When I got the following message from Danielle Knapp, I was brought to tears knowing the affect that this podcast had had on her unexpected birth experience and knew I had to have her on the show!
Good afternoon, Bryn.
I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how impactful your podcast was for me!! I listened to your empowering birth stories almost everyday during my third trimester. I laughed and cried and clung to the hopes that I too would have an empowering birth. My first birth was in the hospital and it was 31 hours. An epidural in the last 3 hours after a goal of all natural. I felt defeated and 'less than' bc I couldn't do it.... Well, I gave birth almost three weeks ago to my second daughter. My plan was a to have a peaceful water birth at the Austin Birthing Center. Baby had other plans. I ended up delivering her myself... in the car... on the highway, while my husband was speeding to try to get us to the birthing center on time. I didn't even tell him bc I was afraid he would pull over or crash or I don't even know. I just quietly pulled her up on the back bench of our expedition. I feel like the collective confidence I absorbed through all those women's stories is why it happened the way it did. I was never fearful, and even in the most absurd circumstances, it was still a calm and peaceful experience for both me and my daughter. And best of all, I feel so empowered from the experience.
So thank you for doing what you do! I really am not sure how I would have handled a precipitous birth and highway delivery had I not had all those beautiful women on my mind!
The Knapp's welcomed their first daughter, Piper Clementine on January 20th, 2013. It was a grueling 31 hour labor. Looking for a different experience, Danielle planned to give birth at The Austin Area Birthing Center for baby girl number two. After a precipitous birth, Posey James was born in the car, northbound on Interstate 35 on the way to the birth center in Austin.
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."
Lizzie Mills, is a young wife and mother from Melbourne, Australia who is passionate about birth and shares the birth story of her daughter who was born at home via a hospital sponsored homebirthing program with midwives. In this episode she discusses how this system worked as well as how her pregnancy went and ultimately the amazing waterbirth she had with her husband in the tub as support.
Lauren Hartmann shared her daughter's birth center birth and her son's homebirth on Episode 11 of The Birth Hour. Her son Clive's birth was 19 hours long with 4 hours of pushing and he weighed over 10.5 pounds with a 15 inch head! After Clive's birth Lauren felt defeated and didn't have that same sense of empowerment that she did after her first birth. When she found out she was expecting baby number three, she knew that giving birth at home no longer felt right to her after what she had been through with Clive's birth. She explored possibly giving birth at a hospital but didn't appreciate the model of care there so she ended up going back to the birth center where she had had such a beautiful birth with her daughter, Fern.
Despite a very stressful pregnancy where she and her husband were informed half way through that their daughter had some soft markers for Downs Syndrome, Lauren made it to her due date and was ready to meet their baby girl. She tells this third birth story as being redemptive in so many ways and restoring her beliefs about birth.