Dad Catches Baby on Side of the Road & Homebirth

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.

Hannah Neas Bio

Hannah is as self-proclaimed geek and wife, and mother of four children ages 9, 6, 3, and 1. She is a long time childbirth educator and lover of all things birth and babies. While birth and motherhood are her chief passions, she also works as a fashion consultant specializing in maternity, nursing, and postpartum clothing. She lives in the little town of Taylor, TX with her family and 2 cats in a strange and rambling 100 year old home that is her little slice of paradise. Connect with her on Facebook.

Resources

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
La Leche League
Bradley Method , Hannah’s Class
Spinning Babies
Miles Circuit
Evidence Based Birth

Aeroflow Breastpumps

This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow BreastpumpsAeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!

Four Preemie Baby Birth Stories & NICU Stays

Julie Martin Bio

Julie Martin is a wife and homeschooling mother of 4 precious babies. Her first baby was born ten years ago, very unexpectedly, at 30 weeks by c-section; and, he spent two months in the NICU. Despite trying all the natural remedies and labor stalling methods, each subsequent baby was also born prematurely (33,33, and 32 weeks) by c-section, and each spent a month in the NICU as well. Never imagining being a c-section or NICU mommy, Julie has a heart to encourage women who have had birth experiences that just don’t turn out like they anticipate.

Resources

Get help at the NICU with breastfeeding. Here’s a little audio clip of advice from Julie on how she did that!
Preemies – Second Edition: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies

Ruby Love Baby

The Ruby Love Baby Book is a modern twist on the classic baby memory book. Designed by a mom looking for something relevant and current, but also something timeless and precious that would be a handwritten heirloom that would grow with her child, the Ruby Love Baby Book will help you do just that and document your pregnancy through the first year of your baby’s life and beyond. With additional pages such as NICU pages, adoption pages, holiday pages and the Ruby Love School Years Book, you can be sure to remember all of the little things that you never want to forget. Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your purchase.

Ruby Love Baby is also on Etsy and the coupon code works there as well!

Dealing with Anxiety Before, During and After Pregnancy

I never had anxiety before having kids and even after my kids were born it was mostly normal every day worry not full blown anxiety. Then, when my son was one year old, my best friend’s son was stillborn and full on anxiety kicked in. I was there with her when we found out he was gone and I was one of her go-to people of support in the dark days after her loss. I wanted to be there for her and was glad that she was opening up to me, but it didn’t come without it’s own affects on my mental and physical well-being. I began to have anxiety attacks that manifested in the form of what fell life labor contractions and would last for hours and sometimes days.

I went to therapy for the first time in my life and opened up about not just about the loss of my friend’s son and the affect on me but also issues that came up from my past. I highly recommend therapy to help with anxiety or at the very least talking to someone in your life rather than holding it in. Although, I never felt I needed pharmaceutical drugs, I know there are many people who do benefit from them. In this post I wanted to share some of the things that helped me through this dark time and continue to help me today as I deal with daily bouts of anxiety and occasional anxiety attacks.

using labor ball

Meditation

Initially I had a really hard time falling asleep as I tried to process what I had just been through and kept putting myself in my friend’s shoes knowing she was suffering and that for whatever I went through it was so much worse for her. I found that falling asleep to a guided meditation was very helpful to me and I ended up recommending it to my friend and she benefitting from it as well. I especially love Expectful if you are in the pregnancy or motherhood stage of life. I also discovered this special headband that makes falling asleep with headphones a bit more comfortable.

Mother’s Wort

This supplement continues to help me immensely with managing anxiety. If I start to feel a little anxious for no apparent reason, I squirt some in my mouth and I notice a real difference very quickly. Warning, it tastes gross but if you chase it with some water, the taste goes away quickly. This tincture, also has motherwort in it and was created by a midwife I know well to increase fertility so if you’re trying to conceive and anxious, I recommend it highly as well!

Exercise

The mental benefits of even a 30 minute walk are pretty amazing and if you want a more intense workout my favorite free resources are the 7 minute workout app or yoga videos on youtube. If you’re expecting, I’m a huge fan of Knocked Up Fitness which offers specific breathing techniques, yoga and workout routines for pregnant moms.

