Podcast Episode #83

Spilling the Milk: VBA2C Birth Story with Jo

This VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 caesareans) birth story is with Jo, a mum of three.  In this VBA2C birth stories episode, Jo openly shares the highs and lows as she navigates through the stages of motherhood and her journey and struggle with advocating for a VBA2C birth, all while in lockdown.

She found a sense of empowerment once she succeeded with her VBA2C birth and hopes that her story can inspire other women who want to consider their options.

In this episode we discuss:

Jo’s birth story with vaginal birth after 2 caesareans (VBA2C).
Transitioning from two children to a mum of three.
Challenges with pregnancy.
Recovery after childbirth. And Jo’s final words of wisdom for other mamas seeking to have their own VBA2C birth stories.

Sit back, relax and we hope you enjoy this podcast episode.

LINKS:
Jo’s Instagram: @the_everyday_mumma
FitNest Mama Website:https://www.fitnestmama.com
FitNest Mama Instagram:@fitnestmama

VBAC with Dr Kieren Wilson podcast mentioned
Maternal Assisted Caesarean Birth with Dr Natalie Elphinstone.

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VBA2C Birth stories with Jo [Podcast episode]

Transcription

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that this transcription was completed with computer voice recognition software. Quite often unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the computer software. Please disregard these errors. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby this podcast is for you. I am your host, Kath Baquie, a physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three based in Melbourne, Australia. Join me as we dive into all things pelvic floor and core as well as talking to different industry experts, helping you to have a healthy pregnancy, confident childbirth, and strong postnatal recovery. Hit subscribe, you’re listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast. To attend my free pregnancy mini pelvic floor and call masterclass, head to fitnestmama.com/free.

KATH BAQUIE – INTRODUCTION TO THE VBA2C BIRTH STORIES PODCAST EPISODE WITH JO.

Well, hello there. It’s great to have you here for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast. In this episode today, I am chatting to the lovely Jo who’s a mum inside FitNest Mama and she’s got an incredible birth story to share. So, Jo had 2 caesareans, and with her third, she had a large desire to have a vaginal birth, so she ended up having a VBAC. So VBA2C, so Vaginal Birth after two Caesareans. And Jo talks us through step by step, the pregnancy the challenges she faced in the public health system in terms of advocating for our self. She talked about how she prepared herself physically and mentally for the upcoming birth experience. And she’s got some great words of wisdoms for any other mums listening that are interested in thinking about a VBAC, or if you’re just pregnant in general. So, it is a fantastic episode.

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I do just want to clarify before we dive into this episode, Jo describes her amazing experience with VBAC. But these birth stories inside FitNest Mama, we have a whole lot of different birth stories. So, I’m just wanting to talk to a whole range of different mums. So, we’ve had women who’ve had to caesarean birth, vaginal births. We had one who had the home birth, VBAC, like I am trying, he had to get a broad overview of all the different types of births, and this is just one. So, we’re not saying if you’re listening, you need to consider a VBAC if you’ve had a caesarean before. This is just Jo imparting her experience and her personal challenges and triumphs that she had with her pregnancy and motherhood experience. I trust you’re going to get a lot out of this episode. We did have to pause it halfway because her lovely, gorgeous baby Sami, needed to be settled. And that’s mum life, isn’t it? So, you will hear her lovely baby in the background.

So, before we do dive into this episode, just want to remind you that there is a seven-day trial available to FitNest Mama, so if you would like help to prepare your body during pregnancy, prepare for birth and recover after having a baby then FitNest Mama is for you. There are online classes. There are pre-recorded and live classes, includes Pilates and yoga. There’s preparing for birth resources, whether or not it’s a caesarean or a vaginal birth. There are recovery resources, we’ve got lots of pelvic floor information. Really, we’ve got a 12 week return to running program. And it really is designed to be what you need to help you get back to doing what you love with a bubba by your side. So be sure to check out that seven-day trial available at fitnestmama.com. All right let’s get into the episode.

