Allison had a precipitous labor and nearly gave birth in the back of an uber. Her water broke and two hours later she was holding her daughter. When she gave birth to her son two years later, it actually took longer. But she was glad about that.
On this episode, Brie shares the birth stories of her daughter and son. Late in her first pregnancy, Brie developed hypertension and delivered her daughter on Father's Day after an exhausting 3-day-long induction at Stanford Children's Hospital. And after a thankfully unremarkable second pregnancy, Brie's son was born at home in a birth pool in their dining room after a powerful six hour labor on Valentine's Day.
On this episode, Chamblee shares the surgery and birth stories of her daughter, who was diagnosed with spina bifada.
On this episode, Jen, a trained doula, shares two birth stories and her experience with loss.
On this episode, Amarachi shares her two birth stories. She had an uneventful pregnancy with her firstborn, but a very eventful emergency c-section at 32 and 6 due to severe preeclampsia, including: a 48 hour magnesium sulfate drip; a 26 day NICU stay for her baby; and, PPD upon arrival home. During her second pregnancy, which was considered high risk due to her previous delivery, Amarachi had morning sickness from weeks 5-28. At week 28, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (non-insulin-dependent). Amarachi was induced at 39 weeks; and, after a 43.5 hour labor, she had a successful VBAC delivery!
Callie's first birth was a planned water birth that ended up a surprise breech delivery. It was a terrifying experience that no one saw coming; but, with the help of the right on-call OB, Callie safely delivered her first son in a breech position.
After that experience, Callie knew a doula was necessary for her next pregnancy so she would feel more emotionally supported and prepared going into the unexpected. She found Mal Warning and immediately clicked with her based on her previous experience working in Special Education. With her pregnancy going 12 days overdue, Callie relied heavily on Mal for information to make informed decisions about how to proceed as her medical team pressured her to be induced. Her second birth was an unmedicated delivery, and the best experience overall.
For her third and last birth experience, Callie again found herself in a similar position of being overdue by 14 days when she was being pressured into induction by her midwife. With the assistance of Mal again, Callie went in with a similar plan as for her second birth; but, it didn't turn out the same way and pitocin was used to start induction. The drug created a very intense third and final birth experience that Callie thinks back on and is happy she never has to do again.
For her first birth, Jessica and her husband chose an out of hospital birth center and they welcomed their daughter Josie after a 41 week and 6 day long pregnancy. Her second birth was with the same midwives; but, due to cord issues, their son Elliott was born in the hospital by c-section. After a cross country move half way through her third pregnancy, Jessica and Chris decided they wanted to attempt a homebirth VBAC. At 40 weeks and 6 days, and after a week of prodromal labor, Jessica finally went into active labor while out at a pizza place with her family! After a very intense 8 hours of back labor, she pushed for 8 minutes and her third baby, 10lb 7oz Ian, was born at home with the help of their amazing midwives.
Juliana got pregnant in her senior year of her BA. As an international student she was not very acquainted with the medical system in Ontario and opted for what was the most familiar option to her: OB care. During her pregnancy, she became more aware of her options and decided to try an unmedicated birth. Unfortunately, she feels she did not have the right support system for this; and, though the birth occurred with no complications and Hugo was born a happy and healthy baby, she realized that her choice of hospital had not been the right decision for her: not only did she and her husband not feel supported, but they had to face many administrative obstacles.
For her second baby, Juliana and her husband decided to have a midwife attend their birth at a different hospital. Xavier’s birth could not have been any better. Three hours after the delivery they were able to go home with their new baby. Abbir and Anita, their midwives, came to do home visits and supported them through this new stage in their lives.
On this episode, Nicole shares her four very different birth stories.
Jasmine’s first birth story was an amazing heartfelt home waterbirth —while her second birth left her in literal shock. Jasmine gave birth to her baby girl on the hospital bathroom floor, unassisted. Jasmine goes through her journey of many hardships in such a short amount of time — from having her delivery bag stolen while in labor and not having the hospital water-birth she had planned, to struggling through back pain, diastasis recti, and an umbilical hernia after giving birth to two children 14 months apart.
Gina Giordano, of Doula Training International, shares her homebirth-cesarean and homebirth-VBAC birth stories.
Desiree Charles is a 32 year old wife, new mom, and young professional. She has been married to her husband for 3 years and enjoys her job, spending time with friends, and a nice glass of wine. She and her husband had not been trying very long when they got pregnant. Unfortunately the pregnancy was not what either of them expected and Desiree suffered from severe hyperemesis gravidarum. After several hospitalizations, Desiree gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
After losing her first daughter to stillbirth, Heidi had a complicated pregnancy journey to her second birth. But the storm clouds lifted when she heard her rainbow baby's first cries after a long and difficult, but empowering, waterbirth that led her down the path of becoming a birth doula. Despite having been to many births by the time she had her 3rd, Heidi was completely shocked when she didn't recognize her own labor signs and ended up having a surprise, accidental, unassisted homebirth on her toilet with nobody around but her 3 year old. But things got complicated when the ambulance showed up.
When Jenna found out about Ava bracelet she was thrilled to become pregnant again after a year of use! The bracelet helped her and her husband understand her cycle and body better. It taught her what her most optimum days were and, took a lot of the stress out of trying to conceive. She loved that it was very easy to use and see the data daily. Her pregnancy was anything but easy but this she expected.
