First Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story
Elise and her husband took The Bradley Method birth class to prepare for what turned out to be a marathon birth, 45.5 hours. After being sent home once from the hospital, Elise was finally admitted after 26 hours of labor needing some fluids and rest. Elise finally delivered her firstborn he next day on all fours unmedicated with her midwife, the NICU team, her husband, her birth photographer, and her mom all in the room. She found out she delivered a boy, Shepherd, just moments before having to hand him over to the NICU team for meconium.
Second Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story
Much like her first birth, Elise felt regular contractions early in the morning a day after her due date. She and her husband were determined to make her labor go faster than her previous birth by walking labor out and pumping frequently. Unfortunately, prodromal labor set in just like the previous birth and Elise was only 5cm after 27 hours of labor. After walking around the midwifery clinic twice, Elise went and checked into the hospital with her husband and mom. Her birth photographer showed up within the hour. Although laboring was almost identical to her first baby, the pushing phase was completely different. Elise progressed to 10cm within 3 hours but experienced shoulder dystocia as she started to push. Finally after 32.5 hours of labor, Elise’s baby was born and she found out she had another boy, Judah, before again having to pass him off to NICU for meconium.
Third Birth—Home Waterbirth Story
Although meconium was a real factor with the third baby, Elise was hoping for a quicker labor and no meconium. Contractions started in the early morning from nursing her 2nd son and they never stopped. Elise labored all day going to the chiropractor, resting, walking, and bouncing on the ball, but this labor was looking just as long as the previous two. She crawled into bed early that night trying to rest as much as possible but still needing to get up every 10-12 minutes to manage each contraction. The next morning she finally called her midwife, doula, and birth photographer to come over to her house. Her contractions felt so much more intense than her previous births with counter pressure or positions barely alleviating any pain. Elise sat at 7-8cm dilated for almost 4 hours but finally stretched to 10cm with consented help from her midwife. Elise moved to the birth pool and pushed her surprise baby girl out in 7 minutes. Thus, River was born in the water with no meconium after 31 hours of labor.
Elise Hurst Bio
Elise has 2 fiery sons and one spoiled daughter and lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband, Josh. Elise is a speech-language pathologist by trade but has been a professional birth photographer for 2 years now with Elise Hurst Photography. In addition, Elise just recently founded and launched The Photo Regimen to inspire everyday parents and professional photographers to document their families more often in a creative way. You can connect with her on Instagram at either @elisehurstphotography or @thephotoregimen. Here is her photography Facebook page and The Photo Regimen’s Facebook page. You can find her website here.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
The Business of Being Born
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke
Why Not Home documentary
Birth Becomes Her
BabyGlimpse by HumanCode
This episode is sponsored by HumanCode. HumanCode is a personal genomics company that developed the first DNA-powered app, BABYGlimpse. It gives couples a fascinating preview of their children’s potential genetic traits ranging from ancestry to eye color to behaviors and preferences. They are currently running a promotion: 2 kits for $99.98! Visit BABYGlimpse.com to find out more.
Short birth story info
Lisa always knew that she wanted a home birth, but she never anticipated having a marathon labor that would require extra support, including visits to the acupuncturist, the chiropractor, and the hospital. She eventually delivered her perfect daughter at home after over 75 hours of labor with her superstar support team.
Lisa Redfern Bio
Lisa lives in Olympia, Washington with her husband, Mitch, and their 4-week-old daughter, Nora. They spend their days hiking with their dog, foraging for mushrooms, snowboarding, and raising their ducks and chickens.
The Birth Hour!
Pregnancy Forum on Reddit
And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives
Mama Natural pregnancy and birth affirmation cards
Are you in need of a high quality Prenatal or Postnatal Vitamin? Well then Mother’s Select might have just what you are looking for. Mother’s Select is a manufacturer of high quality health supplements for mothers and infants in the USA, including products for preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. They specialize in breastfeeding and lactation supplements, so if you are in need of a jump start or increase in your breast milk supply. If you order on their website you can also enjoy 30% off with coupon code BIRTHHOUR30.