So, thank you, Jo, for joining me on the FitNest Mama Podcast. It’s great to have you here.

JO

Thank you for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

So, as I was just mentioning in the intro, you were a mum of three beautiful children. And I’m really honoured today to have a chat to you about your birth story of specifically your most recent bubs. So how old are they now?

JO

So, I’ve got a five year old, a three year old and Bob’s just turned five months. And I kind of miss that.

KATH BAQUIE

it’s crazy how quickly that flies by isn’t it?

JO

It certainly is.

KATH BAQUIE

Beautiful. So, let’s start at the start. For those that don’t know, like we connected on Instagram and the lovely Jo is a member inside FitNest Mama. And she’s just been so lovely. Like you’re just finding life so busy, yet you still managed to squeeze in some workouts here and there. But you’ve got a really interesting story to tell. And I actually don’t know much about your story at all. So, let’s start at the start of this, specifically this third pregnancy. Like How was your journey becoming pregnant?

JO

It all happened actually pretty quickly. We kind of said, let’s see what happens. If it happens, it happens. So, it was yeah, it was a bit of a shock when I found out a couple of months into it that I was pregnant. We also found out that the house that we were living in was just have been sold on that day. So, there was a few challenges that house hunting, morning sickness, and then we had COVID. So that was all very, very challenging. But falling pregnant wasn’t as difficult as what we would expect it.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Right. And you had 3 caesarean birth for your first two bubs, right?

JO

That’s right, both emergency C sections.

KATH BAQUIE

And how was that experience?

JO

The first one, I didn’t actually realize until later on. It was a little bit troubling. I think being a first-time mum, you put your faith and your trust in the public system and you just go with the flow, but not realizing that, you know what, you do have a say, you do have a choice in, you know, in decisions that can be made. So yeah, I, as I said, it was later on that I was a bit traumatized by certain things. I thought, “Oh, if I could have done this, I could have done that.” So that sort of is why I became more educated each pregnancy that I had in sort of to make that decision of, you know, wanting a VBAC and I knew what I wanted, so yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

So do you care to share? You don’t have to better elaborate and what did you find challenging with that first experience?

JO

It was just, for me was, with the emergency C section. I was strapped to the bed. I actually didn’t fully see my daughter’s face. 100% sure there’s a blanket on her. I couldn’t move. I was shivering. I was shaking. And then I was wheeled away. I was separated from my daughter. So that I don’t know. I feel, because my husband got that alone time with her. Like it may not be just it may just be a thing. I don’t know. But she’s a lot more closer to him than what she’s with me. I have a joke that if both of us were in a burning fire, she would for hubby first. But that could just be that their personalities, but I sometimes question is that because she had that skin to skin contact with you more than what she had with me?

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, interesting. Thanks for sharing. And your experience in terms of like, it’s not the first time I’ve heard that sort of reaction, I guess that inability to hold your baby straightaway and that sort of thing to being traumatic. And that’s why I endeavoured to get the lovely, I don’t know if you’ve listened to the podcast episode, but for anyone listening to Dr. Natalie Elphinstone, who’s an obstetrician and she loves doing maternal assisted severe infections and she discusses how the power and you know just having that that ability for the mum to control a small amount and be the first you know, one of the first to hold the baby can really make a huge like, it might seem small, but it can make a huge difference in your experience.

JO

Yeah, I I totally agree with that. Like, just from like my experiences, that was something that, with my third like I was against having a C section. I was like, it was not even a possibility. But I saw someone actually mentioned that to me. “Have you thought about, you know, a maternal resistance C section?” So, it was something in the back of my mind, but stubborn and determined as I was. I was having a VBAC this third time.

KATH BAQUIE

And was that desire to have a VBAC there for your second pregnancy?

