From Fear to Fearlessness at a Homebirth, with Vanessa Janek

A former labor and delivery nurse, current childbirth educator, and self-declared birth junkie, Vanessa thought she knew what to expect from birth. Going into it, she was a bit leery of transition… but nothing could really prepare her for the exhaustion, fear and overwhelm she felt when contractions went away, just after she got to 10. How did she get past those feelings to push her baby out? Check it out.


Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • Why did she stop being a labor and delivery nurse?
  • Classes that helped preparing her mind
  • Exercise, acupuncture, Spinning Babies and “Beyoncé booty shaking”
  • Overdue pressure and stress
  • Prodromal or active labor?
  • Let contractions do their thing
  • Relaxing instead of vocalizing
  • Throwing up, shaking and sobbing, feeling scared, tired and overwhelmed
  • Special witness: a tree frog!
  • Where did the contractions go?!
  • It felt like eternity but also like a split second
  • Using pure, brute will
  • How did having a baby transform her?
  • “I can’t do it, but I do it anyway.”


Vanessa Janek FINALLY in labor! - Birthful Podcast Birth Story

FINALLY in labor! Vanessa couldn’t have been happier, rocking the exciting early labor vibes.


Related resources*:


Vanessa Janek supported in transition, supported by birth team. - Birthful Podcast Birth Story

Late transition hits hard. Partner John and midwife-in-training Lisa Gendron offer moral support. Photo: Footprints Doula Services.


Related Birthful episodes:


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All photos used with permission, courtesy of Vanessa Janek. Photos by Footprints Doula Services.

Vanessa Janek shares her Homebirth Story - Birthful Podcast

Giving baby a ‘once over’

Vanessa Janek shares her Homebirth Story - Birthful Podcast

First family cuddle

Vanessa Janek shares her Homebirth Story - Birthful Podcast

Gazing into each other’s eyes!

Vanessa Janek shares her Homebirth Story - Birthful Podcast

Taking in their new baby



Vanessa Janek headshot - Birthful Podcast

Courtesy of Vanessa Janek

About Vanessa Janek

Vanessa is a science communicator, long-time birth junkie, and new mama to one amazing, strong little girl. Once upon a time, she worked as a registered nurse on a busy labor and delivery unit, but quickly became unsettled by the ways that birth was often managed, manipulated, and treated pathologically without a true need for medical intervention. She ultimately transitioned out of clinical practice, became certified as a childbirth educator, and now spends her “free” time blogging at Wise Mamas Birth in an effort to teach pregnant women and their support networks about their options in birth long before labor ever begins. She is based in southeastern Connecticut and plans to start teaching childbirth classes once her family grows a little older.




Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

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