Leah Rodrigues had two natural, unmedicated child births at the hospital. It was not her first choice to give birth in the hospital but she felt that she didn't have another option due to her insurance. She wanted to share her story and the ways she advocated for what she wanted and navigated the medicalized environment.
She feels that her birth stories offer other moms hope that they can advocate for themselves even if they don't get to birth in the place that they want. Leah wanted a birth center birth with both of her babies but financial circumstances prevented her from doing so. She thinks discussing the limited birth options because of socioeconomic status is an important topic. You can connect with Leah on Instagram.
Planned for a hospital vaginal birth (under OB care with an in-house midwife), both boys were head down at 26 weeks; last appointment before induction, both were still head down. Morning of my induction, one last ultrasound was ordered to check positioning, and baby B had flipped and was now breech, and my BP was high (for the first time in my entire pregnancy, but no other signs of pre eclampsia). Several options were presented, but I chose to go forward with induction since there was no true risk to the babies.
I had plans to labor as long as possible with no drugs and was using breathing techniques learned through our birth class and some brief Hypnobirthing reading I had done. Decided on an epidural about 8 hours in to rule out the chance of needing GA if I needed an emergency C section. After 12+ hours of labor, 10 minutes of pushing delivered the boys, both vaginally, in the OR (most twin hospital births happen in the OR) 6 minutes apart; baby B flipped to head down in the labor process, no help needed.
Today's guest, Megan, shares her three birth stories: two family-centered c-sections, and a VBA2C! During both pregnancies that ended in cesareans, Megan suffered preeclampsia; during her VBA2C, she overcame gestational diabetes.
This episode is sponsored by Beco. Beco focuses on bringing you an ideal combination of comfort and style to power you through daily duties with your baby close. With the new release of the Beco 8 baby carrier, you now have more options than ever to carrier your baby. Learn more about the Beco 8 at becobaby.com. We are giving away a Beco 8 to one lucky mama over on @thebirthhour Instagram.
Trezelle happened to see a video about hypnobirthing the night before she went into labor and from that video alone used the practice through her homebirth and describes it as a beautiful and empowering experience. She is now a doula with the mission of helping other families navigate pregnancy and childbirth.
Today’s birth story is a rebroadcast of an early favorite. Our guest is Phoua Moua who didn’t know she was pregnant until she was 33 weeks along. She and her husband have been married for 8 years and had been trying to conceive for 5 years. Phoua had put getting pregnant towards the back of her mind and didn’t realize she was pregnant until she took a test after noticing a linea negra. She called her doctor and they asked her to come in and draw some blood. The day after she went in for blood work, they called and told her she was pregnant and was about 6 weeks pregnant. The doctor then scheduled the first ultrasound for when she was “9 weeks”. Even though she called the clinic back and told them she thought she was further than 6 weeks, they insisted she wait another 3 weeks to come in.
The day finally came and she and her husband went to her ultrasound on May 15, 2014 where they were told she was already 33 weeks! Her baby was due the end of June which was the very next month!!!
Katie followed her intuition and switched from an OB practice to a midwife-led, hospital-based practice during the beginning of her pregnancy. She ended up going past her due date and even when she eventually did go into labor she experienced prodromal labor and was in labor for more than three days. Prodromal labor is labor that occurs prior to actually going into full, active labor. It is sometimes called “false-labor,” but you are actually are in labor the whole time with contractions, it's just that they start and stop for long periods. Katie tells the whole story on today's episode of The Birth Hour.
Stephanie was living in the Netherlands when she found out she was pregnant and went to what she thought was a birth at home OB office like everyone else she knew had done. Turned out that in the Netherlands if you were a low-risk pregnant mama you automatically saw midwives and you had the option to have your birth at home attended by midwives or at the hospital attended by midwives. Stephanie initially made plans to have a hospital birth but eventually changed courses towards the end of her pregnancy.
Her first labor was a precipitous birth and baby arrived in less than 3 hours, she describes it as a very intense experience that she wasn't at all expecting. After her initiation into midwifery care and homebirth, she knew she would give birth at home with her next baby even though she was living in the U.S. by then. Both of her births contributed to her desire to become a doula and childbirth educator.