JO

Yep, so second pregnancy, I attempted a VBAC. I actually got to nine centimetres dilated with her. Manage to skip induction. So, I got myself into labour. We’ve got to nine centimetres. I was high fiving, the midwife saying, “Yup, it’s done.” I’m doing this. And then I got an infection. So, bub got distressed, my temperature rose. So, it was like. “No. Give up.” And that was one of the other reasons why I was pushing for a VBAC the third time is because what my body had done it. I was so close to the finish line. Why? Why can I do it again? So yeah, yeah, that was it. Yeah. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

So, did you go through the public health system for your, yeah, can you talk us through? Yep. Can you talk us through navigating the public health system and advocating for yourself in terms of getting a VBAC?

JO

So it was actually really difficult. I’m in Sydney. So, I went to black chan hospital, who pretty much in the very beginning but like, no, we don’t do it. It was just like you are going against hospital policy. If this is something that you want to do, you need to sign a waiver, you’re putting yourself at risk of being a baby at risk, blah, blah, blah. And also the fact it was COVID. So I had no support with me going to hospital visits, it was the most traumatic thing that a pregnant woman could go through. I didn’t ever wish for anyone to go through that. So, I really had to be my own advocate. Even trying to reach out to doulas and other people just to get some sort of like someone in my corner. It was really difficult. I had I found that within the hospital, the midwives were the ones that were more supportive over the doctor’s. Doctors look at it from a risk factor not looking at the other side of it as well. I also had someone point out that there’s actually more risk in having a third C section. But no one wanted to talk about that. So yeah, it was it was a challenge. But I was prepared to take that fight on.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. And just just I should have said this at the start, but this session today, like I’m not, we’re talking, we’re having a chat, Jo. But for anyone listening, this isn’t. This isn’t a best story saying everyone has to go along the same path as Jo. We’re just literally hearing Joe’s experience here. And if you aren’t interested in a VBAC, go, and have a chat to your health care team to see if it’s suitable for you. And we have just recently had a podcast episode with an obstetrician talking about the benefits and some of the risks associated with feedback. And he talks us through how to make it as safe as possible. And all those factors that need to be considered. So I just wanted to put it out there that general information only. And please do go and have a chat to your individual healthcare team. Because every single woman in the world probably has different wishes and different desires. And this is just one perspective. So I do appreciate you sharing it, Jo. So you found it difficult to navigate. What was the turning point where the hospital said, Okay, let’s go ahead with this?

JO

Because I knew I was backing down, they knew that this was what my decision. I actually spoke to one of the head of the department and he said, “Look, it’s your body, your choice, we just have to advise you of the risks. But if but we’re not going to turn you away, if you come in and you say no, I’m bout to have this baby, we’re not going to turn our backs on you.” So, towards the very, very end, that’s when I finally had a meeting with a doctor who was supportive. I actually had a midwife who volunteered to be present at the birth of my baby. She wasn’t even, like, scheduled on that day. They called her in, and she came and she was amazing. So, she she knew I needed someone in my corner, someone who had the medical knowledge and someone who can, who wasn’t afraid to set up with the doctors. And that’s really what I needed. So, I was very fortunate enough to find her. It was the very end with the birth of this one.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh Gorgeous. And we can see him as we speak on our zoom call. So, what, like it sounds like, you know, you’re determined. It sounds like you’ve done your homework, which is amazing. How did you do your homework? Like, what resources did you read up on? How did you find out the risks and benefits and that side of thing?

JO

So, I obviously lot of googling. I actually listen to a lot of podcasts. VBAC stories was pretty much a weekly thing for me just listening to people’s different people’s journeys and experiences, stuff like that, like I was I was aware of uterine rupture. It’s something that you know, it’s the possibility but I think having a positive mindset is really what played a part. But I think a lot of it mainly was just podcasts I had the midwife gave me a list of things. I tried to reach out to an obstetrician tried to reach out to doulas things like that unfortunately was successful because it COVID. I also just had a lot of positive mindsets like I really had to shift my mindset about it and educate myself of the race as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, amazing. And how was your pregnancy so traveling further into pregnancy, all the appointments aside, how did you find a third pregnancy compared to your first for example?

