water that I needed for the bath, I decided to try my bed again.

We decided to fill the bath. I couldn’t wait for the bathwater to be ready! I was looking forward to just lying in the bath. I was in the bath for around 3 or 4 hours and we had to top up the hot water a couple of times. I had gotten a nice position in the bath on my left side with my right arm hanging over the taps and my legs straight down. So when a contraction came I could anchor myself nicely against the side of the bath pushing with my feet against the bottom of the bath.

With every contraction I tapped on the side of the bathe and Heidi knew that I had to squeeze her hand. By the end when the contractions were quite painful I was worried that I would break her fingers.

I got out of the bath to pee at one point but couldn’t hold myself up lol I felt like 2 tons of bricks so she and hubby helped me. I think it was of lying in the bath so long being weightless that I couldn’t carry my own weight. At some point I felt some trickle like my water braking but it didn’t last long and so I just ignored it. My contractions also starting changing to more of a pushing feeling or like a feeling that to poo. Shame my ten year old was lying on his pillow outside the bathroom door for ages, waiting for this baby to make its appearance. Thank you u sweetheart for caring. Xxx I sent him to bed a little after that.

Something just told me to get out of the bath so off to my bed I went. At this stage hubby was lying down with my 3yr old because he was a little antsy and running on all 6 cylinders. Maybe because he could feel the energy in the house changing. He is still on the boob and so badly wanted “milky”. I felt so bad not being in the mood to breastfeed him but really…I couldn’t concentrate on breastfeeding and coping with contractions.

I got on my knees on my bed with the pillows propped under my chest. I started getting shivers and felt I needed to get back to the warmth of the bath because if I started shivering I would not be able to concentrate on the contractions and my breathing. Lol halfway off the bed I got a contraction and it stopped me right in my tracks. I was freezing even though I had a pyjama shirt on. Doula got me warmed up and I got back on my bed..bath forgotten.

Soon I needed to change positions and as I reversed of my bed on all fours a gush of water just squirted out onto poor Heidi. So she’s been baptised in amniotic fluid. (Oops!) I think that was the last of the waters coming out that was lodged in front of babies head.

Okay now I’ve gotten myself leaning with my back against my headboard and pillows under my backside. Not in a laying position…more of a squatting position as I am terrified of lying on my back in labour. (remember the “lie down and wait” saga with my 5th baby) And as you know lying on your back does zero favours for gravity.

Every time I had to push I curled my fingers around the top of the headboard giving me an anchor to push. That helped quite a bit.

Around 03:00/03:30 doula woke hubby and the three of us sat there pushing…well I pushed and they watched! By the last push doula said in a stern voice: “nou moet jy druk Talana!!!” …”push Talana!!!” Oh boy did I PUSH PUSH PUSH!!! Bubbas head was out and not waiting for the next contraction I gave a little more push and he was out! 04:15 giving a nice loud cry for his debut into this world. I was crying too. Tears of joy, accomplishment, love…
Somewhere in that last push I was waiting for the “ring of fire”…where was it? I had a little burning sensation but not as I anticipated. Yay! I eluded the “RING OF FIRE!” (Happy dance) I got baby on my bare chest and he starting nursing like a grown man with a hangover.
I was waiting for the next contraction to deliver the placenta but that didn’t come. If this placenta doesn’t come I would have to go to hospital. HOSPITAL??? No way!!! There was no way I was going to hospital to deliver a placenta!!!with the help off hubby and doula I got myself and bubba off the bed and squatted over the container and just pushed. Thank goodness it came out, intact, I was so relieved. There was still some bleeding but that was from the tear, not a very big tear but it was there.

When the cord stopped pulsating and it was limp and white hubby tied the cord with dental floss and cut it with a scissor…a blunt one!!! (oops, my bad…only scissor I had)
Hubby was so proud of me…I was so proud of me!

He made tea and him and doula cleaned up. Shame she still had a 40 minute drive home. Hubby went to lie by the other kids and bubba and I had skin to skin and was nursing and sleeping and he pood on me sometime when we were dosing off but that didn’t worry me. I got up Sunday morning around 9:30 and was a little light headed when I got to my feet but I was feeling amazing and I was on a God given natural high. I couldn’t believe how good I felt and by late morning I was already on our trampoline with my other little ones! My high lasted for days and days after the birth.