After Carolyn found out she was pregnant again at three months postpartum, she and her husband decided to move the family from Washington, DC to Arnold, MD. Sticking with her OB in DC, the plan was to deliver Carolyn's footling breech baby by scheduled c-section. Plans changed, when her water broke three weeks early. Rushing to get to DC, an hour away, with a breech baby, coupled with contractions both strong and fast, ultimately caused them to detour for an emergency c-section at a much closer hospital. Baby Ophelia was wasting no time—her feet were already on their way out! The hospital staff of all women hustled to get her into surgery for a successful c-section, ending with a happy baby and a happy mom.
Today's guest is Gayleen Peters who went in for a check-up around 37 weeks and realized she basically had no fluid left. She was told she'd need a cesarean that day but then had to wait several hours for the OR to open up. Her baby arrived safely but did have to spend some time in the NICU and she discusses that experience as well.
Alexis is a survivor of sexual assault, and never once considered how that experience would impact her birth until she read “When Survivors Give Birth” for her Doula training. It was life changing and made her realize why she hit a wall in both of her births. She shares how her birth center and hospital births were both impacted by the fact that she never felt completely safe and therefore wasn't relaxing and opening to give birth. Alexis hopes to use her experience to hold space with other survivors and let them know their birth can actually set them free.
Alexis is passionate about every woman’s right to have informed and supported births. She tirelessly planned and prepared for her own natural births, only to be greatly disappointed by the need for intervention. Her own struggle with accepting her births inspired her to become a doula and build a holistic practice that incorporates not only birth and postpartum support services, but that also recognizes the link between birth and mental health. She created the Mindful Mama Collective with the hope of helping other mamas feel confident and supported as they heal and grow into new motherhood.
The main focus of today's episode with Bex is the it difference it makes when you are present and engaged for your birth versus being disconnected from the experience. Bex has had 5 children with the first 3 being born in a hospital and the second two at home. She describes how those experiences were so different for her and much of it had to do with the mindfulness aspect of her birth. She used Hypnobirthing/Hypnobabies, meditation, and yoga through her pregnancy and births. This is an all around awesome episode for anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness and birth through the experience of a mom who's been there!
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, founder of BEXLIFE® and the BLISSED IN® wellness movement, is a mother of five, TV host, meditation guide, Hay House author, speaker, birth doula, fitness and yoga instructor, and popular social media personality. She also travels extensively, sharing her love for yoga, wellness, and meditation at exclusive workshops, luxury retreats, and public events.
This episode is sponsored by Expectful!
Expectful is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of their guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.
Their mission is to give babies the best start in life, and that begins with you. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, go to expectful.com and sign up for their 30 day free meditation trial. It may just change your life.
Rachelle O'Neil was living in Bermuda when she was pregnant with her son. She went to the hospital to be induced 7 days after her due date, and 20 min before her son arrived the doctor realized it was his hip coming out rather than his head! Everything went smoothly and she was so happy that she delivered a breech baby vaginally rather than by csection. Rachelle also shares her second birth for which she was living in Luxembourg. She had planned to have a natural birth and although she ended up with a "walking epidural", she describes it as an amazing euphoric experience. Connect with her on Instagram @roinlux.
When I received an email from Gina explaining that after three medicated hospital births, she had successfully had a natural birth with her fourth baby and that she credited listening to other women's birth stories on The Birth Hour, I knew I had to hear her stories.
This episode is sponsored by Boba.
Kacie Case shared her two homebirth stories in Episode 21 of the podcast and recently had her third baby. I absolutely love seeing past guests having more babies and although I haven't heard her most recent birth story yet, I've adored watching her pregnancy journey the past few months. Hopefully we'll have her back on to share this third birth, but for today we're looking back at the long labor and delivery that made her a mama and the second birth that was a whirlwind.
Kacie offers words of wisdom to enjoy the last few days of your pregnancy and to take a moment (write a letter even) to thank your body and acknowledge the time that you've had with your baby inside of you before you have to share that baby with the world! She also (like many mamas we've heard from) benefited from reading Ina May Gaskin.