Today's birth story guest shares all three of her birth stories, which took place in hospitals. She talks about her baby's shoulders getting stuck with her second birth, and of how her doctor gave her the option of being induced a week early or having a cesarean with her third baby, which really scared her. She chose induction and ended up stalling out during labor, and she was prepped for a c section but as they were wheeling her into the operating room, she felt the urge to push and her baby was born!
This is probably the most open and honest discussion we've had on The Birth Hour about postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA). Ally shares how long it took her to realize she needed help and how she didn't find any support initially from her OBGYN, despite answering yes to many of the concerning questions on a survey at her doctor's office. She had to find help elsewhere.
Fiona had a very traumatic birth experience where she hemorrhaged and was alone in the hospital after her husband had gone home. As a result, she was very fearful going into subsequent births but with her second husband she expressed her fears, got an epidural immediately, and had a very different (positive) experience. In this episode she shares her first three birth stories and since we recorded she's had a fourth child who was born via cesarean due to failure to progress after her water had broken.
Lola worked during most of her pregnancy and walked 6 km a day. She was quite scared about going into labor, so she chose a doctor who really made her feel confident about herself. The doctor had a reputation of standing back during most of the delivery and letting things follow their natural course, and would step in as needed. Another important factor that made things easier was that the hospital was only a 3 minute walk away from their apartment.
I met today's guest, Ami, through my 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.
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.
Today's guest shares her experience giving birth in a hospital under the care of a midwife.
Christina Libby lives in Frankfort, KY with her husband, 15 month old son, Great Dane, and 2 cats. Christina has always been fascinated by pregnancy, birth, and babies. Growing up, her mother babysat in their home and she loved helping her—as she got older, she knew she wanted to work with young children and parents but never quite found a career path that felt like it fit. Into adulthood, she was always interested (sometimes overly interested) in her pregnant friends’ bellies, and was envious of everyone who got to attend a childbirth education class. She says that it wasn’t just that she wanted to eventually be a mother; she loved the whole process. She wanted to live in the world of bellies, birth, and babies. Through her own pregnancy and birth she entered that world and discovered she could stay as a doula.
In her own words, Christina shares a bit about her experience as a doula participating in the world of birth: "I find that as a new birth worker I tell the story of how I came to birth work quite lot. But I try to keep my birth story out of my birth worker story as much as possible. I don’t want my clients to feel compelled to compare their story to mine or to worry that I am judging them based on my birth. And since I can’t control people’s thoughts (yet…), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping my birth out of the picture helps both of us keep the focus on the birthing person and what they want. However, I also feel very strongly about people sharing their birth stories. Especially in our society where so much fear and negativity surround birth and positive birth stories are seen as exceptions or “lucky” or shouted down as bragging or preaching. All we can do is speak from a place of compassion and authenticity. This is my experience."
Today's birth story features Denene Millner, who is sharing her experience giving birth to her daughter at a teaching hospital in Harlem, NY. Denene had a doctor that she loved, the support of her husband and made plans ahead of time for what she thought would be a great hospital birth experience. Unfortunately, she was treated like a second class citizen for the majority of her time at the hospital. In this episode, she shares her story and discusses some of the issues that many black women face when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth in America.
Today's birth story podcast guest shares how she planned ahead for her hospital birth by doing research, setting intentions and hiring a doula. Kristin's number one goal was not to have a cesarean and she educated herself on many of the ways to avoid a c secti0n and used that knowledge to self advocate with the help of her doula throughout her labor that lasted over 24 hours.
In this birth story episode, Victoria Easter Wilson shares her two hospital births attended by midwives. The first birth was kind of overwhelming for her husband so when they were pregnant with their second daughter they spent some time processing the first birth story and preparing more this time by hiring a doula. This is a great episode if you want to hear some positive hospital birth experiences - I mean check out that tub and bar she got to use at the hospital!
Victoria is a wife and WAHM who thinks the Internet can be used for good and not evil if you have the right intentions. She is a new doula and birth educator, passionate about supporting women in their motherhood journeys. When she's able to sneak away from the busyness for a few hours, you can find her enjoying a pretty latte and the company of a friend...also probably talking about birth. Connect with her on Instagram.
Paul is a mother, doula, yoga teacher, meditation guide and facilitator of women circles living in Venice, California.
When she was pregnant with her daughter, Madeleine, and traveling on her own journey into motherhood, something shifted within her. She experienced a spiritual awakening that allowed her the opportunity to choose a more conscious way to approach her life as a woman and mother. In her yoga practice, she blends together her experience as a mother, her expertise as a doula and her extensive training in yoga, as a meditation guide and facilitator. Sharing what she knows and supporting women as they make their own journey into motherhood is her deepest passion. You can connect with her on her website or Instagram.
Amanda Moon Callahan lives in the woods with her family on a small farm in Upstate SC. They grow chickens, pigs, donkeys, and on the occasion, babies. Their first child, Aria Daphne is 3.5 and she just had her second. Other than farming and parent life, Amanda works full time at the local domestic violence shelter and spends all her free time cooking up delicious home grown food.
Bricia shares her hospital birth story and all of the preparation she did prior to the birth and although the birth went very much like she had hoped, her placenta didn’t come and she had to be taken to the OR. Listen to her tell her whole story in her own words.
Bricia is a partner at Guelaguetza, LA’s temple for Oaxacan cuisine. She has become a staunch proponent of Oaxacan culture and an integral figure in the gastronomic culture of Los Angeles. Her blog, moleandmore.com reaches a wide audience of young people in search of cooking tips and cultural experiences. Her and her family’s story have been featured in a number of multi-media national and international publications.
