SECOND CHANCE: a mother's quest for a natural birth after a cesarean
When Thais Derich walked into the hospital on the day of her son's birth, she thought she knew all the answers. One week later, she walked out of the hospital overwhelmed with questions. Not only had she been physically and emotionally damaged, she also felt utterly disillusioned by the majority of the hospital's financial, legal, and medical protocols. For the next three years, Thais focused on recovering from that day, as well as preparing for the day she may become pregnant again. And then she did get pregnant—and her resolve to give birth the way she originally intended was put to the test.
A universal story about betrayal, trust, and listening to one's instincts, Second Chance illuminates the gaping holes in our healthcare system - particularly when it comes to giving birth - as well as provides a voice for all the mothers who have walked away from their delivery experience wondering what in the hell really happened.
REVIEW BY ERICA WEISS, MD, OBSTETRICIAN/GYNECOLOGIST
I often get asked, “What is it like to delivery a baby?” My response is always the same. Women deliver their babies; I really just help guide them. Second Chance is a beautiful, raw and poignant story of the role of birthing in women’s lives. It takes us on one women’s journey yet it is so real that it is almost impossible to not take it to heart as partly our own. It reminds us that all our relationships are at the core of bringing life into this world. Not all women choose to become a parent; many women are unable to, and not all women view birth in the same way. The one theme that ties us all together however is trust. We must trust our own choices and know they are right for us. We must trust our bodies and know that they are ready for this experience. We must trust that our patients know what they need in the face of the moment as well as along the way. And we must be able to trust that our providers’ recommendations are clinically sound as they guide women in the process. I think we can get there, at least I must trust that we can.
"Thais's memoir serves as a mentorship to women seeking their own voice despite the obstacles that block our authentic selves." – Jovelyn Richards, KPFA host of Open Book: Cover to Cover
"I don't have words. I found myself at times crying, cheering you on, and just overall relating to your story so many times while reading your extraordinary book. I didn't know how much it mattered to me. In fact I realize I was just trying to forget, trying to keep it buried. Yet I feel empowered by your personal story rather than feeling helplessly sad. That you found the courage, for ALL of your honesty is incredibly inspiring and impressive." – Lisa Joss, Former Chief Strategy and Communications Officer at The Ms. Representation Project
“Derich's raw and unfiltered writing is riveting and revealing, not only of a medical system that places doctor convenience and economic efficiency over the needs of the patient, but also of how courage, resilience and community can work to resist these forces and ultimately contribute to changing the system. This is a must-read not only for women seeking an intentional, child and mother-centered birth but also for the men supporting these women, who might find it difficult to truly empathize with what it means to give birth. Good and honest writing creates empathy and this is exactly what Derich has produced.” - Neil Chhabra, author
An amazing trek though the complexities experienced by a woman seeking to have her second child delivered vaginally after an unexpected and traumatic cesarean delivery with her first. This highly transparent account takes us through the pain, suffering, loss, healing, and extensive search for support and connection as she finds her way to the inner strength and decisiveness to do what she sees as best for herself and her child. Transformative; victim turned advocate, educator, and clearly driven with newfound strength, this is a must-read for every potential parent, healthcare providers who support pregnant women, and any other persons interested the complexities of giving birth in the labyrinth of today’s healthcare systems. A beautifully written memoir. - Linda Hartmann, nurse
Empowering book about Thais's healing process from an unwanted Cesarean that led her to attempt an unconventional VBAC, vaginal birth after cesarean. Beautifully written and inspiring! -Tanya