Rural Birth with Elke:

It’s exciting to know that this story will end with a rural HBAC! Elke introduces herself as a dedicated mother of two, currently on leave from her teaching job to raise her children. She is also an emerging doula, passionate about advocating for VBAC and homebirths.

Elke shares, “I’m very much about the mother and how they need to be supported. In our current society, we kind of get forgotten.”

Her personal experiences have fueled her desire to support other mothers on similar journeys, making her a fierce advocate for empowering birth choices.

You can listen to this episode using the player below, or using your favourite platform to subscribe and listen there.

Navigating First Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Elke shares the challenges she faced during her first pregnancy at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the stress of her husband’s eye injury and the transition to online teaching, she navigated her pregnancy with resilience. “It was a really hectic time plus all the hormones,” she recalls.

Despite the chaotic circumstances, Elke remained excited about her pregnancy and did her best to prepare for childbirth with the limited resources available in her rural area.

“Living in a rural area, we don’t have a whole lot of options,” she explains, noting the difficulties in accessing care and support.


First Birth Experience: Overcoming an Unexpected Caesarean

Elke recounts her first birth experience, which ended in a Caesarean section. She describes how the unexpected turn of events shattered her initial birth expectations and left her feeling overwhelmed. “My first birth was caesarean and that blew apart everything that I thought I knew,” she reflects.

She shares the details of the labour process, including her waters breaking and her decision to consent to interventions like a stretch and sweep and eventually an epidural.

“I remember saying to Jared once I had that epidural, ‘God, I hope this baby still comes out of my vagina,'” she shares.


Healing from the Emotional Aftermath of a Caesarean Birth

The emotional aftermath of her Caesarean was challenging for Elke. She struggled with feelings of failure and guilt and found it difficult to bond with her baby. “I cried for the next nine months,” she admits. Elke emphasises the importance of processing these emotions and seeking support.

She discusses the journey of healing, the role of her supportive husband, and the steps she took to come to terms with her birth experience.

“Jared was always there, trying to do the right thing for me,” she says, highlighting the importance of having a supportive partner.


Preparing for a Rural HBAC:

Determined to have a different experience, Elkie meticulously prepared for her second pregnancy with the goal of having a VBAC.

She immersed herself in research and sought support from a private midwife. “I delved into my research and armed myself with everything I needed to know,” she explains.

Elke describes the preparations she made, including finding a supportive midwife, educating herself on VBAC, and creating a birth plan that reflected her desires.


Achieving an Empowering Rural Homebirth After Caesarean

Elke shares the empowering story of her successful rural HBAC. With the support of her midwife and husband, she welcomed her daughter into the world in the comfort of her own home. “Having my daughter at home was the most empowering experience,” she says.

She details the labour and birth process, highlighting the calm and supportive environment that contributed to her positive rural HBAC birth experience. “My midwife was incredible, and Jared stepped up as my main support person,” Elkie recounts.


Reflecting on the Importance of Support and Empowerment in Birth

Reflecting on her journey, Elke underscores the importance of having a supportive network and trusting one’s body. “I knew my body could do this, and having the right support made all the difference,” she affirms. Her story is a powerful reminder of the strength and resilience of mothers.

Elke also shares the personal growth and strengthened relationships that resulted from her birth experiences, emphasising the transformative power of birth. “Our relationship has come leaps and bounds with communication,” she says of her bond with Jared.

Elke’s story is a testament to the power of self-belief, support, and empowerment.


Get to know more about our guest:

Elke is a mother of two, a teacher, and an emerging doula. She is a fierce advocate for VBAC and homebirths.

Follow Elke on Instagram: @womenswaydoula
Visit her website here:

Maternity photos by: @nadinnegracephotography




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Ashley is on a mission to raise the rates of women having vaginal birth after Caesarean worldwide and empower women planning VBACs and HBACS.(Homebirth after Caesarean).

As a dedicated birth coach and mentor, Ashley works intimately with pregnant women, guiding them through the journey of overcoming fear and mindset challenges associated with VBACs and HBACS.

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