Sleep

Getting enough sleep when you’re dealing with anxiety is really important but it’s also often hard to turn your brain off in the evening. My friend loved a relaxation technique that can be found in the Yoga for Grief Relief that has lots of great resources she loved. Basically before going to sleep, while lying down you start at your feet and concentrate on each part of your body being totally relaxed. Repeat in your head, “my feet are completely relaxed,” and once they start to tingle you move up to your calves, thighs, pelvis, stomach, etc. until you’ve done your entire body. She said this exercise helped her not to lie down in bed and toss and turn thinking about everything.

For anxiety at bedtime, my friend also swears by this Eucalyptus spray that her mother-in-law who’s a L&D nurse recommended. It’s pricey but lasts for quite awhile with just one spray on the pillow each night.

sleep meditation

Specific Support Groups

My friend shared with me that social media groups help you feel less alone and crazy and the more specific the group is to your own experience, the better. For instance, there’s a FB group for pregnancy after loss specifically for moms of 3rd trimester losses. I imagine that regardless of what is causing anxiety for you, there’s a Facebook group or even local in-person support group that could help.

Fast Unmedicated Hospital Birth & Low Platelets

Precipitous Labor in Hospital Setting

Katie had a very fast, unmedicated (due to time and low-platelets) hospital birth with an OB. She had the support of her mother and her husband. Though she prepared for labor with classes at a birth center, there was never a chance to use the techniques in the three hours she labored.
 low platelets birth story

Katie Scheid Bio

Katie lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband Jean-Marie, 16 month old daughter Lara, and corgi, Finn. Though she has found her true passion as a stay-at-home mom she still works as a freelance illustrator at night and in the wee hours of the morning. Connect with her at katiescheid.com.

Dad Birth Story Series of The Birth Hour

Listen to the special Dad’s series of birth stories by joining our Patreon!

Resources

Birth classes

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May

The One Bad Mother and their private Facebook group for support, particularly the (not officially affiliated) spin-off group: One Bad Boob

The one parenting book Katie read: Bringing Up Bebe

Sponsored by WavHello

bellybuds

BellyBuds by WavHello are adhesive speakers that gently adhere to a pregnant womb. BellyBuds help relax and reduce stress, stimulate early development and promote positive connectivity in the brain through music. At the end of today’s episode we share a conversation with Curtis Williams & Jama Williamson of WavHello as well as Andy of Parent.co and Chris of Run Your Pack. 

Three Beautiful Hospital Births & Mammary Hypoplasia

Three hospital birth stories and breastfeeding struggles

Sarah Daggett planned an unmedicated hospital birth for her first child, for which she prepared by finding an OB who is supportive of unmedicated births and by hiring an amazing doula. These two kindred spirits, along with Sarah’s husband, Matt, helped Sarah to execute an amazing and empowering delivery with just 8 hours of active labor. A week after her son arrived Sarah made the devastating discovery that he wasn’t gaining weight due to her extremely low milk supply. Meetings with several lactation consultants and her OB led to a diagnosis of mammary hypoplasia, a condition where the glandular tissue required to breastfeed does not develop normally during adolescence. Unfortunately, mammary hypoplasia makes exclusive breastfeeding difficult to impossible.

When Sarah found out she was expecting baby number two, she immediately alerted her dream team and planned for a second unmedicated birth with the same wonderful people. Her daughter arrived on her due date, this time after just 4 hours of active labor. Despite a wonderful delivery and a perfect baby, Sarah was frustrated to discover that she was still unable to exclusively breastfeed even for individual feedings.

Four years later, Sarah and Matt were again planning for a new baby and were so thankful that their MVPs were still on board. Baby number three, another daughter, rushed into the world a week early and was born only an hour after they arrived at the hospital in an unplanned water birth with just 2 minutes of pushing.

In this episode Sarah relates all three of her birth stories and talks about her breastfeeding struggles with all three babies.

sarah daggett birth story

Sarah Daggett

Sarah Daggett is a data scientist and research engineer who lives just outside of Boston, MA, with her husband, Matt, their three kids, and two very patient cats. She is originally from the southeast coast of Virginia and earned a B.S. in chemical engineering at Virginia Tech. She and Matt relocated to Boston in 2005 to pursue jobs at MIT and fell in love with New England, where they have decided to stay. When not working at a small technology startup or enjoying maternity leave with her adorable babies, Sarah loves sewing, cooking, reading and watching competence porn. You can find her on Instagram @welcometoourmess.

