Backseat Car Birth Followed by Homebirths
Melissa opted for a birth center birth for her first baby. After an unexpected first birth in the backseat of the car, she chose to have her next two babies at home with the support of a midwife. She pulls from these very different birth experiences and the confidence that they granted her daily as she leads a Facebook community of over 200,000 moms.
Melissa Wirt Bio
Melissa is a mom to Nathaniel (4), Alexander (3), and Caroline (1). Empowered and inspired by the births of her children, Melissa founded Latched Mama: an online community and a clothing line for nursing moms. She spends her days outside of Richmond, Va with her husband, Eric, chasing after the kids, searching for new ways to innovate and grow the business, and trying really hard to keep it all together. As a trained (non practicing) birth doula and CLC, she is passionate about supporting all moms no matter what their journey to motherhood looks like. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram (@latchedmama, @thelatchedmama).
Latched Mama is on a mission to support new moms with affordable and functional nursing wear. Using comfortable fabrics and modern designs that also work for 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 and featuring 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.
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Alexis is a survivor of sexual assault and never once considered how that experience would impact her birth until she read “When Survivors Give Birth” for her Doula training. It was life changing and made her realize why she hit a wall in both of her births. She shares how her birth center and hospital births were both impacted by the fact that she never felt completely safe and therefore wasn’t relaxing and opening to give birth. Alexis hopes to use her experience to hold space with other survivors and let them know their birth can actually set them free.
Alexis is passionate about every woman’s right to have informed and supported births. She tirelessly planned and prepared for her own natural births, only to be greatly disappointed by the need for intervention. Her own struggle with accepting her births inspired her to become a doula and build a holistic practice that incorporates not only birth and postpartum support services, but that also recognizes the link between birth and mental health. She created the Mindful Mama Collective with the hope of helping other mamas feel confident and supported as they heal and grow into new motherhood.
Alexis Edwards Bio
Alexis is the perpetually tired mama to two fuego babes by day and an LCSW/doula/blogger by night. She survives on all the sarcasm and caffeine and rambles about motherhood and social justice on her blog Mrs. Mombie. You can also find her daily ramblings and sometimes foul-mouthed shenanigans on her Instagram.
When Survivors Give Birth
Listen to me chat with Sarah about BabyList at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry of some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum! Be sure to enter their BIG $5000 giveaway to prepare for baby!
photos by Moments from the Heart Photography
Alexis’ Birth at a Birth Center in St. Augustine Florida
Alexis Ayala Bio
Alexis Benita Ayala is an accomplished artist, graphic designer, and lover of all things creative. She met and quickly fell in love with an artist/carpenter named Hudson. As free-spirited as she is, on their second date, Alexis mentioned to Hudson that if they had a baby (and it was a boy), his name would be “Sebastian”…and asked if he was Okay with that. He was! And November 2014, she gave birth to their new (most cherished) collaboration piece, Sebastian. Alexis loves being a mother, and says it has made her into a better person – for not only herself, but for her family. She feels more patient, compassionate, tolerant, and understanding. Although her journey wasn’t the easiest, or most painless, she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. You can easily connect with her on Facebook, and/or Instagram.
Alexis encourages all to read (or listen to) the book, Reform Your Inner Mean Girl and to practice self-love on a daily basis. Her passion is to inspire and uplift. She advocates creating a compassionate support system on which one can lean when those moments of self-doubt and “not enough” occur.
You can listen to Reform Your Inner Mean Girl for free with a 30 day Audible trial. Visit The Birth Hour Audible page and you’ll be supporting the podcast at the same time!
Lily Jade Giveaway!
Be sure to check out today’s sponsor, Lily Jade luxury diaper bags and enter the giveaway below — two lucky winners will receive a $300 credit to Lily Jade!
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Birth Center Birth Story
Today’s guest, Caitlyn, shares her experience giving birth at a birth center in Cary, NC called Baby+Co. She chose this birth center after not feeling supported in her hospital birth experience with her first child. Caitlyn had an amazing experience for her second and third children’s births at the Baby+Co birth center, and it was so great to hear her most recent birth story along with her midwife, Beth.
