The Birth Hour

By Bryn Huntpalmer provides a space for pregnant women to learn from pregnancy & birth stories of all types.

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Description

Whether you are pregnant and looking for inspirational birth stories through your pregnancy, trying to conceive, a first time mom or a veteran mother of multiple children, you can learn, laugh and maybe even cry a little at these moving childbirth stories from women willing to share one of the most intimate moments of their lives.

Episode Date
324| Hypertension & 3 Day Hospital Induction + 6 Hour Home Waterbirth - Brie Buxton [REBROADCAST]
01:10:37

On this replay, Brie shares the birth stories of her daughter and son. Late in her first pregnancy, Brie developed hypertension and delivered her daughter on Father's Day after an exhausting 3-day-long induction at Stanford Children's Hospital. And after a thankfully unremarkable second pregnancy, Brie's son was born at home in a birth pool in their dining room after a powerful six hour labor on Valentine's Day.

Dec 13, 2018
323| Three Vaginal Breech Births - Hospital, Birth Center & Homebirth - Jessica Gray [REBROADCAST]
43:56

In this replay, Jessica shares her inspiring three breech birth stories, one each at a hospital, a birth center, and her home. 

Dec 11, 2018
322| A Midwife's Homebirth to Hospital Transfer Birth Story - Ami Burnham
49:21

Please enjoy a replay of Ami's birth story. I met Ami through her work with Why Not Home?—a documentary about medical professionals that choose to give birth at home. Ami is a midwife, RN, and IBCLC who had planned to have a homebirth with a midwife in attendance, but ended up needing to transfer to the hospital. I love this story because it is so positive despite things not going as Ami had originally planned.

Dec 06, 2018
321| Sarah's Unexpected C-Section - Sarah Hill [REBROADCAST]
33:09

Please enjoy a replay one of the first guests to share her birth story on TBH. In this episode, Sarah shares the story of her unexpected cesarean section.

Dec 04, 2018
320|A Doula Shares Her 3 Births - Joyce Dykema
41:30

In this episode, Joyce tells all three of her birth stories which included a hospital birth using hypnobirthing and a birthing tub. Joyce had three natural births that share some similarities, but which were also surprisingly different. As a doula, Joyce offers a helpful, informative perspective on birth and doesn't hold anything back!

Nov 29, 2018
319|A VBAC Success Story - Elspeth Riddout McCormick [REBROADCAST]
39:56

On this replay, Elspeth tells the story of her second birth, a VBAC.

Nov 27, 2018
318| Bryn & Richard Share 1st Homebirth Story
01:07:49

For those that haven't heard our first baby's birth story yet, I hope you enjoy this episode that I recorded with my husband Richard. We plan to record baby number three's birth story together as well as soon as we get a chance!

Nov 22, 2018
317| Emergency Cesarean Birth & Getting Pregnant with Ava Bracelet - Hailey Walker
23:12

The birth of Hailey’s daughter did not go according to plan. After 14 hours in labor, she was told her baby was in distress and she would need an emergency C-section. Needless to say, her carefully laid plan fell quickly by the wayside. After this experience, she feels that no matter how much you read and how many stories you hear from fellow mamas, nothing can prepare you for your own birth story. Hailey also shares her experience using the Ava Bracelet to get pregnant.

Nov 20, 2018
316| Hospital VBAC Birth Story - Elizabeth Quinn [REBROADCAST]
01:07:51

Elizabeth Quinn is married to Percy and they are raising their four children in Jackson, Mississippi. This episode is a rebroadcast of Elizabeth Quinn's return to The Birth Hour to share her most recent birth story with her son, Sims. Elizabeth had two cesareans and then a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and is really involved in the birth community in Jackson. She is super passionate about being educated about birth and helping women who have had c sections to know their options.

Nov 15, 2018
315| An Emotional Birth Journey to VBA2C - Part 2 - Elizabeth Quinn [REBROADCAST]
55:53

Elizabeth Quinn tells the stories of her third birth, a VBA2C.

Nov 13, 2018
314| An Emotional Birth Journey to VBA2C - Elizabeth Quinn [REBROADCAST]
34:30

Elizabeth Quinn tells the stories of her first two births, which were unplanned c-sections.

Nov 08, 2018
313| Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Homebirth - Tricia Phillips [REBROADCAST]
52:22

Tricia was shocked to find out she was pregnant shortly after getting back from her father’s funeral. She hadn’t been really trying to get pregnant with her husband but they had agreed to go off birth control. She figured it would take a while, but it didn’t! She has a lot of feelings and things to say about grieving while pregnant, and mostly remembers crying…sleeping…working…and eating ice cream for 9 months. She is forever grateful that home birthing crossed her radar while she was pregnant and feels like the universe was looking out for her and she listened, and it forever empowered her.

Nov 06, 2018
312| Triplets Birth Story with Postpartum Hemorrhage - Desiree Fortin
38:15

Desiree delivered her triplets at 34 weeks 1 day, her goal date. Her babies were all about 5 pounds each. Unfortunately, Desiree had some complications after her delivery. She hemorrhaged and needed blood transfusions. Her delivery was certainly not what she anticipated, but she is thankful she and her babies were safe.

Nov 01, 2018
311| Getting Pregnant with IUI, PROM, Surprise Breech Cesarean Birth - Ali Kressner
01:01:07

On this episode, Ali shares her story of getting pregnant via IUI and delivering a surprise breech baby via c-section at a teaching hospital.

 

 

Oct 30, 2018
310| Natural Induction Techniques for Almost 43 Weeks Homebirth - Brittney McCright
01:05:49

On this episode, Brittney shares the story of her homebirth.

One day shy of being 3 weeks past due, Brittney and her birth team began natural induction techniques to give her the opportunity to birth her baby at home, just how she had always dreamed it would happen. Labor started at 2:20am with consistent contractions coming every 3 minutes. Brittney labored by herself until it came time to administer the first round of Hibiclens, which was the remedy of choice to combat her Group B Strep.

Once the birth team arrived, the day was spent collaborating as a team to support Brittney as she labored throughout the house, on the birth tub, birth ball, toilet, birth stool, in the shower, and (exhausting all positions) on the bed. Once the second attempt to manually assist her swollen cervical lip was successful, Brittney experienced the fetal reject reflex and their sweet baby was welcomed by her husband’s hands, only to discover they “had a Teagan.” The next hour was filled with the final stage of birth, breastfeeding, discovering how big their Teagan was, dissecting the placenta, and being completely overjoyed their baby was FINALLY with them.

Oct 25, 2018
309| Long Prodromal Labor then Only 5 Minutes of Pushing - Chelsea Johnson
43:20

Chelsea was thrilled to conceive her son using the Ava Bracelet and talks about how helpful it was for her. After two weeks(!) of intense back-to-back contractions, Chelsea was induced at 37 weeks. Her son's heart rate started dropping during really strong contractions, and the doctors didn't feel comfortable sending Chelsea home. Her water was broken at around 10 AM on 3/21/18 and at 2:44 PM, after only 5 minutes of pushing, Micah was born.

Oct 23, 2018
308| Bonus Episode: Born Into This
41:16

Born Into This is a conference for birth workers and leaders interested in the intersection of social justice, technology and creativity. The conference is an invitation to engage in a public conversation, a call to accountability, and a way to make contact across our differences in service to the past, present, and future of the field and our lives, asking the fundamental question: What were we born into?

Oct 22, 2018
307| Pregnancy After Eating Disorder, Birth Center Transfer & Homebirth - Erica Ormanovich
55:21

On this episode, Erica tells her two birth stories.

Erica planned a birth center birth with her first child. After a low risk pregnancy, she went into labor at 39 weeks and 6 days. After having early labor contractions all night she checked into the birth center at 6 am on November 6th. She labored there all day and eventually started to run a low grade temperature resulting in her midwife risking her out of the practice and insisting on a hospital transfer. After a total of 33 hours, she welcomed her daughter at a Houston Hospital.

After her first birth experience Erica knew she wanted to try again for an unmedicated birth. Thinking her previous hospital transfer was necessary she opted for a group of midwives at a local hospital for prenatal care. After an upsetting encounter with one of the midwives in the group she followed her gut and switched to planning for a homebirth. Erica had another low risk and straight forward pregnancy and welcomed their son at home at 38 weeks and 4 days after only 6 hours of labor.

Oct 18, 2018
306| Double Rainbow Babies After Loss - Mariel and Viviana [REBROADCAST]
01:17:21

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month we are sharing this beautiful story again.

Same-sex couple Mariel and Viviana knew they always wanted a baby; so, a year into their marriage they began trying to conceive by the traditional route of IUI's with frozen sperm via a sperm bank. After nearly a dozen failed tries, they switched gears to a known-donor and were quickly pregnant. Early on in Viviana's pregnancy she began having complications, and on the same day of her anatomy scan at 20 weeks and 6 days, Viviana's water bag prolapsed and broke. Tune in to hear the details of their devastating infant loss due to incompetent cervix and the redemption story of their boy/girl rainbow babies conceived within 7 days of each other and born only three days apart. Follow their journey on Instagram at @moderndaytwins.

Oct 16, 2018
305| Dealing with Insurance, Vaginal Bleeding & Birth Location Change - Spencer Dolan
01:14:08

Spencer's pregnancy less than peaceful. Between complications with the insurance process, anxiety about pregnancy in general, indecisiveness about a birth plan, two hospitalizations due to vaginal bleeding, and unanticipated challenges with her prosthetic leg, Spencer never felt completely at-ease carrying her baby. However, she transferred care from an OB practice to a birth center in her final month of pregnancy, and from that point through her birth, it was smooth sailing. At 39 weeks 3 days, after 24 hours of early labor, 12 hours of active labor, including 2 hours of pushing in the tub, Spencer had an uncomplicated water delivery, and was so relieved to have achieved her exact birth plan with the support of her husband, doula, midwife, and birth assistant.

Oct 11, 2018
304| Transfer in Care During Late Pregnancy Hospital Birth Story - Sara Jones
50:56

Sara planned a birth center birth in Greensboro, NC, with Certified Nurse Midwives. However, during her last trimester she finished graduate school and moved to Richmond, VA, with her husband 22 days before she gave birth. She hoped for a low intervention birth with the midwives at the hospital, but ended up choosing an epidural after experiencing back labor. After about 17 hours of labor and pushing for 45 minutes, her baby boy was born perfectly healthy but with a cephalohematoma; basically a very large bump on his head. Despite a strong support system, Sara struggled with breastfeeding and PPD during the fourth trimester.

Oct 09, 2018
303|Known Sperm Donor, Gestational Hypertension & Induction Birth Story - Payton Wilson
56:08

Payton’s 18 hour induction hospital birth was completely different than she planned for her entire pregnancy. After battling with gestational hypertension in the last trimester, she feared for her ability to achieve an unmedicated birth when a spike in blood pressure caused her to be induced at 38+5. Her daughter was posterior her entire labor & although she had help from some IV medication, she went on to birth her daughter with out an epidural & less than 2 minutes of pushing.

Oct 04, 2018
302| Empowering Birth with Women Despite Military Husband Being Away - Natalie Curran
01:04:40

First-time mom Natalie had a beautiful but emotionally challenging pregnancy during which she was separated from her husband, an officer in the US Army, from week 20 onward. Due to a required military training course that did not go quite as planned, Natalie’s husband was unable to attend the birth of his daughter and didn’t end up meeting her until she was almost 3 weeks old. Despite these disappointing circumstances, Natalie had an incredible birth experience surrounded by her mother, sister, doula, and team of midwives at her birth center. Her daughter Cecilia was brought into the world surrounded by strong, caring women who supported and loved Natalie throughout her 21 hours of unmedicated labor with almost 3 hours of pushing at the end.

Oct 02, 2018
301| Type 1 Diabetic, Planned Cesarean, and Conceiving with the Ava Bracelet - Tara Lee Perez
30:26

Tara went into childbirth knowing that she would have a cesarean delivery. As a Type 1 Diabetic, the expected birth weight of her daughter had reached 8 pounds by her 36th week of pregnancy, and shoulder dystocia had already complicated her first delivery. She and her husband, Adam, were informed on May 29th that her delivery had been scheduled... for the very next morning! Lowering

Sep 27, 2018
300| Shoulder Dystocia and Neonatal Resuscitation Homebirth Story - Sigrid Chapman
57:39

This episode features the story of Sigrid’s most recent birth (of 5) in May 2018—the homebirth of her 11 lb 6 oz son—complete with 4 minute shoulder dystocia and 6 minute neonatal resuscitation.

Sep 25, 2018
299| IUI Fertility Treatment Resulting in Triplets Pregnant & Birth Story - Jody Wilson
50:07

Although Jody and Jeremy went through fertility treatment (IUI – intrauterine insemination,) they were told their chances of the procedure’s success was less than 20% due to small follicle size. Along with their physician, they decided to proceed anyways. After positive pregnancy tests and blood tests, it was confirmed the procedure was a success!

Jody experienced a significant amount of bleeding. After about 8 weeks, she and her husband went in for an early ultrasound to see if there was a reason for the bleeding. The doctor confirmed that triplets were the reason. Jody had a fairly insignificant pregnancy by triplet standards. No official bed rest or major medical issues.

Sep 20, 2018
298| Two Unmedicated Hospital Births, Adoption Story & Vasectomy that Reversed Itself - Leanne Johnston
57:07

Leanne's first child was born at 41 weeks in an unmedicated hospital birth with a nurse mid-wife group. She labored for about 7 hours before Wesley came flying into the world. Her middle child, Eloise, joined their family via open infant adoption. Leanne and her husband were present for her birth and received their daughter in the hallway just minutes after her induction and vacuum-assisted delivery. Her 3rd child, Thomas, entered their family after a surprise post-vasectomy pregnancy. He was born at 40 weeks and 3 days, after 2.5 weeks of prodromal labor, in the same hospital as his older brother and with the same mid-wife group. He was born after about 90 minutes of active labor in an unmedicated birth.

Sep 18, 2018
297| Adoption & Posterior Baby Birth Story with PROM - Kavisa Wood
58:47

Kavisa and Sky talked about adoption even before they married. They set goals for building a blended family. Five years into their marriage, the timing and details aligned, and they became licensed for foster care and adoption. When Kavisa, who is normally an overthinker who spends days researching all the angles before making decisions, first saw a photo of their daughters she immediately knew. They met their two daughters for the first time in August 2015, officially adopting them in April 2016.

Exactly 1 year and two days after Kavisa and Sky legally adopted their two daughters from foster care, their son was born. He took his sweet time arriving sunny side up with a head tilt (occiput posterior and asynclitic). He refused to follow any of Kavisa’s plans for birth. Kavisa planned for a water birth without any medical inventions or drugs. Her son decided that even though his comfortable womb home of amniotic fluid started leaking on Tuesday, he would stay inside an extra 5 days... and only after 3 days of labor. Inadequate dilation, fetal station/presentation, kidney function failure, and chorioamnionitis meant Kavisa and her son ended up needing medications, an epidural, and a fetal vacuum. However, after all the drama her son immediately latched seconds after birth. Their family 5 is a “real family” and full of love.

Sep 13, 2018
296| 911 Call Roadside Delivery - Jerika Crews
59:09

Jerika planned a hospital birth with her first. She saw an OBGYN and had a very textbook pregnancy. Her water broke the evening of July 2nd, 2016 and contractions started when she was given Pitocin. Her labor and delivery were very textbook as well. She experienced a lot of pain for about two weeks after giving birth which influenced her to opt for an unmedicated birth for her second child. She had been going to a midwife and was planning to deliver at a birth center. Her second pregnancy was very textbook as well.

Unlike her first pregnancy, she did experience some Braxton hicks and cramping for about three weeks before she went into labor. The morning of May 18th, 2018, Jerika started having contractions that eventually turned into active labor. By 1:30 pm she called her husband to come home from work and things escalated quickly. He arrived at 1:45 pm and by 2:00pm contractions were only minutes apart and very intense. They quickly got in the car to make the 30 minute trip to the birthing center. 10 minutes into the drive her water broke and she quickly realized they were not going to make it. Her husband called 911 and was instructed to go to the nearest hospital. While in route to the hospital they realized they they wouldn't make it there either. The operator instructed them to pull over and walked her husband through the delivery of their second daughter. Paramedics arrived about 5 minutes after their daughter was born and they were transported to the hospital only a mile down the road.

Sep 11, 2018
295|Birth Center Birth & Unmedicated Hospital Twin Birth - Lisa Jay
01:00:05

When Lisa and her husband, Johnny found out they were expecting their first child, she knew she wanted to have an unmedicated birth in a birthing center. After a pretty uneventful pregnancy, she was overjoyed to have the labor of her dreams. Lisa was thrilled to catch their daughter and the new parents were happily sent home after a brief stay at the center.

Just shy of a year later, Lisa and Johnny found out they were expecting again and they knew they’d have baby #2 at the birthing center. But, as fate would have it, Lisa became “high risk” when they learned that twins were in their future. Unable to deliver at a birthing center and living in a state were homebirths were illegal, Lisa had to face one of her biggest fears: giving birth in a hospital. The couple was faced with opposition from the medical staff and although there were some twists and turns along the way, she succeeded in having two more unmedicated births!

Sep 06, 2018
294| Gestational Thrombocytopenia & Precipitous Labor - Scarlet Kelly
45:12

Scarlet was surprised, but excited, to find she was pregnant with her second child after it took 10 months to conceive their first. Her two pregnancies and births were different in almost every way, except for another unfortunate gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis. Still, mom and baby remained healthy throughout the pregnancy. Labor surprised them by starting 3 days before her due date (Scarlet was 9 days late with her first), and only lasted for 2.5 hours. Her OB arrived just minutes before baby Lucy was born! Scarlet was able to avoid another manual placenta extraction and blood loss, and everyone went home healthy the next day - a very happy ending to a completely different pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

Sep 04, 2018
293| Fever in Labor and Emergency Cesarean Birth - Nicole Roberts
27:07

What began as a rather typical pregnancy ended in a slightly complicated birth. Nicole was one week past her due date, and had an induction scheduled, when she went into labor in the early hours of her birthday. She labored at home for six hours before she and her husband Christopher made their way to the hospital.

Aug 30, 2018
292|Homebirth Postpartum Transfer & Healing Second Birth in Hospital - Nikkie Kent
56:53

After suffering a chemical pregnancy, Nikkie was determined to learn more about her birthing options and to become an advocate for her own healthcare. As a result, she chose to have her first child at home. After four hours of pushing, her baby boy was born, but her placenta was retained and would not deliver naturally. She was transferred by ambulance to the local hospital where medical staff attempted to extract the placenta manually; but, they only managed to remove half, which caused her to hemorrhage. Nikki had to undergo general anesthesia to have her placenta successfully removed. After a double blood transfusion, she was sent home, with her baby boy, to recover. The whole experience was in stark contrast to the low-intervention home birth she’d hoped for.

Two years later, Nikkie discovered she was pregnant again, but when the results of her 10-week blood test came back abnormal, she learned that the blood transfusion she’d received in the hospital had caused her body to create an antigen that could put her pregnancy at risk. Thankfully, her baby girl did not carry this antigen and her pregnancy ended up being normal. Through hypnobirthing, Nikkie was able to overcome her birthing fears created by the trauma following her son’s delivery. In an empowering and healing hospital birth, Addison was born in under three hours on a beautiful day in May.

Aug 28, 2018
291| Hypnobirthing, Meconium, Induction & Failed Epidural - Andrea Cox
58:01

Andrea used hypnobirthing for her two births. Her births were similar in that they both lasted about 8 hours with 20 minutes of pushing. Her first birth to her daughter ended with meconium presenting and a third degree tear. Her second birth was started via induction. After a failed epidural, Andrea gave birth to a surprisingly huge 10lb 12oz boy.

Aug 23, 2018
290| Non-Emergency Cesarean Birth + Healing VBAC - Larissa Krutewicz
01:05:26

Larissa shares two birth stories: a non-emergency c-section w/ a traumatic week of complications following birth; and, a redemptive, healing VBAC birth w/ zero complications.

Aug 21, 2018
289| Vaginal Breech Twin Birth at the Hospital - Jennifer Mancuso
01:05:22

On this episode, Jenn shares the story of how she advocated for, and successfully had, a vaginal twin breech birth.

Aug 16, 2018
288|Unexpected Birth Outcomes and Why Choice is so Important - Natasha Marchand
01:02:02

Natasha (COO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a super talented creative genius that turned her passion for babies and fitness into a lifelong career. On this episode, Natasha shares two birth stories: a planned homebirth with a transfer to the hospital where she still felt supported; and, a cesarean section where she felt like a lot of choices were taken away from her

Aug 14, 2018
287| Miscarriage, Placenta Previa and Premature Cesarean Birth - Erika Cazeneuve
34:29

On this episode, Erika discusses her three pregnancies and the birth of her son.

Aug 09, 2018
286| Orgasmic Birth - Shalome Doran [REBROADCAST]
34:43

On today’s episode, Shalome Doran shares the stories of her three births. The first was a highly medicalized hospital birth, and the second two were homebirths, one of which was actually an orgasmic birth!

Aug 07, 2018
285| Second Homebirth & First Waterbirth - Bryn Huntpalmer [REBROADCAST]
33:41

My son was born at home in Oregon with a wonderful midwife in attendance. My labor was FAST and was a walk in the park compared to my 34 hour labor with my daughter but that story is for another day! After my first homebirth with my daughter, I knew I wanted another homebirth and I was really interested in having a waterbirth. I wasn’t able to give birth in the water with my daughter and I felt strongly that it would be really helpful to be in the birthing tub during the transition and pushing stage.

Aug 02, 2018
284| Castor Oil Postdates Birth & Hospital Water Birth - Julie Tobi
50:31

In trying to avoid medical induction, Julie consulted with her doula about drinking castor oil to bring on labor. That night castor oil worked some labor magic and brought on contractions. Julie was able to labor at home, then labor in a birthing tub at the hospital. She turned inward and found a tapping/counting/breathing rhythm to work through contractions. After about 14 hours of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing she birthed her baby girl. Delivering the placenta was challenging and Julie hemorrhaged 30 minutes postpartum. Medical intervention stopped the hemorrhage and, while incredibly scary for everyone (especially Julie's husband), everyone was okay.

Julie's second birth moved more quickly when labor began with spontaneous water breaking three days after her due date. Even though things moved quickly, she left the hospital to labor at home when she learned she was 1.5cm dilated. Julie transitioned in the shower at home and things really started move fast. She was 9cm when she got back to the hospital, labored in the tub and ultimately had a water birth, giving birth to her son after pushing through 2-3 contractions. Her baby boy slept on her chest skin-to-skin for five hours after being born.

Jul 31, 2018
283| Unmedicated Hospital Birth, Precipitous Birth, & Homebirth Stories - Kaitlyn Lowery
58:30

Kaitlyn's first birth was a beautiful, empowering, unmedicated vaginal birth with a hospital midwife practice. She expected and planned for a similar birth with her second, but learned that each pregnancy really is different after going much later than she expected and ultimately having a precipitous birth (complete with mad dash to the hospital over frozen streets). Committed to avoid a birth only assisted by her two toddlers, she planned, and had, a home birth for her third.

Jul 26, 2018
282| Three Births from the Perspective of a Military Family - Carolyn Winn
46:21

On this episode, Carolyn tells her three birth stories: two natural hospital births (one with a negative doula experience,) and an empowering homebirth. She also describes the challenges of traveling internationally for work while pumping, and recovering from diastasis recti after her third birth.

Jul 24, 2018
281| Getting Pregnant with Sperm Donor & Positive Pitocin Induced Birth - Lauren Alexander
01:04:47

Lauren's first birth was a precious, yet invigorating experience. Her water broke before active labor began and, because there was meconium in the water, she was admitted into the hospital before contractions really began. She set out wanting to have an all-natural birth in which she labored as long as possible at home, but accepted her doctor’s recommendation to use Pitocin to progress her labor and avoid risks of infection. It was a happy, safe and fulfilling experience despite the fear that was produced for her about the use of Pitocin in leading to complications. She hopes this experience relieves fears others have about using Pitocin and epidurals when necessary.