I kept my placenta. I made some placenta prints with it. Cleaned it up, chopped it up and froze it. I swallow one “booster” every day.
You don’t need much for a homebirth…just a pregnant woman!
My hb kit wasn’t even complete yet but I managed perfectly with what I had. The only things i used from my incomplete kit was:
About 7 towels (I ended up throwing one away)
2 sheets
2 receiving blankets
Container for placenta
Dental floss
All of which I already had in my home except for the gloves.

Now 7 weeks later…hindsight…
You won’t believe how different this birth was in relation to my cs. From the recovery to the way I feel about myself, the birth, the baby…everything…different…
Kydan’s umbilical cord came off by day 5 (the other kiddies by day 10) and I think it was a lot to do with the delayed cord clamping. My tear healed within 2 weeks without any stitches and everything looks perfect down there. (tmi?) The light headedness only lasted around 3 days.

7 Weeks later I still feel very proud and in awe of this beautiful amazing empowering experience I was blessed with.

Thank you so much for reading my birth story and please share my story with those who you think might need the encouragement, understanding or those who are just nosy…xxx
My UBA5C was the most empowering thing I’ve done in my whole life…I DID IT!!!

Healing and Hopeful (Kerry)

22 years old
2 pregnancies 2 births
3 years 11 months, and 13 months PP

Most recent post here.

I’ve posted a few entries in the past, here is one, the last one was almost 2 years ago. Reading back on my posts I read the things I was trying to convince myself to believe, but wasn’t quite there yet. I thought if I wrote it and saw my pictures I might start believing it. Truthfully though, I hated my body. HATED it, though I so desperately wanted to feel beautiful. I was apprehensive about posting all of this with my name, and my face, but it is who I am.

As you can tell, if you look at the pictures in my old posts, I yo-yoed with weight, from saying I felt fabulous at 165, and then dropping 40lbs by my final entry. I’ve been wanting to write a new entry for a while now, since I started healing. So here it goes :)

I got pregnant with my second child in April 2011 (10 days after weaning my son!) we practiced NFP but he was home for 1 day in between trips and “in the moment” hormones took over. I hadn’t wanted a second child because the emotional roller coaster that happened as a result from my first pregnancy, birth, and bodily change was so horrific that I wasnt sure I would be able to handle it again. I had PPD for the first 10 months, which went untreated because I did not want to acknowledge failure, which is what I felt it was.

My husband was never that great of a guy, I had had him arrested for domestic violence and every apartment we lived in I had to patch and fix before we could move out; he had quite the temper, along with substance abuse. He had wandering eyes and blamed it on me, my lack of sex drive (3-4x a week was not enough) and my ruined body and lack of desire to get in shape to turn him on. I was told about all the beautiful girls he had been with, and since I was ruined I was lucky to have him and even if he left me I’d never find a man who would find me attractive. I didn’t want to bring another kid into the mix, I hated the fact that my son had to know this life. When I was 4 months pregnant he admitted that he had been cheating on me with my co-worker/best friend, I left him that week. I packed up what I needed, and moved my two year old son and myself into a room in my parents house. Leaving an abusive, controlling relationship was the hardest thing I ever did. I wanted so badly to go back,” I was comfortable with it, I could put up with it.. it wouldn’t get THAT much worse” thankfully I held firm and after 7 months of going to counseling individually and as a couple with elders from my church, without seeing a change on his part, I filed for divorce. God blessed me with an amazing family, and church family that supported me and encouraged me every step of the way. I had an amazing second home water birth, 4 hours of light labor and 10 minutes of intense labor. My daughter was born at 41 weeks exactly, perfect in every way :) I never got PPD after her birth, I had my placenta encapsulated and took that, but I think more of it had to do with the fact that I was in an encouraging, loving environment this time around. Fast forward a year and here I am. I’m still living with my parents, but I am a full time student going for my RN, I have two beautiful kids who are safe and do not have to see that life. I am so thankful, God is good!

