Birth Center to Hospital transfer for Gestational Thrombocytopenia
Scarlet originally planned to give birth at a birth center, but those plans changed close to the end of her pregnancy when she received a gestational thrombocytopenia diagnosis.Still, Jane’s birth was a very powerful, intense, yet rewarding experience. At 41.5 weeks, Scarlet’s labor started in the middle of the night and progressed quickly, but stalled after her hospital check-in. Scarlet’s doctor ended up breaking her water, which jump-started her labor again, and her daughter, Jane, was born soon after. A retained placenta led to a manual extraction and extra blood loss; but, everyone went home healthy the next day. But only 4 days later, Scarlet’s family was back in the doctor’s office due to a thyroid problem that showed up on Jane’s newborn screen.
Scarlet Kelly Bio
Scarlet is a new mom to 7 month old baby Jane. She and her husband Michael have just recently moved back to Texas after planting a church in Bellingham, Washington for the past 2.5 years. Michael is a worship leader, and they also work together for their screen printing company. You can connect with her on Instagram @scarlet_kelly
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Lauren is a birth photographer living in North Carolina with her husband, Vaughan, and son, Finn, who is almost two. She is passionate about sharing birth images in order to educate women about what birth can look like, and to empower them to take hold of their birth experience. You can connect with her on Instagram @laurenjollyphoto and @ncbirthphotographer or through her website: www.laurenjollyphotography.com
After months of research about unmedicated birth and creating a “birth plan” with her midwives, Lauren’s birth center birth didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped. Her long labor started with slow dilation and ended with a transfer to a hospital to get an epidural and a host of other interventions. While everything turned out fine and baby was born healthy, she dealt with many months of regret, guilt, and sadness related to her birth story. Lauren hopes that by sharing her story she’ll help other women to know that it’s important to educate yourself about birth, and if things don’t go as planned, it’s okay to grieve the loss of your ideal birth. You may just find community and empowerment through your experience.
When surrogate, Ashley, measured large at her 38 week check, the decision was made to induce her at 39 weeks. Intended parents Nancy and Justin flew from Chicago to Utah, where their surrogate Ashley was set to deliver. Only three days later, they were all together in a labor and delivery room as Ashley was induced with a drip of Pitocin. While labor progressed uneventfully in the beginning, pushing lasted hours as baby Audrey’s head was very large and stuck. Following nearly four hours of pushing, and close to being prepared for a c-section, baby Audrey was born on a strong push at 10:21 pm. Nancy, her intended mother, cut Audrey’s cord and immediately took her into her arms for skin-to-skin bonding as feelings of gratefulness and awe washed over her.
Nancy Rohde Bio
Over three years of infertility treatments and three different doctors told Nancy that she would never be able to conceive a child. Heartbroken, she and her husband turned to surrogacy. Quickly matched with a surrogate, they were further crushed when she experienced a chemical pregnancy and lost the baby before a heartbeat could be detected. Finding it too difficult to move forward, the surrogate abruptly exited their agreement to attempt another transfer.
Feeling hopeless, Nancy and her husband decided to try more IVF attempts on Nancy while searching for another surrogate. Two further IVF transfers resulted in negative pregnancy tests while they were matched with their second surrogate, Ashley. While proceeding with legal and medical clearance for Ashley, Nancy tried one final IVF cycle. To her complete shock, it resulted in her first positive pregnancy test ever. Scared about losing the baby after so many struggles, and thrilled to have finally been matched with Ashley as their surrogate, Nancy and her husband decided to proceed with the surrogate pregnancy as well. Exactly five weeks after Nancy became pregnant, her surrogate Ashley became pregnant as well. Both babies were carried to 39 weeks and were born healthy and happy.
Today Nancy lives in Chicago with her husband and two precious daughters. Lilly is 11 months old, and Audrey is 10 months old. Nancy works in the investment management industry as an equity manager researcher when she isn’t at home doting on her miracle babies. Nancy also blogs under the name “Mrs. Starfish” on the pregnancy and parenting blog Hellobee.com. She has written extensively there about her infertility journey, her amazing surrogacy experience, and her current crazy and wonderful life with multiples! Read more from Nancy at Hellobee.
Ashley Brown Bio
Growing up a Navy brat, Ashley lived several different places; but she calls Washington home. It is there she met and married her husband, Josh. After marrying, they moved to Hawaii to continue their college educations. Ashley graduated from BYU-Hawaii with a Bachelors of Social Work. Just a few months before graduation, Josh and Ashley happily welcomed their first child. Upon completion of her internship and after much discussion they settled in Utah, where they had two more children. During the time after graduation and growing their family, Ashley went back and forth between being a stay-at-home Mom and a working Mom. Once she felt they were done having children of their own, Ashley turned to surrogacy with the support of her husband. Ashley currently works as a teaching assistant at a local elementary school.
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. Nancy and her husband recorded themselves reading stories for their surrogate to play for their daughter throughout the pregnancy, which helped them bond with their baby, even from states away!
In honor of International Sibling Day I thought it would be fun to interview kids who were present for their younger sibling’s births! The resulting episode was so sweet, funny and moving. Below is a slideshow featuring photographs from the births these kids attended along with their perspective on the experience via short audio clips but be sure to listen to the whole episode to get their full responses which will have you laughing one minute and tearing up the next. It is such a sweet, sweet episode!
What it Looks Like to Be There the Moment They Became a Big Brother or Sister
The below photos represent what it really looks like to have one of your older children at your birth. It’s so powerful for these kids to see their mothers going through labor and birth and to be there when their siblings first come into the world.
This episode was generously sponsored by Lily Jade Diaper Bags! Be sure to check out their #momhuddle campaign on Instagram and use #momhuddle and #ljmomhuddle to tag pictures and stories of the mom friends in your life that have been support for you through your motherhood journey!
Mary is a mother to five on earth and one in eternity. She works as a certified birth and bereavement doula, birth educator, and as a writer at Better Than Eden. There, she shares about birth, her faith, mothering, homeschooling, miscarriage, raising boys, and more. She is also a featured writer at Elizabeth Ministry International. A theology graduate, she has a passion for helping women experience their God-given “feminine genius” through birth, motherhood, and in the very design of their body. She believes that treating babies and women with the utmost dignity and respect at every moment during pregnancy and birth is necessary for building strong families and a culture of life and love. You can find her writing at Better Than Eden or connect on Facebook and Instagram.
Kelle shares the story of her daughter Nella’s birth. Nella was born with Down Syndrome unexpectedly, so it obviously came as a huge shock to Kelle. Kelle is open about her grief surrounding that initial news. She talks about those first days in the hospital and how little she knew about Down Syndrome before her daughter was born. Her daughter Nella is seven today, and Kelle looks back on her birth story with a lot of emotion, sharing how her family and friends supported her through that time, and how she offers hope to mothers who contact her today when they get a Down Syndrome diagnosis. I loved this episode not only because Kelle tells it so beautifully, but also because I personally was very uninformed about Down Syndrome and learned a lot through her story.
Kelle Hampton Bio
Midwest born-and-raised preacher’s kid, escapee of fundamentalism but lover of good, Kelle Hampton is today a wife, mother to three, and step-mother to two. Residing in Naples, Florida with a bit of her heart still in Michigan, she is a writer, photographer, speaker, and celebrant of life’s large little things. Her heartfelt blog post about the birth of her daughter Nella and her surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome led to the writing of Bloom, a New York Times best-selling memoir. Connect with Kelle on her blog or Instagram.
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.