Jul 19, 2018
280| Hospital Birth with Epidural in UK after TTC Struggles - Claire Lycett
36:57

Claire is 6 foot, so she was never going to have a small baby; however, she only started to worry when she went a week overdue. Claire was pretty sure her baby was going to be massive, and she was. Both Claire and her husband, Rich, had decided to go Team Green and so only knew they were having ‘a baby’. Both expected a boy, but having had three early miscarriages prior to the birth, neither honestly cared so long as the baby was healthy. Claire was feeling very grumpy the day she went into labour. She had some scares, which turned out to be Braxton Hicks warm ups, and so she went for a long waddle to Tesco where she was poo’ed on by a bird. That afternoon, she started to go into early labor. Having sent Rich off to bed (the philosophy being at least one of them would get some sleep) Claire then labored long into the night, until she was told to come into the hospital at 4am by her midwives. Early assessment showed Claire was actually slowing down, so she and Rich were sent up to ‘Level 5’ of the hospital where they waited it out for a further 20 hours without sleep or drugs. Even meptid given at 12am on that second night didn’t touch it. This wasn’t fun, as Claire was pretty sure she was in established labor despite the long waits between strong contractions.

She was right, and at 5am Claire was finally sent to delivery by a very bossy and wonderful chief midwife. Here she was given an epidural and was looked after by two young, bubbly midwives, Daisy and Amy. You’re not meant to have a party in a delivery room, but they did anyway. With the help of drugs to speed the contractions on and having her waters broken for her, the baby made its way down the birth canal. 9 hours later it became clear Claire needed an episiotomy. Artemis popped out very quickly and amazed everyone when they realized she was a girl, not the expected boy (Claire was secretly very chuffed). Cuddles and nursing were done while Claire was stitched (Artemis will still to this day try to root on Rich) and the parents were lucky enough to be left in the delivery room to sleep until they were moved up to a ward. The whole thing was very relaxed!

Jul 17, 2018
279| Victorious Homebirth with an Unexpected Episiotomy - Libby Tedder Hugus
01:19:45

In this episode, Libby shares what she calls her "Victorious Homebirth which included an Unexpected Episiotomy; and, a surprise but necessary hospital stay for jaundice one week postpartum." 

Jul 12, 2018
278| 72 Hour Hospital Birth & Postpartum Depression - Bianca Sprague
40:18

On this episode, Bianca shares the birth story of her daughter, the ups and downs of her 72-hour labor, and suffering postpartum depression.

 

Jul 10, 2018
277| Unmedicated Twin Birth after Cholestasis Diagnoses - Molly Savage
24:39

Molly knew she wanted to try for an unmedicated birth before she became pregnant. When she found out she was having twins though, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to have the birth that she wanted. She educated herself on pregnancy and birth by taking Bradley method classes, and sought out other twin moms who had unmedicated births and listened to their stories. These two things greatly encouraged her and made her feel like it was possible. She switched doctors halfway through, developed cholestasis, and twin B was breech, but in the end she was still able to have the birth she had dreamed of.

Jul 05, 2018
276| Surrogate for High School Best Friend Birth Story - Dana Hawkins
45:53

This birth, for Dana, was as much about the process to become pregnant and the relationship with the father as the birth itself. Dana and Chad met their freshman year of high school, when Chad asked Dana to go to the Fall Formal dance. They quickly became best friends, and have remained so ever since. And 20 years after they met in high school, Dana gave birth to a girl for Chad and his husband Jim.

Being a surrogate came with different legal, psychological, and emotional ramifications for Dana than her other births. And the birth itself ended up having some complications.

Going from a perfect check up on a Wednesday to developing severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome by Saturday, Dana had to be induced at 35 weeks. But she still thinks of it all as one of the most magical experiences she has gone through, and has an even more special bond with the father that she could have ever imagined.

Jul 03, 2018
275| Getting Pregnant, 48 Hour Labor + Postpartum Preeclampsia - Lindsay Meisel
42:52

After an easy pregnancy with no complications, Lindsay had an intense, 48-hour back labor with four hours of pushing. The first half was at home with her husband and a doula, and the second half was in a hospital with an epidural. After the baby was born with the cord wrapped tightly around his neck, he was immediately whisked away to the NICU where he stayed for a week of monitoring and therapies to reduce the likelihood of brain injury (turns out he's totally fine!). During his week-long stay in the NICU, Lindsay had some unexpected health issues of her own: she developed severe postpartum preeclampsia, with no warning signs at all.

Jun 28, 2018
274| Peaceful Epidural Birth & Surrogacy for Two Dads - Nicole Gricius
01:11:14

Nicole’s first birth was a positive, peaceful experience. She gave birth in a hospital with an OB she trusted, and felt that having an epidural helped her to relax and be present as she brought her daughter into the world.

Nicole’s second birth was only 16 months after the first. Her plan going into the birth was to do things about the same as the first time... which ended up with a-less-than-magical birth experience. Nicole was in love with her son, but also knew that she hoped she could get a chance to have a different kind of birth experience.

Nicole decided to be a gestational surrogate, and carried twins for two international dads. She was able advocate for herself and to have the unmedicated twin birth she hoped for at the hospital where she works, and had a great birth and surrogacy experience.

Jun 26, 2018
273| Precipitous First Birth & Longer Second Birth - Allison Yarrow
38:50

Allison had a precipitous labor and nearly gave birth in the back of an uber. Her water broke and two hours later she was holding her daughter. When she gave birth to her son two years later, it actually took longer. But she was glad about that.

Jun 21, 2018
272| Birth Center to Hospital transfer for Gestational Thrombocytopenia - Scarlet Kelly (REBROADCAST)
01:03:57

For today's episode, we're revisiting Scarlet's powerful hospital birth story.

Scarlet originally planned to give birth at a birth center, but those plans changed close to the end of her pregnancy when she received a gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis.Still, Jane’s birth was a very powerful, intense, yet rewarding experience. At 41.5 weeks, Scarlet's labor started in the middle of the night and progressed quickly, but stalled after her hospital check-in. Scarlet's doctor ended up breaking her water, which jump-started her labor again, and her daughter, Jane, was born soon after. A retained placenta led to a manual extraction and extra blood loss; but, everyone went home healthy the next day. But only 4 days later, Scarlet's family was back in the doctor’s office due to a thyroid problem that showed up on Jane’s newborn screen.

Jun 19, 2018
271|Hypertension & 3 Day Hospital Induction + 6 Hour Home Waterbirth - Brie Buxton
01:10:37

On this episode, Brie shares the birth stories of her daughter and son. Late in her first pregnancy, Brie developed hypertension and delivered her daughter on Father's Day after an exhausting 3-day-long induction at Stanford Children's Hospital. And after a thankfully unremarkable second pregnancy, Brie's son was born at home in a birth pool in their dining room after a powerful six hour labor on Valentine's Day.

Jun 14, 2018
270| Spina Bifada and Successful Fetal Surgery - Chamblee Madani
55:12

On this episode, Chamblee shares the surgery and birth stories of her daughter, who was diagnosed with spina bifada. 

Jun 12, 2018
269| Homebirth, Miscarriage, & Twin Birth Center Birth Stories - Jennifer McLennan
01:15:30

On this episode, Jen, a trained doula, shares two birth stories and her experience with loss. 

Jun 07, 2018
268| Emergency Cesarean after Preeclampsia & VBAC Induction - Amarachi Ukazim Bard
55:24

On this episode, Amarachi shares her two birth stories. She had an uneventful pregnancy with her firstborn, but a very eventful emergency c-section at 32 and 6 due to severe preeclampsia, including: a 48 hour magnesium sulfate drip; a 26 day NICU stay for her baby; and, PPD upon arrival home. During her second pregnancy, which was considered high risk due to her previous delivery, Amarachi had morning sickness from weeks 5-28. At week 28, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (non-insulin-dependent). Amarachi was induced at 39 weeks; and, after a 43.5 hour labor, she had a successful VBAC delivery!

Jun 05, 2018
267| Surprise Breech + Two Postdates Births with Doula - Callie Christensen
43:59

Callie's first birth was a planned water birth that ended up a surprise breech delivery. It was a terrifying experience that no one saw coming; but, with the help of the right on-call OB, Callie safely delivered her first son in a breech position.

After that experience, Callie knew a doula was necessary for her next pregnancy so she would feel more emotionally supported and prepared going into the unexpected. She found Mal Warning and immediately clicked with her based on her previous experience working in Special Education. With her pregnancy going 12 days overdue, Callie relied heavily on Mal for information to make informed decisions about how to proceed as her medical team pressured her to be induced. Her second birth was an unmedicated delivery, and the best experience overall.

For her third and last birth experience, Callie again found herself in a similar position of being overdue by 14 days when she was being pressured into induction by her midwife. With the assistance of Mal again, Callie went in with a similar plan as for her second birth; but, it didn't turn out the same way and pitocin was used to start induction. The drug created a very intense third and final birth experience that Callie thinks back on and is happy she never has to do again.

May 31, 2018
266| Transgender Dad Shares his Pregnancy & Birth Story - Trystan Reese
01:09:55

Trystan and Biff adopted their niece and nephew (both survivors of an abusive situation), and that story was featured on WNYC's parenting podcast, The Longest Shortest Time. Suddenly, the young couple found themselves sharing the lessons they learned, becoming parents under such stressful circumstances, with many people across the country. Then they decided to grow their family by having their own biological child—one that Trystan carried and birthed himself. As a transgender man, he has all the parts necessary to give birth in a safe manner. He stopped taking his hormones, and he and Biff successfully conceived and had a beautiful, happy baby.

May 29, 2018
265|Postdates Birth Center Birth, Cesarean Birth & Homebirth VBAC - Jessica Higgins
36:19

For her first birth, Jessica and her husband chose an out of hospital birth center and they welcomed their daughter Josie after a 41 week and 6 day long pregnancy. Her second birth was with the same midwives; but, due to cord issues, their son Elliott was born in the hospital by c-section. After a cross country move half way through her third pregnancy, Jessica and Chris decided they wanted to attempt a homebirth VBAC. At 40 weeks and 6 days, and after a week of prodromal labor, Jessica finally went into active labor while out at a pizza place with her family! After a very intense 8 hours of back labor, she pushed for 8 minutes and her third baby, 10lb 7oz Ian, was born at home with the help of their amazing midwives.

May 24, 2018
264|Unmedicated Hospital Birth with AROM - Julia Carrion
01:09:19

Julia planned for an unmedicated, hospital water birth. After having to have her water artificially ruptured and finding meconium, the water birth was no longer an option. After laboring for nearly 26 hours, pushing for 4.5 hours and narrowly avoiding a c-section, Julia was able to have an unmedicated vaginal birth.

May 22, 2018
263| OB Hospital Birth & Midwife Hospital Birth Stories - Juliana Ramirez
01:00:14

Juliana got pregnant in her senior year of her BA. As an international student she was not very acquainted with the medical system in Ontario and opted for what was the most familiar option to her: OB care. During her pregnancy, she became more aware of her options and decided to try an unmedicated birth. Unfortunately, she feels she did not have the right support system for this; and, though the birth occurred with no complications and Hugo was born a happy and healthy baby, she realized that her choice of hospital had not been the right decision for her: not only did she and her husband not feel supported, but they had to face many administrative obstacles.

For her second baby, Juliana and her husband decided to have a midwife attend their birth at a different hospital. Xavier’s birth could not have been any better. Three hours after the delivery they were able to go home with their new baby. Abbir and Anita, their midwives, came to do home visits and supported them through this new stage in their lives.

May 17, 2018
262| Homebirth After 3 Hospital Births - Nicole Vandenberg
01:06:02

On this episode, Nicole shares her four very different birth stories. 

May 15, 2018
261| Homebirth & Surprise Unassisted Hospital Bathroom Birth - Jasmine Wilde
54:36

Jasmine’s first birth story was an amazing heartfelt home waterbirth —while her second birth left her in literal shock. Jasmine gave birth to her baby girl on the hospital bathroom floor, unassisted. Jasmine goes through her journey of many hardships in such a short amount of time — from having her delivery bag stolen while in labor and not having the hospital water-birth she had planned, to struggling through back pain, diastasis recti, and an umbilical hernia after giving birth to two children 14 months apart.

May 10, 2018
260| Homebirth Cesarean + Homebirth VBAC - Gina Giordano
01:03:45

Gina Giordano, of Doula Training International, shares her homebirth-cesarean and homebirth-VBAC birth stories.

May 08, 2018
259| Premature Rupture of Membranes Birth Center to Hospital Transfer - Nalani Jolly HIll
01:06:01

After planning a calm birth center birth with no interventions, Nalani found herself in a hospital setting being induced after her water broke prematurely.

May 03, 2018
258| Lesbian Single Mom by Choice - Jenn Poupard
01:01:07

On this episode, Jenn shares the birth story of her son, Wallace, who was conceived with the help of a known-donor Jenn met through the Known Donor Registry. After a medically uneventful pregnancy, Jenn gave birth to Wallace at 41 weeks 5 days. Labor began with mild contractions on the way to the second NST; continued with a dramatic rupturing of waters; and, ended with a Pitocin induction 24 hours later. Jenn was determined to have an unmedicated birth and had the support of her parents, her doula, and her CNM in order to stay empowered through her long and difficult labor.

May 01, 2018
257| Hyperemesis Pregnancy & Peaceful Cesarean Birth - Desiree Charles
53:13

Desiree Charles is a 32 year old wife, new mom, and young professional. She has been married to her husband for 3 years and enjoys her job, spending time with friends, and a nice glass of wine. She and her husband had not been trying very long when they got pregnant. Unfortunately the pregnancy was not what either of them expected and Desiree suffered from severe hyperemesis gravidarum. After several hospitalizations, Desiree gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

Apr 26, 2018
256|Infertility, IVF, Twins and Homebirth Birth Stories - Ashley Izsak
01:16:55

After receiving devastating news about their chances of conceiving due to a severe case of male factor infertility, Ashley and her husband Andrew were thrown into the unknown world of infertility. Ashley of @ashleyizsak found out she was pregnant on her 28th birthday from their first round of IVF with ICSI. Two weeks later, on new years eve, they found out she was expecting mono di twins.

From the start, Ashley struggled with her desire to do things as naturally as possible while being told delivery would take place in an OR with a team of about twenty people. At 20 weeks, they discovered her cervix was shortening and at 24 weeks, they gave her steroid injections to help mature the babies' lungs. Surprising everyone, she went on to carry the twins past her due date and successfully delivered her twins vaginally at the hospital in an OR.

For five years, they were a happy family of four; yet, every December a bill arrived reminding them of their frozen embryo that remained at the fertility clinic. Ashley struggled with first wanting another baby, then feeling done, and then finally wanting to try for that third baby. In a crazy coincidence, the third embryo would be transferred into Ashley exactly six years later, to the day. At 20 weeks, she and her husband made the decision to switch to midwifery care and pursue a homebirth. Hours shy of the twins sixth birthday, Ashley gave birth at home, in a birth pool, to a beautiful baby boy.

Apr 24, 2018
255| Epidural Birth and Unmedicated Hospital Birth Stories - Anita Young
32:49

Anita and her partner, Brian, were initially surprised by their pregnancy. After six months of trying to conceive, they both weren’t sure they could. After delivering her son via a vaginal birth (with an epidural) in 2009, Anita desired to have an unmedicated birth with her next child.

Apr 19, 2018
254| Birth Center Hypobabies Birth Story - Tori Rerick
40:05

Tori shares the story of her peaceful, unmedicated birth at Mountain Midwifery in a birthing pool. After laboring at home, she and her husband made the drive to the center to meet her doula. Spending a majority of the time in the water, Tori drew on her Hypnobabies wisdom, physical support of her husband and emotional support of her doula. After a few hours of labor and transition she pushed 3 times and her son was in arms. Hours after that, the family of 3 returned home for post-partum bonding.

Apr 17, 2018
253| Stillbirth, Rainbow Baby Waterbirth and Accidental Unassisted Birth Stories - Heidi Kim
01:20:39

After losing her first daughter to stillbirth, Heidi had a complicated pregnancy journey to her second birth. But the storm clouds lifted when she heard her rainbow baby's first cries after a long and difficult, but empowering, waterbirth that led her down the path of becoming a birth doula. Despite having been to many births by the time she had her 3rd, Heidi was completely shocked when she didn't recognize her own labor signs and ended up having a surprise, accidental, unassisted homebirth on her toilet with nobody around but her 3 year old. But things got complicated when the ambulance showed up.

Apr 12, 2018
252| Long, Hard Labor Followed by Empowering Second Birth - Kelly Oriard
52:16

Kelly's first birth was unexpectedly long and difficult. She planned to have a natural water birth, but the birth took a different path. Her experience made her very fearful of a second pregnancy and birth, but a short 19 months later she was back at the hospital in labor. The two births turned out to be very different and she was able to have an experience with her second birth that made her feel truly empowered.

Apr 10, 2018
251|Cesarean Birth, 3 VBACs & Foster-to-Adopt Stories - Rachel Bausili
01:09:18

Rachel's first birth was an emergency c-section, due to baby's dropping heart rate and failure to progress after many long hours of labor. He ended up being a large baby (9 lbs, 8 oz) with a huge head. Her 2nd birth was a successful VBAC 18 months later to a smaller, healthy boy (8 lbs even). It was another long labor, but it went smoothly. Her 3rd birth was a VBAC birth to a baby girl, a much quicker and easier labor lasting only 6 hours. Baby weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz. Her 4th and last birth was a VBAC birth to a baby girl. Labor was a bit longer than the previous birth (12 hours) due to her water breaking and labor taking a while to get started but it was a smooth and relatively easy delivery. Baby weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz. She and her husband fostered a little boy 2 separate times (once during her 4th pregnancy, and again when that baby was a few months old) and his adoption was finalized last summer.

Apr 05, 2018
250| Preemie Birth Center Transfer + NICU Stay - Gioia Hackett
36:51

On this episode, Gioia tells the story of having her daughter at 34 weeks. Gioia (Joya) had all intensions of giving birth to her first child unmedicated at the local birth center she and her husband selected; but their baby had other plans. After arriving at work “feeling off” one rainy Friday morning, Gioia's water spontaneously broke at 34 weeks. Her husband immediately picked her up from work and they headed to the birth center to be checked. To everyone’s shock she was 9 centimeters dilated at arrival.

Apr 03, 2018
249| Expressing Gratitude with an Unexpected Cesarean Birth - Jelisa Smith
01:26:18

Jelisa thinks of her birth experience as being nothing like she had envisioned, and completely different from any birth story she'd listened to or watched online. After nearly 50 hours of labor, she felt as if she had to surrender to the process and do the one thing she REALLY didn't want to do: have a c-section. Despite the many interventions and multiple breakdowns she had during labor, she describes it as a positive birth experience, which is what she ultimately wanted. By sharing her story, she wants other Moms to know that even if their birth looks NOTHING like they envisioned or dreamed of, it's perfectly OKAY and you can STILL have a positive birth experience IF you allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are feeling and find whatever ways you can to express gratitude around your birth. The practice of expressing Gratitude really helped Jelisa through what could have been a traumatic experience.

Mar 29, 2018
248| Gestational Diabetes, Hospital Birth, Breastfeeding/Pumping - Rebecca Minkoff
35:34
Rebecca shares the stories of her three children's births in a hospital setting. Rebecca was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes with her first two pregnancies and was able to control it with diet. She also talks about her first baby having a two vessel cord, meconium in the water and a short NICU stay as well as her second baby refusing the breast at just two months old. With her third pregnancy Rebecca found research regarding a vitamin that helps prevent Gestational Diabetes and was able to avoid another GD diagnosis. Hear all three stories on today's episode of The Birth Hour.

Rebecca Minkoff Bio

Rebecca is the co-founder and creative director of Rebecca Minkoff, a lifestyle brand with a focus on accessories. Rebecca also has founded the inspirational FB group and offline community, @Rmsuperwomen, which provides mentorship, fireside chats with fellow female entrepreneurs to inspire women to lead a more fearless life. She lives in Dumbo Brooklyn with her 3 children (6, 3, and 10 weeks,) and husband Gavin Bellour.
Mar 27, 2018
247| Infertility, Loss & Preeclampsia Preterm Labor - Jenna-Lee Languirand
26:20

When Jenna found out about Ava bracelet she was thrilled to become pregnant again after a year of use! The bracelet helped her and her husband understand her cycle and body better. It taught her what her most optimum days were and, took a lot of the stress out of trying to conceive. She loved that it was very easy to use and see the data daily. Her pregnancy was anything but easy but this she expected.

She ended up having to be hospitalized the last month of her pregnancy due to severe preeclampsia. On the day of her baby shower, Jenna was rushed into an emergency cesarean section at 30 weeks and gave birth to her tiny 3.5 pound rainbow baby boy Wesley Arlo. Jenna and Patrick feel completely blessed to have him and can't wait until he can come home from the NICU. Jenna wanted to share her story to give hope to those who have gone thru similar circumstances

Mar 22, 2018
246| Surrogacy: Vaginal Twin Birth Story - Whitney LeBlanc
01:26:44

In this episode Whitney shares a little about her own children's unmediated births and then shares her journey to becoming a surrogate including matching with the intended parents, getting pregnant, finding out she was expecting twins, and planning a vaginal twin birth in the hospital. She also shares her postpartum experience and what her recovery has been like without babies to take care of.

Mar 20, 2018
245| Pitocin, Induction, Epidural Birth Story After Infertility - Beth Belt
52:57

After dealing with infertility for over a year, Beth and her husband Wes were surprised to find out they were pregnant on the day of their consultation for IVF. Beth enjoyed a smooth pregnancy up until she was 39 weeks along, when on Halloween morning, her OB discovered that her amniotic fluid levels were low, and she needed to be induced. She was induced with pitocin, and labored in the hospital with an epidural for 12 hours before giving birth to her son. Bexley was born at 2:50 am on November 1st, weighing 7lbs and 1 oz, with a full head of hair.

Mar 15, 2018
244| Preparations for a Redemptive VBAC - Caitlin Shrum
49:55

On this episode, Caitlin shares the story of her second birth, an empowering VBAC.

Mar 13, 2018
243| Giving Birth in Germany - Ana Maria Guardia
59:18

Ana gave birth like a champ in a hospital in Germany after being assured that it was baby-friendly. That didn't end up being her experience and although everything ended up ok, she shares how it felt to be treated in a way that wasn't respectful of her wishes.

Mar 08, 2018
242| OB vs Midwife—One Mom's Experience - Michelle Ankrim
54:09

In Michele's first labor, she delivered a healthy 8lbs 9oz baby boy. Along the way, she had the epidural she planned on, and then found herself ignored and talked about, not talked to, while she labored. While very happy with the healthy outcome, she felt like something was missing, and sought out care providers for her next pregnancy who might do things differently. For her 3 subsequent pregnancies, she was cared for by a team of midwives who listened to her and valued her as a partner in her labors.

Resources

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Expecting Better by Emily Oster

Mar 06, 2018
241| Processing Miscarriage + Rainbow Baby Homebirth
01:08:54

After having miscarried in 2016, Karsyn became pregnant early 2017 with her first baby. She didn’t plan a homebirth from the beginning, but changed plans midway through her pregnancy and never looked back. After an uncomplicated pregnancy, Karsyn went into labor in her home eleven days after her due date. Five hours of early labor and five hours of active labor throughout her home and an intense fetal ejection reflex waterbirth brought her Phoenix. Though her pregnancy and labor were pretty ideal, she struggled with breastfeeding and getting Phoenix to gain weight. She’s currently feeding her son exclusively breastmilk and has worked hard to make that possible despite odds stacked against them.