That process was the beginning of my healing. Discovering that I might just be a worthwhile human being who might just be beautiful, who might just have a brain (I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA!), and who, someday, someone might truly cherish. I took the power back. I continued to eat healthy and stay active throughout my pregnancy, quitting work as a CNA at 35 weeks. I felt awesome after she was born and started the couch to 5k program when she was 3 weeks old. I was doubtful, I just wasnt a runner… I wasnt made to run. I completed my first 5k within 9 months :) I started doing crossfit when she was 7 month old and it’s pretty safe to say I’m hooked! I absolutely love working out. It’s no longer something I feel I have to do to try to look attractive, or that my body is so disgusting that its the only solution. I’m strong, I’m powerful, I’m good at what I do and I get such enjoyment out of it! Last week I deadlifted 226lbs, I failed at 130 6 months before, needless to say I was pretty happy, not stopping here though! After giving birth I lost the weight pretty quickly, and settled at 133, where I have been for the last 9 or 10 months, I eat clean (though the occasional bag of almond M&Ms and lattes have to be snuck in ;) ) I am not interesting in losing any weight, I like where I am at and feel awesome. Just love challenging my body and getting stronger and faster. I am signed up to do the Tough Mudder in May. The idea of getting married again some day and a man seeing my body still makes me a little apprehensive, not going to lie.. and I find myself second guessing things like wearing a two piece because my belly will show, but I am reading This Momentary Marriage by John Piper and there was a chapter on being naked and not ashamed, and how it was not due to perfect bodies. It doesn’t mean no stretchmarks, or “perfect” measurements, or straight teeth.. but that the love of a husband (or wife) does not see and pick apart those imperfections, but loves the spouse as a whole. I was floored. I felt hope.

Sorry this is so long, I still struggle with my saggy breasts, and stretchmarks from time to time, and Im not sure if those struggles will ever be gone for good, but I feel real, and I feel alive, and most days I feel beautiful. Over the last two years the biggest transformation is not of my body, but of my mind and soul. I cant stop smiling on the inside, or just saying “God is good, God is so good!” I am healing :) I hope that my story reaches out to at least one woman out there who can take encouragement from it.

pictures 1 & 2 are from my daughters birth
picture 3 is me deadlifting 226lbs
picture 4 is my stomach presently

My Story (Anonymous)

23yrs old –postpartum 8 months.
Angel Jae born to heaven, mum of girl and boy, step mum of girl and boy.

I found myself thinking back as I watched my sick child in deep slumber in the early hours of this morning. I couldn’t remember the life I had before one, then three, then four little lives were following in the footsteps of my own life and experiences. Waking after the little amount of sleep I got that night has brought me to the place I am right now. A million memories running through my heart and my mind. My story is one of emotion, happiness in the birth of my children, the horror, abuse and fear of my past and the excitement and wonder of where my life is going.

I am a mother of an angel and four… well sort of.

I suppose to do this correctly I need to start from the very beginning. I am a young mother. This is Jae’s story. I was almost 17 when I had the flutter of nerves and excitement waiting for that pregnancy test to say yes or no. In my head if it said yes I was already a mother. I come from a good home with loving parents and I was in a stable relationship that I had been in going on 5 years by this stage. So a baby was not something I was scared of, in fact I wanted nothing more. There it was those two little lines ‘Pregnant’. What do I do? Who do I tell first? How will they react? My fiancé… Anger, rage, hurt. 19 weeks in, we’re having a boy. He snaps. He’d hit me before, I should’ve known he’d do it again. Three broken ribs, two black eyes, a broken wrist and My precious Angel Jae watching over me forever more. I still think about him and miss him each and every day. The pain is still as raw as if it were new.

He was sorry, He didn’t mean to hurt me. He wouldn’t leave, I couldn’t escape.