She ended up having to be hospitalized the last month of her pregnancy due to severe preeclampsia. On the day of her baby shower, Jenna was rushed into an emergency cesarean section at 30 weeks and gave birth to her tiny 3.5 pound rainbow baby boy Wesley Arlo. Jenna and Patrick feel completely blessed to have him and can't wait until he can come home from the NICU. Jenna wanted to share her story to give hope to those who have gone thru similar circumstances
In this episode Whitney shares a little about her own children's unmediated births and then shares her journey to becoming a surrogate including matching with the intended parents, getting pregnant, finding out she was expecting twins, and planning a vaginal twin birth in the hospital. She also shares her postpartum experience and what her recovery has been like without babies to take care of.
After dealing with infertility for over a year, Beth and her husband Wes were surprised to find out they were pregnant on the day of their consultation for IVF. Beth enjoyed a smooth pregnancy up until she was 39 weeks along, when on Halloween morning, her OB discovered that her amniotic fluid levels were low, and she needed to be induced. She was induced with pitocin, and labored in the hospital with an epidural for 12 hours before giving birth to her son. Bexley was born at 2:50 am on November 1st, weighing 7 lbs and 1 oz, with a full head of hair.
On this episode, Caitlin shares the story of her second birth, an empowering VBAC.
Ana gave birth like a champ in a hospital in Germany after being assured that it was baby-friendly. That didn't end up being her experience and although everything ended up ok, she shares how it felt to be treated in a way that wasn't respectful of her wishes.
In Michele's first labor, she delivered a healthy 8lbs 9oz baby boy. Along the way, she had the epidural she planned on, and then found herself ignored and talked about, not talked to, while she labored. While very happy with the healthy outcome, she felt like something was missing, and sought out care providers for her next pregnancy who might do things differently. For her 3 subsequent pregnancies, she was cared for by a team of midwives who listened to her and valued her as a partner in her labors.
After having miscarried in 2016, Karsyn became pregnant early 2017 with her first baby. She didn’t plan a homebirth from the beginning, but changed plans midway through her pregnancy and never looked back. After an uncomplicated pregnancy, Karsyn went into labor in her home eleven days after her due date. Five hours of early labor and five hours of active labor throughout her home and an intense fetal ejection reflex waterbirth brought her Phoenix. Though her pregnancy and labor were pretty ideal, she struggled with breastfeeding and getting Phoenix to gain weight. She’s currently feeding her son exclusively breastmilk and has worked hard to make that possible despite odds stacked against them.
Afra has undergone 3 C-sections mainly due to intervention. With her first she was induced at 41+2 with cervidel to prepare me for an induction and went into labor shortly after. She was 3 cms when admitted to the hosptial, but was put on a bed, not allowed to move around much, and also given some pain meds through an IV which slowed things down alot. She was naive and didn't know much about the importance of movement, and advocating for herself. She labored and got to 8cms, but baby wasn't engaged even though she was 80% effaced. Her baby quickly moved and went transverse as the OB says and so she ended up with an emergency c-section.
With her second she ended up having a c-section again after her water starting leaking. She wasn't getting any contractions and so she was induced at 41 weeks, and she progressed to 8.5cms after about 30/40 hours or so. Her daughter was eventually at station 0 and Afra was 100% effaced but baby wasn't descending as they later found in the c-section the cord was around her neck. Her cervix had swollen with all the constant cervical checks, water ruptures, and catheters inserted. she had been on the IV, antibitocis and eventually had an epidural which helped her progress to 8.5 from 7.
With her 3rd baby, she couldn't find a supportive provider or midwife that could take her on except for an OB who agreed to allow her to TOLAC provided everything was going well. She dilated and went into labor on her own this time and without her approval got a sweep from her OB which set off active labor. Her baby ended up being posterior in brow presentation which gave her back labor and was the reason why her labor wasn't progressing well causing decals. She ended up having her 3rd C-section shortly after.
Read more on the show notes page.
After initially planning on receiving an epidural (due to fear of pain), L’America researched and decided to prepare for a natural, water birth instead. Her fear of pain was overshadowed by her fear of needles, delivery interventions, and the potential lingering effects on mother and child. By using alternative pain management options (nitrous oxide, hydrotherapy, birthing ball, counter-pressure, and aromatherapy) and having a very supportive birthing team, L’America had a 17-hour natural labor and delivery (which included only 28 minutes of pushing) without any complications!
Elise Hurst shares her three birth stories—two unmedicated hospital births and one homebirth. She also shares some fun and interesting tidbits from pregnancy and struggles with breastfeeding and postpartum.
She has a great list of resources listed here.
Catherine Gray planned an unmedicated hospital birth and did everything she could to have a low-risk pregnancy. She took Bradley classes, exercised, followed the Brewer’s diet, interviewed numerous care providers, had chiropractic care and acupuncture, practiced relaxation techniques…and ended up with an unplanned cesarean birth after a long labor at 42 weeks. Sometimes you do everything right, and the part of birth that is a mystery takes over. In processing her birth as a mother, Catherine has explored how her experience as a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse affected the decisions she made during labor and the feelings she had afterward. She has pursued the question, “What if my cesarean was my healing rather than my scarring?”