Mar 01, 2018
240| Three Unplanned Cesarean Birth Stories - Afra Said
01:09:23

Afra has undergone 3 C-sections mainly due to intervention. With her first she was induced at 41+2 with cervidel to prepare me for an induction and went into labor shortly after. She was 3 cms when admitted to the hosptial, but was put on a bed, not allowed to move around much, and also given some pain meds through an IV which slowed things down alot. She was naive and didn't know much about the importance of movement, and advocating for herself. She labored and got to 8cms, but baby wasn't engaged even though she was 80% effaced. Her baby quickly moved and went transverse as the OB says and so she ended up with an emergency c-section.

With her second she ended up having a c-section again after her water starting leaking. She wasn't getting any contractions and so she was induced at 41 weeks, and she progressed to 8.5cms after about 30/40 hours or so. Her daughter was eventually at station 0 and Afra was 100% effaced but baby wasn't descending as they later found in the c-section the cord was around her neck. Her cervix had swollen with all the constant cervical checks, water ruptures, and catheters inserted. she had been on the IV, antibitocis and eventually had an epidural which helped her progress to 8.5 from 7.

With her 3rd baby, she couldn't find a supportive provider or midwife that could take her on except for an OB who agreed to allow her to TOLAC provided everything was going well. She dilated and went into labor on her own this time and without her approval got a sweep from her OB which set off active labor. Her baby ended up being posterior in brow presentation which gave her back labor and was the reason why her labor wasn't progressing well causing decals. She ended up having her 3rd C-section shortly after.

Read more on the show notes page.

Feb 27, 2018
239| Hospital Birth With Nitrous Oxide & Birth Tub - L'America Brown
32:44

After initially planning on receiving an epidural (due to fear of pain), L’America researched and decided to prepare for a natural, water birth instead. Her fear of pain was overshadowed by her fear of needles, delivery interventions, and the potential lingering effects on mother and child. By using alternative pain management options (nitrous oxide, hydrotherapy, birthing ball, counter-pressure, and aromatherapy) and having a very supportive birthing team, L’America had a 17-hour natural labor and delivery (which included only 28 minutes of pushing) without any complications!

Feb 22, 2018
238| Two Unmedicated Hospital Births & Home Waterbirth Birth Stories - Elise Hurst
01:09:05

Elise Hurst shares her three birth stories—two unmedicated hospital births and one homebirth. She also shares some fun and interesting tidbits from pregnancy and struggles with breastfeeding and postpartum. 

She has a great list of resources listed here

Feb 20, 2018
238| Unplanned Cesarean Birth After "Doing Everything Right" - Catherine Gray
01:01:28

Catherine Gray planned an unmedicated hospital birth and did everything she could to have a low-risk pregnancy. She took Bradley classes, exercised, followed the Brewer’s diet, interviewed numerous care providers, had chiropractic care and acupuncture, practiced relaxation techniques…and ended up with an unplanned cesarean birth after a long labor at 42 weeks. Sometimes you do everything right, and the part of birth that is a mystery takes over. In processing her birth as a mother, Catherine has explored how her experience as a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse affected the decisions she made during labor and the feelings she had afterward. She has pursued the question, “What if my cesarean was my healing rather than my scarring?”

Feb 15, 2018
237| Peaceful Hospital Birth + Choices Around Miscarriage - Suzy Nuñez-Babb
01:02:23

Suzy had been planning the birth of her first child long before she was pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant, she went to work right away preparing for the birth. She knew she wanted to have an unmediated birth with as few interventions as possible. After lots of preparation during her pregnancy, Suzy was able to give birth naturally, peacefully, and joyfully in the hospital. This was all in spite of the fact that her labor only lasted five and a half hours.

Feb 13, 2018
236| Double Whammy Twin Birth Story - Julie Burt Nichols
01:12:23

After a bout with infertility and IVF, Julie was thrilled and terrified to be pregnant with twins! But after an uneventful pregnancy, and making it to 38 weeks, Julie experienced the thing all twin moms dread: the “double whammy” birth.

Feb 08, 2018
235| Hospital Induction Turned Cesarean Birth Story - Leslie Maggitt
40:59

Leslie was 40+3 when she went in for a Non stress test. The NST showed baby’s heart rate was declining after each contraction so she was admitted to the hospital that same day. She was induced around 7pm Thursday, April 14th. After almost 24 hours of labor, baby wasn’t moving down the birth canal so it was decided to go ahead with a cesarean birth. Jaxon Maggit was born via cesarean at almost 8pm Friday night.

Feb 06, 2018
234| Unmedicated Hospital Birth with a Male Doula - Michele Pellicer
01:07:50

Michele had a typical pregnancy with all the glam of exhaustion, great hair, makeup induced glow, and self described cankles. She used her male doula and husband to coach her through contractions with a system of position changes. By preparing for labor with music and essential oils, she was able to push through with an unmedicated hospital birth. Wilder was born to Beyonce as Michele roared her out. She had a “normal” postpartum with the highs of having a new beautiful baby girl and food coming on speed dial, and lows of husband hatred due to lack of sleep and toe curling nursing.

Feb 01, 2018
233| What's Behind Racial Disparities in Pregnancy & Childbirth - Denene Millner
01:07:59

Today we are doing things a little differently on the podcast. I'm going to be replaying an episode from Denene Millner, who shared her experience with pregnancy and childbirth as a black woman in America back in 2016 on The Birth Hour. But first I'm going to share some clips from NPR's Code Switch podcast which recently covered this topic. NPR reports that, "black women in the United States are 243 percent more likely than white women to die of pregnancy or childbirth related causes. There's evidence that shows this gap is caused by the "weathering" effects of racism. Weathering is a term coined for stress-induced wear and tear on the body." This statistic is true across all socioeconomic classes because "it's a type of stress for which education and class provide no protection."

Today's birth story features Denene Millner, who shares her experience giving birth to her daughter at a teaching hospital in Harlem, NY. Denene had a doctor that she loved, the support of her husband, and made plans ahead of time for what she thought would be a great hospital birth experience. Unfortunately, she was treated like a second-class citizen for the majority of her time at the hospital. In this episode, she shares her story and discusses some of the issues that many black women face when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth in America.

 

This episode is sponsored by The Birth Hour's Know Your Options Childbirth Course and Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course. Find out more here!

Jan 30, 2018
232| 75 Hour Marathon Home Birth Story - Lisa Redfern
49:35

Lisa always knew that she wanted a home birth, but she never anticipated having a marathon labor that would require extra support, including visits to the acupuncturist, the chiropractor, and the hospital. She eventually delivered her perfect daughter at home after over 75 hours of labor with her superstar support team.

Show your support of The Birth Hour by joining our listener supporters group!

Jan 25, 2018
231| Empowering Epidural Births + Navigating Postpartum & Bottle Feeding - Jessica Pallay
01:10:33

Before becoming a mom, Jessica had few expectations about pregnancy, birth, or motherhood. Her only close friend that had given birth did so unmedicated, and most of the language in her birth classes and the surrounding Brooklyn community was largely about "going natural," followed unconditionally by breastfeeding. But her journey took a different turn—she had epidurals for the births of both of her daughters, and breastfed neither. Both births, she says, were empowering experiences thanks to a trusty team of medical providers.

Jessica concedes that postpartum was much more challenging. She struggled early on with breastfeeding and experienced a lot of formula feeding judgement—both from other mothers, and herself. She was also surprised by how many people demean a "medicated" birth as being not natural. It's one of the reasons she's so committed to sharing a wide range of women's pregnancy, birth, and motherhood experiences on her website Well Rounded.

Jan 23, 2018
230| PCOS + New Zealand Homebirth Birth Story - Lena Whetton
39:43

Cristian and Lena struggled to conceive for three years. After one-and-a-half years of trying they sought help through the fertility clinic, which diagnosed Lena with PCOS and an under-active thyroid. After proceeding through all the appropriate tests (like checking for fallopian tube blockage, semen checks, and ruling out all other possible causes) they embarked on the very basic fertility care: Letrozol (similar to Clomid). After trying 3 rounds of Letrozole, they fell pregnant in November 2016.

With the myriad health issues Lena had (asthma, hypothyroidism, hasimotos disease, PCOS and allergies) there was some talk of needing special care on the mainland, which would make her island-based homebirth out of the picture. However, Lena had a very special and amazing midwife who looked deep into the “rules” and said that, provided things were carefully monitored, they could stay with midwifery care on the island. A homebirth was planned, and Lena did many things to promote a very healthy pregnancy in order to keep her dream a reality. The thought of having to travel by boat to get to a birth center or hospital while in labor was unbearable for Lena.

At 9 days over-due, Lena went into labor on a Sunday afternoon at 1pm. The midwife arrived at 3pm, and by then labor was in full swing. Her contractions were intense and back- to-back with little to no breaks in between. Once 10cm dilation was reached, Lena's midwife helped baby get past a small cervical lip and then performed a very nifty maneuver to help baby drop and get past the pubic bone that he appeared to be stuck on. Moments later, Lena's waters gushed everywhere and pushing commenced. 45 minutes later (10 hours of labor + 45 minutes of pushing) baby was here at 10:36pm. Cristian caught baby and announced the sex.

Lena suffered a 3rd degree tear and was stitched up nicely by her midwife shortly after. The evening closed with a delicious cheese toastie and bubbles in bed to celebrate.

Jan 18, 2018
229| Journey to a Fear-Free & Empowered Birth - Amber Keeler
01:12:19

Birth of Vienna—December 08, 2015: Amber planned an unmedicated hospital birth with her first daughter Vienna using Vanderbilt Midwives & a volunteer doula. She found herself in the midst of transition feeling ill-prepared for coping through the pain & highly disappointed with the lack of care from the midwife on call. With the help of her doula, she pushed through transition using guided breathing.

However when it came time to push, her baby's heart rate began to decelerate & a resident doctor stepped in with no introduction or warning to perform an aggressive rectal intervention where he inserted his hand into her rectum to force a fast delivery of the baby's head. It was very painful & left her feeling traumatized for months. A different midwife later apologized to Amber and affirmed that the doctor's actions were aggressive & unnecessary. That experience ultimately set Amber on a journey to have an empowered fear-free natural birth at a Birth Center with her second, as well as to become a Birth & Postpartum Doula herself.

Jan 16, 2018
228| Cesarean Birth, Two VBACS and Emergency Cesarean Hysterectomy - Tonya Trostel
53:30

Tonya and her husband Evan have three beautiful daughters. Teal who is three, Layne who just turned 2, and Eva is her 4 month old. They reside in a small town in Colorado. Tonya is a former teacher and hair stylist but now is trying to keep up with her daughters as a stay at home mother. She has had three very different births, first was a c-section, second had an epidural VBAC and the last was a natural VBAC, followed by a cesarean hysterectomy due to placenta increta. Tonya is still recovering as she and her husband are adjusting to becoming a family of five.

Jan 11, 2018
227| Unplanned Cesarean Birth Story & Working With a Birth Trauma Therapist - Allison Lynch
01:13:17

Allison always knew she wanted to have an unmedicated childbirth; her mom had three, so she assumed that is what she would be able to do as well. Allison and her husband took Bradley Method classes to prepare for childbirth together, and Allison was so excited to experience what her body was made to do. Allison started going to into labor 4 days after her due date, and went to the hospital where she labored overnight and into the next day. Exhausted, Allison ended up getting an epidural and dilated quickly. She pushed for over 3 hours; but, the baby didn't come down, so Allison followed her gut and opted for a c-section. The epidural and spinal block didn't work, so Allison ended up being put under general anesthesia. She woke up to find out that she had delivered a girl: Cora Jo, 9 lbs and 21 inches.

After her traumatic c-section and blood transfusion, Allison knew she had a long road of physical and emotional recovery. After 8 months, Allison was still having nightly flashbacks and intrusive thoughts, so she searched for a local birth trauma therapist. Going to therapy was one of her best decisions as it taught her how to handle the traumatic flashbacks of her birth. Allison shares some of the helpful exercises on the podcast.

Jan 09, 2018
226| Type 1 Diabetic Hospital and Hypnobirth Stories - Keshia Gesundheit
57:12

With her first pregnancy, Keshia decided on the best OBGYN for her, taking into consideration that she is a type 1 diabetic. Keshia's waters broke shortly after attending a Latin street festival with her fiancé and parents. Back and forth from the hospital, Keshia, exhausted, gave birth to her daughter on her own terms, with a very supportive partner and medical staff after 22 hours of labor. Second time around, having had so many events occur during her pregnancy with her son, Keshia ended up having a calm and tranquil Hypnobirth.

Keshia, a Wedding Photographer with a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Half a Doctor of Physiotherapy, is a type 1 diabetic and mother of two. Keshia and Steve, knowing there was the possibility of fertility challenges ahead, decided to start "not trying not to" have a family in 2014, falling pregnant with there first daughter in January of 2015, and again, with their son in August of 2016. She talks about her journey through both pregnancies, subsequent process of self education and two eventful natural births.

Jan 04, 2018
225|Unmedicated Hospital Birth with Doula Support - Sarah Hoddick
33:36

Sarah approached birth wanting whatever type of birth her baby needed to arrive safely; but, she did want to start her labor naturally and hired a doula to help her cope with labor. She ended up having a 33-hour unmedicated hospital birth with a midwife! I loved hearing how despite very little birth-preparation, Sarah completely trusted her doula to guide her through her labor and benefited so much from her doula's knowledge and guidance. She shares some of the positions and tools that were most helpful to her during her long labor at the hospital.

Jan 02, 2018
224| The Journey of A Gestational Carrier Birth with Sarah Tuttle & Kara Ford (REBROADCAST)
01:18:56

Today's birth story podcast episode features Sarah Tuttle and her gestational carrier, turned great friend, Kara Ford. I had the chance to interview both of them and hear the story of how they found one another, how they made the decision to have Kara carry Sarah's babies and the birth of Sarah and her husband, Chris' sweet twin girls.

Dec 28, 2017
223| Blythe Fike Shares Her Sixth Birth Story - The Epidural Birth (REBROADCAST)
01:12:47

Y'all, I'm not gonna lie, this episode strays a bit from what you are typically hearing on The Birth Hour, but it was actually one of my favorite episodes to record. Blythe Fike is a mom of 6 and wife of 1 living in Southern California. After 5 unmedicated, out of hospital births, she went rogue for number 6 and headed to the hospital... on purpose. She loves talking all kinds of birth and you can find her sometimes doing that at thefikelife.com.

Blythe's episode is pretty light hearted and will definitely make you laugh but I also think it's so valuable in that she wasn't afraid to trust her gut and go for the type of birth she wanted even though she had done things very differently the first FIVE times! I love how Blythe and her husband tease each other about how funny the hospital birth experience is after having so many homebirths. These two obviously really know each other on all sorts of levels and make an awesome birthing team.

Dec 26, 2017
222| Home Birth with Hypnobirthing, Postpartum Transfer - Caroline Snider
01:11:49

After suffering from an autoimmune condition most of her life, Caroline approached pregnancy with trepidation, initially unsure she would be able to successfully conceive. After becoming pregnant in Fall 2016, her initial elation gave way to concern when a 12 week scan revealed her son was suffering from a condition called megacystis. When not resolved in utero, megacystis proves fatal. Careful monitoring continued until 24 weeks when she was finally given the "all clear" to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Meeting with a doula around the same time gave Caroline and her husband, Brett, the confidence to pursue a homebirth; and, despite insurance difficulties, they secured the services of an incredible homebirth midwife.

At 38 weeks, Caroline’s waters broke and after an intense but pain free night (thanks hypnobirthing!) her son was born after a posterior labor in the bedroom of their home. When her placenta tore after delivery, Caroline was transferred to the local hospital for a D&C where her impeccable care continued.

Dec 21, 2017
221| Jill Krause of Baby Rabies' Four Birth Stories (REBROADCAST)
45:11

Jill Krause is the founder of Baby Rabies. This is what happens when baby fever becomes something more. Jill Krause self diagnosed herself with baby rabies (it’s not an actual contagious disease, FYI) in the summer of 2007 when she became obsessed with getting pregnant. Learn more about the definition of baby rabies here. She started blogging about all things trying-to-conceive then. 10 years and 4 babies later, Baby Rabies is now a internationally recognized pregnancy and parenting blog. Connect with Jill on Facebook and Instagram. You can now also follow along with Jill and her family as they travel the country in an RV over at Happy Loud Life!

Dec 19, 2017
220| Eight Unmedicated Birth Stories - Jayme Crockett
01:19:55

Jayme has had 8 unmedicated births. One was induced, 5 were in the hospital, and 3 were home water births. Each one was unique and has its own special story. She learned something new with each pregnancy. After her 7th baby, 9 years ago, she was sure her birthing career was over. But then Jayme met her current husband Ben (who had 2 children by adoption); and, they decided to have a baby together. She struggled a bit with getting pregnant. After finding out she had an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, she tweaked her diet, took some supplements, and was able to get pregnant! Jayme knew she wanted a home water birth, and was supported 100% by her husband. As she prepared for the birth she took prenatal yoga (with her husband!) and attended a hypnobabies class. Even though she was almost 40, she had a completely uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and gave birth to her son, Atticus, who was 7lbs 10oz.

Dec 14, 2017
219| Unmedicated Birth Center and Home Birth Stories + Congenital Heart Defect - Stephanie Hoverson
01:02:49

With her first son, Nolan, Stephanie went four days past her due date and had an 18 hour labor (6 hours pushing). Afterwards, Stephanie realized how much fear she had tucked away, and that it caused her to resist and nearly stop her contractions while in the pushing phase. For her next birth, Stephanie knew that she couldn’t push for 6 hours, physically, and that she probably wouldn't be allowed to either. She did research and decided to practice an at home study course with Hypnobabies. She also completed her DONA birth doula training one day before her second son, Remi, was born. Thankfully she had learned a technique to keep her baby in because he came fast and furious (two pushes), being born approximately five minutes after her midwives arrived. The speedy labor and birth was a complete shock. The possibility of having a baby before 40 weeks had never crossed her mind, but (surprise!) Remi was born at 36 weeks 3 days.

Dec 12, 2017
218|Pre-eclampsia Induced Birth at 36 Weeks - Kara Lewis
50:02

After Kara and her husband got the surprise of a positive pregnancy test, they immediately began planning for a medication free hospital birth to follow in the footsteps of Kara’s mother and sisters-in-law. After receiving the diagnosis of fetal hydronephrosis at their anatomy scan, things seemed to go down hill. Kara began having trouble with weight gain and high blood pressure, although her doctor seemed unconcerned. At 36 weeks Kara was admitted to the hospital for a 24 hour urine screening. After the screening was completed, her protein levels were more elevated than expected and she was heading towards an emergency induction. Multiple interventions followed, and Dorsey Commander was born at 36 weeks weighing 6lb 7oz.

Dec 07, 2017
217| Fast Unmedicated, Breech Cesarean & Unsuccessful VBAC Birth Stories - Rebekah Hoffer
01:01:32
Despite needing to be induced because of dangerously low amniotic fluid levels, Rebekah was able to have a natural and fast delivery with her first baby. Her hopes for repeating her natural delivery with baby number two were smashed when they discovered the baby was breech. After several attempts to encourage the baby to flip, eventually Rebekah delivered her second baby via c-section.
 
Rebekah dreamed of having a VBAC with her third baby, but knew that her history of low amniotic fluid could get in the way. Eventually, her low fluid did require Rebekah to be induced. The VBAC was not successful, and Rebekah had another c-section. However, a surprising discovery in the operating room confirmed that the c-section was meant to be.
Dec 05, 2017
216| Hospital Birth Stories & Unexplained Secondary Infertility - Kristin Croxton
01:08:56

Kristin Croxton shares her 2 very different hospital births. The first, her oldest son Jack, was born sunny-side up after Kristin received an epidural and multiple other interventions. After months of trying to conceive again, Kristin was diagnosed with unexplained secondary infertility. With the help of Femara and intra-uterine insemination, she was able to get pregnant with her second son, and had a medication-free hospital birth.

Nov 30, 2017
215| Unmedicated Hospital birth, Healing After Loss & Rainbow Baby Birth Story - Kasey McComas
01:13:36

Kasey’s first pregnancy and labor was slow and steady. After almost 3 days of labor, her first son was born vaginally and unmedicated in a hospital. Eleven months later, at 21 weeks in her second pregnancy, she experienced a loss of a daughter through fetal demise, induction, and delivery. After a journey of grief for her unborn, and for another pregnancy loss in her family, Kasey found strength in herself and her body again. A year later, to the date, she and her husband found out they were expecting another baby. Through a few rough patches in her pregnancy, Kasey planned for a healing birth center birth made it to 39 weeks and 4 days when she went into labor. When that day came, it was nothing short of chaotic. She delivered her baby at an ultrasound appointment with a doctor she never knew, nurses who had never attended birth, and a few teams of paramedics. After a transfer to the hospital for postpartum care and a short stay in the NICU, she was able to escape the chaos, take her rainbow baby home and begin as a family of 4.

Nov 28, 2017
214| Three Vaginal Breech Births - Hospital, Birth Center & Homebirth - Jessica Gray
40:03

In this episode, Jessica shares her three breech birth stories, one each  at a hospital, a birth center, and her home. 

Nov 23, 2017
213| A Twin Story, from a Healthy Pregnancy to a Powerful Birth - Amy Griffith
01:31:20

In today's episode, Amy Griffith tells the story of her twins' birth. After a healthy pregnancy with twins, Amy and her husband were planning another home birth. Their first two children were born at home. Amy and her midwives were hoping to make it to 37 weeks. When labor began at 36 weeks, they all decided that giving birth in the hospital would be the smartest and safest choice. 

Amy Griffith is a mom of 4, including twins. She transitioned from a career as a Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette, to the world of yoga as an instructor specializing in prenatal and postnatal yoga. Amy's pregnancy and birth with her son inspired her to film her own prenatal yoga dvd's with her daughter, her second child. Her pregnancy and birth with the twins reinforced the importance of slowing down, trusting her body and surrendering to their path. Amy says she is mindfully-stumbling through motherhood as she juggles the demands of 4 children. A focus on the good in the present moment is how she handles the challenges that arise in motherhood. More information on Amy, her pre/postnatal dvd's and social media links can be found at ExercisingBalance.com.

Nov 21, 2017
212 | 3 Positive Epidural Births + PPD Discussion - Bert Anderson
39:12

Bert Anderson had three positive vaginal births in hospitals. She used epidurals for all three births and for the most part she had uncomplicated pregnancies. After her first birth she was diagnosed with postpartum depression when her son was four months old. Since then she has become aware of her mood and depression so she can recognize the warning signs.

Did you miss the Know Your Options Childbirth Course? Go here to stay in the loop!

Nov 16, 2017
211| Sperm Donor, Epidurals & Cussing - Dawn Dais' Birth Stories
51:33

During her first pregnancy she constantly worried that she would get to the hospital too late for drugs. Her entire birth plan was just the word "DRUGS!" written on a piece of paper. But she also didn't want to arrive to the hospital so early that they sent her home because she was one centimeter dilated and already screaming for an epidural.

When her labor started everyone, including Dawn, just assumed she was a wimp when it came to the pain level. So she labored at home for quite some time. Then her water broke and her contractions were coming on top of each other. But they weren't lasting a minute! Dawn was waiting for 511, and because her contractions weren't lasting a minute she thought she was fine. She was not fine.

They zoomed to the hospital and were given the devastating news: Dawn was too far along to get drugs. She was 9.5 centimeters when she got to the hospital and the baby was 100% born 45 minutes after she arrived. There were no drugs, but there was plenty of cussing.