Resources

The Birth Hour
New Mom Groups
Babywearing
Post About Breastfeeding Supply
Information about mammary hypoplasia
Jewish Family and Children’s Services support groups
Birth photography

Brentwood Home

Go natural in the nursery with Brentwood Home! This family-owned company has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades, using 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!

Rainbow Dad Tee

Check out the rainbow dad tee here. 

rainbow dad tee

 

Active Pregnancy & Homebirth Birth Story

Homebirth Story

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.

homebirth story with photos

Andrea Thompson Bio

Andrea is a born-and-raised Wisconsin girl and lover of adventure, fitness, food, nature, and above all, Christ. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and within the last 7 years has lived in Florida, Israel, Tennessee and Montana. She has a varied resume, including being a main character on an MTV reality show, called “College Life” and being the co-host of a Bible study documentary series, called “Thunder in the Holy Land”. She married her husband, Danny Thompson, in August of 2015 and their daughter was born in January of 2017. In the midst of motherhood, she spends her time training clients, teaching group fitness classes, preaching, blogging, vlogging, horseback riding, gardening, and playing outside! You can get in touch with Andrea via her website www.permacultureprincess.com, her Instagram @permaculture.princess and @drea.loves.life and on Facebook at Permaculture Princess.

Resources

Books:
“Pushed” By: Jennifer Block
The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning
“Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth”
“HypnoBirthing”

Documentary:
Business of Being Born

Podcasts:
The Birth Hour, The BirthFIT Podcast, The Birthful Podcast, Yoga/Birth/Babies, The Healthy Moms Podcast, and Pregnancy Podcast

Babylist

Listen to me chat with Rachel about today’s sponsor, BabyList, at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry of some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum!

Cesarean for Footling Breech Followed by VBAC

Jen Kamel’s Birth Stories – Cesarean followed by VBAC

Jen Kamel planned a hospital birth with a midwife and 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 vaginal 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 (vaginal birth after cesarean) 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!

Jen Kamel Bio

Jen Kamel is a VBAC strategist and nationally recognized consumer advocate. She is also known as the founder of VBAC Facts, an educational, training and consulting firm. She has been invited to present Grand Rounds at hospitals educating obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists, midwives, residents, and midwifery students on the latest VBAC evidence. She has traveled the country as a California Board of Registered Nursing Continuing Education Provider presenting her signature program “The Truth About VBAC” to hundreds of professionals and highly motivated parents. She speaks at national conferences and has worked as a legislative consultant in various states including California, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Indiana focusing on midwifery legislation and regulations. She has testified multiple times in front of the California Medical Board and legislative committees on the importance of VBAC access, is a board member for the California Association of Midwives and the California Association of Licensed Midwives, and has served as an expert witness in a legal proceeding.

Additional Resources

Debunk 5 Uterine Rupture Myths

13 Myths About VBAC Facts

Latched Mama

Latched Mama is on a mission to support new moms with affordable and functional nursing wear. Using comfortable fabrics and modern designs that work for both tandem feeding and pumping, Latched Mama is helping moms nurse confidently and comfortably wherever they are. Also, check out their new labor dress! Made from a super-soft fabric, it features snaps up the front and back for monitoring and epidural placement, and snaps at the shoulders for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding access. The Latched Mama labor dress can truly bring a little extra comfort and confidence to your next birth. Latched Mama also has an extensive plus size line up to 4X.

Switched from OB to Homebirth at 32 Weeks

Christine switched from a hospital OB/GYN birth to a midwife home birth at 32 weeks. She swam throughout her pregnancy, using that time to mentally prepare for labor. Christine was in active labor for 5 hours and pushed for 30 minutes. Her husband was the first to pick up their son, placing him directly on Christine for immediate skin to skin. Christine received one small natural tear and did not require stitches.

Christine Riley Bio

Christine is a wife and mom to an 18 month old boy. She is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service and lives in central California. In her spare time she enjoys swimming, hiking, and international travel. You can connect with Christine on Instagram and Twitter: @steneriley

ob-switch-to-midwife

Earth Mama Angel Baby

Some of my favorite products and resources from Earth Mama Angel Baby!

