Three Births: Postdates Birth Center Birth, Cesarean Birth & Homebirth VBAC
For her first birth, Jessica and her husband chose an out of hospital birth center and they welcomed their daughter Josie after a 41 week and 6 day long pregnancy. Her second birth was with the same midwives; but, due to cord issues, their son Elliott was born in the hospital by c-section. After a cross country move half way through her third pregnancy, Jessica and Chris decided they wanted to attempt a homebirth VBAC. At 40 weeks and 6 days, and after a week of prodromal labor, Jessica finally went into active labor while out at a pizza place with her family! After a very intense 8 hours of back labor, she pushed for 8 minutes and her third baby, 10lb 7oz Ian, was born at home with the help of their amazing midwives.
Jessica Higgins Bio
Jessica has been married for 8 years to her husband, Chris, and is a busy mom of 3 who works as a statistical programmer. When not working or chasing around her wonderful and crazy kids, she is a Scottish highland dancer and enjoys knitting items for said crazy kids. You can find her on Instagram @jk_higgins.
This episode is sponsored by Ava Women. Wear the Ava bracelet while you sleep for effortless insight about your fertility, your cycle, and your health. Ava monitors nine physiological parameters and is clinically proven to detect the beginning of the fertile window in real time. You can use the promo code: BIRTHHOUR for $20 off each order at avawomen.com.
Long Labor at Hospital
Julia planned for an unmedicated, hospital water birth. After having to have her water artificially ruptured and finding meconium, the water birth was no longer an option. After laboring for nearly 26 hours, pushing for 4.5 hours and narrowly avoiding a c-section, Julia was able to have an unmedicated vaginal birth.
Julia Carrion Bio
Julia lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband. They’ve been married four years and just celebrated their son’s first birthday! Julia has made the transition to stay-at-home mom and keeps herself busy (and sane) by working to complete a masters degree in Management and Leadership and making diaper mats, and car seat covers which can be found here.
Visual Birth plan
Evidence Based Birth
This is a great TedTalk by a doula in Singapore. She does an excellent job of explaining the chemical reactions that take place during labor
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.
OB Hospital Birth versus Midwife Supported Hospital Birth
Juliana got pregnant in her senior year of her BA. As an international student she was not very acquainted with the medical system in Ontario and opted for what was the most familiar option to her: OB care. During her pregnancy, she became more aware of her options and decided to try an unmedicated birth. Unfortunately, she feels she did not have the right support system for this; and, though the birth occurred with no complications and Hugo was born a happy and healthy baby, she realized that her choice of hospital had not been the right decision for her: not only did she and her husband not feel supported, but they had to face many administrative obstacles.
For her second baby, Juliana and her husband decided to have a midwife attend their birth at a different hospital. Xavier’s birth could not have been any better. Three hours after the delivery they were able to go home with their new baby. Abbir and Anita, their midwives, came to do home visits and supported them through this new stage in their lives.
Juliana Ramirez Bio
Juliana is originally from Medellin, Colombia. After finishing high school, she moved to Toronto, Canada where she attended college and met her husband. Her two sons, Hugo and Xavier, were born in Canada before the family relocated to Cambridge, MA, where Juliana is currently a Ph.D. student at Harvard University.
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.
Thanks to Bestow, a life insurance company, for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Before having kids I never thought about life insurance because it’s one of those things that just isn’t on your radar until you hear some horrible story about a devastated family or you start having those mom panic moments when you’re in a close call on the highway. You know the ones I’m talking about!
Kids change everything about how we plan for the future and we start to consider important things like buying a house or saving for college but for some reason life insurance still seems to take a back seat even though it’s so important. I think this is because it is so complicated! Many of us may have a group life insurance plan through our employer but that might not be sufficient (read more here). And for me, I became a stay-at-home-mom and all of a sudden, only my husband was covered with life insurance which I was not okay with. I contribute to our family not only as the main caretaker for our kids but also with The Birth Hour as a significant portion of our income.
Life insurance is one of those things that we all know we should have but many of us don’t actually take the steps needed to get on board! I was so excited to learn about Bestow because they are a young start-up that has made it their mission to take the guesswork and annoying aspects of getting life insurance out of the equation.
You can get signed up in about 3 minutes online and there are no phone interviews, physicals or lab tests involved. Bestow has modernized the process by allowing you to sign up for life insurance coverage, if approved, from your phone or computer. (No invasive medical exams or pushy sales agents).
