a mother's quest for a natural birth after a cesarean

In today’s world it is no longer acceptable to move ahead with or simply recommend a procedure or a course of care. It is women themselves who get to decide what they are willing to consent to and what to refuse.
— — Nicette Jukelevics, MA, ICCE Founder of and the VBAC EDUCATION PROJECT
 Thais Derich, Author of  Second Chance  with Ricki Lake, Executive Producer of  The Business of Being Born  and forthcoming documentary  Sweetening the Pill. .

Thais Derich, Author of Second Chance with Ricki Lake, Executive Producer of The Business of Being Born and forthcoming documentary Sweetening the Pill..

If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the beginning of life, birth. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation or love and trust.
— Suzanne Arms


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book information

  • Title: Second Chance: A Mother’s Quest for a Natural Birth After a Cesarean
  • Publisher: She Writes Press / May 9, 2017
  • Print ISBN: 978-1631522185| Trade paper, 256 pages, 5.5” x 8.5”, $16.95
  • E-ISBN: 978-1-63152-219-2 | eBook, $9.95
  • Distributed by Ingram Publisher Services


  • NPR - A Novel Idea
    Host Suzanne M. Lang and Thais discuss feminism and how it's interwoven in my memoir "Second Chance."
  • KPFA
    Host Jovelyn Richards and Thais discuss my deepest feelings around my memoir "Second Chance."
    Host Dr. Elliot Berlin interviews Thais Derich on the August 31st episode.
    Linda Thompson interviews Thais Derich about her debut memoir Second Chance
    Host Megan Flatt and Thais discuss the power of pausing..


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.


    Nicette Jukelevics  MA, ICCE, says, "Derich’s memoir is also  an important contribution to the current international debate about human rights in childbirth and  the critical role of respectful maternity care."
    Cara Terreri, CD (DONA), LCCE says, "Second Chance a memorable and engaging book that I found hard to put down."
    Literary Mama’s ABIGAIL LALONDE featured Thais Nye Derich’s memoir, Second Chance in her “Essential Reading: Mother’s Day” article, where she praised Derich for crushing “the stigma of home birth by juxtaposing her first birth experience, a hospital birth that culminated in an unplanned caesarean, with her second birth experience, a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) home birth…With brutal honesty Derich takes her reader on a journey of more than just her birth experiences.”
    Kerry Neville reviews Second Chance: "All too often, childbirth is depicted through the rosy lens of the birth’s afterglow: the mother gazing down at her swaddled infant at her breast, woozy and love drunk. Adrienne Rich argues, in Of Woman Born, that “As soon as a woman knows that a child is growing in her body, she falls under the power of theories, ideals, archetypes, descriptions of her new existence, almost none of which have come from other women.” 

    Sheridan, author of the blog Enjoy Birth, Hypno-Doula, and author of The Top Three Tips  reviews Second Chance: "I really wanted to be able to sit down with Thais and let her know that all she was feeling was normal and offer her some energy clearing to help her shift to a better place."


  • “I’ve read a lot of birth stories, but Ms. Derich’s stands out as especially revealing of the weaknesses in our system.” – Ina May Gaskin, Bestselling Author & Midwife
  • "Thais’s raw and revealing memoir of her two births illuminates the maze of emotions that she felt while being cared for completely differently in each one . . . She also reflects on how the deep process of birthing helped her uncover and heal issues with her own mother–such is the capacity of a deep inner opening and exploration." – Maria Iorillo,Certified Professional Midwife, former Vice President of the Midwives Alliance of North America, and  Chairwoman of the California Association of Midwives.
  • "Women are so often told that they have no control over childbirth and should adapt to whatever happens. Thais Derich proves that this is wrong. In a beautiful telling of her own experience, she proves that standing strong to have a VBAC after a C-Section is worth it! Her empowering story shows that women really can do anything!" – Amy Graff, news producer for
  • “An unbiased, highly transparent account of one woman’s journey through the labyrinth of emotions and experiences that can accompany the post-cesarean birthing woman within the U.S.” – LaQuitha Glass, Former President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network
  • "So many women today don't believe that they have choices when it comes to giving birth – but Thais Derich shows us the way in her brave and timely story – a memoir full of heartache, resilience and joy. My hope is that all women considering motherhood will find their way to Thais's book.  —Melissa Cistaro, Author of Pieces of My Mother, a NCIBA BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2015 winner
  • "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
  • I have to tell you how passionate I found your voice. There is such a fire in you that I hear when I read your words. Such honesty and simple truthfulness about what so many of us feel and think during the process of bringing a baby forth into this world. -Erin Mayou, Editor-in-Chief at Birth Issues Magazine