Amy Morrison is the founder of Pregnant Chicken, an online resource and blog for expectant and new parents featuring advice, information, and tips to keep your pregnancy fun.
In her former life she was a creative director at an ad agency but decided to quit and go freelance as an art director/graphic designer in 2004. She and her husband have two little boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and live in Toronto. She shares both birth stories in this episode—a cesarean birth and an Induction VBAC birth.
Elle the founder of Solly Baby shares her four birth stories. Solly is also generously offering $5 off your order with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.sollybaby.com.
Read more on the show notes page.
When it comes to dealing with unsupportive hospital staff or conflicting information it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or stunned, especially in the moment.
Today Stephanie and I are talking about key phrases to use when you find yourself in one of these situations and other tips to keep in mind so you are prepared for all of the different potential scenarios. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!
Grab your free download — How to Handle Tricky Situations with Hospital Staff
Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?
After a miscarriage, Anna and Kevin were thrilled to learn they were expecting a baby girl. Anna had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy (for which she largely credits the Pure Barre classes she took up until 41 weeks) and was hoping for an intervention-free birth. Baby girl Maggie, as it turned out, was in no rush to make her big debut into the world; and, as the days passed by without progression, Anna started worrying that an induction was in store and might throw off her birth plans. She ended up having to get induced, but Maggie’s birth was ultimately a far faster and better experience than Anna even knew to hope for.
When it comes to finding a hospital, there are some key things to look for to ensure you will be setting yourself up for the most mother-baby friendly care possible!
Today Stephanie and I are talking about questions you can ask on the tour you take of the hospital prior to choosing where you will give birth. Because many doctors only have privileges at certain hospitals, you may want to look into the hospitals early on in your care when choosing a doctor. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!
Natalie's first pregnancy (conceived with clomid) ended in a miscarriage. For her second pregnancy, she started right away with progesterone and blood thinning shots (she has factor v leiden). She knew for years that she wanted a home birth. She also knew the risks of home birth with her blood clotting disorder—she knew she may transfer at some point for hemorrhaging, but hoped against a placenta abruption. Her hematologist said that taking thinning injections helped cancel out that risk. She prepared for a home birth and anticipated it with so much joy. She wanted a home birth so badly. She couldn't wait to experience that 'meeting moment' she had assisted so many times as a birth photographer.
Natalie's birth began on a Tuesday morning, May 31. She labored and labored and labored. On Wednesday morning, her contractions became irregular. Wednesday night around 11 pm she transferred to the hospital, hoping to get her body back in order. Epidural didn't work. Pitocin didn't work. Her body metabolized the medicine. Thursday she pushed for over 4 hours. She was sure she was going to push him out. He was asynclitic (when a baby's head is tipped towards one shoulder) and had swelling of the scalp (caput succedaneum). Her birth ended in a cesarean. She kept imagining meeting him, how it would be worth it. Her body metabolized the medicine, once again, so they had to put her under general anesthetics. She was asleep. Then when she woke up and was in a whole world of pain.
When it comes to finding a doctor, does it ever make you feel completely stuck? How do you know if they will be right for you?
Today Stephanie and I are talking about why we recommend finding an evidence based care provider and how you can tell if the person you're interviewing (YES, you should absolutely be interviewing your doctors!) is practicing evidence based care. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!
Grab your free download — Guide to Finding an Evidence Based Doctor!
Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live this week on 9/20/17 at 1pm CST. We'll be discussing the major warning signs that your doctor might not be practicing evidence based care and answering YOUR questions.
Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?
At 31 weeks, Kelly’s perfectly healthy pregnancy and planned home birth took a drastic change when her water broke and it was bright red blood. Even though Kelly spent a week in the hospital and saw dozens of specialists seen, she didn't receive a firm diagnosis. She was only told that she may have had a minor placental abruption accompanied by AROM which then resealed itself. With little other information, Kelly was put on bed rest for 8 weeks and ultimately decided to change her birth plan and deliver at the hospital instead of at home. At 39 weeks and 6 days Kelly went into labor naturally, going from 5 to 10 centimeters just 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital. She had an unmedicated hospital birth with and episiotomy - just 12 hours of labor total. Her second son, and rainbow baby after 2 miscarriages, Stellan James, was born at home at 41+3 in just under 2 hours of labor.
Erin didn't do a lot of research before her first birth, although she wanted to have a natural birth since her mom had done so. She ended up being induced with pitocin, getting an epidural, and then an episiotomy which led to a 4th degree tear. For her next two births, she hired a doula, gave birth in the hospital with midwives, and had the natural births she wanted.
