In trying to avoid medical induction, Julie consulted with her doula about drinking castor oil to bring on labor. That night castor oil worked some labor magic and brought on contractions. Julie was able to labor at home, then labor in a birthing tub at the hospital. She turned inward and found a tapping/counting/breathing rhythm to work through contractions. After about 14 hours of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing she birthed her baby girl. Delivering the placenta was challenging and Julie hemorrhaged 30 minutes postpartum. Medical intervention stopped the hemorrhage and, while incredibly scary for everyone (especially Julie's husband), everyone was okay.
Julie's second birth moved more quickly when labor began with spontaneous water breaking three days after her due date. Even though things moved quickly, she left the hospital to labor at home when she learned she was 1.5cm dilated. Julie transitioned in the shower at home and things really started move fast. She was 9cm when she got back to the hospital, labored in the tub and ultimately had a water birth, giving birth to her son after pushing through 2-3 contractions. Her baby boy slept on her chest skin-to-skin for five hours after being born.
Kaitlyn's first birth was a beautiful, empowering, unmedicated vaginal birth with a hospital midwife practice. She expected and planned for a similar birth with her second, but learned that each pregnancy really is different after going much later than she expected and ultimately having a precipitous birth (complete with mad dash to the hospital over frozen streets). Committed to avoid a birth only assisted by her two toddlers, she planned, and had, a home birth for her third.
On this episode, Carolyn tells her three birth stories: two natural hospital births (one with a negative doula experience,) and an empowering homebirth. She also describes the challenges of traveling internationally for work while pumping, and recovering from diastasis recti after her third birth.
Lauren's first birth was a precious, yet invigorating experience. Her water broke before active labor began and, because there was meconium in the water, she was admitted into the hospital before contractions really began. She set out wanting to have an all-natural birth in which she labored as long as possible at home, but accepted her doctor’s recommendation to use Pitocin to progress her labor and avoid risks of infection. It was a happy, safe and fulfilling experience despite the fear that was produced for her about the use of Pitocin in leading to complications. She hopes this experience relieves fears others have about using Pitocin and epidurals when necessary.
Claire is 6 foot, so she was never going to have a small baby; however, she only started to worry when she went a week overdue. Claire was pretty sure her baby was going to be massive, and she was. Both Claire and her husband, Rich, had decided to go Team Green and so only knew they were having ‘a baby’. Both expected a boy, but having had three early miscarriages prior to the birth, neither honestly cared so long as the baby was healthy. Claire was feeling very grumpy the day she went into labour. She had some scares, which turned out to be Braxton Hicks warm ups, and so she went for a long waddle to Tesco where she was poo’ed on by a bird. That afternoon, she started to go into early labor. Having sent Rich off to bed (the philosophy being at least one of them would get some sleep) Claire then labored long into the night, until she was told to come into the hospital at 4am by her midwives. Early assessment showed Claire was actually slowing down, so she and Rich were sent up to ‘Level 5’ of the hospital where they waited it out for a further 20 hours without sleep or drugs. Even meptid given at 12am on that second night didn’t touch it. This wasn’t fun, as Claire was pretty sure she was in established labor despite the long waits between strong contractions.
She was right, and at 5am Claire was finally sent to delivery by a very bossy and wonderful chief midwife. Here she was given an epidural and was looked after by two young, bubbly midwives, Daisy and Amy. You’re not meant to have a party in a delivery room, but they did anyway. With the help of drugs to speed the contractions on and having her waters broken for her, the baby made its way down the birth canal. 9 hours later it became clear Claire needed an episiotomy. Artemis popped out very quickly and amazed everyone when they realized she was a girl, not the expected boy (Claire was secretly very chuffed). Cuddles and nursing were done while Claire was stitched (Artemis will still to this day try to root on Rich) and the parents were lucky enough to be left in the delivery room to sleep until they were moved up to a ward. The whole thing was very relaxed!
In this episode, Libby shares what she calls her "Victorious Homebirth which included an Unexpected Episiotomy; and, a surprise but necessary hospital stay for jaundice one week postpartum."
On this episode, Bianca shares the birth story of her daughter, the ups and downs of her 72-hour labor, and suffering postpartum depression.
Molly knew she wanted to try for an unmedicated birth before she became pregnant. When she found out she was having twins though, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to have the birth that she wanted. She educated herself on pregnancy and birth by taking Bradley method classes, and sought out other twin moms who had unmedicated births and listened to their stories. These two things greatly encouraged her and made her feel like it was possible. She switched doctors halfway through, developed cholestasis, and twin B was breech, but in the end she was still able to have the birth she had dreamed of.
This birth, for Dana, was as much about the process to become pregnant and the relationship with the father as the birth itself. Dana and Chad met their freshman year of high school, when Chad asked Dana to go to the Fall Formal dance. They quickly became best friends, and have remained so ever since. And 20 years after they met in high school, Dana gave birth to a girl for Chad and his husband Jim.
Being a surrogate came with different legal, psychological, and emotional ramifications for Dana than her other births. And the birth itself ended up having some complications.
Going from a perfect check up on a Wednesday to developing severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome by Saturday, Dana had to be induced at 35 weeks. But she still thinks of it all as one of the most magical experiences she has gone through, and has an even more special bond with the father that she could have ever imagined.