Dawn assumed her second delivery would be similar to her first, and maybe even faster. But instead of being one week early her second baby was one week late. And instead of bursting out in a frenzy, baby #2 took his sweet time. 24 hours after she checked into the hospital her second child arrived. The good news: there was plenty of time for drugs the second time around. And not nearly as many cuss words.

Nov 14, 2017
210| Two Hospital Births Attended by Midwives - Lindsay Forehand

In this episode, Lindsay tells the story of her two children. John was born in July 2015 with the help of a Certified Nurse Midwife, and Sybil was born June 2017, a surprise breech, with the help of the same CNM.

Nov 09, 2017
210| Two Hospital Births Attended by Midwives - Lindsay Forehand
53:29

In this episode, Lindsay tells the story of her two children. John was born in July 2015 with the help of a Certified Nurse Midwife, and Sybil was born June 2017, a surprise breech, with the help of the same CNM.

Nov 09, 2017
209| Empowering Family-Centered Cesarean Birth Story - Alyssa Oliha
44:32

Pregnant with her first, Alyssa thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of her low-risk first and second trimesters. She had gathered her trusted team of an incredible husband, midwives, doula, and childbirth education via Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks, and made all of her plans surrounding a birth at the Atlanta Birth Center. Luckily, when signs of preeclampsia started creeping up in the third trimester, she was well-prepared to navigate throwing all of those plans out the window and heading to the hospital for an induction (and eventual emergency family-centered cesarean).

 

Nov 07, 2017
208| Hospital Birth, Bradley Method & Home Birth Stories - Ann Timm
42:34

Ann’s first pregnancy, at the age of 21, started out as many do: visiting her traditional OB/GYN and making plans for a hospital delivery. But when Ann met a woman who opted for a home birth with a midwife, a whole new world of possibilities opened up to her. Ann began to study everything she could about child birth, learning and growing and becoming more and more excited by what she discovered her body could do on its own, naturally, without drugs or other interventions. She ran into a big stumbling block when her physician failed to support her plans wholeheartedly, but she was determined to continue with her goal of utilizing the Bradley Method. As it turned out, her midwife’s wisdom and Ann’s own intuition may have saved her son’s life.

Nov 02, 2017
207|Birth Center Birth Story in Brooklyn, NY - Nijsha Nesbitt
26:09

The minute Nijsha found out she was pregnant was an instant shock to her and her partner, as they were not actively trying to conceive. They knew it was a blessing though, and that for them there was no real perfect time to start a family. Nijsha had heard stories from her own mother about how her birthing experiences were extremely difficult; and, Nijsha had always wanted her experience to be different. When she did find out she was pregnant she began to do her own research. She wanted to have an unmedicated birth with no interventions in an out-of-hospital setting.

Her partner was not completely sold on the idea of a home birth (fearing a medical emergency) so they made the decision to meet in the middle with a birthing center. Nijsha read books, listened to The Birth Hour podcast, and watched birth videos on YouTube to prepare. She went into labor the day after her due date on March 21st and had the support of her partner, doula, and midwives who helped her get through 18 hours of labor. She used all the breathing and active laboring techniques to help bring her beautiful daughter Gia Ryan earth side on March 22nd, 2017 at 3:51PM. Gia weighed 6 pounds 8.5 ounces and was 26 inches long.

Oct 31, 2017
Tackling the First 24 Hours of Breastfeeding - 'Know Your Options' Bonus Episode 7
21:51

Those first 24 hours after birth are crucial to getting off on the right foot with breastfeeding. We have all the info you need for a great start!

Grab your free download — Quick Start Breastfeeding Guide

Oct 30, 2017
206| Natalie Diaz' Twin Birth Story
01:23:22

Natalie is the Pied Piper of twin families around the globe. Founding Twiniversity — the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families — in 2009, she’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Reaching over a million families a week through Twiniversity’s FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram and YouTube channels, moms and dads of twins flock to Twiniversity to find resources, ask questions, explore new products, and find community and support from other twin parents. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, “What To Do When You’re Having Two” is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.

Oct 26, 2017
205| Beautiful, Supported, and Powerful Birth Center Birth Story - Phylicia Sadsarin
37:52

Phylicia is a full-time wife, mommy, & beauty + lifestyle blogger. She loves to travel the world, create and share meaningful content via social media, and hang out with her dogs. She currently resides in Denver, CO.

This episode is sponsored by Expectful, a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of their guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.

Their mission is to give babies the best start in life, and that begins with you. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, go to expectful.com and sign up for their 30 day free meditation trial. It may just change your life.

Oct 24, 2017
Setting Boundaries & Expectations Postpartum - 'Know Your Options' Bonus Episode 6
15:10

Setting boundaries with your loved ones is one of the tricky things about having a baby that no one really talks about in childbirth preparation. But Stephanie and I have both personally dealt with this and we know how important it is so we want to go over how to get on the same page with your partner and how to approach issues with your extended family. Be sure to grab my favorite free printable download yet that goes over some of the questions you should be asking each other and tips on how to navigate and set postpartum boundaries.

Oct 23, 2017
204| Twin to Twin Transfusion Loss, Miscarriage and Rainbow Babies - Ashley Gilbreth
30:52

Ashley shares the story of the loss of her twins, followed by a miscarriage, and then the birth of her rainbow babies. Her daughter Cates was born early and spent 33 days in the NICU; and, her son Rett and daughter Liza were both born full-term by scheduled cesarean. She shares how her faith affected the way she processed her losses, and how it all impacted her subsequent pregnancies and births.

Oct 19, 2017
203|Homebirth Transfer, Three Losses, & Redemptive Homebirth - Sasha Ruscheinski
01:16:11

Sasha, the daughter of a midwife, planned for a home birth with her first son, but after 24 hours of labor and being stuck at 8cms for nine hours the decision was made to transfer to the hospital. Her son was born three hours after they arrived into his grandma’s hands.

Sasha felt a lot of disappointment in herself that her birth didn’t go the way she had envisioned. She started trying for baby #2 just after her son turned one. In a matter of eight months she experienced two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy. When she finally got pregnant with her second son she planned for another home birth. She went into spontaneous labor 10 days past her due date and her rainbow baby was born into her arms on her bedroom floor after one hour of labor. She wants women to know that your first labor does not dictate future labors. Every baby and every delivery is so different.

Oct 17, 2017
Reduce Your Risk of Tearing - 'Know Your Options' Bonus Episode 5
14:22

Worrying about giving birth and what your vagina will be like afterwards is completely normal. Naturally, most of us want to do everything possible to reduce the risk of tearing, so today we are discussing this very topic! Be sure to grab your free download that shares techniques to help reduce your risk of tearing in childbirth!

Oct 16, 2017
202| Three Epidural Birth Stories - Chelsea Johnson
01:02:38

Chelsea has had three epidural births in the hospital, each one a little different. With her first baby, she was induced a few days after 40 weeks and her son was born less than 8 hours later. With her daughter, she had a scheduled induction at 39 weeks, and was in labor 12 hours before her daughter was born. Chelsea experienced a few days of prodromal labor with her third baby, then went into labor on her own at 39 weeks. Chelsea gave birth to her third baby 7 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Oct 12, 2017
201|Delaying Preterm Labor and Postpartum Complications - Ally Downey
54:34

Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunchMashableCNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine.

She is also the author of Here's the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, the pregnancy-and-parenting guide to your professional life. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Time, Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and others; and, she has appeared on ABC World News NowPower Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country's top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @allysondowney.

Oct 10, 2017
Natural Coping Techniques for Labor - Bonus Episode 4
16:51

Nearly every woman that labors in some capacity will need to cope with contractions unmedicated at some point. You aren't automatically hooked up to an epidural the moment you feel that first contraction! So even if you are planning for an epidural, you will find useful tips in this bonus episode and free download!

Oct 09, 2017
200| Adopting a Teenager and Having a Baby at the Same Time - Corinne Horowitz
28:42

After months of Corinne worrying that the adoption and birth would somehow happen the same day, Desmond was 9 days late. Corinne's water leaked late at night, and she went to the hospital early the next morning. After spending 6 hours in the hospital with no progression, Corinne's doctor fully broke the water bag. Corinne was hopeful there would be no additional intervention, and thanks to coaching from her Mom, and constant massaging by both her Mom and husband, she was able to persevere. After 8 hours of back labor, Corinne gave birth to Desmond at 11pm. Ben ordered pizza and a turkey sandwich, Corinne's favorite foods, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Oct 05, 2017
199| Cesarean Birth & VBAC Birth Stories - Amy Morrison of Pregnant Chicken
47:13

Amy Morrison Bio

Amy Morrison is the founder of Pregnant Chicken, an online resource and blog for expectant and new parents featuring advice, information, and tips to keep your pregnancy fun.

In her former life she was a creative director at an ad agency but decided to quit and go freelance as an art director/graphic designer in 2004. She and her husband have two little boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and live in Toronto. She shares both birth stories in this episode—a cesarean birth and an Induction VBAC birth.

Resources

Pregnant Chicken Pregnancy Calendar
Pregnant Chicken Newsletter full of great tips and info! Sign up!

 

QUIZ! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality Type?

Oct 03, 2017
198| - Elle Rowley's Four Hospital Birth Stories
01:01:10

Solly Baby Wrap

Elle the founder of Solly Baby shares her four birth stories. Solly is also generously offering $5 off your order with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.sollybaby.com.

Read more on the show notes page.

Resources

First Forty Days
Bradley Method
Hypnobirthing

Oct 02, 2017
How to Handle Tricky Situations with Hospital Staff - Bonus Episode 3
20:30

When it comes to dealing with unsupportive hospital staff or conflicting information it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or stunned, especially in the moment.

Today Stephanie and I are talking about key phrases to use when you find yourself in one of these situations and other tips to keep in mind so you are prepared for all of the different potential scenarios. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!

Grab your free download — How to Handle Tricky Situations with Hospital Staff

Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live this week on 10/4/17 at 1pm CST. 

Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?

Oct 02, 2017
197| Positive Induction Birth Story - Anna Keller
32:59

After a miscarriage, Anna and Kevin were thrilled to learn they were expecting a baby girl. Anna had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy (for which she largely credits the Pure Barre classes she took up until 41 weeks) and was hoping for an intervention-free birth. Baby girl Maggie, as it turned out, was in no rush to make her big debut into the world; and, as the days passed by without progression, Anna started worrying that an induction was in store and might throw off her birth plans. She ended up having to get induced, but Maggie’s birth was ultimately a far faster and better experience than Anna even knew to hope for.

Sep 28, 2017
196| Facebook Live Home Birth Story - Paige LoPinto
57:29

In December 2015, Paige LoPinto had a beautiful home birth. It went so well that she decided to follow in April the Giraffe's foot steps and stream her second home birth on Facebook Live. Over 8,000 people (95% moms, doulas & midwifes) followed her journey. Fun facts about her recent birth:

  1. Paige had 10+ people on her “birth team,” husband, family, friends, photographers, midwife, and doula
  2. Paige and her husband decided to keep the gender a surprise. Paige thought her entire pregnancy she was having a boy, so you can imagine the tears of joy when they found out it was a GIRL!
  3. Savvy Fae went nameless for 3 days. Dad wanted to name her Savage, but mom wasn’t keen on the meaning. They happily agreed on Savvy Fae!

Since the birth of sweet Savvy Fae, Paige has made an (unexpected) impact in the birth world. After streaming her birth LIVE on Facebook, women all over world have followed in her footsteps and are also streaming their birth live in the BirthTUBE Facebook group. Check it out!

Sep 26, 2017
Choosing an Evidence Based Hospital - Bonus Episode 2
14:38

When it comes to finding a hospital, there are some key things to look for to ensure you will be setting yourself up for the most mother-baby friendly care possible!

Today Stephanie and I are talking about questions you can ask on the tour you take of the hospital prior to choosing where you will give birth. Because many doctors only have privileges at certain hospitals, you may want to look into the hospitals early on in your care when choosing a doctor. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!

Sep 25, 2017
195| Homebirth to Hospital Cesarean Birth Story - Natalie Brenner
33:12

Natalie's first pregnancy (conceived with clomid) ended in a miscarriage. For her second pregnancy, she started right away with progesterone and blood thinning shots (she has factor v leiden). She knew for years that she wanted a home birth. She also knew the risks of home birth with her blood clotting disorder—she knew she may transfer at some point for hemorrhaging, but hoped against a placenta abruption. Her hematologist said that taking thinning injections helped cancel out that risk. She prepared for a home birth and anticipated it with so much joy. She wanted a home birth so badly. She couldn't wait to experience that 'meeting moment' she had assisted so many times as a birth photographer.

Natalie's birth began on a Tuesday morning, May 31. She labored and labored and labored. On Wednesday morning, her contractions became irregular. Wednesday night around 11 pm she transferred to the hospital, hoping to get her body back in order. Epidural didn't work. Pitocin didn't work. Her body metabolized the medicine. Thursday she pushed for over 4 hours. She was sure she was going to push him out. He was asynclitic (when a baby's head is tipped towards one shoulder) and had swelling of the scalp (caput succedaneum). Her birth ended in a cesarean. She kept imagining meeting him, how it would be worth it. Her body metabolized the medicine, once again, so they had to put her under general anesthetics. She was asleep. Then when she woke up and was in a whole world of pain.

Sep 21, 2017
194| Cesarean Birth Stories & Postpartum Depression - Christine McNabb
26:39

Christine had four C-sections. The first one was an emergency C-section and the rest were repeats. Christine’s first three children are girls and her last child is a boy. When Christine found out she was pregnant, she wasn’t happy. She just didn’t feel prepared. When Christine told her husband, he was thrilled. As time went on Christine began to enjoy her pregnancy and started to get ready for the changes in their home. When Christine and Brandon went to the doctor to find out the gender of their baby, the world came to a standstill. They found out they were having a baby boy. Brandon was super excited. He started talking about matching outfits, golf outings, and playing football with his son. Christine was in shock. See, when Christine found out they were having a boy, it was around the time a black boy was shot in the back by a police officer. Christine’s anxiety went through the roof.

After baby Brandon was born, Christine did not bond with him. She was sad and had a very hard time holding him. Christine was ready to leave her kids and her husband because she was broken and had no idea of what was going on. Christine’s husband Brandon, recognized something was going on and took her to the doctor right away.
Christine was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.

Sep 19, 2017
Finding an Evidence Based Care Provider— 'Know Your Options' Bonus Episode 1
16:57

When it comes to finding a doctor, does it ever make you feel completely stuck? How do you know if they will be right for you?

Today Stephanie and I are talking about why we recommend finding an evidence based care provider and how you can tell if the person you're interviewing (YES, you should absolutely be interviewing your doctors!) is practicing evidence based care. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!

Grab your free download — Guide to Finding an Evidence Based Doctor!

Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live this week on 9/20/17 at 1pm CST. We'll be discussing the major warning signs that your doctor might not be practicing evidence based care and answering YOUR questions.

Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?

Sep 18, 2017
193|8 Weeks of Bed Rest & Unmedicated Hospital Birth + Home Birth - Kelly Brown
01:07:51

At 31 weeks, Kelly’s perfectly healthy pregnancy and planned home birth took a drastic change when her water broke and it was bright red blood. Even though Kelly spent a week in the hospital and saw dozens of specialists seen, she didn't receive a firm diagnosis. She was only told that she may have had a minor placental abruption accompanied by AROM which then resealed itself. With little other information, Kelly was put on bed rest for 8 weeks and ultimately decided to change her birth plan and deliver at the hospital instead of at home. At 39 weeks and 6 days Kelly went into labor naturally, going from 5 to 10 centimeters just 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital. She had an unmedicated hospital birth with and episiotomy - just 12 hours of labor total. Her second son, and rainbow baby after 2 miscarriages, Stellan James, was born at home at 41+3 in just under 2 hours of labor.

Sep 14, 2017
192| Cesarean Birth Story & VBAC Homebirth Transfer - Jennifer Mason
01:16:35

Jennifer documents births as a birth photographer and believes that birth stories are love stories. She is also the co-founder of Birth Becomes Her and mama to two feisty girls. Jennifer grew up in the Midwest, living on a lake and loves the water. She has birthed two babies and describes her labors as sensual, and brave.  She is a VBAC mama, and says she relate well to those who are working to achieve a VBAC. You can connect with her on her website and Facebook.

Sep 12, 2017
191| Hospital Epidural Birth Followed by Two Natural Hospital Births - Erin Odom
46:58

Erin didn't do a lot of research before her first birth, although she wanted to have a natural birth since her mom had done so. She ended up being induced with pitocin, getting an epidural, and then an episiotomy which led to a 4th degree tear. For her next two births, she hired a doula, gave birth in the hospital with midwives, and had the natural births she wanted.

Sep 07, 2017
190| January Harshe's Birth Stories
01:43:22

In this episode January Harshe shares her first four birth stories: a cesarean, a homebirth transfer to cesarean, a homebirth VBAC, and an unassisted homebirth. You can hear her 5th and 6th birth stories on her podcast that she hosts with her husband, The Harshe Podcast.

Sep 05, 2017
189| Posterior Baby Birth Story & Postpartum Placenta Retention - Emmalina Rooney
01:15:50

A few years after getting a Lichen Scleroses diagnosis, Emmalina and Cam were expecting a baby. Her pregnancy was pretty textbook and she lost her mucous plug at exactly 40 weeks. She went into labor the following day. After 16 hours of intense labor, Emmalina received an epidural and was able to fully dilate. She pushed for 2 1/2 hours and then found her her baby was posterior and stuck.

The on-call OB performed an episiotomy and needed assistance from forceps and vacuum. Ruby-May was born at 1:06 am, May 7th, and spent 5 days in the NICU for inhaling fluids. After delivery, Emmalina's placenta detached but didn't deliver, requiring manual removal. At 9 weeks postpartum, Emmalina passed placenta tissue and had to have a D&C surgery. At 11 weeks PP, she passed the final piece of placenta and was able to begin a journey to physically and emotionally recover from her birth. Recently, Cam and Emmalina discovered Ruby-May had Sagittal Craniosynostosis- Premature fusing of the skull plates and underwent skull reshaping surgery. Ruby-May's skull diagnosis helped give Emmalina closure and reasoning for her difficult and traumatic birth.

Aug 31, 2017
188|Cesarean, Hospital VBAC, & Homebirth VBAC Birth Stories - Jordan York
59:52

Being surprised by her first pregnancy, Jordan found a provider off the recommendation of co-workers. After a whirlwind pregnancy of sickness and weight loss, Jordan delivered her daughter by c-section at 40 weeks and 2 days. Her postpartum was foggy and she struggled to get a grip on being a mother.

In 2014 Jordan became pregnant and knew she wanted a different experience: she wanted a vaginal birth. With the support of her husband, they were able to find a midwife who delivered in a hospital. After 41 weeks and 4 days she delivered their son vaginally and with out medication. Her VBAC was a healing moment for her, and with her postpartum period being clear she still felt as if something was missing from her birthing experience. The hospital required a lot of monitoring and she labored long and hard, she forget to be present while birthing her son.

When she became pregnant for the third time she knew this baby was to be born at home. After consulting with her midwife and doula they were able to help her find a home birth midwife. Planning for birthing at home was a new experience, having had two hospital births she had no idea what to expect. She loved the prenatal visits at her home, they allowed her children to really be involved in the whole process. Then after 4 days of prodromal labor and 4 hours of active labor it was time at 41 weeks and 6 days (her longest pregnancy), she delivered a daughter in her home.

Aug 29, 2017
187| Getting Pregnant After Infertility + Hospital Birth Stories - Lizzie McGee
50:14

Lizzie shares her infertility, pregnancy, and birth stories. The birth of her firstborn, Brooks, was 23 hours long. It was a very stressful labor due to Brooks' heartbeat dropping during contractions, a difficult time with her nurses as well as the epidural partially wearing off during transition. The second labor with Jace was half the time and completely different. It was a very relaxing labor that included soaking in a tub, watching a movie and having wonderful nurses. She had a difficult time during pushing as the baby's head was facing the wrong way.

Lizzie is a 32 year old mom of two sweet little boys, one of them being the first Ava baby. Lizzie lives in Saint George, Utah, with her husband and boys. They spend their free time riding side by sides in the trails and sand dunes near their house or having game nights with friends. She struggled for 4 years to conceive her firstborn and with her second was part of the first group of women to use the Ava Fertility Bracelet and gave birth to the first baby born from that group. She can be found on Instagram @mrslizziemcgee where she is more than happy to answer questions about the Ava Fertility Bracelet.

Aug 24, 2017
186|Hospital Birth Stories from a Mom that Loves Hospital Births - Jill Krause
44:48

Jill Krause is the founder of Baby Rabies. This is what happens when baby fever becomes something more. Jill Krause self diagnosed herself with baby rabies (it’s not an actual contagious disease, FYI) in the summer of 2007 when she became obsessed with getting pregnant. Learn more about the definition of baby rabies here. She started blogging about all things trying-to-conceive then. 10 years and 4 babies later, Baby Rabies is now a internationally recognized pregnancy and parenting blog. Connect with Jill on Facebook and Instagram.

Aug 22, 2017
185| Learnings from a Cascade of Interventions - Caitlin Shrum
44:38

Caitlin Shrum lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband, Andrew, and their son, Cooper (2). Her first birth caught her by surprise as she found herself in an emergency c-section situation. She quickly realized her experience wasn’t normal and has spent the past two years educating herself in order to set up her future births for success, and has found within herself a passion for the birth space and maternal care. In this episode, she walks us through her pregnancy and childbirth experience and how she has taken that experience and is channeling it into education and learning for herself and hopefully others down the line.

Aug 17, 2017
184| Planned Hypnobirth Turned Breech Cesarean Birth Story - Yunji de Nies
45:56

Yunji and her husband Kent had planned for a natural hypnobirth with a doula in a hospital. They spent weeks taking classes and practicing hypnosis at home, only to learn that their baby girl was breech at 36 weeks. Yunji did everything she could to get the baby to turn including acupuncture, moxibustion, yoga, special chiropractic treatments, handstands in the pool (yes really, every day!) and even an external cephalic version at the hospital. Nothing worked. She ended up having a scheduled c-section at 39 and a half weeks. Their baby girl Kaya was born on August 19, 2017, just over 8 pounds - her head was in the 98th percentile, which doctors told Yunji and Kent may explain why Kaya didn’t or couldn’t turn.

Aug 15, 2017
183| Twin Homebirth Birth Story - Rebekah Tarbert
46:25

On today's episode, Rebekah shares the story of her twins' birth at home. Rebekah is the coordinator of chaos in her south-of-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. She and her husband, along with 4 children and two dogs live together in her late grandfathers home. Before she became a mom, she received her Masters Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and worked at a local hospital as an exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab unit. Rebekah has taken that passion for exercise, holistic health and faith, and transformed it into something she is able to do in conjunction with being a stay-at-home mom. She uses her passion to fuel others through her personal training and fitness ministry. In her spare time, if she gets any, she enjoys weight training, attending bible studies, and being creative. You can read her entire birth story on her Facebook page under the name: Rebekah Ashley and also on Instagram: @rebekahashley

Aug 10, 2017
182| Birth Center to Hospital Transfer Birth Story - Pheonix Wild
24:02

Pheonix shares a little bit about her 27 hour labor and birth. "My birth was pure chaos. Everything that I didn't plan to happen, was manifested to the tenth degree. With no knowledge of the inner meditation and control required of childbirth, I found myself relying on my midwife, partner and family to help usher in the birth of my son. Little did I know that the journey was only for me to take. My birth experience was this way though for a purpose. As a reminder to mamas everywhere to OWN their birth. To SILENCE their voices and tune into the new soul awaiting its earthbound entrance. Even in the midst of chaos, the journey was bliss. And I wouldn't change it for the world."

