After a miscarriage, Anna and Kevin were thrilled to learn they were expecting a baby girl. Anna had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy (for which she largely credits the Pure Barre classes she took up until 41 weeks) and was hoping for an intervention-free birth. Baby girl Maggie, as it turned out, was in no rush to make her big debut into the world; and, as the days passed by without progression, Anna started worrying that an induction was in store and might throw off her birth plans. She ended up having to get induced, but Maggie’s birth was ultimately a far faster and better experience than Anna even knew to hope for.
Anna Keller Bio
Anna Keller lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her husband of six years, Kevin, who’s one of the two guys behind the men’s grooming company Fulton & Roark (fultonandroark.com). They have a 3-month-old daughter, Maggie, and a boxer mix, Fulton (who’s an excellent big brother to his little human sister). Anna works as the Marketing & Communications Manager for a before-and-after-school enrichment company, and also blogs about everything from pregnancy to baking to parenting to fashion at curiouser-and-curiouser.com. Anna also teaches Pure Barre, and introduces women to Beautycounter skincare and make-up products. Connect with Anna: on Instagram: @curiouserandcuriouserblog or her Blog and at the Beautycounter Facebook group.
This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!
Natalie’s first pregnancy (conceived with clomid) ended in a miscarriage. For her second pregnancy, she started right away with progesterone and blood thinning shots (she has factor v leiden). She knew for years that she wanted a home birth. She also knew the risks of home birth with her blood clotting disorder—she knew she may transfer at some point for hemorrhaging, but hoped against a placenta abruption. Her hematologist said that taking thinning injections helped cancel out that risk. She prepared for a home birth and anticipated it with so much joy. She wanted a home birth so badly. She couldn’t wait to experience that ‘meeting moment’ she had assisted so many times as a birth photographer.
Natalie’s birth began on a Tuesday morning, May 31. She labored and labored and labored. On Wednesday morning, her contractions became irregular. Wednesday night around 11 pm she transferred to the hospital, hoping to get her body back in order. Epidural didn’t work. Pitocin didn’t work. Her body metabolized the medicine. Thursday she pushed for over 4 hours. She was sure she was going to push him out. He was asynclitic (when a baby’s head is tipped towards one shoulder) and had swelling of the scalp (caput succedaneum). Her birth ended in a cesarean. She kept imagining meeting him, how it would be worth it. Her body metabolized the medicine, once again, so they had to put her under general anesthetics. She was asleep. Then when she woke up and was in a whole world of pain.
Natalie Brenner Bio
Natalie is a freelance writer, soon to be author, and professional photographer who is up for just about any crazy adventure. Natalie’s husband’s name is Loren, but she refers to him as LB. She chugs coffee while changing diapers and singing songs in silly voices to her two sweet boys who are almost 5 months apart and both 1. Before they grew by two kids, Natalie was also a doula; she is passionate about pregnancy and birth, infertility and miscarriage, as well as adoption. All around, she loves people. Connect further with her through Natalie Brenner Writes, Instagram, and Facebook. She also has a free e-book for working through grief called Wholeness Despite the Brokenness and just released her first book, This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the gifts of grief and the fullness of life.
This episode is sponsored by Stitch Fix, a personal styling service for men & women that sends clothing to your door. Stitch Fix is dedicated to styling women through all phase of their lives. If you’re expecting a baby – they’ve got you covered with their maternity styling option. From the first trimester to your post-baby bump, Stitch Fix Stylists will help you look and feel your best every step of the way. They have free shipping both ways and no subscription needed. Go to Stitchfix.com to get started!
Placental Abruption Bed Rest & Unmedicated Hospital Birth, Followed by Home Birth Stories
At 31 weeks, Kelly’s perfectly healthy pregnancy and planned home birth took a drastic change when her water broke and it was bright red blood. Even though Kelly spent a week in the hospital and saw dozens of specialists, she didn’t receive a firm diagnosis. She was only told that she may have had a minor placental abruption accompanied by PROM (premature rupture of membranes) which then resealed itself. With little other information, Kelly was put on bed rest for 8 weeks and ultimately decided to change her birth plan and deliver at the hospital instead of at home. At 39 weeks and 6 days Kelly went into labor naturally, going from 5 to 10 centimeters just 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital. She had an unmedicated hospital birth with and episiotomy – just 12 hours of labor total. Her second son, a rainbow baby after 2 miscarriages, Stellan James, was born at home at 41+3 in just under 2 hours of labor.
