Accidental Unassisted Homebirth

After an uneventful pregnancy, Deborah thought she had planned for all aspects of her labor and delivery; but, she never anticipated having an unexpectedly quick labor and unassisted delivery. Deborah and her husband, Michael, prepared to have a home birth with their midwife, her sister, and her mother present.

Deborah went into labor at 40 weeks and 2 days. After her mucus plug came out she went into intense labor that lasted 5.5 hours. Before her midwife and sister could arrive, and after just 10 minutes of pushing, Deborah delivered with her husband catching their surprise baby girl! Although it was quick, it was very peaceful and everything happened the way it was supposed to.

born before arrival homebirth

Deborah Woodson Bio

Deborah is a 28-year-old Massachusetts native who recently relocated to Maryland with her husband. She works for a consulting firm that contracts with government and public agencies. Deborah considers herself to be a pregnancy and birth junkie and can often be found listening to birth stories and encouraging new soon-to-be mamas. She aspires to one day become a midwife. Deborah is passionate about forming connections with other women and mothers via social media and can be found on Instagram: @Deborahmichel

Crate & Kids

This episode of The Birth Hour is brought to you by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids is all about empowering the self-expression of families through environments that spark creativity and encourage individuality. Their versatile collection celebrates each new stage and helps you design a nursery that’s an extension of your own personal style.

Use code TheBirthHour at checkout to receive 10% off your full-price purchase of Kids furniture and more at crateandkids.com. It’s valid online only, and some exclusions apply, so see their website for details.

Disempowering Cesarean Followed by Twins VBAC

After a disempowering birth with her first son that nearly ended in tragedy, Erica vowed to have a different experience when she got pregnant again and planned to have an unmedicated VBAC with her twins. With the help of the Birth Hour, doulas, and a supportive practice after a switch of providers at 28 weeks, Erica successfully had the VBAC she worked so hard to get. As a black woman navigating the healthcare system, Erica is excited to share her story in the hopes that it may help some other mom or mommy-to-be.

Erica Beal Bio

Erica is an educational consultant located in Greenbelt, Maryland. She lives with her husband and three wonderful children, including an inquisitive (perhaps maniacally so) three-year-old and her 9-month-old twins that are starting to get into everything. Erica enjoys Rose, Netflix, reading, and cuddles on the couch with her hubby. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.

erica beal pregnancy

Resources

DC Birth Doulas (my doula group)
GW Obstetrics
La Vie Breast Massagers

8 Sheep Organics

Today’s episode was brought to you by 8 Sheep Organics. Did you know, over 78% of pregnant moms have trouble sleeping at night? If you’re lying awake in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, unable to sleep, then you should check out the “Sleepy Lotion” from 8 Sheep. It’s a body lotion specially formulated to help pregnant moms sleep better. It also helps with common pregnancy pains like restless legs, leg cramps and back/ hip pain.

Over 40,000 moms have used this lotion and rated it 4.8 stars!It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee too! If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can return the jar for a full refund! Go to 8Sheep.com and use the code BIRTHHOUR for 10% off your purchase!

Military Family: Two Hospital Birth Stories with Pitocin

Kemah and her husband, Alex, are a military family who had their first daughter while Alex was deployed to Afghanistan. Kemah chose to see an OB for prenatal care, and wanted to try to achieve an unmedicated birth in a hospital. At 39 weeks 6 days, Kemah’s water broke after having a prenatal massage. She arrived to the hospital and was administered Pitocin. Pitocin contractions were intense and she ended up asking for an epidural. She delivered a healthy baby girl and with help from Skype, Alex was able to watch the birth while deployed. After birth, Kemah had a retained placenta which was manually removed by the doctor. Alex met Aria for the first time in person when she was four months old.

birth story military family

With their second pregnancy, Kemah and Alex were surprised to find out they were pregnant months after switching from Nexplanon, an arm birth control, to a pill birth control. Kemah chose to go to a different OB for her prenatal care. Her new doctor supported her goal of an unmedicated birth. Additionally, the hospital had resources in their labor and delivery suites to support coping measures in child birth. Due to her BMI, Kemah was required to do external fetal heart rate and fetal monitor activity appointments during her last trimester. And following one of those appointments, at 36+6, the baby was not passing kick-count tests. This led to another induction with Pitocin. Kemah was able to walk to cope with contractions and make it to 7 cm before requesting an epidural. Alex was home for this birth and was able to support Kemah throughout her labor and delivery. 

Kemah Muñoz Bio

Kemah and her husband, Alex, live in southern Arizona with their two little girls, Aria- 6, and Isabelle-3. Alex is a recruiter for the Army National Guard and Kemah recently opened an Etsy shop called Teemah by Kemah where she designs and screen print T-shirts. 

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 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.

23 Week Loss Due to Incompetent Cervix and Rainbow Baby Birth Stories

After a 23-week loss due to incompetent cervix (originally a planned homebirth), Bree was ready to try for another baby. She and her husband, Adam, were successful after the first try just 3 months postpartum from their loss.

Luci’s pregnancy was pretty easy, even though Bree never loved the pregnancy part. Due to her incompetent cervix history, her pregnancy was monitored closely and a cerclage procedure was performed to ensure the cervix would remain closed. Contractions started on November 11, 2019 and lasted until 4am on November 13 when her water broke.