Bricia was also recently invited to the White house to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama and eight other of the country’s business leaders on immigration and economic issues. She has also spoken of young immigrant issues in front of Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Todays's The Birth Hour podcast guest is Lynzy Coughlin who lives in the Northeast with her husband and two daughters. She is also the editor behind Lynzy & Co., a blog that she created quite awhile ago as a creative outlet to her job in the ER. In this episode she shares her two hospital birth experiences including details like the crazy drive to the hospital, epidurals that only halfway took and her outlook on the whole experience as an ER physician's assistant. Lynzy and I also had a great conversation covering helpful information about her postpartum and breastfeeding journeys.
Christy Lee Knutson is a communications and creative professional at MoxieSpeak.com. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband (Jon), two children, Annazalie and Bennet, and 2 cats. She is also the founder of BirthMemoirs.com and the creator of Your Birth Story Journals.
In this episode, Christy shares her birth stories, both in a hospital, and both with the same birth team. Christy had positive experiences both times which she attributes to planning ahead, choosing a birth team she felt comfortable with and confident in, and using a hospital friendly to midwives, doulas, and especially, babies.
Lauren Barlis is a teacher. She got her start teaching 10th grade English in Baltimore County and now teaches other teachers and administrators how to build powerful effective partnerships with the parents of their students. She is married to a wonderful man who also works with her at Step Up For Students, an education non-profit in Florida that provides scholarships to low-income families who want to send their children to private school. She has a daughter, Josie, who is 16 months old. She is also expecting a son, Benjamin, in May 2016.
Today's birth story episode features Marissa Lawton who discusses getting pregnant with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and dealing with fertility treatments. Marissa is a military spouse and discusses the experience she had giving birth at a military hospital. She experienced vast differences between the day and night shift of doctors and nurses and was in labor for over 30 hours.
Marissa also discusses the anxiety she dealt with about infertility, about whether a fertilized egg would be viable, how many babies she would carry and whether her baby would be healthy throughout her pregnancy.
She also explains that her anxiety also caused her to make birth choices she probably wouldn’t have otherwise. For instance, she wanted a natural birth, and did deliver vaginally, but was induced (41 and 5) with pitocin and ended up having an epidural after feeling unsupported by some of the hospital staff. Marissa also dealt with a strong nesting instinct that manifested almost like OCD.
She was apply to rely on prenatal yoga to help with anxiety and practiced it all throughout her pregnancy and wishes she could have listened to her yoga training during labor including bodywork over what the doctors were saying that didn't feel right.
Daria Lazovskaya is sharing three birth stories, all of which took place in Russia. Daria was born in Siberia, raised in Sochi, and is currently living in Moscow. Her three children were born in Sochi which is more rural than Moscow, and I was very surprised at how birth takes place in a Russian hospital. Listening to her stories, it was like I was traveling back in time 60 years in the United States. Their approach to birth is very medicalized and institutionalized. There is very little attention paid to prenatal care, and the majority of women give birth alone with the medical staff and are generally not allowed to have their partner or another support person in the room with them.
Daria's did mention that there were more options available in Moscow and suggested that any expats living in Russia try to get to a major city like Moscow for their births. You can connect with Daria on Instagram @feedthezoo.
Kellie was planning a hospital birth with an OBGYN until 35 weeks pregnant when she switched doctors so she could give birth at a hospital that had better outcomes for mom's who want a natural birth. It also had a significantly lower C section rate. Listen to Kellie tell her birth story, in her own words.
Today she shares the stories of her pregnancies and births. Jessica had a great first pregnancy and birth experience. Her first birth was very fast with her son being born within 1 hour of arriving at the hospital! With her second pregnancy, Jessica experienced pre-term labor and had a cervical cerclage placed. She ended up carrying to term and had a cerclage placed as a precaution in subsequent pregnancies. Her biggest advice to pregnant women is to surround yourselves with positivity and she also also recommends waiting to find out the gender as that's been one of her favorite parts about her births.
Blythe's episode is pretty light hearted and will definitely make you laugh but I also think it's so valuable in that she wasn't afraid to trust her gut and go for the type of birth she wanted even though she had done things very differently the first FIVE times! I love how Blythe and her husband tease each other about how funny the hospital birth experience is after having so many homebirths. These two obviously really know each other on all sorts of levels and make an awesome birthing team.
Bailey Gaddis tells the story of her hypnobirthing hospital birth. She ended up uses the same visualization throughout the entire birth and sitting completely still and cross legged in the hospital bed which really surprised her since she'd imagined she'd be moving around a lot during labor.
Melissa Emler is a mom to three kids, Cooper, Addilyn and Conner and lives in Wisconsin where she works in education. She connects schools with the best and most useful tools available to them in the 21st century! Melissa also has a podcast called On the Vender Floor where she connects educators and entrepreneurs in conversations that positively impact learning.
Melissa's children were born in Iowa under the care of midwives but in a hospital setting. In Iowa all midwives who are legally practicing are Certified Nurse Midwives and many of them are providing care within a hospital setting. The hospital that Melissa gave birth at was set up more like a birth center than the typical hospital image that you may have in your head. It had a large tub as well as other comfort measures that aided her with finding more natural methods of coping with labor than typical hospital pain medications.
Melissa also practiced Hypnobirthing which really made a big difference with her births and kept her from even considering asking for an epidural.
Paige tells the story of the birth of her son. Paige was induced by choice 4 days after her due date, and after starting a Pitocin drip, things progressed rather quickly. So quickly in fact that by the time Paige was offered an epidural it was not really worth it to her. She trusted her body and decided not to interfere with the track that she was already on.