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.
On this replay, Elspeth tells the story of her second birth, a VBAC.
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!
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.
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.
Elizabeth Quinn tells the stories of her third birth, a VBA2C.
Elizabeth Quinn tells the stories of her first two births, which were unplanned c-sections.
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…
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!