JO

Physically, it wasn’t that bad. Like I fortunate enough that I’ve never had any complications with any of my pregnancies. Obviously, the tiredness having to run after two other kids. We just moved. So I’m trying to set up a house but I actually exercised a lot so that’s sort of what I think helps with the tiredness and that just going out for fresh air and moving the body that we learned how important and how much you know the benefits of exercise is. So, physically it was It wasn’t too bad I think a lot of it came down to mentally emotionally as well.

KATH BAQUIE

And what was the biggest I guess turning curve like what for you what was on your mind at that point? You know, becoming a mother of three?

JO

To be honest, I was scared I was like, oh my goodness, like how is this going to happen like how. I kind of didn’t put too much thought in it though. Like I was just going with the with the emotions trying to spend as much time with the two girls as possible and prepare them for you know, there’s a baby coming in the house and It wasn’t too like, I think the last couple of days that I was like, Holy crap, I’m going to have three children like. Especially once we, once we put the caption in the car, and I looked in the backseat, that was the reality check, like, Oh my goodness. But yeah, it’s just, I think I just tried not to think too much into it and just go with it and see how we go.

KATH BAQUIE

The baptism of fire. So those last few days of pregnancy, did you have any warning signs that it was approaching?

JO

I had a feeling like it was actually the day before. I remember. I didn’t feel 100%, I was, I still exercise because I went for a walk. But I had a very chill day, I did some food prep, the house had to be clean. And I had this sudden urge to go for a walk. My husband got home from work, I left him the kids gone for a walk. And that’s when I’m walking. And I’m like, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. But it felt good. And actually, then the next day I went into labour.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. Isn’t it funny how those instinct kicks in here all the time? Bit of a cleaning frenzy at the end.

JO

Yeah. I said to one o’clock in the morning, making sure the house was clean. And the other clothes were folded, and everything was insane. But um, yeah.

KATH BAQUI

So, were you exhausted when you went into labour?

JO

I was because I didn’t have much sleep. Plus, I had to go get COVID tested. That was the thing I woke up at three o’clock in the morning. I haven’t got COVID tested. So, I dropped my kids off at day-care, drove to the testing got out of the car. And I was oh my god, I think I’m in labour. Then I went to Belize to get milk and bread.

KATH BAQUIE

So just to backtrack, did you have to, like, was that at a time when you had to have a COVID test just before you went into hospital?

JO

Yeah. So, every three days, I was supposed to get COVID tested. And I was completely lost. It went out of my mind that day to get tested. So, I was freaking out going, oh my god, they’re not going to let me in the hospital unless I get tested. But of course, you know, like, they have no choice. Just one of the other added stresses of being pregnant at that time.

KATH BAQUIE

For sure. So, you got out the car, you went to Woollies, you think you’re in labour.

JO

But I got to get that milk and bread. And also, I needed to get on depend on the bed because we had a bit of a bladder issue happening then as well. So okay, and that was one more important thing that I needed in the hospital, I found that having them throughout the labour helped a lot.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. So, I didn’t know this. So, I’m going to ask all these physio questions.

JO

Now, we’re getting into the good stuff.

KATH BAQUIE

So, for everyone listening, really common bladder incontinence that leads with pregnancy and postpartum. One in three women, unfortunately, will have leakage of some sort, as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and wanting to prolapse so it’s real. So, thank you so much for sharing that information. Because often, that’s the sort of stuff that doesn’t get shared. And had you gone to seek help for that bladder leakage? Or was that really at the end of your pregnancy that you started to experience that?

JO

I had it towards the end the last couple of weeks, actually. I went into hospital thinking that my water had maybe broken.