Caitlyn Kick Bio
Caitlyn Kick is a stay at home Mom to her 3 daughters, aged 3, 17 months, and 2 months. She attended East Carolina University, where she received her degree in Nutrition. She and her husband, Tyler, have been married 4 years. They live in Cary, NC. Watch this beautiful video from Caitlyn’s birth.
Elizabeth Tyson Bio
Caitlyn is joined by her midwife, Elizabeth Tyson, to tell this story together. Beth originally hails from Chicago, and recently relocated to Cary with her 26-month old son and husband to become part of the Baby+Co
. family. She received her Master of Science in Nurse Midwifery and Master of Public Health in Maternal Child Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Beth has a particular interest in reducing disparities in low birth weight and preterm delivery. She has immersed herself in the well-being of women and families across the lifespan for many years, and takes great pleasure in assisting women in finding a place within healthcare where they feel valued, respected, and heard. Beth feels at home with Baby + Co., because they too seek to provide women with respectful care, and she is proud to help meet the needs of women and families in North Carolina.
Learn more about Baby+Co., including their model of care and outcomes by visiting their website. They are growing steadily with locations around the U.S.
Hospital and Birth Center Stories
This episode features Denver mama, Alaina, who struggled to get pregnant and had two miscarriages before using Clomid for her 3rd pregnancy, and gave birth in a hospital setting. She found out she was pregnant again without any outside assistance just a year later and gave birth at a birth center, having an unexpected waterbirth.
Alaina Isbouts Bio
Alaina and her husband Philip met while living abroad in Prague, and quickly bonded over their mutual love of travel and shared view of the world around them. Though they got engaged very quickly, they enjoyed their time together traveling before they bought a house, settled down, and decided to try for a family. It unexpectedly took them a year and a half before they got pregnant with their first, a natural miscarriage at home. Eight months later, in a new home and new city, they found out they were once again pregnant. Once again, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Alaina and Philip went through fertility testing and were finally able to have a healthy pregnancy with the help of Clomid. Her first birth was a 20-hour natural birth in a hospital.
Shortly after celebrating their baby’s first birthday, Alaina found out she was unexpectedly pregnant, though she was still nursing and not taking any fertility medications. This time they decided to go with a birth center, and ended up with a beautiful and unplanned waterbirth. She currently calls Denver home, along with her husband of eight years and their two boys, Julian (3) and Finley (11 months). Alaina is a freelance editor and writer, and you can find her online at alainaisbouts.com. She is on Instagram and Twitter @alainaisbouts.
Alaina recommends reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and taking a birth preparation class.
Listen to me chat with Whitney about BabyList at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry of some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum!
*photos by Monet Nicole Birthing Stories. Monet has also shared her birth stories on The Birth Hour.
Today we have a unique episode featuring a mom, Gisyra, and her midwife, Margaret, sharing Gisyra’s birth center birth story together. It’s really neat to hear the perspective of the mom and her midwife and the beautiful bond they seem to have formed throughout her prenantal care and birth.
Gisyra’s Birth Film
Kisyra – a birth by Kalimana Film Stories from Kalli Pavon on Vimeo.
Gisyra and her husband are both in the military and her husband was stationed at Fort Campbell outside of Nashville and knew that she wanted a natural birth and after being unhappy with her care with another care provider she found Baby+Company birth center in Nashville and immediately felt a connection with Margaret and looked forward to all of her visits and prenatal classes at the birth center. Baby+Company is a national birth center with 5 locations in the U.S.
Margaret Buxton has been practicing as a midwife since 1999 in both birth center and hospital based settings. She is a passionate advocate of the birth center model of care—which puts women and their families first. This evidence-based, high-value approach to maternity care extends the range of options available for clients and provides a caring environment conducive to a safe, healthy birth. She is married and the mother of four children, Lila, Ava, Mack and Bodie.
The Birth Hour and Baby+Company partnered to bring you this episode in celebration of National Midwifery Week. Baby+Company’s goal is to create opportunities for women to have the most positive experience possible, on their own terms, supported by a team of caregivers that respect their wishes completely.