Yunji and her husband Kent had planned for a natural hypnobirth with a doula in a hospital. They spent weeks taking classes and practicing hypnosis at home, only to learn that their baby girl was breech at 36 weeks. Yunji did everything she could to get the baby to turn including acupuncture, moxibustion, yoga, special chiropractic treatments, handstands in the pool (yes really, every day!) and even an external cephalic version at the hospital. Nothing worked. She ended up having a scheduled c-section at 39 and a half weeks. Their baby girl Kaya was born on August 19, 2017, just over 8 pounds – her head was in the 98th percentile, which doctors told Yunji and Kent may explain why Kaya didn’t or couldn’t turn.
Yunji de Nies Bio
Yunji is a freelance journalist in Honolulu. Raised on the Big Island, Yunji is a graduate of Yale University with a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. She is a former ABC News White House and National Correspondent, and spent five years anchoring the evening news at KITV, the ABC affiliate in Honolulu. Long before she was even thinking about having a baby, she interviewed Ricki Lake about her documentary, The Business of Being Born, a film that deeply impacted her and one she now recommends to all expectant mothers. Yunji loves being a mom and has been blessed to be able to spend most of her time at home with her baby, while still carving out time to stay engaged in journalism. She works for a variety of media outlets in Hawaii, including PBS Hawaii and Civil Beat. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @yunijd
At the end of today’s episode we chatted with Munchkin founder of Milk Makers products, Emily and LATCH specialist, Allison. Check out their Milkmakers products, Latch™ bottles and accessories, and STEP™ Diaper Pail.
A self-described “professional Type-A planner,” Courtney feels she spent “too many hours” crafting the “perfect” birth plan… only to toss it out the window during labor and delivery. At 38 weeks, after learning Jackson was breech, and that she was Group B positive and only dilated .5CM, Courtney scheduled an induction for 40W6D; but, she went into labor 1.5 days before induction day.
At the hospital, Courtney learned that meconium in her fluid would require a NICU team at birth; and, while Jackson had turned, he was still in the occiput posterior position. Eventually, after several hours on Pitocin, Courtney’s amniotic sac had resealed (which required an amnio-hook) and her contractions were ineffective, causing her cervix to swell and making the situation potentially dangerous for mama and baby.
After taking what she describes as “hit after hit,” her birth story ends via C-section, including a failed epidural and hemorrhage. She and Wes welcomed baby Jackson at 8:38PM… 8 minutes after her previously scheduled induction time.
During postpartum, Courtney struggled with breastfeeding Jackson, and made the very difficult decision to stop after a few weeks. She also experienced intense postpartum anxiety for which she eventually (around 6 months pp) sought professional help through her Primary Care Provider and licensed therapist. During this time, Courtney relied on the tremendous amount of support she received from her husband, family, friends, and even her client, Sarah, who candidly shared her own new motherhood stories and encouraged Courtney to make the best decisions for her and her family. Today, about a month shy of Jackson’s first birthday, Courtney has established her “new normal” and couldn’t imagine life without the stubborn, giggly, busy little boy she made.
Professionally, Courtney is one of the voices behind Sarah Wells Bags as Sarah’s primary marketing consultant. She loves supporting other new mamas in their breastfeeding and pumping journeys, wherever (and for however long) it may take them, and can’t get enough new baby pics. Feel free to reach out to her anytime at email@example.com.
Courtney Byrd Bio
Courtney and husband, Wes, welcomed their first (and likely only!) child, Jackson, in August 2016. Courtney experienced a miscarriage in October 2014, had a somewhat difficult pregnancy, and ultimately delivered Jackson via C-section. Given her experience working with Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags and the several newborn and breastfeeding classes she attended, Courtney was confident her fourth trimester would be a breeze … until she began experiencing difficulty breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. Now, her advice to new moms is: “Set yourself up for success even if you have to ‘fail’ first.” For example, she recommends knowing what your breastfeeding resources are and who to talk to if you’re experiencing any type of postpartum depression or anxiety. Courtney and family now live in Austin, Texas, where they survive off of breakfast tacos and “weird” vibes. Courtney works with Sarah Wells Bags and is one of the several voices behind @sarahwellsbags on social media and their blog.