Lucky me, the first place that they launched is Texas so I signed up right away! They will be rolling out in other states in the near future and you can sign up to be notified on their website. Bestow allows people to not only get protection for their family but also help other families who don’t have coverage.
Some quick facts that make Bestow unique are:
- They use an easy online questionnaire and health databases rather than medical exams to determine your medical history allowing you to get coverage in minutes instead of weeks.
- It’s affordable. Being young and healthy is definitely to your advantage when it comes to life insurance. I was able to get VERY affordable coverage for a small monthly fee that gives me so much peace of mind for the future of my family.
- They are able to avoid a lot of overhead by using technology, and the cost savings is passed to the consumer. You can get a plan for as little as $2.50/month for the most basic policy, price goes up depending on coverage and term length. Max coverage is up to $500,000 for 20 years and even that is still very reasonably priced!
- Instead of commissioned agents they use licensed customer care representatives so even though it’s all online, it’s not impersonal. If you have questions, you can get them easily answered. AKA: it’s a better experience.
- They are backed by two huge insurance companies that are both A+ rated which means that you are getting the same quality life insurance policy as the biggest carriers, without having to deal with all of that bureaucracy.
This isn’t the most exciting part of having babies but it is so important and I feel really passionate about sharing it with you! You can learn more here and listen to my chat with their founder at the end of this podcast episode (Ep. 240) as well. I also love this article about buying life insurance while pregnant, where Bestow addresses some misconceptions!
1st birth: Landon Dec 27 2007
41+1 weeks- Hospital
Contractions started around 1am, arrived at hospital around 4am, got the epidural as soon as possible after throwing up and really struggling with the pain in triage (panicking, really) at 4 cm. Then we really just hung out in our room waiting for dilation. Once i got to 9.5 cm, they told me to do a couple practice-pushes, then left me for an hour to finish dilation. I pushed for 2.5 hours, then they realized baby was sunny side up. So I was sent to get a c section, but sat in the “prep room” for an hour waiting for the cesarean, when my doctor finally showed up and flipped baby and I was able to push baby out in half an hour. He was born in the prep room, at 9lbs even.
2nd birth: Hudson May 6 2011
40+3 weeks – Hospital
Woke up at 4am to contractions, calmly walked around the house working through them until my husband got up for work and told him he wasn’t going to work and to call his mom for our oldest, and then headed to the hospital. Arrived at the hospital around 7:30 am. Contractions were 2 min apart, lasting 1 min and I received the epidural. Again, just hung out waiting for dilation with my mom and husband. Reached 10cm and I wasn’t pushing “well” so I asked them to turn off the epidural so I could feel what I was doing. After an hour of pushing, baby was born! He came out 11lbs 12oz. By far my easiest, least eventful birth! (just like him! easy going boy)
3rd birth: Ashton March 11 2014
41weeks- Hospital: Induction
Morning of the 41 week mark, I was called in for induction. Arrive at the hospital around 1:30pm, I was 2cm dilated so they simply broke my waters. Broke my water around 2pm, sent us walking for 2 hours. at 4pm I wasn’t contracting regularly, so they said they were going to start pitocin in 15 min, by the time they came back to they room to start the pit, I was contracting and 5.5cm, so they left the pit. I worked on the birth ball for a while, then headed to the tub and hit transition hard in the tub with puking and ask for gas. Gas made me panic and I begggggggged for the epidural. They asked to check me (knowing I was almost there) but I refused. they brought the epidural and I was secretly pushing while they put it in. as soon as he left the room, i told them, “ I’m pushing!!” and they checked and baby was right there. but I begged to let the epidural start up, and then 20 mins later he was born. 4 hours of labor and he was out at 9lbs 12oz.
4th birth: Winifred Dec 10 2017
40+6 weeks- Home
Woke up at 6am to 5 intense back to back contractions, for some reason, I didn’t believe I was really in labour, and let my husband go to work still (at our barn, 30 sec from our house) waited to see if they were consistent (and real) then finally my doula talked me into calling the midwife and they sent one out right away (not my midwife, unfortunately). Midwives arrived around 8:30 (I was 5cm), followed by my doula, photographer and finally my husband. My doula and husband set up the pool while I did my makeup with my photographer. Once the pool was ready, contractions were starting to get more intense so I went in the pool. once I got in the pool, I never came back out. I was never checked after the initial check, and she was born 1.5 hours after I went in the birthing pool. She was born at 9lbs 9oz. These are very brief and quick descriptions, there are much more juicy details to them all for the podcast!
