Sure that her baby would not arrive on his due date, Sara settled in for the evening only to wake up to her water breaking at 11:00 pm. She and her husband, Dave, had planned an at-home water birth, and the journey began as she woke him up to tell him about the water dripping between her legs. They had a fast yet gentle birth at home, delivering an 8lbs 1oz baby boy, Bodhi, at 5:23 am on the winter solstice. One week after Bodhi arrived earthside, he was rushed to the hospital because he was displaying signs of respiratory distress. He had a urinary tract infection caused by E.coli, and had to spend a week in the hospital. Sara and Dave were forever changed as parents after going through such a scary experience, but are so grateful that Bodhi was able to get the care he needed to recover quickly. Connect with Sara on Instagram.
Sara Hiatt Bio
Sara is a first time Mama to an amazing 15 month old baby boy named Bodhi. She lives in a tiny cabin in the woods of Arkansas with her family, and is currently working from home for a superfoods company that helps Mamas and Papas get the daily nutrition they need. Becoming a Mom has completely blown her heart wide open. She has learned so much about life in the past 15 months, and is just completely humbled to be a part of this amazing human experience.
Birth Song Botanicals
Today’s episode is brought to you by Birth Song Botanicals. Birth Song Botanicals was founded by a midwife and herbalist who’s mission is to produce high-quality herbal products that are naturally safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, and their children. I met Maria when I lived in Arkansas, and am so honored that she is sponsoring an episode of The Birth Hour. Maria is offering 10% off for Birth Hour listeners at Birthsongbotanicals.com with the code: THEBIRTHHOUR. Today’s birth story is actually a mom who had Maria as her midwife.
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Dealing with Loss While Growing a Life
Tricia was shocked to find out she was pregnant shortly after getting back from her father’s funeral. She hadn’t been really trying to get pregnant with her husband but they had agreed to go off birth control. She figured it would take a while, but it didn’t! She has a lot of feelings and things to say about grieving while pregnant, and mostly remembers crying…sleeping…working…and eating ice cream for 9 months. She is forever grateful that home birthing crossed her radar while she was pregnant and feels like the universe was looking out for her and she listened, and it forever empowered her.
Stages of Tricia’s Homebirth
Tricia’s first birth was a home birth at 37 weeks. Labor began by her water breaking in full after sleeping for about an hour, and was followed fairly quickly with consistent contractions. Although she remembers thinking she should go back to sleep, her husband and her were too excited. Justin had just come home from working all day at their bar and he popped up and made nachos for them to eat while they waited in anticipation for contractions to start. Tricia was blown away by how here body needed to squat through every contraction and felt at the end that she was back in high school playing a volleyball tournament all day. Externally Tricia’s labor looked straightforward and smooth, but internally it was an immensely intense physical, emotional, and spiritual event. She dilated to 10 cm within 8 hours of her water breaking, but then developed a swollen cervical lip and pushed on and off for 4 hours.
Her labor stalled during the pushing stage and didn’t pick up again until she was able to release some emotional energy and fears surrounding her son and her father. During her labor she saw visions of her son as a grown man, had conversations in her mind with people she saw in her neighborhood, felt a deep golden initiation into the energy that is motherhood and generally was exposed to a unexplainable dimension outside of chronological time and space. Her son was born with a nuchal hand which helped explain a little about the prolonged pushing phase. Even though her birth was smooth and healthy, the pain and sensations Tricia experienced were emotionally traumatic. She remembers clearly thinking while she was pushing and the crowning began how sad it was that Cedar was going to be an only child because she really wanted two, but she would NEVER be able to tolerate birth again. After Cedar was born though the endorphins kicked in and she felt AMAZING. To her, the feeling she got directly after birth was strangely worth all the pain during the labor.
The day after her son was born she found out her father in law had left her mother in law after 30 years of marriage. This devastating reality coupled with the flashbacks of the pain during labor made for a tricky first few weeks of parenting. Tricia dealt with a lot of new feelings and fears with her own mortality and felt as though she had lost an innocence to life that she could never regain. With losing her dad to suicide, losing her family structure on her husband’s side, and the normal emotions of motherhood Tricia felt overwhelmed. She credits her husbands strength and the strength she gained from her powerful home birth as to how she was able find her way and feel joy during those first few weeks. Cedar was very sleepy and wasn’t gaining enough weight, but after the help of a lactation consultant Tricia figured out breastfeeding and continued to breastfeed Cedar for 3 years.
