Giving Birth in Puerto Rico
Anjelica gave birth to her first daughter while living abroad
on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Though she originally wanted to deliver with a midwife, she had to make adjustments based on her location’s cultural norms and her Spanish language barrier. Anjelica’s story takes some crazy turns that involve driving two-hours to the hospital
, her husband paying for a private labor room while she was in labor, and her doula almost delivering their baby. As she shares what birth is like for many women on the island we get an idea of what it takes for some women outside the continental U.S. to achieve a low-intervention vaginal birth.
Giving Birth in Guam
Anjelica gave birth to her second daughter on another lush island, Guam. This time around she was able to have a midwife provider like she’d hoped for the first time, but experienced other hurdles that came along with being a military spouse and mother of a busy toddler. Anjelica’s story quickly gets interesting as she realizes she’s in labor while her husband is in the middle of running a half-marathon.
Anjelica Malone Bio
Anjelica Malone lives in Santa Rita, Guam and is the mother of two little island girls, the wife of a U.S. Coast Guard service member, a Lactation Educator Counselor, and the author of book Milk Boss 101. She enjoys traveling with her family and blogging about motherhood, culture, and sustainable living. You can find out more about Anjelica and her global life at www.AnjelicaMalone.com
and follow her adventures on Instagram at @AnjelicaMalone.
Birth Becomes Her
Today’s episode was brought to you by Birth Becomes Her, which seeks to inspire both expectant parents and birth professionals. On birthbecomesher.com they share new birth photo stories each week from some of the greatest birth photographers across the world. Birth Becomes Her’s mission is to inspire you as an artist, and encourage you as a parent. Birth is a process of strength, of determination, and of beauty. And through the sharing of birth photography, Birth Becomes Her shows every part of the journey. Use coupon code BIRTHHOUR to get 20% off anything in the Birth Becomes Her shop including birth photography presets, contracts, toolkits, and more!
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!
Vaginal Breech in Bermuda and “Walking Epidural” in Luxembourg
Rachelle O’Neil was living in Bermuda when she was pregnant with her son. She went to the hospital to be induced 7 days after her due date, and 20 min before her son arrived the doctor realized it was his hip coming out rather than his head! Everything went smoothly and she was so happy that she delivered a breech baby vaginally rather than by csection. Rachelle also shares her second birth for which she was living in Luxembourg. She had planned to have a natural birth and although she ended up with a “walking epidural”, she describes it as an amazing euphoric experience. Connect with her on Instagram @roinlux.
Ina May Gaskin
Birth Story Film
Sponsored by WavHello
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Learn more about BellyBuds and their 20 Weeks to Bliss to have a happier and healthier pregnancy at WavHello. Connect with Erica Ziel at Knocked Up Fitness and EricaZiel.com.
Three Hospital Births living in Rural Area of Australia
Today’s birth story guest shares all three of her birth stories, which took place in hospitals. She talks about her baby’s shoulders getting stuck with her second birth, and of how her doctor gave her the option of being induced a week early or having a cesarean with her third baby, which really scared her. She chose induction and ended up stalling out during labor, and she was prepped for a c section but as they were wheeling her into the operating room, she felt the urge to push and her baby was born!
Felicity Taylor Bio
Felicity lives with her husband and three little children, in a country town called Forbes, in NSW Australia where they moved three years ago to help plant a church. Their hearts are very much for extending a hand where needed in their community. She and her husband run their own mechanics business from home and also have a little candle business where Felicity makes and sells beeswax candles. She loves writing, especially about their crazy lives as parents and all the adventures that involves, which led her to begin a blog two years ago called the The Taylor Tale.
Listen to my discussion with the co-founder of Afton Socks as well as Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper!) at the end of this episode. Afton Socks is a doctor-owned brand dedicated to making fun, patterned compression socks to help mothers keep their circulation in good health. Afton socks are ethically crafted in Italy, certified to be free of harmful chemicals, and come in a range of fun designs that don’t look anything like traditional compression socks! We are doing a giveaway over on Instagram and Facebook where 3 people will win a pair of Afton Socks! Afton is also offering a 15% off code + free shipping with the code BIRTHHOUR.
Pregnancy and Birth in Spain
Lola worked during most of her pregnancy and walked 6 km a day. She was quite scared about going into labor, so they chose a doctor who really made her feel confident about herself. The doctor they chose had a reputation of standing back during most of the delivery and letting things follow their natural course, unless there is a complication, where he steps in if needed. Another important factor that made things easier was that the hospital was only a 3 minute walk away from their apartment. Lola loves sharing her birth experience because it was empowering and often epidural births aren’t told in that manner.
Lola was born in Washington, D.C. to a Spanish Mom and American Dad. She grew up in the States for most of her childhood, but her family moved to Barcelona, Spain and most of her teenage years were spent in Barcelona. She’s currently working as an English teacher in Barcelona, and really loves her job! She lives with her partner who is from the Basque country—part of mid-north Spain with its own language and very singular and amazing culture.
Lola is 39 years old and was very unsure of becoming a mom because she had a difficult childhood. After having some years of therapy she felt ready to overcome her fears and they started trying. Lola got pregnant for the first time when she was 37 but unfortunately lost the baby early on. They kept on trying and got pregnant again 7 months after that. Her pregnancy with baby Julen was amazing and she felt energized, healthy, strong and confident. All feelings that haven’t always been a part of her life. You can connect with Lola on Instagram via @whatever.lola or @daniel_durall.
Boba Baby Carriers
Be sure to listen to my interview with Amelia Barnes about her experience using a Boba Wrap and Boba structured carrier with her daughter Lily! Check out my blog post over on the Boba blog!
Accidental Homebirth in Japan & a Positive Hospital Birth
Brooke Bland has had three completely different birth experiences: a long and laborious hospital birth that looked much different than she’d hoped and planned for, a much shorter accidental homebirth while living in Japan on deployment, and a planned hospital birth, due to potential health concerns with the baby, that turned out lovelier than she could have imagined. In this episode she focuses mostly on her surprise homebirth in Japan and then her next birth, which took place at a hospital due to her baby’s heart being on the “wrong side.” Her baby ended up being totally fine and Brooke shares how wonderful the entire hospital birth experience was for her.
Brooke Bland Bio
Brooke is currently living in Everett, WA with her husband and three children, ages 4, 2, and 7 months. She is a speech pathologist by trade but has put that on hold to stay home with her little people. She loves all things birth and baby, traveling the world, eating at new restaurants, and spends way too much time dreaming of remodeling homes.
Birth and Postpartum Resources
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
A film about The Farm Midwives and Ina May Gaskin
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Better Birth
Birth/Life coaching Resource
Plum + Sparrow Moses Basket Giveaway