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.
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!
On this episode, Bianca shares the birth story of her daughter, the ups and downs of her 72-hour labor, and suffering postpartum depression.
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.
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.
On this episode, Chamblee shares the surgery and birth stories of her daughter, who was diagnosed with spina bifada.
On this episode, Jen, a trained doula, shares two birth stories and her experience with loss.
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!
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.
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.
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.
On this episode, Nicole shares her four very different birth stories.
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.
Gina Giordano, of Doula Training International, shares her homebirth-cesarean and homebirth-VBAC birth stories.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.