One year later, I’m late. Crying, alone and terrified at the possibility. I was in the dirty bathrooms at the local shopping centre, my hands shaking as I ripped off the wrapper. The next five minutes seemed to last for an eternity. There they were, clear as day… those two little lines, ‘pregnant’. This is Rose’s story. He is furious this time, “Get rid of IT before I do”. 14 weeks, My escape! He’s a cheater as well as a woman beater. The ‘other woman’ probably saved my life. I’m petrified with every strange feeling and my ever expanding belly. He found me. The threats and torment continued from him right through my pregnancy, “I will get you. I will kidnap and kill it rather than pay for it”. The stress bringing on contractions and high blood pressure, but my Rose she is strong and she is safe. She was born by emergency caesarean after complications weighing almost 10pounds. She is a beautiful child living with a disability. She is the reason I ate, slept, moved. She is the reason I survived.

We call my stretch marks “Mummy Marks” and believe you me I have mummy marks all over! And my “Smile” is a little bit wonky but Rose says that it’s the smile God gave me because the one on my face wasn’t big enough to show how much I loved her. My “smile” is My Breasts – the eyes that in her eyes only a mummy has. My stretched and misshapen belly button is the nose, which she loves to tickle and finally my wonky caesarean scar makes my smile. The smile that God gave me in the hands of the surgeon that brought my child safely into the world and is a permanent reminder of the memory that makes me smile and fill to the brim with so much love that the smile on my face just wasn’t enough.

Time kept passing as it always has. I met a man. Could I trust him? Will he hurt me? Will he understand what I’ve been through? Most importantly… Will he accept my child?

He has children too… two of them. A girl, Mary and a boy, Robert. Slowly and cautiously things move forward. He proposes, a carefully planned event with all the children playing a part, at my favourite restaurant in front of a full house of diners. Just like from the start of our relationship he was treating me as if I was the most important thing in the world, as if I were a princess. We move in together and almost immediately there they are again those two little lines ‘Pregnant’ but this time it’s different. It’s exciting and happy and I can share it. What a valentine’s present that news was!

We’re having a boy. 22 weeks in, there’s a car accident, where is the bleeding coming from? Is my baby alright? Phillip’s story. 23 weeks and we are in birth suite being told to get ready. 4cm dilated, Wait – Stop everything! My body and I believe the grace of God stopped everything. We heard the galloping of 10000 horses and we cried together. He’s alright, he’s safe tucked in tight beneath my heart. I stayed in hospital and every day got longer and longer and it was hard to cope. 8 trips to birth suite, drugs… oh the drugs steroids for baby, blood thinners, pain killers, dyes, contrasts, anaesthetics and last but not least epidural and caesarean. We made it! 35 weeks. 5pounds of amazing baby boy in my arms.

It’s funny you know, for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a mother. I have always wanted four children. I could never in my wildest imagination describe what it feels like inside when I look at my children. All four of them, because they are mine each and every one of them. I love them. The shape of a mother to me is not only the physical but the emotional. What makes a mother whole – her children. They are a part of her living independently outside of her own body.

I don’t know if this is a story for this site, but it is my story. I am a woman and I am strong. I am a survivor. I am a mother and I live for my children. I’m not ready yet to let my face be seen. There is always fear in the back of my mind and my greatest concern is protecting my daughter from the threats made against her.

25 Year Old Mom of 2 (Emma)

Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can ever experience. I never felt more feminine as I did when I was pregnant and expecting. and, nurturing my child after-wards by breastfeeding, I’m curvier than I was pre-pregnancy (with both) – I had a home birth with my second, and it was one of the most wonderful experiences i’ve ever had in my life! I can’t wait to do it again.

I also wanted to include, that there was a huge age gap between my children due to struggling with infertility for years before finally conceiving our second baby.

~Age: 25
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: almost 7 years, and 11 weeks at time of entry.

Photos are between 4 days and 8 weeks postpartum.

My entire story…hoping it will give somebody hope or simply put a smile on somebody’s face. (Anonymous)

~Age: 17, almost 18
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 incredible birth
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 23 weeks

I was 16 years old when I found out I was 2 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend, who was/still is my best friend, was 18 at the time and we were both mortified and at a loss for words when the fourth pregnancy test that I took read ” + “. I’d never thought that I would be “one of those girls” that I was always so quick to judge–I knew nothing about how much it takes to bring a life into this world. I told my mom the day after I found out and she told my dad that night…I’ll never forget the day after. It seems like I didn’t say anything to anybody that day besides saying the word ‘yes’ to my dad when he worked up the guts to ask me if I was scared. I immediately decided that I was going to give my child a fair shot at life and I started researching different ways to give birth. It only took a few days for me to decide on doing a completely natural home water birth, it was time to grow up and do what was best (in my opinion) for my baby. No ultrasounds, no drugs of any kind, just love, a peaceful environment and positive thinking.

