13 Breathtaking Photos of One Mom's Unplanned, At-Home VBAC

Liz Alterman | Dec 21, 2016 Pregnancy

Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

Plenty of moms who've had c-sections crave the opportunity to give birth vaginally birth if possible. But few would imagine being able to do it the way this incredible Pittsburgh mom did. Erin's second labor progressed so quickly, she ended having her VBAC at home -- all by herself! Thankfully, her doula/photographer Jessica Thomas of Under My Heart Birth Services was able to capture these empowering post-birth images that will leave you marveling at this mom's bravery.




While Erin suspected she was in labor, she never expected it to move so swiftly. By the time her contractions were seven to eight minutes apart, she called Jess, who told her that her labor would most likely continue progressing. 

The doula advised Erin to find a comfortable haven within her home -- not realizing that this baby's birth was imminent. 

"It was about 30 minutes later mother called me," Jess wrote about the incredible experience on her blog.

She was breathing very heavy on the phone and wasn't talking. I knew whatever was happening it was definitely time for me to get going to mom. She then yelled out that her water just broke and that it was incredibly intense. She was completely overwhelmed. She then told me that her husband was not yet back and that she couldn't get a hold of him! I told her, 'I'm coming right now. You know I live literally five minutes away. Try and stay calm - I'm coming.' The phone disconnected on her end and I grabbed my bags and ran out the door.

Looking that these gorgeous images, you can't help but marvel at the strength of the human body and spirit. What a stunning celebration of life!

"This birth was incredible to be a part of," Jess tells CafeMom. "My hope is that as this mother shares her story it empowers others to know how strong a woman can be."

  • Amazing Mom

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Beforerushing to Erin's house, Jess asked Erin to open the door to her apartment, but Erin quickly told her the baby's head was already on its way out! Can you imagine? How did these women remain so calm? When Erin answered the door, Jess says she was holding her new son with the cord strung down her belly.

    "There was a beautiful peace as we waited in the dim-lit living room for the paramedics to arrive," Jess wrote in her blog detailing the incredible birth story. 

  • Relief

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Erin's husband, who'd been out with their daughter, returned to find that his wife and new son were just fine. Truly a miracle. The new big sister had fallen asleep waiting for her brother to arrive.

  • Erin Was Transported to the Hospital

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Fortunately, emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene quickly and handled Erin and baby with the utmost care, Jess was happy to report.

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  • En Route to the Hospital


    Jessica asked neighbors, who had let her inside the complex, to call for an ambulance right away. At the time, she thought there might still be time to get to the hospital before the birth but this baby had other plans. Jess said the team handled Erin with great care and compassion, which is great to hear considering all she'd been through.


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  • Safe & Sound

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Erin and her newborn were transferred to the hospital where she'd planned to give birth. Jess fortunately was there to capture photos of this healthy baby, who didn't want to wait a moment longer to see the world.  


  • Joy After Some Tense Moments

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Erin is one tough mama. Jess says she kept telling Erin how proud she was of her for handling the whole situation with such strength.

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  • Perfection

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    As a doula who doesn't have any former medical training, Jess said believed both mother and child looked perfect -- especially considering what they'd been through -- and she was right!

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  • Growing Family

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    What a shock it must've been for this dad to return home to find his new child waiting in his brave wife's arms!  

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  • Urgent Arrival

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    While it might not have been the VBAC this mom planned for, she was able to give birth in a way she will cherish telling her son about for the rest of their lives. 

  • A Well-Earned Meal

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Erin looks like such a pro feeding her newborn shortly after what had to be some of the most harrowing moments of her life. Giving birth on her own in her home is an experience she never could've planned for but she handled it like a champion. 

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  • She's a Hero

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    You can tell by these parents' faces that this is going to be one family story that's hard to top. We think Mama deserves one heck of a push present!

  • Look of Love


    After waiting nine months to meet your child, once you see his face you simply can't take your eyes off it. Jess captures that sentiment beautifully in this photo. 

  • So Sweet

    Jessica Thomas/UnderMyHeartBirth.com

    Look at his coloring! This baby looks healthy and strong -- must take after his mama!

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homebirth delivery labor & delivery

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