Aug 08, 2017
181| When You Want an Epidural But Can't Get One - Megan Baca
49:34

After an especially tough pregnancy, Megan was more than ready to welcome her third daughter into the world. Being that this was her third child, she went into this sure of two things: this child will be born on or before her due date (like her older sisters) and this mama definitely wanted an epidural. It wasn't until she found herself 4 days past her due date without a sign of labor that she started to suspect that this birth might not go as planned. Little did she know that was only the beginning.

Aug 03, 2017
180| Unplanned C Section, Breastfeeding Struggles and PPA - Courtney Byrd
36:59

A self-described "professional Type-A planner," Courtney feels she spent "too many hours" crafting the "perfect" birth plan... only to toss it out the window during labor and delivery. At 38 weeks, after learning Jackson was breech, and that she was Group B positive and only dilated .5CM, Courtney scheduled an induction for 40W6D; but, she went into labor 1.5 days before induction day.

At the hospital, Courtney learned that meconium in her fluid would require a NICU team at birth; and, while Jackson had turned, he was still in the occiput posterior position. Eventually, after several hours on Pitocin, Courtney's amniotic sac had resealed (which required an amnio-hook) and her contractions were ineffective, causing her cervix to swell and making the situation potentially dangerous for mama and baby.

After taking what she describes as "hit after hit," her birth story ends via C-section, including a failed epidural and hemorrhage. She and Wes welcomed baby Jackson at 8:38PM... 8 minutes after her previously scheduled induction time.

During postpartum, Courtney struggled with breastfeeding Jackson, and made the very difficult decision to stop after a few weeks. She also experienced intense postpartum anxiety for which she eventually (around 6 months pp) sought professional help through her Primary Care Provider and licensed therapist. During this time, Courtney relied on the tremendous amount of support she received from her husband, family, friends, and even her client, Sarah, who candidly shared her own new motherhood stories and encouraged Courtney to make the best decisions for her and her family. Today, about a month shy of Jackson's first birthday, Courtney has established her "new normal" and couldn't imagine life without the stubborn, giggly, busy little boy she made.

Professionally, Courtney is one of the voices behind Sarah Wells Bags as Sarah's primary marketing consultant. She loves supporting other new mamas in their breastfeeding and pumping journeys, wherever (and for however long) it may take them, and can't get enough new baby pics. Feel free to reach out to her anytime at courtney@sarahwellsbags.com.

 

Aug 01, 2017
179|Three Meconium Hospital (almost waterbirth) Birth Stories - Jessey Christian
01:00:43

Before she met her midwife, Jessey assumed that her births would be long and full of complications. However, once she switched to a certified nurse midwife practice to birth at the hospital her goals were changed and fears diminished. Jessey has 3 births that all went smoothly with only a couple of minor exceptions. Each time Jessey's waters were broken there was meconium in the fluid, which caused last minute changes to the water births she had planned. With her first daughter the tub was used for laboring (but not delivery), at her second daughter's birth there was not time to fill the tub upon arrival, and her third daughter's birth was technically in the tub, but not without a (literal) twist!

Jul 27, 2017
178| Supported, Peaceful Hospital Birth Story - Rachel Rush
51:37

Rachel experienced a peaceful, unmedicated hospital birth with her now 14 month old son, Ananias. She was surprised to encounter so much support and encouragement from the doctors and nursing staff to accomplish a drug-free labor. Even though the seamless delivery left her feeling strong and empowered, her confidence was shaken as her son battled severe jaundice in the days following the birth due to her delayed milk supply. Thankfully, after a 48-hour NICU stay, Ananias came home healthy and happy. Rachel hopes to encourage other women through her story by revealing the potential beauty of hospital birth and by opening up about an issue many new mothers are ashamed to be facing - low milk supply.

Jul 25, 2017
177| Breech Cesarean Birth Story in Canada - Chylanne Schindl
31:17

Chylanne's pregnancy began with a hope for a natural home waterbirth but quickly turned into copious amounts of research and a panic to find someone to deliver her breech baby. She feels that she went from one end of the spectrum to the completee opposite; ending with a c-section. She says she didn’t enjoy being pregnant and was really looking forward to feeling redeemed through birth. She went through a grieving process when she found out her daughter, Mila, was breech because she felt like everything she wanted out of birth was ripped away from her. Chylanne says it was hard coming to terms with the potential of having to have a c-section, but after trying and doing everything she could and having lots of support from those that loved her (like her amazing friend, Jana, who has also gone through a natural birth and c-sections) she was able to feel the validation that she needed from her birthing experience.

Jul 20, 2017
176|Hospital Epidural Birth & Birth Center Birth Stories - Alexis Beach
51:10

Alexis' first labor with her son started with her water breaking, and contractions were close together and difficult to manage. She ended up with an epidural as she was near the end and feeling the urge to push! She ended up tearing from that birth in an unusual way. Her most recent birth was just 3 weeks ago with her daughter. She chose a birth center the second time, and her labor went completely differently. The labor was amazing the second time around with a short and intense pushing phase. Connect with Alexis via Kansas City Doulas.

Jul 18, 2017
175| IVF, Loss, and Induction Birth Story + NICU Stay - Chelsea Johnson
01:00:50

Chelsea and Clayton began trying to conceive in early 2014, before undergoing 2 rounds of IVF in 2015 that resulted in two pregnancy losses including their first son, Colt, who passed at 16 weeks gestation. Upon return from a belated honeymoon, they were delighted to find out they were pregnant without any medical intervention. Chelsea wished to give birth at a local Birth Center, but her plans changed due to high blood pressure. She was induced at 37 weeks and had an epidural-free labor and birth at a local hospital attended by her midwife and doula. Following a 10-day NICU stay, Chelsea and Clayton's son was finally welcomed home.

Jul 13, 2017
174| Sleeping through Labor and Natural Hospital Birth - Shanicia Boswell
31:36

I was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant when I went into labor. Just one day prior, My daughter's father and I went to my mother's house to go to the state fair. I was so over being pregnant, I decided to walk the baby out. I went into labor early that morning around 2 AM. Thankfully, I slept through most of my labor and the next morning we took the two hour drive back to Atlanta. I stayed home until 7 PM then labored naturally at the hospital before giving birth.

Jul 11, 2017
173| Intervention-free Hospital Birth After Home Birth Transfer - Bethany Chambers
57:25

Bethany Chambers planned for a home birth but ended up transferring to the hospital at the end of her 24 hour labor due to decelerating heart rates from her baby. Once at the hospital, she still had an un-medicated, no intervention birth. However, 8 hours later, she had a severe hemorrhage and lost about half her blood. But as a nutritionist, she had worked hard to ensure her body was in optimal health so miraculously, she didn't have to have any blood transfusions. She discusses the MTHFR gene mutation as a possible factor in the hemorrhage. She came away from her birth feeling very grateful and empowered.

Jul 06, 2017
172| TTC: 4 Rounds of IUI, 3 Rounds of IVF + Waterbirth Birth Story - Rachel Wilber
01:13:20

Rachel Wilber is a criminal defense attorney, alongside her husband of four years, in private practice. Three years ago she quit her job as a public defender to pursue health and wellness, in part because she was having difficulty conceiving. Intuitively, she knew that stress was likely contributing to her infertility, and that she needed to create balance in her life if becoming a mother was to become a reality. After three years of infertility struggles (including surgery, procedures, four rounds of IUI, and three rounds of IVF) Rachel finally became pregnant with her daughter.

She had a healthy and complication-free pregnancy, which slowly re-instilled the confidence she had in her body. Despite being advised against giving birth outside the hospital due to a scar on her uterus, she chose a birth-center at 32 weeks pregnant. After years of medical interventions to achieve pregnancy, her natural water-birth was the empowering, gentle, and healing experience she had hoped for. You can read more about Rachel’s infertility journey and her life as a mom to her daughter and two Great Danes at www.twodanesandababy.com or on Instagram @rachwilber.

Jul 04, 2017
171| Homebirth Stories & Breastfeeding with Supplemental Nursing System - Rachel Pally
01:07:42

Rachel shares her experiences preparing for and giving birth at home, as well as her struggles with breastfeeding and low milk supply, and using a supplemental nursing system with both of her sons. Looking back, she wishes she had gone easier on herself and wants to let other mothers know that they are doing great.

Jun 29, 2017
170| Infertility, IUI & 4th Degree Tear Rectovaginal Fistula - Mary Kate Gallagher
41:52

After 3 years of testing and fertility treatments, Mary Kate and Brad were excited to find out that their second IUI attempt was successful! On November 16, 2016, after 31 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing, baby Reid was born. Mary Kate was able to get through her long labor by using the hypnobirthing techniques she learned during her pregnancy. At the end of the labor, vacuum extraction was required to give Mary Kate the ability to give birth vaginally. While she was overjoyed and in love with her new baby boy, Mary Kate discovered that she had suffered a 4th degree tear during labor. Mary Kate knew that this serious tear could lead to a difficult recovery, but a week later she developed another complication known as a rectovaginal fistula. Three weeks after the birth of her baby, Mary Kate underwent surgery to repair the fistula.

Jun 26, 2017
169| Dad Catches Baby on Side of the Road & Homebirth - Hannah Neas
46:57

After 2 very long and early hospital births with CNM's, Hannah and her husband, Gabriel, prepared for their first birth center birth. After early labor threatened at 28 weeks, she transferred back to her hospital midwifery team, trying everything to keep her 3rd pregnancy from turning into another preterm birth. After many medications and trips to L&D, her little third baby decided to take his time after all. 2 weeks of prodromal labor ended in a lightning fast delivery on the side of the highway at 39 weeks. They chose a home birth for baby 4 and had another precipitous labor and birth supported by midwives.

Jun 22, 2017
168| Four Preemie Baby Birth Stories & NICU Stays - Julie Martin
59:20

Julie Martin is a wife and homeschooling mother of 4 precious babies. Her first baby was born ten years ago, very unexpectedly, at 30 weeks by c-section; and, he spent two months in the NICU. Despite trying all the natural remedies and labor stalling methods, each subsequent baby was also born prematurely (33,33, and 32 weeks) by c-section, and each spent a month in the NICU as well. Never imagining being a c-section or NICU mommy, Julie has a heart to encourage women who have had birth experiences that just don't turn out like they anticipate.

 

Jun 20, 2017
167| Fast, Unmedicated Hospital Birth & Low Platelets - Katie Schneid
51:49

Katie had a very fast, unmedicated (due to time and low-platelets) hospital birth with an OB. She had the support of her mother and her husband. Though she prepared for labor with classes at a birth center, there was never a chance to use the techniques in the three hours she labored.

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Resources

 
The one parenting book Katie read: Bringing Up Bebe
 
Jun 15, 2017
166| Three Beautiful Hospital Births & Mammary Hypoplasia - Sarah Dagger
52:30

Sarah Daggett had 3 very positive unmedicated hospital births with her OB and a doula. She struggled with low supply when breastfeeding and was eventually diagnosed with mammary hypoplasia, which is a condition she didn't know about before her diagnosis. Connect with her on Instagram at @welcometoourmess.

This episode is sponsored by Brentwood Home, a family-owned company that has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades. Brentwood Home uses natural, ethically sourced materials that are safe for your family and the environment. Outfit your nursery with their top-rated crib mattresses, changing pads, and nursing pillows, made with healthy fibers like organic cotton and organic coconut husk. Visit brentwoodhome.com/birthhour and use the code birthhour for 15% off your purchase!

Jun 13, 2017
165| Active Pregnancy & Homebirth Birth Story - Andrea Thompson
50:51

As a girl who said she never wanted kids and never imagined having or holding her own baby, Andrea was delightfully and profoundly surprised by the miracle that is pregnancy and motherhood. After the shock of missing her first period turned into blissful anticipation, she approached pregnancy and birth as though she was training for the most important athletic event of her life. Her baby, Montana, entered the world quickly and beautifully, in the comfort and warmth of their own home.

Jun 08, 2017
164| Cesarean for Footling Breech Followed by VBAC - Jen Kamel
44:00

Jen planned a hospital birth with a midwife and was disappointed: after being told that her baby was in the single footling breech position, she found herself in the operating room after many months of envisioning a normal labor and delivery. She had a very painful recovery and knew she didn’t want to just schedule a cesarean for her next baby.

Her OB/GYN was very supportive, and assured her that she was an excellent VBAC candidate since she had her cesarean for breech. But when she went out into the world, many friends and family members could not believe that she would consider a VBAC, which led her to do tons of research and develop VBAC Facts. In this episode she shares her cesarean and VBAC birth stories as well as some really great information around VBACs in general!

Jun 06, 2017
163| Switched from OB to Homebirth at 32 Weeks - Christine Riley
55:27

Christine switched from a hospital OB/GYN birth to a midwife home birth at 32 weeks. She swam throughout her pregnancy, using that time to mentally prepare for labor. Christine was in active labor for 5 hours and pushed for 30 minutes. Her husband was the first to pick up their son, placing him directly on Christine for immediate skin to skin. Christine received one small natural tear and did not require stitches.

Jun 01, 2017
162| Infertility Treatments, Preemie Twins, & NICU Stay - Jenica Parcell
33:01

After 3 IUI’s and on her 3rd round of IVF Jenica became pregnant! She will never forget the incredible happiness when the blood test came back positive. At 10 weeks, she found out she was having twins! Along with pregnancy came morning sickness, discomfort, cankles, and long nights! But gratitude overwhelmed every emotion for Jenica as her dream of becoming a mother had finally become a reality. Her boy and girl twins had to be delivered at 32 weeks because of Preeclampsia. Harris came first and then Goldie! Her first weeks as a mother included her and her husband Tyler visiting their sweet little ones in the NICU every day. After 5 weeks in the NICU the family of four was able to all go home together!

May 30, 2017
161| Double Rainbow Babies: Lesbian Couple Delivers 3 Days Apart - Viviana & Mariel
01:19:56

Same-sex couple Mariel and Viviana knew they always wanted a baby; so, a year into their marriage they began trying to conceive by the traditional route of IUI's with frozen sperm via a sperm bank. After nearly a dozen failed tries, they switched gears to a known-donor and were quickly pregnant. Early on in Viviana's pregnancy she began having complications, and on the same day of her anatomy scan at 20 weeks and 6 days, Viviana's water bag prolapsed and broke. Tune in to hear the details of their devastating infant loss due to incompetent cervix and the redemption story of their boy/girl rainbow babies conceived within 7 days of each other and born only three days apart. Follow their journey on Instagram at @moderndaytwins.

May 25, 2017
160| Getting Pregnant after Endometriosis - Lida Sunderland
54:32

Lida battled chronic pain throughout her teens and twenties, and underwent laparoscopic surgery at age 24 to remove adhesions caused by endometriosis. In order to inhibit the disease's progression and to preserve her fertility, Lida took continuous hormonal birth control until she and her husband were ready to begin trying to conceive. The endometriosis started to return immediately, but with the help of a minor fertility intervention, Lida was able to conceive after only seven months.

May 23, 2017
159| Two Birth Stories and Perineal Massage - Dr. Joanna Ellington
01:05:12

In spite of being a Large Animal Veterinarian (Board Certified in Animal ObGyn) and a Reproductive Physiologist studying human fertility, Dr. Joanna Ellington was surprised when the flu threw off her ovulation cycle and an unplanned pregnancy occurred. Using excellent classic references like Active Birth and Spiritual Midwifery, Joanna used perineal massage to prepare for childbirth, and was maybe a little too active with a 2 mile hike that turned into 5 miles the day before her membranes began leaking. An induction resulted in a normal birth where Joanna used her knowledge of birth and lactation in animals to enjoy the process as much as possible, even telling her midwife “That was kind of fun!”

Joanna's second son was born within 10 minutes after she arrived at the hospital. In the chaos and discomfort of having two male doctors she had never met working on her son and her private parts, Joanna coped by switching into “medical professional mode" and talking to them about her research. But, she lost her focus on her baby and the moment. Sadly, she forgot to invite her waiting son and mother in to see the birth, as she had planned. This was a valuable lesson of not “taking care of others” or outwardly focusing during birth, but staying centered and baby focused.

May 18, 2017
158| Lindsey Bliss Shares Her Birth Stories
40:13

Lindsey shares her birth center, hospital, and homebirth stories ... and about having twins TWICE! Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.

May 16, 2017
157| Painless & Laughter-filled Birth with Birth Singer - Melissa Dohse
39:39

After a long (64 hours) and traumatic first birth, Melissa decided to take a wholistic approach in preparing for her second birth by addressing aspects of her mind, body, and soul. The book Mindful Birthing was pivotal for Melissa in holding an open hand about what her second birth would look like. Melissa had a team prepared to support her, including a birth doula, birth photographer, and a birth singer.

After going to 41 weeks and 2 days with 0 contractions, Melissa went into labor while hiking by herself. After a long first birth, Melissa was expecting the same for her second. After mooning the entire town on a speedy car ride, Melissa gave birth minutes after arriving at the birth center. Melissa had never imagined that she could give birth without feeling pain and laughing throughout the entire process. This is a story you have to hear to believe. Her birth singer, Meghan, is featured on this episode singing some of the songs that were sung over Melissa before and after her daughter arrived.

May 11, 2017
156| Hospital Waterbirth Story with Tayler Gunn
24:37

With her first son, Remy, Tayler went a week past her due date and had a very long labor (over 30 hours). Looking back, she realized that she had been resisting every contraction. So for her second birth, Tayler wanted to do things a little differently. During her pregnancy, Tayler practiced hypnobirthing; and during labor, she remembers repeating the word "opening," and actually feeling herself dilating. Tayler's second birth was much quicker: her second son, Sage, was born in the water and en caul very shortly after arriving at the hospital.

May 09, 2017
155| 3 Unmedicated Births - Hospital & Birth Center Stories - Crystal Harris
49:32

In her lighthearted and quippy style, Crystal hilariously details her three births: A hospital birth at 42 weeks involving "The Devil's Urine" and a hemorrhage; a 3 week early and extremely fast water birth; and, a one-push water birth with a hospital transfer solely to get a rest from her preschooler and toddler at home. Crystal talks about how her love of ramen noodles made from placenta broth helped her adjust to the news of an unexpected pregnancy, and about how her "Birth Boss" midwife and doula made all the difference through three unmedicated births. Crystal's births taught her that she has an extremely high tolerance for pain, and that absolutely anything is possible if you trust your body and allow yourself to be nurtured and supported by the community of people who love you.

May 04, 2017
154| Detoxifying after Endometriosis, Natural Hospital Birth — Vani Hari
44:11

After overcoming a severe case of endometriosis in her 20s, Vani changed her diet and lifestyle, but still worried that she'd have trouble getting pregnant. When she and her husband were finally ready to have a baby at age 38, she conceived after just one month of trying! Vani chose to have a natural hospital birth, and assembled a team to help her get there. She says she couldn’t have achieved a natural child birth without the coaching of her doula, supportive doctor, and a very positive and helpful nurse. She also says there were a few moments during labor where she asked the team “can I do this?” and they would say “yes, you can do this,” and that really motivated her. Taking drugs, however, didn't enter her mind once. She says that after having her daughter a few months ago, she has been in pure bliss enjoying breastfeeding; and, that the happy-hormones from nursing help her overcome the sleep deprivation that comes with juggling motherhood and business.

May 02, 2017
153| Long, Unmedicated Hospital Birth - Sarah Rainwater
01:10:38

Sarah is 28 years old and is the owner of two large hot yoga studios located in Northern Arizona. Hear Sarah tell the story of giving birth to her son, Hayden, after almost 18 hours of labor.

Apr 27, 2017
152| Infertility Journey, Pregnancy and Birth Story - Camille Whiting
01:09:05

After years of hoping and praying for a baby, Camille was amazed to find her infertility treatments had finally worked—she was actually pregnant! In this episode, she shares her story and talks about how much love she and her husband experienced as they grew together in the pain of longing for a baby. She discusses how after years of disappointments, infertility overshadowed many joys and experiences in letting her pregnancy be real. Ultimately, she and her husband were able to find joy through the ups and downs of pregnancy complications, and expand their love through the birth of their miracle baby.

 

Apr 25, 2017
151| A Powerful, Intense, & Rewarding Hospital Birth Story - Scarlet Kelly
01:06:22

Scarlet originally planned to give birth at a birth center, but those plans changed close to the end of her pregnancy when she received a gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis.Still, Jane’s birth was a very powerful, intense, yet rewarding experience. At 41.5 weeks, Scarlet's labor started in the middle of the night and progressed quickly, but stalled after her hospital check-in. Scarlet's doctor ended up breaking her water, which jump-started her labor again, and her daughter, Jane, was born soon after. A retained placenta led to a manual extraction and extra blood loss; but, everyone went home healthy the next day. But only 4 days later, Scarlet's family was back in the doctor’s office due to a thyroid problem that showed up on Jane’s newborn screen.   

Apr 20, 2017
150| Mama Natural's Birth Stories - Genevieve Howland
46:02

Genevieve's first labor with her son, Griffin, was long (27 hours with 4 hours of pushing,) and she had a hard postpartum recovery. With her second pregnancy, Genevieve was proactive in preparing for birth, and credits her nutrition and healthy lifestyle to the super-quick and much easier birth of her daughter, Paloma.

Apr 18, 2017
149| Birth Center with Hospital Transfer Birth Story - Lauren Jolly
55:17

After months of research about unmedicated birth and creating a “birth plan” with her midwives, Lauren’s birth center birth didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped. Her long labor started with slow dilation and ended with a transfer to a hospital to get an epidural and a host of other interventions. While everything turned out fine and baby was born healthy, she dealt with many months of regret, guilt, and sadness related to her birth story. Lauren hopes that by sharing her story she’ll help other women to know that it’s important to educate yourself about birth, and if things don’t go as planned, it’s okay to grieve the loss of your ideal birth. You may just find community and empowerment through your experience.

Apr 13, 2017
148| Surrogate & IVF Pregnancy & Birth Stories - Nancy Rhode & Ashley Brown
43:23

When surrogate, Ashley, measured large at her 38 week check, the decision was made to induce her at 39 weeks. Intended parents Nancy and Justin flew from Chicago to Utah, where their surrogate Ashley was set to deliver. Only three days later, they were all together in a labor and delivery room as Ashley was induced with a drip of Pitocin. While labor progressed uneventfully in the beginning, pushing lasted hours as baby Audrey’s head was very large and stuck. Following nearly four hours of pushing, and close to being prepared for a c-section, baby Audrey was born on a strong push at 10:21 pm. Nancy, her intended mother, cut Audrey’s cord and immediately took her into her arms for skin-to-skin bonding as feelings of gratefulness and awe washed over her.

Apr 11, 2017
147| Siblings' Perspective on Birth - Bonus Episode!
35:30

In honor of International Sibling Day, I thought it would be fun to interview kids who were present for their younger sibling's birth! 

Apr 10, 2017
146| Turning Breech Baby ECV + Home Birth Story - Kate Novotny
01:03:49

Kate experienced an uneventful pregnancy, until at 38 weeks she discovered her baby was in the breech position. She made the empowering decision to have an external cephalic version (ECV) in a hospital, then went on to have a successful homebirth.

 
Today's episode is brought to you by Ergobaby. Ergo creates innovative solutions to meet the needs of today's parents. With over 30 baby carriers in 5 different categories, Ergo is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies.
 
 
Apr 06, 2017
145| Five Birth Stories - Hospital and Home Births - Mary Haseltine
01:03:08

Mary shares the stories of her three planned homebirths (two in water); one crazy-fast, planned hospital birth; and one unplanned hospital birth that resulted in a natural footling breech birth. She also has experienced a natural miscarriage at home.

Mary is a mother to five on earth and one in eternity. She works as a certified birth and bereavement doula, birth educator, and as a writer at Better Than Eden. There, she shares about birth, her faith, mothering, homeschooling, miscarriage, raising boys, and more. She is also a featured writer at Elizabeth Ministry International. A theology graduate, she has a passion for helping women experience their God-given “feminine genius” through birth, motherhood, and in the very design of their body. She believes that treating babies and women with the utmost dignity and respect at every moment during pregnancy and birth is necessary for building strong families and a culture of life and love. You can find her writing at Better Than Eden or connect on Facebook and Instagram.

