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.
Haylie and her husband, Jeffrey, had been married for a year when they decided to try and get pregnant. With many tales from friends and family members that it could take a while to conceive (it was news to Jeffrey that you actually had to "try" to get pregnant) they were surprised when a pregnancy test came back positive only a few months later. Haylie had a history of depression but was adamant about getting off antidepressant medication while pregnant. At first she felt fine, both emotionally and physically. But right around her second trimester, serious signs of depression and anxiety began to creep in. This made for a difficult pregnancy in which Haylie sought help from a number of sources to cope with the mounting feeling that she was unprepared for motherhood. As she prepped for an unmedicated hospital birth, she also battled a constant fear that she wasn't ready to be a mom. As you'll hear on this episode, there were several unexpected twists and turns during Haylie's labor and delivery that ultimately led to an epidural and a long but successful vaginal delivery. Haylie also shares how experiencing depression during pregnancy morphed into postpartum depression and talks about the lifesaving support she received after her son was born.
My mom was in town for Memorial Day, and I thought it would be fun to have her record her birth stories. She actually has four birth stories, but only shared her first two: my older brother and me. We were both born in the hospital unmedicated with episiotomies. I remember when she first told me her birth stories, the main thing that stuck out was that they were fast! Imagine my surprise when my first labor was over 34 hours! Hear my mom share her experience having hospital births in the 1980s in this episode of The Birth Hour.
Linda Williams is the best-selling author of over two dozen books on science & technology including: Chemistry Demystified; Careers in Forensics; and, 5 Steps to a 5: AP Environmental Science and Nanotechnology Demystified. A former biomedical researcher at NASA-Johnson Space Center and Rice University, Linda now works at the University of Arkansas Medical School in the Research department. She is the mother of Bryn Huntpalmer, founder of this podcast!
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On this episode, Tristin shares her three, very different, birth stories.
On this episode, Jenn shares the story of how she advocated for, and successfully had, a vaginal twin breech birth.
Brooke gave birth to baby Shiloh Lane on March 30th, 2018 at 4:12am. Her pregnancy was fairly textbook with the normal aches and pains towards the end. At 40 weeks Brooke and her Husband, Zack decided to allow the doctor to strip her membranes in hopes that that would give the extra bump she needed to get the birth going. Sure enough, 24 hours later labor started at 3:00pm. By 11pm things had really picked up, Zack called the doulas and they agreed that they should head to the hospital. Zack and Brooke arrived at the hospital at midnight where Brooke was checked and was 4cm with contractions 3 minutes apart. At 2:30am Brooke began to feel the urge to push but did not want to inform the nurses because she knew it could be a while of pushing and she wanted to stand as long as possible. At 3:15am the nurses heard she had been pushing and immediately checked her and made it very clear she was NOT to push until she was fully dilated to a 10 (she was only 7cm at this time). Lots of prayers were said during this time and 5 minutes after only being 7cm she was checked again and had fully dilated to 10cm. There was about 20 mins of active pushing and Shiloh was born. She was 9lbs 1oz and mama was left with a pretty significant 3rd degree tear.
Postpartum was a wild ride for Brooke who was not expecting the emotions and physically recovery that was needing to happen. Breastfeeding went well, with the occasional latch issue and fear that baby wasn’t getting enough but going to a lactation consultant set all of their fears aside. Brooke's biggest hurdle was that she had postpartum bleeding for 9 weeks PP which everyone told her was “not normal” after many OB appointments and an extra ultrasound to make sure nothing was retained inside Brooke finally stopped bleeding and soon learned about the importance of seeing a Pelvic floor therapist postpartum.
On today's episode, Morgan shares her two birth and postpartum stories.
Sarah approached birth wanting whatever type of birth her baby needed to arrive safely; but, she did want to start her labor naturally and hired a doula to help her cope with labor. She ended up having a 33-hour unmedicated hospital birth with a midwife! I loved hearing how despite very little birth-preparation, Sarah completely trusted her doula to guide her through her labor and benefited so much from her doula’s knowledge and guidance. She shares some of the positions and tools that were most helpful to her during her long labor at the hospital.
