FBAC Wild Pregnancy of Chentelle

In this episode, I speak with Chentelle about her powerful and inspiring FBAC wild pregnancy and birth journey. She shares the emotional highs and lows of her first birth, the realizations that led her to choose a homebirth, and the transformative experience of welcoming her second child.

FBAC Wild Pregnancy

First Pregnancy

Chentelle, a mother of two, shares her journey of FBAC wild pregnancy and birth while living a natural, traveling lifestyle in a caravan.

Her first pregnancy, marked by fear and medical interventions, led to an emergency Caesarean.

“So, my first pregnancy was obviously over four years ago. I did everything the normal route as people do. I had all the scans, went to all the appointments and all of that, because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know any different. But going to all those appointments, they scared me a bit. They fear mongered a little bit. During all the scans, they said to me, “Oh, your baby’s looking a bit small. It doesn’t look like he’s growing properly. He’s going to be a small baby. That could make you high risk,” blah, blah, blah.

Being my first pregnancy, it was a little bit scary. They were making me have an appointment every week or every few days. When they tell you you need to come in and have scans and appointments so regularly, it scares you.”

 

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Labour and Birth

Not knowing any better, she got herself induced.

“I didn’t know any better, I guess. So yeah, I just went and did it all. And then I was 40-something weeks and they said to me that they’re going to have to induce me if the baby doesn’t come within like the next week.”

She describes the labour process, the interventions she faced, and how a shift change and a new doctor led to her being pushed into a C-section despite her protests and the baby’s readiness to be born naturally.

“So, they booked me in for an induction date. I was determined not to do it because I knew better than that. Thankfully, I went into labour the night before my induction date. My water broke in the bed around 3:30 AM. We got to the hospital, and about half an hour after we got there, I went into active labour.

I was in labour for 12 hours, but most of that was active labour with contractions very close together and strong. 

Everything was progressing really well. But they had me hooked up to all the monitors because they were worried about the baby being small.”

 

FBAC Wild Pregnancy and Birth

Complications and C-Section

As a result, Chentelle’s C-section was a traumatic experience, the emotional impact, and the doctor’s discouraging words post-birth.

“Everything was going well until what I now know was transition. My baby was very, very close to coming. It was a shift change and a new doctor came in, looked at my file, and decided it was too risky and that I needed a C-section.”

She reflects on how the medical system’s inaccuracies and fear-mongering affected her first birth experience.

“They had four other women waiting for the birthing suites, so they wanted me out. I was yelling, “No, no, no. I don’t want a C-section. The baby’s coming.” She stuck her hands inside of me without my permission and said, “No, you’re only 7 centimetres dilated, so the baby can’t be coming.” I just kept yelling that the baby was coming because I could feel it in my body. She basically just took over. They gave me an injection to stop my labour and said, “No, you’re going in for a C-section.” I was crying and yelling no because I knew that I didn’t need it and didn’t want one. They convinced my husband that either I had the C-section or the baby was going to die, fear mongering a new dad.”

 

Reflections on the C-Section

“It’s heartbreaking. The first thing the doctor said to me when the baby came out was, “You’ll never have a vaginal birth. If you have babies after this, you’ll need a C-section.” I thought that was a fantastic thing to say to a mother who’s just had a baby. It was pretty awful. It didn’t really hit me until like a year later how traumatic it was. If you had asked me in my first year how my birth went, I would have said, “Yeah, it was fine.” But once you start to relive it, you realise how bad it was and that it shouldn’t have happened that way.

They took me in for the C-section, cut my baby out, and I heard them say, “Oh my God.” My baby came out at 4.8 kilos. So definitely not small, not growth restricted, at no risk of anything they said my whole pregnancy.”

 

Emotional journey post C-section

Undeniably, Chentelle had an emotional journey post C-section, realising the trauma she had undergone, and her efforts to seek answers and accountability from the hospital.

“How could they be so wrong? That just made me think that if they’re so wrong about that, what else are they wrong about? After all of that, the care was fantastic, and the midwives were beautiful and lovely during our stay. My first birth definitely wasn’t what I wanted. I had wanted a home birth to start with, but my husband was scared, so we compromised.

But I knew that I wanted a natural birth beforehand. All that stuff happened, and there we were. I sent a letter to the hospital about a year after having my son because I thought that might help me a bit. I never heard back, no response, nothing.”

 

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Transition to Home Birth

“The year or so after I had my son, I started following a lot of Instagram pages and joining Facebook groups on VBACs and natural births. I knew I wasn’t having another C-section.”

Inspired by social media communities and a chance encounter with a free birthing family, Chentelle decides to pursue a free birth for her second child, embracing a stress-free pregnancy without constant medical appointments.

”When my husband and I decided to have another baby, I said I wasn’t going to a hospital. I was having a home birth. He was just as on board as I was. Then we discovered free birthing. We met a family on our travels, and she had free birthed their second child. I spoke to her a lot. I didn’t even know wild pregnancy was a thing. I said to my husband, “I want to do that.”

So we did. We travelled all of Australia during my pregnancy, went remote, and did all sorts of things. I was pretty sick, but it was amazing not to have the stress of appointments and scans.”

 

The Second Birth

It was a peaceful labour and a successful homebirth experience, supported by her husband and doula.

“At 39 weeks, I went into labour. My husband had food poisoning, so my body just stopped the labour because he was too sick. The contractions came back at 41 weeks and 4 days. I laboured quietly in the caravan until about 6 AM, then moved upstairs to my mum’s house.

My mum took my son out for the day. My doula, Rosie, arrived at 10 AM, and I moved to the birthing pool at noon. It was a peaceful labour. At around 2 PM, the baby started to come. My husband got into the pool with me, and our daughter was born.”

 

FBAC Wild Birth + 4.4kg babe

Post-Birth Complications

“After the birth, I passed out trying to get to the shower. I was bleeding a lot, and we called an ambulance.

They checked everything and took me to the hospital. I lost about 2.5 litres of blood. They found a tiny piece of the membrane left inside me.

After surgery, I had a blood transfusion and later an iron infusion. I felt amazing after the iron infusion. My daughter was 4.4 kilos, smaller than my first.”

 

The baby and her successful birth story

Ashley: How big was your baby?

Chentelle: She was 4.4 kilos.

When asked, Chentelle said she was not worried about the size of her baby despite being big. “I had justified the C-section to myself because my baby was big. However, once we decided to go for a home birth, we knew that our body only grows a baby as big as it can handle. Size isn’t an indicator of how you birth. Therefore, I was determined to do it this way, regardless of the baby’s size. Our daughter was a little smaller, and that was a nice surprise.”

The baby was named after a chocolate, Pana Organic.

Ashley: Well, thank you so much for sharing your birth stories with us. It’s been a pleasure and a joy to listen.

Chentelle: No, thank you for having me. Everyone’s been asking me for my birth story.

 

Get to know more about our guest:

Follow Chentelle on Instagram: @seekingthesunoz

Birthing photos by: @earthybirthaustralia @the_rosie_doula

 

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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