Tricia’s Second Birth Postdates
Tricia found out she was pregnant again when Cedar was 10 months old. She had just had one period and she had read a lot about the rhythm method and how to time conception to try for a girl. She was shocked to find out she was already pregnant and she and her husband decided to keep this baby’s gender a surprise. Tricia noticed so many differences the second time around. Mainly toward the end she felt much softer and ready to go. Tricia kept anticipating labor coming early like the first one, but alas it did not arrive early. The due date came and went, and Tricia gained a lot of understanding for how difficult it is to pass your due date. The next day, after emotionally tying up some work related stress, Tricia’s water broke in full and labor began around 3 pm. Contractions didn’t really pick up until after her toddler was put to bed…it’s funny how that works.
Baby #2 came 1 day after her due date after 6 short but intense hours of labor, which she describes as feeling like a freight train making it’s way through her body. She learned a lot from her first birth and wanted to try using the birth ball as a tool to avoid squatting with each contraction. When it was time to push Tricia raised up on her knees and was startled to hear a high-pitched gurgling scream coming between her legs before she even knew her baby’s head was out. The next push birthed her baby’s body and everyone laughed at how funny it all was. Baby #2 was born with a nuchal hand just like baby number 1. After about 10 minutes of holding baby #2 Tricia realized she hadn’t thought about the gender yet. She had suspected it was a boy and had made peace with being a mom of 2 boys, but as she unwrapped the blanket to check the gender, she was overjoyed to see she had birthed a daughter. The first thought that popped into her mind was, “i am so sorry…being a girl is so hard”. Tricia loves being a woman, but had an immediate feminine connection with her daughter that was different than the connection she immediately felt with her son. Her daughter Linden breastfed like a champ right away, and other than having a tongue tie that needed clipping, breastfeeding and postpartum went relatively smoothly. At this point Tricia’s mother-in-law moved in with their family and was a tremendously help with caring for Tricia, her husband, and two children.
Fast & Furious Baby #3 Homebirth
After her daughter turned 2 Tricia couldn’t shake the fact that she really wanted to have another baby. So after working on her husband for a year, he finally agreed to go for one more, and quickly she was pregnant for a third time. Being pregnant a third time was way harder than the two times before. Chasing after two children was tiring and Tricia gained more weight than she had the first two times around. Although she was thrilled to have a third child, it wasn’t as clearly joyful waiting for baby #3 to arrive. Tricia really wanted her mother to be at this birth, but found it very stressful to try and time travel plans around a birth. Tricia’s mother came a week before the due date figuring she would go early considering how large and uncomfortable she was, but birth is unpredictable.
It was great for Tricia to have her mother’s help for her two children, and she tried to make peace with the fact that her mother might not be at the birth. For two weeks before her baby came Tricia felt contractions begin at night and so Tricia and her husband would go on walks to try and kick labor into gear, but then by the time to morning came around her belly felt high again contractions had vanished. Every time she felt a contraction she experienced a milk let down reflex sensation without actually letting down milk. Her due date came and went and she wondered how long she would have to wait. But two days after her due date she woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and she felt her baby’s head bulging as she used the toilet. She thought if she looked down she might actually see the head, but she didn’t!
Her baby was born after 4 incredibly short and painful hours. This birth was nothing like the first two. Her water breaking did not initiate labor, and with her bag intact she found it very awkward and uncomfortable to brace herself during contractions. The only way to cope was to get in the birth pool. She felt like a huge cow rolling from one side of the pool to the next moaning and just trying to surrender. During a contraction her water broke and then shortly after she felt a strong urge to push. Tricia was incredibly reluctant to push, as it hurt way too much and it took a lot of surrendering to go into that pain. She felt the ring of fire so intensely that she nearly ripped her husbands nipples off when she was pushing. After the head was born the shoulders hurt even more coming out. This was a new experience for her, and afterward her midwife told her she was concerned that the baby might get stuck as he might be diabetic. But he wasn’t…he was just 10 pounds 3 ounces! She was so thankful he was born safely and that her mother and two children were there to witness his entry into the world. With the birth of her son Ash, Tricia feels her family is complete.
