Pregnancy and Birth During the Global Pandemic as a Black Woman in 2020

After trying for about a year, Tiffany found out she was pregnant in February 2020. After the first visit with her midwife, the stay-at-home orders went into place. Navigating a pregnancy during a pandemic had a lot of pros and cons but one thing she enjoyed was being able to rest as much as she could. Aside from dealing with a global pandemic and some fatigue and nausea during the first trimester her pregnancy was textbook and she enjoyed it.

Tiffany labored for as long as she could at home, which was about 11 hours, then went to the hospital and labored for another 7. Although she has some mixed feelings about her doula support, in the end her unmedicated hospital birth was what she wanted and she feels empowered that she was able to do it the way she wanted at 41w5d.

Tiffany Smith Bio

Tiffany is a full time stay-at-home mom. She works part time as a nutrition coach and pilates instructor. She has been married to her husband for 4 years and they have a son, Maverick, a cat and 2 dogs. They live in Maryland in a suburb just outside of DC.

Connect with her on Instagram: @tiff_tts or via email: ttownsend388@gmail.com

birth during covid

Resources

Washington D.C. Area Local Recommendations

Babylist

Today’s episode is sponsored by Babylist. The people at Babylist believe that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry easily lets you add any item from any store. Plus, Babylist helps you each step of the way with their customized checklist, product guides and reviews, and personal registry consultants. They’ve even got group gifting! Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth over $100 while boxes last.

Unexplained Infertility, Twin Pregnancy, ICP, & Cesarean Birth + PPD Discussion

After over 4 years of dealing with infertility Gisselle and her husband Lynneric found out they were pregnant due to an IUI. A few weeks later they found out they were having twins! After a mostly uneventful pregnancy to that point, Gisselle was diagnosed with cholestasis at 30 weeks. At 32 weeks they found out both babies were breech and began to plan to have a cesarean. She delivered at 36 weeks and the babies never had to go the NICU. Postpartum she dealt with some postpartum depression and sought help from her doctor for medication and also attended therapy on a regular basis. 

twin-pregnancy-after-infertility

Gisselle Topham Bio

Gisselle and her husband Lynneric live in Ogden, Utah with their 4 yr. old boy girl twins. Her husband works for the government and she is a trained doula and childbirth educator working on her certification. She became involved in the infertility world while trying to get pregnant and has since also joined her local twin moms club. She enjoys watching movies and reading books. With her family she likes to have dance parties. Her kids keep her busy and she loves laughing at the crazy things they say and do. Connect with her via Facebook (gisselletopham) or by email gisselle.topham@gmail.com. Gisselle is also an active member of The Birth Hour Patreon group!

twins cholestasis

Resources

  • Gisselle’s husband’s Partner Podcast episode
  • UIRC- Utah Infertility Resource Center
  • Resolve 
  • The Birth Hour
  • Dr Berlins Informed Pregnancy Podcast
  • Evidence Based Birth (website and podcast)
  • Plus mommy (website, facebook, and podcast)
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  • The Birth Partner
  • When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads by Barbara Luke
  • What to do when you’re having two – Natalie Diaz
  • Searched twins in podcast app and google
  • PSI International
  • Facebook groups for infertility and twins
  • Asking about a therapist and psychiatrist
  • Local Twins club
  • Other twin moms

Wumblekin

This episode is sponsored by Wumblekin. Life’s busy and there’s a lot of noise out there, that can be especially true during pregnancy. Wumblekin breaks down pregnancy, labor and birth with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Easily buy or gift single boxes, or subscribe to receive them throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Be informed and prepared by ordering Wumblekin pregnancy, birth and postpartum essentials, today! Get 15% off your first box by using promo code BIRTHHOUR at checkout. Visit wumblekin.com to order or subscribe, today!


Loss, Failed IVF Cycles, & then Getting Pregnant Naturally During Covid

Angela and her husband got married in 2015. They always knew they wanted 2 children. She got pregnant easily on the first try in 2016. They felt so extremely lucky. Unfortunately, at 23 weeks they lost their sweet baby girl. They did genetic testing to find some answers on why there were such major abnormalities. Their baby had a rare heart defect, where the heart did not form properly. They also found out the baby had a rare chromosome deletion. After finding out Angela’s husband carries that gene, they decided to do IVF with PGD genetic testing. They wanted to avoid passing on the gene, as it was a 50/50 chance each pregnancy.

