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.
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).
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kathleen shares the stories of her two children's births. Her daughter was born via emergency c section and although Kathleen was trying for a VBAC with her son he was also born via c section in an even more emergency situation. These experiences left Kathleen feeling like something was missing from her motherhood journey and she talks about working through that in this episode. You can connect with Kathleen at Kapachino or on Instagram.
Welcome to The Birth Hour! Sarah went into her first childbirth experience expecting a vaginal birth and ended up with a cesarean. Find out about the series of events that led to Sarah's emergency c-section in this week's episode of The Birth Hour.