Despite all of the remarks and rude comments that I got for wanting to give birth that way, I knew that it was what I wanted to do and I was determined to make everything go the way that I wanted it to. I decided very early on to eat an organic, protein rich, hearty and healthy diet for the months that followed. I got pregnant in mid July and I moved across the country that November with my family and boyfriend. A few months passed, and with his family pressuring him daily to move back by them and leave me, my boyfriend caved and moved 1,000 miles away from me and our unborn child. (We stayed together, though it was extremely difficult, and he’ll be moving back in with my family and I in the next few months.) As time went on I got more and more excited to go into labor and after about 7 months of positivity, support and spectacular chiropractic care, I was fearless. I knew exactly how labor was going to go and I knew what to expect as if I’d already done it all in a past life.

Exactly 1 week after my due date at 3:54 a.m. my contractions woke me. They were very subtle but I knew that day, April 16, 2010 was going to be the day that I would finally be face-to-face with the mysterious creature that was my child. Like I said, I had no ultrasounds or testing of any kind during my pregnancy so I was even more anxious about finding out if I was going to have a Dominic or an Ava. Contractions barely grew stronger over the following hours until I was in the grocery store 8 hours after they’d begun and I had to squat in the freezer section to breathe through my first ‘painful’ contraction. Things started moving along so I hurried home with my mom, a.k.a. my birth coach&birth partner, and called my midwife. I told her that I was starting to feel uncomfortable and I needed her around. As I was waiting for her to get to my house, my mom and I prepared the birthing tub and all of the things that would be needed for cleanup afterwards. My midwife got there 9 hours after contractions had started and things were really starting to move along. I went from squatting and holding the island in the kitchen to the handle of the back door, and finally to a pile of pillows in my bedroom as I moaned through my contractions. 10 hours into labor, my water broke and contractions were so unbelievably strong after that, they took my breath away. By the time my midwife checked my cervix, I was 8cm dilated and ready to climb into the birthing tub.

I squeezed my moms hands as I spiraled my hips in the warm water and ‘moo’d through my 90 second long contractions with only 30 seconds between them. Before I knew it I felt the undeniable urge to push that everybody always told me about, but it was nothing like I thought it was going to be. There was such an incredible life force moving through my body and as I screamed (not because of the pain but because the sound was literally being pushed out by my body) I felt my baby’s head starting to crown. One contraction later, it’s beautiful head had been born and the body was still kicking and squirming around inside of my body. I laughed as I felt my child’s beautiful dark brown hair under water and said “Baby! Stop kicking!!”. 3 powerful contractions and 10 minutes later, after 12 life changing hours of labor, my incredible child was fully submerged in the water. All 8lbs 11oz and 21inches of my beautiful child was gently unwrapped and able to unfold in the warm tub. I reached my hands down to pull my baby up to my chest and as I was still in shock, I asked “Is it a girl or a boy?!?!” My midwife simply said “Why don’t you reach down and feel?” And as soon as I did, I cried “She’s my Ava!”. With a huge sigh of relief I threw my head back and my proud mama (who is now also a proud grandma) splashed water on baby Ava’s back and cried with me. I got out of the tub and crawled in to my own warm bed with my new baby and latched her on to my breast for the first time.

I was completely healed in 2 1/2 weeks. No cuts, no drugs, no stitches, no doctors. Just love. My daughter is my world and I will always remember every detail of this story. I hope that another young mom reads this and realizes that regardless of what people say or do, you are perfectly capable of doing exactly what you want. Anything is possible if you work for it.

