Katie trained to be a doula 6 months before becoming unexpectedly pregnant on her honeymoon. She always knew she wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth, and switched care providers from an OB practice to a birth center at 30 weeks. She and her husband took hypnobirthing classes while she was pregnant, and they hired their hypnobirthing instructor as a doula. Though labor and birth didn’t progress as she had imagined (does it ever?), she achieved the goal of bringing her baby into the world in a peaceful, sacred, empowering environment, surrounded by love. You can watch her birth video here.
Sarah returns to share the birth of her second child.
Sarah gave birth to Braxton Rainwater on July 15th, 2018 at 4:36 a.m., after almost 27 hours of unmedicated labor. Braxton was born at 40 weeks and 5 days gestation. Sarah started labor at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Contractions faded in and out all day Saturday, and active labor started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Sarah met her midwife (Stephanie) at the hospital around 8:00 p.m. Labor moved slowly, only progressing a centimeter every few hours. Her waters broke at 12:30 a.m. and Braxton was born at 4:36 a.m.
Sarah was able to labor however she needed, utilizing the birth ball, bathtub, and shower. The nursing staff was amazingly supportive of Sarah’s birth wishes and cheered her on every step of the way!
After Shannon found out she was pregnant with her first, there was no question that she wanted an unmedicated, untouched birth. The questions were: where, and with who.
Lindsey shares her birth center, hospital, and homebirth stories ... and about having twins TWICE! Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.
Rachel shares her experiences preparing for and giving birth at home, as well as her struggles with breastfeeding and low milk supply, and using a supplemental nursing system with both of her sons. Looking back, she wishes she had gone easier on herself and wants to let other mothers know that they are doing great.
After initially planning on receiving an epidural (due to fear of pain), L’America researched and decided to prepare for a natural, water birth instead. Her fear of pain was overshadowed by her fear of needles, delivery interventions, and the potential lingering effects on mother and child. By using alternative pain management options (nitrous oxide, hydrotherapy, birthing ball, counter-pressure, and aromatherapy) and having a very supportive birthing team, L’America had a 17-hour natural labor and delivery (which included only 28 minutes of pushing) without any complications!
After a miscarriage, Anna and Kevin were thrilled to learn they were expecting a baby girl. Anna had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy (for which she largely credits the Pure Barre classes she took up until 41 weeks) and was hoping for an intervention-free birth. Baby girl Maggie, as it turned out, was in no rush to make her big debut into the world; and, as the days passed by without progression, Anna started worrying that an induction was in store and might throw off her birth plans. She ended up having to get induced, but Maggie’s birth was ultimately a far faster and better experience than Anna even knew to hope for.
So excited to be sharing our most recent birth story. Harvey Huntpalmer was born at home in the water after less than an hour of active labor! If you want to listen to our first two birth stories, Adelaide's is here and Darwin's is here.
On this replay, 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.
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.