In this episode January Harshe shares her first four birth stories: a cesarean, a homebirth transfer to cesarean, a homebirth VBAC, and an unassisted homebirth. You can hear her 5th and 6th birth stories on her podcast that she hosts with her husband, The Harshe Podcast.
A few years after getting a Lichen Scleroses diagnosis, Emmalina and Cam were expecting a baby. Her pregnancy was pretty textbook and she lost her mucous plug at exactly 40 weeks. She went into labor the following day. After 16 hours of intense labor, Emmalina received an epidural and was able to fully dilate. She pushed for 2 1/2 hours and then found her her baby was posterior and stuck.
The on-call OB performed an episiotomy and needed assistance from forceps and vacuum. Ruby-May was born at 1:06 am, May 7th, and spent 5 days in the NICU for inhaling fluids. After delivery, Emmalina's placenta detached but didn't deliver, requiring manual removal. At 9 weeks postpartum, Emmalina passed placenta tissue and had to have a D&C surgery. At 11 weeks PP, she passed the final piece of placenta and was able to begin a journey to physically and emotionally recover from her birth. Recently, Cam and Emmalina discovered Ruby-May had Sagittal Craniosynostosis- Premature fusing of the skull plates and underwent skull reshaping surgery. Ruby-May's skull diagnosis helped give Emmalina closure and reasoning for her difficult and traumatic birth.
Being surprised by her first pregnancy, Jordan found a provider off the recommendation of co-workers. After a whirlwind pregnancy of sickness and weight loss, Jordan delivered her daughter by c-section at 40 weeks and 2 days. Her postpartum was foggy and she struggled to get a grip on being a mother.
In 2014 Jordan became pregnant and knew she wanted a different experience: she wanted a vaginal birth. With the support of her husband, they were able to find a midwife who delivered in a hospital. After 41 weeks and 4 days she delivered their son vaginally and with out medication. Her VBAC was a healing moment for her, and with her postpartum period being clear she still felt as if something was missing from her birthing experience. The hospital required a lot of monitoring and she labored long and hard, she forget to be present while birthing her son.
When she became pregnant for the third time she knew this baby was to be born at home. After consulting with her midwife and doula they were able to help her find a home birth midwife. Planning for birthing at home was a new experience, having had two hospital births she had no idea what to expect. She loved the prenatal visits at her home, they allowed her children to really be involved in the whole process. Then after 4 days of prodromal labor and 4 hours of active labor it was time at 41 weeks and 6 days (her longest pregnancy), she delivered a daughter in her home.
On today's episode, Rebekah shares the story of her twins' birth at home. Rebekah is the coordinator of chaos in her south-of-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. She and her husband, along with 4 children and two dogs live together in her late grandfathers home. Before she became a mom, she received her Masters Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and worked at a local hospital as an exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab unit. Rebekah has taken that passion for exercise, holistic health and faith, and transformed it into something she is able to do in conjunction with being a stay-at-home mom. She uses her passion to fuel others through her personal training and fitness ministry. In her spare time, if she gets any, she enjoys weight training, attending bible studies, and being creative. You can read her entire birth story on her Facebook page under the name: Rebekah Ashley and also on Instagram: @rebekahashley
Pheonix shares a little bit about her 27 hour labor and birth. "My birth was pure chaos. Everything that I didn't plan to happen, was manifested to the tenth degree. With no knowledge of the inner meditation and control required of childbirth, I found myself relying on my midwife, partner and family to help usher in the birth of my son. Little did I know that the journey was only for me to take. My birth experience was this way though for a purpose. As a reminder to mamas everywhere to OWN their birth. To SILENCE their voices and tune into the new soul awaiting its earthbound entrance. Even in the midst of chaos, the journey was bliss. And I wouldn't change it for the world."
Alexis' first labor with her son started with her water breaking, and contractions were close together and difficult to manage. She ended up with an epidural as she was near the end and feeling the urge to push! She ended up tearing from that birth in an unusual way. Her most recent birth was just 3 weeks ago with her daughter. She chose a birth center the second time, and her labor went completely differently. The labor was amazing the second time around with a short and intense pushing phase. Connect with Alexis via Kansas City Doulas.
Chelsea and Clayton began trying to conceive in early 2014, before undergoing 2 rounds of IVF in 2015 that resulted in two pregnancy losses including their first son, Colt, who passed at 16 weeks gestation. Upon return from a belated honeymoon, they were delighted to find out they were pregnant without any medical intervention. Chelsea wished to give birth at a local Birth Center, but her plans changed due to high blood pressure. She was induced at 37 weeks and had an epidural-free labor and birth at a local hospital attended by her midwife and doula. Following a 10-day NICU stay, Chelsea and Clayton's son was finally welcomed home.
