Megacystis Diagnosis & Homebirth with Hypnobirthing

Megacystis Diagnosis & Homebirth with Hypnobirthing

After suffering from an autoimmune condition most of her life, Caroline approached pregnancy with trepidation, initially unsure she would be able to successfully conceive. After becoming pregnant in Fall 2016, her initial elation gave way to concern when a 12 week scan revealed her son was suffering from a condition called megacystis. When not resolved in utero, megacystis proves fatal. Careful monitoring continued until 24 weeks when she was finally given the “all clear” to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Meeting with a doula around the same time gave Caroline and her husband, Brett, the confidence to pursue a homebirth; and, despite insurance difficulties, they secured the services of an incredible homebirth midwife.

At 38 weeks, Caroline’s waters broke and after an intense but pain free night (thanks hypnobirthing!) her son was born after a posterior labor in the bedroom of their home. When her placenta tore after delivery, Caroline was transferred to the local hospital for a D&C where her impeccable care continued.

thewandering_eye baby and birth

Caroline Snider Bio

Caroline moved to Los Angeles from her native England back in early 2008 to further her career in advertising. There she met her husband Brett who directs TV commercials and together they’ve pursued many adventures, most notably the 18 months they spent living in a Winnebago traveling the widths and breadths of the United States. Caroline now lives in Upstate NY with Brett, their son Casper, dog Knuckles and Cat Artemis Pizza where she is a writer, professional photographer, mother and homemaker. Connect with her on Instagram.

CollegeBacker

This episode is sponsored by CollegeBacker. CollegeBacker is the easiest way to save for college with help from family & friends. In just 5 minutes, you can open a tax-advantaged 529 Plan, and then invite family & friends to contribute – even before your child is born!

Sign up at CollegeBacker.com/TheBirthHour and receive a $10 match when you start saving for your child, or when you send a gift to kickoff someone else’s college fund.

Giving Birth in India + Postpartum Care

Sofia Abdul Ali shares her experience with the maternity health care system in India as well as her dissatisfaction with her birth experiences and finally the amazing postpartum care she received from family. Sofia didn’t have any pictures she wanted to share and prefers to communicate with listeners via the comments on this page.

Sakura Bloom

This episode is sponsored by Sakura Bloom. Baby carriers crafted in California with the softest hand-dyed linens, hand-loomed silks, coziest bamboo & cashmere. Sakura Bloom covers you from the newborn days through toddlerhood with three unique carrier styles – The Ring Sling, The Onbuhimo and The Scout. Sakura Bloom believes in keeping waste to a minimum and attention to detail high, which means crafting in small batches in their coastal San Diego workshop. Learn more via their customer Facebook Group or on Instagram.

sakura bloom scout

January Harshe’s Birth Stories

In this episode January Harshe shares her first four birth stories: a cesarean, a homebirth transfer to cesarean, a hospital VBAC after being dropped from care by her homebirth midwife, and a very healing unassisted homebirth. You can hear her 5th and 6th birth stories on her podcast that she hosts with her husband, The Harshe Podcast.

January Harshe Bio

January owns Birth Without Fear where she blogs and runs its social media sites. January recently published Birth Without Fear: The Judgment-Free Guide to Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum. She also blogs at the Harshe.blog and hosts The Harshe Podcast with her husband Brandon. She also organizes MeetUps and Conferences, speaking at those and other events across the country. January has formula fed, pumped, breastfed, tandem nursed, used a crib, co-slept, homeschooled, and sent them all to school. Basically, she does what she can with what she has, learns from it, then does her best. No matter what she’s doing to survive the craziness of motherhood, she loves her children and knows she’s a good mother.

january harshe birth stories

Quiz: Where Should You Give Birth?

Take this fun quiz and find out where you should give birth based on your daily preferences and personality type?

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely.  From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered.  See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com and use the coupon code BIRTHHOUR20 for 20% off.  