KATH BAQUIE

We’re just having a little break for feed.

JO

See the reality of my life.

KATH BAQUIE

Full real. Beautiful.

JO

So, towards towards the end, I noticed so and then it was it was full on and unfortunately after birth as well, I still had that bladder leakage for was a good week or so. And so that was I went to realize that add pelvic floor exercises is really, really, really important to do.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, and have you had a pelvic floor assessment from a physio? To get on your To Do Lists? Great. Definitely worth doing just to make sure you’ve got the right. So in FitNest Mama, we do a lot of pelvic floor exercises and help to get stronger but it’s really important to have that confidence that you’re doing the correct contraction and got the right technique. Sorry, didn’t mean to add another thing to your to do list Jo. So, in Belize, you’re buying all the essentials, talk us through what happens then.

JO

So then, luckily, I had someone to help me because they saw me that like, “Are you okay?” and I was like, “No, I think I’m in labour.” So, she grabbed everything. I was only like a couple of minutes from home so I drove home called my mum say get over to my house now could hubby come home from work? First thing was I just wanted to jump in the shower. Like I just I needed the shower for that relief, walking around and I was like I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t go to the hospital. Now. When do I go, I don’t want to go too early? I don’t want to go too late. Have you got home from work picked up the girls day-care. We ate lunch. I was like, no, I think we need to go now. Yeah, we need to go.

KATH BAQUIE

So how are you feeling then? What were you? Was it uncomfortable? I could talk us through how?

JO

It was pretty painful. I kind of it was like I remember it. But it was all a bit of a blur. Like I was just I felt disorientated. Like I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to feel like what’s going on. Am I going to have this baby in the car? Like, how far am I?

KATH BAQUIE

And were you keen to get to hospitals sooner rather than later because of the VBAC.

JO

Yeah, that was my, that was my fear that I’d left it too late, and something was going to happen. But then I didn’t want to go too early and be waiting around and the pressure of “Oh, let’s just have a C section.” So, I think I timed it pretty well, because when I got to the hospital, I was seven centimetres dilated.

KATH BAQUIE

And how were you managing the waves or the contractions?

JO

Have tried to just break through it. Really tried to just keep a positive mindset because I knew that it epidural wasn’t an option, because I wanted to obviously feel it was happening. Basically.

KATH BAQUIE

You can pause, Do you  want to just pause and just get started.

JO

All right, okay.

KATH BAQUIE

So, Jo, we just had a little break while you put your gorgeous bub to sleep. And we were talking about, we were talking about the pain relief. We were talking about Yeah, so you’ve arrived in hospital, you’re really worried about getting to hospital on time, but you made it. What’s how far apart were contractions at this stage?

JO

It got to a point. I just I couldn’t even time it. There was just there was sporadic, but they were getting closer and closer. Like I remember in the drive, like it’s about a 25-minute drive from my house to the hospital, which felt like two hour drive. And they were just coming constantly to that at that point. I knew like it’s go time like something is going to happen very soon.

KATH BAQUIE

And did it feel different to your previous 2 birth?

JO

So, the first time I actually never experienced, well, I did experience the you know, the labour but it was it was induced so it wasn’t real. Second time I requested for the epidural was straightaway because it was at the hospital. I might not I’m not dealing with this pain. Just give me the epidural. So, for most of it, I didn’t feel anything. But this time Yeah, it definitely like it was different. It was it was painful. But I don’t know, I could still like it was tolerable. It was just I was so much different, like indescribable. But yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Do you think that was partly due to your mindset?

JO

I think so. Definitely. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Interesting. So, you get into hospital? And does the midwife check you straight away like what happened there?