Nicole Vandenberg Bio
Nicole, mom of 4, welcomed each pregnancy as a new learning opportunity. By pregnancy #4, and after supporting her sister-in-law through her home births, she was a complete birth junkie and realized birth was her calling, she decided to go forward with her doula certification and chose to have the home birth she had always dreamed of. Nicole had four wonderful, uncomplicated, easy pregnancies, resulting in three hospital births with her 3 boys, two with epidurals, and one unmedicated induction. And recently welcomed her first baby girl at home with a beautiful, empowering water birth, with the help of her amazing birth team. Connect with her on Instagram @nicole_ellaine.
The Birth Hour
Doing it at home
Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth (mainly the birth stories)
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
The Business of Being Born (movie + episodes)
Why Not Home
The Beginning of Life on Netflix
This episode is sponsored by Babylist. 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. Check out The Birth Hour’s sample registry here!
Homebirth & Surprise Unassisted Hospital Bathroom Birth
JJasmine’s first birth story was an amazing heartfelt home waterbirth —while her second birth left her in literal shock. Jasmine gave birth to her baby girl on the hospital bathroom floor, unassisted. Jasmine goes through her journey of many hardships in such a short amount of time — from having her delivery bag stolen while in labor and not having the hospital water-birth she had planned, to struggling through back pain, diastasis recti, and an umbilical hernia after giving birth to two children 14 months apart.
Jasmine is a true believer in turning your adversity into art; using one’s experiences to help and heal others. Her desire is to share her story, encourage others to never give up, and to motivate us all to share our stories with hopes of creating a more compassionate world for her children to live in.
Jasmine Wilde Bio
Jasmine is the owner of Hey Baby Ultrasound Boutique in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s a lover of women’s empowerment and healing. Jasmine is a single mother with great hopes for coparenting, and she is the mother of two beautiful Irish twins; A & Z. She’s a superwoman in every sense — from operating a small business in Atlanta with two toddlers, dealing with the journey of having been a military wife, and healing after a major surgery from an injury she suffered from pregnancy — she’s unbreakable.d
Today’s episode sponsor is Grove Collaborative. Grove makes it easy to discover amazing natural home and personal care products. Grove selects only the best non-toxic products, so you can shop with confidence knowing that everything on their site is good for you, your family, and the planet. Grove’s VIP membership provides our customers with: unlimited free shipping, a free full-sized gift every few months, price match guarantee, and amazing personal service.
Go to this link and when you sign-up you’ll get a free glass spray bottle two-piece concentrates pack to use in the spray bottle, and a 3 pack of microfiber cloths! Grove will add some suggested items to your cart to get you started and you can swap those out for whatever you need for your home.
Gina Shares a bit about her Homebirth Cesarean and Homebirth VBAC below.
“Our wild Zelda Francis was born by a homebirth cesarean during one of the hottest summers in Austin. I was surrounded by my husband, sister (who was 6 weeks pregnant!), dear friend and my amazing midwife and friend. 17 days past my due date, it was breast pumping that convinced my body it was time to go into labor. It was a gentle beginning that turned into a hard, long haul. I labored for 36 hours at home. I walked, got in and out of the pool, took showers, changed positions many times and napped as much as I could. Then I stalled at 7cm and become tired and dehydrated. After trying everything we could at home, we made the call to go to the hospital. I immediately got an epidural and slept for 5 hours! I was excited to wake up fully dilated. I then pushed for 4 hours. Her head never came down past a certain point so we decided it was time for her to be born by cesarean at 331am. I remember looking into her dark eyes as soon as she was given to me and I knew she was going to grow up a persistent and loving creature. So far, I was right.
Our sweet Oona Rosemarie was born at home during a quiet spring morning. Surrounded by our wonderful birth team…my husband, our magical midwife GB, her assistant, and my bestie and doula (who made it all the way from San Fran!). Contractions started in the middle of the night and I immediately knew labor was happening. I was enjoying my alone time so I didn’t wake the family. After they got up, my husband took our oldest to school. During that time, I turned music on and let the contractions take over. During the day, my husband and I watched a movie, ate, walked and went to acupuncture. It wasn’t until that evening, when my water broke, that things became more intense. Worried that I was in for another long haul, I asked my midwife to check me. I was 9cm! Pretty quickly after, I started pushing and just a couple of hours later, she was born in our living room at 310am. I remember the room becoming very quiet when she came out. So peaceful and so intentional. It was just us taking her in and meeting her gentle spirit for the first time.”
