Doula Training Before Pregnancy
Katie trained to be a doula 6 months before becoming unexpectedly pregnant on her honeymoon. She always knew she wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth, and switched care providers from an OB practice to a birth center at 30 weeks. She and her husband took hypnobirthing classes while she was pregnant, and they hired their hypnobirthing instructor as a doula. Though labor and birth didn’t progress as she had imagined (does it ever?), she achieved the goal of bringing her baby into the world in a peaceful, sacred, empowering environment, surrounded by love. You can watch her birth video here.
Katie Bihl Bio
Katie is a passionate, creative, social-media savvy, family-focused newlywed and new mom. When she’s not working from home as Influencer Marketing Manager at clean nutrition brand Orgain, she spends quality time with her beautiful family, enjoying the beach, cooking up delicious meals, and educating herself and others on things she is passionate about, like nutrition, self-care, mental health and motherhood. She’s driven to live an authentic, joyful, vibrant life of love built on the biblical values that foster an abundant life. You can follow her on Instagram at @katiebihl.
Dr. James at Laguna Beach OBGYN
Beach Cities Midwifery
And of course, The Birth Hour podcast!
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.
Capturing Our Family at Home
We’re a couple months into our Year in the Life documentary photography package with Heather Gallagher and I’m in love with the most recent images. The package started with maternity photos, then birth photos and will culminate with Harvey’s 1st birthday. I just know this year is going to fly by (as they tend to do) and I’m so excited to have so many memories captured by Heather.
This most recent session was a more intentional family session with a few posed shots (kind of necessary to get all five of us in one frame!) but we were still in the comfort of our home where our kids were free to be themselves (for better or worse ha!). I’m not a fan of props or background setups for family photos and I NEVER buy the school photos because they just don’t truly capture my children.
Heather has such a great eye (and timing!) for snapping photographs that I will always cherish. Here are a few of my favorites from our most recent session. Heather is also offering a special discount for Birth Hour fans for anyone who books in January/February (including birth even if you aren’t due until later in the year!!). Such a great deal! Contact her via her website or Instagram for all the details!
Unexpected Cascade of Interventions
Meg gave birth to her first child at 40w5d on May 15th. After her water broke and labor progressed, she experienced over 3 hours of pushing culminating with assistance of a vacuum to help deliver him. Going in without a birth plan and not knowing what to expect, this labor was quite traumatic and postpartum recovery was difficult.
Meg Ryan Bio
Meg is a working mama, spending her days as a manager of a luxury retail brand. She lives in NY with her husband, Matt, of nearly 5 years and her eight month old son, Rhett Thomas. She is a huge fan of all Bravo TV, cheese, and canceling plans to stay home in her leggings. Follow her on IG at @Megglezb.
Ava Communities on Facebook
IG: Silky Mamas
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
42 Week Induction Birth Story
Danielle spent her pregnancy reading Ina May Gaskin’s seminal texts on natural labor and envisioned having a peaceful, drug-free delivery. Once she crossed the 41-week mark of her pregnancy, Danielle’s doctors began talking to her about scheduling an induction. Hopeful that she would go into labor naturally, Danielle begged her doctors to let her go as long as possible to avoid an induction. After some negotiation, they collectively landed on a scheduled induction at 42 weeks. Still convinced she would go into labor naturally, Danielle tried everything to induce. But nothing worked. At 42 weeks, Danielle was induced by her doctor and labored for 13 hours. In the end, her labor was anything but drug-free, but it was somewhat peaceful. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Quinnah.
Danielle Walish Bio
Danielle is the co-founder of Madri Collection, a digitally-native fashion brand for breastfeeding mothers. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. Connect with her on Instagram @madricollection.
Madri Collection – Danielle’s Nursing Clothing
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.
Umbilical Cord Prolapse
After every effort to have a holistic, uninterrupted pregnancy and birth, Arielle was induced at 41 weeks due to low amniotic fluid. She went through ten hours of unmedicated labour using hypnobabies techniques and the support of her husband, when her water broke at 9.5 centimeters. When her water broke, the umbilical cord prolapsed and her daughter was delivered by emergency cesarean.
Arielle Martínez Bio
Arielle is a hair stylist and business owner in Omaha, NE. She lives with her husband, whom she met while traveling in the Dominican Republic, with their 6 month old daughter Luna. They enjoy traveling and spending time together as a family of 3. Connect with her on Instagram at @arielledemartinez.
Hypnobabies Self Study (hypnobabies.com)
Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions by Jennifer Margulis
The Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh
Birth, Baby, and Life by Kristen Burgess
The Birth Hour by Bryn Huntpalmer
The Free Birth Society by Emilee Saldaya
Sarah returns to share the birth of her second child.
Sarah gave birth to Braxton Rainwater on July 15th, 2018 at 4:36 a.m., after almost 27 hours of unmedicated labor. Braxton was born at 40 weeks and 5 days gestation. Sarah started labor at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Contractions faded in and out all day Saturday, and active labor started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Sarah met her midwife (Stephanie) at the hospital around 8:00 p.m. Labor moved slowly, only progressing a centimeter every few hours. Her waters broke at 12:30 a.m. and Braxton was born at 4:36 a.m.
Sarah was able to labor however she needed, utilizing the birth ball, bathtub, and shower. The nursing staff was amazingly supportive of Sarah’s birth wishes and cheered her on every step of the way!
Sarah Rainwater Bio
Sarah is a mama of two and the owner of BEND – Hot Yoga Studios, located in Northern Arizona. She started her first business shortly after turning 25 and has learned a lot about being a woman in the fast paced world of business. Sarah and her husband, Travis Rainwater, collectively own 4 separate businesses and live a very busy lifestyle.
