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.
Nicole’s first birth was a positive, peaceful experience. She gave birth in a hospital with an OB she trusted, and felt that having an epidural helped her to relax and be present as she brought her daughter into the world.
Nicole’s second birth was only 16 months after the first. Her plan going into the birth was to do things about the same as the first time... which ended up with a-less-than-magical birth experience. Nicole was in love with her son, but also knew that she hoped she could get a chance to have a different kind of birth experience.
Nicole decided to be a gestational surrogate, and carried twins for two international dads. She was able advocate for herself and to have the unmedicated twin birth she hoped for at the hospital where she works, and had a great birth and surrogacy experience.
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.
For today's episode, we're revisiting Scarlet's powerful hospital birth story.
Scarlet originally planned to give birth at a birth center, but those plans changed close to the end of her pregnancy when she received a gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis.Still, Jane’s birth was a very powerful, intense, yet rewarding experience. At 41.5 weeks, Scarlet's labor started in the middle of the night and progressed quickly, but stalled after her hospital check-in. Scarlet's doctor ended up breaking her water, which jump-started her labor again, and her daughter, Jane, was born soon after. A retained placenta led to a manual extraction and extra blood loss; but, everyone went home healthy the next day. But only 4 days later, Scarlet's family was back in the doctor’s office due to a thyroid problem that showed up on Jane’s newborn screen.
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.
Trystan and Biff adopted their niece and nephew (both survivors of an abusive situation), and that story was featured on WNYC's parenting podcast, The Longest Shortest Time. Suddenly, the young couple found themselves sharing the lessons they learned, becoming parents under such stressful circumstances, with many people across the country. Then they decided to grow their family by having their own biological child—one that Trystan carried and birthed himself. As a transgender man, he has all the parts necessary to give birth in a safe manner. He stopped taking his hormones, and he and Biff successfully conceived and had a beautiful, happy baby.
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.