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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On this episode, Jenn shares the story of how she advocated for, and successfully had, a vaginal twin breech birth.
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
On this episode, Erika discusses her three pregnancies and the birth of her son.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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."
On this episode, Bianca shares the birth story of her daughter, the ups and downs of her 72-hour labor, and suffering postpartum depression.
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.
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.
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.