Natalie Diaz Bio
Natalie is the Pied Piper of twin families around the globe. Founding Twiniversity — the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families — in 2009, she’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Reaching over a million families a week through Twiniversity’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube channels, moms and dads of twins flock to Twiniversity to find resources, ask questions, explore new products, and find community and support from other twin parents. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, “What To Do When You’re Having Two” is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.
Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program
What To Do When You’re Having Two
This episode is sponsored by Solly Baby, the makers of Solly Baby wrap carriers, Solly swaddles and Solly Dolly wraps. At Solly Baby, closeness is what matters. The power of touch, the strength in being together, and that the most enduring relationships are not only in love but in experiencing life together. Solly Baby is generously offering $5 off your order with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.sollybaby.com.
Twin to Twin Transfusion Loss, Miscarriage and Rainbow Babies
Ashley shares the story of the loss of her twins, followed by a miscarriage, and then the birth of her rainbow babies. Her daughter Cates was born early and spent 33 days in the NICU; and, her son Rett and daughter Liza were both born full-term by scheduled cesarean. She shares how her faith affected the way she processed her losses, and how it all impacted her subsequent pregnancies and births.
Ashley Gilbreath Bio
Ashley Gilbreath is the founder of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design and Parish Shoppe in Montgomery, AL. In addition to running her business and being featured in the HGTV show, Sweet Home Renovation, Ashley juggles life with three littles and a supportive husband. Connect with her on Instagram or email@example.com.
How to be a supportive friend after pregnancy loss
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
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!
Preterm Labor, Incompetent Cervix Birth Stories
Allyson experienced preterm labor with both of her children (as the doctors like to call it: “incompetent cervix”); so, the months and weeks leading up to her due dates were harrowing. But both children made it to 37 weeks and 6 days — and her labor was relatively uneventful for both, thanks in part to an epidural. She actually slept through much of her labor with her first baby, waking a couple hours before it was time to push. With her second, she Ubered over to the hospital without her husband, expecting to be sent home for a false alarm — but was instead told she was more than 5cm dilated. It was a busy night, and she kept getting bumped behind other patients in the line for epidurals because she was calmly reading People magazine and not terribly bothered by the contractions.
The relative ease of labor is where the similarities stopped. With her first, the placenta didn’t fully detach, which led to a brutal manual removal — and enough blood loss to keep her on one-to-one nurse watch in the L&D room for 6+ hours. By the time she got to the maternity ward, she’d bloated up like a balloon and could only sit down if there was a soft pillow and an ice pack underneath her. At home two days later, it wasn’t much better — and soon turned far worse. Late at night when her son was four days old, she thought she might be experiencing a psychotic break: lightning bolts of pain were shooting up her spine, and she couldn’t stop sobbing. Her doctor only agreed to let her wait until morning to be checked out because Allyson was certain she wouldn’t do anything to harm herself or the baby.
The next morning, Allyson met her OB/GYN at her office — which was technically closed, but the doctor had come in so she could check Allyson. When she checked Allyson’s blood pressure a second time, the doctor looked alarmed and said, “We need to get you to the ER right away. This looks like preeclampsia.”
At the hospital, staff did an ultrasound, and saw that Allyson’s bladder was extraordinarily distended. They catheterized her, and immediately her blood pressure went to normal. She was so swollen from the birth that her bladder wasn’t emptying when she went to the bathroom.
Over the coming weeks, there were return trips to the ER and thrice weekly trips to a urologist. The issue persisted for weeks, and the residual symptoms lasted for months.
So with her second pregnancy, she was desperate to avoid similar complications — and terrified her problem would recur. She experienced similar pre-term contractions, needing to go on bedrest from 31 weeks, and she expected the worst from her recovery.
But it was radically different. The day after her daughter was born, her OB/GYN stopped by her room and said, “You’re doing great. If you’d like to go home today instead of staying a second night, you’re welcome to.”
At home, she was astonished to find she could walk and move comfortably — and she could even sit on a regular chair without needing a cushion. She and her husband took the baby and her toddler out to dinner the day after she got home from the hospital, and the following evening, they walked down to a cafe along the Hudson River for burgers. And every day, she felt better and better, until she was a fully-functioning-but-still-exhausted human being at four weeks postpartum, able to work on her start-up for 4 to 6 hours each day from home. She’d baby-wear her daughter to her midtown office with one day a week, and the other four days she’d work from home.
Ally Downey Bio
Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunch, Mashable, CNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine.
She is also the author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, the pregnancy-and-parenting guide to your professional life. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Time, Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and others; and, she has appeared on ABC World News Now, Power Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country’s top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @allysondowney.
Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Work Pump Repeat by Jessica Shortall
Work It class on Motherly
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!
Julie Martin Bio
Julie Martin is a wife and homeschooling mother of 4 precious babies. Her first baby was born ten years ago, very unexpectedly, at 30 weeks by c-section; and, he spent two months in the NICU. Despite trying all the natural remedies and labor stalling methods, each subsequent baby was also born prematurely (33,33, and 32 weeks) by c-section, and each spent a month in the NICU as well. Never imagining being a c-section or NICU mommy, Julie has a heart to encourage women who have had birth experiences that just don’t turn out like they anticipate.
Get help at the NICU with breastfeeding. Here’s a little audio clip of advice from Julie on how she did that!
Preemies – Second Edition: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies
Ruby Love Baby
The Ruby Love Baby Book is a modern twist on the classic baby memory book. Designed by a mom looking for something relevant and current, but also something timeless and precious that would be a handwritten heirloom that would grow with her child, the Ruby Love Baby Book will help you do just that and document your pregnancy through the first year of your baby’s life and beyond. With additional pages such as NICU pages, adoption pages, holiday pages and the Ruby Love School Years Book, you can be sure to remember all of the little things that you never want to forget. Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your purchase.
Ruby Love Baby is also on Etsy and the coupon code works there as well!
After 3 IUI’s and on her 3rd round of IVF Jenica became pregnant! She will never forget the incredible happiness when the blood test came back positive! At 10 weeks, she found out she was having twins! Along with pregnancy came morning sickness, discomfort, cankles, and long nights! But gratitude overwhelmed every emotion for Jenica as her dream of becoming a mother had finally become a reality. Her boy and girl twins had to be delivered at 32 weeks because of Preeclampsia! Harris came first and then Goldie! Her first weeks as a mother included her and her husband Tyler visiting their sweet little ones in the NICU every day. After 5 weeks in the NICU the family of four was able to all go home together! Learn more about her journey here and you can connect with her on Instagram.
Jenica Parcell Bio
Jenica Parcell started her blog titled, “A Slice of Style” in 2014. She wanted to share the best deals on the nicest things for a slice of the price. After struggling with infertility for several years, her blog evolved and she shared her struggle to grow her family by documenting each needle, doctor’s visit and wish for her future child during her 3rd round of IVF. That “child” turned into “children”! Her twins Harris and Goldie were born after 3 IUI’s and 3 rounds of IVF. She now shares tidbits about her life as a mama to twins along with deals, fashion, and lifestyle!
Taking Charge of Your Fertility