Kelly Brown Bio
Kelly lives in San Diego, California with her two sons, Lachlan Robert and Stellan James, and her husband Ryan. They love going to the beach, heading north to Disneyland, and camping throughout California. Kelly owns her own lifestyle public relations company and admins a mommy and pregnancy group for women who use the Fertility Awareness Method. Website: kellypublicrelations.com Instagram: @kellypublicrelations
The episode is sponsored by Milkies by Fairhaven Health. Milkies is a line of thoughtfully designed products for moms, by moms, to help support all women in their breastfeeding journey. Products include breast milk collection and storage, supplements, teas, nursing pads and much more! Milkies is generously offering 10% off all products with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.fairhavenhealth.com. We are also giving away a milk catcher and milk collection tray over on Instagram.
Infertility, Pregnancy Loss + High Blood Pressure Induction Birth Story
Chelsea and Clayton began trying to conceive in early 2014, before undergoing 2 rounds of IVF in 2015 that resulted in two pregnancy losses including their first son, Colt, who passed at 16 weeks gestation. Upon return from a belated honeymoon, they were delighted to find out they were pregnant without any medical intervention. Chelsea wished to give birth at a local Birth Center, but her plans changed due to high blood pressure. She was induced at 37 weeks and had an epidural-free labor and birth at a local hospital attended by her midwife and doula. Following a 10-day NICU stay, Chelsea and Clayton’s son was finally welcomed home.
Chelsea Johnson Bio
Chelsea is a new mom to her son Connor. She is the wife of Clayton, a nurse from a small town in Wisconsin. They currently reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with their son, two cats and one ornery beagle. Together, they have navigated the messy journey that is infertility and pregnancy loss before welcoming their son. They spend their days Netflix-binging The Office and watching hockey when they aren’t busy enjoying being new parents. You can read more about their journey on Chelsea’s blog at lovenfertility.wordpress.com. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @chelsearenee31
Listen to me chat with Amanda about today’s sponsor, BabyList, at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry for some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum!
Same-sex couple Mariel and Viviana knew they always wanted a baby; so, a year into their marriage they began trying to conceive by the traditional route of IUI’s with frozen sperm via a sperm bank. After nearly a dozen failed tries, they switched gears to a known-donor and were quickly pregnant. Early on in Viviana’s pregnancy she began having complications, and on the same day of her anatomy scan at 20 weeks and 6 days, Viviana’s water bag prolapsed and broke. Tune in to hear the details of their devastating infant loss due to incompetent cervix and the redemption story of their boy/girl rainbow babies conceived within 7 days of each other and born only three days apart. Follow their journey on Instagram at @moderndaytwins.
I don’t have a hometown, but if I had to claim one, it would be Dallas, TX. I met Mariel in college at UNT and quickly fell in love. A few years into our dating, and after moving to Austin, she asked me to marry her; so, we had a ceremony in TX and made it legal in NYC when I was 29 and she was 22. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and never could have guessed the road to realizing it would be so hard. Now the Mama to my “modern day twins” and my little angel baby in heaven, I’m at peace. My loss and the birth world has been truly inspirational to me so I share as much as I can on social media and hope to give back somehow. Connect with me on Instagram at @vivianarchy.
I grew up in Brownsville, TX, which is on the Texas/Mexico border and never lived anywhere else until I left for college where I met Viviana and instantly fell in love. Up until meeting her, my life was pretty vanilla: I had a set goal, and was meeting every expectation my very traditional Mexican family set out for me. Then, all of a sudden, I threw all of that out of the window and started taking risks I’d never imagine were possible – I graduated college in three years and moved to the most expensive city in Texas without a job just so I could finally live passionately. It’s been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs, but despite the uncertainties, we’ve always managed to land on our feet and have been blessed beyond measure. I love to tell our story to anybody that will listen so that people see that there is hope so long as you don’t give up and are willing to take as many detours as life throws your way. Connect with me on Instagram at @cafesitamami.
Sarah Wells Bags
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.
We are giving away a $150 shop credit and there is also a promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com.
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.