On today's episode, Allyson shares about her experience with a planned c section birth as a first time mom. She talks frankly about how it felt meeting her son for the first time and how her introduction to motherhood did not go as planned.
Hannah is a first time mom who discovered the birth community during the middle of her pregnancy, and fully embraced it. After lots of research, planning, and self-discovery, she planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with little to no interventions.
Caitlin and her wife had a difficult time navigating the barriers faced by queer couples trying to conceive. After two years and many failed IUIs, they decided to take a different route and try at home inseminations with a known donor. She hoped that removing the stress of the fertility clinic would help her body welcome pregnancy. She was right! And shortly thereafter Caitlin finally got the positive pregnancy test she had been longing for.
Elisabeth gave birth to her first child, Owen, on April 5th, 2019. The pregnancy itself was mostly uneventful minus persistent nausea at 20 weeks that caused to switch from OBs to a midwife. Then a follow up ultrasound brought up concerns that Owen had a potential heart issue. This added some worry to the end of the pregnancy and required sticking with OBs. So, then Elisabeth’s plan was to have an unmedicated childbirth in the hospital. Her due date came and went and as her induction date loomed closer.
Luckily, after two acupuncture sessions, labor started on the day of her induction but she developed a high leak in her amniotic fluid. Instead of using any medications, her OB broke her water completely. She went from 1cm to 3 cms in 2 hours, then felt the urge to push 3.5 hours later. After almost 3 hours of pushing, Owen entered to world accinclitic and at 9lbs 1 oz! Elisabeth had an immediate severe postpartum hemorrhage that only got under control after administering multiple rounds of pitocin, misoprostol and methergine. About 2 hours later, she had another bleed that required more medications and eventually two blood transfusions. This may have contributed to her current struggles with low milk supply.
After having a fairly easy and healthy pregnancy, Vidita was excited to meet her daughter soon as her due date approached. Unfortunately, she never went into labor and at 41.5 weeks hesitantly agreed to go in for an induction, as recommended by her doctor. Not knowing the strong correlation between inductions and C-sections, Vidita was completely blindsided when her induction stalled and led to a non-emergency C-section due to “failure to progress”.
In the months after her daughter was born, Vidita spent endless hours nursing her round the clock while simultaneously thinking about all the things she would do differently when she became pregnant again. She was convinced that the choices she had made had led to her first C section and she was determined that her birth outcome would be different the second time around. She felt like somehow she had failed by not achieving a vaginal birth. She read all about VBACs and researched everything that could possibly increase her chances of success.
Heather is the creator and editor at My Life Well Loved! She created her site out of a deep passion to empower women, inspire confidence, and elevate living a life well loved. She is mom to three year old Leyton and 8 month old Finn, wife to Eric, and healthy lifestyle advocate! Heather is defined by her faith in Jesus, her southern roots, and her deep love for people. She admits she is just learning to balance it all! MLWL is a place where she strive to affirm women, to embrace the balance, get their sweat on, enjoy a glass of wine, and savor the little things. MLWL is a destination for fitness, fashion, mom hacks, wellness tips, travel guides, and most importantly FUN! Heather would love for you to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! You can read about her son Leyton's birth here and Finn's birth here.
Danielle’s birth is not what she expected. Danielle knew she would have a c-section because of a trauma to her hip in the past but she did not expect it to be at 29 weeks. Danielle went in for her 28 week check up only to find her blood pressure dangerously high and traces of protein in her urine. Upon being admitted to the hospital it became increasingly hard to control her blood pressure.
Along with preeclampsia, Danielle was developing HELLP syndrome, causing her platelets to plummet and her alt levels to rise. Eventually it became too dangerous for Danielle to remain pregnant. At 8am on 10/24 the doctor decided it was time to have a baby. Danielle was wheeled into the OR with tears in her eyes. She feared it was too early for her baby.
On this episode, Kathleen discuses her fertility journey, accreta diagnosis, and cesarean section.
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.