Cristian and Lena struggled to conceive for three years. After one-and-a-half years of trying they sought help through the fertility clinic, which diagnosed Lena with PCOS and an under-active thyroid. After proceeding through all the appropriate tests (like checking for fallopian tube blockage, semen checks, and ruling out all other possible causes) they embarked on the very basic fertility care: Letrozol (similar to Clomid). After trying 3 rounds of Letrozole, they fell pregnant in November 2016.
With the myriad health issues Lena had (asthma, hypothyroidism, hasimotos disease, PCOS and allergies) there was some talk of needing special care on the mainland, which would make her island-based homebirth out of the picture. However, Lena had a very special and amazing midwife who looked deep into the “rules” and said that, provided things were carefully monitored, they could stay with midwifery care on the island. A homebirth was planned, and Lena did many things to promote a very healthy pregnancy in order to keep her dream a reality. The thought of having to travel by boat to get to a birth center or hospital while in labor was unbearable for Lena.
At 9 days over-due, Lena went into labor on a Sunday afternoon at 1pm. The midwife arrived at 3pm, and by then labor was in full swing. Her contractions were intense and back- to-back with little to no breaks in between. Once 10cm dilation was reached, Lena’s midwife helped baby get past a small cervical lip and then performed a very nifty maneuver to help baby drop and get past the pubic bone that he appeared to be stuck on. Moments later, Lena’s waters gushed everywhere and pushing commenced. 45 minutes later (10 hours of labor + 45 minutes of pushing) baby was here at 10:36pm. Cristian caught baby and announced the sex.
Lena suffered a 3rd degree tear and was stitched up nicely by her midwife shortly after. The evening closed with a delicious cheese toastie and bubbles in bed to celebrate.
Lena Whetton Bio
Lena Whetton is a 29-year-old Cake maker and decorator from New Zealand. Her and her husband live on an Island 35 minute ferry ride from the biggest city Auckland. Waiheke is a small Island with a permanent population of around 8,000 however during the summer months it rises to a whopping 20,000!
Lena has recently birthed her first child with Husband Cristian who is a chef so life is all about food! She is currently on maternity leave so spends her days nursing, playing and caring for baby Marlon. Once falling pregnant Lena became birth obsessed and that is how she came across the birth hour, listening to episodes back to back while making cakes all day long. Her mother was a childbirth educator and La Leche League leader back in the day so birth was a very normal thing in her life although she had never witnessed a birth in real life.
Earth Mama Organics
From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mama makes effective organic and natural herbal products for the whole journey of motherhood: pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care. They’ve been safely nurturing mamas this way since 2002 — and they wouldn’t do it any other way. Be sure to check out some of their latest products like the organic deodorant (that really works!) that Caitlin and I discussed at the end of today’s episode!
With her first pregnancy, Keshia decided on the best OBGYN for her, taking into consideration that she is a type 1 diabetic. Keshia’s waters broke shortly after attending a Latin street festival with her fiancé and parents. Back and forth from the hospital, Keshia, exhausted, gave birth to her daughter on her own terms, with a very supportive partner and medical staff after 22 hours of labor. Second time around, having had so many events occur during her pregnancy with her son, Keshia ended up having a calm and tranquil Hypnobirth.
Keshia Gesundheit Bio
Keshia, a Wedding Photographer with a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Half a Doctor of Physiotherapy, is a type 1 diabetic and mother of two. Keshia and Steve, knowing there was the possibility of fertility challenges ahead, decided to start “not trying not to” have a family in 2014, falling pregnant with there first daughter in January of 2015, and again, with their son in August of 2016. She talks about her journey through both pregnancies, subsequent process of self education and two eventful natural births.
Melissa Spilstead Hypnobirthing (online option)
Why Not Home
This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH17 at www.crane-usa.com.