And thanks to Earth Mama Angel Baby for sponsoring today's episode!

Apr 04, 2017
144| Beauty in the Unexpected - Kelle Hampton's Birth Story
44:24

Kelle shares the story of her daughter Nella's birth. Nella was born with Down Syndrome unexpectedly, so it obviously came as a huge shock to Kelle. Kelle is open about her grief surrounding that initial news. She talks about those first days in the hospital and how little she knew about Down Syndrome before her daughter was born. Her daughter Nella is seven today, and Kelle looks back on her birth story with a lot of emotion, sharing how her family and friends supported her through that time, and how she offers hope to mothers who contact her today when they get a Down Syndrome diagnosis. I loved this episode not only because Kelle tells it so beautifully, but also because I personally was very uninformed about Down Syndrome and learned a lot through her story.

Mar 30, 2017
143| Backseat Car Delivery and Two Waterbirths - Melissa Wirt
58:22

Melissa opted for a birth center birth for her first baby. After an unexpected first birth in the backseat of the car, she chose to have her next two babies at home with the support of a midwife. She pulls from these very different birth experiences and the confidence that they granted her daily as she leads a Facebook community of over 200,000 moms.

 

Melissa is a mom to Nathaniel (4), Alexander (3), and Caroline (1). Empowered and inspired by the births of her children, Melissa founded Latched Mama: an online community and a clothing line for nursing moms. She spends her days outside of Richmond, Va with her husband, Eric, chasing after the kids, searching for new ways to innovate and grow the business, and trying really hard to keep it all together. As a trained (non practicing) birth doula and CLC, she is passionate about supporting all moms no matter what their journey to motherhood looks like. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram (@latchedmama, @thelatchedmama).

Today's episode is brought to you by Latched Mama. Latched Mama is on a mission to support new moms with affordable and functional nursing wear. Using comfortable fabrics and modern designs that also work for tandem feeding and pumping, Latched Mama is helping moms nurse confidently and comfortably wherever they are. Also, check out their new labor dress! Made from a super-soft fabric and featuring snaps up the front and back for monitoring and epidural placement, and snaps at the shoulders for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding access. The Latched Mama labor dress can truly bring a little extra comfort and confidence to your next birth.

Mar 28, 2017
142| Blissful Homebirth Followed By NICU Stay For E.coli - Sara Hiatt
52:09

Sure that her baby would not arrive on his due date, Sara settled in for the evening only to wake up to her water breaking at 11:00 pm. She and her husband, Dave, had planned an at-home water birth, and the journey began as she woke him up to tell him about the water dripping between her legs. They had a fast yet gentle birth at home, delivering an 8lbs 1oz baby boy, Bodhi, at 5:23 am on the winter solstice. One week after Bodhi arrived earthside, he was rushed to the hospital because he was displaying signs of respiratory distress. He had a urinary tract infection caused by E.coli, and had to spend a week in the hospital. Sara and Dave were forever changed as parents after going through such a scary experience, but are so grateful that Bodhi was able to get the care he needed to recover quickly.

Today's episode is brought to you by Birth Song Botanicals. Birth Song Botanicals was founded by a midwife and herbalist who's mission is to produce high-quality herbal products that are naturally safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, and their children. I met Maria when I lived in Arkansas, and am so honored that she is sponsoring an episode of The Birth Hour. Maria is offering 10% off for Birth Hour listeners at Birthsongbotanicals.com with the code: THEBIRTHHOUR. Today's birth story is actually a mom who had Maria as her midwife.

You can also enter a giveaway for the Deluxe Organic Herbal Gift Set For Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding which includes everything you need to get you through pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and beyond. 

Mar 23, 2017
141| 3 Kids in One Year: A Foster Parent & Birth Story - Lori Kitchen-Buschel
01:04:45

In 2015, Lori Kitchen-Buschel and her husband, Kenneth, became licensed foster parents: in less than a year, they went from 0 kids to being the parents of 3 children under 5 with the addition of their daughter Louella Kitchen-Buschel in 2016. In this extremely moving episode, she talks about her journey from meeting her foster children, to finding out she was pregnant unexpectedly and struggling with wondering whether she would have enough love for all of her children.

This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow BreastpumpsAeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!

Mar 21, 2017
140| Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Homebirth - Tricia Phillips
51:57

Tricia was shocked to find out she was pregnant shortly after getting back from her father's funeral. She hadn't been really trying to get pregnant with her husband, but they had agreed to go off birth control. She figured it would take a while, but it didn't! She has a lot of feelings and things to say about grieving while pregnant, and mostly remembers crying...sleeping...working...and eating ice cream for 9 months. She is forever grateful that home birthing crossed her radar while she was pregnant and feels like the universe was looking out for her and she listened-and it forever empowered her.

Mar 16, 2017
139| Hospital Epidural Birth Story & Postpartum Meditation - Anna Gannon
30:42

Anna went to the hospital with her intentions set on birthing naturally. However, after experiencing back labor due to her daughter being posterior, (i.e. her daughter's head pressing on her spinal cord) she had an epidural. She often describes her decision to have an epidural as being one of the best and worst decisions she ever made. Best because it stopped the pain, worst because of what happened only a minute or two after getting the injection.

 

Mar 14, 2017
138| 12lbs 3oz Cesarean Birth + HBAC (Homebirth After Cesarean) - Diana Forsell
01:08:29

Diana's first baby was an unexpectedly large, 12 lbs, 3 oz. He was born via c-section after a very long labor. It was a deeply traumatic experience for her, but when she became pregnant again 2 years later she knew she'd the have this second baby at home.

Diana had a completely different labor and birth experience the second time - a beautiful, fast home birth that was also incredibly healing for her. She wants any woman who's had a traumatic birth or a c-section to know it's completely possible to not only heal from it, but to have a better, empowering subsequent birth.

 

Mar 09, 2017
137| Embracing an Unexpected Cesarean Birth - Elyse Falzone
38:44
Inducing labor was not Elyse's first choice of how she imagined her birth story unfolding. However, the Miracles and Universal 'Signs' continued to show themselves throughout her birthing process.

Tapping into her meditation, healing and yoga skills, Elyse stayed connected to her intuition throughout the birth process even though it went opposite of what was planned. Her family, spiritual mentor and doula also supported in creating a welcoming, beautiful environment for baby Oliver to enter this world.

After 18 hours from her water breaking, Elyse was only 2.5-3 cm dilated. Oliver made his grand entrance via C-Section. In this episode, learn how Elyse & her husband came to this decision, stayed grounded, and embraced the many changes that came along the way.

Mar 07, 2017
136| Fast Hospital Birth + Navigating Low Breastmilk Supply - Emma Gomez
35:58

The family was excited when they found out Emma was pregnant.  Emma had an amazing pregnancy, she felt powerful and proud to be nurturing a baby.  After hesitantly deciding to have a hospital birth (because of costs) Emma was able to maintain her goal of an unmedicated labor and delivery.

Emma's contractions sped up ferociously and she almost did not make it to the hospital. Emma arrived at the hospital and the baby was earth side within 20 minutes and 3 pushes.

Emma planned to breastfeed and had to deal with the challenge of extremely low milk supply. She was unprepared for this challenge and felt the doctors and lactation consultants she worked with did not support her breastfeeding or understanding of low supply. Emma was incredibly resilient and worked hard to continue to breastfeed along with supplementing. Emma has become very knowledgeable about low supply issues and resources for mothers. She wants other mothers to know that low supply issues are common, their many contributing factors, and a great deal of lactogenic foods, herbs, and activities to support milk production.

Emma is a hard working Social Worker and Therapist for Native American youth in her Bay Area community.  Emma met and fell in love with Davey many moons ago while they attended college.  Emma and her partner Davey have created a beautiful home together in Berkeley, CA with their pup Rio,  The family welcomed Zia in the summer of 2016.  Emma loves being a mother and feels blessed for the light that Zia brings to her family and life.

Mar 02, 2017
135| Unmedicated Hospital Birth with an OB - Grace Greene
54:44

Grace had an unmedicated hospital birth with an OB. She prepared for her unmedicated birth by hiring a doula and taking Bradley classes during her pregnancy. She also had the added bonus of having her sister as her L&D nurse throughout her entire birth!

The episode is sponsored by Milkies by Fairhaven Health. Milkies is a line of thoughtfully designed products for moms, by moms to help support all women in their breastfeeding journey. Products include breast milk collection and storage, supplements, teas, nursing pads and much more! Milkies is generously offering 10% off all products with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.fairhavenhealth.com. We are also giving away a milk catcher and  milk collection tray over on Instagram.

Feb 28, 2017
134| Natural Hospital Births in Puerto Rico & Guam - Anjelica Malone
01:10:07

Anjelica gave birth to her first daughter while living abroad on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Though she originally wanted to deliver with a midwife, she had to make adjustments based on her location’s cultural norms and her Spanish language barrier. Anjelica’s story takes some crazy turns that involve driving two-hours to the hospital, her husband paying for a private labor room while she was in labor, and her doula almost delivering their baby. As she shares what birth is like for many women on the island we get an idea of what it takes for some women outside the continental U.S. to achieve a low-intervention vaginal birth.

Anjelica gave birth to her second daughter on another lush island, Guam. This time around she was able to have a midwife provider like she’d hoped for the first time, but experienced other hurdles that came along with being a military spouse and mother of a busy toddler. Anjelica’s story quickly gets interesting as she realizes she’s in labor while her husband is in the middle of running a half-marathon.

Feb 23, 2017
133| Infertility, Placental Abruption Cesarean, and VBAC Birth Stories - Alexandra Barretta
48:19

Alexandra Barretta is from Queens, NY. After struggling with infertility she was able to get pregnant after several IUI's and 2 IVF's. Her son was born 6 weeks early due to a placental abruption via c-section. The C section was a very difficult recovery, so she knew she definitely wanted to attempt a VBAC for her second pregnancy. She was told not to get her hopes up about having a VBAC by her high risk doctors, but that they would entertain the idea of it. She successfully delivered her daughter via VBAC after challenging the on call doctor at the hospital that morning.

Feb 21, 2017
132| Navigating Natural Birth in a Hospital Setting - Leah Rodrigues
01:05:56

Leah Rodrigues had two natural, unmedicated child births at the hospital. It was not her first choice to give birth in the hospital but she felt that she didn't have another option due to her insurance. She wanted to share her story and the ways she advocated for what she wanted and navigated the medicalized environment.

She feels that her birth stories offer other moms hope that they can advocate for themselves even if they don't get to birth in the place that they want. Leah wanted a birth center birth with both of her babies but financial circumstances prevented her from doing so. She thinks discussing the limited birth options because of socioeconomic status is an important topic. You can connect with Leah on Instagram.

Feb 16, 2017
131|Vaginal twin Birth: U.K. to U.S. - Jillian Mahan
55:16

Planned for a hospital vaginal birth (under OB care with an in-house midwife), both boys were head down at 26 weeks; last appointment before induction, both were still head down. Morning of my induction, one last ultrasound was ordered to check positioning, and baby B had flipped and was now breech, and my BP was high (for the first time in my entire pregnancy, but no other signs of pre eclampsia). Several options were presented, but I chose to go forward with induction since there was no true risk to the babies.

I had plans to labor as long as possible with no drugs and was using breathing techniques learned through our birth class and some brief Hypnobirthing reading I had done. Decided on an epidural about 8 hours in to rule out the chance of needing GA if I needed an emergency C section. After 12+ hours of labor, 10 minutes of pushing delivered the boys, both vaginally, in the OR (most twin hospital births happen in the OR) 6 minutes apart; baby B flipped to head down in the labor process, no help needed.

Feb 14, 2017
130| Preeclampsia Family Centered Cesareans & Gestational Diabetes VBA2C Birth Stories - Megan Ray
01:01:37

Today's guest, Megan, shares her three birth stories: two family-centered c-sections, and a VBA2C! During both pregnancies that ended in cesareans, Megan suffered preeclampsia; during her VBA2C, she overcame gestational diabetes. 

This episode is sponsored by Beco. Beco focuses on bringing you an ideal combination of comfort and style to power you through daily duties with your baby close. With the new release of the Beco 8 baby carrier, you now have more options than ever to carrier your baby. Learn more about the Beco 8 at becobaby.com. We are giving away a Beco 8 to one lucky mama over on @thebirthhour Instagram.

Feb 09, 2017
129| Hypnobirthing Homebirth Story - Trezelle Morgaine
34:34

Trezelle happened to see a video about hypnobirthing the night before she went into labor and from that video alone used the practice through her homebirth and describes it as a beautiful and empowering experience. She is now a doula with the mission of helping other families navigate pregnancy and childbirth. 

Feb 07, 2017
128| "I didn't know I was pregnant" Birth Story - Phoua Moua (REBROADCAST)
22:03

Today’s birth story is a rebroadcast of an early favorite. Our guest is Phoua Moua who didn’t know she was pregnant until she was 33 weeks along. She and her husband have been married for 8 years and had been trying to conceive for 5 years. Phoua had put getting pregnant towards the back of her mind and didn’t realize she was pregnant until she took a test after noticing a linea negra. She called her doctor and they asked her to come in and draw some blood. The day after she went in for blood work, they called and told her she was pregnant and was about 6 weeks pregnant. The doctor then scheduled the first ultrasound for when she was “9 weeks”. Even though she called the clinic back and told them she thought she was further than 6 weeks, they insisted she wait another 3 weeks to come in.

The day finally came and she and her husband went to her ultrasound on May 15, 2014 where they were told she was already 33 weeks! Her baby was due the end of June which was the very next month!!!

 

Feb 02, 2017
127| Prodromal Labor—A Positive Hospital Birth Story - Katie Krysil
46:17

Katie followed her intuition and switched from an OB practice to a midwife-led, hospital-based practice during the beginning of her pregnancy. She ended up going past her due date and even when she eventually did go into labor she experienced prodromal labor and was in labor for more than three days. Prodromal labor is labor that occurs prior to actually going into full, active labor. It is sometimes called “false-labor,” but you are actually are in labor the whole time with contractions, it's just that they start and stop for long periods. Katie tells the whole story on today's episode of The Birth Hour.

Jan 31, 2017
126| Netherlands Homebirth & U.S. Homebirth - Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks
41:11

Stephanie was living in the Netherlands when she found out she was pregnant and went to what she thought was a birth at home OB office like everyone else she knew had done. Turned out that in the Netherlands if you were a low-risk pregnant mama you automatically saw midwives and you had the option to have your birth at home attended by midwives or at the hospital attended by midwives. Stephanie initially made plans to have a hospital birth but eventually changed courses towards the end of her pregnancy.

Her first labor was a precipitous birth and baby arrived in less than 3 hours, she describes it as a very intense experience that she wasn't at all expecting. After her initiation into midwifery care and homebirth, she knew she would give birth at home with her next baby even though she was living in the U.S. by then. Both of her births contributed to her desire to become a doula and childbirth educator.

Jan 26, 2017
125| Girl Power Cesarean & Irish Twins - Carolyn Setash
55:27

After Carolyn found out she was pregnant again at three months postpartum, she and her husband decided to move the family from Washington, DC to Arnold, MD. Sticking with her OB in DC, the plan was to deliver Carolyn's footling breech baby by scheduled c-section. Plans changed, when her water broke three weeks early. Rushing to get to DC, an hour away, with a breech baby, coupled with contractions both strong and fast, ultimately caused them to detour for an emergency c-section at a much closer hospital. Baby Ophelia was wasting no time—her feet were already on their way out! The hospital staff of all women hustled to get her into surgery for a successful c-section, ending with a happy baby and a happy mom.

Jan 24, 2017
124| Emergency Cesarean for Low Amniotic Fluid - Gayleen Peters
22:56

Today's guest is Gayleen Peters who went in for a check-up around 37 weeks and realized she basically had no fluid left. She was told she'd need a cesarean that day but then had to wait several hours for the OR to open up. Her baby arrived safely but did have to spend some time in the NICU and she discusses that experience as well.

Jan 19, 2017
123| A Survivor's Birth Story: How Sexual Assault Affects Childbirth - Alexis Milneck
41:04

Alexis is a survivor of sexual assault, and never once considered how that experience would impact her birth until she read “When Survivors Give Birth” for her Doula training. It was life changing and made her realize why she hit a wall in both of her births. She shares how her birth center and hospital births were both impacted by the fact that she never felt completely safe and therefore wasn't relaxing and opening to give birth. Alexis hopes to use her experience to hold space with other survivors and let them know their birth can actually set them free.

Alexis is passionate about every woman’s right to have informed and supported births. She tirelessly planned and prepared for her own natural births, only to be greatly disappointed by the need for intervention. Her own struggle with accepting her births inspired her to become a doula and build a holistic practice that incorporates not only birth and postpartum support services, but that also recognizes the link between birth and mental health. She created the Mindful Mama Collective with the hope of helping other mamas feel confident and supported as they heal and grow into new motherhood.

 

Jan 17, 2017
122| Euphoric Birth: Being Engaged through Meditation, Hypnobirth & More - Rebekah (Bex) Borucki
45:45

The main focus of today's episode with Bex is the it difference it makes when you are present and engaged for your birth versus being disconnected from the experience. Bex has had 5 children with the first 3 being born in a hospital and the second two at home. She describes how those experiences were so different for her and much of it had to do with the mindfulness aspect of her birth. She used Hypnobirthing/Hypnobabies, meditation, and yoga through her pregnancy and births. This is an all around awesome episode for anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness and birth through the experience of a mom who's been there!

Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, founder of BEXLIFE® and the BLISSED IN® wellness movement, is a mother of five, TV host, meditation guide, Hay House author, speaker, birth doula, fitness and yoga instructor, and popular social media personality. She also travels extensively, sharing her love for yoga, wellness, and meditation at exclusive workshops, luxury retreats, and public events.

This episode is sponsored by Expectful!

Expectful is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of their guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.

Their mission is to give babies the best start in life, and that begins with you. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, go to expectful.com and sign up for their 30 day free meditation trial. It may just change your life.

Jan 12, 2017
121| Vaginal Breech & "Walking Epidural" Hospital Births - Rachelle O'Neil
56:23

Rachelle O'Neil was living in Bermuda when she was pregnant with her son. She went to the hospital to be induced 7 days after her due date, and 20 min before her son arrived the doctor realized it was his hip coming out rather than his head! Everything went smoothly and she was so happy that she delivered a breech baby vaginally rather than by csection. Rachelle also shares her second birth for which she was living in Luxembourg. She had planned to have a natural birth and although she ended up with a "walking epidural", she describes it as an amazing euphoric experience. Connect with her on Instagram @roinlux.

Jan 10, 2017
120| Natural Birth After Three Epidural Births - Gina Kynaston
01:13:30

When I received an email from Gina explaining that after three medicated hospital births, she had successfully had a natural birth with her fourth baby and that she credited listening to other women's birth stories on The Birth Hour, I knew I had to hear her stories. 

This episode is sponsored by Boba.

Jan 05, 2017
119| Two Empowering Homebirth Stories - Kacie Case (REBROADCAST)
56:59

Kacie Case shared her two homebirth stories in Episode 21 of the podcast and recently had her third baby. I absolutely love seeing past guests having more babies and although I haven't heard her most recent birth story yet, I've adored watching her pregnancy journey the past few months. Hopefully we'll have her back on to share this third birth, but for today we're looking back at the long labor and delivery that made her a mama and the second birth that was a whirlwind.

Kacie offers words of wisdom to enjoy the last few days of your pregnancy and to take a moment (write a letter even) to thank your body and acknowledge the time that you've had with your baby inside of you before you have to share that baby with the world! She also (like many mamas we've heard from) benefited from reading Ina May Gaskin.

Jan 03, 2017
118| First Time Mom and Midwife Share Birth Center Story - Tiffany Lackey & Traci Martin-Robinson
33:58

Tiffany lives in rural South Carolina running a farm with her husband. They recently welcomed their first child, a daughter named Florence at the Baby+Company birth center in Cary, NC. Tiffany is passionate about natural living and left her birth feeling powerful and confident with the support of her midwives and husband. Connect with her on Instagram.

 

Dec 29, 2016
117| Bryn Huntpalmer's First Birth Story (REBROADCAST)
01:00:58

My firstborn is turning 5 in less than a week, FIVE! How did the time go by so fast?! I know that's so cliche to say, but it truly surprises me that the little baby that made me a mama is now in full blown kid-mode. Since this time of year is crazy at our house with two birthdays and Christmas all within two weeks of each other, I thought I'd take a step back and do a couple replay episodes.

Today I'm replaying that first wild and crazy 34 hour labor and homebirth with my daughter Adelaide. It's a fun episode too because I shared it along with my husband, Richard, who was such a huge part of this birth story. I needed him every single step of the way during her birth so I love that we recorded this story together.

Dec 27, 2016
116| Vaginal Breech Twin Birth Story - Toniette Giesbrecht
35:29

Toniette was so surprised to learn that she was having twins! She had previously had homebirths and knew that with twins she would be in the hospital, but she definitely wanted natural births. She had quite the whirlwind delivery with Baby A , who fell out on a moving delivery bed because none of the nurses thought she could possibly be that close to delivering!

Toniette wants to give other twin moms the confidence to do a breech Baby B extraction without an epidural.

Dec 22, 2016
115| Gestational Diabetes, Cesarean, and VBAC - Ellen Richards
01:27:39

Ellen Richards is English born, and is now an Australian citizen, living with her family in South East Queensland. She and her partner, Billy, have 4 children, aged 13 years, 11 years, 8 years and 9 months. She was 44 when her fourth child was born. All have been planned to be born at home, and two of them were. Each birth has been a incredibly positive experience and each was totally different: an elective cesarean birth at almost 43 weeks; an ecstatic birth after a 76 hour labour; an intense 50 minute labour after a patient 10 day wait (with broken waters); and, a chemical hospital induction (which was at the clear indication of her unborn child). She also had gestational diabetes during two of her pregnancies, including one of the homebirths. Each pregnancy and birth has required Ellen and Billy to make many choices, and it is these choices, with the support of their midwives, that have made each birth such a positive experience.

Dec 20, 2016
114| Intuitive Birthing + Coping with Complications and Loss - Amy Pence-Brown
43:01

Amy shares her experiences dealing with her fair share of complications in pregnancy and birth. She has had 3 births within a hospital setting and has dealt with a subchorionic hemorrhage (vaginal bleeding for six weeks) during pregnancy, miscarriages, epidurals that haven't worked, NICU stays and so much more. She also talks about how intuitive birthing helped her cope with the pain of labor and childbirth during each of her three births. 

Dec 15, 2016
113| ECV for Breech Baby Birth Story - Natalie Johnson
47:00
Natalie's first baby was a hospital birth with an epidural that she describes as awful, and it ended up with a bad episiotomy.  Six weeks postpartum she was still in awful pain; so, her OB sent her to a specialist where she discovered that she had an anal fissure from the episiotomy that was bad enough to require surgery.  She had surgery to repair that at 7 weeks postpartum.
 
Fast forward 3 years, and for her second birth, Natalie used the Bradley method with her husband and a doula for a drug free hospital birth.
 
Two years later, Natalie was pregnant with her most recent baby, and discovered she was breech at 37 weeks.  Natalie shares her experience of having a successful ECV to turn the baby at 38 weeks and then delivering drug free at the hospital one day after her due date.
Dec 13, 2016
112| Birth Center Birth Story & Postpartum Encouragement for New Moms - Alexis Ayala
55:15

Alexis shares the birth story of her son, Sebastian, which took place at Growing Families birthing center in St. Augustine, Florida.  With her fiancé as her birthing coach, and Misti Balzar as the midwife (guardian angel) assisting the delivery, Sebastian arrived Thanksgiving Day 2014.  Approximately 9 hours of labor produced an 8 lb. 13 oz. healthy baby boy.  The birth wasn’t at all easy or painless, but she views the experience as a wright of passage.

