Ashley has had three hospital births. They were all different, and she became more and more informed about birth and her options each time. She had an epidural with her first and then was made to wait two hours for her doctor after being fully dilated and ready to push which resulted in a three day NICU stay for her daughter. With her next birth, she really didn't want to be induced but was ultimately scheduled for an induction. For her most recent birth she went in knowing she wanted a natural birth — listen to find out how it went.o find out how it went.
Sarah had planned on an unmedicated hospital birth with her first child, but eventually got an epidural after becoming frustrated with a difference in cervical checks done by the nurse and the on-call doctor. For her second labor, she decided to try again for an unmedicated birth and decided to hire a doula for extra support. Her second labor was much easier and quicker and she was able to achieve the birth she had hoped for.
A doctor told Chelsea there were no trophies for women who have an unmedicated birth; but, Chelsea felt passionate about having a serene, med-free experience in the hospital. When she had to be induced at 38 weeks with gestational hypertension, her preparation and self advocacy paid off for a successful hypnobirth experience.
Nicole Phelps shares her experience being pregnant while her partner, Michael Phelps, was training for the Olympics. She hired a doula and prepared to possibly give birth without Michael there. A few weeks before her due date, Nicole started experiencing extreme itchiness, especially on the palms of her hands, and was tested for Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). However, she went into labor before the results came back. Michael made it just in time, and her son, Boomer, was born healthy. The test result came back positive and she knew she'd have to be on the lookout for another ICP diagnosis with future pregnancies. On this episode, she also shares her second pregnancy and birth story and how her doctor monitored her for ICP leading up to her son Beckett's birth. Nicole wanted to share her story to raise awareness about ICP so other women can be on the lookout for the symptoms.
After a traumatic c-section, Allison knew she wanted to try for a VBAC. During her pregnancy she did everything she could to stay healthy, both mentally and physically She found the online birth community and learned everything she could about birth. After 42 weeks, she was induced at the hospital and had the most empowering and healing VBAC while surrounded by her incredible birth team of women and her supportive husband.
Long before even trying to conceive, Lindsey knew she wanted an intervention-free birth. Despite her intentions, research, planning, and extensive preparation, Lindsey and her husband learned their first parenting lesson (you are no longer in control!) at seemingly every turn, from pregnancy through delivery and postpartum. An induction lead to a 28 hour labor which ultimately ended in a cesarean section. Lindsey spent much of the fourth trimester trying to understand her birth experience and heal physically and emotionally.
After the OB she loved left the office a month before her due date, Felicia was left having to advocate for her birth plan when the new doctor attempted to scare her into an early induction. She was finally induced at almost 42 weeks. After Cervidil didn’t change anything overnight, Felicia received a small amount of pitocin, which jumpstarted what ended up being her ideal birth without an epidural.
Kate and Andy live in Portland, Oregon, and were delighted to become parents after meeting in college. They were in no rush, after being together nearly 13 years before the birth of their daughter, Caroline, but were thrilled when their pregnancy-journey began so swiftly. Both recognized that is often not the case and felt so grateful because of this! Kate knew she wanted to prepare for an unmedicated birth. She felt good and remained super active throughout her pregnancy. However, at 34 weeks, her pregnancy took a turn when Kate learned her baby was in the breech position. On top of this, Kate had developed gestational thrombocytopenia, which can cause a greater risk of postpartum hemorrhage. With the pending arrival of their breech baby, Kate was fearful this would mean she would have to be put under and have a c-section to deliver. At week 37, in an effort to preserve her wish to have an unmedicated birth, Kate and Andy made the decision to undergo an external cephalic version (ECV) to turn their breech baby and were thrilled when it was successful.
Kate's labor began just shy of 39 weeks, and after a fast journey to transition, Kate stalled at 9 cm for several hours because the baby was posterior. In the end, Kate was proud of her dedication to an unmedicated birth, the preparation she did to be successful, and the choices she made to get to that point. Even so, Kate suffered from a retained placenta that was not discovered until 5 weeks postpartum. She describes the pain and symptoms to watch for so you can advocate for yourself during the postpartum period.