Tricia Phillips Bio
Tricia Philips is a wife, mother of 3, and a childbirth educator
living and teaching in Brooklyn, NY. She feels lucky to have birthed all three of her babies at home with the tremendous support of her husband, doulas, and midwives. Her journey into motherhood was preceded by the unfortunate suicide of her father, and the unexpected divorce of her in-laws. She often reflects on how the yin and yang of deep sorrow and pure joy felt during the pregnancy and birth of her first child paved a unique path to parenthood. Although very difficult, her experiences have given her a deep-rooted strength in herself and the universe that in some ways perfectly prepared her for the intense and gratifying work of raising children. Tricia is continuously humbled by mothering and is fascinated by birth as a spiritual event and a surrendering of “what is”. Her first birth unexpectedly blessed her with the knowledge that life comes from a powerful never ending source, and everyday since that experience she strives to stay connected to that knowing. With each birth and each stage of her children’s lives Tricia is learning how to hold space for her children a little more, which in turn teaches her how to hold space for herself and be open to what life brings.
Listen to me chat with Phyllis 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 Birth Followed by HBAC (Homebirth After Cesarean)
Diana’s first baby was an unexpectedly large, 12 lbs, 3 oz. He was born via c-section after a very long labor. It was a deeply traumatic experience for her, but when she became pregnant again 2 years later she knew she’d the have this second baby at home.
Diana had a completely different labor and birth experience the second time – a beautiful, fast home birth that was also incredibly healing for her. She wants any woman who’s had a traumatic birth or a c-section to know it’s possible to not only heal from it, but to have a better, empowering subsequent birth.
Diana Forsell Bio
Diana is a full time mom to two little boys, Arakel, who is three and a half, and Rama, one and a half. When she’s not chasing around her boys, Diana is a dedicated yogi, and loves to spend as much time outdoors with her family as possible. She lives in Seattle, WA. Connect with her on Instagram.
ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network)
Homebirth After Cesarean Book
Beco 8 Carrier
This episode is sponsored by Beco. Beco focuses on bringing you an ideal combination of comfort and style to power you through daily duties with your baby close. With the new release of the Beco 8 baby carrier, you now have more options than ever to carry your baby. Learn more about the Beco 8 at becobaby.com.
Trezelle prayed that god wouldn’t allow her to go into labor until her hair was done. That Sunday
night as her sister did her hair she stumbled onto a youtube video explaining hypnobirthing
. She was intrigued, video after video told her a little bit of what she already knew instinctively—that no matter how painful labor is, she can do this because her body was created to do this.
She remembers telling herself that she was ready to have her baby anytime the baby was ready to come. True enough, it’s like mother and child were connected, a connection that went far beyond the placenta, it was something deeper. The next morning at 4am, Trezelle felt a leak, which she thought was her urinating. She ran to the bathroom as fast as a pregnant woman could, leaking all the way there. Then it dawned on here that maybe “today is the day?”
Since it was way too late when her sister was done with her hair the night before, she slept over. Trezelle woke her up to tell her that she thought she was in labor. Her sister was passed out, but she answered with a sleepy “yes”. Little did Trezelle know, her sister didn’t really register what she told her… because… sleep. At 8am Trezelle called her midwife, Heidi Ricks, who she didn’t call earlier because she didn’t want to wake her, especially since she didn’t know if she was in labor for real. Since Trezelle had an appointment that day she told the midwife what was going on, her midwife assured her that she was in labor and that she would come over right away to check her.
Since Trezelle has planned a water home birth she didn’t have to go the hospital. She tried to stay hydrated but her body wouldn’t keep anything down she was puking non stop. Trezelle loved being home with the ability to walk around and just be present in the moment, in her own space. When her midwife and apprentice came to her house, she got checked and was told that she was totally in labor. She called her siblings to let them know. The midwife left and gave her directions to rest and take it easy. Trezelle did just that, but with every contraction, she would get on all fours and rock back and forth and growl. It seemed to help her, she also spoke to her baby. At the time Trezelle didn’t know that she was carrying a girl, she wanted it to be a surprise.
