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.