KellyMom (“For those 3AM feeding SOS searches.”) Motherly (Courtney subscribes to the week-by-week motherhood guide.)
“Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise.” – Unknown
Sarah Wells Bags
This episode is sponsored by Sarah Wells Bags. With thoughtful functionality and chic styling, Sarah Wells offers breast pump bags and accessories to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. An all-in-one bag for your breast pump, pumping accessories, laptop, phone and more, Sarah Wells Bags also transition to a diaper bag or purse when you’re done pumping. See the full collection, including the Pumparoo—a wet/dry bag and staging mat for pump parts at sarahwellsbags.com. Use promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com. Be sure to check out their World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway and FB Live over on their FB page.
Chylanne’s pregnancy began with a hope for a natural home waterbirth but quickly turned into copious amounts of research and a panic to find someone to deliver her breech baby. She feels that she went from one end of the spectrum to the completee opposite; ending with a c-section. She says she didn’t enjoy being pregnant and was really looking forward to feeling redeemed through birth. She went through a grieving process when she found out her daughter, Mila, was breech because she felt like everything she wanted out of birth was ripped away from her. Chylanne says it was hard coming to terms with the potential of having to have a c-section, but after trying and doing everything she could and having lots of support from those that loved her (like her amazing friend, Jana, who has also gone through a natural birth and c-sections) she was able to feel the validation that she needed from her birthing experience.
Chylanne Schindel Bio
Chylanne is wife to Kai, a new mother to Mila and has a dog named JJ. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked as a respite provider for families with children with autism, and has been an activity leader at the Boys and Girls club, an organization that is very close to her heart. She is currently a stay at home mom and hopes to continue in that role until she and her husband are done having children. She is absolutely in love with her little girl and enjoys every minute with her. She is working on getting back to writing more regularly on her blog because she really enjoys it; but, as a new mom she’s still trying to balance everything including self care. She also wants to complete her certification as a Doula and would love to pursue a future career supporting other women through their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journeys. Connect with her via her blog.
This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I don’t have a hometown, but if I had to claim one, it would be Dallas, TX. I met Mariel in college at UNT and quickly fell in love. A few years into our dating, and after moving to Austin, she asked me to marry her; so, we had a ceremony in TX and made it legal in NYC when I was 29 and she was 22. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and never could have guessed the road to realizing it would be so hard. Now the Mama to my “modern day twins” and my little angel baby in heaven, I’m at peace. My loss and the birth world has been truly inspirational to me so I share as much as I can on social media and hope to give back somehow. Connect with me on Instagram at @vivianarchy.
I grew up in Brownsville, TX, which is on the Texas/Mexico border and never lived anywhere else until I left for college where I met Viviana and instantly fell in love. Up until meeting her, my life was pretty vanilla: I had a set goal, and was meeting every expectation my very traditional Mexican family set out for me. Then, all of a sudden, I threw all of that out of the window and started taking risks I’d never imagine were possible – I graduated college in three years and moved to the most expensive city in Texas without a job just so I could finally live passionately. It’s been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs, but despite the uncertainties, we’ve always managed to land on our feet and have been blessed beyond measure. I love to tell our story to anybody that will listen so that people see that there is hope so long as you don’t give up and are willing to take as many detours as life throws your way. Connect with me on Instagram at @cafesitamami.
Sarah Wells Bags
This episode is sponsored by Sarah Wells Bags. With thoughtful functionality and chic styling, Sarah Wells offers breast pump bags and accessories to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. An all-in-one bag for your breast pump, pumping accessories, laptop, phone and more, Sarah Wells Bags also transition to a diaper bag or purse when you’re done pumping. See the full collection, including the Pumparoo—a wet/dry bag and staging mat for pump parts at sarahwellsbags.com.
We are giving away a $150 shop credit and there is also a promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com.