Within 30 minutes of the midwife leaving, Trezelle felt the urge to push, she called her midwife & her midwife came right away. When the midwife got back, she told Trezelle that the baby was coming. Trezelle was scared that she didn’t know how to push, so the midwife showed her. She was advised to scream down, instead of out. And that she did! She credits this great technique with helping her avoid an episiotomy.
In just a few pushes baby Alle was born. When Heidi announced that Trezelle had given birth to a live baby girl Trezelle cried big ole ugly tears. She cried for so many reasons, most important being her baby was alive. After two prior miscarriages, she always thought that she wouldn’t be able to have kids. Then with such an emotional pregnancy, she was scared she would lose her baby. The tears were tears of joy. Joy & gratitude. She thanked her siblings, & Heidi so much for being there with her that day. She still expresses her gratitude to this day. Most importantly she thanks God for a perfect, strong minded little rainbow.
Trezelle Morgain Bio
Trezelle wears many hats but the one she is proudest to wear is Mom. She is a mom to two angel babies & one rainbow baby. She is an entrepreneur with a heart of gold and a desire to help others find their calling and become aligned. Her business is geared towards supporting Christian parents during the childbearing stage; pregnancy – parenting. She also coaches Christian Doulas in business, personal development, and spirituality.
This episode is sponsored by WavHello. BellyBuds by WavHello are adhesive speakers that gently adhere to mom’s baby bump. BellyBuds help reduce stress, stimulate early development and promote positive connectivity in the brain through music.
Learn more about BellyBuds and their 20 weeks to bliss program to have a happier and healthier pregnancy at wavhello.com.
Giving Birth in the Netherlands then the U.S.
Stephanie was living in the Netherlands when she found out she was pregnant and went to what she thought was a birth at home OB office like everyone else she knew had done. Turned out that in the Netherlands if you were a low-risk pregnant mama you automatically saw midwives and you had the option to have your birth at home attended by midwives or at the hospital attended by midwives. Stephanie initially made plans to have a hospital birth but eventually changed courses towards the end of her pregnancy.
Her first labor was a precipitous birth and baby arrived in less than 3 hours, she describes it as a very intense experience that she wasn’t at all expecting. After her initiation into midwifery care and homebirth, she knew she would give birth at home with her next baby even though she was living in the U.S. by then. Both of her births contributed to her desire to become a doula and childbirth educator.
Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks Bio
Stephanie is a mom to two energetic kids, wife to a supportive doula-husband (which is a special breed of husband, for sure), and owner of revdoula, a business focused on supporting new parents in birth and early postpartum. She is also an ordained minister who likes to geek out about theology and birth on her blog. I met Stephanie through the Babymoon Retreat and fell in love with her approach to childbirth education. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
This episode was sponsored by Heart2Heart Store. Heart2Heart is a mama owned shop that provides Birth Affirmation and birth support products for expecting women and the doulas, midwives, and birth workers that care for them. Visit www.heart2heartstore.com and use coupon code THEBIRTHHOUR to save 20% on your order over $20!
Being Engaged and Connected in the Birthing Process
The main focus of today’s episode with Bex is the it difference it makes when you are present and engaged for your birth versus being disconnected from the experience. Bex has had 5 children with the first 3 being born in a hospital and the second two at home. She describes how those experiences were so different for her and much of it had to do with the mindfulness aspect of her birth. She used Hypnobirthing/Hypnobabies, meditation, and yoga through her pregnancy and births. This is an all around awesome episode for anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness and birth through the experience of a mom who’s been there!
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki Bio
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, founder of BEXLIFE® and the BLISSED IN® wellness movement, is a mother of five, TV host, meditation guide, Hay House author, speaker, birth doula, fitness and yoga instructor, and popular social media personality. She also travels extensively, sharing her love for yoga, wellness, and meditation at exclusive workshops, luxury retreats, and public events.
Expectful 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.