JO

So, the first thing was, I had to get COVID tested because I didn’t have a result. So, we had to wait for the do the COVID test first. And I’m like, just getting it was actually first of all, they wanted to have the CTG up. So to check webs heart monitoring, I’m like, Why isn’t anybody checking me? Why don’t we want to see how far I am? Because it’s pretty close. Then that’s when they checked in said, Okay, seven centimetres. So it was like, call my midwife get her here. She had just a night shift the night before. So that was my feel. Oh, my God, she’s not going to make it. So yeah, they could see that they like things are going to progress very quickly. So that was about three o’clock in the afternoon. And bubs was born at 6:49 that night.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Wow. It was quick. And did they do any extra monitoring? Because it was a VBAC, or was it mainly the CTG?

JO

It was made that CTG. I requested to have a cordless because I did not want to be like tied to the bed. I wanted to move around. That was one important thing that that was one thing I learned as well like listening to the podcast and stuff like that is that to just not be laying down. Movement is key to get things moving.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, so talk us through that. I’d love to know what your favourite positions and postures were like, I know it probably changed but what was your go to position in those different stages of labour?

JO

A lot of it was leading just leaning over the bed setting up less part leaning over the bed. I tried to sit on the ball, but it was just it was too uncomfortable. Like I literally felt like his head was about to come out. We did, so, I like leaned up on the bed sort of like face on the head of the bed rest. Funny enough. I did labour he was born with me. Old school, l on my back legs in the in the forceps. It’s not what I wanted, but that was anyway it was going to happen. So, we just had to sort of like, adapt with it. Go with it and having the midwife there She’s sort of guided me in ways as well. I had my legs, all different angles and whatnot. So, she was a great help in guiding me through it.

KATH BAQUIE

And did they want you on your back so they could monitor you a bit more?

JO

No, it was just because we tried all different positions. It was like, let’s just try it as much as you don’t want to. But it was just the way the baby was like, let’s just go for and that’s sort of yeah, what was happening.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. That’s great. Okay, so your midwife arrived. How did she help you the most?

JO

She just took control of everything. The doctor who was on call, she just kept talking about the C section. She came in, she asked. It’s not happening, but she didn’t get it. It’s not happening. Like we’re not having this conversation. Because I wasn’t having the epidural. She then came in and said to me, well, then, if it ends in C section, you’re going to have to go under general anaesthetic, and I just lost it. I was like, no, I did not effing get this far for you to tell me this. So, they actually gave me more determination to have this vaginal birth. As soon as my midwife walked in the door, it was like, second, my water broke. And that’s when things just started to really progress. So, I kind of felt like he held on because he knew how far Mommy had fought to get here. I’m just going to wait for this lady who says she’s going to be here before I start to decide to make my way out. So yeah, it was timing was perfect. And then she just took control. She said, like, my water broke. She said to me, if you need to push, you push, you do what you feel your body needs to do. And she like, was all up in their head up. Oh, my goodness. But um, yes, she just really gave me, she told me I could do it. I didn’t have someone that I needed that person. I needed someone who can do this. She made the decision that you know, like, we need a little bit of assistance. So, I did actually have to have the vacuum. And they had to cut me a little bit. So yeah, it may not wasn’t the ideal situation, but it is what it is. And but I allowed her to make the call because I had faith and trust in her.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s great. And you know what a physiologies can hear really well. So yeah, that’s really interesting. And when you were saying how it was like your whole body was holding on until the midwife arrived. That reminds me of when we did a I did a podcast interview with lovely Loretta on Camber thing and she described how a dog won’t give if a dog is having babies it will not give birth when it’s feeling you know, when it’s busy or it’s feeling under threat it’ll give birth in a safe place and when it feels safe and so it’s almost as if your body. Something you’ve suddenly felt safe when your midwife arrived and then your body was able to do what it wanted to do.

JO

Yeah. That’s right. It was just, like I was so worried that she wasn’t going to be there and then everything was just everything I’ve worked so hard for was just going to go opposite. But I couldn’t have really like imagined it going any better than the way it did.

KATH BAQUIE

What a great midwife. Like going above and beyond.