Sarah and Travis met in 2008 and married in 2013. Sarah is now the mom to two wonderful boys, one month old Braxton Kent and 19 month old Hayden Troy. Sarah loves being a mom and absolutely loved her natural childbirth experiences. She has found a lot of joy in sharing her experience with new expecting mothers.
Sarah is the boss to over 35 employees and continues to manage multiple studios that share thousands of clients. Sarah has had to work hard on finding a good work/life balance. She has made it a priority to keep herself available and present to her growing family, but wouldn’t trade being a working mother for anything. Connect with her on Instagram: @simplylifeandyoga
Babylist: we used the baby list registry this time around and absolutely loved it! It allowed us so much freedom to pick and choose what we needed for baby #2
Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth
The Birth Hour (Of course!)
This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH19 at www.crane-usa.com.
After Shannon found out she was pregnant with her first, there was no question that she wanted an unmedicated, untouched birth. The only questions were: where, and with who. Shannon decided to go with her gut and deliver in the hospital with an OB. Her water broke at 1:00am, and she labored for 10 hours to then be stuck at “9.5cm with an anterior lip and posterior baby” (per her nurse) for three more hours. Shannon vividly remembers the intensity of wanting to push, but that her baby wasn’t quite ready. She turned to ‘J-breathing’ and says it saved her! She remembers hearing the comforting words from the nurse to her husband “do you hear those sounds she is making, that means you’re about to meet your baby.” Her healthy baby girl was born at 12:35pm that afternoon; then things took a turn for the worse. Shannon severely hemorrhaged post-delivery and needed immediate OR intervention and blood transfusions. She doesn’t recall any of it…the only words that kept coming out of her mouth were ‘I want to nurse, don’t feed her a bottle.’ She was very grateful to be in the hands of medicine when she needed it most.
Shannon dreamed of having a home birth, but due to the risk of a repeat hemorrhage she decided to deliver her next babies at the hospital as well. Both beautiful births, but she talks about how both were learning experiences for her as well.
Recently, Shannon delivered a surprise baby BOY after three girls. It was getting late and she had been in early labor all day. That night, she tried to rest but the contractions started to wake her and get her out of bed. She told her husband it was time and they headed to the hospital where she met her mom, sister, and midwife. Shannon labored beautifully, and shares that this birth ended up being the most peaceful and spiritual hospital birth she could have ever imagined for herself. Her little boy was laid on her chest at 5:00am, and when her husband saw that he got his boy…no one in the room had a dry eye. Pure magic! Birth Video link
Shannon Tripp Bio
Shannon is a mother of four, wife to the love of her life, and a pediatric ER nurse in Salt Lake City, Utah. She feels that she has been gifted the most beautiful perspective on life because through her experiences as a mother and nurse. She has always been a passionate person, and finds her deepest passions within the realm of birth and motherhood. Over a decade ago, she spent time training as an L&D nurse in a hospital setting. During this time, her eyes were opened as she witnessed the “business” of birth in today’s hospitals, and how mainstream medicine offers countless interventions to women in labor that often seemed unnecessary. She began researching the process of birth extensively, along with educating herself on the many different cultural perspectives of birth. Shannon was awestruck at what she found. Her conclusion? In most cases, birth is best left untouched.
Shannon has successfully delivered all four of her babies unmedicated, within the walls of a hospital. She shares her passion on the topics of birth and motherhood on her social media platform. She encourages mothers around the world to educate themselves, honor their instinct, and enjoy the journey of motherhood—because she knows, first hand, that tomorrow is never guaranteed.
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.
Lindsey Bliss shares her six births in four stories: a birth center birth with Mia (now 11); a vaginal twin birth in the hospital with surprise-twins, Birdie & Hazel (now 8); another surprise set of twins, Luke & Rocco (now 5.5) who were born at home; and finally, baby Olympia (1) who was also born via a planned homebirth. I love Lindsey’s down-to-earth approach to birth, postpartum, and parenting!
Lindsey Bliss Bio
Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.
Connect with her on Instagram at @doulabliss and @carriagehousebirth
Today’s episode is sponsored by Evenflo. Evenflo recently released the Pivot Xpand single to double stroller travel system that easily slides to convert from single to double without any tools needed. It has 22 different configurations accommodating one or two riders that can sit at various heights, reclines and be either forward or parent facing. I love that it comes WITH the infant carseat that clicks directly into the frame and a toddler seat that can recline to cradle infants as well. It also has a great extra large storage basket and easy fold!
Home Births and Struggling with Breastfeeding
Rachel shares her experiences preparing for and giving birth at home, as well as her struggles with breastfeeding and low milk supply, and using a supplemental nursing system with both of her sons. Looking back, she wishes she had gone easier on herself and wants to let other mothers know that they are doing great.
Rachel Pally Bio
Rachel Pally has been at the forefront of ethical, locally manufactured women’s clothing since 2002. Her inclusive view of women is what has set her apart from other brands. Rachel Pally celebrates all women and has set out to reach the many bodies and lifestyles and ages in her timeless collections including maternity and plus size options. A working woman herself and mother of 2 young children, Rachel’s collections are designed to go from day to night, work to play and everything in between. Connect with Rachel on Instagram @rachelpally and see her clothing like at Rachelpally.com
Supplemental Nursing System
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Dealing with Low Milk Supply – TBH post
Listening to The Birth Hour
This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH18 at www.crane-usa.com.
So excited to be sharing our most recent birth story. Harvey Huntpalmer was born at home in the water after less than an hour of active labor! If you want to listen to our first two birth stories, Adelaide’s is here and Darwin’s is here.
Resources & Products
All photos by Heather Gallagher Photography
. Heather is an Austin based award winning & published photographer who is available for travel as well! See more of her work via her Instagram