Update (Kerry)

Original entry here.

age: 18
1 pregnancy, 1 birth
1 month PP
I posted about a month ago. I was expecting my child on the 9th of April… Well he came! April 7th, at 10:50pm weighing 8lbs 4oz and measured 21.5″ long! We planned a home water birth. We barely had time to make the water part work because he came so fast, but it was just what we wanted, and more! In my earlier post I had shared my fears about my coming PP body and how this website was helping me get over them, not in the way that I wouldn’t look different, but that my body would be something to embrace instead of loath. I prepared myself for the worst, maybe if I hadn’t already been learning to embrace my body I would have still been upset and disappointed with my body. What I DIDN’T expect was to have the opposite reaction! Instead of just accepting my post baby body I actually love it! I have curves now, my belly and sides are still riddled with stretch marks, but they are barely visible, and my tummy skin is soft as can be. Im still about 30 pounds from my starting weight at 130something (I think, we dont own a scale) but I dont ever want to get that skinny again, this body is too enviable in my eyes! When I delivered my son, Levi, I was 196lbs, so to be down to 160 already is quite encouraging, but I have no problem if I platau here and dont loose anymore for months! Maybe I lost so much because I’m breastfeeding, but who knows.. Just wanted to share my utter joy with all the ladies on here!
1st: 3 hours before Levi was born
2nd: bringing our son into the world
3rd: 1 day pp
4th: 1 week pp
5th: 1 week pp
6th: 2 weeks pp
7th: 3 1/2 weeks pp
8th: 3 1/2 weeks pp
9th: my little treasure

Updated here and here.

Successful UBA5C (Stacy)

I am updating from my previous entry here

I am ecstatic to announce the arrival of our son. He arrived vaginally, at home, 10#5oz, 22 1/2 and perfectly healthy. I have had 5 previous csections and have yet to even process the immense healing that has come and will come from this. I love this website and wanted to come here to share my story and God’s glory with all those who are seeking a VBAC of one sort or another, women contemplating UC or UBAC as well as women dealing with body issues. I have that I already seem myself as the most beatuiful woman in the world now. Seriously, I am SOOOO greatful for what my body has done, through all of my pregnancies and labors and birth and surgery. I am overjoyed!

10# 5oz
22 1/2 inch
14 3/4 head

Question CPD

Updated here and here.