Angela had major complications from the D&E/D&C, which led to hemorrhaging. They started IVF in May 2017, and after 5 stim cycles, 4 egg retrievals and 4 failed transfers, they did not have any luck. They went to two doctors in two different states. Angela also underwent two hysteroscopies and many other minor procedures to see what was going on and why she wasn’t having any success. Her first doctor recommended surrogacy after her 3rd failed transfer because everything “looked good on paper”.

After her 5th IVF transfer with her new doctor was cancelled in March 2020 due to COVID, they decided to leave it up to chance and try again naturally. Shockingly, it worked the first try and she was pregnant. She had not seen a positive pregnancy test in 4 years. After undergoing a CVS (for genetics) and a fetal echo with an MFM following her whole pregnancy, all came back normal and they started to relax a bit more. Getting the phone call from the genetic counselor that the baby did not inherit the genetic condition was the best news of their lives. The rest of their pregnancy was “uneventful”, as they say…which is a good thing! The silver lining to being pregnant during the pandemic was getting to take more time off than she would normally have.

ttc story

Angela was due on December 28, 2020. On Christmas Eve, she started having contractions but they were irregular and far apart. They did not think the baby was coming soon since she had an appointment a few days earlier where her doctor said baby had not dropped and she wasn’t dilated at all.

Angela’s one wish was for the baby not to come on Christmas Day. But of course…her water broke at 1am in bed and water went everywhere! It was just like in the movies! She labored all night at the hospital and got an epidural at 10:30am on Christmas morning. Her doctor saw that baby was in distress and her heart rate was dropping so they recommend an emergency cesarean right away.

At 12:38pm, Aria was born. Angela didn’t get to meet her right away as Aria’s cord was wrapped around her neck and she wasn’t crying. Shortly after the team took her away, they heard Aria scream loud and clear. It was a huge sigh of relief. The rest of the 3 night hospital stay was a blur and then all of a sudden, they were clear to go home and start their new adventure. Life has been so busy for the new family of three but has been the best year of their lives. Aria has been the biggest blessing and joy in their lives. She is so smart, alert and is absolutely adorable. She is a constant reminder that miracles DO happen!

Angela Fong Bio 

Angela is a first time mom in Los Angeles. She is originally from Vancouver, BC, Canada. She has lived in the US for 12 years. She works in marketing. Once upon a time, she was a professional wrestler and traveled the world performing in front of thousands (but that is a whole different story for another time!) You can connect with Angela on Instagram: @missangelafong1

Owlet

Today’s episode is sponsored by Owlet. Meet the Owlet Pregnancy Band, an at-home pregnancy monitor using innovative, passive technology to give you daily insights into your pregnancy. You can track Mom’s sleep position, get manual kick count prompts, hear heartbeat recordings and see Baby’s trends through the night and over several days, plus read weekly pregnancy milestones all in the Owlet Pregnancy App. Right now get exclusive access to the Owlet Band in its beta program at owletcare.com/band.

Induced at 35 Weeks for Preeclampsia + Postpartum Preeclampsia

In 2019, Lana and her husband were ready to start a family shortly after they were married. After 3 months of trying, they were pregnant! Lana’s pregnancy went smoothly until she was 33 weeks pregnant. At that time, she started to experience excruciating pain on the right side of her back. After multiple trips to the hospital, including a two night stay to treat a bladder infection, Lana was unexpectedly diagnosed with preeclampsia with extreme features and induced at 35 weeks. After 13 hours after receiving pitocin, she delivered a healthy baby girl who was 6 lbs & 15 ounces. 

jaundice

After about a six night stay in the hospital, Lana and her baby girl were finally discharged. However, after being home for six hours, Lana was rushed back to the hospital because she was having difficulty breathing. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia. 

lana chavez birth story

Lana Chavez Bio

Lana is a 36 year old African American wife, mother, and special education teacher. She lives in Sacramento, Ca with her family. She enjoys spending time with her family & friends, traveling, eating out at new restaurants in town, and attending her local church. Lana shares her story in hope that it will bring awareness to preeclampsia and save a life. Connect with her via instagram @awaken_bylana.