JO

Yeah. Yeah, it was. I actually did like send her a little gift it afterwards it everything so but yeah, she’s, she’s very special.

KATH BAQUIE

And lovely. Okay, so you had your baby that went the moment you were pushing, can you relive that moment? Like how did it feel to you? Like did it feel surreal? Talk us through the pushing part.

JO

Yeah, it was so weak like because she kept saying like, you know, push from the bottom like as if you know you’re doing a poo and I was like I’m trying I’m pushing with everything obviously like I’m tired at this point. And I’m thinking like but what if it’s not going to work like I just I just remember at one point actually remember thinking this isn’t as bad as what I thought it actually was going to be. Then you know, it got a little bit more intense I just I remember it Yeah, like it felt like I was just you know, going to the bathroom and really pushing out a really being you know, but it was just then when the time comes to push the baby out. Because I had there was everyone there, I had was getting cut I had this forceps happening. There was just so much so I couldn’t really like focus on it. Try not to focus on the on this on the cutting but that’s where my mind kind of went to not so much that I’m pushing a baby out it’s I’m getting cut down there. And then when he was crowning there like the heads dead touch the head touched head and I was like, do I want to I had my eyes closed or its burrows or, but this is what I’ve been fighting for. Like I really should be getting into this moment. So I touch it like yes, it’s great. I opened my eyes. And then you before I know it, they pulled him up and he was on me and Oh I just saw was they didn’t even say what it was. I looked at like, oh my goodness, it’s a boy. It’s a boy. My husband’s there recording, he recorded the birth he thought it was fabulous seeing all the blood and everything. So, we had that special moment on video.

KATH BAQUIE

You look like you’re not too, I can see you on camera, you look like you’re not too sure about that whole situation.

JO

Look, it’s nice to look back on. But um, it took me a while to sort of look at it again. Okay, yes. Its kind of did gross me out a little bit. But yeah, it’s nice.

KATH BAQUIE

And did it feel like when you had your baby on your chest? Did that feel like a triumphant moment? Or did you almost feel like an anticlimax?

JO

Yeah, I was just, I was shocked in so many ways, the fact that I had succeeded this VBAC, but also the fact that I have a son, it was just I didn’t know what to be more excited about. Like it was just, I was, I think it was more I was, admittedly, like the fact that I succeeded this VBAC and that I could like, stick my finger up to all the medical people who I fought against, and actually had a lot of people come into who wanted to congratulate me that like, that’s fabulous. You know, they, they thought it was a great story to be able to tell other patients that sort of like set the pathway for other women who are in a similar situation. So that was really nice to sort of to have that.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, that’s lovely. You’re like a little celebrity in hospital?

JO

Yeah. I feel like it actually because half of them knew had already heard the story before I even got there. Like, oh, you’re the one that’s going for the VBAC. Yes, it’s me.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, that’s a lovely outcome, Jo. So, you got your third little baby, I assume your children, your older children couldn’t visit?

JO

Because of the COVID, I was only allowed to have like one other visitor. But fortunately, I was home by like four o’clock the next afternoon. So, I just stayed in the hospital, waiting to get the clearance to be able to go and just enjoying that alone time before the little ones got to meet him.

KATH BAQUIE

So, I know it’s perhaps a hard question, because it’s your third baby. You’ve got so much more experience under your belt. You know, you’ve been there done that. But have you noticed any differences with Sammy, compared to your daughters that perhaps he might attribute to the birth? Just out of interest.