Name: Cloey
Age: 28
Pregnancies: 2 (one live birth)
Age of child: 6 months

People keep telling me how lucky I am to have snapped back so quickly. I was around 120 when I got pregnant at 27. The last time I weighed myself about a week before I gave birth at 28 I was 152. By the time my son was six weeks old I was wearing my pre-pregnancy clothing, although I’m not sure how much I weighed.
When my son was eight weeks old I began the first of two, week long stays in a psychiatric ward. I stopped sleeping. Couldn’t sleep even when my son was asleep. Couldn’t sleep even when my husband would take him out of the house for a few hours. It was a constant panic attack lasting several days that finally broke me down, sent me to the hospital even though at that time I was exclusively breastfeeding and cried at the thought of someone else feeding my son, cried harder when I thought of giving him formula.
I pumped every two hours during the day while I was hospitalized using a manual pump (no cords in the psych ward!) and storing the milk in a cooler by my bed which I filled with ice from the machine in the common room. I would also get up at least once during the night, even though I was given sedatives to sleep, and pump. I kept meticulous track of how much I produced and at what time, adding up the grand total for each 24 hour period and obsessing over the number.
I saw my son once a day for an hour during that time.
Neither my husband nor I have family close by, although his is a two hour car ride while all of mine requires a plane trip. When I was hospitalized both his family and mine planned things so that we would have help for the next several months. During the day while my husband worked I would have company and someone to help me care for the baby.
I was discharged with prescriptions for an antidepressant and sedatives to take at night. This meant that I had to pump and dump for twelve hours out of every twenty-four. It was very discouraging to be trying so hard to feed my son, to obsess over every drop, and then to have to throw half of it away. I would leave the milk sitting by the sink and have my husband pour it out for me. Sometimes I would skip my pill so that I could save all of my milk but then I wouldn’t sleep at all and I would be unable to function.
During the day I was up, ever moving, cleaning and preforming a million repetitive tasks. I looked forward to taking my pill at night, even though it meant throwing out my milk, because that was the only time I was able to slow down. Also I was off duty, if my son needed something it wasn’t up to me to figure out what. But soon I wasn’t sleeping at all again. It started slowly, I noticed that while at first I would take my pill and have to go to bed almost immediately I could now stay awake for several hours. I started taking two and that seemed to solve my problem, but only briefly.
During my first visit to my psychiatrist about a month after I was discharged I told him that I could no longer sleep and that I was doubling my dose. I said that I wanted to just be able to sleep like a normal person. Instead of asking questions or attempting to come up with another solution he gave me a prescription for a higher dose and told me I could “adjust it as needed.” Then made me an appointment several months out.
Soon I was taking four times my original dose, the dose that had originally put me to sleep almost instantly, and still awake for hours on end. I made it through the holidays but just barely. My family had all come and gone. My husband’s family had gone back to their everyday lives. It was just us and the baby. I wasn’t sleeping. Two thirty in the morning and I had all the lights in the house on and was cleaning the bathroom. My husband woke and asked if I was on something. Only sedatives.
It seems like it got bad quickly after that although I have no clear memory of any of it. One night I broke down, crying to my husband that I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t know what to do. He called my psychiatrist. My psychiatrist was on vacation and his answering service gave us the number of another doctor who was covering for him. That doctor too, was unavailable, and we were bounced to a third doctor who told my husband to bring me to the hospital immediately. I refused. I didn’t want to be separated from my son again even though I was frightened of him. Terrified of this little being who wanted something although I couldn’t be sure what it was or if I could in fact provide it.
My husband’s aunt came to stay with us again, maybe it was as soon as the next day. I remember that my son, now sixteen weeks old, was napping in his swing, my husband’s aunt at the computer, my husband napping on the couch. I was in our bedroom, taking the rest of the pills in the bottle. I was determined to sleep, to something, to anything. I was no longer thinking clearly, I hadn’t slept in days. As they started to kick in I remember walking naked out of our bedroom, wandering in to stare at my son. My husband’s aunt turned and said something to me about how I’d gotten my figure back. Then my husband was yelling and shoving me into the car.
I woke hours later, back in the pysch ward, with only a dim memory of how I had arrived there. I got up from my bed and stood in the florescent light of the bathroom looking at my naked body. I was thinner than before I got pregnant, I hadn’t been able to eat much and was often ill when I did. My breasts were swollen with milk and tender. My body covered with sticky patches left by the EKG leads, my arms taped where the IV lines had gone in and blood had been drawn. I hadn’t taken enough to require pumping my stomach, just what had been left in the bottle, just enough to lose a day.
I drew a different psychiatrist from the deck and received a different diagnosis this time. Not just postpartum depression, I was told that I am bi-polar. Put on mood stabilizers. Sedated.
I had my breast pump, my cooler, but this time I was so heavily sedated that I was unable to pump any more often than was required to keep myself comfortable. Once again I was able to see my son once daily for an hour. Older and more aware now he was often upset and crying during these visits. The conference room that I was brought to was cold and brightly light. The chairs had no arms and it was difficult for me to hold him comfortably. He didn’t understand why momma wasn’t at home with him and why when he saw me I was so sad and smelled so strange. My husband enrolled him in daycare.
I spent most of my second hospital stay crying.
Finally home again I began going to a day program overseen by the psychiatrist I’d had in the hospital. Every morning my son would go to daycare and I would ride the ‘Crazy Bus’ to ‘Crazy Person Daycare’ and fill out worksheets that seemed better suited to kindergartners. My medication was adjusted, leaving me incapacitated for a week or more each time. My milk dried up even though I had fought so hard. I still feel like my breasts betrayed me there. All these years they’ve never been big enough and then, when I ask them to simply do their job, they let me down again.
I wanted to be able to talk to other new mothers about normal things, stretch marks and weight loss and how our babies slept, but I found myself unable to. I felt like raw meat, so sensitive and afraid to come in contact with others for fear of contaminating them. My cousin had given birth two weeks after I and while she hadn’t lost the weight and had gotten stretch marks all over her body she sounded so happy on the phone that I was jealous. I tried telling myself that while I was crazy at least I wasn’t fat. I’d still cry over her abundant milk supply and her normal problems after hanging up the phone.
Today my son is six months old. I feel like I missed most of his first few months and I can’t bear to look at some of the photos, I can see the crazy in my eyes. I wouldn’t call myself cured, I’ll never be that, but I am functional. I no longer go to ‘Crazy Person Daycare’ and I am back at my job which I left three days before giving birth. My son is healthy and the happiest baby at his daycare. I see an individual therapist weekly and we’re visited by a social worker once a month. Day by day I feel a little more normal, things are a little easier.
As for my body, it is strange to me. I used to pose nude for art classes, photographers, friends and lovers. I made art with my body. I was comfortable in my own skin. But now I’m not sure that everything is where I left it. It was in a near constant state of flux for so long, the all day morning sickness, horrible acne, worse than anything I experienced during puberty, the swelling stomach and breasts. I got so large that I felt claustrophobic inside my own skin. I was told over and over that I didn’t look pregnant except for the belly but I felt pregnant everywhere. Even after giving birth my body has continued to change in ways unfamiliar to me. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to do the things that I used to with my body, that it will ever be fully mine again.