Resources

The Birth Hour podcast

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Ergobaby is dedicated to helping families bond, grow, and thrive by creating premium baby products where function and quality are not compromised. Ergobaby has created 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. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet.


Birth in Saudi Arabia: Unmedicated Hospital birth vs Cesarean & Healing Diastasis Recti Postpartum

This episode is shared in two parts.

Zahra’s first birth was an unmedicated hospital birth followed by a 5 day NICU stay. Her second birth was a Cesarean birth after a prolonged labor due to weak abdominal muscles. A few days after her second birth, she explains that her tummy “fell apart”. She is now doing rehab to heal an eight finger wide diastasis recti from the navel down.

Zahra talks about how birthing practices are different in Saudi Arabia than in the United States and wanted to shed light on the issue of diastasis recti and how this serious condition can affect your quality of life to a large extent. Also, many people might be surprised to hear that there is hope for fixing your diastasis recti through physical therapy rather than surgery even when, as in her case, your doctor might say that surgery is your only option.

Zahra Alawami Bio

Zahra lives in Saudi Arabia with her husband and two children. She lived in Milwaukee, WI for five years while studying psychology at UWM. She doesn’t miss the snow or the winter even though it’s been six years since she returned home. But she would love to visit Milwaukee during the summer anytime! She is very passionate about everything relating to child rearing and raising children (A degree in psychology is to blame!. She enjoys snuggling her babies, cooking, drinking coffee, listening to podcasts, and has recently picked up Sourdough baking at home!

Connect with Zahra on Facebook or via email at zalawami1990@gmail.com.

Resources

Motif Medical

Part I of this episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour

Wumblekin

Part II of this episode is sponsored by Wumblekin. Life’s busy and there’s a lot of noise out there, that can be especially true during pregnancy. Wumblekin breaks down pregnancy, labor and birth with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Easily buy or gift single boxes, or subscribe to receive them throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Be informed and prepared by ordering Wumblekin pregnancy, birth and postpartum essentials, today! Get 15% off your first box by using promo code BIRTHHOUR at checkout. Visit wumblekin.com to order or subscribe, today!

Precipitous Unmedicated Hospital Birth at 36 Weeks

Daniela got pregnant very quickly after removing her IUD. She had a fairly easy pregnancy with the usual symptoms of waddling, weight gain, and a small bladder! She says that the silver lining of being pregnant during COVID was being able to work from home the whole time and in fact most of her coworkers had no idea she was pregnant.

Daniela was 36 weeks along when her water broke so it was a bit of a shock. Contractions began worsening as they ran around packing bags. They arrived at the hospital at 8:45 (just two hours after her water broke) and they admitted her into the triage room.

She felt that the nurses didn’t believe her level of pain and tried to test if her water actually broke but there was not enough fluid coming out.

They finally checked her again 45 minutes later and realized she was 6cm dilated. She was then rushed to the delivery room where she quickly got naked and on all fours and was roaring like a beast & began speaking in only Spanish for reasons unknown to her!

36 week preemie

Daniela felt the ring of fire and every single contraction and credits practicing diaphragmatic breathing during pregnancy with helping her cope. The nurses still didn’t take her seriously and her body started pushing by itself. No one had any idea she was pushing (of course that was the exact moment her husband went to go use the bathroom so he missed the birth!

The baby fell out onto the bed with no one was there to catch the baby right away. Everyone was in shock! They found out they had a baby boy, born at 10:25, just under 4 hours after water broke. Lots of tests were done since their baby was early and and he had jaundice but nothing super serious and they were able to go home after 3 days in the hospital.

Daniela’s doula told her after the birth that this was the first time in her hundreds of births that nurses had treated a couple the way they had been treated which led them to send in a complaint.

preemie at 18 months

Daniela Hoag Bio

Daniela is 29 years old and has been married for two years to her husband. They both work in the tech industry and live in downtown Seattle. They have a 7 month old baby boy and a husky fur baby. @swaggy__dannyb

Resources

  • Atlas Birth in Seattle – Louis Perez doula
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing – Hannah Bower course on breathing
  • The Birth Hour podcast

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps and maternity compression and postpartum recovery products, they take care of everything – including all paperwork, working with your insurance company, and explaining your options to get these free essentials shipped straight to your door.

Aeroflow offers all major breast pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda, Elvie, Willow and more.

All you have to do is 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 we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “TBH15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.