Dec 08, 2016
111| Traumatic Hospital Birth & Postpartum Depression - Ashley Clarkson
43:53

Ashley Clarkson shares her hospital birth experience, which was very traumatic. She gave birth in Winnipeg, Canada when there was a really bad flu going around, and the hospital wouldn't let her have more than one person with her. She felt like she needed to choose her husband even though her mom might have been a better support person during birth. She ended up having a cesarean and struggled, feeling unconnected with her baby. She suffered postpartum depression, and wanted to share her story with other women to empower them to find help and advocate for themselves. Read more from her story at the bottom of this post!

Dec 06, 2016
110| Anemia in Pregnancy and Planned Cesarean - Brandi Jeter Riley
41:18

In today's birth story episode, Brandi shares her pregnancy and birth experience. During her pregnancy, she kept feeling like something wasn't right and finally a midwife requested that she have some blood work done and they found out that she was severely anemic. For her birth, she had a planned cesarean with family members as support since she was a single mom at the time. We also have a great discussion about what an impact WIC had for her when she was a new mom.

Dec 01, 2016
109| Planned Induction Hospital Birth Stories - Felicity Taylor
47:00

Today's birth story guest shares all three of her birth stories, which took place in hospitals. She talks about her baby's shoulders getting stuck with her second birth, and of how her doctor gave her the option of being induced a week early or having a cesarean with her third baby, which really scared her. She chose induction and ended up stalling out during labor, and she was prepped for a c section but as they were wheeling her into the operating room, she felt the urge to push and her baby was born!

Nov 29, 2016
108| Three Homebirths + Postpartum Hospital Transfer - Summer Harms
44:57

Sumer Harms and her husband live in rural Minnesota and have 3 kids. They were planning a hospital birth with their first baby, but at 28 weeks, they ended up deciding to have a homebirth. The next two babies were also born at home! Her most recent birth was a super cozy Christmastime birth.

Nov 24, 2016
107| Birth Center Birth Story told with Midwife - Caitlyn Kick
28:26

Today's guest, Caitlyn, shares her experience giving birth at a birth center in Cary, NC called Baby+Co. She chose this birth center after not feeling supported in her hospital birth experience with her first child. Caitlyn had an amazing experience for her second and third children's births at the Baby+Co birth center, and it was so great to hear her most recent birth story along with her midwife, Beth.

Nov 22, 2016
106| Hospital and Birth Center Birth Stories - Alaina Isbouts
01:10:38

This episode features Denver mama, Alaina, who struggled to get pregnant and had two miscarriages before using Clomid for her 3rd pregnancy, and gave birth in a hospital setting. She found out she was pregnant again without any outside assistance just a year later and gave birth at a birth center, having an unexpected waterbirth.

Nov 17, 2016
105| Hospital Birth & Postpartum Depression Resources - Ally MacEwen
01:11:46

This is probably the most open and honest discussion we've had on The Birth Hour about postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA). Ally shares how long it took her to realize she needed help and how she didn't find any support initially from her OBGYN, despite answering yes to many of the concerning questions on a survey at her doctor's office. She had to find help elsewhere.

Nov 15, 2016
104| Midwife Turned Doula Shares her Birth Stories - Tracie Enis
29:58

Today's guest is Tracie Enis who shares her three birth stories and then we chat about resources and guidance that she provides to the mamas she works with during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

 

 
Nov 10, 2016
103| Overcoming Trauma in Birth - Fiona DeGroat
36:33

Fiona had a very traumatic birth experience where she hemorrhaged and was alone in the hospital after her husband had gone home. As a result, she was very fearful going into subsequent births but with her second husband she expressed her fears, got an epidural immediately, and had a very different (positive) experience. In this episode she shares her first three birth stories and since we recorded she's had a fourth child who was born via cesarean due to failure to progress after her water had broken.

Nov 08, 2016
102| Empowering Epidural Hospital Birth in Spain - Lola Ribalta
36:56

Lola worked during most of her pregnancy and walked 6 km a day. She was quite scared about going into labor, so she chose a doctor who really made her feel confident about herself. The doctor had a reputation of standing back during most of the delivery and letting things follow their natural course, and would step in as needed. Another important factor that made things easier was that the hospital was only a 3 minute walk away from their apartment.

 

Nov 03, 2016
101| Babymoon Retreat Bonus Episode
41:14

I spent this past week in Sedona, AZ with six expecting couples at the Babymoon Retreat. We had such a blast, and I was blown away by the level of childbirth and postpartum preparation these couples got in just four days of class time. It was so refreshing to spend so much time getting to know couples that are experiencing all of this for the first time. After having two kids of my own and hearing so many birth stories from so many women, I feel like I forget just how many unknowns there are for first time expecting parents and I loved watching them absorb all of the information. I could see them becoming more confident day by day and empowered in their birthing decisions.

We wanted to commemorate this special time and the experience of the retreat by recording with each couple as they are bursting with the anticipation of their birth and meeting their baby. I hope you enjoy getting to know these couples as much as I did, and if you are newly pregnant or planning to become pregnant, I strongly suggest that you sign up for updates from the Babymoon Retreat.

Nov 01, 2016
100| Megan Tietz Twins' Pregnancy & Birth Story
52:49

I'm so excited to share today's episode with all you—Episode 100!! So crazy to be saying that, and we have the wonderful Megan Tietz on the show today sharing the story of her twin boys' birth. After two girls, she and her husband decided to try for just one more and ended up with twins! Megan was so surprised since there was no history of twins in her family and her plans for her birth were quickly adjusted as well! Megan had already had two cesareans and had been considering a VBAC but when those two little heartbeats showed up, she immediately felt at peace with the decision to have another c section in a hospital setting.

Oct 27, 2016
99| Pregnancy and Birth with Type 1 Diabetes - Kate Taseff
36:54

Kate is a 35 year old Type 1 Diabetic, diagnosed at the age of 25. She's insulin dependent and uses a medtronic insulin pump and glucose sensor to manage her blood glucose. She was categorized with unexplained infertility, and after 5 years of trying conceived a baby through IVF (she was only able to transfer one embryo at a time to prevent the risk of carrying more than one baby as a Type 1 Diabetic), the third embryo (and their last) took and she now has a 5 week old son, Elliott Louis. It was a rough ride to manage her blood glucose, but with a great support team, medicine, and diet, she was able to keep tight control of her health and the baby's. Elliott weighed in at 9lbs. 7.2oz (Kate is 5'1 and 110 lbs) and was delivered through c-section after numerous failed attempts of induction. You can connect with Kate on Facebook, Instagram @katealana or Twitter @katetaseff.

Oct 25, 2016
98| A Midwife's Homebirth to Hospital Transfer Birth Story - Ami Burnham
49:21

I met today's guest, Ami, through my work with Why Not Home?—a documentary about medical professionals that choose to give birth at home. Ami is a midwife, RN, and IBCLC who had planned to have a homebirth with a midwife in attendance, but ended up needing to transfer to the hospital. I love this story because it is so positive despite things not going as Ami had originally planned.

Oct 20, 2016
97| Stillbirth and Rainbow Baby Birth Stories with Jenna Edwards
02:04:39

Today's birth story is with Jenna who also happens to be my best friend. First, she shares the story of her son Greyson's birth; Greyson was stillborn at almost 34 weeks gestation due to unknown causes. I was with Jenna when the doctor told us there was no heartbeat and walked with her in her grief for the days, weeks and months after his birth.

Her pregnancy with Greyson's little brother, Gavin, was so exciting but also very stressful for Jenna as she was always concerned about losing another baby. The day she and her husband, Adam, met their rainbow baby was a day they will never forget.

Oct 18, 2016
96| Dr. Jessica Zucker Shares her Miscarriage and Rainbow Baby Birth Stories
53:03

Jessica shares the story of her miscarriage at home, and her experience coming to terms with that unexpected loss of a child. She also shares her subsequent pregnancy and birth stories including the anxiety that often accompanies a pregnancy after loss, as well as the indescribable joy that came with welcoming her rainbow baby.

Oct 13, 2016
95| Hospital Births With & Without an Epidural - Ashley Woolsey
41:35

Ashley has had three hospital births. They were all different, and she became more and more informed about birth and her options each time. She had an epidural with her first and then was made to wait two hours for her doctor after being fully dilated and ready to push which resulted in a three day NICU stay for her daughter. With her next birth, she really didn't want to be induced but was ultimately scheduled for an induction. For her most recent birth she went in knowing she wanted a natural birth — listen to find out how it went.o find out how it went.

 

Oct 11, 2016
94| Mom & Midwife Share Birth Center Birth Story - Gisyra & Margaret
32:01

Today we have a unique episode featuring a mom, Gisyra, and her midwife, Margaret, sharing Gisyra's birth center birth story together. It's really neat to hear the perspective of the mom and her midwife and the beautiful bond they seem to have formed throughout her prenantal care and birth.

Oct 06, 2016
93| Pregnancy & Birth with Two Broken Legs - Mary Kathryn Johnson
43:32

On this episode, Mary shares the story of her pregnancy and birth with two broken legs. In her own words:

"Labor and delivery of a baby while I had two broken legs immobilized in casts up to the knee was messy and difficult, but what an experience! The casts couldn't fit in stirrups, and a water birth was out of the question unless I wanted the casts to dissolve and give my newborn something to chew on while he was delivered, so a nurse held up the pink cast, and my husband held up the blue one (we didn't know what we were having, so we hedged our bets).

Since I have a history of short labors, this one didn't disappoint, and 7 hours after my water broke, I had my newborn son, Riley. The most difficult part of the entire hospital experience was when the nurse took my Riley to the nursery to record all the measurements and vitals about 12 hours after he was born. I'm a paranoid new mom, so I had to follow her, and that involved moving at the speed of a turtle with the help of a walker after a natural birth that included an episiotomy.

My brain was obviously as immobile as my legs, because looking back now, I should have asked for a wheel chair...Oh well, I got the equivalent of a three hour spin class that day with labor, delivery and a tour of the maternity ward with the nursery being down the hall, up two floors in the elevator and down another hall, standing outside the door as the nurse did her job, then back to my room.

Phew!  All worth it with my beautiful, 7lb. 2oz. Smiley Riley!

My bodily fluids somehow found their way onto and inside my casts, so the cloud of smell that followed me everywhere I went became powerful and interesting until I got those casts changed finally two weeks later."

Oct 04, 2016
92| Indiana Adams' Pregnancy & Birth Stories (REBROADCAST)
35:29

This week on The Birth Hour were re-sharing an early favorite: Indiana Adams' three pregnancy & birth stories. She has had three homebirths and none of them have been void of excitement. Listen to Indiana tell them in her own words on this episode of The Birth Hour.

Sep 29, 2016
91| Homebirth in an RV - Zoe Racca
23:10

Zoe Racca shares her experience with pregnancy and planning a homebirth while traveling around the U.S. in an RV. She bought an RV sized birthing tub, installed a tankless water heater to provide enough warm water and gave birth to her son in the family RV with her two older children present.

Sep 27, 2016
90|Overcoming Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy: Two Hospital Births - Adanna Dill
25:40

Adanna had two wonderful birth experiences with her children. Her first child was born in 2010. Adanna and her husband prepared for the birth by attending Lamaze class and planned a natural birth. Adanna had gestational diabetes during this pregnancy and managed it with a strict diet. She was excited to give birth, but fearful, even with all of her preparations, so she decided to get an epidural when it was offered to her. It turned out to be a beautiful experience without any complications. She was very happy that her beautiful daughter was healthy, and that the birth was relatively easy after a tough pregnancy with gestational diabetes and severe morning sickness.


In 2013 Adanna gave birth to her second child, a baby boy. This time she opted to have him naturally without any pain medication. Adanna’s labor with her second child went really quickly and this time she had the full experience that she desired.

Sep 22, 2016
89| Birth Center followed by NICU Stay - Jenn Mehmke
48:52

Jenn shares the story of her daughter's birth which took place at a birth center in Montana. Her baby actually arrived within minutes of getting to the birth center. When she came out the cord was wrapped around her twice and she needed attention, an ambulance was called and she spent 9 days in the NICU. It was a very intense experience and there were a lot of unknowns but Rosemary is a very healthy one year old today! Jenn wanted to share her story to encourage other women who are walking the path of a NICU mom.

Sep 20, 2016
88| A Birth Photographer's Birth Story - Monet Moutrie
01:02:46

Today's birth story comes from mom of two, Monet Moutrie, who shares her experience giving birth at a birth center in Denver, Colorado. Monet comes to birth with the unique perspective of having photographed hundreds of births as a birth photographer—in other words she's pretty much seen it all! 

 

Sep 15, 2016
87| Surprise Homebirth in Japan + Great Hospital Birth - Brooke Bland
38:52

Brooke Bland has had three completely different birth experiences: a long and laborious hospital birth that looked much different than she’d hoped and planned for, a much shorter accidental homebirth while living in Japan on deployment, and a planned hospital birth, due to potential health concerns with the baby, that turned out lovelier than she could have imagined. In this episode she focuses mostly on her surprise homebirth in Japan and then her next birth, which took place at a hospital due to her baby's heart being on the "wrong side." Her baby ended up being totally fine and Brooke shares how wonderful the entire hospital birth experience was for her.

Brooke is currently living in Everett, WA with her husband and three children, ages 4, 2, and 7 months.  She is a speech pathologist by trade but has put that on hold to stay home with her little people.  She loves all things birth and baby, traveling the world, eating at new restaurants, and spends way too much time dreaming of remodeling homes.

Sep 13, 2016
86| Plus Size Pregnancy & Birth Story + Resources - Jen McLellan
46:58

Today's birth story features Jen McLellan of Plus Size Mommy Memoirs and Peachie Moms sharing her experience with pregnancy and birth as a plus size woman. Initially, she was very discouraged by what she found online regarding what she should expect as an expecting plus size mom. But through research and dedication, she found a supportive birthing team within a hospital midwifery practice, and ultimately had an empowering, beautiful, natural birth. Now she is is committed to helped all plus size moms be informed about their options and empowered in their births.

Jen McLellan is a published author and certified childbirth educator who advocates for plus size women. She promotes positive information to empower healthy decision making during pregnancy. Within her blog, Plus Size Mommy Memoirs, she helps women navigate the world of plus size pregnancy, shares tips for embracing your body, and laughs along with the adventures of motherhood. Her work has been featured in major publications such as Yahoo Shine, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, and International Doula. In addition, she co-authored the Amazon bestseller, The Peachie Moms Guide to Body Love for Moms. Jen is also a skilled patient advocate, professional speaker, wife, and mother to a charismatic 5 year old.

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Sep 08, 2016
85| A Postdates Birth at The Farm - Shelby Shankland
53:05

Shelby Shankland shares the story of her her daughter's hospital birth that initially left her feeling empowered, because she had overcome such a difficult experience. But as she processed it, she became more and more angry about the way her care was handled. When she became pregnant again, she knew she wanted a different experience and shares the story of her son Jack's waterbirth at The Farm birth center in Summertown, TN. She ended up going 3 weeks past her due date and faced some scary moments after her son was born, but she trusted fully in her midwives at The Farm and felt empowered after her birth. Read more about giving birth at the farm.

Shelby Shankland lives in East Tennessee with her husband, 8 yr old daughter, and 3 yr old son. Prior to moving to Tennessee, she lived in San Francisco for almost 20 years, having moved there to attend the Conservatory of Music, and stayed on working in various office jobs until switching careers to postpartum doula work and lactation counseling after the birth of her daughter. Shelby is now a Certified LifeWorks Life Coach, a Reiki II Certified Reiki Practitioner, project manager for a learning and development company, and professional flutist. She enjoys all of her various means of bringing home the bacon, but in particular enjoys coaching and empowering women.

Sep 06, 2016
84| Surrogacy: Carrying My Brother's Babies - Tiffany Burke
58:41

When Tiffany's sister-in-law had to have a hysterectomy after a postpartum hemorrhage with her first birth, Tiffany almost immediately offered to be their surrogate for a future child. After some time passed and lots of planning and discussion, they decided to go down the path of surrogacy with Tiffany carrying her brother and sister-in-laws next child. It turned out to be two babies instead of one and soon Tiffany was pregnant with their twin boys! In this episode Tiffany talks about the process of planning for this pregnancy, actually getting pregnant and finally giving birth to her brother's babies! It's a story of unconditional love and such a great listen!

Sep 01, 2016
83| Born in the Car Birth Story - Danielle Knapp
48:43

When I got the following message from Danielle Knapp, I was brought to tears knowing the affect that this podcast had had on her unexpected birth experience and knew I had to have her on the show!

Good afternoon, Bryn.

I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how impactful your podcast was for me!! I listened to your empowering birth stories almost everyday during my third trimester. I laughed and cried and clung to the hopes that I too would have an empowering birth. My first birth was in the hospital and it was 31 hours. An epidural in the last 3 hours after a goal of all natural. I felt defeated and 'less than' bc I couldn't do it.... Well, I gave birth almost three weeks ago to my second daughter. My plan was a to have a peaceful water birth at the Austin Birthing Center. Baby had other plans. I ended up delivering her myself... in the car... on the highway, while my husband was speeding to try to get us to the birthing center on time. I didn't even tell him bc I was afraid he would pull over or crash or I don't even know. I just quietly pulled her up on the back bench of our expedition. I feel like the collective confidence I absorbed through all those women's stories is why it happened the way it did. I was never fearful, and even in the most absurd circumstances, it was still a calm and peaceful experience for both me and my daughter. And best of all, I feel so empowered from the experience.

So thank you for doing what you do! I really am not sure how I would have handled a precipitous birth and highway delivery had I not had all those beautiful women on my mind!

Best,

Danielle

The Knapp's welcomed their first daughter, Piper Clementine on January 20th, 2013. It was a grueling 31 hour labor. Looking for a different experience, Danielle planned to give birth at The Austin Area Birthing Center for baby girl number two. After a precipitous birth, Posey James was born in the car, northbound on Interstate 35 on the way to the birth center in Austin.

Aug 25, 2016
82| Positive Hospital Birth with Midwife Birth Story - Christina Libby
46:49

Today's guest shares her experience giving birth in a hospital under the care of a midwife.

Christina Libby lives in Frankfort, KY with her husband, 15 month old son, Great Dane, and 2 cats. Christina has always been fascinated by pregnancy, birth, and babies. Growing up, her mother babysat in their home and she loved helping her—as she got older, she knew she wanted to work with young children and parents but never quite found a career path that felt like it fit. Into adulthood, she was always interested (sometimes overly interested) in her pregnant friends’ bellies, and was envious of everyone who got to attend a childbirth education class. She says that it wasn’t just that she wanted to eventually be a mother; she loved the whole process. She wanted to live in the world of bellies, birth, and babies. Through her own pregnancy and birth she entered that world and discovered she could stay as a doula.

In her own words, Christina shares a bit about her experience as a doula participating in the world of birth: "I find that as a new birth worker I tell the story of how I came to birth work quite lot. But I try to keep my birth story out of my birth worker story as much as possible. I don’t want my clients to feel compelled to compare their story to mine or to worry that I am judging them based on my birth. And since I can’t control people’s thoughts (yet…), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping my birth out of the picture helps both of us keep the focus on the birthing person and what they want. However, I also feel very strongly about people sharing their birth stories. Especially in our society where so much fear and negativity surround birth and positive birth stories are seen as exceptions or “lucky” or shouted down as bragging or preaching. All we can do is speak from a place of compassion and authenticity. This is my experience."

Aug 18, 2016
81| Hospital Sponsored Homebirth Program in Australia - Lizzie Mills
38:49

Lizzie Mills, is a young wife and mother from Melbourne, Australia who is passionate about birth and shares the birth story of her daughter who was born at home via a hospital sponsored homebirthing program with midwives. In this episode she discusses how this system worked as well as how her pregnancy went and ultimately the amazing waterbirth she had with her husband in the tub as support.

Aug 11, 2016
80| Difficult Pregnancy, Redemptive Birth Story - Lauren Hartmann
41:10

Lauren Hartmann shared her daughter's birth center birth and her son's homebirth on Episode 11 of The Birth Hour. Her son Clive's birth was 19 hours long with 4 hours of pushing and he weighed over 10.5 pounds with a 15 inch head! After Clive's birth Lauren felt defeated and didn't have that same sense of empowerment that she did after her first birth. When she found out she was expecting baby number three, she knew that giving birth at home no longer felt right to her after what she had been through with Clive's birth. She explored possibly giving birth at a hospital but didn't appreciate the model of care there so she ended up going back to the birth center where she had had such a beautiful birth with her daughter, Fern.

Despite a very stressful pregnancy where she and her husband were informed half way through that their daughter had some soft markers for Downs Syndrome, Lauren made it to her due date and was ready to meet their baby girl. She tells this third birth story as being redemptive in so many ways and restoring her beliefs about birth.

Aug 04, 2016
79| Giving Birth in America as a Black Woman - Denene Millner
50:15

Today's birth story features Denene Millner, who is sharing her experience giving birth to her daughter at a teaching hospital in Harlem, NY. Denene had a doctor that she loved, the support of her husband and made plans ahead of time for what she thought would be a great hospital birth experience. Unfortunately, she was treated like a second class citizen for the majority of her time at the hospital. In this episode, she shares her story and discusses some of the issues that many black women face when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth in America.

Jul 28, 2016
78| Jamie Ivey's Birth & Adoption Stories
49:59

Today's guest is Jamie Ivey who is sharing her birth story and three adoption stories. Her son Cayden was born in a hospital and while it was a good experience overall, Jamie says if she were to get pregnant again today, she would've done some things differently. Jamie felt strongly that she and her husband should adopt a baby not too long after Cayden was born and went down the path of domestic adoption to welcome their second son, Deacon. They adopted Deacon as a newborn and were present at the hospital for his birth. Jamie talks about how she planned to practice adoptive breastfeeding with Deacon and although he did latch on right away, it ultimately wasn't feasible long term with what was going on with their family at the time.

A few years later they felt called to adopt again and this time internationally from Haiti. The adoption process was much longer than they had initially anticipated and while they were matched with two children fairly quickly the finalization of the adoptions was a complicated and a long process. Jamie and her husband, Aaron, took turns visiting their kids in Haiti but it got harder and harder on both them and their children each time they had to say goodbye. Their daughter, Story, ended up coming home before their son, Amos even though they had been living together with the same family in Haiti.

Things changed suddenly when the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti and after being relieved of the initial concern of whether Amos was safe, they quickly found out that his adoption was going to be allowed to be finalized here in the States and that after 2.5 years of waiting, he'd be coming home to them immediately and their family would finally all be together. Watch this beautiful video to see them travel to Florida to bring him home and listen to Jamie's episode of The Birth Hour to hear her tell the entire story.

Jul 21, 2016
77| Hospital VBAC Birth Story - Elizabeth Quinn
01:03:03

Elizabeth Quinn is married to Percy and they are raising their children in Jackson, Mississippi. Her daughters are Chesley Cox, 7 years old, Anderson Lillian ‘Anders’ 5 years old, and Adella Calhoon 2.5 years old and they just had baby number four — a son, Sims McCallum! Elizabeth Quinn returns to The Birth Hour to share her most recent birth story with baby Sims. Elizabeth had two cesareans and then a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and is really involved in the birth community in Jackson. She is super passionate about being educated about birth and helping women who have had c sections to know their options.

Jul 14, 2016
76| Hospital Birth Story: Being a Self Advocate and Using a Doula - Kristin Sanders
40:28

Today's birth story podcast guest shares how she planned ahead for her hospital birth by doing research, setting intentions and hiring a doula. Kristin's number one goal was not to have a cesarean and she educated herself on many of the ways to avoid a c secti0n and used that knowledge to self advocate with the help of her doula throughout her labor that lasted over 24 hours.

