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.
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.
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.
After planning a calm birth center birth with no interventions, Nalani found herself in a hospital setting being induced after her water broke prematurely.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On this episode, Caitlin shares the story of her second birth, an empowering VBAC.
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.
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.
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.