JO

I have been trying to sort of like to pick up on it. I think, in a way it might be a little bit too soon to tell. But as I’ve mentioned, previously, like with my eldest daughter, how she is more of a daddy’s girl. My second one, I had that skin to skin contact straightaway with her. She’s always been mommy’s girl like she, she just wants mommy. So far, Sammy will look at Mommy will sort of tend to what mommy, that really don’t know if that’s just because he wants to Mommy’s boob or so, like, it might be a little bit too soon to say but it is something I am aware of. And I’m mindful love. And I would love to be able to sort of, you know, like, make that comment of if it makes a difference with the relationship. But I think that skin to skin contact definitely does play some sort of role from the experience between the two.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, they do say I was thinking more along the lines of breastfeeding. And they do say that skin to skin contact really helps with breastfeeding. So mums who have their babies taken away to special care nursery sometimes not always, obviously, sometimes it might be harder to initiate breastfeeding. But I know my friend that happened, and she didn’t have any issues. So, it’s not always the case. I was just interested that something happened.

JO

You know, I’d like to think that it would play some sort of role. But as I said, it might be a little bit too soon to tell.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay. So, thank you so much for sharing that amazing birth story. I really feel like you took us on the journey with you. So being a mum of three, your tummy is only five months old just ticked over to five months. How’s the recovery been considering you’ve got two other children you have to care for? Like how’s your physical recovery going?

JO

Definitely a lot better than having a C section which is one reason why I was pushing for a VBAC. My second recovery after the C section was it was pretty rough. And I didn’t have a lot of support. So with COVID, I knew that I was probably wasn’t going to have that support, even if I wanted to. But yeah, like I was, I was probably like, a week that I was in a lot of pain because of the stitches and whatnot. But I was able to I was what like not even a week after I give birth, I was walking. I was doing workouts. So yeah, definitely it did play a huge role and also being able to do the pelvic floor exercises. Once we finally were connected that definitely like I’ve noticed a difference already. that’s been helping a lot. So yeah, right.

KATH BAQUIE

So, you’re doing the 30-day pelvic floor challenge, I believe. Yeah. So, what that means is every day are receiving an email is set of pelvic floor exercises. How’s that going? Honestly.

JO

Honestly, like, let’s be real I am, I am trying to squeeze it in throughout the day. Like I probably have missed a couple of days here and there. But I love the fact that it really helps the mind connect with it. Like I’ve never really done pelvic. I’ve tried to do pelvic floor exercises before, but just the way that you describe it really feel that difference, and I can really feel that muscle working properly. It’s definitely.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s great. And you know, don’t be hard on yourself. Like, I know, you just cringed when I asked you that question. But you’ve got three young children. I think everyone listening today, life’s busy. Like there’s so many, I guess, demands placed on us, there’s so much on the to do list, that our body and our recovery often falls to the bottom of the to do list, but that’s also life. So, I do what you can do something. That’s my motto, something is better than nothing done is better than perfect. There’s always tomorrow, and we can only do our best. So, you’re doing an amazing job, Jo.

JO

Thank you.

KATH BAQUIE

So, to finish off with, do you have any words of wisdom for other women who might be I guess, wanting to go down the route of a VBAC? Or just who are pregnant at the moment?

JO

Definitely do your research. Like that’s one thing that I can’t stress enough like, even if it’s just listening to podcasts, just to get an idea. Don’t go into it blindly. Because you do have a choice, from my experience anyway. And yeah, trust your instinct, if you feel it, go with it, because 9 out of 10 like your instinct are right, anyway.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. Well, thank you. That is such a lovely way to end this chat today. And I really do appreciate you taking us on the journey. You’re an amazing advocate for other mums who might be wanting to go down this avenue too. So, thank you so much, Jo, for joining me today.

JO

Thank you for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

We’ll catch you soon. And before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the show notes for this episode. And don’t forget to send Jo and myself message on Instagram, @fitnestmama. We would both love to hear from you. Have a fabulous day everyone. And I look forward to you joining me soon for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Thanks so much for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast. Brought to you by my free pregnancy mini pelvic floor and core masterclass which you will find at fitnestmama.com/free. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. And come and say hi, DM me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you. It said FitNest Mama. Until next time. Remember, a healthy pregnancy, confident birth and strong after birth recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. I’ll see you soon!

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