I attached four photos.
One in labor.
Two at nearly six months postpartum.
One of my son.

Learning to Love My Body Again (Anonymous)

I am 33 years old. I have 2 children, that today are ages 6 and 8 years old. I nursed both of them. Before pregnancy, I was no super model, but was healthy, around 140 lbs, with perky nice little B cups. With my first pregnancy, I gained 50 lbs. I quickly lost all that weight by 7 months post partum. My body looked better than ever. I had nice boobs and curves that I never did before. I don’t remember what my belly looked like, but it couldn’t have been too bad, because I don’t remember it, LOL. Pregnancy and birth taught me to love my body at whatever size and I felt so sexy when I was pregnant with my first and after. With my second, I gained 70 lbs. This pregnancy really took its toll on my body. It took me almost 2 years to regain my pre-pregnancy weight. I was still nursing, so still had boobs and was confident and content with my body again at that point. But then I developed several autoimmune and chronic health problems: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc etc. I ballooned up to 200 lbs in less than one year’s time! Then I reclaimed my health and slowly worked my way down to 130 lbs, which is where I am today. My body has really gone through so many weight changes now between the pregnancies, nursing and swelling to D+ cups, and the health problems. I am no longer nursing, so my boobs are like flat pancakes today. My stomach is a wrinkly and saggy. I struggled for the longest time to accept this new body as my own. Especially my breasts. I felt a disconnect with them, like they just weren’t a part of me. Some foreign invaders hanging from my body. But I am slowly learning to love my breasts again. Slowly learning to wear the badges of my life’s journey with honor and pride. It is a slow process. Self-love is hard work! Coming across this website has really helped spur that along. Looking at the pics of all these beautiful moms has really inspired me. We are all so beautiful and should be proud of our womanly, motherly, sexy bodies!

First picture: first pregnancy, 6 months post partum
Second picture: nursing my first
Third picture: pregnant with my second child
Fourth picture: just after the birth of my second child
Rest of the pictures: me today at age 33; my kids are 6 and 8 years old

In Love With Myself (Anonymous)

I posted here nine months ago thinking that I would return loathing my post pregnancy body. Superficially thinking that “recovering” from my pregnancy would be important.

On April 30th ten days late I birthed a 7lb .5oz baby girl gently into my own arms. Not only was I blessed with a healthy child but I also left my daughter’s birth feeling confidant, and accomplished.

Amelia turned 8 months old yesterday and I couldn’t be happier with myself. While my body looks (mostly) unchanged my belly is just soft enough for her to blow raspberries on, my breasts loosened just enough for her to tug while she nurses, and the little stretch mark above my belly button constantly reminds me of how much I have changed in the last year.

I hope everyone that comes here finds as much happiness in her body as I have.

*First photo 39 weeks pregnant
*Second photo Just moments after our daughter was born
*Third Amelia’s first steps in the snow.
*My new and improved self.