Planned Unmedicated Hospital Birth turned Cesarean
Catherine Gray planned an unmedicated hospital birth and did everything she could to have a low-risk pregnancy. She took Bradley classes, exercised, followed the Brewer’s diet, interviewed numerous care providers, had chiropractic care and acupuncture, practiced relaxation techniques…and ended up with an unplanned cesarean birth after a long labor at 42 weeks. Sometimes you do everything right, and the part of birth that is a mystery takes over. In processing her birth as a mother, Catherine has explored how her experience as a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse affected the decisions she made during labor and the feelings she had afterward. She has pursued the question, “What if my cesarean was my healing rather than my scarring?”
Catherine Gray Bio
Catherine Gray is a wife, mother, and writer in Mississippi. She writes her blog Unsilenced Woman about her experiences navigating motherhood, marriage, sexuality, and all things human after emotional and sexual abuse. She has trained with Birthing From Within as a Birth Art facilitator and Birth Story Listener, drawn to the experience of birth as a powerful rite of passage to motherhood. Connect with her on Instagram at @unsilencedwoman.
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Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story
Suzy had been planning the birth of her first child long before she was pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant, she went to work right away preparing for the birth. She knew she wanted to have an unmediated birth with as few interventions as possible. After lots of preparation during her pregnancy, Suzy was able to give birth naturally, peacefully, and joyfully in the hospital. This was all in spite of the fact that her labor only lasted five and a half hours.
Miscarriage and what Suzy wishes she had known
When her son was 15 months old, Suzy found out she was pregnant again. After going for her routine ultrasound, she discovered that though she has conceived, the fetus never developed. She had been so prepared in her previous pregnancy, but felt totally unprepared to make informed decisions regarding the treatment of her miscarriage. Eventually she miscarried that pregnancy, but wished she had more information to make better choices during the loss of her pregnancy.
Suzy Nuñez-Babb Bio
Suzy is a stay at home mom to her son, Darwin. She is a teacher by trade, but decided to take some time off after becoming a mother. She is currently training to become a natural childbirth educator. She and her husband, Jonathan, have been married for 5 years and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can connect with her online via Facebook or Instagram @motherili or email her at email@example.com.
The Bradley Method
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel
Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Earth Mama Organics
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After a bout with infertility and IVF, Julie was thrilled and terrified to be pregnant with twins! But after an uneventful pregnancy, and making it to 38 weeks, Julie experienced the thing all twin moms dread: the “double whammy” birth.
Julie Burt Nichols
Julie is Twiniversity’s “Wizard Behind the Curtain,” serving as Editor-in-Chief of Twiniversity.com, Account Manager, and Instructor for Chicago Twiniversity classes. Julie is a full-time working mother to twin boys, born on Halloween. She loves serving as a resource and support for new parents, soon-to-be parents, and we-want-desperately-to-be parents. Julie is proud to be a certified child passenger safety technician, and the Twiniversity Resident Songstress/Jingle Writer.
Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program
What To Do When You’re Having Two
This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.
Leslie was 40+3 when she went in for a Non stress test. The NST showed baby’s heart rate was declining after each contraction so she was admitted to the hospital that same day. She was induced around 7pm Thursday, April 14th. After almost 24 hours of labor, baby wasn’t moving down the birth canal so it was decided to go ahead with a cesarean birth. Jaxon Maggit was born via cesarean at almost 8pm Friday night.
Leslie Maggit Bio
Leslie and her husband of two years, Quincy, live in the suburbs of Seattle, WA with their son Jaxon and stepson, Evan. She works as an eCommerce Lead for a local technology sales company. Leslie and her family love to watch movies, play sports, and laugh! Leslie loves connecting with other moms so feel free to reach out to her on twitter at @LeslieBurns_.
Babycenter & birth month group
Favorite birth/parenting podcasts:
The Birth Hour
The Mom Hour
One Bad Mother
Mom and Dad Are Fighting
What Fresh Hell
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 full-priced 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH18 at www.crane-usa.com.
