Cesarean vs. VBAC: A dramatic Difference

I have been invited to share with you an intimate and challenging (and graphic) journey of a mother from an unexpected primary cesarean, physician decided repeat cesarean and a home water birth after those two cesareans.

Before you watch it, take a deep breath and have an open mind. A box of tissues may be in order as well.

Cesarean vs. VBAC: A Dramatic Difference from Alexandra Orchard on Vimeo.

Watch how a baby is delivered in a cesarean birth and see the dramatic difference of what both the mother and baby experience in a home water birth after cesarean.

Thank you Alex for allowing me to share your story!  Many blessings to you and yours.

For more information on cesarean recovery, support, prevention and VBAC information go to www.ican-online.org.


  1. Danielle on July 22, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Thank you to Alex, that made me cry while watching and let me know that after my failed VBAC this past May, I can reach for a HBA2C for my next child!

  2. Laura Tefertiller on July 22, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you for posting this video and thank you Alex for sharing your story to the world. You are going to inspire and empower so many women to have confidence in their body’s ability to birth their baby their own way.

  3. Megan on July 22, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Awesome story Alex, and so inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing. I will happily pass this on to other vbac mama’s I know.

  4. Heidi Flight on July 22, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Fantastic!! Thank you so much, Alex- you will change the minds of many by being brave enough to share your story. Beautiful, just beautful.

  5. Quincy on July 22, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Awesome! Simply awesome! Congratulations to Alexandria and family. I am so glad you “found” your way. Wonderful letter to your care provider as well. Blessings upon you and this video as it is spread throughout the world to empower more and more women to do their research and find the best option for themselves.
    QBates, Doula, Midwifery Student and Mom of 6: 1 vaginal birth 2 c/sections & 3 VBACs (the last was a home/water birth)

  6. Claire Winstone on July 23, 2009 at 12:06 am

    This was a beautiful journey. I have to say that the home waterbirth was spoiled for me by the midwife’s almost obsessive bulb suctioning. My understanding is that the guideline for suctioning is that if the baby is vigorous it is unnecessary unless there is significant meconium. What a horrible way to start life breathing air: having a giant blue bulb shoved in your face and its tip in your mouth and nose–and she did it over and over and over! Aggressive suctioning can affect breastfeeding–I hope this wasn’t the case with this little one! Aside from that extreme interference and distrust of the “baby heimlich”, it was a beautiful birth.

  7. Bill Mensch - Alex's Dad on July 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    My message is for all those fathers who might watch this video and be concerned for their daughters (grandchildren) who are considering a home birth. Because I was present for Alex’s birth, her two sisters’ births, and her brother’s birth, I know a little bit about the concerns a father will have. Yes, I was aware of the issues, hospitals’ concerns, and the various doctors’ concerns as Alex progressed through her pregnancy. I can honestly say, though, that my wife, Dianne, and I were always 100% behind Alex’s decision from the start because we saw where her heart was, her mind was, and where her indominable spirit was. She invited Dianne and me to be with her during her birth week and we had the good fortune to help Alex and her family before, during, and after JoJo’s birth.

    My wish would be that all children could come into our world the way JoJo was born – in such an incredibly loving environment. So fathers, when your daughter decides she wants to have a home birth, listen to her heart, listen to her soul. It is literally an opportunity of a lifetime for all concerned.

    Thank you, Alex, for that gift!! Thank you!! Thank you!! We will never, ever forget the joy and the loving family setting you and John created. John was there for you and JoJo in a way that was so incredible – so loving.

    Alex, your video with your brother’s music playing in the background is just so beautiful – it brings a tear to my eye everytime I watch it. I Love You, Dad

    • admin on July 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm

      Oh the heart of a father! Thank you for sharing here. I hope many read it. Desirre

  8. Kathy on July 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    That was great! Thanks for posting this!

  9. Kelly on July 29, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Amazing. I’m going to be crying for days over this. Thank you for sharing.

    Cesarean, 3 VBACS, another Cesarean

  10. holly on July 30, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you so much for that video! I have 5 children (3 born at home, 1 born by emergancy c-section transfer for footling breech, and the last one born by doctor planned c-sec.) I am now pregnant with # 6 and am planning a homebirth vbac in march. Thanks for giving me another boost in courage! Kudos to you!

  11. Melissa on November 7, 2009 at 12:07 am

    This is the most beautiful, profound thing I’ve seen in ages. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty! I did not have cesarean births, but my first two hospital births ended with epidurals and disappointment. I *needed* it to be different the third time around, and with the help of my doula, we got what we wanted – a drug-free, intervention-free birth!! And I felt amazing…

  12. Birth In Joy on December 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I did need tissues…how powerful…

  13. sarah on December 16, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Wow!!! thanks for the tissue warning!I had an unplanned c-ser after getting to pushing stage and after planning a calmbirth.

    At first I just said “okay, whatever we need to do and whatever is best for my baby.” But weeks later, it all came crashing down on me and wehn i think about it I am still devestated.

    The delay in holding my baby was horrible. Sitting isolated in rcovery was horrible. Bub getting jaundiced and not feeding well was horrible.

    I dream of the day when I will be able to peacefully bring a 2nd child into this world without the complications of hospital policy!
    However, thios dream is flickering as in Australia the government is on the brink of outlawing homebirth by not subsidisng indemnity insurance. http://www.homebirthaustralia.org for any aussies on here, please see what you can do to help us keep our freedom to choice where and how we birth our babies.

    Alex, thankyou so much for sharing your story and bringiong hope to those of us who dream of VBACs or those who haven’t started their families yet.


  14. Sylvia on December 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    thanks for sharing your video. I had an emergency c-sec with my first baby in 1994. In 1996 I was adamant to have a natural birth but they insisted on c-sec…in the end I won with the agreement that I have the epidural. I agreed and this was the biggest mistake of my life. It stopped my labour and she had twisted in the birth canal making her cord go round her neck twice then around her chest. She was forceps delivery and was blue and they whisked her away to help her and I hemorrhaged. It was so scary.
    With my 3rd I had decided on no intervention. Well I had no intervention at all because Ben came in such a hurry we had him at home accidentally. He was elivered by paramedics and was a 47 minute birth from the very first pain. I was able to get up within an hour of having him and felt great (apart from being in so much pain due to the speed he came out)
    My last baby, a girl who arrived in October 2005 was born at the hospital but after a very short 42 mins from the first pain and 12 minutes from 4cm dilation. She was 20 minutes old when I got up and watched her get weighed and i had a shower. It was the most amazing experience to be on my feet straight away and the adrenalin that went along with it was awesome.
    I coped better with my newborn at home with the 3 I had VBAC and felt so at peace. Unlike my first where I was stuck in hospital so long and was unable to provide the basic needs for my baby boy for quite a few days. I ended up with an infection when he was 3 weeks old and my mother had to care for him while i recovered on pain killers. No thanks, I would rather labour pains and vaginal grazes any day.
    Again thank you for sharing.
    Love Syl
    Canberra Australia.

  15. Sarah on January 16, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Thank you, thank you– this was the most beautiful VBAC video I’ve ever seen. It gives me inspiration for my upcoming labor in April.