Epidural-Free Hospital Birth

An Epidural-Free Birth Hospital Birth

After a 20 hour labor, Liesel delivered her son epidural-free at the hospital (and department) where she worked. Liesel battled an OP presentation during labor, with her biggest hurdle being back labor. She stuck it out at home until she was 5cm dilated, and then got admitted to the hospital where she had her doctor break her water. After many position changes, a few doses of IV pain medication, and pushing on hands and knees, she was able to successfully vaginally deliver her son epidural-free. She prepared for her birth by reading countless birth stories, interviewing her co-workers, and studying “Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth”.

Liesel Teen B

Liesel is a labor and delivery nurse from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the mother of a fabulous 2-year-old boy and spends her weekdays caring for him. She works part-time at the hospital she delivered at, and the rest of her free-time blogging on her pregnancy/mommy blog! She started her blog in February of 2018 as a way to educate more moms on the internet about the birth process. After having such a fulfilling birth experience at her hospital, she felt that she wanted to educate other moms in hopes that more women feel empowered and educated about their births, instead of scared and anxious. She has always had a passion for educating women and thoroughly enjoys spreading knowledge and awareness about birth on her blog! You can connect with Liesel on her Instagram at @mommy.labornurse, or at her blog, laborteen.com.

Resources

Ina May Gaskin’s Guide To Childbirth
Look up your hospital’s statistics (including C-section rates, early elective rates, episiotomies etc.):

Zahler Prenatal Vitamins

Today’s episode is brought to you by Advanced Nutrition by Zahler. Zahler offers a unique and comprehensive Prenatal + DHA supplement that contains a potent blend of 25 vitamins & nutrients including 300mg of DHA. Zahler’s Prenatal is a synergistic formula providing the full spectrum of nutrients you and your developing baby require. Enjoy an exclusive 25% off toward your purchase on Amazon using code PREDHA25.

Two Birth Stories in Paris, France

Giving Birth in Paris France

Gaela delivered both of her babies in Paris, France. For her first birth, Gaela took HypnoBirthing, the Mongan Method classes, which got her incredibly excited to give birth. She labored at home and kept waiting for the pain to arrive and it never did. Her daughter was born 47 minutes after arriving at the maternity in a birth tub with hardly any water in it! Gaela became a HypnoBirthing instructor after her daughter’s birth. She gave birth to her son 23 months later in a birth center. She was able to deploy all of the techniques that she teaches in order to stay focused and have a peaceful birth. She was able to “breathe” her baby down and have him auto-latch during the sacred hour. She had two distinct yet wildly empowering childbirth experiences.

Gaela Bio

Gaela is a French, Mexican, American from San Diego, CA and currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. She lived in Paris, France for almost 10 years where she met her husband and had her two children. Gaela was so inspired by the birth of her first baby, she became a HypnoBirthing® Instructor, the Mongan Method. She empowers not only mothers but also fathers/birthing partners in their pivotal role in the experience by providing them with concrete tools to have an enjoyable childbirth experience and ultimately gets parents excited for the biggest collaboration they will share with their child—his/her arrival in the world! Social media: @1gaelita on instagram, Gaela Fernandez on facebook or at www.luzcommunity.com.

Resources

Unicist homeopathy medicine
Magnesium supplement
HypnoBirthing, the Mongan Method
Osteopathic Medicine
Magical or Sacred Hour Postpartum
The Baby Catcher
Happy kids, Healthy Kids

March of Dimes

Today’s episode is sponsored by March of Dimes. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. March of Dimes is partnering with the CDC to generate awareness among women of childbearing age, families, and health care providers about things they can do to help prevent birth defects. At the end of this episode I spoke to mom, rare disease warrior and March of Dimes Gretchen Carlson Advocacy Fellow, Sarah Wilkerson, about the 5 main tips from March of Dimes and the CDC to help you be a healthy mom and have a strong baby. You can also find out more at marchofdimes.org/TheBirthHour.