Since the cerclage was removed three weeks prior, and contractions increased significantly after the water broke, they went immediately to the hospital where she was told that she was only 3cm dilated. Bree was a bit discouraged since she thought this would be a quick birth. After her doctor advised on a small Pitocin dose, she felt that she needed an epidural to help with the pain. Their baby girl was born at 4:25pm, just under 5 hours after the epidural was administered.

incompetent cervix birth story

Bree Dirkmaat Bio

Bree and her husband, Adam, live in Kingwood, TX (30 mins from Houston) with their baby, Luci, and their 3 other kids (Adele, Israel & Moses).
Adam is a Firefighter and an appraiser. Bree works in Accounting and also in their appraisal business. They have been together for 4 years.
Facebook Profile: Bree Frasson or Instagram @breepreta

Resources

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 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.

Unmedicated Posterior Birth Story at Midwifery Center Attached to Hospital

Prior to this pregnancy, Teisia had two chemical pregnancies back-to-back. She had never heard about chemical pregnancies before trying to conceive, so they were devastating. She thought something was wrong with her and that she might never have a successful pregnancy. She wants all women who have experienced any kind of loss to know that there is nothing wrong with them, they are not alone and there is hope. She hopes to see more light shed on how common this is so that women can feel less alone and more supported.

Teisia had planned an unmedicated water birth at a hospital attached Midwifery Center. She prepared with hypnobirthing methods in anticipation. She went into labor at 39 weeks and left for the hospital soon after her water broke at home. While the midwife staff were blowing up the birthing pool, she was able to labor peacefully in the bathtub. It was the serene, beautiful experience she had imagined. Later on, the baby’s heart rate got too high and she was asked to get out of the tub. Once she was out of the water, the labor became much more difficult.

birth tub at hospital

She was told at 37 weeks that the baby was posterior but tried a lot of different things to get the baby to turn at home – so she thought that the baby had turned by the time labor started. No one told her that the baby was still posterior and therefore pushing was very hard. After an extremely challenging 3 hours, her baby girl was born. Her husband, Brian was there every step of the way and was the most supportive and amazing birth partner she could’ve asked for. Everyone was joking about how he was a “dude-la”. Although she didn’t get to have the calm water birth that she wanted, with the help of hypnobirthing and the support of her doula and husband, Teisia was able to go through with the unmedicated birth she had planned. It was the most magical and empowering moment of her life.

Teisia Wantuch Bio

Teisia is a working mom (software engineer) and lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Brian, daughter Eleanor and two cats (Mozart and Dwight). She loves the outdoors and seeing live music. After becoming pregnant with her first, she has become very passionate about pregnancy, birth and motherhood – and loves to talk about it and follow companies that are empowering women and mothers. You can connect with her on Instagram @_teisia.

Resources

Crane

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 BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com.

Become a Listener Supporter via Patreon and get access to bonus content, archived episodes, and an exclusive Facebook group!

Positive Hospital Birth After Placental Cyst, & Gestational Hypertension in Pregnancy

Just weeks shy of a trip to Mexico for one of her best friend’s destination wedding, Meriankh was very surprised to discover that she was pregnant. She soon found herself contemplating difficult decisions; not only about attending the wedding, but also how she and her partner of less than a year, could best navigate this unexpected life change overall. Physically, Meriankh’s pregnancy was smooth-sailing… she didn’t “feel” pregnant for a long time.  However, she was challenged with experiencing an array of difficult emotions tied to adjusting to being pregnant. 

While the pregnancy was fine physically, Meriankh did have a few hiccups that arose: brief spotting, a bright bowel on her 20-week ultrasound, and a subchorionic (placental) cyst. Meriankh began her pregnancy seeing her regular OB, but switched care around 15-weeks to a local birth center. Her experience at the birth center was not quite what she expected or envisioned, but she continued receiving care there nonetheless. 

large family at birth

Meriankh was planning an unmedicated birth at a birth center. However, due to a very last minute gestational hypertension diagnosis, she ended up delivering in a hospital, with an epidural, and having a very positive experience. After her water broke late night on Friday, February 14th and nothing happened all of the next day, Meriankh experienced prodromal labor throughout the night of Saturday, February 15th into early Sunday morning at which time the contractions stopped. Sunday night, however, her contractions began again and a 22-hour labor commenced. Although Meriankh had an intimate at-home labor through the bulk of those two nights, on Monday February 17th she gave birth to a small, but healthy baby girl while surrounded by her “village”- her partner, and numerous family and friends! 

sibling at hospital birth

Meriankh Cook’s Bio

Meriankh Cook was born, raised, and currently resides in Washington, D.C. She is currently a middle school science teacher and a happy mom of her 16-week daughter, Sefana. Meriankh has always been fascinated with birth and loves all things birth-story related. Connect with her via email: meriankhcook@gmail.com

Britax

Today’s episode is brought to you by Britax Child Safety, Inc. For over 50 years, Britax has been focused on safety you can trust from the very first day. They welcome new moms and dads to parenthood with award-winning car seats and strollers for every lifestyle while providing extra confidence for the journey ahead. At the end of today’s episode, I talk with Britax safety advocate, Sarah Tilton, all about the importance of rear-facing. Learn more about Britax products and safety tips at us.britax.com.