After 3 years of testing and fertility treatments, Mary Kate and Brad were excited to find out that their second IUI attempt was successful! On November 16, 2016, after 31 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing, baby Reid was born. Mary Kate was able to get through her long labor by using the hypnobirthing techniques she learned during her pregnancy. At the end of the labor, vacuum extraction was required to give Mary Kate the ability to give birth vaginally. While she was overjoyed and in love with her new baby boy, Mary Kate discovered that she had suffered a 4th degree tear during labor. Mary Kate knew that this serious tear could lead to a difficult recovery, but a week later she developed another complication known as a rectovaginal fistula. Three weeks after the birth of her baby, Mary Kate underwent surgery to repair the fistula.
After 2 very long and early hospital births with CNM's, Hannah and her husband, Gabriel, prepared for their first birth center birth. After early labor threatened at 28 weeks, she transferred back to her hospital midwifery team, trying everything to keep her 3rd pregnancy from turning into another preterm birth. After many medications and trips to L&D, her little third baby decided to take his time after all. 2 weeks of prodromal labor ended in a lightning fast delivery on the side of the highway at 39 weeks. They chose a home birth for baby 4 and had another precipitous labor and birth supported by midwives.
Sarah Daggett had 3 very positive unmedicated hospital births with her OB and a doula. She struggled with low supply when breastfeeding and was eventually diagnosed with mammary hypoplasia, which is a condition she didn't know about before her diagnosis. Connect with her on Instagram at @welcometoourmess.
This episode is sponsored by Brentwood Home, a family-owned company that has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades. Brentwood Home uses natural, ethically sourced materials that are safe for your family and the environment. Outfit your nursery with their top-rated crib mattresses, changing pads, and nursing pillows, made with healthy fibers like organic cotton and organic coconut husk. Visit brentwoodhome.com/birthhour and use the code birthhour for 15% off your purchase!
As a girl who said she never wanted kids and never imagined having or holding her own baby, Andrea was delightfully and profoundly surprised by the miracle that is pregnancy and motherhood. After the shock of missing her first period turned into blissful anticipation, she approached pregnancy and birth as though she was training for the most important athletic event of her life. Her baby, Montana, entered the world quickly and beautifully, in the comfort and warmth of their own home.
Jen planned a hospital birth with a midwife and was disappointed: after being told that her baby was in the single footling breech position, she found herself in the operating room after many months of envisioning a normal labor and delivery. She had a very painful recovery and knew she didn’t want to just schedule a cesarean for her next baby.
Her OB/GYN was very supportive, and assured her that she was an excellent VBAC candidate since she had her cesarean for breech. But when she went out into the world, many friends and family members could not believe that she would consider a VBAC, which led her to do tons of research and develop VBAC Facts. In this episode she shares her cesarean and VBAC birth stories as well as some really great information around VBACs in general!
Same-sex couple Mariel and Viviana knew they always wanted a baby; so, a year into their marriage they began trying to conceive by the traditional route of IUI's with frozen sperm via a sperm bank. After nearly a dozen failed tries, they switched gears to a known-donor and were quickly pregnant. Early on in Viviana's pregnancy she began having complications, and on the same day of her anatomy scan at 20 weeks and 6 days, Viviana's water bag prolapsed and broke. Tune in to hear the details of their devastating infant loss due to incompetent cervix and the redemption story of their boy/girl rainbow babies conceived within 7 days of each other and born only three days apart. Follow their journey on Instagram at @moderndaytwins.
Lindsey shares her birth center, hospital, and homebirth stories ... and about having twins TWICE! Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.
Scarlet originally planned to give birth at a birth center, but those plans changed close to the end of her pregnancy when she received a gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis.Still, Jane’s birth was a very powerful, intense, yet rewarding experience. At 41.5 weeks, Scarlet's labor started in the middle of the night and progressed quickly, but stalled after her hospital check-in. Scarlet's doctor ended up breaking her water, which jump-started her labor again, and her daughter, Jane, was born soon after. A retained placenta led to a manual extraction and extra blood loss; but, everyone went home healthy the next day. But only 4 days later, Scarlet's family was back in the doctor’s office due to a thyroid problem that showed up on Jane’s newborn screen.
After months of research about unmedicated birth and creating a “birth plan” with her midwives, Lauren’s birth center birth didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped. Her long labor started with slow dilation and ended with a transfer to a hospital to get an epidural and a host of other interventions. While everything turned out fine and baby was born healthy, she dealt with many months of regret, guilt, and sadness related to her birth story. Lauren hopes that by sharing her story she’ll help other women to know that it’s important to educate yourself about birth, and if things don’t go as planned, it’s okay to grieve the loss of your ideal birth. You may just find community and empowerment through your experience.