Jul 07, 2016
75| Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Birth Story - Barbara Demske
01:04:17

In today's birth story episode, Barbara Demske shares her experience having a cesarean and then a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with her next baby. Her cesarean was a really traumatic experience which she feared for her life during and after suffering through that, she knew she wanted to have a VBAC.

Jun 30, 2016
74| Giving Birth in South Africa - Katrina Meek
21:32

Today's guest is Katrina Meek who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cesarean rates are extremely high in many parts of South Africa, similar to in Brazil but Katrina knew she wanted a natural birth. After having her first child at a birth center, she decided to plan a homebirth with her second. She faced a great deal of resistance from friends and acquaintances regarding her decision but she ultimately knew it was the perfect birth experience for her.

Leave Katrina a comment on her show notes page.

Connect with me on Instagram @thebirthhour!

Jun 23, 2016
73| L&D Nurse Shares Hospital, Birth Center, and Homebirth Birth Stories - Sarah Villareal
01:03:19

Today’s guest is Sarah Villareal who is an L&D (labor and delivery) nurse and mother. She is going to share all three of her birth stories, starting from when she found out she was pregnant, and why she chose to have natural births (one in the hospital, one at a birth center, and one at home) each time.

Sarah says “I am the Mother to 3 amazing children: Arraya (9), Harbor (4), and Solay (17 months).  I am married to the love of my life, my soulmate and the guy who keeps life interesting and always funny, Justin. We have been together for 11 years.  We are most certainly partners and share in the responsibility of raising this family.  I am a full time Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery and love my job with all my heart.  I love being able to support women through what ever type of birth they wish to have, and then also supporting them when the plans need to change.

Jun 16, 2016
72| Hospital Births with Midwife and Doula - Victoria Easter Wilson
47:58

In this birth story episode, Victoria Easter Wilson shares her two hospital births attended by midwives. The first birth was kind of overwhelming for her husband so when they were pregnant with their second daughter they spent some time processing the first birth story and preparing more this time by hiring a doula. This is a great episode if you want to hear some positive hospital birth experiences - I mean check out that tub and bar she got to use at the hospital!

Victoria is a wife and WAHM​ ​who​ ​thinks the Internet can be used for good and not evil if you have the right intentions​. ​She is a new doula and birth educator, passionate about supporting women in their motherhood journeys. When she's able to sneak away from​ t​he busyness​ ​for a few hours, you can find her enjoying a pretty latte and the company of a friend...also probably talking about birth. Connect with her on Instagram.

Jun 09, 2016
71| Preventing Early Labor from 28 Weeks - April Brooks
50:56

April Brooks was hospitalized for over a month after going into early labor at just 28 weeks gestation. In this episode, April discusses life living in a hospital for two months with over a month of that being on bed rest. She also shares her son's birth story who was born at 34 weeks and spent 16 days in the NICU. Her son Aemon is now a healthy, happy one year old!

April shares her reasons for coming on the podcast, "As a first time mom in a stressful situation with premature labour, I really do understand how hard it is to get through while keeping positive. I really hope my story can help other woman who are going through the same or a like experience. I think it would have helped me to know that I wasn't completely alone; In those couple months I felt incredibly alone and unclear about what my job was as a mom "Am I making the right choices?" "Am I the only one who has had to go through this?" I want mothers to know that they are NOT alone and there is always someone you can talk to. My province here in Canada has a preemie group on Facebook where moms can all talk about their struggles, stories and accomplishments. I suggest looking into that to see if there is one near you! I have a Blog which I have recently started up which also talks about life after, during and before birth."

Jun 02, 2016
70| Giving Birth in Sweden - Sandra Pettersson
58:46

Sandra is a life lover living in Umeå in the north of Sweden. She is a mother of three boys, Shambo 5, Noah 2 and Moses 4 months. Her first two births took place at home and the third in a hospital.

Sandra is a teacher and forever student of yoga, and she in training to become a birth doula. She is also in the process of launching her website lifemother.com, a place to share, inspire and connect with other women on the sacred journey of motherhood. You can check out Sandra's new website LifeMother or connect with her on Instagram.

May 31, 2016
69| Born Before Arrival - Nicolette Gawthrop
01:02:51

This episode of The Birth Hour features Nicolette Gawthrop who was on the podcast previously sharing her first birth story. You can listen to that birth story and read her bio here, you can connect with her on Instagram @ozarkmamadeer. Nicolette just had her third birth, another planned homebirth which was rather fast with baby Maribell arriving before Nico's midwives arrived. They arrived shortly after and were there for the afterbirth care. In a lovely Instagram post after her birth, Nicolette talks a bit about how important midwifery care is and was to her even though in the actual moment of birth it was just her and her husband.

May 26, 2016
68| Hospital Birth: Creating Sacred Space - Paula Mallis
39:35

Paul is a mother, doula, yoga teacher, meditation guide and facilitator of women circles living in Venice, California.

When she was pregnant with her daughter, Madeleine, and traveling on her own journey into motherhood, something shifted within her. She experienced a spiritual awakening that allowed her the opportunity to choose a more conscious way to approach her life as a woman and mother. In her yoga practice, she blends together her experience as a mother, her expertise as a doula and her extensive training in yoga, as a meditation guide and facilitator. Sharing what she knows and supporting women as they make their own journey into motherhood is her deepest passion. You can connect with her on her website or Instagram.

May 24, 2016
67| Empowering Homebirth Story - Bethanne Wanamaker
42:57

Bethanne Wanamaker is a certified holistic nutrition educator, and the founder of Edible Goddess, an international conscious lifestyle brand that cares deeply about your empowerment. She teaches progressive strategies that awaken you to your highest potential by following the body's inherent wisdom, and with an intentional mindset, daily self-care rituals, and radical self-love. Be sure to check out the show notes page, and follow us on Instagram.

 

May 19, 2016
66| Hospital Birth vs Birth Center Birth - Karyssa Pacheco
20:56

Karyssa and her husband grew up in the Seattle area and are now raising their own family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Karyssa has known she wanted to be a mother since she was very young so she and her husband started trying for a family right away and now have two girls who are currently 2.5 years and 8 months old. After giving birth to her babies, Karyssa became fascinated with what women's amazing bodies are capable of and she hopes to become a doula herself.

 

See pictures and read more here.

 

Follow on Instagram for updates and gorgeous birth photos on the regular! 

May 17, 2016
65| From Homebirth on a Farm to Hospital Birth
52:45

Amanda Moon Callahan lives in the woods with her family on a small farm in Upstate SC. They grow chickens, pigs, donkeys, and on the occasion, babies. Their first child, Aria Daphne is 3.5 and she just had her second. Other than farming and parent life, Amanda works full time at the local domestic violence shelter and spends all her free time cooking up delicious home grown food.

May 12, 2016
64| Mini Sessions from the 4th Trimester Bodies Project Conference
40:57

In April I attended the 4th Trimester Bodies Project's conference Body.Breast.Baby in Portland, OR and recorded mini sessions with a bunch of the attendees to put together this special episode of The Birth Hour.

In this episode they all answer the same three questions:

What is the first moment you felt like you'd become a mother?

What one moment do you remember most from your birth?

What's one piece of advice you'd give to a pregnant or new mother?

Listen to this compilation of all of their responses! We'll be back on Thursday with another full birth story episode.

May 10, 2016
63| Christy Turlington Shares her Birth Stories & Passion for Maternal Health
43:20

In this episode of The Birth Hour, Christy shares Grace and Finn's birth stories and the reasons that she is so passionate about maternal health. She says, "I became a global maternal healthcare advocate the day I became a mother 12 years ago. That was the day I also became a statistic. Within an hour of delivering my daughter I hemorrhaged. If not for the competent care of a team of providers that included a doula, midwife nurses and backing OB, I might not be here today."

May 05, 2016
62| Joni Edelman's Homebirth Transfer Story
34:43

Today's guest is Joni Edelman, who shares the story of her mostrecent birth which was a planned homebirth that ended in a hospitaltransfer. She talks not only about the labor and birth but aboutthe emotions behind not having the birth that she had dreamed of.She recently iwrote an article titled My Labor And Birth Didn't Go As Planned — And No,I'm Not 'Over' It   and received quite a bit ofbacklash for it.

May 03, 2016
61| Hospital Birth Story with Retained Placenta - Bricia Lopez
27:08

Bricia shares her hospital birth story and all of the preparation she did prior to the birth and although the birth went very much like she had hoped, her placenta didn’t come and she had to be taken to the OR. Listen to her tell her whole story in her own words.

Bricia is a partner at Guelaguetza, LA’s temple for Oaxacan cuisine.  She has become a staunch proponent of Oaxacan culture and an integral figure in the gastronomic culture of Los Angeles.  Her blog, moleandmore.com reaches a wide audience of young people in search of cooking tips and cultural experiences.  Her and her family’s story have been featured in a number of multi-media national and international publications.

Bricia was also recently invited to the White house to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama and eight other of the country’s business leaders on immigration and economic issues.  She has also spoken of young immigrant issues in front of Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Bricia also co-hosts Super Mamas Podcast alongside her sister where new, experienced and expecting mothers come together to exchange knowledge and support. Connect with her on Instagram.

Apr 28, 2016
60| U.K. Mama Uses Yoga Practice in Birth - Tammy Mittell
40:57

Tammy gave birth in the UK and was in active labour with her son Milo for 24 hours. Tammy credits her yoga practice prior getting pregnant for getting her through such a long and arduous birth.

Tammy is a Senior Yoga Alliance certified Yoga Teacher & Therapist with over 1000 hours of training. She's practiced yoga since the age of 14 and has been teaching for 8 years. She considers herself a life-long yoga student and teaches a wide range of people -- from professional football players, cage fighters and snowboarders to pregnant ladies, children and senior citizens. She is passionate about inspiring and nurturing the intuitive and creative powers that are innate within women at all stages of the female life cycle including menstruation, conceiving, pregnancy and postpartum. She believes that yoga practice teaches that there is so much potency and wisdom available to women when they really open up to exploring it. You can connect with Tammy on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter or visit her website.

Apr 26, 2016
59| Empowering Water Birth Story - Cassie Walek
32:19

In today's birth story episode Cassie Walek shares the story of her daughter's water birth which was an empowering experience that has left her wanting to pursue a career working with pregnant and new mothers

 

Apr 21, 2016
58| C Section & VBAC Birth Stories - Erica Fleischer
36:12

Erica Fleischer lives in Chicago and is a mom to two girls ages 4.5 and 21 months. Her first daughter was born via c-section and Erica had a difficult emotional recovery from it. She quickly found ICAN and 3 years later had a successful unmedicated VBAC. With both babies she suffered from low milk supply but found different ways of handling it with each baby. In this episode she shares both of her birth experiences and how they affected her both physically and emotionally.

Erica's day job is as government policy analyst but she truly enjoys helping other moms as a co-leader of ICAN of Chicago and through writing. You can see links to Erica's published writing on her website ericafleischer.com

Apr 14, 2016
57| Lindsey Shipley's Birth Story
35:40

Today's birth story guest is Lindsey Shipley who is sharing the story of her daughter's birth. Towards the end of her pregnancy Lindsey noticed a lack of fetal movement one day and knew she needed to go in to the doctor. When she was hooked up to a non stress test, she was told that her daughter was in distress and needed to be delivered immediately via cesarean. Her husband was out of town and had to FaceTime in to witness the birth. The experience wasn't at all what Lindsey was expecting but she trusted her intuition and her body and brought her daughter into the world safely. As an L&D nurse and lactation consultant, Lindsey has a unique perspective on her own birth experiences which I thoroughly enjoyed hearing.

Apr 12, 2016
56| Lynzy Coughlin Hospital Birth Stories & Postpartum Journey
35:29

Todays's The Birth Hour podcast guest is Lynzy Coughlin who lives in the Northeast with her husband and two daughters. She is also the editor behind Lynzy & Co., a blog that she created quite awhile ago as a creative outlet to her job in the ER. In this episode she shares her two hospital birth experiences including details like the crazy drive to the hospital, epidurals that only halfway took and her outlook on the whole experience as an ER physician's assistant. Lynzy and I also had a great conversation covering helpful information about her postpartum and breastfeeding journeys. 

Apr 07, 2016
55| Hypnobirthing & Homebirth - Kayley Vise
26:01

Kayley Vise is from the Central Florida area. She is 25 years old and helps people with taxes for a living. Her passion for all things birth started with her best friend, when she she had the opportunity to attend her homebirth about 2 1/2 years ago. Kayley feels that her real calling for life is to be active in the birthing world. She loved her pregnancy and birth and thinks of it often. She utilized hypnobirthing, and it worked wonderfully for her so she encourages women all around her to use it and to know they are powerful. 

Apr 05, 2016
54| Two Positive Hospital Birth Stories - Christy Knutson
36:54

Christy Lee Knutson is a communications and creative professional at MoxieSpeak.com. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband (Jon), two children, Annazalie and Bennet, and 2 cats. She is also the founder of BirthMemoirs.com and the creator of Your Birth Story Journals. 

In this episode, Christy shares her birth stories, both in a hospital, and both with the same birth team. Christy had positive experiences both times which she attributes to planning ahead, choosing a birth team she felt comfortable with and confident in, and using a hospital friendly to midwives, doulas, and especially, babies. 

Mar 31, 2016
53| A Canadian Homebirth Birth Story - Natasha Grey
22:19

In this episode, Natasha Grey shares the story of her homebirth in Ontario, Canada. Natasha holds a deep belief that nature designed women to birth babies naturally; and so with this belief, she trusted her body and baby to do what was natural and she gave birth naturally and comfortably to a baby boy two years ago in their home. Natasha empowers, educates and inspires women everywhere to also take hold of their powerful abilities to birth the way they choose, which is a woman’s natural ability!

Mar 29, 2016
52| An Island Pregnancy and Birth Story - Rachel Kessler
47:39

Rachel is a new mom to a little boy named Rónán and she owns and operates a small batch hand spun, plant dyed yarn business on Etsy called 44Clovers. In this episode, Rachel shares the story of the birth of her son, who was 3 weeks and 3 days early. She delivered in a wonderful birth center in the nearest town called The Birthplace with a doula, midwife, nurse and her husband.

Mar 24, 2016
51| Midwifery Within Hospital Birth Story - Lauren Barlis
36:28

Lauren Barlis is a teacher. She got her start teaching 10th grade English in Baltimore County and now teaches other teachers and administrators how to build powerful effective partnerships with the parents of their students. She is married to a wonderful man who also works with her at Step Up For Students, an education non-profit in Florida that provides scholarships to low-income families who want to send their children to private school. She has a daughter, Josie, who is 16 months old. She is also expecting a son, Benjamin, in May 2016. 

Mar 22, 2016
50| "Jen Loves Kev" Shares Her Birth Stories - Jen Lula
37:51

Today's birth story guest is Jen Lula who is a mama to two girls and one newborn baby boy living in the Northeast where she runs a blog called Jen Loves Kev sharing everything that she's passionate about; she's an adventure seeking, art loving, fashion obsessed, stay at home mom. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Mar 17, 2016
49| Jamie Dorobek's Birth Center Birth Story
22:36

Today's guest is Jamie Dorobek who is sharing the birth story of her son Maxwell who was born at a birth center in Austin, Texas. Jamie discusses her decision to have a natural birth and the speedy delivery of her son after arriving at the birth center. Jamie shared this story while she was VERY pregnant with baby #2 and has since given birth to a daughter as well!

Mar 15, 2016
48|A 36 Week Preemie Birth Story
20:39

In this episode of The Birth Hour, Ashley Gartland shares her preemie birth story. She went into labor with her daughter, Kennedy, after her water broke a little before 36 weeks into her pregnancy, and she shares her experience giving birth and caring for a late term preemie.

Mar 10, 2016
47| A Brazilian Mama's Natural Birth Story - Andrea Takacs-Carvalho
38:56

In this episode, Andrea shares the birth story of her son, a natural birth in a birth center. Andrea discusses the commonality of c-sections in Brazil and how she chose a different birth for herself. She also shares helpful insight on the postpartum experience. 

Andrea organizes Women Circles in NYC. She is a Shaman practitioner, environmentalist, and vegan mama. Andrea facilitates emotional healing for women and Mother Earth. She recommends pregnant women and mothers to connect with other mamas and mamas to be through support groups, platforms like this podcast, and social medial like Tribe de Mama. Also Aviva Romm books are fantastic resources from pregnancy through postpartum. You can connect with Andrea on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or on her website The Gaia Healer.

 

Mar 08, 2016
46| Planned C Section for Breech Baby Birth Story - Paige Aaron
47:16

Paige lives in Northern California where she is a stay at home mom to her 17 month old son. She had him via planned c-section due to his breech position and was excited to for the opportunity to share her experience and encourage other moms who may find themselves preparing for a planned c-section. (Spoiler alert: she loved it.) She enjoys any time she can get to be creative and crafty. You can catch her blogging periodically at TheRampaige.com. 

 

Mar 03, 2016
45| Gestational Carrier Birth Story - Sarah Tuttle & Kara Ford
01:13:06

Today's birth story podcast episode features Sarah Tuttle and her gestational carrier, turned great friend, Kara Ford. I had the chance to interview both of them and hear the story of how they found one another, how they made the decision to have Kara carry Sarah's babies and the births of Sarah and her husband, Chris' sweet twin girls. 

 

Mar 01, 2016
44| A Birth Story at The Farm, founded by Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives - Laura Dearman
30:00

Today's guest is Laura Dearman who is sharing her birth story that took place at The Farm in Summertown, TN.

Laura Dearman is a mom to three children ages 7, 5 and 2. She has experienced a wide range of birth experiences from a mainstream hospital birth, homebirth with a postpartum hospital transfer, natural miscarriage at home and a 3 week stay at The Farm in Summertown, TN for the birth of her youngest. 

In her native Mississippi, Laura was a birth activist focused on birth options and midwifery care, including a short time as a professional doula and childbirth educator. Now living in sunny Florida, Laura is dedicated to helping women successfully breastfeed as a volunteer accredited La Leche League Leader. Laura wrote a little more about the history of The Farm and her reasons for choosing to give birth there in a blog post for The Birth Hour.

Feb 25, 2016
43| Giving Birth at Home in Australia - Cassandra Casillas-Smith
32:09

In this episode Cassandra Casillas-Smith tells the her birth story of having a homebirth in Australia. She describes the midwifery model of care and her experience as an expat in Australia of planning for and going into labor and ultimately giving birth at home. If you want to hear another set of birth stories that took place in Australia, listen to Shalome Doran's episodes which also feature a homebirth in Australia and one of her experiences was even an orgasmic birth.

Feb 23, 2016
42| Hospital Birth, Homebirth, and Unassisted Birth turned C Section - Katie Vigos
01:07:14

Katie Vigos of Empowered Birth Project is a mom to three boys and wife to her husband of nine years. She shares her hospital birth, homebirth, and her most recent birth which was a planned unassisted home birth that ended with an emergency c section.

 

Feb 18, 2016
41| Pregnancy After PCOS - Marissa Lawton Shares her Pregnancy & Birth Stories
31:01

Today's birth story episode features Marissa Lawton who discusses getting pregnant with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and dealing with fertility treatments. Marissa is a military spouse and discusses the experience she had giving birth at a military hospital. She experienced vast differences between the day and night shift of doctors and nurses and was in labor for over 30 hours.

Marissa also discusses the anxiety she dealt with about infertility, about whether a fertilized egg would be viable, how many babies she would carry and whether her baby would be healthy throughout her pregnancy.

She also explains that her anxiety also caused her to make birth choices she probably wouldn’t have otherwise. For instance, she wanted a natural birth, and did deliver vaginally, but was induced (41 and 5) with pitocin and ended up having an epidural after feeling unsupported by some of the hospital staff. Marissa also dealt with a strong nesting instinct that manifested almost like OCD.

She was apply to rely on prenatal yoga to help with anxiety and practiced it all throughout her pregnancy and wishes she could have listened to her yoga training during labor including bodywork over what the doctors were saying that didn't feel right.

Feb 16, 2016
40| Powerful and Sacred Birth Stories - Elise Kirkpatrick
28:01

Today's birth stories features Elise sharing her birth center and homebirth experiences. Her first birth at the birth center, although empowering, was not what she was expecting. With her son she carefully planned for and had what she describes as a sacred birth experience.

Gypsy mama Elise and her tiny tribe currently call the islands of Hawai'i home, although they are travel junkies most of the year. Elise whole heartedly believes in natural birth, gentle-playful parenting, and living life to the fullest! She is passionate about sharing her experiences birthing her two babes, which she believes inspires the way she now lives her life. Everything in life comes back to the breath.

Feb 11, 2016
39| Birth Center and Twin Birth Stories - Jesse Coulter
56:15

Today's episode features Jesse Coulter, who is going to share the birth stories of both her son, born at a birth center, and her twins who were born vaginally in a hospital. The twins' birth story is fast and furious as they arrived before the hospital staff even had a chance to put the IV in Jesse.

Jesse Coulter is a wife and mom of a 3 year old boy and newborn boy/girl twins. She is a full-time marketing professional by day and blogger by night. She blogs at JesseCoulter.net about DIY projects, fashion, marriage, motherhood, travel and more. You can also connect with her @JesseCoulter on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. "

Feb 09, 2016
38| 45 and Pregnant, A Homebirth Story - Liz Angeles
21:48

Liz Angeles is a massage therapist, aspiring wellness coach and the published author of 45 and Pregnant: How I Conceived & Delivered Naturally and today she is sharing her unexpected journey of becoming a mom at age 45 and her decision to have a peaceful water birth at home. 

Feb 04, 2016
37| Dori Varga of Tribe de Mama Shares Her Birth Story
37:04

Dori Varga is the mama to Noah and wife to Adam. Originally from Hungary she is living in California where she founded TRIBE de MAMA, now a global movement. Dori tells the story of her son's birth which was planned to take place within a birth center and after 30 hours of labor she was transferred to the adjoining hospital.

Feb 02, 2016
36| Giving Birth In Russia - Daria Lazovskaya
21:05

Daria Lazovskaya is sharing three birth stories, all of which took place in  Russia. Daria was born in Siberia, raised in Sochi, and is currently living in Moscow. Her three children were born in Sochi which is more rural than Moscow, and I was very surprised at how birth takes place in a Russian hospital. Listening to her stories, it was like I was traveling back in time 60 years in the United States. Their approach to birth is very medicalized and institutionalized. There is very little attention paid to prenatal care, and the majority of women give birth alone with the medical staff and are generally not allowed to have their partner or another support person in the room with them.

Daria's did mention that there were more options available in Moscow and suggested that any expats living in Russia try to get to a major city like Moscow for their births. You can connect with Daria on Instagram @feedthezoo.

Jan 28, 2016
35| Miranda Anderson's Three Birth Stories
01:17:10

In this episode, Miranda shares her three very different birth stories featuring the Bradley Method, an epidural, and water birth. Miranda Anderson is a wife and mom of three living in Austin, Texas. She is also a seamstress, compulsive DIY-er, believer, and adventurer, who shares stories and tips for living a simple, creative life on her blog One Little Minute. She also teaches local craft and sewing workshops in Austin. In what feels like a former life, Miranda graduated with a degree in nursing and worked several years as a nurse diabetes educator. She loves her family, food, and the next project, whatever it may be.  

Jan 26, 2016
34| VBAC After C Section - Kacey Nelkin Pedersen
46:17

Kacey shares the birth stories of her two boys. After her first birth resulted in an unplanned c-section, Kacey felt that so much was missing from her birth experience.  It wasn't until she found out that she was expecting again that she realized just how traumatic that experience was and how badly she wanted to have a vaginal birth the second time, if possible.

Jan 21, 2016