Gina Giordano Bio
Gina Giordano is a doula and a creator. Originally from Miami Florida, she grew up in a close family unit. As the oldest of five children, she was taught how to support and nurture at a very young age. After studying fine arts in college, she moved to New York City where she was introduced to the idea of doula work. Just after one training, her passion for working in pregnancy, childbirth and beyond was ignited. In 2005 she started a business, offering birth and postpartum doula services and education to families. Through her work she learned how to offer compassionate, dignified care for ALL families during childbirth and the postpartum time, no matter their choices. She also saw a need for more doulas. Driven to serve that need, she co-founded Doula Training International (DTI) in 2010 with her business partner Tara Brooke. DTI is a mission based community that trains and certifies birth professionals unified in reproductive health and justice for all bodies. By working as the creative director of DTI, Gina’s mission is to bring awareness to all birth and reproductive options through innovative and curated design. She is the honored mother to two wild girls, married to her lifelong sweetheart and lives in Austin, TX. Connect with her on Instagram via @ginamgiordano or @DoulaTrainingsInt!
Born Into This Conference
The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Course
We just re-launched the course in honor of Mother’s Day! Go here to enroll, and hurry because the first 25 new students will be getting some amazing goodies from Earth Mama Organics ($40 value!).
Aeroflow Breastpumps helps new and expecting moms qualify for a free, top-brand breast pump through insurance. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and more. Visit Aeroflow’s website today to get started on receiving your free breast pump through insurance! From dealing with insurance, getting a prescription, and handling all paperwork – your dedicated Breastpump Specialist will take care of everything for you. Go here and they will know I sent you!
Comprehensive & Evidence-Based Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour
I’m so excited to announce the Mother’s Day launch of THE most comprehensive online childbirth course in existence! We will take you from the final weeks of pregnancy through postpartum and newborn care covering all of the evidence-based information for all types of birth, no matter what you are planning!
Then, we’ve got you covered when you’re going back to work with an additional six module Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course that you will get completely free as part of enrollment in the Know Your Options Childbirth Course!
Lifetime Access + MORE Bonuses!
Oh, and you get lifetime access to everything! I’ve actually already had a few mamas who are still in the trying to conceive phase sign up because they wanted to be sure to get in on the course while they can! The cart will only be open through Mother’s Day! The first 25 students to sign up will get a special gift in the mail from Earth Mama Organics! Hurry!
Go Here For All The Details!!
After planning a calm birth center birth with no interventions, Nalani found herself in a hospital setting being induced after her water broke prematurely.
Nalani Jolly Hill Bio
Nalani is a Government employee who lives in California with her husband, daughter, and crazy dog. Connect with her on Instagram @Nalanijolly
Earth Mama Organics
Today’s episode is sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mama makes effective organic and natural herbal products for the whole journey of motherhood: pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care. They’ve been safely nurturing mamas this way since 2002 — and they wouldn’t do it any other way. Use coupon code BirthHourBaby through May 12th to save 20% off individual, regularly priced Pregnancy products on EarthMamaOrganics.com.
Know Your Options Childbirth Course Free Video Series
Head over to check out our Top Three Videos Every Expecting Couple Should Watch and we’d love to have you join our Online Childbirth Course community as well!
TTC, Pregnancy, Birth Story
On this episode, Jenn shares the birth story of her son, Wallace, who was conceived with the help of a known-donor Jenn met through the Known Donor Registry. After a medically uneventful pregnancy, Jenn gave birth to Wallace at 41 weeks 5 days. Labor began with mild contractions on the way to the second NST; continued with a dramatic rupturing of waters; and, ended with a Pitocin induction 24 hours later. Jenn was determined to have an unmedicated birth and had the support of her parents, her doula, and her CNM in order to stay empowered through her long and difficult labor.
Jenn Poupard Bio
Jenn is a 32 year old single mom by choice (SMC) to 5 year old Wallace. They live in Michigan where she sells books on Amazon, babysits, and teaches yoga, while he goes to a play based preschool. She is in training to become a doula and dreams of traveling the US in her motorhome while unschooling her son. She plans to add to her family in the future and still hopes to meet the right person. Jenn can be found on Instagram at @Person_Concentrate, and on her blog.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely. Use the coupon code “thebirthhour” to get 20% off any sleep product Ergobaby.com or ergobaby.ca for our Canadian listeners.