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A few key ingredients for a successful VBAC in SWFL! Welcome, baby Sullivan! born 2.7.19

Today’s birth announcement was written by Emily, our fantastic doula with a wonderful sense of humor. Emily is a mother of 6, and when she’s not doulaing or deepening her faith at church, you’ll find her joy riding on her Harley.

health park vbac 2019


When someone begins care with me as their doula, it’s important to me that I help them achieve their goals, to the best of my ability. I hold a special place in my heart for the families whose goal is to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). A VBAC was important to Michelle and Chad for so many reasons. Michelle believed her body could give birth naturally, and she wanted to experience what she described as missing out on with her first birth. She also didn't want to undergo major surgery again and try to recover while caring for her toddler Arizona and a newborn.


Michelle and Chad did a lot of research about VBACs, hired a team of midwives, acquired a doula (Chad's idea, this was our first clue that he’s Super Dad!), practiced Spinning Babies techniques (to help bring balance to the pelvis and optimize baby’s position for birth, as developed by Gail Tully). They attended our Birthing From Within childbirth classes to prepare for the marathon of labor. All were vital points of preparation that Michelle put into place to help her achieve the physical and emotional well-being and sense of safety and strength to have a successful pregnancy and natural birth.

DON’T SNEEZE! Michelle's body responded wonderfully, progressing towards labor and delivery. The Mindful Birth Services team enjoyed getting to know her, not only through the aforementioned birth classes but also in our Birth Circle Gatherings, where we meet to share birth stories and support in a circle of like-minded mothers. In the last few weeks of pregnancy Michelle's cervix dilated to 5 cm and 60% effacement. I kept thinking to myself what would happen if she sneezed? While playing the waiting game, Michelle stayed busy with everyday activities like walking, training herself for the big “race”.

WARM UP Working carefully with her care providers this couple made mindful decisions to navigate throughout their pregnancy and delivery. On her estimated due date, February 7th, the couple checked into HealthPark Hospital to warm up for the marathon (which turned out to be more of a sprint). Michelle zipped through the hallways and zagged in and out of the shower; according to Chad she was ahead of the other mama's on the laboring ward that evening! Cheering from the sidelines was her coach and training partner. Chad was a constant reassuring presence all the way to the finish line and beyond!

SURRENDER Giving birth is a courageous experience and can be an empowering experience. I imagine for Michelle that by having a VBAC without the use of medically supported pain relief, she gained even more of a sense of what her body and mind are capable of. Birth is interesting…it takes so much strength to accomplish and also requires the ability to surrender and let go. Michelle, having the ability to tap into her inner strength and trust the process of birth without interventions, must have given her a sense of invincibility.


YOU DID IT! What waits at the finish line here? A healthy mom and baby after a healthy VBAC delivery. Many women have different ideas about how they want their birth to look. For Michelle and Chad, the goal was to have a vaginal birth after cesarean. Their preparation, birth team, teamwork, willpower and willingness to embrace any outcome helped them make space for their beautiful birth story to unfold. Michelle, you did it! My hope is that Michelle's and Chad's story can inspire others to develop deep courage, empower themselves with knowledge, surround themselves with a supportive team and let go of control.

WELCOME BABY SULLY Let's welcome the newest addition to the team, baby boy Sullivan Dean Trisler, born February 7th, 2019 at1 0:52 p.m. weighing 7lb 1oz, 20.5 inches long. May he finish all his races with grace!

In doula love,

Fort Myers doula


P.s. I'd love to support your birth, too! Schedule your consult here.

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