Vaginal Birth after Laparoscopic Myomectomy

VBALM Birth Story

Mabel planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with an OB practice. This desire was prompted by her deep research of VBALM — vaginal birth after Laparoscopic Myomectomy. After years of searching for an OB who would support her desire to have a vaginal birth, she found Dr. John Gonzalez, who encouraged her of his support. However, upon the unexpected death of Dr. Gonzalez, she switched to Centreville OBGYN, a midwife/OB practice, at 35 weeks. The plan changed to having a midwife, instead of an OB, deliver her son. Due to her history of GD and fibroid removal, the midwives and OBs decided that if a vaginal birth was desired, Mabel should not be induced but she should instead hope for a spontaneous labor.

At 40 weeks and 6 days, Mabel went into labor at home and labored at home as long as possible. She checked into the hospital at 4 pm on September 14th and labored with support of her doulas, husband, and midwife. After almost 14 hours of slowly progressing, she opted for an epidural at 9.5 cm. After a total of 36 hours, she welcomed her son after almost 2 hours of pushing. Upon delivering the placenta, she experienced a major hemorrhage which resulted in the placement of a Rusch balloon and a blood transfusion. Despite how crazy things got after delivery, Mabel was still very proud of her pregnancy and birth experience. After being told that a vaginal birth was not possible for her, she is proud that she stood her ground, did her research and sought for the right medical team to support her wishes. She attributes her pregnancy and birth experience to the great support of her husband, doula, her determination, and the grace of God.

mabel pregnancy

Mabel Bashorun Bio

Mabel is 31 years old and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Tim and son, Darasimi. She married her college sweetheart in 2013 and the couple decided to wait for a year before actively trying to get pregnant. After learning she had fibroids shortly after she started her TTC journey, Mabel decided to have a laparoscopic myomectomy done to remove multiple fibroids from within her uterine wall. The journey to get pregnant continued on for another 2 years before she got a positive pregnancy test which was a both a surprise and relief. She had a relatively smooth pregnancy with a few hiccups which included fibroid degeneration and gestational diabetes. Her son was born vaginally in a hospital in September 2018 after a 36 hour labor.
Mabel works as an education specialist for her local school county and enjoys spending time with her close circle of family and friends and learning about birth work. She is also a new doula, ready to support women in advocating for their desires regarding birth and pregnancy. You can find her on Instagram @mabedababe (personal) and @withinherbirth (doula business).

Resources

Mama Natural Youtube, blog, book
Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize
Baby Center app
Medical articles on VBALM

Babylist

The people at 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.

Induction for Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction

Clarice Amorim Freitas was planning to give birth at a birth center, but at 37 weeks was diagnosed with intra-uterine growth restriction and needed to be induced immediately. They were in the hospital for 39 hours before their little one was born via vaginal birth. The hospital and birth center staff were both incredibly supportive and they had a very positive experience despite the abrupt change of plans. They were able to continue their postpartum care through the birth center even though they did not physically deliver their baby there.

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Want to learn how to get a free breast pump through insurance? Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, and Lansinoh. And the best part, they take care of everything – from getting all required paperwork and dealing with your insurance company to explaining your options and getting your free pump shipped straight to your door.

All you have to go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you! At the end of this episode I’ll be talking to Sara about her experience using Aeroflow Breastpumps to get her breast pump free through insurance.

Netherlands and Colombia Birth Stories + 40 Days of Rest

Neram’s Birth Story

After two completely different birth experiences in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) – the first, a birth center to hospital transfer; and, the second a home water birth – Neram planned as well to birth her third child in the comfort of her home accompanied by a traditional midwife in Bogotá (Colombia), where she had just moved with her family. According to the ultrasounds she had done during her pregnancy, her baby seemed to be measuring a bit behind, which had resulted in a recalculation of her due date for exactly two weeks later than originally indicated. So, when Neram started to feel contractions three weeks before her new due date (they didn’t feel like Braxton Hicks nor like real labour surges) , she just went ahead with arranging her home which still needed a lot of nesting after the recent move.

When contractions persisted but didn’t gain much more intensity, Neram called her midwife but didn’t feel the need yet for true assistance. Little did she know that her baby was just about to be born. After ending that phone call, Neram lived what can happen when birth is undisturbed and the body takes over with all its power and rawness, focusing on one single thing only: birthing the baby! Her waters broke, and followed by the Fetal Ejection Reflex, her body birthed her baby in such a short time that she, her husband, and their 4 year old son experienced their first unassisted birth.

