Ep 11: Suzzie’s Birth Trauma Overcome By Homebirth After Cesarean

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About Our Guest:

Suzzie Vehrs is a birth advocate and lover. After her first birth  left her broken and in need of deep healing, she knew she had to do things differently the next time around. Her HBAC birth was the BEST experience of her life. Suzzie is determined to inspire mothers to use pregnancy and birth as a time to explore their creative powers, sink deep into feeling wonderful and creating an experience that truly serves both mother and baby. If you want to find your birthing and mama power you must read her book Divine Birth and check out her article on the surprising ways prenatal yoga helps you birth like a goddess, even if you’re terrified of labor. 



Show Notes

-Suzzie’s first birth was an emergency c section, where she felt she had no control

-She spent the next few years in therapy, doing her best to process what had happened to her and overcome her birth trauma.

-For her second birth, which was several years later, she decided to research local midwives

-After finding a midwife that she considered a perfect fit, she was finally able to feel excited about the prospect of her second birth.

-Suzzie feels that her second birth was incredibly healing and was able to deeply curb the pain and sense of loss she felt in relation to her first birth.

-She gave birth in the water, and her midwife directed her baby’s body towards her.  Suzzie picked up her baby and patted her back.  Hazel cried for a few moments, the nestled comfortably into Suzzie’s arms, safe and sound.

-“We just had this moment of total peace, serenity, calmness and happiness… and she was here.  In my arms.”

-As mentioned previously, Suzzie’s first birth was not quite as peaceful.  She mentions that when she told them her plan to give birth naturally, they were not very supportive of the idea.  Looking back, she realizes this was a sign of the care to come.

– Her water broke before contractions began, and she was essentially put on a “clock” by her doctor.

-She labored through the night, and then in the morning when she was beginning to feel rather uncomfortable, she went to the hospital.

-The admitting nurse asked the typical intake questions, and when she found out that Suzzie’s water had broken the night before, she responded by saying, “Your water broke 12 hours ago?  You could have killed your baby.”

-These harsh words, unsurprisingly, put Suzzie into a place of shock and fear, and her labor stalled.  “My labor just stopped.”

-They put Suzzie on Pitocin, and she did not feel that she was able to cope with the pain of the contractions.  Looking back, she says that she did was not as aware of as many coping mechanisms as she was with her second birth.

-“They whisked her away, and my husband away with her.  Which, I’m glad he got to go, but that left me alone.”

-Suzzie was so dehydrated that she felt she might die from it, and in the meantime, nobody in the operating room would give her a straight answer about whether or not her baby was okay.

-Once they finished surgery, Suzzie was taken to another room, where she waited for several hours alone and in the dark without knowing what had happened to her baby.

-Suzzie mentions that her decision to have a homebirth after cesarean was made once she saw that the research pointed to uterine rupture not necessarily being caused by having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), but by the use of Pitocin.

-She knew that she would have to have a homebirth, as birth centers in her area are not regulated to perform VBACs.

-She mentions how comforting it was to be under the care of someone who cared about her in a holistic way: Not just, are you breathing?  Do you have a pulse?  Does the baby have a pulse?”

-Out of her trauma came healing.  Suzzie has since authored the book “Divine Birth: A Collection of Wisdom + Coloring Pages to Inspire and Empower the Pregnant Mother”

-“Pregnancy and birth is really a chance for us as women to explore our creative powers and to step into our womanhood.”

-“I am worthy to have experiences that not only serve me, but are the best for me and my baby.”

-Suzzie mentions that her bravery was shown more powerfully in her traumatic hospital birth where she had to cope with all of the difficulties that followed.  In comparison, the homebirth was easy.

-“At some point in your journey, someone will ask you, ‘How did you know you could do it?’ and you will answer, ‘Because I looked within.’”

-“When you make decisions that are lined up with the answers inside of you, you will have a great birth experience.”

Episode Roundup:

    1. Take note of your care provider’s attitude when you share your birth plans with them. If you notice that you are not being treated with respect, it’s time to search for a new provider.  Remember, you are hiring these people!  You can fire them, too.
    1. Educate yourself on what is normal during childbirth. I recommend birthing classes, as well as a number of books that you can find on the happy homebirth website under “resources”.  By being informed, you’ll be able to notice anything fishy going on with your care.
    1. Hire a doula!!!
    1. If you have experienced birth trauma, seek help. Suzzie sought therapy after her traumatic experience, and if you’ve had something like this happen to you, I urge you to do the same.  These experiences and emotions cannot help but to seep into every other aspect of our lives.  There is no sense in struggling alone.
    “When you make decisions that are lined up with the answers inside of you, you will have a great birth experience.”