Megacystis Diagnosis & Homebirth with Hypnobirthing
After suffering from an autoimmune condition most of her life, Caroline approached pregnancy with trepidation, initially unsure she would be able to successfully conceive. After becoming pregnant in Fall 2016, her initial elation gave way to concern when a 12 week scan revealed her son was suffering from a condition called megacystis. When not resolved in utero, megacystis proves fatal. Careful monitoring continued until 24 weeks when she was finally given the “all clear” to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Meeting with a doula around the same time gave Caroline and her husband, Brett, the confidence to pursue a homebirth; and, despite insurance difficulties, they secured the services of an incredible homebirth midwife.
At 38 weeks, Caroline’s waters broke and after an intense but pain free night (thanks hypnobirthing!) her son was born after a posterior labor in the bedroom of their home. When her placenta tore after delivery, Caroline was transferred to the local hospital for a D&C where her impeccable care continued.
Caroline Snider Bio
Caroline moved to Los Angeles from her native England back in early 2008 to further her career in advertising. There she met her husband Brett who directs TV commercials and together they’ve pursued many adventures, most notably the 18 months they spent living in a Winnebago traveling the widths and breadths of the United States. Caroline now lives in Upstate NY with Brett, their son Casper, dog Knuckles and Cat Artemis Pizza where she is a writer, professional photographer, mother and homemaker. Connect with her on Instagram.
This episode was sponsored by Expectful which is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of their guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.
Their mission is to give babies the best start in life, and that begins with you. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, go to expectful.com and sign up for their 30 day free meditation trial. It may just change your life.
Eight Birth Stories
Jayme has had 8 unmedicated births. One was induced, 5 were in the hospital, and 3 were home water births. Each one was unique and has its own special story. She learned something new with each pregnancy. After her 7th baby, 9 years ago, she was sure her birthing career was over. But then Jayme met her current husband Ben (who had 2 children by adoption); and, they decided to have a baby together. She struggled a bit with getting pregnant. After finding out she had an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, she tweaked her diet, took some supplements, and was able to get pregnant! Jayme knew she wanted a home water birth, and was supported 100% by her husband. As she prepared for the birth she took prenatal yoga (with her husband!) and attended a hypnobabies class. Even though she was almost 40, she had a completely uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and gave birth to her son, Atticus, who was 7lbs 10oz.
Jayme Crockett Bio
Jayme is the mother to 10 children, and 1 loss. She has 7 children from a previous marriage, 2 step children, and a 6 month old with her current husband, Ben. Her children range in ages 22 years – 6 months. Jayme was 18 when she got pregnant with her first live baby and 39 when she gave birth to her last! Ben and Jayme own a photography/videography business called Tribe Creative Media. They recently traveled to “The Farm” in Tennessee to be a part of a documentary called Birth Undisturbed. Jayme also recently launched an Etsy store called Tribe Baby Boutique. Jayme fell in love with the beauty of birth during her first pregnancy, and loves to encourage other mothers to believe in their bodies. She has the unique experience of giving birth in the United States, Germany and Doha, Qatar. She has had hospital and home births. If she wasn’t busy having so many of her own babies, she would have been a midwife! You can connect with her on Instagram @jaymecrockett or Facebook: Jayme Malloy Crockett She also has a blog at www.ourtribelife.com.
Choosing Waterbirth: Reclaiming the Sacred Power of Birth by Lakshmi Bertram
The Waterbirth Book by Janet Balaskas
Birth Without Fear (Facebook group)
Childbirth Without Fear Grantly Dick-Read & Michel Odent
Anything Ina May Gaskin
Being Videographers we documented our Pregnancy and Birth. The films are on YouTube:
Boba Baby Carriers
Be sure to listen to my conversation at the end of this episode about today’s sponsor, Boba! We talked about the Boba Wrap and how great it is for the newborn days. I’m obsessed with this new pattern that almost looks like a woven wrap!