When her midwife finally arrived, Neram was still where she had just birthed her baby, on the floor in the shower, on a complete birth high, holding her newborn son in her arms! When measuring her child, Neram kind of expected to hear a rather light weight – something which had been predicted by the last ultrasound just four days ago. However, when Neram learned that her baby had the weight and size of a full term baby (and same like his siblings when they were born), she understood once and for all that technology is not everything, that she could indeed trust her instincts and her body, and that her baby had been perfectly ready to be born into this world.

After the birth, Neram experienced the most amazing postpartum care provided by her team of Colombian midwives, which included 40 days resting time, emotional, physical, and nutritional support, and a full closing ceremony around rituals that truly honored her body and allowed her to close this pregnancy and birth cycle in a respectful and reflective way.

neram little births births

Neram’s Bio

Neram is a mother of three little kiddos and a complete birth nerd who followed her heart and traded a career in Public Relations to enter the world of birthkeepers and become a doula. Originally from Germany with German-Chadish roots, she lived in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Panama before moving to Bogotá where she gave birth to her third child and is now studying with traditional midwifes all things womb and beyond. On her page and blog, she shares her motherhood journey and all the wisdom she’s learning, hoping to inspire women around the world to claim their right and space to choose the pregnancy, birth, postpartum and overall women’s health experience they wish for! connect with her on Instagram at @thereal_littlebirdsmama or www.littlebirdsmama.com

Resources

https://indiebirth.org Podcast
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina – May Gaskin
HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan
The First Forty Days by Heng Ou with Amely Green and Marisa Belger

CollegeBacker

This episode is sponsored by CollegeBacker. CollegeBacker is the easiest way to save for college with help from family & friends. In just 5 minutes, you can open a tax-advantaged 529 Plan, and then invite family & friends to contribute – even before your child is born!

Sign up at CollegeBacker.com/TheBirthHour and receive a $10 match when you start saving for your child, or when you send a gift to kickoff someone else’s college fund.

Pregnancy and Birth Story with Paraplegia

Summary

Rachel had always envisioned herself having an unmedicated home or birth center birth, but when she found out she was considered high risk she knew that wouldn’t be possible. So, she and her fiancé hired a doula and chose a hospital and team that best fit their birth wishes. Rachel delivered her daughter vaginally and unmedicated 3 weeks early and just 14 hours after arriving at the hospital! As smooth as her pregnancy and delivery went, she’s still dealing with some unexpected postpartum complications 3 months later.

Rachel Bio

Rachel is a 31 year old first time mom from WA state. When she was 17 she suffered a spinal cord injury from a car accident that left her using a wheelchair for most of her mobility. After finding out she was pregnant, she realized there were hardly any resources available to expecting moms with paraplegia, so she decided she wanted to share her story of pregnancy and postpartum life with a spinal cord injury. Connect with her on Instagram @rachel_halladay or on Facebook, Rachel Halladay.

Resources

The Calm Birth Method: Your Complete Guide to a Positive Hypnobirthing Experience
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Birth Partner 5th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children

Sakura Bloom

This episode was sponsored by Sakura Bloom. Baby carriers crafted in California with the softest hand-dyed linens, hand-loomed silks, coziest bamboo & cashmere. Sakura Bloom covers you from the newborn days through toddlerhood with three unique carrier styles – The Ring Sling, The Onbuhimo and The Scout. Sakura Bloom believes in keeping waste to a minimum and attention to detail high, which means crafting in small batches in their coastal San Diego workshop. Learn more via their customer Facebook Group or on Instagram.

Unexpected Down Syndrome Diagnosis at Birth

Kelle Hampton’s Birth Story

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.

nella hampton bloom

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.

Down Syndrome Resources

National Down Syndrome Society
National Down Syndrome Congress
Ruby’s Rainbow
Changing the Face of Beauty

bloom down syndrome

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely. From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered. See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com and use the coupon code BIRTHHOUR20 for 20% off.