Michele Shares Her Birth Story and Why She Chose a Male Doula
Michele had a typical pregnancy with all the glam of exhaustion, great hair, makeup induced glow, and self described cankles. She used her male doula and husband to coach her through contractions with a system of position changes. By preparing for labor with music and essential oils, she was able to push through with an unmedicated hospital birth. Wilder was born to Beyonce as Michele roared her out. She had a “normal” postpartum with the highs of having a new beautiful baby girl and food coming on speed dial, and lows of husband hatred due to lack of sleep and toe curling nursing.
Michele Pellicer Bio
Michele lives in St. Augustine, Florida with her husband, Teeny, daughter, Wilder, and dog, Sailor. She and her husband have been married for 5 years living the whole time in their hometown where they are surrounded by a village of family and friends. They take in the lush Florida landscape by boating, camping and hiking all year long. You can connect with The Pellicer Family on Instagram @pellicerfamilyroots.
Nursing and Cursing
Active Labor by Janet Balaskas
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
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Today we are doing things a little differently on the podcast. I’m going to be replaying an episode from Denene Millner, who shared her experience with pregnancy and childbirth as a black woman in America back in 2016 on The Birth Hour. But first I’m going to share some clips from NPR’s Code Switch podcast which recently covered this topic. NPR reports that, “black women in the United States are 243 percent more likely than white women to die of pregnancy or childbirth related causes. There’s evidence that shows this gap is caused by the “weathering” effects of racism. Weathering is a term coined for stress-induced wear and tear on the body.” This statistic is true across all socioeconomic classes because “it’s a type of stress for which education and class provide no protection.”
Denene Millner of My Brown Baby shares her experience
Today’s birth story features Denene Millner, who shares her experience giving birth to her daughter at a teaching hospital in Harlem, NY. Denene had a doctor that she loved, the support of her husband, and made plans ahead of time for what she thought would be a great hospital birth experience. Unfortunately, she was treated like a second-class citizen for the majority of her time at the hospital. In this episode, she shares her story and discusses some of the issues that many black women face when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth in America.
Sadly, Denene’s experience was not a unique, as this is a common thread among the maternal healthcare system in the U.S. Too many black mothers are not only being treated poorly but are dying from preventable causes.
The Center for Reproductive Rights put together the Black Mamas Matter: A Toolkit for Advancing the Human Right to Safe and Respectful Maternal Health Care, in response to this problem and spoke out saying, “the risk of dying from a pregnancy complication should not depend on one’s race or zip code. But the reality is that women in the South are at much higher risk than women in other areas of the country. A Black woman in Mississippi is almost twice as likely to die as a White woman in Mississippi or a Black woman in California.” Every mother deserves safe and respectful maternal health care.
Thank you so much to Denene for sharing her experience and for helping inform women about these issues. You can connect with Denene on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or her website MyBrownBaby.
Denene Millner Bio
New York Times best-selling author Denene Millner is a hotly sought after award-winning journalist whose insightful and captivating pieces have secured her foothold in the entertainment, parenting, social media and book publishing industries.
The former Parenting magazine columnist has penned 25 books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, co-written with Steve Harvey, an upcoming memoir with iconic actress Taraji P. Henson and The Vow, the novel on which the hit Lifetime original movie, “With This Ring” was based.
She also is the founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, a critically acclaimed blog that examines the intersection of parenting and motherhood through the multi-cultural experience. Under Millner’s leadership, MyBrownBaby has won numerous awards, solidifying it as one of the most respected and celebrated niche blogs on the web.
Her work across the parenting, social media and publishing spaces led to her recent founding of Denene Millner Books, her new imprint that will publish books about African American kids, created by African American writers and illustrators. Millner also frequently contributes as an entertainment writer and essayist for various national publications, including Essence, Ebony, Family Circle and Redbook; her extensive broadcast experience includes appearances on The Today Show, The Meredith Vieira Show, HLN, MSNBC, NPR and the Rachel Ray show. The former political reporter and entertainment journalist lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two daughters.
Resources on Black Women Giving Birth in the U.S.
Know Your Options Childbirth Course
This episode was sponsored by The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Course and Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course. Enroll for a limited time today!