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…
Desiree delivered her triplets at 34 weeks 1 day, her goal date. Her babies were all about 5 pounds each. Unfortunately, Desiree had some complications after her delivery. She hemorrhaged and needed blood transfusions. Her delivery was certainly not what she anticipated, but she is thankful she and her babies were safe.
On this episode, Ali shares her story of getting pregnant via IUI and delivering a surprise breech baby via c-section at a teaching hospital.
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!
Scarlet was surprised, but excited, to find she was pregnant with her second child after it took 10 months to conceive their first. Her two pregnancies and births were different in almost every way, except for another unfortunate gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis. Still, mom and baby remained healthy throughout the pregnancy. Labor surprised them by starting 3 days before her due date (Scarlet was 9 days late with her first), and only lasted for 2.5 hours. Her OB arrived just minutes before baby Lucy was born! Scarlet was able to avoid another manual placenta extraction and blood loss, and everyone went home healthy the next day - a very happy ending to a completely different pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
What began as a rather typical pregnancy ended in a slightly complicated birth. Nicole was one week past her due date, and had an induction scheduled, when she went into labor in the early hours of her birthday. She labored at home for six hours before she and her husband Christopher made their way to the hospital.
After suffering a chemical pregnancy, Nikkie was determined to learn more about her birthing options and to become an advocate for her own healthcare. As a result, she chose to have her first child at home. After four hours of pushing, her baby boy was born, but her placenta was retained and would not deliver naturally. She was transferred by ambulance to the local hospital where medical staff attempted to extract the placenta manually; but, they only managed to remove half, which caused her to hemorrhage. Nikki had to undergo general anesthesia to have her placenta successfully removed. After a double blood transfusion, she was sent home, with her baby boy, to recover. The whole experience was in stark contrast to the low-intervention home birth she’d hoped for.
Two years later, Nikkie discovered she was pregnant again, but when the results of her 10-week blood test came back abnormal, she learned that the blood transfusion she’d received in the hospital had caused her body to create an antigen that could put her pregnancy at risk. Thankfully, her baby girl did not carry this antigen and her pregnancy ended up being normal. Through hypnobirthing, Nikkie was able to overcome her birthing fears created by the trauma following her son’s delivery. In an empowering and healing hospital birth, Addison was born in under three hours on a beautiful day in May.
Andrea used hypnobirthing for her two births. Her births were similar in that they both lasted about 8 hours with 20 minutes of pushing. Her first birth to her daughter ended with meconium presenting and a third degree tear. Her second birth was started via induction. After a failed epidural, Andrea gave birth to a surprisingly huge 10lb 12oz boy.
Larissa shares two birth stories: a non-emergency c-section w/ a traumatic week of complications following birth; and, a redemptive, healing VBAC birth w/ zero complications.