Lying in Postpartum Plan
Bottom Spray
Bottom Balm
Postpartum Herb Baths

On Shared Bedrooms, Bedtime Routines & Sleep

My whole life I’ve needed A LOT of sleep… when I was a baby, the doctor told my mom to wake me up more often to eat because I loved sleep so much. As a teenager, my mom jokingly called me Sleeping Beauty because I would sleep in so late on the weekends (we’re talking like 3pm late). And I was so cranky in the mornings on school days that we didn’t even speak to each other—the teenager equivalent of “don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee”. I’ve always needed a lot of sleep and I’ve always been cognizant of prioritizing sleep. Even in college, I could only “go out” one night of the weekend or I’d feel miserable for days. Not worth it!

How Sleep Changed After a Baby

When we were expecting our first baby, I was naturally worried about how I’d handle the sleepless nights and while it was certainly exhausting in the early weeks, the universe must have known what I needed and gave me a baby that loved to sleep too! After the newborn days of constant feeding/sleeping on a rotation and once she started sleeping through the night, Adelaide would go to bed at 6pm, wake up to nurse around 7am and then go back to sleep with me until sometimes close to 10am!

Not only was she amazing at sleeping through the night, she would take two good naps a day. One in the morning that was usually around an hour and then one big one in the afternoon that was at least 2 hours and sometimes closer to three. All of my friends were amazed by how much she was sleeping and I definitely wasn’t complaining!

What Sleep Looks Like After Baby Number Two

When her brother was born, Adelaide was only 19 months old and very much a baby herself so she continued with naps and we started to learn Darwin’s sleep habits. He never clocked quite as many hours of sleep as she had but he was SO easy to put down to sleep. You would just lay him in his bed, say “I love you” and “sleep well” and you wouldn’t hear a peep from him as he easily put himself to sleep. He has always woken up much earlier than she does but he doesn’t wake up screaming and usually will play in bed for a good while before deciding it’s time to wake up mom and dad.

What Sleep Looks Like When Sharing a Room

If you’re still reading at this point and don’t completely hate me yet, you might feel relieved to hear that this amazing sleep didn’t last forever. And things got even more complicated when we decided to have them share a room. Bedtime is complete mania—they literally bounce off the walls and never seem to get tired!! We started with floor beds and recently upgraded to new, firmer mattresses and platform beds hoping that it would seem more like a real bed and less like a trampoline on the floor.

They tend to do well on the weekends when they are exhausted and haven’t had a nap but on school nights (when they need the sleep the most!) they have a hard time falling asleep and we keep telling ourselves that they have to exhaust themselves enough eventually and we are still waiting for eventually to come. The major saving grace is that once they ARE asleep, they STAY asleep! So while it sounds like a herd of elephants in their room most evenings, it’s completely quiet all night long while they are snug in their beds.

What’s your room/bed situation like? Any tips for shared room sleep?

This post is shared in partnership with Brentwood Home, who also
provided the mattresses. Thank you so much for reading!

Infertility Treatments, Preemie Twins & NICU Stay

After 3 IUI’s and on her 3rd round of IVF Jenica became pregnant! She will never forget the incredible happiness when the blood test came back positive! At 10 weeks, she found out she was having twins! Along with pregnancy came morning sickness, discomfort, cankles, and long nights! But gratitude overwhelmed every emotion for Jenica as her dream of becoming a mother had finally become a reality. Her boy and girl twins had to be delivered at 32 weeks because of Preeclampsia! Harris came first and then Goldie! Her first weeks as a mother included her and her husband Tyler visiting their sweet little ones in the NICU every day. After 5 weeks in the NICU the family of four was able to all go home together! Learn more about her journey here and you can connect with her on Instagram.

Jenica Parcell Bio

Jenica Parcell started her blog titled, “A Slice of Style” in 2014. She wanted to share the best deals on the nicest things for a slice of the price. After struggling with infertility for several years, her blog evolved and she shared her struggle to grow her family by documenting each needle, doctor’s visit and wish for her future child during her 3rd round of IVF. That “child” turned into “children”! Her twins Harris and Goldie were born after 3 IUI’s and 3 rounds of IVF. She now shares tidbits about her life as a mama to twins along with deals, fashion, and lifestyle!

ivf twins

Resources

Fertility IQ
Taking Charge of Your Fertility 
Fertility Supplements

Theralogix

This episode is sponsored by Theralogix, makers of the TheraNatal line of nutritional supplements. TheraNatal supplements are specifically formulated to meet a woman’s unique nutrient needs before, during, and after pregnancy. All TheraNatal vitamins are dye-free, gluten-free, and cost less than the typical insurance co-pay. Use this link to get a discount of approximately 15% off your purchase and enter our $250 giveaway below!